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Story 1

JUST AN AVERAGE DAY.


She was so organised everything had to be to a tee. This was her big day and it wasn't going to be ruined, or so she thought! It was the grand opening of the Millennium Project Bank and my mother was the Manager. Everything was 'rush rush' but at the end of the day it was all going to be worth it. It was now two o' clock and we had to be there for half two. So she picked up the car keys and we both roared off eagerly into the city.


We arrived successfully at half two and scrambled out the car door. My stomach was in knots because this whole event was being broadcasted over R.T.E. MY mother ran excitedly through the bank doors while I strolled on to the city centre to meet my friends. They were meeting me at the statue at the start of O' Connell Bridge. Everyone was on time for once and so we made our way back towards the bank as fast as we could. We didn't want to keep my mother waiting, as we all knew what the consequences of that would be! As we walked down O' Connell Street we saw four black limousines speeding down the road. They seemed to be heading for the bridge. Curiosity must have overcome us because we started running in the direction the limousines went. We turned the corner to see them all parked vertically at the side of the road.


Just then one of the windows began to roll down. I looked at my friends and an unwelcome shiver went down my back. A hand appeared out of the window clutching a briefcase. He dropped it into a bin and all the cars flew off in the direction they came from. I commenced forward and rooted out the briefcase. I opened it to reveal a tumuli of documents of a particularly familiar building. I recognised it was the new bank. I sifted through the documents when something caught my eye. It read, 'PLAN OF ATTACK'. I read through it briefly and at the bottom it read, 'ATTACK AT 3:15'. We had no time to spare.

We ran as fast as we could towards the bank and I frantically tried to look for my mother. We found her setting up the tables. I tried to show her the documents but she just wouldn't listen so I knew it was up to us to catch the thieves. We went to get the Security Officer and told him what we had found. He got on his radio and called for five Garda cars. It was now 3:10 and the Gardai had still not arrived. I went around to the back of the building just to check if everything was all right when I heard a gunshot. I ran back around to the front of the building and saw five Garda cars skidding around the corner after the four limousines. Three men hopped out of the first limousine while the other three blocked in the Gardai. The three men took out guns and fired shots at the oncoming security guards. One of the ricocheting bullets was intercepted by one of the Gardai cars, which ignited into flames. The flames spread quickly towards the other cars while the men scampered to safety. In a matter of seconds, the three cars went up in a loud burst that engulfed the area. By now the three officers lay dead and four others were badly injured. My friends and I gazed with terror as the officers slowly succumbed to the heat and smoke.


Five canisters of tear gas were launched into the crowd which dispersed without hesitation leaving a perfect aisle, in which the thieves crashed through the windows and effortlessly into the vault. They opened the large boots of the limousines and shoved all the money into them as quick as they could. I didn't know what to do. I ran to find my mother. She was hidden underneath one of the refreshment tables sheltered from the overcast of teargas. I grabbed the keys of her car and bolted towards it. I called over to my friends and they ran over to the car as if they had read my mind. Just then three more Garda cars sped in towards the limousines but they had no power over them as they barged their way through.


I started up the engine and flew off in the same direction as the limousines. I looked in the rear view mirror where I saw the three cop cars rapidly following behind. I decided to go for broke by blocking in the last limousine with just enough time for the Gardai to take over. I sped up in front of the limousine and swerved inwards. The limousine skidded and went out of control into a ditch. The cop cars surrounded the limousine as I forwarded trying to catch up with the other limousines. I came to a very steep incline where all three limousines were parked. My heart nearly stopped. I was so frightened. I got out of the car and ran around the corner to find the Gardai. Suddenly two of the cars came speeding up the road. I waved at them and told them about the limousines. They stopped and sneaked around the corner with their guns at their side. They turned the corner to find my mothers empty car and nothing else.


The Gardai called for an air search to follow the remaining limousines. There was nothing I could do now that they were on their way out of the county.

TO BE CONTINUED . . .


WRITTEN BY LEE FARRELL.


CHAPTER 2:THE LONE RANGER.

Yes! There was nothing I could do, so I went back to the bank to find a stunned mother.
The police questioned me and I gave a full statement explaining what had happened.


I drove mother home that night but she was speechless.two days later she went back to work in her best form, and I was determined to see a fault in the thieves plan. The documents in the briefcase yes that was it! Some of them were from the bank. It was an inside job and I went to bank to find the culprit.while there I noticed frank, whom my mother fancied and knew for the past 15 years, was not there grew suspicious and checked him out.his report sheet showed he had not been there for two weeks .in my eye he was a suspect but my mother thought I was speaking a load of rubbish. Knowing he was not from Dublin I asked mother where was he from .she told me that he was from Kilkenny .I decided to go there myself to check his home, so I told mother that my friends and I were going off for the weekend .I packed my bags and left for Kilkenny in my 1984 Nissan micra. I knew at that moment, I was getting myself into more trouble than I could handle, but in my confusion, all I thought of was the satisfaction catching them would give me.
I arrived in Kilkenny at about 10:30 and although my anticipation of getting to work on the case of frank was overpowering I needed to eat and find a place to sleep .to my amazement I found both in one, a place called "the club house hotel", on Patrick's street. The next day I did some sightseeing and saw st.canices tower and went on tour of Kilkenny castle .I ate lunch in the "caislean UI ciuin", and found the medieval city to be bigger than I thought.there was even something that reminded me of Dublin, the smell of hops from the brewery. Now I had to find frank so I went to the hotel to look him up and I chose to go with the phone book .I knew he lived in the country so in the end I was only left with two choices, Bennettsbridge and Castlecomer. I went with Bennettsbridge and left straight away. Just then luck struck me over the head and I saw frank leaving the city .I followed him from a distance to the village and watched him enter an old house at the top of a hill .I parked the car and sneaked quietly around to the back of the house to look in through the window saw frank and five other men carefully counting the money.


Looking around I saw there were no limos but I memorised the no. Plates of an old volks wagon beetle and two brand new BMW 4 series cars.then I hid behind a hedge and waited until 6:38 when I saw all the men leave the house.then I took the opportunity and broke into the house.it didn't take me long and when I was in there I saw several handguns and three boxes of bullets.next I looked in the drawers and I was halfway through them when I heard the door opening. There was nowhere to run so frank came in and saw me straight away .I ran and knocked him over and got out the door .I was planning to go to the police but my plan was foiled when I ran into the other men just around the corner.they grabbed me when they heard franks shout and although I struggled there was no escape.they tied me up and gagged me and hurled me towards the volkswagon.they sat me in the front seat and fastened my seatbelt heard them talking about what to do with me, but whatever it was pretty soon I was about to find out.they drove the car into the garage ,rolled down the windows,left the engine running and got out of the car.before they closed the garage door one of them turned and said "that's what you get for being nosy kid".then one of them said "he will be dead long before we get to Waterford". Finally they left me to die .I knew I had only minutes to live so I got straight to work on the rope and being a scout some years ago this was no problem to me.from my seat I leaned over, put my hand down fully on the clutch and slapped her into second gear and released my hand and put my hand down fully on the accelerator. The car flew through the door and was glad to have survived .it took me a while to catch my breath and I was gasping for air.this time it was personal, forget the gardai "IM going after these damn men and im taking them down". I jumped into the car and got after them.doing the fastest speed I had ever done in my Nissan I tore along the road .I got around 5 miles when I ran into trouble, I ran out of petrol. This was the worst case scenario, and I cursed the bit out.then realising what I was doing I got sense and I walked to thomastown garda station and told them about the whole ordeal.they rang dublin and said they would deal with it from here on.
I got petrol an thumbed a lift back to the car.i returned to the hotel got something to eat and rang mother and told her I was going to be another few days .I went to bed and said to myself "I had some unfinished business with the guys who tried to kill me ……."

TO BE CONCLUDED…..

By Darren Cullen.

 
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Story 2

Lost Treasure


"Where do you think you're going"? My father asked in his usual sarcastic tone, which was nearly always levelled at me. "I'm going to the Plax", I hollered back at him." "Don't you use that tone with me!" he shouted. I slammed the door shut.
It was the usual routine and I knew it so well by now. I guess every teenager can sympathise! The name's Robert Jackson. I'm fourteen years of age with messy black hair down to my shoulders and ice blue eyes with jet-black pupils. I'm your everyday kind of guy. I hate school and love sport and music. I'm five feet two inches and am one of the smallest in my class. I walked slowly down the road to where I said I would meet my friends. "Hey Rob," Caroline said with a smile on her face. She is a tiny bit taller than me with long brown hair down past her shoulders and light maroon eyes. She always had a smile on her face and a warm expression in those eyes. "Where's everybody else?" I asked with a puzzled look on my face. "They said they'll meet us up there," she replied. "Alright, come on, hurry up or we will miss the bus!"


At the Plex we met up with everyone. There was Dano who was the tallest out of all of us. He is about six feet nine inches and has green eyes. He has red short hair with a long pointy nose. We all thought he was the dumbest out of all of us. Also there was Eddy who is small, chubby but has a great sense of humour. He has blonde bushy hair and freckles all over his face. "So what do you want to do?" Dano asked. "Let's sneak in through the emergency exit around the alley," whispered Eddy. We walked down the dark foggy lane. There was four giant heaps of garbage at the bottom of the lane from which a foul stench was emanating. We held our noses and opened the metal door and walked in.


"Wait!" Caroline shouted. "Look what I've found." She ran up to with something in her hand. It appeared to be a black Nike sports bag with an old torn piece of paper. On it there were some directions leading towards a X. "Do you know what this is?" I shouted at the top of my voice. "It's a treasure map. We're going to be rich!" "Wait! Wait! Wait!"
Caroline shouted at me. "Two things!" she exclaimed. "One, the map may be fake and two, the next place on the map we have to follow is half the country away." "But we could be rich and famous," I shouted at her, totally blown away by the excitement.


What we didn't know was that there were three men around the corner listening to our every word. "Did you hear that? They've found a treasure map," whispered one of the men. "Yes, we'll be rich," said the other man. "I've an idea, we'll follow them home and when no one is looking we'll swipe it from them," said the biggest of all of them. Meanwhile, we were trying to decide what to do with the map. "I think we should follow it," I said with a smile on my face. "I don't think we should," Caroline answered. It was the first time I ever saw her like this, unsmiling I mean. "What about you two?" I asked. "We definitely want to go," they both said at the same time. "Are you going, Caroline?" "I don't know, I mean, how are we going to convince our parents and what will we do if something bad happens?" she said. "Nothing bad will happen," I assured her. All you have to do is tell your parents you're staying at my place." "But what about you? They all asked. "I won't tell my parents because they won't even miss me." This may seem like a rather strange comment from a fourteen year old.
Unfortunately, it was quite true. I had learnt this quite early on in life and at this stage was quite used to it. It didn't bother me any more and if I could accept it, I figured my friends could too. "Okay," she said excitedly. Her smile returned.


Suddenly, a rough looking Giant appeared from nowhere. "No one is going anywhere," he shouted. The giant was around six feet three with a weird appearance. His eyes were bloodshot and he had a crooked nose with hair sticking out of it at the end. He looked like he was in his early forties. His friends looked like they were twins. They were both bald. They were also thin and were wearing black leather jackets. "Give us the map," the tallest one demanded. "No," Eddy shouted back. The three of them approached us. " There's no way out," Dano uttered. They drew closer and closer. Suddenly I remember the fire exit. "Quick through the fire exit," I shouted at everybody. We ran as fast as our legs could carry us past the ticket machines and out the main door. We had to move fast because the men were on our tails.


"If we are leaving to follow the map we have to leave now," I panted as we ran home. "Grab all the money you can and everyone meet at the park in five minutes," Caroline demanded. We all ran into our houses and altogether collected two hundred and fifty seven pounds in crisp fresh notes. "What do we do now?" they all asked. "Well the next place on the map is Kilkenny so I guess we'll have to go there," I said calmly. We all ran halfway up the road to the bus stop. It was a twenty-minute wait for the bus but we all thought it would be worth it. The thought of what was at the end of the trail made us all smile. We got the next bus to Connolly station and got the next train out to Kilkenny. What we didn't know was that the three men who threatened us were on the same train and were following us.


CHAPTER TWO


We were all very tired at this stage after all the commotion of running away from home and from the three crooks who tried to take the map from us so we all sat down and were looking forward to a nice relaxing journey. We were all very hungry and decided to get something to eat out of our money. Dano took all our orders and got us something to eat. He was gone for about five minutes or so when we saw him strolling towards us with the food. We gobbled it down and before we knew it we were entering Kilkenny Train Station. I looked over to Caroline who was sitting opposite to me and saw a stressful look about her as she gazed down into the next carriage. "What's wrong with you?' I asked her. "Down there, down there, Look quick!" We all looked down. "Oh no it's the crooks they must have followed us."
They were moving towards us very quickly as we were in there sights. We darted towards the door as the train was after coming to a halt. We jumped out the door and entered into our new environment. "We've lost them in the crowd.' Eddy said.
"Its getting late,' Eddy said, 'we'd better go and find a place to sleep.' We walked out of the station and found ourselves in a street signed Johns S.t. We walked down the street until we came to a hotel by the side of the river Nore called the Rivercourt Hotel. "This hotel is far too expensive for us.' Eddy grunted. 'Lets try anyway.' I said.


We all agreed and entered the glamorous looking four star hotel. We all were feeling very out of place as we enquired about the accommodation prices for all of us. The man at reception was a small fat jolly looking man, as I gathered by the warm welcoming looking smile on his face. After getting the price of two hundred pounds Caroline gave me a nudge to exit the hotel. As we walked out of the Hotel we were called back by a jolly little voice.
"I feel sorry for you, come back and see if we can arrange something. Well it seems that we're pretty slack at the moment, give me fifty pounds and you can all stay". We were all exhausted and therefore fell off to sleep straight away.

"Wake up, come on, hurry," Dano shouted. "Oh, leave me be, for another ten minutes". Caroline replied. "She is not an early morning kind of girl. I will grab the map," Dano said. We left the hotel with thanks to the man at the reception and made our way over a bridge called Johns Bridge. "Open the map". Eddy said "And see where we are off to". We found our current location on the map and looked to see our next location, which looked, like a castle so we went on our way over the bridge and came to a narrow little street called Rose Inn Street. We walked a few yards when a young boy approached us. He was a tall thin boy with a bony face. "You look lost." the boy said. "Yes we are lost." Caroline replied reluctantly, "Could you tell us how to find a castle of some description?". "Yes, of course" the boy answered very enthusiastically, "Kilkenny Castle is just a couple of minutes walk away from here".
'Thank you very much for all of your help," Eddy said to the boy. "Oh, that's ok," the boy replied. 'I am going up that way now if you want me to escort you up.' 'Well what are we waiting for lets go and find the treasure' Dano said. 'What is all this about treasure' the boy said with a very interesting look about his bony face. 'Oh nothing' I said before Dano got a chance to blurt something else out. 'Oh just tell him Robert.' Caroline said to me. 'Ok but you probably won't believe me.' 'Fire away' the boy said. 'We found a treasure map and are on way to find it.' 'Treasure map, treasure map!' the boy shouted at the top of his voice 'is it mad you all are?' The boys shouting had now alerted the three men who were close by. 'Do you hear that?' one of the crooks said? 'Yes lets go quick'
'Now look what your shouting has done!' I shouted as a spotted the three crooks. 'Lets go quick!' I said. We ran along the street as fast as our legs could carry us until we came to a huge wooden gate it's the castle gate lets go in quick. 'It's huge!' I said. 'It's the nicest building I have ever seen.' Caroline said. 'Never mind the castle just hurry they're catching up. In there into the bushes!' I shouted. We all ran in and held our breath as we heard the crooks shouting 'Get back here you little runts!'


We waited until it was all clear and went deep into the castle grounds. The castle grounds consisted of a numerous amount of huge trees ponds animals and fresh air. "Take out the map out of your bag," I said to Dano "and see were we have to go."
We advanced once again into the wooded area of the castle grounds. After walking for about an hour or so we finally came to the old graveyard, which was the final marking on the map. We gazed into the overgrown graveyard and then walked in. "Oh how are we meant to find anything here!" Caroline said harshly. "This was a stupid idea. I wish I never let you talk me into coming on this wild goose chase around the country for no reason."
Just as Caroline finished complaining we heard Eddy screaming. "Help! Help!" he shouted. "Where are you where are you?" I shouted. "Down here, down here!" I shouted. We all ran to his assistance. "I'm down here; I have found a secret passage, come on down quick." We let ourselves down the six foot drop and into the passage. It was a small narrow dark tunnel with Cobb Webbs everywhere. "The treasure is down here" Eddy said "I can feel it ." We walked down the tunnel and after walking for about ten minutes we came to a small dark room of some sort. "Give me your torch." Caroline said to Dano, "here shine it in there." There it was I could see the exciting look on every ones face as we all gazed in at the wooden chest just like you would see them on the movies. "Now do you wish you never came?" I said to Caroline. She did not answer as she was to busy running towards the chest. "There's an old lock on it." Caroline shouted. I picked up a rock and smashed it of the rusty old lock. It came clean of. "Open it! Open it!" they all shouted at me. I held my breath and open the chest. "There is nothing, nothing!" I roared at the top of my voice. "What a minute" Caroline shouted trying to shout over my voice "there is a piece of paper here in the corner of the chest." "It is the next part of the map" I said after examining it closely. "It is leading down towards Waterford." Eddy said. "Lets get out of here" Caroline said, "this place gives me the creeps come on then lets go."
All of us very happy after our finding climbed out of the passage way and up to the graveyard. We all began to walk towards the front gate to get out and find out about how we were getting to Waterford. We were all so excited about the treasure that we had forgotten all about the three crooks who were now waiting for us at the castle gates as it was getting close to closing time and security were locking up. "Come on you lot we're locking up get out of here."


We walked out the main gates and were greeted by the three crooks that we had forgotten all about due to all of the excitement. "Get over here and hand the map over!" one of the men said angrily. "Run!" I roared to everybody. "Oh no you don't not this time." the man said and pulled a gun from his pocket. "Get in to the van now!"


We did what we were told because we knew they meant business this time. We hopped into the van and sat in the back of it shaking with fear. They hopped into the van after us and ordered us to hand over the map with the gun pointing at us we handed it over. I "I am frightened." Caroline said. 'I am too, Caroline' Eddy replied 'we all are.' 'I guess we're going to Waterford.' one of the Crooks said to us 'and you brats are coming with us.'

 
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Story 3


The Mysterious Package


John and Laura were from London and they were in Ireland for a week hoping to have a relaxing holiday, away from the stress of their busy jobs in television. Both were 28 but after their gruelling schedule for the last 3 months felt as if they were closer to 48. As political journalists for the BBC, they were constantly working and had decided to come away to Ireland for a quiet week to relax and stay away from any type of media interest. They were not to know what lay ahead of them was anything but relaxing!


While on the third day of their holiday John was looking for his suitcase to pack away the presents which they had bought for family and friends as a reminder of their little trip. Laura had thrown the cases under the bed on the first day of their holiday and so now; John was on his hands and knees trying to pull the cases out. As he fumbled around, his hand touched off a wooden box, which he knew, wasn't theirs. He carefully pulled it towards him, tried to open it but to no avail and so put it aside, not thinking any more about it. John and Laura didn't think it was anything important so John went down to the reception desk that evening and handed it in.


Two days later there was a knock on their hotel room and when John answered it, three men were hovering furtively outside asking about a package, which they had mistakenly left behind when they occupied this room the previous week. John told them straight away that he had handed it over at the reception desk two days ago. The men's reaction was strange. They seemed to get annoyed and maybe even a little panicky. One of them, a strange looking blonde with a small scar under his right eye, began to explain to John how important it was for them to get this package back, how much they needed the package and how it was in John's interest to tell them the truth. By this stage, John was suspicious and anxious to get these men away from his door. He reiterated again how he had passed the package on to reception and firmly closed the door.


By this stage, Laura's curiosity was aroused. She had to know what was in that package that made it so important. John was more hesitant. After all, they were on holiday to get away from stories like this, which were generally part of their daily lives, the rest of the year. However, his own curiosity got the better of him and Laura talked him into pursuing this story further.


When they had checked that the three men had indeed left from outside their room, John and Laura ran hastily to reception to inquire about "a box they had mistakenly handed in as lost property two days ago." The receptionist replied by saying that the package had already been passed onto the post office, which had found an address at the back to which it would be forwarded. John quickly ran out onto the street, flagged down a taxi and told the driver to go to the post office. When they arrived at there, a friendly postman directed them to a woman behind the counter who dealt with all the outgoing post. Remarkably, she remembered the box because of its strange address. It had been forwarded that morning to Kilkenny Castle.


John and Laura knew that they both had to pursue this story. They returned to the hotel as quickly as they could and booked a taxi to Connolly Station. They were on their way to the story of a lifetime.

Chapter 2

John and Laura arrived at MacDonagh station in Kilkenny. They got off the train and out of the train station and they were not familiar with Kilkenny. They saw traffic lights when they got out of the train station so they asked some people where Kilkenny castle was. So then they ran as fast as they could to Kilkenny castle. It was closed after six so they had to find a place to stay because it was getting dark.


They had no food and very little money so they had to rob a small shop so they went in to Whites shop and put a few things in their pockets and walked out. They went back to their b and b and in the morning they were up early and went to the Castle and asked about the package.
They were told a package had been forwarded a day ago to them so the man asked them was it theirs but just as they said it was theirs three men came around the corner. They recognised one of the men. It was the strange looking blonde with the scar under his right eye.
John and Laura did not know what to do so they started to walk away and the man they asked about the package started shouting at them. Then John and Laura started to run and two of the men ran after them and the other man stayed with the package and told the man it was his.
John and Laura found a door that led out of the castle and they ran into the woods they found an open tomb and hid in there. They could hear the men stop right out side the tomb. They were talking for a long time about the package and just as they were about to say what it was the other came and said the man in the castle would not give him the package.


After five minutes they went off. John and Laura could not get out of the tomb but then Laura found a passage. John had a lighter and when he lit it he saw something carved into the passage door. It said it led to the West Wing of the Castle and John remembered the men had said the man hid the package over in the West Wing. John said, "Let's wait until its dark to go into the castle." Laura was scared because she said it could be haunted. John remembered the men saying they were going to break in to the castle that night.


So it came 12.oclock and John and Laura went through the passage. It was very long. They were walking for 20minutes and they came to a ladder and there was a door. John climbed up the ladder and there was a door. He tried to push up the door, he pushed his hardest and he noticed there was something on top of the door. He told Laura to pass up a stick that was on the ground so he could push what ever was on the door off. So he pushed the object off the door. They got up very quietly and went over to the light switch and there was a lot off boxes in the room and they saw the package they were looking for and tried to lift it but it was too heavy. Then Laura heard footsteps so they went down the passage.


There were lots of men in the room and they went off with the package and one of the men said bring the package to an abandoned warehouse in Irishtown. So john and Laura waited for the men to go and they went out the front door of the castle, climbed over the wall and walked down the Parade.
They saw a sign for Irishtown so they followed the sign and saw an abandoned warehouse. It was not guarded. They went over to the door and they heard them talking about drugs. They looked through a crack in the door and John knew it was drugs so he went to a phone box on Irish street and dialled 999. He asked for the Guards and told them. The Guards came and got the men and John and Laura and were rewarded with 100 pounds and a trip to Waterford.

 
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Story 4


THE GREAT ADVENTURE

Do you remember what you were doing on April 11th? I do and I'll remember it for the rest of my life. It was the greatest adventure ever. Maybe one day I'll write it all down so that everyone can experience the adventure of a lifetime.


It all started when my cousin Danny came to stay with us. Danny wasn't actually my cousin but he was my mother's best friend's son so he is as close as family. Danny lives in the U.S. with his mother, father and his two brothers and three sisters. He visits for two weeks every year during his summer vacation and this year was no exception. Danny is 5ft 2 with baby blue eyes and his hair is parted in the middle like a set of curtains. He isn't exactly the adventurous type but can be coerced when the situation arises.


Danny was in Ireland three day and he still hadn't been out of the estate. It wasn't that he was not allowed but it was his fear of being beaten or mugged. Paranoid or what? That particular day I had suggested going into the city centre to have a look at the new games available for my Playstation, but Danny had already brought a new game from the States so we decided to stay home and play it. Danny was doing really well, he had reached the 45th level but then a G -Knonified soldier killed him and that was the end of his turn. By the way, did I mention that Danny is a sore loser? When it came to where you write your name up on the screen Danny slammed his fingers down on the keyboard with frustrating anger. Suddenly the screen went blank. Then some sort of star logo came up. We immediately thought it must be a secret level so we pressed "Enter". To our surprise, some plans of some sort of biological nuclear weapon appeared up on the screen. We were glued to the screen with shock! Just at that moment, my mother walked in to the room. Danny quickly shut off the computer. Of course, my mother asked what we were doing. She's always quick off the mark and misses nothing. "Just playing my new game", lied Danny, quite professionally at that. You'd swear butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. My mother wasn't quite convinced but decided for once, to let it go. She asked if we would mind going to the shops for her. We politely obliged as we figured if we moaned and groaned about it she would suspect something was up.


We strolled down to the shop and got the few messages we had been given on the list. I gave the cashier a five-pound note and she gave me my change. Danny and I rambled home at our ease but as we got to the end of my street we could see smoke rising above the houses. We ran to the corner of my street and to our horror we could see my house up in flames. We bolted up the street to my house and I screamed for my mother. I asked the fire brigade man what had happened and where my mother was. He reassured me that my mother was fine, a few cuts and bruises but luckily she was in the garden when the blast had occurred. "Blast?" I questionned. To my absolute horror, I was informed that our house had been bombed and it was a real professional job.


The next few days seemed to float by as if they weren't real. We had nowhere to live, no belongings and someone was trying to kill us. I couldn't quite comprehend what had happened and with the shock of it all, the contents of the disc which had shown on the computer for a fleeting moment that fateful day, had totally slipped my mind.

However, two days later I was to receive a sharp reminder! A phonecall came to our neighbour's house where we were staying. Mrs. Mutton went to answer it. She said it was for me. I went over to the phone and picked it up. Then a mumbled voice answered " I'm sorry I had to bomb your house but unfortunately for you, you saw some top secret plans. Now, either you keep your mouth shut or I'm going to have to kill you and your cousin." All of a sudden the man hung up.


I told Danny what the man said and we both agreed it would be best if we told my mother what had happened. She was horrified and we had to do our best to convince her not to go to the police. We made a plan. We were going to leave Dublin. We didn't know where we were going but at that moment, anywhere seemed better than here.

It had been a long and tiring journey but at last we had arrived. I heard the announcer call out last stop "McDonagh Station." I didn't know where this was but I didn't care as long as it was as far away from Dublin as we could get.

We had boarded the train in somewhat of a daze, Danny, my mother and I. We didn't know where we wanted to go and my mother had just asked for three one-way tickets out of Dublin.

The first thing I saw as we walked out onto the street was a pub with a black and amber flag hanging out of the window. I may not be what you'd call a G.A.A fanatic but I know that Kilkenny wear black and amber jerseys. Well at least I knew what city we were in, it was a start. I began to point this out to my mother but she had already spotted it. "I know," she said, "we're in Kilkenny." "Kill who?" asked Danny. He wasn't very good with Irish place names.

Just outside the train station there were traffic lights and crossroads. We all just wanted to get something to eat and then to find a place to stay for the night, so we took the street which looked the busiest and had the most shops. As we walked along I began to take in my surroundings. I could see a church steeple rising above the shops on my right and on my left I could make out what looked to be the turret of a castle. I remembered that Kilkenny used to be the Medieval capital of Ireland and that it was a very historical city from my history. It didn't look like it to me though.
It seemed just like any other city I had been to with traffic jams, exhaust fumes in the air, and plenty of noise.

We had come to a bridge but before we had a chance to cross it my mother spotted a sign for a hotel. "Look at this" she said, "the River Court Hotel, we can stay here for the night." We checked in and went to our room. They had told us that dinner would be in half an hour, so we had some time to rest.

After dinner we went back to our room and decided to discuss what had happened so far. We all agreed that the reason we were being chased was because of the plans we had seen on the disc. We had no idea who was chasing us or if they knew where we were now. I suddenly remembered the star logo I had seen before the plans came up on the screen. I remembered thinking I had seen it before but couldn't remember where. I told Danny and my mother about it and she asked me if I would be able to draw it out. I said I thought I could and I sketched what I had seen and showed it to her. I then realised that it was not only a star there was also a sort of half moon with a line through it. It was the emblem on the flag of Russia!

We knew that we would have to move on again and soon. It was only a matter of time before they found us. My mother said that she would have to go to the bank to withdraw some money. She knew it would be risky but she had no choice as the hotel wasn't cheap.

It was when she came back that we finally realised the full extent of the trouble we were in. The look on her face said it all. She told us in a despairing voice that the bank had told her that they had no record of her account. It was as if she had never existed.

Between us, we had just enough money for the bus out of the city. We tried contacting our neighbour but the operator told us that her phone had been disconnected. It seems that everywhere we turn they're just one step ahead of us. We really have no idea what we're going to do, we just know that we have to stay moving. We can't let them catch us because if they do we're dead it's as simple as that.


 
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Story 5

Robert Quill lived in Beaumont in Dublin. He had just moved to Dublin from Kilkenny with his mother and his sister. His mother had separated from his father and returned to her family background in Dublin. Robert was very good in school, and his classmates called him a "geek". They felt intimidated by his better ability and found it easy to attack this quiet outsider. His only friend was his twin sister Orla but she also gave him a hard time. Orla always got on with her brother but resented the way he was different from most people. She wished he could be as ordinary as every other boy she knew, but instead he was intelligent and sensitive! They both liked living in Dublin but they also enjoyed their occasional visits to Kilkenny to visit their dad. When they were in Kilkenny Orla always visited lots of friends but Robert stayed in watching television or reading a book.

One day Robert and Orla were walking home from school and Orla wanted to take a shortcut through St. Anne's park. Robert was walking behind her. Then they spotted something hanging from a tree. As they got closer they noticed it was a dark coloured schoolbag. Orla made Robert reach up and grab the bag. There was a nametag on the bag but it was a bit smudged. It said P.Jones 19 ~~~~~~~ Rd. Kilkenny. They had a little peek inside the bag and found that it was full of money. They were shocked and surprised. Orla saw this as an answer to her prayers, but Robert saw it as a problem that could only be solved by telling their parents and reporting the matter to the gardai. Orla knew they could not tell their mother and still hold on to the cash so she convinced Robert not to tell their parents and Robert said that he wouldn't tell.


When they went home they brought the bag up to Orla's room. They opened the bag and counted the big bundles of cash. Orla wanted to spend it on them, but Robert wanted to bring it to the police. They counted it; there was nearly one hundred thousand pounds altogether. Robert kept trying to persuade his sister that it was wrong to keep the money. He pointed out that it rightly belonged to someone else. He suggested reasons why it was there, such as that it was a ransom payment and they were preventing a kidnapped person from being released. Worse still, it could be payment for drugs and they might be putting their lives in danger by taking taking it.

Orla was adamant that she was not going to allow this opportunity for wealth and excitement to pass without grabbing it with both hands. Finally, Robert said that he would have to tell someone about it. Orla was terribly disappointed. She then came up with one last appeal. Why not go to Kilkenny themselves to try to find the owner of the money? After all they knew Kilkenny well and they could use the money for their expenses! They finally agreed to go to Kilkenny.
They had to try and convince their mother to let them go to Kilkenny. They were awake all night trying to think of a suitable excuse for her. Then Robert thought of saying that they were going away with their school. Orla thought that it was a stupid idea because their mother could ring the school. Then it struck them they could say they were going to their dad's house in Kilkenny and that would also give them somewhere to stay at night.


The very next morning they set out for the train station. They were kind of scared. What if they would never see their parents, their friends, or their home again? As they boarded the train, they waved goodbye to their mother. Then they started to wonder what would happen to them on their adventure. Orla was surprised at how enthusiastic Robert was about everything and she admired the ability he had to organise things. In fact he seemed to be taking command of the situation which was very unusual for him.


They had a lot of courage because they didn't know who owned the bag. Well whoever owned it was in for a big surprise.


Chapter 2


They arrived in Kilkenny train station at 11: 30a.m. They walked on to a busy street where there is a church and a street of shops. They walked over Johns Bridge and on the left as they walked over was a castle looking over the River Nore. From there they went on to High Street which is the main street in Kilkenny. It is a street full of shops and in the middle, there is the Town Hall. They went on down High Street and on to Parliament Street where the Kilkenny is. The brewery makes Smithwicks, Budweiser and Kilkenny Beer. They were getting tired and hungry so Robert suggested they go get something to eat and sit down for a rest for a while.

They saw a little restaurant on the side of the street where they went in and had a rest and something to eat. They started talking about the bag of money and where it came from. The money was in 100-pound bills and Robert said again that "It was for a ransom for a kidnapped person or payment for drugs". Then he said that by holding on to it their lives were in danger. Orla told him to calm down and not to be over reacting about it. When they were finished they headed off to their father's house. Robert and Orla came down to their father every chance they had. They loved coming down to him because they always had loads of fun with him.

They arrived at their father's house at 6: 00 p.m. Robert had two bags and their father asked what was in them and Robert said "Clothes". Then their father asked why they had so many clothes. Orla said "We are giving clothes to the poor because they were to small Robert and I". They went to bed at 11:00p.m. And got up at 9:00a.m. the next morning. Their Father was surprised to see them up so early and asked was there something wrong . Orla said,"they just wanted to go into town and do some shopping. Robert came down with the bag on his back and their father asked where he was going with the bag of clothes and Robert said "that Orla and himself where going to give them to the poor. Orla and Robert decided that they did not want to have any breakfast because they were in too much of a hurry and went straight into town.

They were walking into town and when they saw a stocky man with dark clothing and black hair. They kept walking and looked back to see what the man was doing. He had stared to walk and was looking straight at them. They began to get worried so they went into an alleyway and started to run. Then the man came around the corner and as soon as he saw Robert and Orla running he began to run after them. They knew now that he knew about the money and was trying to get it off them.

As Robert was running he tripped over a piece of metal lying on the ground. He could not stand up for a minute and when he did he was not able to run. The man was getting closer so Robert and Orla hid. They had about a minute to hide because the man was very slow and could not keep up with them. They hid in different places. The man came around the corner and could not see them so he went away. When he was out of sight Robert and Orla came out and continued on down the alley and onto a street. Then they saw the man again and they ran to hide but he saw them and he started running and shouting after them.

This time the man was able to keep up with them because of Robert's injury. They ran all the way to the train station and when they got to the ticket distributor they asked for a ticket for the train that was in the station. They got on just in time and in a few seconds the train was moving and the man was waving and shouting 'stop, stop', but they went on. Then I asked a person on the train where it was going and he said Waterford.

 

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