TITLE: NOTHER LAND
GENRE: MG - Historical Fantasy
THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS meets LOVE, AUBREY, when a war, a boat accident and a missing brother, takes Alice into her shadow world in search of the cloaked stranger who took him, whilst fighting a deranged boy king intent on hiding the truth.
I pressed my cheek against the cold train window. My heartbeat thudded with each chug of the engine, taking me away from Mother, waving her hanky from the platform edge. She faded into the blanket of fog and out of sight, but I kept my face against the glass. Edwin couldn’t see me cry, no one could — especially not the classmates sharing my compartment. My first time away from home and branded a crybaby? No, thank you. Besides, Mother said I had to be brave. Instead, I squeezed Purrl, my beanbag cat, hidden under my grey school blazer, until my breath stilled.
I leant back against the checked seat. Across from me, my little brother’s face remained glued to the window, his breath fogging up the glass. He knelt backwards, his unruly black hair sprouting like a carrot top at his crown, despite Mother’s attempts to plaster it down with Vaseline. Next to him, the silver-haired housemaster, Dr Dickerson, whom Edwin and I had known for all of three minutes, drew a long breath at my fidgeting brother beside him.
“Eddy, sit down,” I said. “Mother’s gone.”
A sob exploded from his skinny seven-year-old body and he spun around, slumping into his seat. Tears streaked his cheeks and clumped his long eyelashes together. He wiped his eyes with Roar, his stuffed lion, and sniffed a snot trail back up his left nostril.