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“Keep this a secret,” Jessica whispered, “and the money is yours, Raelyn.” After saying that, she looked me in the eye with a stare that was intense. It looked like it was saying, “Do not betray my trust.” Then, she gathered her books from her locker and stalked off.

The smell of acrid smoke wafted into my nose and it jolted me awake. I stifled a yawn as I arose from my deep sleep slumber in a state of stupefaction. Just what is the time? Crawling out of bed, I opened the bedroom door, only for the horrific realisation to hit me like a twenty-pound sledgehammer.

The piercing cry of the school bell reverberated through the corridors, signaling the end of another tiring school day. Once their teacher had dismissed the class, Alex and his classmates streamed out of their classroom.

As I sat on the couch, my heart was filled with guilt. I recalled how terrible my mistake was, regretting my every move.

“What a wonderful day of school!” I exclaimed as my eyes glistened with joy. Holding on to the straps of my school bag, I skipped out of the school gate with a wide smile stretched across my face. It was one of the best days of my life!

“Hey, what shall we do for John’s birthday?” I asked my close group of friends during recess. My best friend, John, was turning 11 next weekend and my close friends and I had decided to organise a special birthday party for him.

The teacher droned on for the last thirty minutes of class. When we were finally dismissed, the horde of students streamed out of the classrooms. It was another boring day after school. I dragged my feet home as I sighed.

“Tom! Clean your room!” Tom’s mother exclaimed and let out an exasperated sigh. It was the fifth reminder she had given in the past three hours. It was the school holidays and cleaning his room was the last thing Tom wanted to do.

“When will I ever be rich?” I thought to myself.

“You will never take me alive!” the kitten meowed angrily, brandishing his sword at the big hungry rottweiler looming over him. Alexa watched, hanging onto every word of Space Kitties: Return from Outer Space, the sequel.