Fighting Back

Free Fighting Back by Cathy MacPhail

Book: Fighting Back by Cathy MacPhail Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cathy MacPhail
seem to notice.
    Now it was Sandra’s turn to be angry. ‘Look, we’ve all got to live up here, so stick to the rules and everything will be all right.’
    ‘The rules being, do what the Laffertys say! They might be your rules, but they’re certainly not mine!’
    Was that my mum who had just said that? I looked ather, and there was a fire in her eyes – a fire that had almost been extinguished with the other one.
    Sandra turned from us. ‘I knew you wouldn’t listen. Well, on your head be it.’ And she stormed down our hallway and slammed the door so hard the whole flat shuddered.
    Mum walked to the balcony and looked out over the river. She covered her face with her hands and I could hear her breathing hard. She was going to cry again. And I didn’t know if I could take any more tears. Yet in a way I was relieved.
    We were going to do what the Laffertys wanted. Become just like everybody else. What else could we do if we were to survive here?
    ‘Can people really be that bad?’ she said softly, to herself, not to me. ‘This whole estate is terrified of that one family. They want us to be afraid too. We have been afraid.’ She turned to me. ‘Haven’t we, Kerry?’
    I nodded.
    At last, she’d realized just how bad the Laffertys were. She was giving in. What was the point of fighting it any longer?
    ‘She won’t let anybody hurt her family, this Ma Lafferty.’ Mum looked at me, and a little tear appearedat the corner of her eye. She wiped it away with her fist. ‘When I think of what could have happened to you in that fire. I’ve been awful these past days, haven’t I?’
    I couldn’t argue with that.
    ‘I’ve felt so useless, so helpless. She won’t let anybody hurt her family, this Ma Lafferty. She’s probably a better mother than I am then.’
    ‘NO!’ I shouted. ‘She’s horrible.’
    She closed her eyes, then she shook her head. What was going on in there, I wondered?
    Suddenly she lifted her head high. ‘Well, she’s going to find out that here’s another mother who won’t let anybody hurt her family. We’ve been pushed up against the wall, and there’s nowhere left for us to go. They think it means they’ve won. They almost had, Kerry. But now – now we have no choice. Now we’ve got to turn, and start fighting back. We’re not going to be victims any longer, Kerry. I’m going to get them for starting that fire. If it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to get them.’

Chapter Twenty-One
    I thought, I hoped, that by next morning she would have forgotten all about what she’d said last night. I could even have taken her lying along the couch again.
    By next morning, however, she was ready to begin her investigations in earnest.
    ‘What are you going to do, Mum?’ I asked. I was almost afraid to leave her alone. There was no telling what she would get up to.
    She whipped a notebook from her pocket. ‘I’m going to ask questions, Kerry.’
    ‘No one is going to tell you anything,’ I reminded her.
    ‘I’ll be very discreet,’ she said. ‘They won’t even know I’m asking questions. It’s amazing what people tell you when they’re off guard.’
    She’d been reading too many detective stories. But still, I had to admire her. This was so much betterthan sitting in the house day after day.
    ‘I’ll ask questions too,’ I said quickly, before I could change my mind. ‘I’ll ask Ming’s pals, the children round here. They see everything and they’re not so scared to talk.’
    She beamed from ear to ear. ‘Me, Sherlock Holmes. You … ’ she hesitated. ‘Oh, bother, I can’t remember his name, but he was a doctor.’
    I did ask Ming later that day when I came back from school. He was standing round the door of the Wee Hippy with his friends. They were all getting stuck into chips.
    ‘Not you as well!’ he said as soon as I asked him if he had seen anything suspicious on the day of the fire. ‘Your maw has been driving everybody batty today. Going round the

Similar Books

Chapter and Verse

Jo Willow, Sharon Gurley-Headley

Wherever You Are

Sharon Cullen

Out of control

John Dysart

Marked for Pleasure

Jennifer Leeland

The Queen of Attolia

Megan Whalen Turner

Maggie MacKeever

An Eligible Connection

Fly Boy

Eric Walters