Seaside Mystery

Free Seaside Mystery by Sue Bentley

Book: Seaside Mystery by Sue Bentley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sue Bentley
The young white lion sped across the dusty plain. Flame knew that he must find some cover. It was too dangerous to be out in the open.
    Suddenly a terrifying roar rang out, and an enormous black adult lion rose from a clump of tall grass and bounded toward him.
    Flame leaped behind a huge rock. There was a dazzling white flash and where he once had stood now crouched a tiny, long-haired, brown tabby kitten with a bushy tail.
    Flame’s heart beat fast in his tiny chest as he backed slowly into a wide crack in the rock. His uncle Ebony was very close. He hoped this disguise would protect him.
    The shadow of an enormous paw appeared, just inches away from the trembling kitten’s little brown nose. Flame’s emerald eyes sparked with fear and anger as he tensed his muscles, ready to fight.
    “Stay where you are, Prince Flame. I will protect you,” growled a deep but gentle voice.
    Flame sank back in relief as an old gray lion peered in at him. “I am glad to see you again, Cirrus,” Flame mewed. “But I do not think even you can protect me from my uncle. He is determined to keep the throne he stole from me, so he can rule in my place!”
    Cirrus nodded gravely. “That is true. It is not safe yet for you to stay here. Use this disguise and go back again to the other world. Hide there until you grow strong and wise and then return to save our land from this evil.”
    The tiny kitten looked up into Cirrus’s tired old face. “I will do as you say, old friend. Ebony will not rule forever!”
    Cirrus’s eyes flickered with affection. He reached a huge paw inside the crackin the rock and gently patted the tiny kitten’s head. “And I cannot wait for that day. Go now, my prince,” he growled softly.
    Suddenly another mighty roar rang out. The ground shook as Ebony leaped onto the rock where Flame was hiding.
    “Save yourself, Flame! Go quickly!” Cirrus urged.
    Sparks glowed in the tiny kitten’s long brown tabby fur. Flame mewed softly as he felt the power building inside him. He felt himself falling. Falling…

“What an amazing view!” Maisie Simpson said excitedly. She leaned on her bedroom windowsill and peered out of the window.
    Sunshine sparkled on the sea, and creamy waves washed onto the nearby sandy beach. Seagulls wheeled above the cliffs, soaring overhead in the clear blue sky.
    Maisie and her parents had only just moved to the house in Bridhampton-on-Sea. She was dying to tell her two oldest friends, Jane and Nina, all about it. They had promised to keep in touch, even though Maisie would be living so far away. Maisie had hoped they would call her the night before, but neither of them had.
    On impulse, she ran downstairs and called each of them in turn. There was no answer from Jane’s home phone. Nina was out, too. Maisie left her a message on her answering machine.
    They probably went swimming or are playing tennis
, she told herself, trying not to care that they were having fun without her. It was school vacation, after all.

    Maisie sighed. She squeezed past the boxes of books and china stacked in the hall and opened the door that led into the old candy store on the side of their house.
    A loud banging sound met her ears as she went inside. Her dad was painting the walls and her mom was up on a ladder, putting up shelves. They were both artists and were busy turning the old store into a combined studio and gallery.
    Karen Simpson stopped hammering and looked down at her daughter. “Hi, honey. You look sad. Is something wrong?” she asked.
    Maisie told her about calling Jane and Nina. “They weren’t around. And they didn’t call last night. Maybe they’ve already forgotten all about me.”
    “What—in a couple of days? I don’t think so,” her mom reasoned. “I bet they’re letting you settle in before they call to check in. Why don’t you try them again later?”
    Maisie nodded. “I will. It’s just that…I wanted to talk to them now.”
    Her mom came down the ladder.

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