فصل 07

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فصل 07

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chapter seven

A Noise in the Night

What was that?’ Kara asked herself as she opened her eyes. It was the middle of the night and she was lying in bed in the dark. Kara thought she had heard something but she was not sure. A minute passed and nothing happened so she yawned and closed her eyes again. I must have been dreaming, she thought. She was almost asleep when she heard the noise again. It was coming from outside and it sounded like something heavy falling and hitting the ground. What could it be?

Kara turned on the light on the bedside table and looked at the time on her phone. It was three o’clock in the morning. She got out of bed and looked out of the window but it was black outside and the only thing she could see was her reflection. Then she heard the noise again. It was coming from the direction of the barn.

Kara decided to investigate so she put on some clothes and walked down the corridor to Martin’s room. His bedroom door was half-open.

‘Martin?’ Kara said. But Martin was not there. She looked around the empty room and suddenly felt frightened. Where had he gone?

Kara thought about waking Mum but she did not want to worry her. So she went downstairs, opened the front door and walked out into the night. It was dark outside but there was a strange orange light in one corner of the sky. It was not a bright light but it shone on the trees and turned them a strange colour. Kara knew immediately what the light was and where it was coming from because she had seen a light like this before. She ran as fast as she could, down the path towards the barn. As she got closer, the noise became louder and the light became brighter. The closer she got to the barn, the hotter she felt. And then suddenly she was standing in front of the barn and it was burning. The barn was on fire! Flames were pouring from the doors and the roof. Kara looked in horror as parts of the roof fell down, crashing to the ground. This was the sound she had heard from her bedroom!

‘Martin!’ she shouted. ‘Are you in there?’

But Martin did not answer. Where was he? Kara tried to get closer to the door but there was too much heat. All she could do was stand and watch the burning building.

‘Martin!’ she shouted again. ‘What have you done?’

Suddenly Kara heard the sound of a fire alarm but it was not coming from the barn. It was coming from behind her… from Owl Hall. She left the barn and ran back to the house. Owl Hall was now on fire! There were flames in all the windows, lighting the courtyard. In the middle of the courtyard, Martin was sitting on the ground, watching the fire around him.

‘Martin!’ Kara shouted. She was trying to be heard over the noise of the alarm.

‘I’m making a fire, Kara!’ Martin said, his eyes bright with excitement.

‘Where’s Mum?’ Kara asked. ‘Is she still inside the house? Please say she’s not inside the house.’

Martin looked at Kara and his expression quickly changed to horror. He stood up and ran into the burning house. A few seconds later he was at one of the upstairs windows, surrounded by flames. For a moment Kara thought she saw her brother hold out his hand towards her. Was he asking her to help him?

Then the roof of the building suddenly collapsed and Martin disappeared.

‘Martin!’ Kara screamed in shock. ‘Mum! No-o-o-o-o!’

Kara closed her eyes and cried out in pain. Then she felt her body moving from side to side. Someone was shaking her and she could hear a woman’s voice.

‘Kara!’

It was Mum’s voice. Kara opened her eyes.

‘Are you alright?’ Mum asked.

Kara did not understand. She was in the courtyard. She looked around her at the buildings. There was no fire. The roof was still on the building. The fire alarm was silent. Everything was the same as it had been before.

Kara felt her mother’s arms around her, holding her tight. She immediately felt safe again.

‘You were sleepwalking,’ Mum said. ‘Are you alright?’

‘I’m alright,’ Kara replied. It had been a dream. A bad dream. A nightmare. It was not the first time that Kara had sleepwalked. It had happened three times since ‘the incident’.

Back inside the house, Mum made Kara some hot chocolate and they sat at the kitchen table together. Mum watched Kara as she drank the chocolate.

‘I’ve asked Howard to come and see us tomorrow,’ her mother said.

‘Oh no,’ Kara said. ‘He’s spooky.’

‘Howard is a friend so I want you to be nice to him,’ Mum went on. ‘Is that OK?’

For a moment Kara said nothing. Then she slowly nodded her head and went back upstairs. She went straight to Martin’s room.

‘Martin?’ she whispered. ‘Are you awake?’

‘No,’ Martin replied. Kara sat down on the bed. Martin was lying on his side, facing away from Kara.

‘I just had a terrible dream,’ she said.

‘I know,’ Martin replied.

‘How do you know?’ Kara asked, surprised.

Martin did not move. ‘I was in it, remember?’ he said. ‘Why didn’t you come into the house with me?’

Kara was confused. Had she and Martin had the same dream? She did not want to answer his question so she got up and walked out of the room. As she was closing the door she heard Martin say, ‘I held out my hand to you but you didn’t come.’

Kara could still see her brother in the burning house, holding out his hand to her. She closed the door and stood in the corridor for a moment. Then she went to her room and wrote her blog. Why had she had such a terrible dream?

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