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Jinxed
Excerpt from Jinxed! (Walker Books May 2008)

Chapter One


"Hey Mattie, what do you call a deer with no eyes?"

"No idea."

"Hahaha," I say. "A no eye deer!"

My twin sister rolls her eyes like a dying cow. "That is sooo not funny."

Clunnnk. Another joke bites the dust. Poor Mattie has no sense of humour. How sad is that. (Verrry sad.)

Another thing about Mattie is her arms. They're ultra-strong for a twelve year old. I watch them rub soap circles all over Dad's Mazda (aka the mud magnet). Dad says that Mattie's an entre ... entre ...  someone who makes stacks of money by the sweat of their brow (and armpits). Her business is called Mattie's Magic Wand ‘Put Your Car in my Care' which is a bit of a mouthful if you ask me. No one does.

"How much is Dad paying you?" I ask from my spot on the back step.

"Ten dollars." Mattie's eyes go all misty (maybe from hose spray). "I'm gonna buy a turtle."

No surprise there. Mattie is totally berserkoid about animals. She'd like a pond load of turtles and a dozen frogs on lily pads.

But I'm not sitting out here to discuss reptiles and amphibians. I'm on Emergency Business - Operation Fast Cash.

I grab my piggy bank and shake hard. Miss Porker's belly rattles like a chestful of treasure. Yo ho ho. This little piggie is going to save my bacon. I point her purple snout at Mattie.

"'ello Mattee. I am Madame Oink, ze richest pig in ze vorld."

No response.

"Votch and be amazed my leetle friend."

I tug on Miss Porker's head. Okay this is not the normal way to open a piggy bank - even a papier-mâché one - but the cork stopper thingy is clogged with super glue.

I dig my fingernails in.

Miss ... Porker... is ... very ... attached ... (puff) ...to ... her ... head. And I don't have Kung-Fu arms (unlike my sister).

I wrap my teeth around Miss Porker's neck. Yerk. Gross paint flavour.

Thunk!

The head bounces down the steps and a heap of shiny things spill onto my lap.

 

TREASURE LIST

1 brass button (from best denim jacket with cool rips)

1/2 glass starfish (two legs)

2 fake fingernails (blue glitter)

3 spangly hair clips (without the clip bits)

5 star stickers (to put on Maths work before showing Dad)

1 lucky pebble (waste of space)

 

Wait a second! Where's all the $$$$$$$?

"Gone to Heaven," Mattie says as if she can see inside my brain. (Scary).

Oh yeah, I remember now. I raided Miss Porker to play Crash Derby at Heaven Games Arcade.

Poo and double poo.

"Face it Jinx," Mattie says, fussing over a hubcap, "you need to get a job."

Sometimes Mattie forgets that I'm two minutes and thirty-nine seconds older than her bossy self.

"Not in a zillion years. There's heaps of ways to get money without actually ... (cringe) ... working."

It's all right for Mattie Smarty-Pants. She doesn't need money in the same desperado way I do. If I don't get hold of some cash el pronto, my life is o-v-e-r with a capital O.

(NO exaggeration.)

And all because of an accident that wasn't my fault. It was like this ...

1. School finished early today cos it's holidays (yay!)

2. I had nothing to do except lie on the couch but it was full of unsorted washing so I had nothing to do

3. Mattie was doing something totally boring that involved a vacuum cleaner and my bedroom floor

4. Brain dead with boredom, I had a bash on the Totem Tennis game in our backyard. (It's sooo old it was probably designed by whoever built Noah's Ark.)

And that's when the trouble started.

 

© Jill McDougall 2008

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

 

 
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