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Enigma Necklace

Prologue

Alexis gazed out of the window and saw the giant, beastly airship ebbing closer. The ship’s engine roared like a lion, prepared to fight for dominance. He saw harpoons being shot through the air , like sword through skin. Alexis smelled smoke being produced from the sprouting fire clinging to the hull, lethal like snake venom. Pivoting towards his master, Alexis howled: a howl that pierced the sky like a bullet through a skull, “By all the ticking tock Peter, jump! They’re already here! Human lives first, not mechanimal’s!”

Chapter 1

Pushing the gates to the playground of Dana Doublegoody’s Academy for Talented Girls open, Ruby Stanford surveyed the area. Freedom was metres away. No one appeared to be here, but before she even thought to run, her feet were pounding across the playground at full pelt. She came to a halt on Crawforn Crescent to regain her lost breath. The girl leant back into a bush.

She withdrew the piece of paper from her pocket and skimmed through the gloom-bringing news once again. Papa, her father Peter, was presumed dead after his airship, Nymph, was discovered crashed. She kept lingering on 1 sentence. It was her father’s last recorded words, “Watch your neck.” When the letter first arrived, Ruby pondered what it meant. Her father had always been cryptic and mysterious, but this practically gibberish to her. Every day when she was at the academy, she thought about what this could mean. It troubled her.

Waking her up from her thoughts, a particular and distinctive howl reverberated in her head. Then, out of a hedge, came a grey, fluffy face that radiated warmth. Alexis!                                                                          “Well, little missy, you took your tocking time getting out of this place. My clockwork key’s round my neck, give me a wind would you? I used all my energy escaping those scoundrels.”                                          Ruby grabbed the key form Alexis’s neck and wound it. Alexis wagged his tail in joy. Some of his mane of fur was burnt or cut, but he was in an otherwise fine shape.

Later that evening, Luca was shocked to see Ruby and Alexis walking down the patch to Tweedy’s Horologists.                                                                                                                                                                        “So, it’s your necklace, your mother’s one,” he said.                                                                                                  Ruby confirmed with a sad nod. The necklace was a precious item, a treasure. It was something that her mother once cherished. Every night, she would hold it close to her before taking it off to go to sleep. Sometimes, she would play with the shells and stones that populated the necklace. She didn’t have it now, it was at the manor hidden in a box very well. She remembered the engravings on the three stones. The engravings were of Ruby’s, her mother’s and her father’s initials.                                                                 “Sorry,” Luca stated.

“He’s right,” announced Alexis, “We have to get back to Steelpass Manor quickly, before those scallywags can take the necklace and leave.”

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