We stare at each other for a while. I question her, “Why are you here?” Outside, I can hear the wild waves crashing against the slippery shore. Before she answers I have an idea of what she’s going to say just like when I know when cook gives me a chip. My brain was right: she has definitely seen the koalamander.
Fifteen minutes later, we are standing in the freezing cold. She has already told me her name so that if I get lost, which I probably won’t, I will be able to call her by her name. We retraced Charlottes steps but it was hard because the waves are smudging the footsteps. The sea sprays into our faces like we were not allowed to be on the beach this late. I am starting to regret this now because my face is going numb and Charlotte is running way ahead of me. In the distant, thunder rumbles and lightning crackles.
We reach the town and pass unusual shops: the tiny toy shop that is on open on the weekends and half term; Mrs Tots’s sweet shop (who normally gives me lollies for free); and an abandoned school – at the edge of the town.
Charlotte grabs me and pulls me towards the pier where my jaw drops. There, – sitting in front of us- are huge monster paw prints. The shape is like an uneven egg. Grey fur trails along the broken pier, blowing around in the harsh winds. I gulp. Afraid to move any closer to the fur. Charlotte doesn’t flinch; she barges through the wet, cold wind towards the small cabinet at the end of the pier.
Gently, I tip-toe over the old pier that is still standing from ages ago. I open the door and creep in the abandoned zone of terror. The smell of fish guts meet my bunged-up nosed. The wind slams the door shut and makes the wood crack. Charlotte walks forward looking like she is not afraid of anything. Just then, I feel a splatter of something on my neck. I freeze, not wanting to cry; so I don’t look like a baby in front of Charlotte.
Slowly, I look over at Charlotte who is trying not to laugh. Of course. She had to use her slime gun on me. But, a screech came from deeper in the cabin. This was no joke.
Outside, clouds form from underneath the lightning. Inside, the sudden flash of light fills the room and creates a monster from a child’s dream. The koalamander creeps out of the darkness and charges itself through the broken door and onto the slippery pier. It stops. Turns around to have one last look at us then jumps off the pier. The sea engulfs the monster and creates a big splash in the salty water.