Say Her Name

Say Her Name by James Dawson Read Free Book Online

Book: Say Her Name by James Dawson Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Dawson
priest. Each week he led prayers, which everybody lip-synched or ignored altogether. He sat with Dr Price, Mrs Craddock and Grace on the head table. Dr Price politely smiled and nodded as he moaned about the lack of faith in today’s society.
    Bobbie, as usual, sat with Naya and a few of the more pleasant girls from Brontë House. She wore a dotty vintage dress with her favourite cardigan – a huge woolly beast that had once belonged to her dead grandfather. ‘I’m telling you,’ Naya recounted her graveyard ordeal, ‘it was really scary. I totally thought I was gonna croak it.’
    ‘Did you see a bright white tunnel?’ Bobbie grinned. ‘You are such a drama llama. It was only a nosebleed.’ Bobbie refilled her water glass from a battered metal jug. By the time they’d convinced the old lady who ran the tea shop that they hadn’t been in a gang fight (or wanted to eat her brains) and cleaned off the blood, they’d had to head back to Piper’s Hall to spruce themselves up for the roast dinner.
    ‘Still. It really freaked me out. I like actually feel nauseous.’ Naya turned directly to Bobbie, abandoning her sticky toffee pudding and custard. She looked at her with big chocolate-button eyes. ‘Bobbie, if I die, will you make sure loads of people come to my funeral?’
    Bobbie chuckled. ‘Of course I will. What are friends for?’
    ‘That’s like my greatest fear. That no one would care if I died.’
    There was a glimmer of genuine sadness in Naya’s eyes. Every once in a while the bluster cleared and Bobbie got glimpses of how skeletal Naya’s esteem really was. ‘Whatever happens, I’ll be there, okay? And I’ll make sure they play all your favourite songs, even the embarrassing ones.’
    ‘You’re the best.’
    Bobbie was distracted by Kellie Huang, who wore the shortest, most buttock-skimming skirt ever, approaching the top table. That was a bit of a no-no while people were still eating. The skirt was a no-no at any time.
    ‘What’s up with Kellie?’ Naya asked.
    ‘Shh, I’m earwigging. I imagine she has a cold bottom.’
    While Naya giggled, Bobbie tuned in to what they were saying. Kellie spoke to Mrs Craddock and Dr Price at the same time. ‘ … I think she might really be ill.’
    ‘What’s wrong with her?’ Mrs Craddock asked. Bobbie guessed they were talking about Sadie, who roomed with Kellie.
    ‘I don’t know. She was kinda freaking out though.’
    ‘Kind of
freaking out
?’ Dr Price half smiled. ‘Could you be more specific?’
Sadie hadn’t been well when they’d seen her at breakfast. Kellie went on. ‘I dunno. She wouldn’t leave the dorm though.’
    Dr Price looked to the housemistress. ‘I’ll check on her after dinner,’ said Mrs Craddock.
    The problem with having a writer’s brain, Bobbie thought, is that you start seeing patterns and relationships where there are only boring facts. Sadie was ill, they’d had nosebleeds. They’d
been in that bathroom at midnight last night. Suddenly her stomach shrivelled up like a raisin and she couldn’t face her pudding.
    Coincidences. More coincidences. When it’s icy, people slip over. This doesn’t make ice evil. The fact they’d all been sneaking around in the middle of the night probably explained why they were all feeling off colour today. Bobbie cursed her overactive imagination for arriving at ‘haunted mirror’ before ‘logical explanation’. There was
a logical explanation.
    After dinner, Bobbie changed into her pyjamas and fished her writing pad out from under her bed. It was a camel-colour suede notebook that her mum had brought back after filming an episode of some BBC drama in Norway, and even the touch of the thing made her want to write in it.
    Naya was trying to gain access to Sadie, so Bobbie had the dorm room to herself. She wrote best to Danny Elfman’s melancholy choral scores, which now played in the background. The suites were brooding and dramatic, a lot like her

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