Download This Town Is Not All Right by M.K. Krys PDF book free online – From This Town Is Not All Right by M.K. Krys PDF: Driftwood Harbor may seem like an ordinarily boring, small New England town, but there’s something extremely strange and downright creepy happening within town limits. Buy From Amazon
Twins Beacon and Everleigh McCullough are moving from their home in sunny LA to Driftwood Harbor, a rainy fishing village in New England. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s something strange about this town and the mysterious group of too-perfect students called The Gold Stars. After Everleigh is recruited into their ranks, Beacon must uncover Driftwood Harbor’s frightening secret before he loses his sister forever.
This Town Is Not All Right is the middle-grade horror debut from M.K. Krys (YA author Michelle Krys). Be prepared for a thrilling page-turner with a major mystery because the residents of Driftwood Harbor will do whatever it takes to keep their dark secrets from rising to the surface.
About the Author
M.K. Krys (as Michelle Krys) is the author of Hexed, Charmed, and Dead Girls Society. When she’s not writing books, Michelle moonlights as a NICU nurse. She lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, with her family. You can visit her online at michellekrys.com and follow Michelle on Facebook and Twitter.
Excerpt of This Town Is Not All Right by M.K. Krys PDF
It had been ten minutes since they’d passed the “Driftwood Harbor, Population 203” sign, and ten minutes since anyone had said a word.
Out one window, the Atlantic Ocean stretched out like a big gray void as far as the eye could see. Out the other, a fog so thick, you could choke on it hung over a dense forest of scrabbly pine trees. A few miles back they’d passed a tumbledown house with an old truck in the driveway, but they hadn’t spotted any actual life since they left the interstate more than an hour ago. (Unless you counted the seagulls that circled overhead, and even they looked like the type that would purposely poop on your head.)
It was desolate and depressing, and Beacon could tell from the way his twin sister, Everleigh, glared out the window that she was regretting not flinging herself out of the car when she’d had the chance.
“I hear they have fantastic lobster,” the twins’ dad said.
The tires’ whirring underneath the Ford Taurus came into focus. A breeze whistled through a cracked-open window, ruffling the fine brown hairs clinging to the top of their dad’s head and sending his tie over his shoulder.
“I love lobster,” Beacon said, just to break the tense silence.
From the front seat, Everleigh snorted.
She was part of the reason they were moving from Los Angeles all the way to the tiny fishing village of Driftwood Harbor on the Eastern Seaboard. Their dad was hoping that the fresh air and change of scenery would help her. Nothing else had.
That’s why Beacon tried to be optimistic about the move, even if he wasn’t actually happy about it. He’d had friends in LA. He had the skate park downtown, where he practiced his jumps until it got dark. He had his bedroom full of Tony Hawk posters and a spot under the floorboards where he hid private stuff from his nosy twin sister. But he just wanted his family to go back to normal. Or as close to normal as they would ever get, now. After. If this place helped, then none of that other stuff mattered.
“Where is the actual town?” Everleigh grumbled. “If there even is one.”
“Should be coming up to it soon,” Beacon said brightly. “Right, Dad?”
He’d been doing that lately. Saying everything as if it had an exclamation point at the end, as if his enthusiasm might be contagious. So far, it only seemed to make Everleigh more annoyed.
Beacon looked out the window at the forest blurring past. Suddenly a flash of movement caught his eye. A figure darted out of the trees. It was white and hunched, with a pair of huge round eyes.
And it was looking right at him.
“What?” Everleigh said.
He was about to explain, but his words were cut short by a loud clunk from under the car’s floor. Before he knew it, the car was fishtailing wildly across the road. The kids screamed as their dad fought to get control, the forest and road spinning around them in a streak of gray and green. The car careened toward a thick pine. Closer, closer, closer—they were going to hit it!
At the last moment, their dad braked hard. The car jerked to an abrupt stop. Beacon’s head slammed against the window. Stars exploded across his eyes.
And then everything was still. The engine knocked over the ringing in Beacon’s ears. Beacon blinked away the spots in his vision, searching through the cloud of dust outside the window for the creature in the woods. But if it was there, he couldn’t see it.
“What. Was. That,” Everleigh finally said.
“I don’t know.” Their dad gripped the steering wheel with white-knuckled fingers. “I was driving along normally and then all of a sudden something just gave and I lost control.”
Beacon blew out a relieved breath.
“You okay, Beaks?” their dad asked, twisting around to check him over for injury. “Is everyone okay?”
Once he confirmed that no one was missing an arm or needed CPR, he climbed out of the car, briskly wiping the wrinkles out of his suit. The twins weren’t far behind. Smoke billowed from underneath the hood of the car like a huffing dragon. Their dad coughed and blew away the fumes as he tried unsuccessfully to open the hood. Everleigh released an annoyed sigh and nudged him aside with her hip, then she unlatched the hood with a practiced flick of her wrist and peered underneath at the tangle of metal and wires.
“What is it?” their dad asked eagerly.
“Radiator’s blown,” Everleigh said, hands balled on her hips.
Everleigh was practically a pro mechanic. She’d been fixing cars with their older brother, Jasper, ever since she was in diapers.
Now she fixed them alone.
“Can you fix it?” their dad asked.
“Not without some leak sealant, and we don’t have any on hand. If we were back at home . . . ,” she said meaningfully, “now that would be a different story.”
Their dad ignored the barb.
“We’ll need to call a tow truck, then.” He ducked away to the driver’s seat, and Beacon got out his cell phone. He tapped the screen, but the browser wouldn’t load.
“The Internet isn’t working,” Beacon said.
Everleigh snatched the phone from his hand.
“Hey, give that back!” Beacon said, but his sister twisted out of his reach to type.
Even though they were twins, Everleigh had at least two inches on her brother, a fact she used to her advantage at every opportunity.
“No reception,” Everleigh said. “That’s just great.” She shoved the phone back at Beacon’s chest.
Beacon grumbled and stowed the cell in his pocket. Then the twins looked down either side of the isolated road. That’s when Beacon realized just how late it was. It hadn’t exactly been bright and sunny before, but now the trees looked black against the bruised-fruit sky. It was so quiet, he could actually hear insects chirping and trilling in the long grass on the side of the road, instead of just cars and people like back in LA.
A fine mist sprayed off the ocean, and the air bit through Beacon’s thin sweatshirt with razor-sharp teeth. Everleigh rubbed warmth back into her arms, which were prickled with goose bumps. Their dad had warned them that it would be chilly by the water, but it seemed to be getting cooler with every passing second.
Beacon thought of the movement he’d seen in the woods before the car broke down, and a shiver scuttled down his spine. Those eyes had been huge. He didn’t even want to think about what kind of animal they belonged to.
“Well, I guess we’ll have to walk,” their dad said, jolting Beacon from his thoughts.
“I am not walking.” His dad and sister stared at him, and Beacon crossed his arms stiffly. “I saw something in the woods before the car broke down.”
“Don’t tell me you’re worried about aliens,” Everleigh said.
“Don’t be stupid,” Beacon retorted.
They’d googled Driftwood Harbor before the move. The only things they could find about the place were some old newspaper articles about a large object that had crashed in the water back in 1960-something-or-other. Of course, a bunch of weirdos on the Internet had insisted it was a UFO.
“It was probably just a deer,” their dad said.
“Or a bear,” Everleigh said casually. “I hear they have tons of them around here. Huge ones, too, with paws the size of dinner plates and claws like Wolverine.”
Beacon’s eyes widened.
“Leave your brother alone,” their dad said.
Just then, a white light beamed across the road. Beacon shielded his eyes as a pair of headlights rumbled toward them, the vehicle kicking up dust.
“Someone’s coming!” Beacon said.
“Boy, nothing gets past you,” Everleigh replied dryly.
Beacon didn’t even care about coming up with a good comeback—he was just happy help was on the way.
As the vehicle got closer, a crane and rigging equipment took shape in the moonlight. A tow truck. What were the odds of that?
The truck pulled to a stop next to their car. There were at least two inches of dust and grease on the windows, and the wheel wells were so rusted, it looked as if the car was disintegrating. Murray’s Auto Body was written on the side of the sun-faded, burnt-orange body. The driver leaned across the empty seats to look through the window. His cheeks were ruddy and deeply wrinkled, and a cigarette dangled from his lips, sending smoke curling into the air.
“Need a hitch?” he asked. Or at least that’s what Beacon thought he’d said. His accent reminded him of some of the Irish action movies his uncle Stanley liked to watch, where Beacon could only make out about one of every dozen words, and it was usually a cuss.
“Wow, perfect timing!” their dad said. He tripped over himself to thank the man, and ten minutes later, they were all crammed into the box of the tow truck as they rumbled toward the town—term used loosely. Beacon was grateful when they finally saw some signs of civilization. They rolled slowly past a harbor. The weathered pier didn’t look trustworthy enough to hold the weight of a toddler, let alone the dozens of boats anchored to it. If you could even call them boats. He saw tattered sails and broken masts and barnacles clinging to thick rope nets. Fishermen in chest waders and rubber boots stood in waist-deep, murky water, yelling at one another around a partially submerged tugboat with a big hole in its side.
A short while later, the tow truck lurched to a stop in front of a service shop. The domed, corrugated roof was sloping in the center and looked as if a strong breeze might knock it down.
They climbed out of the truck and followed the adults inside through the metal delivery bay doors. A van hovered on a platform in the middle of the room, and there was a giant puddle of oil underneath it. There were tools and gas cans and tins of nails everywhere. The smell of gasoline hung in the air.
Their dad and the mechanic fell into a discussion about the radiator, and the twins began wandering through the shop. Beacon was looking at some old pictures tacked to a corkboard when he heard Everleigh gasp. She had her hands cupped around her face and was peering out of a dirty window at the back of the shop. Beacon joined her and saw dozens and dozens of cars stretched out across a dusty lot, the metal shining dully under the orange light of a single lamppost. Before he could say anything, she was tumbling through the back door. He followed her out into the junkyard.
“I don’t think we should be out here,” Beacon said.
“Then go back,” Everleigh said.
She weaved through the makeshift aisles, peering into the cars with a grin tugging at her lips. She looked like she was in heaven. Beacon was pretty sure it was the first time he’d seen his sister smile since . . . he couldn’t even remember.
Maybe that’s why he couldn’t quite convince himself to tell her not to climb into the cars like she owned the place, as she was doing right now.
Beacon followed his sister’s path through the junkyard. Before he realized it, they were near the back of the lot, where the light of the lamppost struggled to reach. The aisles melted into darkness. The bodies of the cars were swallowed by jagged shadows. The light flickered, and Beacon once again thought of that movement in the woods. A crawly feeling roiled inside his gut.
“We should go back,” he said.
“Quit being such a wimp,” Everleigh said.
“I am not a wimp,” Beacon said defensively.
Everleigh gasped, and Beacon yelped.
“What, what is it?” he asked, whipping around.
“A 1968 Mercury Cougar,” Everleigh said, pointing at an old car. Beacon’s face melted into a scowl, and Everleigh laughed riotously, clutching her stomach. “Oh my God, you should have seen your face!”
“You’re a real jer . . .” Beacon’s words trailed off, his eyes widening at something behind his sister. Three sets of gleaming eyes stared out of the darkness.
“Nice try,” Everleigh said. She turned around on a laugh, but her face froze as a body materialized from the darkness. She screamed, scrabbling back into Beacon.
Three kids stepped out of the shadows, wearing matching puffy gold-and-blue varsity jackets and strangely blank expressions.
“Sorry, we didn’t mean to scare you,” the girl said. Her hair was the kind of bright blond that almost looked white; the glossy curls bounced around her shoulders as she moved. “I’m Jane Middleton. And this is Perry Thompson and Nixon Sims.” She nodded at the two boys standing on either side of her. One was short with shoulders so wide Beacon couldn’t be sure he wasn’t wearing football pads under his jacket; his light hair stuck up in spikes all over his head. The other was tall and thin, with tight, wiry black curls that matched his dark skin.
“I’m Beacon McCullough,” Beacon said, then nudged his sister when she didn’t offer her name. “And this is my rude sister, Everleigh.”
Everleigh narrowed her eyes at the kids. “What were you doing out here in the dark?”
Before they could answer, the twins’ dad ran out into the yard. The mechanic stumbled behind him.
“What’s going on out here?” their dad asked breathlessly. “Is everyone okay? I heard a scream.”
Jane stepped forward stiffly, her hands clasped in front of her like a mannequin.
“I’m afraid we scared them. We cut through the junkyard to get to the church on the hill, where we hold our meetings.” She pointed up at a big stone church that loomed ominously out of the fog on a hilltop overlooking the ocean. “We don’t usually come across anyone.”
“Hey there, Jane. Nice to see ya. Nixon, Perry.” The mechanic nodded at the kids.
“Hi, Mr. Murray,” they all responded together.
“Meetings?” the twins’ dad asked.
“We volunteer for the Gold Stars,” Jane explained. “We’re a youth group that aims to promote social responsibility in kids.”
“Isn’t that something!” their dad said.
“We’re always looking for new members.” Jane looked at the twins. “If you two want to join, we’d be happy to take you to a meeting.”
Everleigh snorted, and their dad cut her a look that could slice through a ten-ton truck.
“That’s a very nice offer,” their dad said, a warning note in his voice. “I’m sure they’d love that.”
Jane smiled, though it didn’t reach her eyes. “We should get going so we’re not late to our meeting.”
“Oh, by all means!” He stepped aside to let them pass. “It was great to meet you.”
“You too,” Jane said.
The Gold Stars gave them another one of their blank-stared smiles before they disappeared through a hole in the fence.
“They seemed nice,” their dad said.
“They seemed weird,” Everleigh replied. “I’ve seen livelier personalities on some two-by-fours.”
“Everleigh!” Their dad darted an embarrassed look at the mechanic.
“Oh, it’s all right,” Mr. Murray said, waving away his concern. “Probably just tired from the long drive. Why don’t we go inside and square up for that sealant? I bet you kids want to get out of here.”
“That’s an understatement,” Everleigh muttered.
The mechanic charitably pretended not to hear her.
Soon, they arrived at their home for the foreseeable future. The A-frame was set on a rocky jut of land overlooking the ocean. Thick vines climbed the yellow-stained siding like they were trying to swallow the house, and black shutters on the windows snapped open and closed in the wind. The roof was completely lost to the fog. A sign out front said “Welcome to Blackwater Lookout Bed-and-Breakfast!” in looping cursive script.
Beacon’s lips twitched from the effort to keep the smile pasted on his face.
“This looks great and everything,” he said, “but do you think there’s someplace a little more . . . modern we can stay?”
“This is the only hotel in town,” their dad said. He parked the car next to an ancient blue truck with wood paneling on the side that Beacon had only ever seen in ’80s movies. “The lady on the phone said we were lucky to get rooms at all.”
“Yeah, because tourism is obviously booming here,” Everleigh deadpanned.
There were no cars. There were no people. There were no neighbors for miles. It looked like you could go days without ever having contact with another person, if you wanted. It was so different from LA, where you couldn’t step out of your front door without bumping into someone.
“It’s just temporary while we do some house hunting,” their dad said. “A couple of those places we found online looked very promising.”
“I’m sure it will be fine,” Beacon said without much conviction.
A thickset woman with ruddy cheeks and wiry gray Brillo Pad hair came out of the front doors. She shielded her face and scowled down at the family, the wind sucking her apron away from her body.
“That must be Donna,” their dad said.
“Donna seems like a blast,” Everleigh replied.
“Who are ye?” Donna called over the wind. Beacon didn’t know whether to be annoyed at Everleigh’s rudeness or respect her honesty, because really, there was nothing to be happy about here. He’d been trying to be optimistic for his dad’s sake, but it was getting hard. Couldn’t he have found anyplace better for their fresh start? He didn’t see anything appealing about this town. It was as if their dad had thrown a dart at a map and said, “Driftwood Harbor it is!”
“Malcolm McCullough,” their dad said. “And these are my kids, Beacon and Everleigh.”
For a minute, Donna looked as if she was going to turn them away, and Beacon got hopeful that they would have to leave after all. A whole sequence played out in his head. They wouldn’t find anywhere else to stay in town, so they’d be forced to leave entirely, and once they did, they would decide to never come back. Maybe they’d move to Hawaii instead. Canada, even. He wasn’t picky.
But then Donna gave a curt nod and said, “Welcome to Blackwater.”
“Welcome to Blackwater, my butt,” Everleigh said under her breath.
Beacon and Everleigh followed their dad into the inn.
Happily, the inside was a lot cheerier than the outside. The walls were made up of knotted-wood paneling, and there were overstuffed couches set around a stone hearth that had a crackling fire inside. It smelled like baking, which was another improvement over the outside, which smelled like fish. This Town Is Not All Right by M.K. Krys PDF
“You kids must be hungry,” Donna said. “I’ll get the oven going.”
“Oh, it’s okay,” their dad said. “That’s very kind of you, but we had a bite to eat at that Home Sweet Home diner on the highway. The kids ate their weight in crinkle-cut fries. I think we’d all just like to get some sleep.”
“Very well,” Donna said. Her mouth pursed as if she’d sucked on a sour candy. Beacon made a mental note never to refuse her cooking.
They followed her brisk footsteps through the inn.
“I suppose you’ll be wanting the bigger room for yourself?” she said to their dad, gesturing to a large bedroom on the main floor. She raised her eyebrows, as if challenging him to disagree.
“Well, yes,” he stuttered.
“I figured,” she said. “I’ll let you get settled in. Kids, follow me.”
She led them up a set of narrow, winding stairs to the second floor.
“The bedroom at the end of the hall is free, but one of you will need to stay here.” She used a hook from the hall closet to reach up and unlatch a door in the ceiling. She pulled down a set of accordion stairs that led up into the darkness.
“It’s not ideal,” Donna said, “but we’re tight on space.”
Beacon peered warily into the attic, then at his sister. Everleigh crossed her arms and lifted her chin. It was a look he knew all too well. She was prepared to argue to the death until she got what she wanted.
Beacon sighed. “I guess I’ll take the attic bedroom.”
He hiked his backpack over his shoulder, then gripped both sides of the steep wooden ladder and climbed up. When he got to the top, he poked his head into the room. Pale moonlight slanted in from a small window in the corner, but otherwise, it was completely dark. He couldn’t even see his hand when he waved it in front of his face.
“Light switch is on the wall!” Donna called from below.
“Okay!” Beacon replied shakily.
He gulped, climbing up farther, wondering idly if he’d somehow walked into a trap. Maybe this woman wasn’t really an innkeeper. Maybe she was a serial killer, and this hotel was just a clever ruse so she could lure unsuspecting families into her death trap.
He’d been halfway expecting chains and bloodstains, but when he flicked on the light switch, he was happy to find a queen-size bed with a patchwork quilt and a braided rug thrown down over the wooden floor. The peaked ceiling was so low in spots, he couldn’t stand upright near the walls, but other than that, it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it would be nice to have this space away from the rest of his family and Donna.
That’s what he told himself as he emptied his belongings into the dresser, changed into his pajamas, and climbed underneath the covers.
He closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but the old house creaked and groaned. Outside, the ocean bashed against the rocks in a rhythmic roar and crash.
A memory came flooding back. The Halloween before Jasper died, his older brother had had a bunch of his friends over to marathon scary movies. Jasper invited the twins to watch, and Everleigh had immediately plopped down onto the couch. Even though Beacon actually wanted to go trick-or-treating, he’d wanted to seem cool, and Everleigh and Jasper were always spending so much time together fixing cars and talking about cars and poring over car magazines that he sometimes felt left out. So he’d joined his sister and the older kids, who were in the middle of a movie about an evil clown who lived in the sewers. Beacon couldn’t sleep for weeks after that, and even though he was eleven, he’d crawled into his dad’s bed every night. Every day, he’d lived in fear of Everleigh finding out. If she did, he’d never hear the end of it.
One night, as he was trekking to his dad’s room, he ran into Jasper, who was in the hall on the way to the bathroom. Jasper asked what he was doing up, and Beacon admitted that he hadn’t been able to sleep ever since that movie with the evil clown. Jasper’s face had grown serious, and even though Beacon knew Jasper wouldn’t make fun of him, he’d gotten embarrassed. But then Jasper told him to wait right there. He came back a minute later, wielding Beacon’s Little League baseball bat.
“Come on, little brother,” he said, all business. Then he’d stormed into Beacon’s room and flicked on the light. He yelled at the empty room that he was here, he wasn’t scared, and he was ready to fight anyone who messed with his brother. Then he hit his chest like a caveman and spit into the garbage. It was so ridiculous that Beacon couldn’t help laughing. Soon, they were both keeled over. Everleigh came in moments later, blearily rubbing her eyes, and their dad wasn’t far behind, wielding his own baseball bat like he was going to strike an intruder. But neither Beacon nor Jasper could get control of their laughter long enough to explain what had actually happened, so eventually their dad and sister both got annoyed and went back to bed, leaving Beacon and Jasper wiping their tears. Evil clowns never seemed so scary after that.
But Jasper wasn’t here now.
It took him a while, but Beacon finally drifted off to sleep.
That night, he dreamed of the ocean. He stood on a ledge of sharp rocks. The wind howled in his ears, and huge, angry waves crashed against his feet. But somehow, Beacon stayed dry. He bent down and touched the water. Suddenly he was tumbling through the ocean, and then the dream changed, and he was standing on the seafloor, the muted roar of the wind still loud in his ears. Jasper lay on a bed of bright green coral, his pale white hands clasped over his stomach. Fish darted around his body, flashes of silver and scales. Beacon called his brother’s name over the thunderous scream of the water. Jasper’s chest heaved, as if he were trying to speak. Beacon stepped closer to hear what his brother would say. Then Jasper’s mouth gaped open wide, and a big black fish swam out of his mouth.
He woke with a start. His cheeks were wet, and his body was drenched in cold sweat. His heart pounded against his chest.
The room was dark, and for a minute, Beacon forgot where he was. Outside, the wind shrieked against the windowpanes. Branches from a nearby tree scritched over the rain-splattered glass and made ugly, sharp shadows dance across the walls. His nightmare trickled away, and memories of the previous day came flooding back—the car wreck, the junkyard, the bedroom in the attic. He was in Driftwood Harbor. This was Blackwater Lookout. And something had woken him up.
Beacon pulled the covers up to his chin. It was just the storm, he told himself. He closed his eyes. But it was no use. He was wide-awake now.
He whipped off the covers and sat up. A gust of chilly air sent goose bumps racing up his back. He set his feet onto the cold wood floor, feeling exactly like those idiots in horror movies who hear a noise and go investigating even though you know it’s a terrible idea.
One peek, he told himself. Just to make sure it was the trees that had woken him up. Then he could go back to bed.
The floor creaked and groaned as he crept toward the window. He peered outside, through the frosty glass.
Without all the lights and smog of the city, he could actually see the stars. They shone above, illuminating the angry black waves that battered the rocky shore below. He squinted into the dark, but he couldn’t see anything wrong.
And then a lighthouse beacon trailed lazily over the ocean, and he caught something in the water. Or rather, someone in the water.
Beacon gasped, and the person in the water whirled around, almost as if hearing him. Her hair was plastered against her head, but he recognized the bright blond curls and blue-and-gold varsity jacket instantly.
Their eyes connected for a brief moment. And then a huge wave reared up and swallowed Jane’s body whole.
Beacon slammed his hands against the glass. For a horrible second, he was frozen with panic. He watched the waves ebb and flow, waiting for the girl to reappear, for a hand to reach out through the water. But Jane never came back up. She was going to drown.
Beacon jerked into action, skidding across the room and landing on his knees. He threw open the trapdoor.
“Help!” he screamed. He nearly lost his footing twice scrambling down the ladder. When he was near the bottom, he jumped the last four steps, landing hard and sending a shock wave of pain up his legs.
Everleigh blearily pushed open the door at the end of the hall. Strands of dark hair were pulled loose from her ponytail and stuck to her cheeks, which were flushed through with pink. She blinked and shielded her face against the pale light in the hall as if she were a vampire.
“There’s someone in the water,” Beacon said between gasps of breath.
He didn’t wait to see what she would say. He ran down the hall, then thundered down the steps two at a time.
“Beacon, wait!” Everleigh called.
But he didn’t stop.
He careened through the darkened inn to a back door off the kitchen. He unlatched the dead bolt and leaped down the steps into the cold, stormy night.
The rain blew in diagonal sheets, battering the shore. He hadn’t taken the time to put on shoes, and rocks and pebbles dug into his bare feet. He hardly felt it as he ran toward the water. But when he got close, Beacon stopped dead.
The ocean churned like a black sludge vortex. Mountainous waves crashed against the shore like hungry monsters destroying everything in their path. Wind blew a thick, briny mist across his face and soaked through his pajamas.
There was no way Jane could get back on her own.
He had to go in.
Beacon took a hesitant step forward. The icy water slapped his shins, and he gasped at the shocking cold. His legs were as heavy as cinder blocks, freezing him in place. He knew he needed to be fast, but he kept thinking of Jasper. Thinking of that night.
He gave his head a hard shake and forced his body to move. He had to help her. He was her only hope.
Beacon was only knee-deep when a powerful wave knocked him off his feet. He fell hard, swallowing a mouthful of salty water. There was a terrifying moment when panic overtook him and he flailed helplessly. But then he managed to push himself up to his feet. He stood stalled at the mouth of the ocean, coughing and gagging, dwarfed in the shadow of the waves.
He needed to go farther. He needed to try harder. But he couldn’t make his legs move. All he could think about was how water just like this had stolen the life from his brother.
But she was out there, and she needed his help.
He took another step, but someone grabbed his arm and yanked hard. Beacon stumbled backward, pulled onto the shore like a misbehaving toddler being dragged out of a grocery store. He was dumped unceremoniously onto a long rock slab. Everleigh stood over him, her face twisted into a mask of rage.
“What were you thinking?” she screamed over the sound of the waves.
“I need to help her,” Beacon said.
“You’re not going to be helping anyone if you’re dead.”
The back door flew open and their dad rushed out.
“Police are on their . . .” His words died on his lips when he saw the twins, drenched on the rock slab. “What are you doing? Why are you so wet? Please don’t tell me you went in there.” His eyes were as round as saucers and his lip trembled. Beacon was suddenly back to that night, the night they got the news. The sound of his dad’s choked breathing made his chest squeeze hard, as if it had a cramp.
“I’m sorry, I—”
“Of course we didn’t go in the water,” Everleigh interrupted. She yanked Beacon up. “We stood on the shore to get a better look and got blasted by a wave. It knocked Beaks off his feet, but that’s it.”
The lie came out so deftly that it had a ring of truth. Beacon didn’t dare look at his sister and give it away.
“Okay, well, let’s get you inside and into dry clothes,” their dad said. “You shouldn’t be out here.”
He hustled them inside. Beacon went upstairs and changed into a pair of clean, dry sweatpants and a hoodie. When he came back down, Donna was making tea like lives depended on it, briskly pouring steaming water into sturdy-looking mugs.
Everleigh sat at the kitchen table. She twisted her hands together and looked out anxiously at the lone fire truck and volunteer rescue workers rushing to and fro, siren lights reflecting off the ocean. Beacon knew what she was thinking about. Who she was thinking about.
He sat next to his sister. Together, they watched through the foggy, rain-splattered window as chaos unfolded outside. Rain hit the window like it was trying to wash the house away, but somehow the room felt deadly quiet.
After a year, Beacon still wasn’t used to the silence. For the first couple of months after Jasper had died, he’d been too torn up with grief to notice much of anything going on around him. But then the casseroles stopped coming, and the visitors left, and it was just him and Everleigh and their dad, and the quiet that ate up everything made you think about all the things you didn’t want to think about and feel all the things you didn’t want to feel. It had been like he was living inside of a tomb. He’d started spending as much time away from home as possible so he could escape the ugly truth that Jasper was gone. This Town Is Not All Right by M.K. Krys PDF
Everleigh, on the other hand, rarely left the house. If she wasn’t in her room, she was in the garage, working on the car, the way she used to with Jasper. Beacon often wondered if she was punishing herself. If she thought she didn’t deserve to forget, not even for a little while. Not after what happened.
The door burst open suddenly, and their dad and two officers in shiny wet jackets came in on a blast of cold air. The kids popped up from their chairs as the officers took off their hats and rubbed warmth back into their hands.
“Sheriff Nugent, Deputy Steele,” Donna said icily.
“Donna,” the one with the dark bushy mustache and bulbous red nose said with equal animosity. He wiped a smudge of dirt off the faded gold star on the lapel of his jacket. He must be the sheriff.
“May we come in?” the one with the graying red hair and beard said. Deputy Steele.
Donna looked as if she was thinking about saying no. There was obviously some kind of history between Donna and the law enforcement here, and it didn’t make Beacon feel better about his living arrangements. After a long pause, she finally opened the door wider and ushered them into the kitchen, reluctantly pressing coffee mugs into their hands.
“Bless you, Donna,” Sheriff Nugent said.
“Real kind,” Deputy Steele said.
“Well?” Beacon asked impatiently.
The sheriff raised a thick eyebrow—he clearly wasn’t happy about answering to a kid, especially one who’d used that tone.
“It’s too dark and the water’s too angry,” he finally replied. “We’re going to have to send a team out tomorrow morning.”
“What?” Beacon cried. “It’ll be too late then!”
“I’m sorry, son. It’s all we can do.”
Beacon sank down into his chair. If only he’d been quicker. Louder. A better swimmer. Why had he hesitated? He should have done everything possible to save Jane.
He buried his face in his hands. Long minutes passed. A century, maybe.
A ring pierced the tense silence. The sheriff pulled a blocky cell phone out of his pocket.
“Sheriff Nugent,” he said. There was a long pause, then: “What? Are you sure? Well . . . that is certainly surprising, but I’m glad to hear it. Thank you. We’ll see you at church on Sunday. Bye now.” He ended the call.
“That was Deputy Raycroft,” Sheriff Nugent said, tucking his phone back into his pocket. “He was just at the Middleton residence.”
Beacon sat up.
“Jane is in bed sleeping. Just like she has been all night.”
Details About This Town Is Not All Right by M.K. Krys PDF
- Name: This Town Is Not All Right
- Author: M.K. Krys
- ISBN: 9780593097144
- Language: English
- Genre: Young Adult
- Format: PDF/ePub
- Size: 1 MB
- Page: 304
- Price: Free