The Secret of Pooks Wood will be FREE to download until December 2nd
Stella rubbed a circle of breath off the fogged-up pane and felt dizzy as she watched the snowflakes hurtle down outside. It was as if someone had split open a pillow and shaken it. The trees had sprouted white feathers and the hedges were furred with white; the whole world looked like a scene from the top of a Christmas cake.
She spun round as the heavy oak door thudded on the bashed nose of Jonty, the wooden dog that had sat behind it for years, and smiled at the squealing twins as they ran in.
‘Look what we found!’ shouted Oliver.
‘It’s a snow globe!’ His twin, Lily, jumped in as usual before Ollie could finish. ‘Guess what’s inside?!’
Stella knew immediately and, without a word, reached out for it. The twins became quiet and Lily handed it over. They studied their mother’s serene face intently as Stella cupped the globe and shook it.
If she had been standing outside in the grounds at that moment, looking towards Great Uncle Alfred’s mansion, she would have seen the exact same scene.
Inside the globe was a miniature model of Great Hawkesden Manor sitting in the middle of a glitter blizzard, just like the one that was going on outside for real right then and had been for the last three hours.
‘Mummy, will we really be able to stay here over Christmas with Alf?’ Lily looked up at her mother with her large turquoise eyes, her dark curls tumbling untidily over her face from hiding in the coat cupboard.
‘Great Uncle Alfred, Lily. You mustn’t call him ‘Alf’. It’s disrespectful.’
‘But are we?’
‘Well, it certainly looks that way. We’re cut off now. The roads are blocked and, even if we could get to the station, the trains aren’t running apparently.’