Behind her, she heard the soft sound of the Choosers’ robes swishing against the cold tiled floor. She turned, and saw the three figures, their glowing black eyes, staring into her soul.
The three figures advanced on the helpless children, with low whispering voices filling their heads.
The four children looked on in fear as the Choosers slowly glided towards them. Beth looked at Zoe, and they had one of their silent conversations with their eyes. Beth’s eyes were wide with panic, as were Zoe’s. But as they saw each other, they simultaneously realised exactly what they had to do. In sync, they both yelled to each other.
With that, Beth dragged Melody away, whilst Zoe pulled Dan towards her. The Choosers looked around. It was impossible to tell what they were thinking behind their cold, expressionless masks, but Zoe guessed they were probably calculating. Working out the best solution to the current circumstances. They stopped moving, and then two of them turned to face Beth and Melody. The other continued walking towards Dan and Zoe. Hands now outstretched, it reached for the two of them. Zoe stared into its eyes, and was horrified to see nothing but blackness. It was as if the mask was covering nothing but a swirling black pit of nothingness under a cloak. This is what it feels like to look into a black hole, she thought to herself. She could feel her very soul staring into it, being absorbed into the nothing. It wanted to read her thoughts, consume her very essence…
Her thoughts were interrupted by the faint vibrations under her feet. She looked down at her grey trainers in confusion, and then at Dan, who was equally confused. In the distance, they heard a rumbling sound. Zoe and Dan looked to their left, where they could see a light shining through the otherwise pitch-black tunnel. They turned back to face the Chooser, who was inching ever closer to them. Dan and Zoe took a step back, their heels now hanging off the edge of the platform.
Suddenly, Dan realised what was happening, and grabbed Zoe’s hand, yelling, “Tube!”
He shoved Zoe away from him as he dived down the platform, away from the edge. The Chooser, not realising this change of plan, careered forward and off the edge of the platform. Dan and Zoe jumped up quickly, dusting themselves off, and looked over the edge at the Chooser, who was sprawled out on the tracks. However, it barely had time to move before, as Dan had predicted, an empty train hurtled through the tunnel and onto the platform, crushing the Chooser’s body into nothing. Its cloak seemed to deflate, as if there had never been a body inside.
As the train slowed to a halt, Zoe turned to look at Dan.
“Do you wanna tell me the plan before you execute it maybe?”
“You’re welcome,” Dan replied dryly. “I did just save your life. What, would you rather I waited till it had executed us?”
“About that…” Zoe and Dan both turned to face Beth’s voice. She and Melody were backing away from the platform’s entrance that they had just run through, followed by one Chooser. For the other had turned and changed its course to Dan and Zoe.
Without thinking, Dan pressed the button to open the door to the empty carriage behind him, running inside. Zoe looked over at Beth and smiled.
“We’ll come back for you!” Beth shouted, still backing away.
“Keep Melody safe!” Zoe yelled back.
Smiling, Beth turned and pulled Melody away, running down the corridor. She replied cheekily as she ran away, “don’t worry about me then!”
Zoe stared after the two of them, before she was yanked into the carriage by Dan. She slammed the button as she stepped inside, and watched the doors close.
“The doors won’t hold it,” Dan reminded her, and he ran to the door leading to the next carriage. Zoe looked around, and noticed that the train carriage was empty except for the two of them. It felt odd to be standing in this ghost train, the Tubes were normally packed full of so many people that she could barely move. But she didn’t have time to ponder on it much, before Dan was once again pulling at her arm, dragging her through the threshold between the two carriages.
As they darted through, Zoe heard a spluttering noise from her pocket. She retrieved her phone from her pocket as she closed the doors and took a few steps back. She could see through the window the Chooser walking onto the other carriage, but she focused on her phone, which was now swirling with kaleidoscopical patterns.
“Did you miss me?” it asked wryly.
Dan sighed with relief. “Sentinel! What happened? You wouldn’t work!”
“I was switched off,” Sentinel retorted. “Or, to put it another way, these thugs sent out an electromagnetic pulse, shutting down my circuits. When you killed the prime Chooser, it allowed me to reconfigure myself. This Tube’s arrival was me, by the way-”
“Mind if I stop you there?” Zoe interrupted with a sense of urgency. The Chooser had opened the door and was walking through the threshold of the two carriages.
Zoe pointed her phone at the door. “Sentinel, lock all the doors!”
Sentinel tutted. “Well, I’ll see what I can do…”
Zoe’s phone glowed, and the door in front of the Chooser swiftly made a locking sound. The door behind it slammed shut, locking too.
Zoe cheered, and Dan smiled.
They had caught a Chooser.
Beth and Melody careered up the stairs, leaping two steps at a time. They daren’t look back, in case the Chooser was right behind them. Melody could almost feel it, breathing heavily on the back of her neck, making her hairs stand on end.
“What are we going to do?!” she wailed. “Do we have a plan?”
Beth tried to make light of the situation. She scoffed. “Plan schman. We don’t need a plan.”
Confidence is key, she thought to herself. Don’t let them see the fear, even though you’re screaming inside. That should be her life motto, she thought to herself.
She grabbed Melody and pulled her past the newsagents, to an escalator which had bare wires sprouting from the sides. They leapt up the steps two at a time and, once they had reached the top, looked over from the balcony, desperately searching for an exit.
Melody turned and pointed at the escalator. Beth followed her finger, and saw that their Chooser was at the foot of the escalator.
While Beth wracked her brain to try and think of an escape route, Melody ran back to the edge of the escalator. Not giving a second glance to the Chooser, which was now making its way up the moving staircase, she instead looked for the button she hoped would be there. And indeed it was, but it needed a key to unlock it. Drat, she thought, but then she remembered a throwaway comment from Sarah Jane a few days back, who had been using her sonic lipstick to open the front door when she had forgotten her keys:
“Sonic lipstick. Always comes in handy. I used to get by with a hair pin in the keyhole, but this is much more efficient.”
Melody quickly reached into her hair and pulled out a hair pin. Her fringe now cascading down in front of her eyes, she desperately struggled with the keyhole, wiggling the frail pin in and out, until finally it unlocked. Gleefully, she pushed the now unlocked button, and the escalator suddenly switched on, sending the Chooser tumbling down towards the ground. Standing up, she smiled, as Beth walked over to her. “Going down”, she grinned to Beth.
The Chooser looked at them through the window. Dan and Zoe stared back, tilted their heads in synchrony with it. It was the first time Dan had got a proper look at one without having to run away from it, and he regarded it with an almost scientific curiosity. He had never seen anything as empty as those eye sockets. Behind the mask was almost darker than black, just and endless void of nothing.
“So this is an alien?” he asked Sentinel.
“Difficult to say-” Sentinel started, but suddenly the voice started to break up. Zoe looked up at the Chooser, who was now intently staring at the phone. They could feel the aura that it was emitting, the mental transmission forcing Sentinel to power down. Then it looked up at them, and hissed at them.
“No more help.”
Dan gulped. “Well, then. Seems we’re on our own.”
Zoe looked at the door to the platform forlornly, and cursed herself for uttering that stupid instruction to Sentinel. “Lock all the doors.” Why not ‘lock this door’, or ‘trap the Chooser in that compartment’? Serves her right for thinking too fast. They were stuck on this train, which for some reason wasn’t moving, at least for the foreseeable future.
She turned to the Chooser, who was looking at her as she was it: like an exhibit in a museum, something to be observed and understood.
“Who are you?” she asked it.
“We are the Choosers.”
“What, don’t you have any other name?”
“We are known only as the Choosers.”
Dan suddenly piped up. “What planet are you from?”
“We are from beyond the stars. Beyond time, above space.”
This made Zoe grit her teeth. Did everyone have to talk in riddles all the time?
“Enough of the cryptic answers. What do you want? You said something about our souls?”
“We will eat your souls.”
“But what does that mean?” she asked impatiently. “It’s not like you’ve got mouths, and anyway, souls aren’t even physical things! Who’s to say we even have a soul?” “You have a soul, Zoe Smith.”
As it spoke her name, she felt a shiver run down her spine.
“Your soul is very busy. So many emotions. Sadness...anger...fear. Such a dark life. The loss you have suffered.”
Zoe worriedly looked away. “Stop”, she whispered, more to herself.
“The times you have cried. The year that everything changed. 2010.”
Suddenly, Zoe smacked the glass, tears streaming down her face. “SHUT UP!” she shouted at the figure.
Dan was not expecting this sudden outburst. He reached out his hand and placed it on Zoe’s back to try and soothe her. “Zoe, I-”
But then the Chooser turned to face him.
“And you. The lonely little boy. So confused. So ashamed, of who you are, what you are.”
“What are you saying-” Dan started hesitantly.
“Haunted by the eyes of his friends, his family. Of the whole world. The lonely childhood. The eyes telling a tale of woe. The eternal despair of your existence. This pleases me.”
“Shut up,” Dan interrupted aggressively. “You don’t know anything. I’m not haunted by my friends. I know they love me. And besides, everyone has emotional baggage. Go up to any random person on the street. Everyone has a story. So why go to all this trouble to set up an elaborate trap just for us?”
“You are something...different. There is something else. Your souls have seen the starlight.”
“The song of youth and the twinkle of stardust in a sad and lonely soul. A perfect combination.”
Dan scowled. “Well, tough luck, ‘cos you’re trapped here. No soul-eating today.”
He instantly regretted saying this. He could feel the shift in the Chooser’s aura, the hint of a mocking smile behind the painted mask. It lifted a black glove.
“We cannot be contained.”
Zoe realised what was happening even before the door slowly slid open. “Back!” she shouted to Dan, who immediately took three paces back. Zoe jumped onto the seat and squashed herself up against the window. Taking a step forward, the Chooser stood in the doorway, fixating on Dan.
Taking her opportunity, Zoe leaned over and slammed her fist against the circular button that read ‘close’, causing the door to slide back, crushing the Chooser. Upon colliding with the wall, the Chooser evaporated, and its cloak and mask dropped to the floor instantly. As it hit the ground, the mask cracked in half.
Hesitantly, Zoe and Dan leant over to examine the mask, which lay amongst the red satin cloak.
Dan looked up at Zoe, but couldn’t think of what to say to her. Finally, he settled on, “nice one.”
Zoe scoffed. “Yeah, well, now we’re even.”
Dan looked at the door to the platform. “Are we still locked in here?” he asked.
Zoe strode over to the door and tried to open it, to no avail. She sighed.
“Seems so,” she replied. “I guess we’ll have to wait for Beth and Melody.”
“I wonder where they’ve got to…” Dan pondered.
“You’re on my hand!”
Melody shifted her weight, moving her foot off the cistern and away from Beth’s hand. The toilet cubicle they were in was very cramped, and Melody wondered to herself why they didn’t hide in separate cubicles. She decided not to mention it to Beth, who was precariously balancing with one foot on the seat of the toilet, and the other on the loo roll holder.
The two of them hovered in silence, nervously awaiting the arrival of the Chooser. Minutes passed. Melody finally plucked up the courage to whisper to Beth.
“Maybe it’s gone? Maybe we lost it?”
Beth thought for a second. She was wary. “Maybe.” She strained to turn her neck to face Melody. “You alright?”
Melody feigned a smile and nodded. Beth gave her a look that said I-know-you're-lying.
“Don't worry, Melody. This sort of thing would be scary for anyone. Look at me, I'm petrified. You can tell me.”
Melody sighed. “It's...scary, I guess. When I see aliens and things, when I have to run away, it reminds me of my past.” She winced. “Well, sort of. I feel different. Like I should remember something bad. But I can't really, the thoughts are hidden-”
Her musings were cut short by the creak of the bathroom door opening. Beth gave Melody a signal to remind her to shut up.
They heard nothing but the sound of the cloth against the tiles. Beth could see its shadow underneath the door.
Suddenly, they heard the door of the first cubicle slam open. Melody almost gasped, but Beth anticipated it and clamped her hand over Melody’s mouth.
SLAM! The door of the second cubicle. Melody was getting worried now. Their cubicle was next.
They saw the Chooser’s shadow ready itself in front of their door. It pushed open the door and stared at the two trembling girls. It took a step forward, but Beth kicked the door back into its face, sending it toppling back against the row of sinks. Melody and Beth scrambled over the top of the cubicle, jumping down onto the toilet seat. As Melody leapt from the toilet seat onto the floor, the whole toilet dislodged, sending a stream of water flying into the air. As it poured onto the floor, Beth landed on the tiles and slipped over. Now drenched in the water which was still spraying everywhere, she used the fallen Chooser to propel herself to her feet, following Melody and slamming the door before the Chooser could even get to its feet.
Dan and Zoe sat in awkward silence for a while. Then Zoe cleared her throat, and turned to Dan.
“What did it mean? About being ashamed?”
Dan looked sheepish. “Oh, I don’t know,” he mumbled. “Sometimes it’s just hard to know who you are. Everyone’s got secrets, things they want to say but are too afraid to. There are things you don’t know about me-”
“It got it wrong, by the way,” Zoe interrupted. “Saying that you’re haunted by the eyes of your friends? Trying to make out that we don’t like you or accept you. It was wrong, we do.”
Dan smiled. “Really?”
“Well, we wouldn’t invite you out if we didn’t like you, would we?”
“Fair point,” replied Dan. “Now if only I could say the same about my stupid family.”
“Don’t be stupid,” Zoe said sharply. “Your mum and dad love you so much, and your idiot brother - well, he’s an idiot, isn’t he? Who cares what he thinks!”
Dan giggled. “I wish I cared as little as you about what people think, Zoe.”
Sighing, Zoe’s head dropped. “Oh, I care. I care way too much. But you don’t want to see that. You want to see feisty Zoe. That’s what it’s about. Don’t show ‘em you care, because that’s how they get you.”
Dan looked confused. “Who’s they?”
“Them. Everyone. Everyone in the world is always out to get you, so don’t let them. Don’t let them drag you down.”
Dan thought about it for a second. Then, he said quietly, “you seemed to show it when it - the Chooser, I mean - was talking to you.”
“Yeah, well. He shouldn’t have piped up, should he? Look where it got him.” She sniffed and pointed at the robes on the floor of the carriage.
“Come on, Zoe.” Dan put a hand on her shoulder. “I get it. Life is difficult. But that’s all the more reason why you need to talk about it. Let it all out. Stop bottling it up and show your true feelings to someone you can trust, who can help you be better and stronger.”
Leaning back against the seat, Zoe considered. Then she sighed heavily again. “Oh, I don’t know. It’s just...my head’s so full of stuff, y’know? There’s school, and family, and writing, and then there’s never any time to just kick back. And there’s so many emotions to feel. And yet...I just feel so empty. Like nothing is actually going on, it’s just...existing. Every day is get up, go to school, do some work, have lunch with you and Beth, do some more work, go home, argue with Finn, watch telly, go to bed. And it’s so tedious! And if it’s not school, it’s going to be university, and if it’s not uni, it’s going to be work. The rest of my life, following the same monotonous pattern. And on the one hand, I know I have to go to school, and do the chores, and look after Finn and everyone - they’re so important to me, I don’t know what I’d do without them. But the other part of me just wants to pack up my bags and leave. Just go on an adventure. Explore! Go see the world!”
Nodding, Dan replied, “I get what you mean. But we have adventures with Sarah Jane, don’t we?”
Zoe scoffed. “Yeah. Getting chased by murderous potato-men and locked on trains. Fun…”
Dan grinned cheekily. “But it is though, isn’t it? That feeling you get when there’s aliens or danger, that adrenaline rush. That tingle in your gut that keeps pushing you, further, further. Without it, we’d be dead. Twice. It made me push you out of the way on the platform, it made you crush the Chooser in the doorway.”
“Fair point,” Zoe conceded. “It is fun to run away from the bug eyed monsters, isn’t it?”
The two of them giggled.
“But it’s more than that. The running away is fun, sure, but...I want to see sights I’ve never seen before. Sights that no one has ever seen before! I want to pioneer! Go beyond, discover new civilisations- no, even more than that. I know what it is: I want to see the stars.”
Dan’s eyes lit up like the very stars she was dreaming of. “The stars?”
“Yes!” Zoe exclaimed excitedly, jumping up. “I want to feel a different ground beneath my feet, see a different sun in the sky! I want so much more than this little life!” Then she looked back at Dan. “Sorry, I must be sounding so stupid right now.”
“Not at all,” Dan conjectured, “I completely get where you’re coming from. I feel the same sometimes. But then I see you and Beth, and we spend all day wandering round the shops, or have an argument over ham sandwiches, and I think, everyday life’s not so bad after all.”
“Oh god, don’t bring up the ham sandwiches again,” Zoe smirked. The two of them started to chuckle as they remembered that fateful day, which ended with a ham sandwich in the face of the disappointed diplomat, Beth.
“This was nice,” Zoe managed to say once she had calmed herself down. “Just having an upfront chat with you. I don’t think we’ve ever done this before.”
“No, I don’t think so. You’re right, it’s nice.” Dan beamed. “It’s nice to get those feelings off my chest. I feel like we’ve just had a therapy session.”
Zoe grinned, returning to her seat. “Well, I’ll make sure to charge you next time.”
“Am I to look out for your name on the news in the future then? Zoe Smith, First Woman on Mars?”
“Ha! I wish.” Zoe rested her head on Dan’s shoulder.
“Tell you what then,” Dan started, “once we get out of here I’ll start a fund. Get Zoe to the moon. How does that sound?”
“Only if you and Beth come with me,” Zoe grinned. “And Melody too, if she wants.”
“Got it.” Dan nodded at her in mock seriousness. “We make quite a team.”
Simpering, Zoe looked wistfully out of the window. “We do, don’t we?”
The two of them sighed, as Zoe smiled softly and whispered to herself, “to infinity and beyond…”
The silence of the empty station was broken by Beth and Melody’s heavy footsteps, now leaving wet marks in their wake. The pair looked like they had just had a shower, with their hair and clothes drenched. They both felt the Chooser’s eerie presence right on their tail. They had circled the building already, and failed to find a hidden exit through which they could escape and find help. Now full of desperation, Beth dragged Melody down an arched passageway to one of the main exits, which was still locked shut, and fumbled at it hopelessly in a futile attempt to raise the shutters. Realising that her efforts were in vain, she kicked the shutters in frustration. Melody tugged at her shoulder, and she turned to see the Chooser at the end of the passageway, framed by the arch like a scene from a tableaux. It slithered towards them menacingly, and Beth, after a quick scan of her surroundings, realised there was nowhere for them to run. They had run into a dead end, and were now cornered by the Chooser, who was inching ever closer to them.
Beth weighed up the possibilities of her and Melody both managing to run past the Chooser. But the passageway was far too narrow for them to make it past, and the Chooser would no doubt be able to outfox them. For once, Beth was out of options. Melody looked up to her desperately, with wide eyes, but Beth merely responded with a similar look of dread. Melody felt a sharp tug from her insides, and looking up at the Chooser, she could feel ghostly forces gripping her soul. Its eyes, each a swirling void of darkness, bored into her skull, searching her mind. Is this it, she wondered, is this death?
Melody, Beth, and the Chooser all turned to face the voice. At the end of the passageway, standing in the same place the Chooser was moments before, was Sarah Jane Smith, holding her sonic lipstick out. “What are you doing on my planet?”
“Sarah Jane!” Melody shouted excitedly. Beth’s face lit up with joy and relief.
The Chooser tilted its head, trying to comprehend the sudden appearance of this woman. “We are the Choosers,” it said, now diverting its course toward Sarah Jane. “They have been chosen. We will consume their souls.”
“Yeah, well bad choice,” Sarah Jane retorted, “they’re off the menu.”
The Chooser paused, observing Sarah Jane. Then, it spoke again. “You are fascinating. Your soul is so...full. You have seen the starlight, beyond any human.”
Sarah Jane laughed dryly as she walked backwards, keeping her eyes on the Chooser at all times. “Nice try, but you don’t want any of this old bird. I’ve seen enough to give you food poisoning. So here’s a choice for you: leave, or I’ll stop you.”
“No,” the Chooser stated, “you will not stop us. We will consume your souls, and then we shall grow stronger and stronger, consuming the world.”
“Not going to happen, do you know why? Because I’m here. Melody! Beth!”
Sarah Jane had now managed to lure the Chooser out of the passageway and into the main well of the station, giving Beth and Melody an escape route. They took Sarah Jane’s cue and darted around the back of the Chooser, before joining Sarah Jane in front of it.
“Hello, there,” Sarah Jane smiled. “Now what did I say about not getting in danger?”
“Well, we like to live life on the edge, don’t we?” Beth joked. “We thought we’d try and get ourselves locked in a train station with three creepy hooded figures.”
“Three?” Sarah Jane looked at them quizzically. “Then where are the other two?”
Melody suddenly piped up. “One got killed, but there’s one downstairs with Dan and Zoe!”
Again, the Chooser interrupted. “No. Both are...gone. Their destruction has been felt.”
Beth grinned at this. That meant that Zoe and Dan had managed to defeat the Chooser, and were safe. But it begged the question, where were they?
Sarah Jane sighed. “So that just leaves you then, I suppose.”
“Your souls will still be consumed, by three or by one.”
“Well, seeing as you’re so insistent, I suppose I’ll have to stop you. I did warn you. Now, Beth, Melody. Take one of these.” She dug into her pocket, and then handed them each a small white canister. “We need to surround it with these. Put them on the ground around it and press the button on the top.”
The two girls nodded and ran around behind the Chooser.
“Explain. What is the purpose of the devices?” it whispered angrily.
Sarah Jane smiled, taking a third canister out of her pocket. “Mirrors, effectively. It’s time to reflect on your behaviour.” She popped it on the ground in front of her and pressed the button on it.
Beth and Melody looked at each other in confusion as they placed their canisters on the ground, and pushed the buttons. They stood back as a swirling wall of light rose from the canister, surrounding the Chooser. A gust of wind accompanied it.
“You’re seeing yourself,” Sarah Jane explained calmly, her hair blowing over her face. “All the souls you’ve consumed, maybe even your own. That’s if you even have one. But it’s creating a feedback loop. Trying to consume yourself, over and over until-”
She was interrupted by a series of ghostly moans and wails emanating from the cylinder of light, and then a puff of smoke. The light suddenly died down, leaving only a red cloak lying on the ground in front of them. Melody stared at it.
“Is it gone?” she asked cautiously.
“Yes, it is,” Sarah Jane smiled endearingly.
Beth looked up at her. “How did you know we-”
“Sentinel called me,” she interjected. “Told me you were in trouble, and that I should bring these reflective filament cores.”
“Thank God,” Beth sighed, “otherwise we’d have been Chooser chow.”
Melody looked up at Sarah Jane inquisitively. “But what were they, Sarah Jane?”
“I don’t know, Melody. They were not very nice, and they were a danger to you lot. And that’s all you need to know.”
“I suppose we’ll never know why they were here, or what they wanted with our souls,” Beth pondered aloud.
Sarah Jane nodded. “Probably not. Now, where did you say Dan and Zoe were?”
“I still can’t believe you’re putting us through this,” Dan sighed. In the background he could hear the tannoy of the train carriage.
“Yeah, this has gotta be, like, post traumatic stress disorder, or something,” Zoe concurred, “making us come home on a train after hours of being stuck on a train carriage?”
“Well, what else did you want me to do?” Sarah Jane asked impatiently. “I was not going to drive into central London during rush hour.”
“It’s only one more stop now anyway,” Beth pointed out. Then she grinned cheekily. “So, how was it being stuck in the train with only each other for company?”
“Awful,” Zoe spat, while Dan groaned melodramatically.
“Really?” Beth giggled. “I think you secretly confessed your love for one another.”
Zoe shot her a look. “You’re looking for a punch, young lady.”
Melody and Sarah Jane chuckled, as Dan sighed.
“But it wasn’t too bad, seriously though,” he pointed out. “We had a nice chat about life.”
“Ooh, did you? Getting deep underground?”
Zoe smiled. “Shut up,” she laughed.
“So what were those things then, Sarah Jane?” Dan leaned forward in his seat.
Sarah Jane pursed her lips in concentration. “I don't know is the short answer. They were beyond Sentinel’s records, which means they're from a long way away. There's so much we don't understand about them. Why they came to Earth in the first place, what they do with people's souls…”
“The spherical cloud technology, why they wear those creepy masks,” Melody continued.
“Exactly,” Sarah Jane agreed. “Unfortunately, I think these questions are destined to go unanswered. But that's okay. Sometimes you need a little mystery in life. Can't have everything explained to you. That would make for a very boring life.”
We will shortly be arriving at Ealing Common.
The front door slammed, as Zoe walked into the hall of her house. “I’m back!” she called out.
She heard her dad in the kitchen call back, “and what sort of time do you call this? It’s way past your bedtime!”
“Dad,” she replied, “I’m thirteen. I don’t have a bedtime.”
“You do, it’s right now. Off to bed,” he said.
Zoe obliged, and trudged up the stairs, exhausted. At the top, she saw Finn poke his head out of his bedroom door, already in his pyjamas.
“Where were you today?” he asked, walking over to her.
Zoe walked past him. “Up in London with the guys,” she responded nonchalantly.
“Beth and Dan, was it?” he sneered. “You’re always with them.”
“Yep. And Melody and Sarah Jane.” She walked over to her bedroom.
Finn tutted. “Did you see the lightning?”
“The what?” Zoe froze. It was a bad habit - always gave away every time she wanted to keep a secret, she really had to stop.
“There was some freak lightning thing. Amethyst was going crazy on the phone.”
“I didn’t see anything,” Zoe nodded resolutely, deciding to change topics. “I’m starving. What’s in?”
“There’s probably some leftover sushi from dinner,” Finn replied.
Zoe grimaced. “You know I don’t like sushi.”
Finn shrugged. “Not my fault. You were out, so I got to choose what was for dinner.”
Sighing and rolling her eyes, Zoe sauntered into her room and slammed the door on him. “I’ve had enough of people choosing for me today.” She jumped onto her bed and stretched out her legs.
“I’ll make my own choices from now on, thank you very much.”