ISBN 9789899734869-21

2023 Words
Once the lights had changed, and the three of them had continued across the road, Emma made sure no-one was watching when she turned to look at him, 'Do you know why you're still here, Joe? Do all those others know too?' But he looked at the floor and shook his head, 'I wish I knew.' 'Hey, let's not dwell on that now, we're here to have fun today!' squealed Lana again, as she practically ran down the road, as if she could hear the shops calling to her. 'Wait up!' shouted Emma as she sped up to catch up to her. 'No can do... Oxford Street awaits,' she giggled as she stopped just for a moment to check the map. 'This way,' she laughed, pointing over to the left, leaving Trafalgar Square to their right. After they'd taken a few wrong turns, and Emma had taken over the map reading, the girls, along with Josiah, eventually found themselves on Oxford Street. Once they'd arrived, Lana erupted in a fit of giggles. 'I can't believe it. I'm actually here. I'm finally here on Oxford Street in London,' she said, dancing around in a little circle. Emma looked at her, embarrassed, glancing at the shoppers who were giving her sister a bit of a wide berth. 'Erm, Sis. People are staring.' 'So?' Emma shook her head and smiled before she left Lana and carried on walking down the street with Joe beside her. After about a minute, Lana was with them, grinning from ear to ear. 'Where shall we go first?' she asked, excitement bubbling from her every pore. 'Wherever takes your fancy,' Emma replied as they glanced from one shop to another. 'Is that... Zara?' squealed Lana as her feet moved faster than the rest of her, to get to the fashion store. Emma rolled her eyes as Joe whispered in her ear, 'Your sister is quite crazy, isn't she?' Laughing, Emma nodded. 'Why is she going so insane over clothes shops?' he asked as they stepped inside the giant shop, watching as Lana stood still for a second and took a deep breath as she took it all in. 'Because Andilyse Island doesn't have anything like this. You must remember what shopping is like at home, Joe? There's not much choice, not for a fashion victim, anyway.' 'I... I don't remember,' he stuttered. 'Didn't you ever go shopping?' she asked him discreetly as a couple of young girls walked by giving her a funny look. 'I... I don't know. I can't seem to remember anything about the island.' 'Nothing at all?' she asked, alarmed. When he shook his head, she turned to face him, 'Maybe it happens to all, you know... ghosts?' 'OMG,' shouted Lana from across the shop floor, 'Emma, you have GOT to come and see this...' When Emma turned back to Joe, he had disappeared. Shrugging her shoulders, she went to see what all the fuss was about. As she approached her sister, Lana was already bogged down with countless items of clothing and pairs of shoes. Emma couldn't help but burst out laughing at the sight. 'Lana, you don't have to get the first things you see, you know!' 'I know, I just want to try all these on,' she said almost stumbling over the heap of clothes as she rushed towards the changing rooms. 'Here, let me give you a hand,' Emma offered, taking some of the items of clothing out of her grasp. An hour later, Emma was still sitting in the changing rooms, watching as Lana paraded the clothes she'd chosen. 'Is this the last one?' she asked, sighing. 'Yeah, this is it, and then I promise we can go.' 'You said that twenty minutes ago.' As Lana swept back the curtain, she stepped out like a model on a catwalk, wearing a cute little white crochet dress, brown knee-high boots and a brown hat that wouldn't stay put on her unruly hair. She bent forward, blew a kiss and continued to strut around the changing rooms. Emma shook her head and laughed out loud. 'Okay, it is cute. I like that better than anything else you've tried on. I think you should get it, although I don't think much to that hat.' With a huge smile that scrunched up her cheeks, Lana twisted her shoulder, turned her head and cracked up laughing. 'Yeah, my hair is just too big! Okay, I'll go take it all off, spend some money and we can get out of here.' As the girls walked out of the store back onto Oxford Street, Emma took in a breath of fresh air, 'It's nice to be outside again,' she said thoughtfully. Lana swung the carrier bag and hit her with it, 'Hey, we weren't in there that long,' she laughed. 'Where's Joe?' she asked, suddenly realising he was no longer with them. 'He disappeared when we walked into the shop. It was weird; actually, he told me he couldn't remember anything about Andilyse.' 'That is weird... and kinda sudden? I wonder where he went?' 'Anywhere away from two girls clothes shopping, I expect,' Emma answered as Lana tucked her arm into hers and they walked down the street, occasionally stopping to peer into shop windows, or for Lana to rush indoors to take a closer look at things that took her fancy. 'It's a shame you haven't seen anything for you, Em?' Lana said a little while later, as they walked back down another street. 'Apparently, my kind of shops are back in Camden?' 'How do you know that?' 'Because I googled them before we left Andilyse,' she said with a smile. 'Why didn't you say anything?' 'Because I knew how desperate you were to come down here.' Lana grinned, 'Well now it's your turn. We're on the hunt for goth shops!' 'Are you sure? Have you had enough of these chain stores?' 'A girl can never have enough of these shops, Em, but for you, I'm happy to take a break. Besides, you desperately need some new clothes, and I can be your personal shopper,' she beamed while Emma wondered what on earth she'd let herself in for. After getting off the tube at Camden Town, the girls looked around until they found what they were looking for. Emma certainly wasn't disappointed. Spotting one particular shop from a distance, Emma turned to Lana with a smile, 'Now that is more me,' she laughed as Lana cringed as they walked inside. The shop was full of black, deep reds and purple items in velvet and lace. Beautiful Victoriana and gothic black chokers covered in beads, lace and silk. Cameo brooches with pictures of Victorian women, cats and moons. Emma swooned as she inspected item after item before eventually moving along to the clothes section where she picked up a red and black gothic tutu dress. 'Now this is gorgeous,' she sighed as Lana promptly removed it from her hands and put it back on the rail. 'Where on earth would you wear something like that? There must be something a little more, you know, sensible? Subtle? Classy? Stylish? Cool?' Emma laughed at her as she continued to rifle through the lush fabrics she so loved. 'How about this?' she said as she pulled out a lime green rockabilly vest top. She put it back when she saw Lana's face. 'Here, now this is cute,' Lana said as she handed her a black and white polka dot halter top. Agreeing, Emma took it out of her hands and held on to it. 'How about this?' she said as she held up a black and white gingham bodice top. 'Yep, I like that. It'd look gorgeous with a pencil skirt...' Emma screwed up her face, 'Okay then, with a pair of skinny jeans?' she continued, handing Emma the top. 'This is beautiful. Very me,' Emma said as she inspected a black organza blouson top. Lana, dropping her head to one side with a finger in her mouth, nodded. 'Yes, it is actually. In a good way,' she smiled. 'How about a dress? You never wear dresses. Oh come on, don't look at me like that. At least try some on, please? For me?' she pouted. 'I'll try on a dress but only if you try some of them on too?' Lana's eyes flew wide open before she laughed, 'If that's what it takes to get you to put on a dress, then you've got a deal,' she said as she held out her hand so Emma could shake it. 'Oh, and the other thing... I get to choose them,' Emma said before she quickly disappeared to another section of the shop where more dresses were hanging on rails. Stepping out of the changing room at the same time, the girls laughed as they swirled in front of a huge mirror, showing off the mini tutu dresses that Emma had chosen. They wore the same style of dress, in organza and velvet; the only difference was that Emma wore a red one and Lana a green one. Although Lana felt ridiculous, she was having fun, even more fun than on Oxford Street, in fact. Stepping back into their respective changing room cubicles, they changed into medieval-looking gothic dresses, Emma's in purple and Lana's in red. 'Wow, I love this,' said Emma as she turned around in front of the mirror as Lana just shook her head and laughed. 'Seriously though sis, where on earth would you wear it? I feel like I've stepped off of a movie set, a horror movie,' laughed Lana. Pretending to sulk, Emma stepped back behind her curtain and soon exited again wearing an extravagant long black gothic mermaid dress. She stood outside, waiting for Lana to appear in the same dress. 'OMG, how the hell do you walk in this?' she uttered as she almost fell out of the cubicle, trying hard not to laugh. 'Oh, I look absolutely ridiculous!' she squeaked. 'And you... well, you look like Morticia Addams!' 'I do? Cool!' Emma said as she twirled in front of the mirror. 'I've always wanted to look like I belong to the Addams Family,' she said, her face deadly serious. Lana shook her head and waddled back into the changing room. Her sister soon followed. When Lana had eventually managed to get out of the mermaid dress, she stepped back outside and stood waiting for Emma. She knew there was one dress left. 'Well? Have you got it on yet?' 'Almost,' Emma said quietly. 'Let's see.' As Emma pulled the curtain back, Lana took a deep breath and nodded her head in approval. 'OMG, Emma... you look amazing. Come out, come out and see,' she said as Emma stepped forward and looked in the mirror. A smile appeared on her lips as she admired the pretty dress, a knee-length halter-neck frock covered in red roses and skulls that cinched in at the waist and then flared out in true 50s style. 'Here, look,' said Lana as she stepped behind her and took her loose hair and held it upwards, 'Wow, Emma. Who knew you could look so beautiful,' Lana said with a smirk. 'Well, thank you very much, Sis,' Emma said, rolling her eyes. 'You realise you've got to buy it, you know?' 'When would I ever wear it though?' she said sensibly. 'It doesn't matter. This dress was made for you. It should be yours. How much is it?' she said as she searched for the label. 'Oh wow, it's only £36! That's a bargain, Sis!' she squealed. As they exited the shop later, Emma carried a bag containing not only the rose and skull dress but also several pairs of black tights, of varying thickness and patterns, a couple of tops and two chokers. Lana didn't buy a thing. 'And now for shoes,' Lana said as they headed down the road, with Emma shaking her head, laughing. CHAPTER 27 They were mid-way into their so-called 'work experience' fortnight in London when they realised Joe had never returned after their shopping trip. Something was niggling Emma. Just before he'd vanished, he'd said that he couldn't remember much about the island, yet earlier on hadn't had any trouble in recalling where he had come from. Voicing her thoughts to Lana, the girls decided to talk to Eleanor about it, hoping she would be able to tell them what had happened. Much to their dismay, however, she didn't have a clue either.
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