Part 21

St Virgil’s College student HAYDEN COOPER continues the never-ending story, starting Part 21 with Harry’s return from his meeting with the crows and his reluctant promise to lure the others to Grimly Point.

AFTER Harry got back to the others he was surprised to find they were all packing their gear already.
“Where are you guys going?” Harry asked.
“We have decided that we need to start moving if we’re going to get ahead of those blasted crows,” Rourke said.
“We have? I think you mean you’ve decided,” Eliza replied.
“Yeah Rourke, Alice is too scared to even move and Andre’s still banged up from the crash!” Johnny added.
“Look, if we stay here then we won’t stand a chance against the crows!” Rourke yelled in frustration.
“Everyone just chill out already, OK,” Eliza interrupted.
“Eliza’s right guys, if we’re gonna get out of here we need to work together,” Andre said.
“That’s right, Harry you’ve been on the coast for nearly as long as Rourke, what do you think?” Eliza asked.
“To be honest I think Rourke is right, we need to start moving or we won’t make it another day,” Harry replied.
“Right then, it’s settled let’s go before those crows catch up,” Rourke said.
As they all set off through the dense thick rainforest, Rourke and Harry led the way. Johnny purposely waited back to get a word with Eliza.
“Hey Eliza can you help me get these last couple of things?” he asked. “Yeah sure thing,” she replied.
After nearly punching Harry’s head in the night before, Johnny had grown to dislike him even more.
There was just something about him and Johnny was determined to find out what it was, but fi rst he had to see his suspicions had been picked up by Eliza.
“Eliza what do you think about Harry?” he asked.
Eliza hadn’t given it much thought before; she had just assumed that he was lost just like them, trapped on an island because of a plane crash.
“He seems OK, he just wants to get home like the rest of us,” Eliza said.
“You didn’t think he seemed a little eager to start moving this morning?” Johnny asked as he dug deeper.
“No, he’s just like us Johnny, he wants get home just as much as us.
“He probably wanted to start moving again because he was afraid of the crows,” Eliza said as she stormed off.
“Yeah well I still don’t trust him,” muttered Johnny. He knew that Harry was hiding something; even if no-one else was able to see it.
As the group walked stealthily through the eerie rainforest they kept incredibly quiet so they didn’t attract any unwanted attention from the crows.
But it didn’t matter where they ent, they knew they were always being watched.
It wasn’t long before they reached a clearing. “How about we stop here for lunch?” Eliza asked.
“No, we have to keep on walking – we’re almost there!” Harry said.
“What do you mean we’re almost there?” Johnny challenged.
“We’re almost at the hut … we’ll be much safer there,” Harry answered.
“Trust me, I stayed in that hut for first couple of months after my plane crashed. I don’t think the crows even know about it.”
After a half-hour walk they arrived at an old run down hut. Harry rushed to the hut door, but as he opened the door a flock of crows came flying out all turning into humans in the blink of an eye.
They created a circle around the group; except for Harry who now was sitting on the hut’s rusty roof sharpening his beak.
To be continued

First published in the Mercury newspaper, Tasmania, on August 21, 2012

THE author of Part 21 of Lovesong of the Crow is St Virgil’s College student Hayden Cooper. Hayden is a member of the school’s advanced English class, which is an elective subject for students with a keen interest in English and who are looking to take their studies further in this area. The same class had already worked on a chapter of Lovesong of the Crow earlier in the year, and thosewho had been following the story during the year were given the option to agai contribute. ‘‘Hayden has been a key follower of this story and eagerly set about writing this chapter,’’ his teacher Cameron Alexander said.
Hayden said he had been keen to incorporate the shape-shifting crows from previous chapters. ‘‘I also liked the addition of the new character in the last chapter and tried to make Harry a more mysterious character in my section,’’ Hayden said. ‘‘In English I enjoy creative writing and reading books. Some ofmyfavourite authors
include Anthony Horowitz, Robert Muchamore and Emily Rodda,’’ he said. ‘‘I like reading books by these authors because they create books that leave the reader wanting more.’’