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Destiny's Right Hand - Michael Wagner

Destiny's Right Hand

Paperback

Published: 3rd May 2010
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Published: 3rd May 2010
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Fourteen-year-old Eddie Innocent hopes to one day become an award-winning newspaper journalist. Now he has won a chance to write for the Junior Herald. The only problem is the newspaper's 16-year-old hard-nosed editor, Jessica Lamps, who wants Eddie to stick to 'the three Ps of kids' journalism: puzzles, pets and prizes.

But Eddie has an uncanny ability to find the most bizarre supernatural stories unfolding in his city. Enter Destiny, a girl with a transplanted right hand that has a mind of its own and is making her steal things ... or so she says.

Eddie and his sidekick, the funny but brilliant Noah, find themselves drawn into the mystery. What does the hand want with its bizarre collection? And can Eddie get to the bottom of this story without losing his job, and being drawn into his own darkness?

About The Author

Michael Wagner is a children's author whose best-known books follow the funny and action-packed sporting adventures of Maxx Rumble, and the hilarious father-son rivalries of The Undys. He is also author of the novel Dog Wars, and the Aussie Nibble: Newtown Tigers.

Prior to becoming a children's author, Michael played in a band that almost became famous, spent ten years working as a radio broadcaster with the ABC, wrote and produced award-winning animation for television, and wrote and performed comedy. Michael lives with his wife, Jane Godwin (who is a proper children's author), and his two children, Will and Lizzie (who think their Dad is really cool).

Michael's latest book, Destiny's Right Hand, was published by Puffin Books in 2010.

ONE

Not only could I see Eddie in the little supermarket on Glenferrie Road, but to my amazement I could also sense his every thought, memory and feeling. As he fumbled a bunch of grapes into a plastic bag, I knew he was watching the tall, blonde girl in the private­-school blazer. She was about to steal a doughnut. Eddie knew it. He could see it on her face. Her eyes were dark with guilt. She looked like she wanted to run. She kept glancing around the supermarket to see if anyone was watching. And she just kept coming back to that doughnut stand.

You're too good-looking to shoplift, thought Eddie, reaching for a second bunch of grapes. You attract too much attention. You're being watched. And not just by me.

The girl had been spotted by the peroxide blonde middle-aged shop assistant to Eddie's left. He'd seen the back of her head regularly angle towards the girl before quickly turning back to the box of oranges she' was unpacking.

She's watching you, thought Eddie. Look to your right.

The girl didn't look. She couldn't hear Eddie's thoughts the way I could. Her chin crumpled with emotion as she backed away from the doughnut stand. Then came right back.

How obvious can you get? wondered Eddie. You're no shoplifter. Real shoplifters are quick and quiet. And they're not emotional.

I was surprised to see amongst Eddie's thoughts and memories that he knew two semi-professional shoplifters from Chamberlain High: Tyson and Kayla, boyfriend and girlfriend, both fourteen, even though they could have been confused for primary school kids.

They were so good at stealing that they actually took orders. Kids would make a request, negotiate a price, which was usually about half the normal cost, then pay once the item was delivered.

Eddie had seen them steal from the shops near his house in Wattle Park. They were always in and out of the chemist in minutes. They would have been quicker except they stopped to have a pleasant chat with the pharmacist on the way through. Tyson and Kayla were real shoplifters, dishonest by nature. This girl wasn't.

She must be acting on a dare or something. Maybe she's trying to prove she's more than just a pretty face.

Whatever she was up to, Eddie knew she'd get caught if he didn't warn her about the shop assistant. Hoping a sudden noise coupled with a big movement would catch her attention, he slung his backpack over his shoulder and coughed.

The girl looked him straight in the eye.

Wow, he thought, almost breathless. I've never seen a face so . . . How can the boys in your class even concentrate?

Quickly composing himself, Eddie nodded in the direction of the shop assistant. The girl frowned, obviously wondering why Eddie was looking at her. Guilt flashed across her face. Eddie gestured again, more urgently this time. The girl looked in the direc­tion of the shop assistant at the very moment the woman squatted to stack two empty orange boxes together. Seeing nothing unusual, the girl's gaze returned to Eddie. The guilt on her face hardened into suspicion.

Oh no, she thinks I'm a weirdo or something.

The girl squinted at Eddie. He felt the need to explain himself. He spoke up, loudly enough for her to hear. 'Um . . . I'm not . . . I mean, you're being . . .'

How can I put this?

Eddie didn't have time to work out what to say. While the girl was still staring at him, her hand shot out, almost mechanically, and snatched a chocolate doughnut. As she shoved it into her blazer pocket, Eddie glimpsed the icing oozing between her fingers.

You haven't thought this through.

Appearing almost shocked by her own behaviour, the girl gasped, turned and marched towards the checkout. Eddie stepped around the grape stand and followed her. The shop assistant bustled past him, but then stopped at the magazine stand.

Why's the shop assistant letting her go? Oh, hang on, until she's left the shop she hasn't actually stolen anything. The shop assistant has to wait for her to leave.

The girl strode through the empty checkout, say­ing to the guy at the counter, 'I didn't end up getting anything.'

Without looking up, he nodded and cracked open a tube of coins on the tray of his cash register.

The girl marched towards the glass doors.

Don't leave!

Eddie rushed towards the checkout, blocking the shop assistant's way, and yelled, 'Hey!'

The girl twitched slightly, but hurried through the sliding doors. The shop assistant bumped past Eddie and headed for the exit. Eddie rushed through the check out with his backpack in one hand and the bag of grapes in the other.

'You haven't paid!' called the guy at the checkout.

Eddie stopped and looked at the bag of grapes in his hand. 'Sorry,' he said, suddenly realising what he was doing.

I guess you're on your own, he thought, as he wan­dered back to the checkout. I tried to help you.

As Eddie placed his bag of grapes on the scales, his mind raced with an idea. He reached into the pocket of his black jeans and pulled out a crumpled note.

'And I've got to pay for one chocolate doughnut,' he said to the checkout guy. 'For the girl who just walked out.'
Michael Wagner

Michael Wagner is a children's author whose best-known books follow the funny and action-packed sporting adventures of Maxx Rumble, and the hilarious father-son rivalries of The Undys. He is also author of the novel Dog Wars, and the Aussie Nibble: Newtown Tigers.

Prior to becoming a children's author, Michael played in a band that almost became famous, spent ten years working as a radio broadcaster with the ABC, wrote and produced award-winning animation for television, and wrote and performed comedy. Michael lives with his wife, Jane Godwin (who is a proper children's author), and his two children, Will and Lizzie (who think their Dad is really cool).

Visit Michael Wagner's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9780143304210
ISBN-10: 0143304216
Audience: Children
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 3rd May 2010
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 19.8
Edition Number: 1