by K.E. Calder
The worst has happened. Will is trapped at a cottage with Mel Randall and her two sisters. How will he survive for two whole weeks? Living in a house full of girls is more than Will expected. He has a secret to keep from Mel. Will he tell her when they become lost on a dark, foggy night?
Click here for reading level.
This book is part of the Deer Lake series.
To read the first chapter of Stranded, click here. Enjoy!
Other Tea Leaf Press books by K.E. Calder:
How to be a Frog Millionaire
The Secret of the Bailey Bay Inn
"This is my--I mean, your room," said Mel as she stepped into the bedroom. Will Bergeron stood in the doorway. He looked around. There was a pink blanket on the bed. There was a glass butterfly hanging in the window. A poster of some movie star-guy's face with a cheesy smile was taped to the wall. Out of the corner of his eye, Will saw a white bra slung over a chair.
Just great! thought Will. He was stranded in a house full of girls.
Will and Mel stood there for a minute without talking. Will looked at the floor. Mel fixed her brown ponytail. Then she noticed the stray bra. She moved quietly over to the chair and picked up the bra behind her back. Then she stuffed it in the back pocket of her jean shorts.
"I emptied out the dresser. You can put your clothes in it," she said.
"Thanks," said Will. It was the only thing besides "hi" and "yes" that he had said since he got there. Will's Grandma had dropped him off at the Randalls' cottage fifteen minutes ago.
"I'm cooking the burgers," yelled Mr. Randall from the deck. "Mel, come and get the table ready for lunch," he called.
"See you out there," said Mel. She walked past Will standing in the doorway. Will walked into the room. He plopped his backpack down on the floor and sat on the edge of the bed. He looked at himself in Mel's mirror. He had dark brown eyes and dark hair. He had carefully messed and spiked it that morning. His green t-shirt and jean shorts looked grubby against the clean, pink blanket.
Day one, he thought. Only thirteen more days to go.
It was a hot day in late July. The leaves on the tall, white birch trees outside the window rustled. Will had been at his grandma's cottage until today. His mom had taken him up to Deer Lake for the summer. Will's cousins were also staying at his grandma's cottage. Their names were Benny and Joey. They were twins, and they were little twerps.
Will was happy when he learned that Benny and Joey had to go to summer school. It meant that they would have to go home for two weeks. He was sure his summer was going to get a lot better.
Then Grandma announced that she was going with them. She wanted to spend time with Benny and Joey's parents. Will's mom was working all summer, he couldn't go home. He didn't want to go to Benny and Joey's house. Grandma said that he would have to stay at the Randalls' cottage. That's when he knew his summer couldn't get any worse.
Mel Randall was the middle sister. She was thirteen. She was almost as old as Will, who was fourteen. Sara was seven. Lindsay, the oldest, was sixteen. This was the first summer since he was nine that Will had been to Deer Lake.
The Randalls owned the cottage only a couple of doors down from Will's Grandma. Their cottage was at the end of Skokie Road--the twisty dirt road that led into town.
Will had met the girls at cottage picnics when they were little. Now, he hardly knew them at all. His grandma was good friends with Mr. Randall. Of course, she was good friends with almost everyone on Deer Lake.
Will left his backpack on the floor. He thought he'd unpack later. He walked down the little hallway to the bathroom.
"Ahhh!" yelled a voice as he opened the door. Will jumped. It was Lindsay. Her blond hair was piled in a bun on top of her head. She was wearing an orange bathing suit with shorts over top. Lindsay was sitting on the edge of the tub. One leg was in the bathtub, and the other was up on the edge. Both legs were covered in shaving cream. She had made a strip of bare skin up the front of her leg with the razor. "Get out!" she yelled.
"Oh, sorry," said Will. His face and neck were completely red. He shut the door and stood in the hall for a moment.
How was he supposed to live like this? he wondered. Pink blankets, bras hanging on chairs, shaving legs...it was like trying to live in a ladies change room. The girls had grown up a lot since he was nine.
"Waiting for the bathroom?" said Mr. Randall from the end of the hallway. "You'll be doing a lot of that around here. Trust me," he said and laughed. "It's just us two men in a house full of women," said Mr. Randall.
Will faked a little laugh. "Yeah," he said. Mr. Randall was trying to joke around. It just upset Will even more.
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