Authors: Susannah McFarlane
Tags: #Juvenile Fiction/Action & Adventure/General
Emma and Elle spun themselves around Emma's bedroom, singing and dancing to the latest Pink Shadows song. Emma was trying out a new dance move and Elle was singing passionately into a hairbrush. They had raided both Emma's wardrobe and her dress-up box and the resulting look was a combination of crazy fairy and rock chick: black jeans, old tutu, heaps of bangles and necklaces and, as a finishing touch, sparkling tiaras. They had also been working on a dance routine and when the
song reached the chorus, Emma and Elle were back to back, singing at the top of their voices.
The song finished and they both collapsed on the beanbag, laughing and exhausted. Emma's older brother, Bob, burst in.
âAre you two okay?' asked Bob, with a broad grin on his face. âDo you need medical help? Oh, I see, you were singing. Sorry, I thought you were in pain.'
âHilarious Bob, see you!' and with that Emma shut the door, perhaps a little too loudly.
âBrothers!' said Emma. âUgh!'
âTell me about it,' said Elle, who had two of them, âbut that was fun as, Em, wasn't it? It was the best.'
âWell, maybe not quite the best,' said Emma. âIf it was really the best, we would have been eating chocolate too.'
âTrue,' agreed Elle. âAnd we would be going to the Pink Shadows concert. They are playing here this week. How much fun would that be?'
âTickets sold out months ago,' sighed Emma, âand even if there were some left, I'm not sure Dad would let me go.'
âMine wouldn't either,' replied Elle, âbut at least we have our band practice tomorrow.'
âYes! I'd forgotten that,' said Emma. âMaybe we can teach the others our dance routine. It will be great for the band. Come on, let's do it one more time.'
So the girls got up and did it all over again, adding a few more moves and loving every minute of it. Elle kept thinking of new bits to add to the routine and teaching Emma, who was amazed how her friend just came up with all these crazy moves.
Emma loved music, she loved playing it, she loved listening to it and she loved dancing to it. She
loved it when she was happy; she would sing at the top of her voice and bounce around the room. She liked it when she was sad; she would listen to slow songs over and over, thinking how terrible everything was, until, that is, she cheered up again. When she was angry she would strum her guitar strings so hard it hurt her fingers. Whatever her mood, Emma loved the way music could match it and how it expressed her feelings.
She loved playing music with other people too. She and her friends had formed a band. This week it was called Squishy Music but last week it was called Beat Girls and the week before that it was, rather randomly, called We â¥ Penguins.
The girls' school had band instruments and students were allowed to book in and use them in the music room. The girls had a regular Monday lunchtime practice. Emma was lead guitar and Hannah was bass guitar, Elle keyboards and Isi, Isi was drums. It was the only instrument that could cope with her excitement levels. All the girls took it in turns to sing, although Emma was happy to let the others take the lead; she was content playing in the background.
After Elle had gone home, Emma sat on her bed playing her guitar. Her puppy, Pip, and her kitten, Inky, were on either side of her. She started playing the opening bars of the Pink Shadows song but then wandered into playing a tune she was making up herself. She hummed along as one hand moved along the neck of the guitar while she picked through the strings with her other. Pip and Inky were not the most attentive audience, indeed they were fast asleep and that was just fine with Emma.
Emma much preferred her music to be something she did by herself or, at least, something she shared with just a few friends. She didn't really like performing or being in the spotlight. She didn't mind the clapping and cheering that came at the end of the performance, although her mum sometimes got a bit carried away which was embarrassing, but she didn't really enjoy performing in front of people. It was frightening. Emma would freeze, she couldn't play a note and she forgot all the words. While her
friends, especially Elle, seemed to love performing in public, Emma preferred to keep her music a secret. She liked to keep it as something which was shared with only a few special people. Which wasn't such a surprise really. After all, she was a secret agent.
Emma Jacks was Special Agent EJ12, field agent and expert code-cracker in the under-twelve division for the
uncovered and stopped the plans of the evil agency
To do that,
needed agents, code-cracking agents, and EJ12 was one of their very best, despite still being in primary school.
Emma had been recruited to
when she won a maths competition.
used maths competitions to help them find people who could think well and solve problems. When Emma was introduced to
she thought they must have made a mistakeâshe did like maths but she didn't
think she was very good at solving problems at all. In fact, she always seemed to be having problems rather than solving them. However as EJ12, she had solved many problems, cracked lots of codes and stopped
evil plans. She had saved rainforests, shut down
spy bases and rescued wild animals.
hadn't made a mistake. In fact, as EJ12, Emma Jacks was one of their best agents and in the top five of the SHINE Shining Stars Spy of the Year competition.
also had good agents and they had them all over the world. They communicated with them via secret messages. They left notes, they sent emails and texts, once they even carved a code into a tree in the middle of a rainforest. They were always coming up with new ways to give instructions to their agents so they could carry out their evil plans.
was going to stop
they had to intercept their messages, crack their codes and try to keep one step ahead of them. Normally
managed to keep
under control but lately they had been having problems tracking down
the messages. They suspected that
must have found a new way to send out their messages but couldn't discover what that was. It must have been music to
might have changed their tune, however, if they knew that EJ12 was about to take on the mission.