The Book of Lies - By Mary Horlock

My name is Catherine Rozier, please don’t call me Cathy. If you do I’ll jump. Don’t think I’m bluffing. It’s a 3000-foot drop and even though I’m fat, I’m not fat enough to bounce. I’ll dive headfirst into ye ancient Guernsey granite outcrops and then my mashed-up body will be washed out to sea. Of course, if I get the tides wrong I’ll be stranded on the rocks with seagulls eating my eyes. I know for a fact they’ll eat anything.

Killing myself wouldn’t be too clever, but then neither was killing Nicolette. It’s been a fortnight since they found her body and for the most part I am glad she’s gone. But I also can’t believe she’s dead, and I should do because I did it. Yes. That’s right. I killed Nicolette on these very cliffs and I’m frankly amazed that no one has guessed. When her body was dragged out the water, the verdict was she’d fallen. Ha-ha. (Only I’m not laughing.) Why hasn’t anyone worked it out? The Germans were right, the people on this island are a bunch of half-wits. When they landed here in the Summer of 1940 they must’ve thought they’d won the War already. They called Guernsey A SMALL PARADISE. Excusez-moi, but since when did a few manky palm trees make a paradise?

And when everyone finds out what I’ve done there’ll be no more pretending what this island is. If you want me, come and find me. Assume I’ll be skipping along Clarence Batterie, stretching out my hands towards St Peter Port, preparing to take the plunge. If this counts as my last will and testament I hereby bequeath my unspent book tokens from last year’s prize-giving to my mother. I’d also like to make it clear that although my disappearance from this miserable rock coincides with Christmas, it has nothing to do with her New-Recipe Mexican Turkey.

Obviously she’ll be upset. I was supposed to be the first in the family to go to university.

But at least I made front-page news (kind of, sort of, almost). Nic’s death was all over the Guernsey Evening Press1 for four days on the trot, and they even used one of the photos I took of her – the one in Candie Gardens where she’s leaning back against a tree with her hair spread out across her shoulder. Did I mention she was beautiful? She got a full page because of how she looked. When you saw her perfect face, it was hard to imagine that she was ever such a Bitch. But she was. My so-called best friend was a Liar and a Traitor who deserved everything she got. I won’t go into the details of how I know this, but I won the Inter-Island Junior Mastermind so, trust me, I’m rarely wrong.

Nicolette Louise Prevost had to die.

I now realise we should never have been friends, but some things are destined, as per Shakespeare and his tragedies. When she found me that night, on these very cliffs, I knew she was planning something deadly lethal. Do not think for a minute I am a violent person. Just because I like watching mindless violence on television doesn’t mean I want to go round cutting throats (or that I know how to). I was scared and I panicked – do you blame me? It was pitch-black, and the rain beat down so hard I could barely open my eyes. When she came at me out of the darkness it was like my worst-ever nightmare. I screamed but the wind just took my voice away, and there was no one there to help me, which is how she always liked it. We fought, we kicked. She grabbed my hair but I grabbed hers too because I’m not stupid. It was like Friday the 13th (Part 1 or 2). If only I could’ve ripped her head off and had fake blood spurt everywhere.

But, of course, it never happens like that. All I did was push her. Honest. That was all it took. One big push and she was gone. Gone. I still can’t believe it. She vanished into blackness, and the churning sea swallowed her. How cool was that?

And fair enough that a part of me is glad. It’s how it should be. I was doing the world (or Guernsey) a favour. Bullies should be punished, right? They are like the Nazis, picking on poor, isolated people and pulling them to bits. What I did was not an Abomination (excellent word). I