CHERUB: Man vs Beast - Robert Muchamore

CHERUB: Man vs Beast - Robert Muchamore


Andy Piercet bed felt fantastic. His duvet was wrapped around his chin, his muscles felt relaxed and his warm pillow fitted snugly under his head. But the gash of sunlight leaking between the curtains was tormenting him.

The fourteen-year-old didn't have the heart to crane his head up and look at the bedside clock, but he knew he had to get up. In less than an hour her have his elbows propped on a desk and a tie around his neck for the waking nightmare that was Monday morning: English, French and drama. Today would be even worse than usual because Andy was going to get nailed for not doing his Macbeth homework.

He pictured the dirty look her get off Mr Walker as his bedroom door swung into the room.

T called you three times already,?Andyt mum shouted, as she bounded across the carpet towards the window.

Christine Pierce looked like a sour-faced angel: dressed for work in a white polo shirt, white trousers and white canvas plimsolls.

Theret toast on the table downstairs. Stone cold now, I expect.?

The room exploded with light as Christine swished the curtains apart, then whipped away the duvet covering her eldest son.

Mummmm,?Andy moaned, as he shielded his eyes with one hand and put the other over his privates.

Mh, give over,?Christine grinned, giving her son a friendly slap on the ankle. Toure got nothing down there I haven't seen a thousand times before.?Her expression turned to revulsion as she caught a whiff of the duvet hanging over her arm. Then exactly did you last change these sheets??

Andy shrugged as he rolled on to his bum and grabbed a pair of clean boxers her set out the night before.

T dunno ?Last week I think.?

Bull the other one. Those pillowcases are yellow and I don't even want to think about the smell.?

Ttt not that bad.?

Andy watched his mumt lips thin out as he yanked a school shirt sleeve up his arm. Thin lips meant he had to be careful: she was on the verge of going thermonuclear.

Then I get home from work this evening, I expect to see that disgusting bed linen washed and hanging on the rotary line out the back. And you can do your brothert while you're at it.?

That??Andy gasped. Thy have I got to do Stuartt bed??

Andy recoiled as his mother jammed her pointing finger under his nose. Tou claim you're old enough to stroll in from the cinema with your mates at a quarter past eleven. In my book, that makes you old enough to start taking more responsibility around this house. This isn't a hotel, and I'll your mother, not your cleaning lady.?

Tes, your majesty,?Andy said sullenly.

Christine glanced at her watch and sounded more friendly as she backed away. Tre got to run. You know, it would make my life easier if I got a little bit more cooperation out of you.?

Andy had heard this guilt trip before and wasn't buying it. Theret my lunch money??he asked, as he kicked both feet in the air and hitched black school trousers up his legs.

Theret bus fare on the kitchen worktop. Ham, tomato and mustard sandwich in the fridge.?

Can't I get chip money??

Don't start on that one again. You know I haven't got thirty quid a week for you and Stuart to spend on junk food.?

Andy tutted. Everyone goes round the chippy. Sandwiches are totally embarrassing.?

Ao whine to your father. His wifet driving round in a new Focus, while I'll maxed out on three credit cards.?

This guilt trip worked better. Andy had grown to realise that his dad was a total scumbag. His mum had to put in a ton of overtime just to keep their heads above water.

T should be home by seven,?Christine said, leaning forwards and kissing her son on the cheek. And I'll not joking about changing those beds, you hear me??

Leaving a smudge of lipstick on her sont face, she backed out of the room and set off downstairs. The teenager was half a minute behind, threading his belt into his trousers as he walked.

Stuart was in the kitchen and irritated his big brother by being perky and neat as usual. The eleven-year-old had his hair combed, blazer and tie on and Bugs Bunny blaring out of the portable TV. As Andy grabbed a triangle of cold toast, the two boys exchanged grunts.

Mumt stressed out,?Stuart said sourly. Thy you gotta keep winding her up all the time??

Andy wasn't proud of the way he got into rows with