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Daisy Madigan’s Paradise
"A fantastically evocative YA novella perfect for both younger and older teens.”
"Wonderful addition to the Morgan Sisters series! I might suggest reading The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw first, but this should stand on its own even if you haven't. Such a lovely, well-written story - I highly recommend it and all of her books."
A young girl must make a new life in a graveyard, but is someone – or something – watching?
When tragedy falls upon 15-year-old Daisy Madigan, she escapes to the only place she feels safe, the cemetery of Abney Park. There, in the company of the dearly departed, she realises she is changing, growing stronger and faster by the day. But in the darkness lurks a terror even she can't imagine facing.
Daisy Madigan's Paradise is a Morgan Sisters novella. Check out The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, the first full-length novel in the series.
A great book for lovers of The Magicians, Harry Potter, Vampire Academy, Morganville Vampires & Percy Jackson
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Daisy Madigan's Paradise
The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw is available from most online book retailers
Other books in this series:
The Temporal Stone
We Stand Against Evil
The Lost Soul
SG Turner also writes romance and chick lit under the name Suzy Turner
A Morgan Sisters novella
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.
For more information about SG Turner and upcoming books, please visit:
Sitting at the front of the class before her classmates arrived, Daisy Madigan opened her art coursework folder and pulled out a drawing she'd done at the weekend. Staring at it, she rememberedhow the lion had looked so peaceful, sleeping on the plinth in the park.
As the other kids started to enter the room noisily, she wished she could go back there and sit beneath it. It was her favourite statue at Abney Park. Nobody mocked her while she was there. Nobody cared that she had red curly hair. And freckles.
Once everyone had settled down, the usual routine began. Some of the kids started to throw things at her. Just little things so the teacher wouldn't notice. Rolled up pieces of paper, paper clips, broken erasers. Over the years she'd learned to ignore them. She just sat and listened to what the teacher had to say about the creative process of working with charcoal.
But before Mr Parker had even finished his sentence, the door opened and in walked a woman in her late fifties with huge eyes and a short, sleek black bob. For some reason, she reminded Daisy of those little Lego people she'd played with as a child. Not that you could play with Mrs Goodyear. She was the Headmistress.
Daisy watched as the middle-aged woman seemed to avoid all eye contact with the pupils, instead, making a beeline for Mr Parker. She didn't look happy. A certain sadness tinged her eyes.
Someone sniggered behind her and this time, a pencil whistled by Daisy's ear, landing on her desk before it rolled noisily on to the floor. It almost echoed in the room as everyone sat waiting quietly, wondering what was going on.
'Daisy?' asked Mrs Goodyear.
Surprised at hearing her name, Daisy looked up to see both teachers looking at her sadly.
'Daisy, please gather your belongings together and come with me.'
Without a word, she did as she was told. The other kids sniggered and made lame jokes quietly behind her back.
'Silence!' shouted Mr Parker as he banged his fists noisily on the desk in front of him, making poor little Amy Green nearly pee her pants.
Mr Parker never shouted, not at anyone.
All the kids looked up in shock, even the big bullies who resided at the very back of the classroom. 'Leave the poor girl alone,' he said as Daisy gently closed the door behind her.
She glanced through the window and smiled at him gratefully before turning her attention back to Mrs Goodyear.
'Please come with me, Daisy.'
The long walk down the corridor was like walking on death row. Had she done something wrong? They passed class upon class until they eventually arrived at the headmistress's office. It was the first time she'd ever found herself there. Glancing around, she wasn't particularly impressed by what she saw. It was a small, sparse room with nothing but several filing cabinets, a desk and a few chairs. The walls were painted stark white. Daisy shivered.
'Please sit down, Daisy.'
She swallowed quietly and pulled out the short wooden seat, lowering herself down before looking up. Mrs Goodyear took a box of Kleenex from her desk drawers, placing it in front of her.
'Daisy, I'm afraid I have some bad news. Your mother has been in a terrible car accident. Your father rang from the hospital. He has organised for one of your neighbours to come and collect you who should be arriving shortly to take you to the hospital.'
Daisy's head spun. Had she heard right? Her mum? An accident?
But before she had a moment more to let it sink in, Mrs Goodyear stood up as there was a knock at the door.
'Oh, Daisy,' said a familiar voice. 'I'm so sorry, love.'
Geoff from two door's down stood in the doorway, his massive physique filling the frame.
Geoff nodded. 'Aye,' he said as Daisy slowly lifted herself from the chair, bending back down to collect her school bag.
'Daisy, take all the time you need. I'll speak to your father over the next few days to sort things out.'
She nodded, her eyes glazed, not understanding what was happening. Why couldn't her father have come for her?
'Come on, my love. I'll get you to the hospital as soon as possible,' said Geoff, in his broad Yorkshire accent.
She rushed into his arms, and he began to sob uncontrollably.
'Oh Daisy, Daisy,' he cried over and over again.
'Dad? Can I see her? Can I see Mum?'
Beau Madigan pulled away from his only daughter and looked down into her intense green eyes. She looked so much like her mother; he thought before he nodded and led her through the ICU. The smell turned her stomach. She didn't quite understand it at the time, but it smelled like death.
The moment she turned the corner and spotted her beautiful mother, Daisy let out a cry.
'Mum,' she sobbed, rushing to her side, almost falling to her knees beside the bed.
Her mother was only really recognisable by the tufts of bright red curly hair that stuck out from the bandage across her head. Her mouth and nose were full of tubes and where her usually happy freckled face should be was a swollen, pale bruised one instead.
Beau stood behind his daughter as tears poured down his cheeks.
'I should be able to do something,' he said. 'I should be able to help. That's what I do. I'm a protector,' he muttered over and over again.
Turning to look at her dad, Daisy grabbed his hand, 'What? You couldn't do anything, Dad. It's not your fault.'
Beau momentarily glanced at her, but his eyes appeared to glaze over. 'No, my job. It was a protector. I should have protected her, and now it's too late.'
'Dad? What are you talking about? It's not too late. She's going to get better. Mum's going to be fine.'
'Mr Madigan, please could you and your daughter move to the waiting room? We need some space in here,' said a petite young woman wearing scrubs.
Beau bent down and placed a gentle kiss on his wife's cheek, whispering something into her ear. But before Daisy knew what had happened, he'd rushed from the room, leaving her to go and sit in the waiting room alone.
Leaning back against the green coloured wall, Daisy closed her eyes, trying to get the image of her mum out of her mind. She remembered what she'd looked like earlier that morning when she'd left for school. All smiley, smelling of Daisy perfume (which Beau had bought for her 35th birthday just a week ago) with her long curly hair half tied up. She was beautiful. Daisy smiled. She wanted to remember that image, nothing else.
Opening her eyes, she turned to face her mother. 'Mum!'
Sitting beside her was the beautiful woman who had raised her, looking just as she had earlier that day.
'Mum... I don't understand.'
Esther Madigan smiled and reached out to gently stroke her daughter's cheek.
Daisy felt her warmth but not her touch.
'I want you to know how much I love you and your father. You mean the world to me and I'm so sorry that I have to leave you...'
'Mum, no,' whispered Daisy with a quivering bottom lip. 'You can't go. You're just a little banged up from the accident, that's all. You're going to be fine.'
But Esther shook her head, 'No, Daisy. My body couldn't take it. I need you to be strong for you and your dad, okay? You can get through this. I may not be here in body, but I will always be with you,' she said as she hovered her hand above Daisy's heart.
'Mum... please don't do this. Please don't go. Mum, I love you so much. We can't live without you.'
'Shhhh,' whispered Esther, 'Yes, you can. You're special, Daisy. I know Beau and I always told you that, and you never believed us but you are. Very special. You got that from your father. You share something, the two of you. And something big is going to happen very soon. When it does, I need you to be strong. It's your destiny, Daisy,' Esther smiled as she slowly began to fade, her body becoming more and more transparent.
'Mum? Mum! No!' yelled Daisy grappling after her.
'Be strong, Daisy. Remember, I will always love you, your father too. Goodbye, my angel.'
Sobbing as she'd never sobbed before, Daisy could barely catch her breath as she listened to the doctors and nurses frantically working down the corridor, presumably trying to save the now lifeless body of her mother.
Her dad had disappeared. Daisy was alone in every sense of the word.
She'd walked all the way home in the rain. Soaked to the bone, she pushed open the front door, hoping to find him there. But there was nothing but a cold empty house. The warmth she'd always felt upon entering had vanished. Daisy leaned against the wall in the hallway and slid to the soft, carpeted floor. A loud cry erupted from her lips as the sobbing began again. She'd never experienced pain like it. She felt like her heart had been ripped from her chest, leaving just a gaping hole, and the feeling of being asphyxiated.
'Mum, oh Mum,' she cried, her breath coming in short, sharp bursts.
Daylight began to disappear slowly and darkness set in while Daisy remained curled up at the foot of the stairs listening to the ticking of the clock in the kitchen. She heard faint voices as neighbours began to arrive home from school and work. Life went on as usual for the rest of the world, but not for Daisy.
Eventually, shivering with cold and still in wet clothes, she forced herself up. Clinging to the bannister, Daisy finally stood up and removed her coat, letting it fall to the floor.
Mum will get angry with me at leaving wet clothes on the floor; she suddenly thought as she bent to pick it up. But she's not here any more She's gone. She's dead.
She bawled her eyes out again as she slowly climbed the stairs, taking off the rest of her wet clothes, throwing them into the linen basket in the bathroom.
Turning on the shower, she let the steam fill the room before stepping under the hot water, hoping that it might ease away the tension that filled her every pore.
Later that night, after Daisy had climbed into her bed in her warmest pyjamas, she'd fallen asleep quickly. But the sound of a door slamming downstairs startled her out of slumber.
For a split second, all was well.
'Mum?' she whispered.
But suddenly she was kicked violently in the stomach as the memory of earlier returned with a vengeance. Wincing in emotional pain, Daisy let out a gasp as tears began to fall.
Turning back the covers, she climbed out of bed and tiptoed to look over the railing.
The lamp in the hall had been switched on.
'Dad?' she asked as she walked down the stairs and into the living room. She found him sprawled on the floor, a near-empty bottle of vodka falling out of his outstretched hand.
She rushed to his side, 'Dad?' she said, trying to shake him out of his stupor. 'Dad, can you hear me?'
He murmured something unintelligible before he began snoring.
Not knowing what to do, Daisy took the bottle away, emptying the remnants of vodka down the sink, before finding a blanket to place over him. She then lay down on the sofa with a framed photo of the three of them clutched to her chest before closing her eyes.
'Happy 15th Birthday, Daisy,' she whispered to herself five weeks later as she woke up to find her dad in a drunken stupor on the bathroom floor. His sweatshirt was lifted slightly to reveal a tattoo on his lower back. Daisy had always loved that image of the eye with the wings and the Latin words beneath.
Closing her eyes for a moment, she took a deep breath and counted to ten. When she re-opened them, she stepped in and tried to wake him.
'Dad... wake up. Come on. You've got to stop drinking. Mum would hate to see you like this. I hate to see you like this.'
But Beau said nothing. He was out cold.
Tutting, she stepped back over him and went downstairs. At least they had a downstairs toilet.
Her birthdays had always been a great cause for celebration. The moment Daisy woke up until the moment she put her head back on the pillow, Beau and Esther had surprised her with gifts, fun and games, outings and parties for three.
This year would be the first year, unlike any other.
Her mum had gone and so, in a manner of speaking, had her dad.
She'd returned to school a week after her mum had died. The kids stopped taunting her, and she felt utterly invisible once again. But Daisy would have chosen to be the victim of all the bullying in the world if it meant she could have her mum back.
Three weeks after her death, Daisy had stopped going to school altogether. Her dad was in a bad way, and she was the only person who could look out for him.
Not even Geoff from two doors down could help because he'd had to move back to Yorkshire to look after an elderly relative. They had no other family and no other friends. It had always been just the three of them, and that had worked out wonderfully until, well, until it became only the two of them.
Opening the fridge door, she found it to be empty, so she looked around the house for her dad's wallet. Opening it, she found a few measly pounds.
'Dad, we need to get some supplies. There's nothing to eat, and we need to eat. Dad, can you give me some money so I can go out and get something?'
He lay motionless on the floor.
Frustrated, she kicked out at the wall, 'For God's Sake, Dad!'
He groaned and rolled over.
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