Fifteen year old Lizzie White and her twin brother, Billy, were on holiday with Billy's best friend, Eddie Taylor. Eddie had invited his friend, Billy, and his twin sister to spend part of the summer holidays with him and his parents in south Wales. They were renting a cottage in a tiny village called Amberley.
For Lizzie and Billy it was a chance to get away from their latest foster home. Lizzie and her brother had been in a succession of foster homes since a plane crash had killed both their parents two years previously. Lizzie loved Amberley, it was quiet and peaceful, and a whole world away from the hustle and bustle of London, where she and Billy lived.
The village itself was fairly remote, being situated about half way between the lovely Gower Peninsula and the Brecon Beacons National Park. Eddie's parents had already taken them all on several excursions to the seaside, and to the National Park, and Lizzie was looking forward to more trips of this kind.
Lizzie, Billy and Eddie had only been in Amberley for four days when something out of the ordinary occurred. The teenagers decided to visit the few shops the village possessed. After meandering in and out of the post office, and a small corner shop, they found themselves in the local newsagent. Lizzie perused the shelves. She sighed with boredom, there was absolutely nothing she wanted to buy.
Suddenly something, or rather someone, caught her eye. An elderly woman was standing by the magazine rack, and staring intently at her. There was something unsettlingly familiar about the old woman, and it was as if the woman recognized her too. Lizzie edged over to Billy and Eddie.
"That old woman is looking at us strangely," Lizzie whispered.
"She's staring at all of us a bit, but especially you," Eddie replied.
"The odd thing is I feel like I know her from somewhere too," Lizzie sighed.
"C'mon let's get out of here. This whole thing is giving me the creeps," Billy muttered.
When Lizzie and the others returned home to their holiday cottage, they found Eddie's mother, Diane, deep in conversation with one of the neighbours, a stout, jolly woman who Lizzie knew lived a couple of doors away. When the teenagers entered the room, the two women smiled in greeting. Lizzie found herself telling Eddie's mother and the cheerful neighbour about what had just happened in the newsagent.
"That'll be old Mrs. Smith at number seventy-two," the happy neighbour nodded.
"She was looking at us so oddly," Billy commented.
"Especially me," Lizzie added.
"Well, her eyesight has not been all that good in recent years. She is over eighty after all, although sometimes you'd never think it. She knows all about computers and modern music, and the such like, you know, the sort of thing that usually has old people fazed. She even wears quite modern stuff. I know that I've seen her in a pair of jeans recently," the neighbour smiled.
"So she's a bit eccentric?" Lizzie asked.
"Sort of, more unusual than eccentric, I'd say. Mind you, she's not quite the woman she was two or three years ago before her husband died. He was the love of her life. I think they'd been sweethearts since they were youngsters, and I think she really misses him," the neighbour explained.
"I wouldn't worry about her staring at you, it's probably just her dodgy eyesight," Diane Taylor told Lizzie kindly.
Lizzie concluded that they were probably right. She decided to put all thoughts of the strange encounter out of her mind, and make this a truly enjoyable and memorable holiday.