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The differences between US and UK/Aus English are small, subtle and at times, amusing. Prepare to be amused.

Chapter 1


Cory ran, clutching the flapping sides of his uncomfortable jacket. The flower pinned to his breast pocket hung askew. Up the stairs between the townhouses, across the road to the park.

How could his father be so silly to leave the wedding rings on the kitchen table?

Panting, he stopped at the security checkpoint. Many people already waited, seated in rows on the slope between the road and the lake. Part of the lawn had been fenced off with posts and white ribbon. Small signs saying Private Function flapped in the breeze.

A security guard passed a metal detector over Cory's back and sides. He patted the jacket's pocket. 'Excuse me, you have a metal object in here?'

Cory took out the box. 'Just the rings.'

The guard's face cleared. 'Ah, you're John Wilson's son.' He stepped aside.

Cory padded down the red carpet, which felt kind of springy because the grass on this side of the lake was really thick.

Wow, he didn't know his father knew so many people. There was the director of the Space Training facility. In the second row from the back sat their doctor, and there was Mr Symonds, Cory's teacher—

'Pssst—Cory!'

Garreth waved at him from between his parents. Cory wished he could sit next to his friend, but his father waited in the front row of seats. 'Got the rings, son?'

Cory held up the box.

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