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The A-Z Story
Abruptly I woke up. Being me has its disadvantages…
“CARL, you better be awake!!!!” Daring to be grounded, I yelled back, “Now I am!” Empty stomachs, me, and early mornings never make a good combination. Finally, I stood up.
“Get down here!” my mother screeched.
“Hold on mom. I’ll be right there. Just chill!” Knights even got to sleep longer and they barely had any privileges! Longingly, I gazed up at the sky, hoping the sun would show through the dark and dreary clouds. Moaning, I walked down the stairs to get my breakfast.
Nervously, I walked into school, waiting for Mr. Hendrix, our 8th grade science teacher.
“Open your books kids.”, said a voice, but the voice was not Mr. Hendrix’s voice. “Pardon me miss”, I said.
“Question, young man, with the striped t-shirt?”
“Right then! So where is Mr. Hendrix?” Thoughtfully, I considered what could be the answer.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Hendrix was abducted, and so I will now be your teacher.” Violently, we all looked around at one another.
“Well, what have the police done about it?”
“Exactly my question”, yawned Sam.
“Young lady, Zero-hour has struck us. All must remain calm.” But… but… how can we remain calm?!
“Calamities happen, my dears. Distress only worsens the situation.”
“Excuse me, what is your name?” Frankie, a boy in our class, was the boy who dared asked this question.
“Goodness gracious! Have you young people no eyes?!! I have pinned my name on the bottom of my shoe!” Just my luck, I get a whack job as a substitute teacher. Kindness is an unknown word to this sub. Lavishing her power, she treated us like dogs. My happiness bar is at 0 percent. No normal person wouldn’t care when a well-regarded teacher disappeared. Officially, I’m suspicious. Perhaps the substitute abducted Mr. Hendrix! Quests to solve a mystery are not my forte. Remembering that Mrs. Balaway, our horrid sub, showed no sign of caring about Mr. Hendrix’s abduction, I decided to engage in a stakeout at her house.
Sap oozed from the eerie trees that formed a half circle around Mrs. Balaway’s house. Trembling with fear, I stepped with Sam beside me. Up until my sneaky plan, my best friend Sam wanted nothing to do with Mrs. Balaway. Vivid pictures had popped into her head when I described my plan, she had told me. What? Expectations ran high for us to succeed. Yuck was the first word out of Sam’s mouth as she pulled her foot out of a puddle of swamp mud. Zooming toward the house was a lime-green slugbug, where we could faintly see the outline of Mrs. Balaway.
"Duck down!" Sam said as she grabbed my shoulder and forced me down to the ground. Mrs. Balaway stepped out of the car with a smug grin on her face. She wore a red gown that scraped the ground with glossy glass beads going up either side of the fancy dress. Her black high heeled shoes clacked as she walked elegantly up her drive way, her hair swinging in the wind. She closed the driver's seat door and opened the passenger door. Mrs. Balaway started rummaging around underneath the seat, she pulled out an object that was wrapped in fine leather, and tied down the side with twine.
"What do you suppose it is?" Sam whispered curiously. I replied,
"Who knows? But we're going to find out." Sam's eyes closed as she began to pray that his scheme wouldn't end with a crime scene tape. But her prayers were not answered.
Mrs. Balaway opened the front door, while Sam and I crept alongside the hedge and into the backyard. Anyone would have cut her right of the list of suspects. Her house, yard,car, and everything about her was normal. But there was a rather strange room over the garage, that had black drapes over the windows.
"Let's go." I said, and we both continued to walk around to the back door. We peered in through the glass door, just in time to see Mrs. Balaway unwrapping the package. She untied the twine and took out what looked like a small dagger. Mrs. Balaway smiled a wick and twisted smile as she observed the knife. She fingered a small part of the handle, which appeared to be engraved with words. She started to walk up the stairs when I accidentally stepped on a twig, giving away our presence. She whirled around, just in time for us to be on either side of the glass door. She turned back and glided up the stairs to the draped room.
"Come on.", I ventured to say. We slid open the glass door and tip toed inside. We stepped into the kitchen where an album lay on the desk. Sam carefully opened it. The aging book contained old black and white picture of 3 men who looked to be in their thirties. Just like Mr. Hendrix. In the front it said, Abducted Men. As we flipped through the old and worn pages, the book revealed more men, except these pictures were in color.
"Look at all these men!", Sam exclaimed.
"Why would she photograph people she has abducted?", I wondered aloud. Sam pointed to another picture. A picture of Mr. Hendrix, it seemed.
"It's him!" I said.
"Follow me", Sam said as she took my wrist and pulled me up the stairs.
" This is the room that had drapes over the windows! Should we go in?" I asked.
"Of course!" Sam spat. "Do you want to save Mr. Hendrix or not?"
"Of course I do! But who knows what is in that room?" I replied.
"Well, we are going to find out!" Sam determinedly said. Sam peered into the draped room.
"She's...she's got him!" Sam screamed in a whisper. Without thinking, I ripped open the door, flinging it against the wall, and yelled:
" Mr. Hendrix RUN!" I yelled. Mr. Hendrix's head snapped up, even tough he couldn't see us because of the think cloth tied around his head. Neither could he answer, for he was gagged with a ragged old dishtowel. Mrs. Balaway had a knife raised when she turned around and darted at us.
"Move!" Sam screamed at me. She leaned and grabbed an old chair, which we whacked at Mrs. Balaway with. I sprinted towards Mr. Hendrix and helped him up by untying everything. Meanwhile, Sam had managed to tackle Mrs. Balaway and tie her up with her own rope.
"You kids are very brave to come and defeat a substitute teacher/murderer." Mr Balaway noted.
"No biggie. Anyway, Carl and I are just glad you are ok." Sam replied.
I grabbed my cell phone and called the police, telling them the entire story. They came and took Mrs. Balaway away, giving us a hefty reward of 100 bucks a piece.
"We have been looking for this woman for quite a while. She was under a different name when she substituted.", a policeman informed us.
"We are just glad we have Mr. Hendrix back." I said.
" A job well done kids, a job well done."