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Makia had been in her new house for at least a month, and had just now finished unpacking the rest of her things. She had been so busy that the boxes had been forgotten in the spare room until she remembered them earlier that morning. Makia smiled as she remembered how hectic the last few days of packing had been.
"Mom! shouted Makia "Where did the packing tape run off to this time?"
"Ask Dean, he was rolling It down the stairs last time I saw him." Erika, Makia's mom, shouted back as she pushed a cartload of plastic totes up the hill to the truck.
"Brothers, why did I have to be born first in a family full of little boys? What I'd give for an older brother. At this point a sister might even be better, but if she turned out to be anything like Faith: maybe its not such a good idea."
Makia glanced behind her and realized that she had been talking to herself and her mom had been watching her the whole time.
"What were you saying about Faith?" asked her Mom in a stern voice, "She's a nice girl, and she is also your only girl cousin"
"Yeah, don't remind me, but she's annoying, and if she ever said anything intelligent I sure wasn't there to hear it" said Makia. Erika glared at her daughter and said,
"Ok, now is not the time for your smart comments, anyway you are going to have to deal with her in a few weeks, she only lives a few miles away from our new house."
Makia sighed, they were moving... again, and this time to a small town in the middle of nowhere. Makia had always wanted to be a police officer and the town that she was moving to barely had a high-school. She wouldn't mind going away to school, but she wanted to live in the same town as her family and she was sure that they wouldn't need any police officers there. She had visited many times before, and hated it. It wouldn't be all that bad if she could just get rid of Faith and definitely Tyler, she thought. Faith always acts like she is my best friend and Tyler was just downright arrogant. Well, I'm sure I'll meet family that I never knew about once we get there, lets hope that there is somebody there that I can relate to.
But things weren't as bad as she had thought. Yes, Faith and Tyler were still only a few miles away, and they even ended up going to the same school. And the huge lakes that she was used to were nowhere to be seen. It's not what I'm used to, she thought, and then surprised herself by muttering,
"But I'm starting to like it a little bit." Makia was jolted back into reality by someone knocking at the back door, and then an all to familiar voice saying
"I came over early today because my mom is gone, and I have something really, really cool to tell you"
Faith. And I thought that she might go with her mom. Maybe I can find something interesting that we can do today. I know, we can go and look around in that old lumberyard, she thought as she shut the door of her room and turned the corner into the kitchen.
"Hey Faith, what were you talking about thats so cool?" asked Makia, "Do you want to go and poke around by the abandoned lumberyard after I tell Lucas to keep an eye on Alex?"
"The lumberyard? I've been there before, nothing exiting, just a lot of old papers and junk." said Faith "My brother thinks that it's a spooky place, but he's also still afraid of the dark so don't listen to anything he says about it. Why don't we go tomorrow, I've got something more exiting that we could do today." said Faith "Tyler rented Open Season, and I've been dying to watch it, anyway, you'll like it.
The next afternoon Makia and Faith rode their bike to the edge of the old part of town, the train used to run right past the lumberyard before it was redirected around the outside of town.
"This place looks like it's a hundred years old" exclaimed Makia, "I don't think that its been touched since it closed. Faith, why did it close?"
"Aaachoo!, this place is so dusty." sniffed Faith, "I ... I ...Aaahaaachooo! I don't think that people come in here very often. My mom said that they closed because it went bankrupt or something like that."
Makia and Faith poked around the offices and workrooms for hours, they read old records that had been left lying around and thumbed through the books in the library of the owner's office. The books were mostly about woodworking and building, and there were a few about different kinds of precious stones and metals in the far corner beside an big red dictionary and thesaurus. There was also a whole shelf full of old encyclopedias. Faith picked up a book on the top bookshelf called The Platinum Deposits and Mines of South Africa and opened the front cover.
“Hey, Makia come look at this.” exclaimed Faith, “It's an old newspaper clipping from July 13, 1951.”
“3 year-old kidnapped while parents at church meeting, According to Mr. Schlecht and...” Makia stopped reading and looked over at Faith.
“Is that all?” asked Faith.
“Yeah, thats it.” said Makia, “At a church meeting too, how did that happen?”
Faith looked down at her feet, thinking, and then suddenly smiled and said, “I know, we can ask my uncle Mark about it, he would probably know.”
“Who would know what?” asked Tyler.
Makia and Faith jumped, Tyler had followed them and snuck up behind them while they weren't paying attention.
“Why are you here?” said Faith, “We were talking about Uncle Mark, so never-mind”
“Isn't he the one that won't eat rice?” asked Tyler.
“Yeah, thats him, he was in Vietnam so he can't stand it.” said Faith, “He knows a lot about the history of this town and collecting old newspapers is one of his hobbies so he could probably tell us about this clipping.”
“What clipping?” asked Tyler, “What did I miss here?”
“Never mind, if you come with us tomorrow I will tell you all about it.” said Faith
“Faith!” Makia said in a very annoyed voice, “Is Tyler really coming with us? Or is it just my imagination?”
“He's coming with, as long as he doesn't say anything about us being here in the old lumberyard” said Faith.
The next day after school was over Faith, Tyler and Makia rode their bikes to Uncle Mark's small blue house on the edge of town so they could ask him if he knew what the rest of the newspaper clipping said. When they turned into his driveway he was sitting in a lawn-chair with a bowl-full of grapes polishing them one by one. Faith walked up to him and asked:
“Umm, Uncle Mark, can I ask you something?
“Sure, Faith. What is it about?” asked Mark.
“It's about an old newspaper clipping that we found” said Faith
“Where did you find it” asked Mark, “How old is it?”
“We found it in the lum---” started Tyler
Makia glared menacingly at Tyler and said: “He wasn't there when we found it, he doesn't know”
Uncle Mark looked at Makia and then Faith, and said “You were playing around inside the buildings at the old lumber yard weren't you?”
“Yes we were, we found this old newspaper there” said Faith.
Uncle Mark smiled and then said: “Why don't you tell me the whole story.”
Faith told how they went into the lumberyard because they thought it would be fun and they found the old newspaper clipping. Tyler butted in with a few details that he thought should be made known, and Makia was standing quietly at the other end of the picnic table with an amused expression on her face, observing Faith and Tyler trying to put all the blame on her.
After a few minutes Faith and Tyler stopped talking and asked Uncle Mark how much trouble they were in. He looked at their incredibly red faces and started to laugh.
“You aren't in any trouble” he said, “As long as you didn't paint graffiti all over the walls or anything like that.”
“No, we didn't." laughed Makia, “Will you tell us about the rest of that story in the newspaper, here, I brought it with.”
Makia unfolded the faded yellow paper and handed it to uncle Mark. He looked at the large headline and smiled.
"I sure will tell you about it, If you guys wouldn't mind helping me milk my three cows." He said.
"Sure," said Faith and Tyler together, but Makia had a confused look on her face, she had never even benn close to a cow. Never mind milking it.
"Ummmm, ok" said Makia, sounding very unsure of herself.
Mark cleared his throat like he was about to say something that would change everybody's life forever and started his story.
"My father and mother went to a bible study at the church every week and they often took me with. The day that the newspaper was talking about we went to the church as usual, but i fell asleep in the car on the way there since we lived out in the country. It was early in the fall and it wasn't very hot outside, so they held the meeting in the lawn at the back of the church. My parents parked the car infront of the little white church, rolled down the windows, and left me in it to sleep. They knew that if i woke up they would hear me. My parents went around to the meeting and when they came to check on me half an hour I was gone. My parents found out later that while they were at the meeting a old tuck flew past me and then suddenly stopped. Two men jumped out and ran up to the car that I was sleaping in and sped off with me in the back seat. They didn't realize that I was there until I woke up and started making noise. They panicked and abandoned the car in a field and took off on foot. My parent's freaked out when they found out that the car with me in it was gone and organized a search. It took them almost a whole day to find me, I was in a field almost twenty miles away from town.
"Did they ever find out who did it?" asked Tyler.
"Yes, the two men were running from the police. They had accidentally killed a man a few weeks before." said Mark.
"Why did your parents organize it?" asked Makia, "Where were the police and all that?"
"The town was so small that we didn't have our own police station" said uncle Mark, "The police came from the nearest town, fifteen miles away. They didn't help us with small things, and most times by the time they got here we had already solved the problem."
"So who was the first police officer here?" asked Makia.
"His picture is hanging in the lobby of the town hall. Why dont you go take a look, the lobby is always unlocked" suggested Uncle Mark.
Makia and Faith rode their bikes over to the town hall, when they walked in to the lobby Makia was amazed at all the pictures of people she knew or had heard about. She found a picture that said founder of local police station above it and exclaimed:
"Look Faith! Thats uncle Mark's dad."
"I knew he ended up being a part time police officer." said Faith, "But I didn't know that he was the first one"
"Hey. Look Faith here is a poster for help wanted.... at the police station" said Makia
"Yeah, they always want help there. There are never enough people from around here that want to be police officers."
That afternoon when Makia rode hope she thought about what happend in the last few days. She had found out that faith wasn't so bad after all, and that tyler was just as bad as she remembered. And best of all she found out that she would probably be able to do the job that she had always wanted to without moving far away from home. Living here wasn't so bad after all, I have learned a lot since I moved, like how to milk a cow. Makia chuckled to herself as she parked her bike in the garage, the summer wouldn't be all that bad after all.