Going, going, gone

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Day by day… minute by minute… all the same… never changing…
Silent tears ran down Taylor McKenzie’s face like the soft and steady rain pattering outside the terminal windows. It was April 29, 2020 when she waved good-bye to New York, the only home she had known. She boarded the plane to Miami, FL a place to start, what hopefully is, a bright new future.
Vroom! As the plane touched down in Miami Taylor McKenzie woke with a start, remembering the dream. It was if she was living it all over again. She shuddered as she remembered where she was and what had brought her here.
Her spirits began to rise along with the temperature and humidity of Miami.
A few hours later she boarded the Atlantic Cruise Line, headed for the Bermuda Triangle, phase one, complete. She gave her special ticket to the Captain, and he got a deckhand to take her to the master suite. She settled in nicely, it was much larger than her previous home, it was safe, and a perfect observation deck for the hustling and bustling occurring outside.
Before Taylor McKenzie went outside she put on sunglasses and put on a hat, shading her face, just in case. She cautiously, but unsuspiciously, made her way to the, made her way to the upper deck. Captain’s Quarters, Storage Closet, Janitors Closet, Deckhand’s Rooms, aah, Guest Information, also known as the place where records were kept, just what Taylor McKenzie was looking for. She tried the door, locked. Her fingers flew to her hair, she yanked off her hat, and down came a bobby pin. She stuck it into the lock and started twisting, right, left, left, left, right, up, down, and circle around. CLICK, the door swung open. She quietly shut the door and locked it behind her. Taylor McKenzie knew that it was crucial to be fast and silent. She tripped over a rubber ball, so much for being silent! She felt her way over to the light switch, and flipped it on. She took off her sunglasses and hastily threw them to the floor. In the bright illuminant light she glanced around the room, at the far end there was a door marked OFFICE, a couple couches, and a desk. She decided to go to the information desk. She expertly pried open the top drawer and ran her hands around the top where she knew the key to the file cabinet would be hidden. BINGO! She stuck it into the file lock and began looking through the files. A, B, C, D, E, F, skip, skip, L, here it was M.
Taylor McKenzie began looking through the files, Marcie, Mace, Macy, Mary, Mary Smith, the perfect alias for Allie. There were 3 Mary Smith’s. She had just grabbed the files, locked the cabinet, and put the key back when there was a noise from the door, a key inserting the lock. She dove behind a couch and peered out, and muffled a scream.

Jana Filieon (ph-ill-e-on), was fumbling around in her bag for her key to the Information Center.
“Honey, do you know where my key is?” She asked her daughter, Melissa.
“uuh, no why would I???” she replied.
Jana continued to dig around until she found it, hidden in her sunglasses case. Many people told her she needed to be more organized, but she didn’t care. She unlocked the door, and to her surprise the lights were on.
“My, my, my, I was so sure I turned the lights off.” Jana muttered to herself.
A suppressed scream caused her eyes darted to behind the couch, where she thought she saw a human silhouette. She blinked and looked again, nothing.

“Melissa, did you see anything?” she asked pondering.

“Nope.” She replied.

“Oh, you’re probably right, well I have to go get the files for Mary Smith, she has an appointment today and I seemed to have left them in our cabin.” She told her daughter.

“Cool, you do that, I’ll stay here, and I won’t get into any trouble” she added anxiously. At last a change to get away from mom! She thought.

“Ok I won’t be gone long, bye honey!”

“Bye”. Melissa answered rolling her eyes. She quickly made sure that her mom was gone then she whipped out her phone, dialed a number, and stepped outside. “….Oh hi!!... Yes I have them filled out… I will mail them to you soon” she spoke in a hushed voice “…. Ok… yeah… uh-huh…. Yes she wont notice I’m gone, no one does… ok…ok…bye-bye…yes…FINE!” she slapped the phone down and walked away. As soon as Melissa had gone a small figure clutching objects to her chest, scurried away and out the door.

After having a close escape, Taylor McKenzie dashed to her cabin and flung herself on her bed, conking out in an instant, the file beside her. When she woke up a few hours later she let her mind run free, like a river flowing out to sea. I was so close to being caught, what would Boss think about that? All my hard work, down the drain! And Melissa, she had betrayed… A sharp knocking came from the door. She leaped off the bed, and in her hurry forgot about the exposed file that lay on the bed.
“Officer James, I have information that you have committed a federal offence. I need to speak to your guardian.” A stern looking man said, without a hint of a smile on his face.
“Sir?” Taylor McKenzie questioned.
“I have been alerted that you have stolen property, where are your parents!” He exclaimed, trying to push past her.
“Umm… well…!” She said as she blocked him.
“Are these yours?” he asked holing up the sunglasses.
“Uhh, no…” She stuttered trying to find the right words.
“Thought so!” and with that, he picked her up, like she was a baby doll and tossed her aside. What stolen property? Was this a joke? She- oh no! The files! How did someone know? But that wasn’t stolen property, it was just-- her thought was left unfinished as she veered off in the direction the officer was heading. He was heading toward… the bedroom! Oh no!
“Now what do we have here?” “M FILES, hmm, are theses the missing-- or should I say the STOLEN files? Ma’am you’re coming with me!” Taylor McKenzie’s stomach dropped, even though she knew she would be able to explain. She began to fiddle with her thumbs as he led her out, she reached into her pocket, and felt a bulk. Now it came flooding back, before she fell asleep she took most of the information out, just for this very reason!
“Sir, excuse me, sir” Taylor McKenzie said.
“WHAT?” he barked.
“I well, I…” she began
“You…” he interrupted.
“I have to go to the bathroom…” she stated.
“Over there and too the left, don think you can outsmart me!” he ordered.
“Yes sir” she replied, careful not to give anything away as she dashed to the bathroom. She hurried in and locked the stall door behind her, she took out all of the papers, one by one, looked them over, her last chance to find them. With a deep breath and closed eyes she crumpled them up and flushed them down the toilet. She hurried out and went back to the Captain.
“Now we are going to the information deck, sound familiar?”
“n-n-n-no sir” she murmered.
“What’s that!” he asked
“I said no sir.” She said.

Moments later they were sitting in the Information office/room on the couches. A lady by the name of Jana Filieon came in with her daughter, who looked surprisingly familiar to Taylor McKenzie and somewhat uncomfortable.
“Now ladies, we all know why we are here, right?” The Captain began
Everyone in the room nodded.
“We know that something has gone missing, correct?” He questioned
Again, everyone nodded.
“And this young women was found with the missing files.”
Everyone, once more, nodded.
“Now can I hear your story?” the Captain asked Taylor McKenzie.
Taylor McKenzie nodded reluctantly, undoubtedly surprised by the Captain’s behavior and treatment.
“Ok, here it goes, me and my friend Allie are trying to find our friend-”
“WRONG!” yelled Melissa “I know who you are and what you are doing! Did you really think anyone would fall for the ole’ ‘I’m on a mission to find my friend thing? Because it didn’t and Allie, just make it more obvious will ya!”
“What is this all about?” “What do you know?” the Captain and Melissa’s mother yelled in unison.
“You tell” said Taylor McKenzie still shell shocked,
“Uumm… well... uuh…” started a very confused Melissa
“Ok, um, well, someone started this club where you umm, have to get all sorts of things for the this, umm, anonymous, uuh yeah, anonymous person named Allie. It is sort of like a, a, um, a scavenger hunt, the first person to find a certain thing gets a reward ect.”

“Oh I am so glad you girls have taken an interest in that! How wonderful” Melissa’s mom exclaimed, while the Captain sat stunned.

Well, guess I’ll call it a day.” He abruptly said as he walked out, Melissa’s mom followed with a glance back at them, and left.
The two girls sat amidst themselves and exchanged knowing glances.
“I cannot believe they fell for that, or that you made that up that fast!” exclaimed Taylor McKenzie giving her new found friend a hug. As they gathered their belongings together and walked out the door Melissa said “Taylor, why are you running away?”
“I well I… I hate life, and I don’t have parents. I am from an orphanage called, A New Beginning, with a New Start. I am the oldest one, and I left so I could try to find my parents or one of them…” she exclaimed as tears began to well up in her eyes.
“How do you know about Allie and how she helps runaways?” asked a very confused Taylor McKenzie
“Well, I thought about it, but then I realized that I like my life just the way it is.”
“So is that what the phone conversation was all about?”
“Yes, and I am going to help you find your parents.”
“But the files that contained the information, I had to flush them down the toilet!” Taylor McKenzie added with a worried look in her eyes.
“We’ve got backups” said Melissa as she walked out the door.
Taylor McKenzie’s voice was the last thing heard that faded into nothing saying “Thank you. All we do now is look ahead, don’t look back, and keep the goal in our sight.”





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