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How to Host a Murder Without Even Trying---Chapter 1
I stepped through the front door at 11 o'clock that Friday night. Mom had just driven me home from youth group, and I was telling her all about the night--Megan's funny quirks, Austin's annoyances, Victor's niceness, Cassy's week--well, almost everything. I couldn't bring myself to bring up Jake. I had liked the guy for two years, and was thrilled that he had decided to go to Wagner College, right here on the island. I didn't really think he liked me back...until tonight. I could still hear his voice in my head, replaying the scene over and over. "I'm glad I decided to stay in New York. Becoming friends with you has been so...amazing." I wouldn't have thought anything of it, except he had looked at me weird. Like how the guy in the movies does when he's talking to the girl. But I wouldn't bring it up. No sir, I would talk about any other guy in youth group for hours and try to leave Jake out of what I was saying as much as possible.
When we got through the door, I was laughing. "My team came in second in the water-drinking contest, but that's only because on one team, Joe had half a gallon, and Jake pretty much had the rest." Snap. I had just mentioned him again.
"Sounds like you had a lot of fun." My mom smiled. "Why don't you go get changed, and we can talk more in the morning, k?"
"Ok. I'll be down in a couple of minutes." I climbed the steps, not knowing that was the worst thing I could do at that moment.
I opened my door, humming a Hillsong tune. I cut myself off when I saw what was inside. Five large men, all in black, surrounding a wide-eyed girl about my own age, who I knew from the newspaper to be Princess Elgitha of Austentashus. The guys looked mafioso. Black, short hair, beady black eyes, a couple having black moustaches or beards, all of them having biceps tje size of chihuahuas.
"Ah, our hostess is here," one, who seemed to take command, said smoothly. "I hope you don't mind us using this place as a rendezvous, but there really was no other option. Now," he said coldly, drawing a '48 from his belt and putting it to the princess's head, "leave the room, say nothing of this to your mother, and the princess will be spared. If you call the cops, she will die, we will disappear, and if you survive, which seems HIGHLY unlikely, you will be charged for murder."
I took a quick survey of the men. They could all snap me in half, but only if I didn't out-run them. No one had a gun in hand or any sign of reaching for a concealed weapon, so I took a chance.
I sprinted forward, slapped the gun out of the man's hand, cried, "Never!" and sprinted out of the room.
"Mom, run!" I ordered, grabbing her arm and leaping out of the house. "There are five guys in my room who want to kill me!" I explained as we ran up the block. The guys were already starting their car. I heard a blast that sounded like a car back-firing, but I would soon find out it was a gun front-firing.
We made it up to the top of the hill at the top of our community. We couldn't run anymore--neither of us is really fit. We bribed a passerby to tell the men that we were headed in the direction of New Jersey. We hid in the shadows until the guys sped by in their tan Corolla. Then we headed back home.
When we got in, Mom called the cops. I went upstairs to see if the men had left any evidence. They had left plenty. A '48 revolver lay smoking on the floor. Blood dripped from Elgitha's head. And a tape recorder lay under the chair. It had recorded the whole conversation, except for the threat. The tape had run out. Someone had framed me for the murder of Princess Elgitha.