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The Little Green Book
“Please, Mommy? Pretty, pretty please?” Aria begs, her large blue eyes staring hopefully up at her mother, Lydia, an average height, 39-year-old, blonde woman who tousles her daughter’s identical, short, pin-straight blonde hair.
“Oh, alright,” Lydia gives in, Aria clapping her little seven-year-old hands as a squeal escapes her mouth. She sits upright on her pink and purple “The Little Mermaid” sheets and grabs her favorite stuffed animal, the ripped, drooled on, missing an ear ‘pinky bunny.’
This is a little game they play every night. Lydia and Aria don’t even notice, but it seems that whenever Aria asks to be read a story, Lydia resists at first. Then, Aria starts with those puppy dog eyes, and- well, you know the rest.
Lydia jokingly rubs an imaginary goatee and walks over to Aria’s small, three-shelf bookcase, overstuffed with books, stuffed animals, and a huge collection of Zhu-Zhu pets. The bookcase is pushed up against her pink wall with Ariel wallpaper near the ceiling.
Flipping through the shelves full of stories such as “Cinderella,” “The Gingerbread Boy,” and “Snow White,” she chooses “Sleeping Beauty” and turns around to walk back over to Aria.
However, she trips over one of Aria’s many Zhu-Zhu Pets and into the bookshelf, pushing it a little to the side. Lydia sees a small but thick green journal, a little torn at the edges, which she has never seen before. ‘Which makes sense,’ she guesses, ‘since we only moved her two years ago and have never thought to change the position of the bookcase.’
“Aria? What’s this?” Lydia questions her daughter, who promptly shrugs.
Opening to the inside cover of the green book, she reads: Journal by-me. Weird that they didn’t write their name. Also weird that instead of saying ‘Date started,’ scrawled on the inside of the journal is ‘Date finished- 7/7/07.’
Now, questions are like bullets shooting through Lydia’s head. Who wrote this? How did it get in her house? Did the person who lived here before Lydia and Aria write it or- Wait a minute. The person who used to live here, she disappeared in 2007. And Lydia is pretty sure it was July when-
“Hello? Mommy?” Aria asks, bringing Lydia back to reality, feeling just a tiny bit faint.
Hands trembling, Lydia closes the green book, as well as her eyes, tells Aria she doesn’t feel well, and leaves the room. For the first time in seven years, Aria will go to bed without a story.
‘Well,’ Lydia thinks to herself, ‘I only have three options here. Either a) I pretend I never fond it and go back to my normal, mystery free life, b) I give it to the police and let them figure things out, or c) I read it for myself and discover the mystery of Jen Baily, the 23 year old woman, now 26, who lived in this very house.
Obviously, Lydia walks into her bedroom, locks the door, and flips to the very first page of the little green book.
Name: Jen Baily
Medical Information: Allergic to bees, sensitive to cold weather. If in trouble, call Dr. Shwartzberger at 555-0105.
That’s what the first page, “Personal Inforation” says, alsong with Jen’s address (Lydia’s house) and her cell phone number, which is now out of service.
Lydia isn’t much of a detcctive. She’s not even good at CLUE or CLUE Jr! But something about this, how it’s so real, how it’s so close to her, it intrigues her. She needs to know more.
There is somebody she could call, somebody who may be able to help, but- the mayor, Lydia’s ex-husband- would never help her. Walter worked on the case, but after about two days, declared it impossible and gave up the search. He never was great at focusing. But, then again, anything is worth a try, right?
“Why are you so interested in Jen Baily’s case?” Walter practically shouts at his ex-wife Lydia.
“Why are you so uninterested?” She shoots back. Lydia and Walter have been going back and forth like this for about an hour and forty minutes now.
Lydia, always sanding her ground, and Walter, becoming nervous the more she persists.
“Things like this cost money- money that could be better spent,” Walter argues, an angry look on his face.
“On what? Your red Ferarri and your big boat?”
“That’s not fair, Lydia. I bought that with my own money!” Walter whines, as Lydia just snorts in response.
“Maybe,” Lydia thinks out loud, “Maybe you don’t want to find her! Maybe that’s why your being so resistant about this whole thing!”
“Fine,” Walter agrees, defeate after a long pause, leaning back in his multi-tousand-dollar leather desk chair, folding his hands over his pot-belly. “We can continue the search if- and only if- you fund the entire thing.”
“But that’s impossible! How am I-” Lydia starts to argue, but then sees the warning look in the mayor’s eyes. “Alright.”
“And one more thing. Im going to need to confiscate that journal of hers. Police records and such.”
“No! What am I supposed to use to-”
“To bad!” Walter booms. “It’s the law, and whats agreed is agreed! Or the investigation is off!”
Sulking, Lydia hands him the book. Without a word, she walks out of the room, listening to his horribly ugly cackle as he watches her leave, defeated and without all hope.
“It’s the law, Walter,” Lydia tells him over the phone, a small smile spreading across her face. “I have a right to see the book since it wwas in my house, technically making it my property.”
“I’m coming,” she decides, not even allowing him to finish his words. Within a second, she hangs up the phone and hops in the mini-van, or her ‘mom ar’.
Once again, Lydia is in Walter’s office. She doesn’t want to be, necessarily, but she neds to. She needs to read that journal. She needs to fins Jen. She needs to solve the mstery.
“Knock, knock,” Lydia singsongs, barging into Walter’s office room, noticing how he frantically scrambles to his desk.
“Here’s the, um, book…” Walter sounds frazzled as he searches through his esk drawers, pulling out an extremely thin green journal and handing it to Lydia.
Flipping through the pages, she notices a few ripped-out entries, missing chunkc, and photographs that had faces violently scatched out with Sharpie. “What did you do to this?” Lydia asks, incredulously.
“N-n-nothing,” stammers Walter nervously, his ight eye twitching. Lydia has knwn him long enough to realize tha his eye twitches when he lies.
“Yes, you did and I demand-” Lydia stops when she hears a muffles scream coming from… the freezer? But freezers don’t scream, unless somebody’s… inside.
Lydia runs over to the fridge. She’s overwhelmed with excitement and fear. Before Walte can even stop her, she’s pulling open the door with all her strength. Only to find
“Jen Baily. Why do you have Jen Baily in your fridge? Your, your sick!” Lydia says, staring at Jen