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It was Tuesday night and Staci, a high school student, was home alone just like every other Tuesday. She had just finished eating dinner and was watching TV while doing Spanish homework when the phone rang. She muted the TV and waited to see if the caller would leave a message. Her parents would not get caller ID therefore, she had to “screen” all calls when she was home alone.
The answer machine picked up and out rang the voice of a cheery woman whom Staci immediately recognized as the mother of the little boy she babysat for occasionally, Mrs. Pomtre.
“Hi!” she said as she began to explain why she was calling. Staci quickly ran to the phone
“Hello!” she answered cheerfully as she assured Mrs. Pomtre she was not busy and could talk. Mrs. Pomtre asked if Staci could come over and babysit Sunday night while she and Mr. Pomtre went out. She said that they would not be out to late because it was a school night. Staci agreed and said she would be there at five thirty. Happy about her potential opportunity to earn some spending money she told Mrs. Pomtre she would see her Sunday and hung up the phone.
The week went on and it was now Sunday. Staci had just returned from a friend’s house and her mom was already telling her all of the things that had to be done before she did anything later that day. Staci rushed to complete her list of things to do and began to get ready to leave the house. The Pomtres’ lived very close to her and she could get to their house very quickly.
She pulled into their driveway and walked to their front door. She knocked and Mr. Pomtre came to open the door and let her in. They lived in a decent sized house. It was a two story house with only a game room on the second floor. They had recently moved from Florida so the furniture had a “beachy” vibe to it. This was also probably the most organized home she had ever been in, everything was always in its place.
“Hello, I’m glad you could come.” said Mr. Pomtre.
“I’m happy to help!” said Staci. They then stood there in awkward silence; he had always seemed somewhat creepy to her and always looked as if he was hiding something. He was a tall, well toned man with dark hair and tanned skin. Shortly after Mrs. Pomtre, a short, quiet, somewhat mousey woman, entered the room and announced they had to go. She then let Staci know that Alex was in the other room on his computer, was not feeling well, and would probably want to go to bed soon. Staci nodded her head in understanding and told them good-bye.
They shut the door and left as Staci walked into the adjacent computer room. There he was on his computer staring blankly at the screen playing the same games repeatedly.
“Hey bud!” said Staci in an attempt to distract him from the computer and start a conversation. He looked up at her and smiled but went back to his game. “What are you playin?” she asked.
No response. “Fine.” thought Staci as she slumped down to the floor in defeat. It was going to be another long night of sitting there watching him play computer games. After an hour of endless boredom she got up, determined to do something else. She offered him popcorn and his eyes lit up! He ran to the kitchen and pulled it right off the perfectly organized pantry shelf; he ripped open the box, tore open the plastic wrapper, and handed it to Staci so she could put it in the microwave while he searched for his bowl. He found the bowl, placed it abruptly on the counter, ran to the TV, and turned it on. He laid down on the couch and changed the channel to Cartoon Network.
“BEEP.BEEP.BEEP.” the popcorn was finished. She pulled the fluffed up bag out of the microwave, shook it, and poured it in to the Santa Clause bowl that Alex had gotten out. She walked into the living room to find him already asleep on the couch. She picked him up and brought him to his bed. As she sat there waiting for him to fall asleep again she wondered what she would do until ten o’clock. She had three hours to kill and no idea how do to so. When she was sure he had fallen asleep she tip-toed out of the room. As she passed the master bedroom, she noticed a strange noise coming from the nightstand drawer. She looked over her shoulder and slipped into the room. She meandered over to the night stand where the noise had been coming from and slid open the drawer. Inside was a Blackberry, the cell phone was lit up and missed call was written across the screen.
Staci nervously picked up the phone and looked at it. She assumed it was Mr. Pomtre’s and was not sure if she should check who called because if she checked it Mr. Pomtre would see someone had messed with his phone. Just as she was about to put the phone away one of their two cats ran through the room startling Staci and causing her to drop the phone. In a desperate attempt to catch it before it hit the ground she spastically reached for it. As she caught it she pressed a bunch of buttons, one of which coincidently opened the list of missed calls. The first one read “Laurie ;)” which seemed odd. Staci then proceeded to further investigate the phone. She was especially good at navigating through different types of cell phones quickly. Within seconds, she was reading his text messages which all seemed a little odd. None of them made any sense at all and seemed so random. They said things like “the dog is loose in a tutu” and “the rubber ducky is in flight.” Majorly confused by the messages she placed the phone quietly back, softly closed the drawer and silently slipped out of the room. Still with two and a half hours to spare, she wondered what she would do to fill the time. She decided to go see if she could find something to do upstairs in the game room. As she walked up the stairs, she thought she heard a faint beeping but decided it was probably the TV. She entered the room and walked over to the closet, opened the door, flipped on the light and walked in.
She looked around searching the game-filled shelves for something to do. As she scanned the small space she noticed another door at the back of the closet. Puzzled Staci reached out and hesitantly opened the mysterious door. She expected to find the attic if anything behind this strange second doorway. As she opened it a strange blue light poured into the room. She poked her head around the door to get a better look and was astonished by what she had just discovered. She quickly shut the door and ran downstairs. She would not keep snooping. She would sit down and watch TV like a good house guest. This lasted for about ten minutes when she finialy gave in and raced back up to the game room, into the closet, and reopened the mysterious door. She walked into the mysterious room and looked around. On all of the walls were computers and hi-tech looking devices. One looked like a tracking device that kept spinning in a circle and another had a list of people and what looked like their information. Distracted by her recent discovery Staci lost track of time. All of the sudden Staci heard the garage door opening beneath her. She began to panic and her palms began to sweat. As she made her way back to the door she had left open the AC kicked on, causing the door to shut. She tried to turn the door knob but her hands were too sweaty. She could hear the Pomtres’ unlocking the door and walking into the house.
“Staci?” she heard them calling her name from bellow repeatedly. She continued to attempt to open the door. She took a deep breath, wiped her hands dry on her jeans, and reached in a final attempt to get out of the room. As she did this, she could hear someone’s rapid footsteps as they bounded up the stairs. She was able to open the door just in time. She ran out shutting the door behind her. She then exited the game closet also just as Mr. Pomtre bounded into the upstairs room.
“Hello” he said a suspicious look upon his face.
“Hi!” said Staci trying to seem cheery and oblivious. G[
“What were you doing up here?” he questioned
“Oh, just picking up. Alex took out a lot of games.” Staci lied. Seeming convinced, he turned around, led Staci downstairs, paid her, and told her to drive safely. As she pulled out she could not help but wonder if the rest of the Pomtres’ knew who Mr. Pomtre really was and if she would get caught for sneaking into his room after all.
The next day as she was rummaging through her room she happened upon the jacket she was wearing the night before. As she went to toss it into the hamper, she noticed a sticky note attached to the sleeve that read
“Meet Laurie at the usual spot at midnight”
Considering she had already discovered that one of the Pomtres’ was a spy Staci was just about to toss the letter aside when she realized this was the same hand writing that the emergency phone numbers had been written in... Mrs. Pomtre’s handwriting.