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Mystery at the White House

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“Hello my fellow Americans! Today we embark on a new journey, to a new tomorrow, and most importantly, a new America. This is our…”
The gunshot echoed through the room as the President fell to the floor. The ambassador to Russia gave out a loud applause, followed by a hardy laugh. Jeremy, chief of security, rushed up to the President’s side, pulling off his vest to see what damage had been done.
“So, it actually does work,” chuckled the Russian ambassador. “I have to order one as soon as I get back to Moscow.”
The President dusted himself off and leapt back onto his feet. He gave an amused smile, and inspected the vest.
“I’m telling you, those boys down in Texas sure know how to build toughness,” he said. “There isn’t even a scratch on this vest.”
The other two foreign guests, the Princess of England and the French Prime Minister, gave applause, looking in awe at the powerful vest.
“Hopefully this will further help us in our attempt to fight terrorism on representatives….,” The Russian Ambassador was interrupted by a shriek across the table.
The French Prime Minister immediately stood up, pushing the table from his body, causing some of the table items to slide into the hole in the center of the table. Instinctively, he rushed to the side of Stacy, a white house representative. By the look on her face, it was obvious she was in great shock.
“I’m so sorry…my breakfast,” staggered Stacy, conductor of white house operations. “I can’t explain it; it just slid off of the table…”
“Never mind what happened,” the Prime Minister said, with a kind twinkle in his eyes. “I’ll make sure it is properly cleaned up.”
Pale yellow eggs, chips of metal and sticky crimson jellied toast scattered across the once spotless observation room. The Prime Minister went as far as to get on his hands and knees, and use his bare hands to pick up the toast before the cleaning staff arrived. Meanwhile, the princess politely asked to tie her shoes, a request methodically approved by all in the room. The Russian Ambassador, seeing the commotion in the room, took the opportunity to pull his coat from off of the floor, claiming he felt a chill.
“My, my, Mr. Prime Minister, you are quite the gentleman,” the President pointed out with almost mocking eyes. “Not many important men would have done what you just did.”
“Hospitality runs in my blood,” chuckled the Prime Minister. “I couldn’t help myself.”
“Thank you so much,” said Stacy, her cheeks with a florid complexion. “I’m so sorry, I’ve embarrassed myself.”
The President, glancing over at the table, panicked and scanned the table with a sudden fury in his eyes.
“My goodness….it’s gone from the table! Where is it?”
The Jeremy and Stacy rushed over to the table, clear signs of concern on their faces. The other guests, perplexed, backed away from the table, as if it was repelling them. The Russian Ambassador finally found the courage to ask what on earth the matter was.
“The matter? THE MATTER??? The Cundiff Crystal, the Smithsonian artifact I was going to show you all IT’S GONE!” the President hollered uncharacteristically. “I’m sorry….my temper, but MY GOODNESS!”
“Everybody clear the room please, I’ll find it,” ordered Jeremy in firm, husky voice. “I hope I find it…”
The guests did just as they were told, not daring to turn back. The President approached Jeremy and whispered into his ear, looking back to ensure he was not overheard.
“Jeremy, listen to me, this crystal was a favorite to my wife, and probably quite a number of other people too. It’s obvious that one of these guests stole it, but I didn’t want to tell that to their faces. Trust me on this,” the President said in a dark tone foreign to Jeremy.
“Can’t we search them?” asked Jeremy, a puzzled expression on his face.
“Of course not, these are important people, imagine if CNN got a hold of this,” the President stressed. He was pacing the room now.
“I understand, I’ll get on the case right away,” Jeremy said, a sense of doubt about him.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At first, the room felt like a prison to Jeremy. He felt as though the walls were compressing in on him like a pair of hands clapping together. He mind was frozen, locked in place by his doubt. Halfheartedly, he began jotting down notes into his notebook, hoping for quick solution. Nothing came to him.
Panic struck him, failure was not an option. Like a crocodile, he found himself flopping onto his belly and slithering beneath the table. Just as Jeremy dodged a piece of an egg, still on the ground, he spotted a glimmer of silver on the bottom of the table. He reached up and pulled, only to be met with a piece of metal striking his lap.
It was a magnet, silver as tinsel on a Christmas tree. “Dickens Magnets” it read in blocky letters. A logo with a book complemented the words to its left. Jeremy held it tightly, as if he were to squeeze hard enough, a secret would explode from within. As expected, nothing came, but the magnet had to be important. It had to be.
Jeremy entered the banquet room; the guests were busy chatting and drinking. A clamor filled the area, cacophonic to one who had just been in a silent room. The guests acted as if nothing had happened earlier.
“I remember in Venice, the weather was dreadful,” moaned the princess for an effect. “You were so upset about the windows fogging up.”
“Well, what is the use of Venice if you can’t see it?” the Prime Minister said in a playful voice. “I wasn’t the only one complaining, remember that Polish fellow? Oh how he whined!”
“Have you two met?” asked the President, “I was under the impression from the ambassador that we were all meeting each other for the first time.”
“Oh that’s not true,” said the princess, giving a puzzled look to the President. “The Prime Minister and I meet quite often actually, but tonight I have been acquainted with the ambassador for the first time.”
Jeremy jotted something down in his notebook. His face was stern, revealing nothing regarding his emotions.
“I say, will we get a chance to see the Hope diamond?” said the Russian Ambassador, interrupting the conversation. “My wife… I’d sure she would appreciate it if I sent a photo….”
“I’m sure that can be arranged,” said the President suspiciously. “I’m sure something will be arranged…”
The French Prime minister, sensing tension, wisely changed the conversation.
“What nice shoes you are wearing your highness, but I can’t help but think I recognize them from somewhere…”
“Of course you recognize them silly!” laughed the princess. “They are a replica of the famous ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz! It’s in celebration of my visit to America!”
“How very nice!” applauded the President. “Where did you purchase those?”
“I had them specially made in Camden Town, London, only the finest in Britain,” beamed the princess. “What nice gardens they have there…”
She was interrupted by a scuffling from the other side of the room. It was Jeremy, hands raised and quivering. He cast a grim glance towards the queen.
“I’m sorry your highness, but I’ve a feeling we aren’t in Britain anymore,” lashed Jeremy, shaking off his corny joke. “You are not going to get away with what you’ve done here.”
“Excuse me?” staggered the princess. “And who might you be, talking to me in such a way?”
“YOU took this magnet, YOU bought it in London,” Jeremy accused. “Dickens magnets, of course this was made in London, so too was the career of the great Charles Dickens himself! One of England’s most famous authors, he gets too much publicity…even from a princess…”
“Nonsense, I haven’t even heard of him,” blurted the princess, an obvious lie.
“YOU took the magnet pulled it under the table, under Stacy’s plate, YOU pulled it to the edge, YOU made it spill! When it happened, YOU knew the French Prime Minister was gentleman, his natural reaction was to stand up and rush to the side of the lady in distress.”
“Hogwash!” hollered the princess.
“YOU knew, when he stood up, he would push the table forward, pushing the crystal and everything else into the hole in middle of the table! YOU picked it up from the floor! YOU, your noble highness, YOU have stolen the crystal!”
“Very well low life, says whatever you will say, true or not, but where is the crystal? Where do I have it? You can’t answer, can you? No, you cannot!” The princess gave out an unnatural cackle. “You cannot find it!”
Jeremy lowered his head. It was true, he could not answer. He had just embarrassed himself in front of one of the most famous people on earth. He began to walk away, but he stopped by a firm hand, motioning him in the opposite direction.
“I can answer, and answer I will,” said the President, stepping forward. “It’s in your slipper, isn’t it? You fooled us all, after Stacy spilled her food, YOU asked to tie your shoes. Tie your shoes? HA! The ruby slippers don’t have laces!”
The princess stood wide mouthed. She had no answer, no clever comeback, not this time. Her mind was frozen, locked in feelings of defeat. Powerless, she fainted to the floor.
As she hit the floor, sure enough, out from her slipper rolled a sparkling jewel.




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