Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Warehouse Mishap

Dear Readers,

OK, so I admit it--right now I'm writing this in my closet. Why? Simple. Listen to what just happened to me.

So I come to school and stop over by the newspaper. I was just finishing up my article--Bio-Chaotic Brawl!!--and was about to get off to class when I hear somebody walking up behind me. Using my peripherals, I saw that it was Josh. I wasn't sure what to make of his expression.

"I'm giving you a new partner in the newspaper," he announced.

I turned around and gave him my The Look. "Josh, I've never even had a partner in this newspaper. How can I have a new one?"

"That's not the point," he said. "I'm sorry." He paused, sighing and running a hand through his hair. "I'm going to have to pair you with Michael."

Pause. Then, "WHAT?!"

"Look, Jessie, just listen to me!" Josh urged. "It's not my fault. He specifically asked for you over having to be paired with Maya."

"Maya's joined, too?!" Why was everything bad happening to me? And how come I wasn't being told of all the bad stuff?!

"Yes, I'm afraid so!" Josh snapped. He leaned forward, hissing, "And I'd suggest that you hurry up and compose yourself because here comes Mr. Hall himself at this very moment!" And with that Josh turned on his heel and headed for the door.

As the bell jingled on the newspaper's door, I quickly hid behind my laptop's screen. Maybe we could convince him that somebody else had the name Jessie Bender. Yeah, that'd be a good idea. Great idea, in fact.

"Hey, Jessie." I heard the thump of a laptop being placed on the table. The kid obviously had a lot of money, because otherwise he wouldn't have been plunking the ultra-awesome laptop so carelessly on the table. Seriously, rich kids don't know what they have.

"Hey," I muttered.

Anyway, I won't record all of the small talk that Michael managed to force out of me (that was "managed"). Finally, he took in a deep breath and said, "Jessie, I have something that I need some help with."

"What?"  I queried suspiciously.

"I think that there could be a big story--a REALLY big story--that's just waiting to be uncovered," Michael admitted. "Over by the warehouses. I've been staking out there on my own, and things aren't as they should be."

"You've been TRESPASSING!?" I burst. Seriously, I couldn't help it. "That's trespassing!!!"

"Yeah, well...." he shrugged it off. "Anyway, we've seriously got to find it out!"

"It's school," I pointed out. "Let's just go to our classes."

All through school, though, he kept on sending me looks. We were in the middle of English class when the kid that I sat next to, a kid named Toby Ryan, tried to shove a note underneath my arm. I simply took it from him and handed it to the next kid--a girl by the name of Matilda Swanson who's been in love with Michael ever since like forever.

The look on her face alerted the teacher who promptly came up to her desk and snatched the note.

"And what's this?" she asked accusingly, glaring at Matilda. Our teacher strode to the front of the room and then opened the note, reading the following, "'We need to meet tonight. It could be our only chance.'" Her eyebrow lifted in horror, and then she looked towards Michael. "It's says it's signed by you, Michael. Please tell me I'm wrong."

She wasn't. And so he had to stay late after school.

My house is just on the outskirts of Dayton, a pretty place with a rundown old barn that I suppose used to have horses with a field fenced in by wooden fencing. The field is of all tall, green grass. It's my favorite place in the world, especially with all of the trees bordering the fence. Sometimes I wonder what's in that forest.

Anyway, so I was in that field, doing some homework--it's one of my favorite spots--when all of a sudden I feel myself getting hit in the forehead by an acorn. (I found the acorn in my lap, which was why I knew what I'd been hit by). I glanced around suspiciously, and then saw a telltale bike parked by the road.

There was no mistaking it. It was Michael Hall's.

"Michael, you'd better leave!" I yelled.

No answer. Then.....

"We have to check out the warehouse."

"NO!" I answered firmly.

"Fine!" he yelled back from the trees. "Then I'll do it on my own." I watched him run out of the forest, grab his bike, and go pedaling off down the road.

So, what did I do? Well, I think it's rather obvious. I went back to the house and told my mom. She quickly phoned Michael's parents, who agreed that we'd all meet each other at the warehouse to pick up and, if necessary, look for him.

"That kid's trouble," Mom muttered to herself as we buckled up our seatbelts and revved off down the road.

We arrived at the warehouses--Gooseberry Warehouses--that bordered the Dayton River. Really, when I think of rivers, I think of something pretty. Dayton river is so full of pollution that parents are horrified to catch their kids swimming in it.

We met up with Michael's parents--the dad looking like a football player the mom being able to convince people she was a super model--and we both came up with the same conclusion--he was no where in sight.

"We'd better go and talk to the manager," sighed Mrs. Hall.

"But that's the point!" pointed out Mr. Hall. "This place is closed. It's been closed for over forty years. There isn't a manager."

This wasn't going well.

"Come on," I urged. "Let's just call the police, get a search warrant, and go and look for Michael."

"But isn't it public property?" wondered Mom. "Can't we just go in? Do we really have to involve the police? I think we have enough people here already."

"I'll check into it," suggested Mr. Hall.

He was only his cell phone for about a half an hour and then he turned to us. "Anybody's allowed on the property. It's just locked so that there won't be any vandalism."

"So if we can find a way in, then we're all right?" I questioned in surprise.

Mr. Hall shrugged. "I guess so."

That would be easy.

A few minutes later, I'd found the way that Michael had found in. There was a broken part in the wall that was covered by bushes. But if you pushed the bushes back, the opening was quite obvious. Mom, the Halls, and I all crouched on our knees and went through.

"We should split up," suggested Mr. Hall. "Myself and Marie could take this way, and you two can go that way." He pointed opposite ways.

"OK," Mom consented.

The Halls took off and Mom and I started towards a door in the side of one of the warehouses. The faded words announcing the name of the warehouses stood on the side. I guessed this must've been one of the main warehouses.

"Just in case something happens," started Mom, "here's your dad's phone. I snatched it just before we left." She entrusted the sleek device to the mercy of my pockets.

We found that the door was open and went inside. The room was far from empty, as I'd supposed it would be. Inside were thousands of crates. Just looking at it I felt lost.

"And, no, we're not going to separate," Mom snorted, as if reading my scared thoughts. "We're going to stay together. This isn't some kind of weird mystery novel. This is real life and we're going to be smart." Her eyes surveyed the jungle of crates. "Let's try this way, first."

All of a sudden we heard voices. Both of us froze, and Mom beckoned silently for me to come behind a pile of crates. I followed her lead, wondering why were hiding. I guess she knew better, though. And my first instinct was to hide.

The murmuring became louder and then suddenly they were voices, speaking, and I could hear footsteps as the people came closer.

"The shipment should arrive tonight," one of them said. "Remember, nobody's to know about it."

"Right," nodded the other.

There were only two, I could see that now.

They continued to go about this weird shipment. And then walked off. Mom sent me a look, and then she just stood up. It was the most stupid thing I would've ever thought to do.

"Sirs!" she called after them.

They turned suddenly. I was sure that they'd have  machine guns in their hands that they'd shoot her down. Thankfully, I didn't hear anything like that.

"Ma'am, what are you doing here?" one of them asked.

"We're looking for a missing child," she admitted. "Have you seen him? He's about five feet seven inches, dark blonde hair, pretty short, I guess, with darker eyes, pretty good looking, I'd say. Anyway, he's thirteen. Have you seen him?"

"No," they admitted.

"Excuse me," Mom continued. "What is this shipment that you're talking about?"

Oh dear, Mom. I hope you know what you're doing!

As it turns out--and we did check this out--one of the men was the son of the original owner of the warehouses. He was going to take possession of the property again and make it into a public rollerblade rink. How bizarre is that?

The men even wanted us to check them out just to make sure. James Gooseberry and his friend Terrance Mornly walked us back to the front, where the Halls were waiting, having already found Michael.

Still, the idea chills me. What if they hadn't been bad? That's why I'm in my closet. The idea that the guys could've been terrorists or something...... I shiver to think of it!!

Bye!!!! Maybe I won't have such a crazy story next time. ;) Tell me what you guys think!!



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