~Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5~
“What on earth?!” Amy gasped when she too saw the crumpled flyers laying on our doormat. “I wonder who would do that!”
Not me. I knew exactly who would do it.
I glared eyes of anger and hatred into his. But Connor just lifted an eyebrow. “I’m just as surprised as you are, Issa.”
Ha! What a lie!
But Connor calmly persisted. “Honestly,” he claimed.
I glared at him in disbelief. I didn’t believe Connor – why should I? What trust did I have in his word?
Still, there was this unwavering fact that Connor’s features didn’t show the slightest hint of telling a lie.
So if Connor didn’t do it… who did?
After church and lunch that Sunday afternoon, Lexi and I changed out of our nice clothes and pulled on our roller-skates again. Jackson and Amy were going to rest a little bit before one of them accompanied us around our entire block.
Until then, Lexi and I would re-flyer our neighborhood due to the mysterious person we called the Flyer Thief. My gut told me it was Connor, but what if it wasn’t?
We worked diligently on our task, hoping these flyers would be able to be taken into the home by the people who lived there before they might be taken down again.
Our hope was in vain.
After our neighborhood was re-flyered, Lexi and I skated back inside to see if Jackson or Amy would be willing to go with us around the block by then.
But we didn’t go around the block at all.
No way, I groaned inwardly.
“AGAIN?!” my growl was venomous as I stared at the flyers crumpled on our doorstep. We had worked hard to re-flyer the entire neighborhood! “Who is doing this?!”
“Gee, Issa,” I heard a voice – a voice that I absolutely detested – snicker behind me. “Somebody must really not want you to make money for the Foster Car Act.”
I spun around, looking daggers at his annoyingly innocent face. “I don’t suppose you took down all of our flyers, did you?” I had to ask between grit teeth.
“No,” Jackson spoke for the first time since we discovered the flyers, heading outside to pick them up. “He’s been inside this entire afternoon.”
I was still convinced Connor had done it, but there was still this teeny tiny bit of doubt.
But if Connor didn’t do it, we’d find out who did.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” I turn to Lexi and asked.
Lexi grinned. “Stake out?”
So for the third time Lexi and I flyered that neighborhood. Lexi and I had it down to a science by that point, and as soon as we were finished we bolted up this tree and were committed to stake out for as long as it took to catch the person who was taking down our flyers.
If we had to stay out here all night, we would. But we were dedicated, devoted, and more than determined to catch that flyer thief.
Let me assure you, it took forever.
“Lexi! You’re not supposed to be sleeping!” I hissed, wiggling my leg so she’d get off of me.
“I’m not sleeping,” Lexi defended herself, groggily sitting up. “Just resting my eyes.”
“Your eyes aren’t supposed to leave the neighborhood!” I told her. “Stay awake. This is a stake out, not a sleepover. It’s not even dinnertime yet.”
“Okay, okay,” Lexi grinned as we both resumed staring out at the road. “But if we had binoculars, this stake out would be a whole lot cooler.”
“We don’t need binoculars to see somebody in our neighborhood, Lexi. Just be patient and we’ll see the Flyer Thief. Eventually.”
It took the patience of Job until we finally saw the thief. I grew tired, restless, and bored just sitting there. I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the tree for not a second before Lexi reached up and pinched my arm.
“Hey!” I grinned sheepishly.
“No sleeping,” Lexi teased. “Only waiting for the thief.”
So we waited.
And waited and waited and waited and waited some more.
“THERE ARE FIRE ANTS IN THIS TREE!” Lexi shouted. She wasn’t afraid of bugs, but she didn’t like the idea of being bitten.
“Shh!” I hissed. “If the thief is anywhere close, they’ll hear you!” But then I chuckled as Lexi squirmed and flapped her arms around, ridding herself of ants. “Just flick them off. They won’t hurt you.”
“Uh, yes they will!”
We waited so long (somehow managing not to get bitten by any angry fire ants) that we were practically delirious by the time the thief showed up later that afternoon. We didn’t even notice the Flyer Thief until we saw him hallway down the street, stolen flyers in hand, walking toward us!
Wait a second. That was no him.
That was our very own friend, Emma!
“It’s Emma!” Lexi hissed to me in horror.
“Why would she…“ I faltered speechlessly. “She’s our friend!” I finally gasped under my breath.
I felt like someone had punched the wind out of me. Emma was one of my closest friends! Why on earth would she be taking down our flyers? Was she in cahoots with Connor? Why?
I decided to find out.
I began to scramble down the tree to confront the traitor.
“Issa! Where are you going?!” Lexi whispered sharply.
“I’m catching the thief in the act!” I told her quickly as I clambered downward.
“No, Issa! Don’t!”
“What do you mean, ‘don’t’?” I barked, halting only momentarily to respond to Lexi. “If I confront her at school tomorrow, she’ll deny it was her!”
Not waiting for a reply, I leapt off the tree and sped across the mulch. “Emma!” I yelled angrily.
Emma jumped of fright, obviously startled, and whirled to face me.
I felt hot flames of fury boiling inside. “Why are you taking down our flyers?!” I cried, angry and hurt that Emma would do something like this.
Emma’s expression darkened. “Issa-“ she began desperately but hesitated. The sun’s shadowing hid her shocked eyes as she stammered, “Uh – I…”
? Heh, heh. What can I say? Cliffhangers are fun. ;D
Why do you think Emma took down the flyers?