The Parkers’ Mansion was gorgeous, I had to admit. My little 3 bedroom house was nothing compared to this elaborate estate.
Sarah and Manuel brought me to a room which I guess is called a drawing room? I didn’t see anything to draw with…bummer….but, oh well.
Sitting on the chair they motioned to, I twiddle my thumbs waiting for the siblings to begin their…their…rant?…talk, discussion….oh whatever. I wait for them to speak…And it isn’t long before Sarah starts. It’s weird that Sarah seems to be the one in charge…Manuel is clearly the oldest…this would sooooo not happen in my home, if Clara thought she could boss me around for one se…
“Julia! I am speaking! Pay attention!”
Sarah rolls her eyes and begins again with a huffy breath.
“As I was saying….For your first mission, I need you to find something for us”
Manuel grabs a paper and shows it to me. On it is a picture of a book, the title being “Journal of Edmund Parker”
I nod pretending to know what I’m looking at…a book…I know that…
“It’s our great great Grandfather’s journal” Manuel states as he crouches on the ground in front of me. “Somewhere in that book is a code…a code that, once we have cracked it, will lead us to a treasure!” His eyes flash with excitement and I can’t help but think he’s kinda cute for a murderer… WHAT AM I SAYING…Ugh…Nope he isn’t cute at all…he’s… ghastly! revolting and…and… hideous!
“We had the book once…but before we knew about the treasure our Mother had sold it” Sarah sighs with exasperation.
“We have been searching high and low for the book” Manuel stands up and paces the room. “We have checked all of the book stores in a 50 mile radius from here”
Suddenly I remember Mr. Doubleday from the book store… “Um…I was just wondering…but why did you shoot Mr. Doubleday?”
The siblings both look at me with the same piercing blue eyes. “He read the book…and then sold it. When I came asking if he had it, he said no… but that he had had it before. He told me that he had read it and he felt as though there was a secret to it….” Manuel shakes his head.
“Mr. Doubleday…” Sarah starts, looking to her brother for permission to continue his tale. “Wrote down all of the codes that he could find in the journal…He had already cracked some of them, he knew at least that there was a treasure…”
“He couldn’t find out anymore…he is a smart man” Manuel says “was…a smart man” he corrects himself.
GULP….something so little..gee I really really REALLY need to stay on their good side….
As if they can read my thoughts Manuel and Sarah laugh suddenly.
“Don’t worry your pretty little head, we won’t hurt you, so long as you obey us and do as you’re told” Manuel crows. I notice his gun still concealed in a small holster around his waist. I shudder.
Dear God I pray. Please protect me, show me what is right, direct my every action so that it would please you…And please please don’t let them kill me…Unless, of course, that is your will. Though I really really hope it isn’t… Amen
After another half hour of talking, well… they were the ones talking, I was pretty much just listening…But, Sarah tells Manuel that she thinks they should take me home. ‘Bout stinkin time! I think.
“Manny, We should take Julia, home” She says.
“Yeah, it is getting late, and we don’t want her family to be even more worried.”
I sigh…What am I going to tell my Parents?! And Alex? I hate to lie to them…
“Julia, from now on you and I will be spending an lot of time together” Sarah declares.
“Yes, you and I are going to become quite chummy, we shall be best of friends”
I can’t help but laugh at this… best friends?! Me and this girl?…
“Okay…if ya say so”
“It has to be this way….I can keep an eye on you, and it won’t seem odd when family and friends see you with me…we shall be like this” she says, her fingers twisting together implying how close we will be.
So Sarah and I get back into the limo and drive the 20 minutes to my house.
“Act shaken” Sarah says as we pull down my street. “Act as though you saw the murder, and that I, seeing it as well, took you in my loving arms and got you to my home and far away from that awful crime scene and that big bad man” She sticks her bottom lip out into a pout.
My eyes look heavenward. Ohhh goodness
As we pull up in front of my house I take a deep breath and try to prepare for the many falsehoods that will be escaping my mouth today.
My little sister Clara bolts from the front door as soon as I step from the limo, and I realize she must have been waiting and watching, hoping for me to come.
“Julie, Julie!” Is all she says, before her face is buried in my stomach and I’m encircled with her arms.
“Hey Clara! What’s all this, aye?”
“We were so worried! Mama has been cryin, and Daddy is comin home from work to come find you!” Clara says looking up at me, her big blue eyes full of delight at the sight of me. My lip quivers.
“Oh Julia!” It’s my mother.
I hug her close as she comes near.
“Hey Mama” I say softly.
“Oh we were so worried about you!” She cries, her embrace tightening around me.
“I’m sorry Mama, but everything is OK now” I say, pulling away I gesture toward the limo where Sarah stands near the open door, watching our little scene.
“Mama, this is Sarah Parker”
Sarah steps forward and shakes mama’s hand. I notice how she acts nervous and scared. ohh.. that’s how she acts ‘shaken’ I realize.
“Hello Ma’am, I was with your daughter..when…when…we saw…” Sarah bursts into tears and to be perfectly honest I thought they were real. This girl has some serious skills.
My Mom hugs Sarah and I can’t help but feel angry at the blonde haired, blue eyed crybaby.
She’s a liar, and now I have to be a liar… ugh! I really wish I hadn’t seen the murder, or bumped into Sarah….
“Sarah, dear, why don’t you stay here for supper?” My mother says, holding the girls hand.
Sniffff Sarah blows her nose on a handkerchief and shakes her head. “I mustn’t…My Mother was so worried about me, she hardly wanted me to leave the house to bring Julia…I really must be getting back”
I roll my eyes as Sarah hugs me, my Mom then Clara.
“See you tomorrow Julia” She says climbing into the limo. We all watch it until it turns the corner, then my Mom asks, “What’s tomorrow, Julia?”
“Sarah and I were going to hang out…if that’s alright with you…” please say no, please say no! I beg silently.
“Oh! Of course dear! It will do you good to hang out with some girls, especially one with such style!” My Mom hugs me again, then hurries inside to call my Father.
Oh Bother… Not only did my Mom like Sarah, she almost insisted that I hang out with her.
WHAT have I gotten myself into!?? OK yeah, I don’t really ever hang out with girls besides Clara and a couple kids from our Home school Co-op, but mostly just Alex.
As if she can read my mind my Mom sticks her head out of the front door and says. “By the way dear, I invited Alex over for dinner. He and Lizzy will be here at 6, their parents have a meeting with a new couple at church so they couldn’t make it”
Sigh….Now I have to lie to my family and Alex all in one day.
My phone beeps. Sarah.
Her text reads:
Sarah: No funny business. We’re watching you very closely. Not a word to your friend…or else.
How does she find these things out!?!?.. I text her back.
Me: Yep. Trust me, I heard and understood the first time.
Sarah: Watch the attitude.
wow. Such a boss! Is there an eye rolling emoji? Because I seriously need one.
I put on my happy face and hurry to help my Mom with dinner. This has been the longest day of my life. And it just got a whole lot longer. I just hope by the end of all this, my nose doesn’t end up looking like Pinocchio’s.
There’s chapter two! 😛 And next week Julia starts her first mission!