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An earlier story (save the tomatoes for something more important)

An earlier story (save the tomatoes for something more important)

Posted July 18th, 2005 by Lyra

by Lauren
in Washington

April 15th, 2014

This is one of the earlier mystery stories I alluded to in my posts. This is one of the stories that I like because it was one of the only ones I actually finished. Please, I don't even know why I'm posting this in the first place. Anyway, here goes... PS. I hope you like Nancy Drew, because I loved Nancy Drew back then, and this story is very Nancy Drew. ********** ************ Dragon Eye By Lauren I am not a criminal. I keep saying that to myself as the storm is rattling outside the school windows. Spiders spin their webs outside and inside. On the stage behind me, actors recite their lines like trained parrots. I am one of those actors. I am wearing a police costume. Hidden inside my blazer is a 6-inch knife. Don’t worry, it’s fake. I have to keep reminding myself of that. I have to remind myself of a lot of things. Should I back up? Yeah, let me explain this mess out. A description of the characters is a good start. Brianna Devante, Selena Fugatara, and Ashley Ross were the city’s three best preteen actresses, in that order. They were all best friends. Brianna was extremely popular and good at acting Her gorgeous face won her many dates, but she had her eyes on Jose Easton. Trouble was, he spent all his time chasing me. Brianna had an A+ average and was in a special class for genius kids called the honor roll. Lovable, friendly Selena also had an A+ average, but she was not in the honor class. And Ashley... Ashley used to be funny, pretty, and cheerful, but a few months ago, she changed. She cut her red hair, wore leather jackets, and heavy makeup. She also developed an attitude problem. My best friend, Elvira Walker, was the fourth best actress. Her sandy brown hair made her look ordinary sometimes, but her violet eyes would sometimes turn red, which was fascinating and sometimes scary. She was sometimes pushy and rude, but she was also patient and really nice after you cut through her shell. She was really good at track. She helped people find lost things, though she hadn’t had any real cases yet. So when I found my necklace missing, the red amber one shaped like an eye hanging on a blue thread, I called Elvira to help. “Interesting,” said Elvira, gazing inside the locker. “My first real case.” “And your last,” said a voice that made my head ache. Jose Easton had greasy movements, greasy eyes, and a voice greasier than the gel he used in his greasy hair. He was on the track team and had won every time until Elvira came along. He was shaking his head as though I had made a big mistake. “I can’t believe you would actually choose an amateur over a professional, Lupe. Still, I am willing to find your necklace anyway.” Ever since he had found Mario Zane’s dog hiding in a trashcan outside the metal shop class, he had thought he was a detective, even though it was just because he was going to throw away his milk carton. Ever since, people had come to him when stuff was missing, but at times when he couldn’t solve a mystery (which was a lot), he would just accuse a person of doing it and then pay them money so they would take it, or threaten them to. And when he did solve a mystery, it made him more popular than ever. I didn’t understand why Brianna liked him. “Everyone knows you bribe people, Jose,” I said. “Elvira has solved mysteries twice as fast as you. And she’s solved twice as many cases as you.” “And,” I said, wanting to sting him hard, “She’s won twice as many track trophies as you.” That hit him. He turned redder than a stewed beet. “Fine,” he spluttered, “But I will find that necklace. That beginner doesn’t stand a chance.” He ran off. “Okay,” said Elvira, rolling her eyes. “He should get therapy.” She looked at her watch. “School is over in five minutes. Meet me at my house in an hour and I’ll have the culprit.” I ran off, not sure if she was really serious. And this whole mystery thing! Why did people steal it? Money. Of course. That necklace was worth at least a thousand dollars. But my locker was locked when the theft was made. I had told Elvira that. Who had my locker combination? The school did, but that was it. So who had access to the school network? I walked through a door and walked right into Ashley. “Watch it!” she snapped. “Sorry, but- “You ripped my jacket!” “Oops. “You broke my expensive silver loop earrings! You should- Thud. “What was that?” Thud. Thud. “It came from in there!” “Don’t go in there!” I opened the door before Ashley could stop me. I screamed. Brianna was wrapped up like a mummy in rags soaked in paraffin, a chemical that could catch fire easily. She was banging herself against the wall, trying to get free. But what made me scream was the yellow lick of fire slowly burning its way up Brianna’s feet. I rushed to the fire extinguisher, grabbed it, pointed it at the fire, and pulled the trigger. Nothing. I tossed it aside and glared angrily at Ashley, who had turned white under her over painted face. “Get someone! We need to put this fire out before it catches on the school!” Ashley shook her head and hung back, white with fear. “I- I can’t.” she whispered. If it were another situation, I would have asked why, but a fire was burning and I had to put it out. “I can’t. I’m just too scared,” she whispered. “What’s stopping you?” She just shook her head and ran off. “You coward!” I shouted after her. “You coward!” The flame was spreading now, getting bigger. Brianna screamed with pain and fear. I thought. There was a bathroom down the hall. But I would have to hurry. Using a small knife, I made a bucket out of the empty fire extinguisher and ran back with a canful of water. It was enough to put out the fire. I untied Brianna and called a doctor, so relieved I could barely walk. Brianna’s feet were luckily minorly burned, only because her shoes had melted and the plastic was burned into her feet. She would be healed by tomorrow, in time for the drama festival, the doctor assured everyone. To tell you the truth, some people looked a little disappointed at the news; because they thought they had a chance without Brianna. Some even groaned. The drama festival is a competition. The group who can make the best play wins a trophy and “Any play with Brianna is the best play,” which meant Brianna always won. “Brianna!” said Selena, rushing over to her. “I was so worried!” she leaned on Brianna’s shoulder and burst into tears. “I thought they might actually kill you!” she sobbed. I sat down and looked wearily at my watch. Then I remembered that I was supposed to be at Elvira’s. I rushed to her house, panting with the effort, and made it just slightly late. Elvira looked up from her kitchen table. “Hi. Did you figure out the culprit?” I panted. “Yes.” For some reason, she didn’t seem happy about it. “Let me hear it.” “All right, but you’ll have to listen to the entire story.” “OK. I’ll tell you my story too.” Elvira began, “I examined three clues: a silver bead, a cedar splinter, and a red hair. I thought of Ashley, because she burned incense sticks, wore those tacky silver scroll earrings” I smiled- Elvira loved clothes and accessories- “and of course, she had red hair.” “Once I had a suspect, I went to the Ross’ house. She wasn’t there, so I went to her room instead, with the excuse that I was there to drop off her homework. There was a message that Ashley hadn’t deleted on her phone. ‘Ashley,’ said Selena’s voice in cold, heartless tones. “Pick up the paraffin, the rags, and the matches. I’ll meet you at the abandoned classroom. I’ll bring Brianna with me; drugged of course- Selena gave a small, nasty laugh- and I’ll e-mail you for phase two of our plan.’ Then the line went dead.” “I looked on her computer and managed to break the password. There were files of Selena’s entire plans and motives in Ashley’s computer diary. I managed to print a page. Then I left.” Elvira took out a page and read it. “January 20- a month ago- ‘I think Selena is so jealous of Brianna. She said she is hatching a plan. January 21. Selena is going to kill Brianna! I have to tell her. February 10. I can’t tell Brianna. Selena actually threatened to kill my family and me if I tell Brianna. She held a knife to my throat. February 15. Starting to get pale and thin. People noticing. Must wear heavy makeup and jacket. February 17. Bought paraffin and matches. I can’t believe what I’m doing. Having nightmares. February 18. Selena to kill Brianna at drama festival.” Elvira lowered the page. I couldn’t believe that the person who had sobbed on Brianna’s shoulder was this cold, heartless person. I always thought of Selena as lovable and caring, when she was really this block of ice, manipulating innocent people like Ashley. She was torn between her best friend and her family. If she had helped Brianna, Selena would have found out and killed her. I felt a lump in my throat when I remembered I called Ashley a coward when she was running away from the fire. “So what’s the plan?” my voice sounded hoarse. “Ok. You need to go on Selena’s play as a policewoman. Wear this helmet. When Selena tries to murder Brianna on stage, hold this to her neck. She handed me a dagger. “It’s fake,” she reassured me. Hopefully she’ll be surprised. Then I’ll tie her up. A friend of mine will call the police.” I looked at the dagger. Was this right? If we were threatening Selena, then we were as bad as her. But there was no other way. I held up the dagger and nodded. That is why I am hiding a dagger in my coat. To prevent a murder. But was this right? There was my cue. I put on my helmet to conceal my blonde hair and walked on stage. In this scene, Brianna writes as Selena stabs her. Selena, however, had a real knife, not a prop. Selena crept onstage. A grin was on her face as she took aim with her knife. I took a deep breath and ran forward. I held the fake knife to her neck. Then with my leg, I kicked her shin so she fell down on the floor. With a cry of pain she landed on her dagger, giving her a small gash in her arm. Elvira quickly ran forward and tied her arms and legs together. Selena looked up in pain and surprise. “Confess, Selena.” Elvira said. “You set the fire. You tried to kill Brianna on stage tonight. I’ll bet you even stole Lupe’s necklace.” “I did it!” yelled Selena in anger. “I’m not ashamed of it either. Brianna was on the honor roll and I wasn’t, even though we had the same grades. It wasn’t fair. I was as good as her. Better! I deserved to be popular. Brianna was even getting movie offers. It just isn’t fair.” Brianna went over to Selena. “Whatever, I forgive you. I’ll give you the movie offers and ask the principal to move you to the honor class. Is your arm okay? “Get away from me.” Selena spat. “Don’t you get it? I tried to kill you. I hate you.” She turned away from her. Brianna sat down in the prop chair and started to cry. One of the police actors went to comfort her. Just then Ashley arrived with two policemen. As they were dragging Selena out, she screamed at Ashley, “Your ruined all our plans!” Ashley replied, “They were your plans, Selena. Not mine.” Then the audience started to applaud. The drama teacher handed me the trophy, because Brianna was sobbing too much to take it. I was confused, but Elvira held it up high. Finally, she’d solved a real mystery. One month later: My dragon’s eye was found in Selena’s locker, along with matches and other stuff. Apparently Selena hacked into the school network and found my locker combo, so she decided to sell my necklace on EBay. The whole thing was straightened out, and the school newspaper printed a big article about it. Elvira was now more popular than Jose, and got all kinds of offers for cases. (Jose wasn’t too happy about that.) Without Selena breathing down her neck, Ashley gained weight and got cheek color. Brianna got over Selena and adopted Ashley as her ‘best friend’. ************** ************** And that's the end of my story! I actually feel a bit better about it now. Edit: Scratch that. I just read through it thoroughly and I HATE it. And I'll bet I come back in two minutes changing my mind. Edit: Well actually I was only ten or so when I wrote it, so allowances must be made... *looks at last edit* Oh. Haha, very funny. Edit: I HATE it! And I'm not changing my mind this time. Anyway, ?Lauren

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