Lovely Links in Literature
Olivia Bell a.k.a Livy
Amanda G. D.
Amie (again xD)
Kyrie Noel Brink
Kyrie is a lonely orphan that lives with her old grandmother and prim and proper aunt. She’s never had any adventures worth recounting (there is that time she was in the middle of a food fight…) but that soon changes.
She enjoys mostly books, shopping, and getting good grades. She’s good-humored and doesn’t often get ruffled. Her main fear is displeasing her aunt, who is very strict. She isn’t one to say she won’t do something and just goes with the flow.
She’s fourteen with blonde long hair, green eyes, and a rather sour look. She’s just used to sitting still and doing nothing.
Christian Alexander Worth
Christian, or Alec as he’s known, is the oldest of the Worth quartet. He is the leader of the escapades and hasn’t seemed to grow up. He lives next door to Kyrie with his family.
Alec enjoys sports but his favorite is track. He is a born runner. He’s the one that goes sniffing around for adventure and dashing into it recklessly.
He’s seventeen and considers himself a man. (Much to Jill’s annoyance!) He has red hair,freckles, and blue eyes.
Jill Morgan Worth
Jill is the oldest daughter and probably the most responsible. She is as much of a leader as her brother, so they often butt heads. She sometimes worry about the thoughts of her peers, but mostly she’s as eager for adventure as all her siblings.
Jill tends to be on the bossy side, with a bit of caution mixed in. She enjoys music, photography, and fashion. She likes her camera so much, that her brother’s have titled it her “BCF” or otherwise known as best camera forever.
Jill is fifteen with darker hair, light eyes, and freckles.
Edmund Timothy Worth
Ed was named after his mother’s favorite book series. (*sighs in happiness* Guys, I want to name my kid Edmund!) Ed is always prepared, carrying around what Alec kindly refers to as his ‘man purse’. (Two of the articles in the purse are a knife and flashlight.)
Edmund is the witty one of the family; every ready for a quick come back. He tends to be a bit of a sass king but at heart is brave and full of determination. He isn’t as athletic as Alec, but he still enjoys outdoor activity.
Ed has dark hair like his older sister and blue eyes. He’s fourteen, but according to Jill acts younger.
Philadelphia Elise Worth
Phil often wishes she had a nicer name. NO ONE is named Philadelphia or Elise, but it turns out Philadelphia is where her parents met. She’s the youngest Worth and often feels neglected or slighted. She hardly ever finds her voice listened to.
She enjoys animals of any kind. She has her own bunny and they have a family dog. She also really likes any boyish sport, especially baseball. She is ever ready for a tumble in the mud or a fist fight, evidence of her temper. She’s outgoing and kind, nonetheless.
Phil has red hair and green eyes with freckles. She’s eleven and often complains eleven is old enough to be treated like a grown-up.
If you had been walking down Elm Grove Street in Abbeyton, you might have heard the hoarse voice in number 73. Old Mrs. Landers was nearly deaf and blind, and wasn’t much help to her spinster daughter in the raising of her granddaughter. One thing she did help with was making sure Kyrie did her school work.
“Make sure you do it all,” Mrs. Landers croaked to her young granddaughter. Kyrie had always been told she was an orphan from birth. Kyrie looked up lazily from the book she held in her hand.
“I will, Grandma,” she promised, smiling a bit drearily, at least the normal observer would have called it that. The keen observer would have called the full mouth dreamy instead of dreary. The warm brown eyes seemed to have a lethargic glimmer in them, as if the soul within was already tired with this world. Crowning her brow was locks of a striking blonde, almost of a gold color. All together, Kyrie Noel Brink was not to be called ugly.
Spinster Eliza Landers walked into the room at that moment, if anything Eliza Landers did could be called walking. “Mother, I think Kyrie should do her schoolwork outside. It would be needful for Kyrie, as she hasn’t had her fill of sunlight for the day. Outside, Kyrie,” Eliza ordered, half pushing Kyrie out the back door.
Kyrie grabbed her school books and went out the back door, heavily sitting down on the doorstep. The sun shone in it’s golden beauty and the birds sang in concert. The soft smell of flowers drifted into Kyrie’s nostrils but sadly, the girl was immune to it. She sat with her chin cupped in her hand daydreaming about things far away.
“Ouch!” Kyrie gasped as a red ball landed squarely on her head. Blinking rapidly, she stood up to see who had thrown it.
“See, Ed! I told you that you threw it too high!” a voice came from beyond the hedge that separated the Lander’s yard and their neighbor’s.
“Bother, you could have refrained from ‘I told you so’” a voice snorted. “I don’t think it will take too long to get, Phil.”
“But that’s the Lander’s yard,” the first voice almost whispered. “Let’s get Alec and Jill. They might know what to do.”
“Do what?” a friendly voice said as a dark brown head appeared over the hedge. The brown head was followed by a startling red one.
“Edmund threw the ball over the hedge,” the first voice said simply.
“Ed!” cried the friendly voice, now a bit more demanding.
“Well, Edmund will have to go and get it,” a voice said. There was a strange silence over on the other side of the hedge.
“No, that won’t do,” finally the friendly voice said determinedly. “I think we all should go and tell them. It’s their ball now, isn’t it?”
“It’s their ball now?” the second voice snorted. “No way! I’ve got it handled, don’t you worry. Now, where’s my bag?”
“Your man purse,” laughed a voice, the sound of clinking and a humph came from the other side of the hedge. Kyrie started forward but stopped.
“What are you going to do, Ed?” the first voice asked.
“You’ll see,” answered the voice that must be Ed. “You’ll be surprised.”
“Edmund, you’d better not!” the friendly voice warned when there was a rustling sound.
“Don’t worry, Jill,” came Ed’s voice, a bit muffled. “I’ve done this many a time.” The sound of snipping and grunts filled the air.
“Alec, stop him!” the girl she assumed was Jill cried. “He can’t do that!”
“Why not?” asked the person who had to be Alec. “Let him.”
Kyrie grabbed the ball and started to walk towards the part of the hedge that was trembling as if it were alive. She wasn’t sure what kind of boy this was, but she had to find out. The hedge gave another shiver and a head popped out.
“Oh, hello!” the boy cried, his blue eyes wide. “I didn’t know that you lived here.”
“What is it?” asked a voice from the other side of the hedge.
“Just wait,” the boy instructed, wiggling out of the hedge and standing up next to Kyrie. He was average height and just about average looking. He smiled, revealing rather large teeth and full lips. He had a small amount of freckles sprinkled over his high cheek bones.
“I would say you aren’t much of a talker,” he laughed. “I’m Edmund Worth.” Edmund stuck out a grimy hand expectantly.
Kyrie looked at Ed’s dirty hand and seemed half inclined not to shake it.
“Come now, it’s just a hand. It won’t bite you,” Edmund said, looking at Kyrie. Kyrie hesitantly shook it.
“I’m Kyrie Brink.”
“It is a shock to see you here. We thought that it was only the sour faced lady and that deaf granny…”
“Edmund! Who are you talking to?” the friendly voice came, a bit sharply.
“That’s Jill,” Edmund said, as if that explained everything. “I assume you guessed the ball is ours? Can I have it back?”
Kyrie almost gave the ball to Edmund, but she suddenly changed her mind. “No, I’d like to see your siblings before I give it back.”
“Why? I’m the best one out of them,” Ed interjected. “Mom says that I’m the worst but I wouldn’t listen to mothers. I can’t decide which one is the worst but…”
“Ed! What are you saying?” Jill yelled over the hedge.
“It’s actually probably Jill,” Ed shrugged. “Well, let’s go under the hedge.”
“Actually,” Kyrie said timidly. “There’s a gate this way.”
“Oh, that would have been nice to have known,” Edmund laughed as he followed Kyrie through the gate that lead to the Lander’s front yard. They cut across it to Edmund’s yard. Three other people stood by the hedge. A red-headed boy was helping a red-headed girl onto his shoulders.
“Wait! There they are,” the tall brunette pointed out. The boy jumped, making the smaller girl fall off his shoulders.
“Guys!” Edmund broke into a run. Kyrie didn’t know whether she should follow or not, but decided to follow anyway. “This is Kyrie. I don’t know why she lives there, as you kept insisting I hurried.”
Jill looked at the girl in interest and stuck out her hand. “I’m Jill Worth, nice to meet you.” It seemed Jill and Edmund shared one side of the families looks. Both had the full lips and slightly up-turned nose. While on Edmund, it made him look a bit funny, the same characteristics on Jill made her stunning. She had a generous amount of freckles and light blue eyes that were more hazel than Edmund’s.
“I’m Kyrie Brink,” Kyrie shifted the ball from one hand to the next. “It’s nice to meet you too.” Kyrie looked over the four children’s faces. There was marked similarity in all of them, making it easy to see they were siblings. Yet, at the same time, they all had very different personalities shiny out of their eyes.
“This is Alec,” Jill motioned to the tall older boy with the red hair He looked about sixteen, muscular and well-built. His eyes were hazel, but he had the freckles that all the siblings seemed to have, more or less. He stuck out his hand for a handshake. “And Phil,” Jill motioned to the younger girl. She had the same colored hair as her older brother, and the same nose. Her eyes were large in her thin face and seemed greener with her green shirt.
Kyrie blinked. A girl named Phil? That was different. “Hi,” Kyrie shook Alec’s hand and waved at Phil.
Phil smiled joyfully. “I suppose you’re a hidden child locked in the closet that they found when they moved.”
“They who?” Kyrie looked puzzled.
“Oh,” Phil laughed. “The deaf granny and the sour-faced lady.”
“Those are my Aunt and Grandmother,” Kyrie said a bit indignantly. Feeling as if she had to make Phil sting in the same way she had made loyal Kyrie sting, Kyrie maliciously asked, “So, why’d your parent’s name you Phil? It is a boy name, you know.”
Phil’s eyes sparked dangerously, but before she could reply, Edmund snapped, “Oh, and Kyrie’s a girl name, is it? I thought it was a cow’s name.”
“Ed!” Jill reprimanded. “Phil’s real name is Philadelphia, but Phil is much shorter and easier to say.”
“I like Phil,” Phil spat, grimacing at Kyrie.
“Sorry,” Kyrie felt dreadfully sorry at make Phil and Edmund upset. “I didn’t mean to upset you, really I didn’t.”
“And we didn’t mean to call you a chicken pie,” Ed muttered.
“Never mind Ed, Kyrie, he’s a case,” Alec said, bopping his younger brother on the head.
“Am not!” Ed exclaimed.
“I suppose you might be thirsty,” Jill said, pointing toward the house. “We have some lemonade and chocolate cookies in the house.”
“Those are my cookies!” Ed objected.
“I’m sure we can scrape a few for you, Kyrie, if you’d like some.”
Half of Kyrie knew she should be studying her lessons, but her curiosity was aroused and she wanted to learn more about the Worth children. They seemed nice and full of excitement.
“All right, I’ll come,” Kyrie agreed, following the Worths. She looked back toward her house, wondering what her aunt would think of this. Alec dashed off toward the house while the rest followed more leisurely.
“How old are you?” Jill asked.
“Fourteen,” Kyrie replied promptly.
“What do you do all day in that house?” Phil scrunched up her nose and shook her head.
“I do my homework, clean my room, and practice my flute,” Kyrie answered, as if reciting a poem or research paper.
“That’s it?” Phil shook her head is disbelief.
“Mom says we can bring her in,” Alec announced, popping his head out of the glass door that lead into the kitchen.
“Okay,” Jill motioned toward the door. “Come on in.”
Kyrie nodded and walked in. If she had known the adventures that would have happened because of the simple action, she might have reconsidered. But maybe she wouldn’t have. Maybe the adventures were worth it.
Two hours later, Kyrie rushed in the Lander house, colliding with Aunt Eliza who had her arms full of dirty laundry.
“Oh, Aunt, I’m so sorry,” Kyrie gasped. “Are you all right?”
Eliza, who was just recovering from back surgery, gave a short yell. Her hands clutched at her back; the laundry fell at her feet. Slowly, Eliza straightened, and the two pairs of brown eyes locked.
“Where have you been, Kyrie?” Aunt Eliza demanded, ignoring the question.
“At the neighbors. Oh, Aunt, they are so much fun! There are four children…one of the boys is my age.”
Eliza Lander’s brown eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Children? Neighbors? Is that where you have been?”
“Yes,” smiled the golden haired girl, her lips turning up slowly but gradually.
“Well,”–Eliza said stoutly–“It seems they’ve done you good. There is color in your cheeks.”
Kyrie’s eyes grew wider, and her hand reached up to her cheek. “Just like the princess in The Jeweled Crown! Are my cheeks really rosy, Aunt?”
“Yes, child, they are,” and for once Kyrie saw the love in her Aunt.
But good times pass, and soon Eliza was back to her old brisk self. “Hand me the laundry, Kyrie; I can’t bend down.” So Kyrie did as she was told, and Eliza headed for the laundry room. Kyrie followed at a distance.
“May I invite them over?” Kyrie asked, leaning against the laundry room door.
“For heaven’s sake, where would they play?” Aunt Eliza demanded, expertly shaking out cloth after cloth.
“The attic,” Kyrie sold, her brown eyes all a twinkle.
“So, you’ve already planned everything out, eh?”
“Yes. They could come tomorrow when Grandma has her doctor’s appointment.”
“Is that so?” Eliza mused, her forehead wrinkled in meditation.
“Yes,” continued Kyrie, twiddling with her shirt fringe. “It’s so big that we’ll have plenty of space to play. And, it’s so high up Grandma will never hear us when she gets back!” All this was true, but Kyrie had abstained from mentioning the fact that there were many old trunks and antiques from late relatives of the Landers that Kyrie wanted to search with her new friends. She crossed her fingers and waited for her aunt’s answer.
Aunt Eliza threw the last clothe in–Kyrie’s Sunday dress–and slammed the washer machine lid shut. She turned around to face her niece.
“Well, I suppose you can. But–” she pointed a long, bony finger–“I want it nicer then you found it when you’re done. Everything spick and span. Or no more children over here, do you understand?”
Oh yes, Kyrie understood. It’d be so clean that Aunt Eliza would think she had hired a cleaner–not four kids playing. And may they come over to 10:00 tomorrow? Of course, I’ll do all my schoolwork right now. Thank you so much! You are the best aunt ever.
Kyrie was bubbling with joy as she returned to the back door step to retrieve her schoolbooks. Never in her life had she been so excited, she reasoned.
The night passed quickly, but when Kyrie rose at 6:00 the next morning, she sunk back on her bed in despair. There were still four more hours left before the Worth’s supposed arrival. (Kyrie had phoned the Worth house the night before.) However, Aunt Eliza had heard her sigh of disappointment and bustled in, her brown hair pinned back tight into a bun. She flicked on the lamp.
“Time to get up, Kyrie,” she said. Kyrie sighed once more and slid off her full sized bed. The covers were a grand mess, and her clothes from the day before were strewed on the polished wood floor.
“Now,”–the bony finger once again was aimed at Kyrie–“I want your room spotless. Breakfast will be ready at 6:30.”
“Yes, Aunt,” Kyrie yawned and rubbed her golden head.
“After that you can vacuum the living room. Do you need to clean the attic before they get here?” Eliza asked anxiously. The spinster was evidently ruffled at the event of having five children in her house at once.
Kyrie gave a short laugh. “No, it will be fine. What are we having for breakfast?”
“Oatmeal. Now hurry up and start getting dressed,” and Eliza swooshed out, her old fashioned dress trailing after her.
The chores helped pass the time, and before Kyrie knew it, it was 10:00. She squealed with joy when she saw through the window, a glimpse of brown and read hair bobbing up and down the driveway. She jumped from her perch on the sofa and ran to the front door, flinging it open.
“I’m so glad you’re here!” Kyrie gasped, falling into Jill’s arms. The latter laughed and hugged her new friend.
“Mother wouldn’t let us leave early,” Edmund mumbled, scuffing his shoe on the porch wood.
“Don’t tell me we’re playing dolls, Kyrie,” Alec smiled, his cheeks becoming little hills, and his green eyes twinkling.
“Nope,” Kyrie smiled back, ushering her friends into the house. “We’re going to play in the attic.”
“The attic?” Ed snorted, while Phil gave a whoop.
“The attic!” She cried, excitement laced in her tone.
“Yes. My grandmother has so many old dresses and letters and stuff from old relatives. I though it would be fun to go through it.”
“You bet,” Alec said, who seemed to agree with Kyrie on everything.
Kyrie lead the quartet up the creaking wood stairs. Her slender arm was holding onto the rail, going farther up with every step she took. She looked back over her shoulder to see Edmund swing a leg over the railing.
Kyrie was too shocked to say anything at first. If her grandmother of Aunt Eliza saw this they would truly, literally, die!
“No…no, Edmund!” Kyrie cried, as soon as she recovered her wits. But it was too late. He slid all the way down the banister and then, kaplunk! Fell flat on his back. Kyrie’s mouth slowly dropped, but his siblings looked as calm as you could get. As if sliding down banisters is a regular activity! Kyrie thought.
Ed slowly pulled himself to a sitting position. “Ed! Are you alright?” Kyrie gasped.
“Awe, don’t worry, Kyrie. Ed’s got a head made of iron,” piped up Phil. But Kyrie snooker her head and trotted down the stairs. What a thud he had made with he hit the bottom!
Kyrie dropped to her knees beside him. “Do we need to call the ambulance?” she asked anxiously.
“Nope,” Edmund answered, giving a violent shake to his head. “Guess I wasn’t expecting it,” and he gave a mischievous grin.
“Please, Edmund–umm, well, just don’t slide down the banister again,” Kyrie swallowed, trying to find the right words.
“Really? C’mon, Kyrie, your railing is so slick! I ain’t never seen it like that. It was like a greased lightning pole,” protested Ed.
Kyrie helped him to his feet and they mounted the stair while Jill, Alec, and Phil waited at the top.
“No,” Kyrie said firmly. “My grandma and Aunt Eliza would die. Besides, it’s not nailed in all the way.”
“Fine,” Ed grumbled, rubbing the back of his head where a fine sized knot was already appearing.
Kyrie couldn’t remember the last time she had been in the attic. Years, she thought, and she didn’t even remember how it looked. The first impression the children got was that it was dusty. A spiderweb was in nearly every place it could be. Rouches scattered under their feet. Kyrie, who wasn’t used to such things, screamed and clung to Jill or Phil, who only laughed and stomped on the bugs. The boys got out old walking sticks and began to clear the cobwebs away instantly.
How in the world does Aunt expect this place to be spic and span? Kyrie shuddered before burrowing herself in the nearest trunk. Jill, Alec, and Phil crowded around her while Edmund still wrestled with cobwebs.
“I hope it’s not locked,” Kyrie muttered, and when she found it was only rusty and the lid opened easily, her face brightened.
The trunk was filled with old-fashioned dresses, but on the top sat a brown leather book. It seemed quite new, for it wasn’t very dusty. Kyrie’s finger traced the patterns on the cover.
“Open it,” Jill breathed.
Kyrie flipped the cover. It was not a book at all, but someone’s diary! A ripple of delight went through the children, and Edmund joined them.
“What does it say?” Phil asked, squinting her eyes at the fancy handwriting.
“June fifth, Sister Ann’s house,” Kyrie read. “My name is Ava Joy Landers..”
Olivia Bell a.k.a Livy
Kyrie looked up, her face pale. “Ava Joy Landers, that’s my grandma’s name!” She looked back down on the large book in her hands. Squinting to make out the handwriting, it being more fancy than she’d read before. She continued to read:
“June fifth, Sister Anne’s House. My name is Ava Joy Landers, a woman of bright intention and strong will. You, my dear diary, will soon discover interesting things about me; at least, I hope they will be interesting. I live in a large mansion near Abbyton, on the outskirts of town in what some would call the countryside. I live with my dear husband Leonard. We have one son, all grown up now, sadly enough. He is a tall young man, handsome, of a strong build. He lives across town with his lovely wife, Mary. Together they have a beautiful baby, my true joy. The day my little granddaughter was born, my heart nearly burst in sheer joy. They babe, she is beautiful to behold. Her now being almost eighteen months old, she has lovely little golden curls, a truly angelic little girl if I’ve ever seen one…”
Phil stood reading further on as Kyrie looked up, her face conveying complete shock. “Man, whoever the little baby was, she must have been spoiled rotten by her Grandma!” Phil spoke up as she skimmed ahead.
Alec piped up from where he had been listening the whole time. “What’s wrong, Kyrie?” His blue eyes registered concern for his new-found friend.
Kyrie stuttered for a moment before answering in a frightened, astonished voice. “A granddaughter with golden curls, that sounds like me! But,” She paused, afraid of what these children would think of her past. “But, my parents are dead. They died when I was young, my Grandma and Aunt have been raising me my entire life, and I don’t remember anyone else…”
Jill stepped across the squeaky wooden floor to wrap her arms around the girl. “I’m so sorry, Kyrie. That is… unimaginable!” She squeezed her friend’s shoulders.
“But, who is Mary?” Kyrie asked. “Is she my mother?” And who is the son? Is he my father?” Kyrie’s questions popped out, unchecked by her usual shy, quietness. “Why is the son unnamed?” Suddenly, a loud thump and a crash interrupted her thoughts and she whipped her head around to see the source of the noise.
Edmund, after conquering the spider webs that shrouded a corner of the attic that was dimly lit by a dingy window, and being uninterested in the diary, had busied himself with rummaging through a trunk he thought looked like it could be a hundred years old. Inside, he had found a pair of antique roller skates and had decided to give them a try. Having never roller-skated before, the inevitable had occurred.
Jill shook her head as she surveyed the mess her brother had made. A large lamp, probably an antique, lay shattered on the floor beside a boy – who wasn’t moving.
Kyrie dropped the diary back into the trunk and rushed to the boy, bending down once more. “Ed, are you alright?” She poked the boy’s shoulder. No movement. Gasping, she looked over at Alec. “What should we do? Do you think I should call an ambulance?”
Shaking his head, his red hair really contrasting in the dark and drab attic, he walked over to where his brother lay. He’s seen this trick before and knew exactly how to remedy it. Reaching, he grabbed his brother’s shoulders and started – tickling him? But, the trick worked and the supposedly “dead” Ed jerked away from his brother’s grasp.
“Ah, c’mon, Alec! Do you have to ruin everything? I was totally going to fool Kyrie this time.” He tried to stand, and then realizing he still wore the roller-skates, he sank back down. Muttering something about being sorry, he asked the older boy. “Mind taking these things off of me?” His blue eyes shone with mischief.
Kyrie stood shaking her head, “I’m so glad you are alright! I was praying you weren’t seriously hurt, and our good Lord answered!” She smiled, and then as she remembered their startling discovery, her smile faded.
She strode back over to where Phil, unconcerned for her brother, had continued to read the diary after Kyrie had dropped it. The eleven-year-old looked up at her new friend and cried, “Oh Kyrie, I skipped ahead and… and…” Tears glimmered in her green eyes, her red hair falling around her face. “Don’t read it, please don’t read it!” She tried to close the book, but Kyrie snatched it away too quickly.
Hastily skimming to where she had seen Phil reading, Kyrie quickly began reading.
“January first. The New Year is here, usually a time of grand parties and celebrations, but not this year – not for me. All I feel is sadness and pain, my dear diary. It pains me even to write the terrible things that have happed the last few days, but I feel as though I must. I am grieved to start by writing that my dear daughter-in-law, Mary, has died. It happened so suddenly, none of us were expecting such a tragedy to strike. One day she had a simple fever and a mite of a cough, and merely two days later, she was gone. My dear, dear Mary…I miss her so. She was an angel, just like her daughter. And now the poor child, Kyrie, is left motherless, with a father who…My son, Edward, he is not fit to raise the child. The man, of the past few months, he never can keep a job for more than a few weeks. I am so confused, my son becoming a reckless half-wit, my dear daughter-in-law dying, and little Kyrie – my angel. I believe it’s my duty to raise the child myself, I won’t trust her to her father, no I won’t. I’m ashamed that this has happed to my son, but I will not allow him to keep her. With Jesus’ strength, I know I can get custody of her, I know I must. Diary, remember my prayer as I write it here, “Lord, give me the strength to know what to do in these troubling times, and please heal my hurting heart. I know all things are possible with Your never ending strength, I believe it, to the very last word. Please help me, my Savior, I believe You died for me and rose from the dead and I know that this, in compared with that, is a very small matter. Please help me; I can’t do this on my own. Without You, it’s impossible…”
As the last words left Kyrie’s lips, she slowly lifted her head as tears streamed down her cheeks. Her long, blond hair clung to her face as she looked at each of her friends in turn and said, “Where is my father?”
“Dustin?” A man sat in a chair looking out of the window; gray clouds loomed overhead.
“Oh, hi Kate,” he said, turning to face a pretty lady with chocolate colored hair.
“Honey, I was getting worried about you. I thought you were going to be home by four?”
“Sorry about that, Kate. I just had some matters to finish up here first, but I’m done now. How about we drive home together? I can leave my car here and pick it up tomorrow.”
“That will be fine,” Kate replied.
The man and his wife walked out of the building and got into a small maroon colored car. The first raindrops began to pelt the windshield as they drove out of the parking lot.
I must now interrupt our story to give a little background about our characters. The man was Mr. Dustin J. walker. He was in his late forties, tall of stature and heavy set, with misty gray green eyes, and short, coal black hair.
Mr. Walker had once been known as Edward Landers. He, his twenty five year old sister Eliza and his mother and father had moved to Abbeyton when he was nineteen. A year later, Edward had married Mary Simson and moved into number 77, Elm Grove Street; a little down the way from his parents.
Not long after his marriage, though he had always been a somewhat rebellious child, Edward began to reveal his real self; the black heart that had been kept hidden while living with his parents shown through.
His young wife had died two years later from an unknown sickness. And, some said, heart sick over her husband’s wrong doings. Edward’s father, Leonard, followed Mary to the grave one month after from an ongoing fight with cancer. At a time when Edward’s mother, spinster sister Eliza, and his seven month old daughter, Kyrie, needed him most, he wasn’t there.
Mrs. Landers eventually got custody of Kyrie and had daily praying meetings with her friends and daughter for her son. As the only man in the family, it was supposed that Edward would care for the three, but instead, he only added more burdens. Having lost all his money in gambling one month after his wife died, he came to his mother to borrow some, but was turned away at the door with a sorrowful look by Mrs. Landers.
Nevertheless, Edward managed to scrape together some money two days later to feed his gambling addiction. That night, a fight broke out between several men and Edward was involved. He packed up his belongings and fled the town without coming to say goodbye to his family. He was never heard of again.
Ten years later, Edward had a new identity. He had changed his name to Dustin Walker, gained some weight and dyed his used to be blonde hair, dark black. He had also gotten remarried to Kate Rayner.
Mr. Walker heard that Abbeyton’s mayor was up for election and having already been involved somewhat in politics, he decided to go back to the town and run for mayor. It was now four years later and he was running for reelection. But let us now get back to the story.
Randal Lemons sat in a chair reading a book when his phone beside him rang. He glanced down at the caller id, “hmm. I better take this call.”
He went out his apartment door and down the stairs whith his Great Pyrenees dog, Woof, following along behind. They walked around to the back of the apartment complex where Randal paced back and forth in the small yard as he talked on the phone.
“Hey Eddy, I mean Dustin.”
“Hi Randal. I thought it was time we had another talk. Now that we’ve gotten past the democratic primary and avoided a runoff, it’s time for us to start planning what we are going to do so I can beat the republican candidate, Neil Binverisie. As my political advisor, I wanted to know what you think we should do.”
“Well, since I’m your only buddy from when you used to live in Abbeyton who still lives around here, I was the one to help you out and I’m glad that you hired me as your political adviser. Now that the race is pretty tight, we are going to have to remove all evidence against you that might be found. They can use anything to win the election.”
“But nobody even knows I used to live here,” Mr. Walker said.
“Yes, but Binverisie could still investigate. I heard that old newspapers are kept in the archives of the town library. We need to figure out a way to get in there and destroy them before anyone can find them. Then we will come up with our own accusations against him.”
“Alright, Randal, I’m trusting you to take care of that. In the meantime, I’ll start creating rumors about Binverisie. Kate’s calling me for dinner so I better go. Bye Randal.”
“Bye Dustin. I’ll look into it all tomorrow morning.” Randal said. He pressed the end call button and slipped his phone into his pants pocket. “Well, Woof old boy, looks like I’m taking a trip to the library tomorrow.
“I’m so sorry, Kyrie,” Jill whispered, leaning over to give her friend a hug.
Phil hugged Kyrie from the other side. Edmund made a face, but Alec’s stern glance sobered him.
“It’s okay,” Kyrie said finally. She stood up and wiped the tears from her eyes.
“How about we do something else?” Jill suggested.
“And I know just the thing!” Edmund cried.
“What might that be?” Phil twisted around from where she had been poking through another box.
“We can make pie!” Edmund exclaimed. “And we can make it a contest so it will be more fun: Jill and Kyrie against me and Alec.”
“What about me?” Phil wondered.
“You can help either team out and be the judge of whose pie is the best,” Edmund suggested.
“Have you ever even made a pie before, Ed?” Jill asked skeptically.
“No, but everyone always says ‘easy as pie’ so it can’t be hard. Besides, I’ve seen mother and you make them all the time; it doesn’t look to difficult. What do you say Alec?”
“I’m fine with it,” Alec replied.
“I think we should ask Kyrie since this is her house,” Jill put in.
“Oh, it sounds like lots of fun!” Kyrie said, her eyes sparkling. “I never bake. Aunt Eliza does it and I only help out sometimes.”
“Well,” Jill said smiling. “There no better time to learn like the present. Let’s all go down to the kitchen and decided what kind of pie we are going to make.”
The five children traipsed down the attic stairs and followed Kyrie into the large and airy kitchen. The walls were painted a cherry yellow that matched with the yellow polka dotted curtains, which ruffled in the breeze from the open windows.
“What kind of pie shall we make?” Alek said, as Kyrie handed a large cook book, yellowed with age to him.
“How about apple? That’s always good” Edmund said.
“Yeah, but then we have to cut the apples,” Alek pondered. “what are you girls making?”
“I think raspberry pie would be delicious! Do you have any raspberries, Kyrie?” Jill asked.
“Sure. There’s a whole quart in the fridge. Aunt Eliza buys them for me to snack on. They taste so good!”
“All right then. let me just find a recipe,” Jill said, opening another cook book and turning the pages.
“How about we make pecan, Ed?” Alec spoke up. “Here is a recipe for one.”
“Yum!” Edmund cried, “let’s do it! Where are your folks, Kyrie?” Ed asked, as he began to get out ingredients for pie crust.
“Grandmother had a doctor’s appointment today, so Aunt Eliza took her. They won’t be back for a couple of hours,” Kyrie replied.
The two teams talked little as they made their pies. Phil helping them both when needed.
“How big should I chop the pecans?” Edmund asked Alec.
“I don’t know Ed, but I’m trying to roll out this crust. ask Phil.”
“Hey, Phil!” Edmund hollered from across the kitchen, “will you come chop these nuts for me?”
“Sure,” Phil said. “There isn’t much the girls need help with over here.”
Jill and Kyrie worked like a well-oiled machine. Their crust was perfectly shaped by Jill’s experienced hands, while Kyrie mixed up the filling. “I think the boys are having a little trouble over there,” Kyrie giggled.
“Hmm,” Jill said, “Edmund, do you really think it is that easy now?”
Edmund gave a grin, “it’s working out splendid! Don’t you think Alec?” His brother gave only a grunt as a reply, for he was engaged in carefully pressing the pie crust into the pan.
The oven had been preheated and at precisely the same time, both pies were put in.
“Well, we finished the same time you did,” said Edmund to the girls.
“Yes, but it wasn’t a race,” argued Phil. “The real test is in the tasting.”
“And I think I know who the winners are,” Jill said.
“Us!”exclaimed Edmund with a saucy smile.
“You know that’s not what I meant,” laughed Jill.
“Oh? wasn’t it?” Edmund asked. “I don’t know who else could be the winners. Our pie looks quite good. Don’t you agree, Alec?”
“It could win a blue ribbon at the county fair!” Alec said proudly.
Phil shook her head “without my help you boys would be nowhere.”
“Well,” Kyrie interrupted, “Aunt Eliza said to clean the attic if we played in it, so I think we had better do that while the pies bake.”
The children collected brooms, feather dusters, rags and other cleaning supplies, and hauled them up to the attic. As they cleaned they talked, though Jill noticed Kyrie was a bit quite.
The older girls organized the boxes and bags, Alec and Edmund swept, and Phil dusted.
“These window sills have dust an inch thick,” Phil said, wiping her rag across the wood. Just then the timer beeped down stairs.
“That must be our pie!” Kyrie cried. “I’ll get it. The rest of you stay up here so how it looks will be a surprise.”
Kyrie soon returned, her face all smiles. “It looks splendid!”
“How about ours?” Asked Edmund hopefully.
“It looked alright. You set a timer, right?”
“Yes,” Edmund nodded. “For thirty five minutes.”
The hour dragged on as the Worth children and Kyrie continued talking and cleaning. “What is that strange smell?” Kyrie said, resting her head against a beam and turning up her nose.
“Our pie!” the boys yelled in unison.
Edmund made a wild dash for the stairs and was the first to reach the kitchen. Black smoke billowed up from the oven in front of him. “Oh, dear,” he sighed.
“‘Oh dear!’” mocked Jill, “Quick! Turn off the oven!” Edmund hesitated.
“Um, which button is…”
“Oh never mind!” Jill turned off the oven herself and stepped back, coughing. “Kyrie, where are the oven mitts?”
Kyrie handed them to her, then jumped and clapped her hands to her ears as the piercing wail of the fire alarm started.
“Oh dear,” sighed Edmund.
Alec located the alarm and unscrewed it from the ceiling. As he held it low down, away from the smoke, the noise stopped.
“I don’t think you’re supposed to take it off the ceiling,” said Kyrie as Jill raced by them with the smoking pie, headed for the porch.
“My mom does it all the time!” said Alec. “How else can you make it stop?”
“Well, be sure to put it back up before my aunt sees it. She’s very concerned about—cough—fire safety.”
Phil opened the kitchen windows and the smoke began to clear. Jill came back inside.
“Well,” said Jill “that was interesting.”
“Sorry about that, Kyrie,” said Alec “I told Ed to set the timer.”
Edmund glared back at Alec “I did set it!”
Phil pointed to the timer “You were supposed to push ‘start’.”
Ed groaned, “How was I supposed to know that?” Jill rolled her eyes.
“I think our pie baking career is over.”
“Brought to an untimely death-by-timer,” sighed Edmund.
Kyrie drained the last drop of milk from her cup, not wanting to set it down and have to look at people again. In the momentary silence, the thoughts Edmund’s pie contest had tried to brush away returned. But she couldn’t spend the afternoon staring at the bottom of a glass.
Edmund giggled. “Hey Kyrie, I hate to break it to you, but there isn’t any more milk in your cup.”
Kyrie set it down hastily.
“Now, Edmund,” said Jill, “don’t tease Kyrie so much! She’s probably not using to having such a…hilarious boy around.”
“Why, thank you, Jill!” Ed radiated mock gratitude.
Jill watched Kyrie with hidden anxiety while keeping up her banter with Ed. She had invited Kyrie to lunch at their house so Kyrie wouldn’t have to eat alone in the smoky kitchen, but she wondered if it would have been better to leave her alone. Poor Kyrie. But there wasn’t anything they could do about her father, really, so…
“Alright!” announced Jill “What shall we do next? Does anyone want to be in a photoshoot?”
Alec and Edmund groaned. “Not another one!”
“Well, what would you like to do, Kyrie?” asked Jill.
Kyrie shrugged. “Whatever you guy like. I don’t really mind.”
Phil jumped in “Why don’t we go into town and do something? Maybe we could stop by the library!”
Kyrie looked up from inspecting the tablecloth, “You like the library?”
“Yes! Do you?” Phil asked.
“Oh yes! I’m always asking Grandmother to take me, but she hardly ever does. I have a library card, though.”
“You mean she doesn’t let you go into town without her?” asked Edmund.
“She says it isn’t safe. Your mom lets you?” Kyrie had only met Mrs. Worth half an hour ago, but she had already been surprised by her leniency a dozen times.
“As long as we go together. It’s only half a mile away!” Said Alec.
“Hey, that was my question!” said Edmund.
“Whatever,” interrupted Jill “Would you like to go, Kyrie?”
Kyrie bit her lip. “Well…”
“Do you really think your Grandmother would mind?” asked Alec.
Kyrie knew she probably would mind. But more than she wanted to stay out of trouble, she wanted to be with Jill, and Edmund, and Alec, and Phil of course. Not just to be with them, but to be one of them. They already think I’m a baby. Crying like that in front of all of them. I’m never allowed to do anything fun…
“Alright,” said Kyrie, “I’ll come. I’ve never asked Grandmother about going with someone else; I’m sure if your mom thinks it’s alright, it is.”
Edmund jumped up from the table. “Then let’s go!”
“Hey!” said Jill “We have to clear our dishes first.”
“Okay, let’s go after we clear our dishes and do everything else in due propriety!”
Jill rolled her eyes “You read too much, Ed. Due propriety! What does that even mean?”
So everyone cleared their dishes and prepared to leave while listening to Edmund lecture Jill on the meaning of the word propriety, which was evidently shamefully overdue. Finally they made it out the door, only to have Phil run back in to get her library books.
Kyrie scuffed her tennis shoe on the driveway, trying not to think about Aunt Eliza. Jill watched her.
“Phil!” Jill shouted “We’re waiting for you!” She turned to Kyrie “Sorry about that. Phil is always forgetting things!”
Seeing that Kyrie still didn’t look very cheerful, Jill added “Why don’t we go ahead and start without her?”
“Alright,” said Edmund, “She can catch up.”
On the way to town, Alec and Edmund filled the girls in on a new game they had made up last time they went.
“It doesn’t really have a name,” said Ed, “but basically, you have to make it from one end of Main Street to the other without anyone seeing you.”
“Right,” said Alec, “you can go through alleys or whatever you like, but you have to meet at the ‘Welcome to Abbeytown’ sign at the end of Main Street. Whoever gets there first, without being seen, wins.”
“What if somebody does see you?” asked Jill.
“Then you have to start over.”
Jill glanced at Kyrie “I don’t know, Alec. It sounds like kind of a bad idea.”
“Come on!” said Edmund, “it’s great! What could go wrong?”
“Um, Ed, a lot of thing could.”
“‘Don’t bother me with trifles!’” quoted Edmund in a strange accent, “‘After waiting twenty five years—‘”
“Alright, alright,” Jill interrupted “No Inigo Montoya, please! What do you think, Kyrie?”
“Well, it does sound exciting!”
“Alright, then,” sighed Jill, “I’m in.”
“Although,” said Kyrie, “I don’t know my way around town very well. Maybe…”
“I’ll go with you!” shouted Edmund, “I’m, like, an expert.”
Despite everything on Kyrie’s mind, she grinned. “Alright. That sounds fun!”
Just then they heard Phil running up behind them. “Hey Jill! Alec! Wait for me!”
They turned around and waited for her. “There you are!” said Jill.
“Sorry,” Phil panted, lugging her bag of library books, “I hoped you would wait for me.”
Ten minutes later, Kyrie and Edmund peered around the corner of a large brick building. Phil had decided to stay at the library, but the race was on between Alec, Jill, and Ed and Kyrie.
“This is so easy” said Edmund, “there’s hardly anyone out. Last time I had to—there’s someone!”
Kyrie pulled back, “Wait till she goes by,” she whispered.
“But she’s coming right this way—oh no!” Edmund grabbed Kyrie’s hand and ran to a small door in the building.
“Ed!” Kyrie whispered, “We can’t go in there! What are you—“
“It’s just the back door of the library!” Edmund hissed, opening the door and pulling Kyrie through into the darkness.
“Edmund! Do you have any idea how much trouble we could get into if someone found us?” Kyrie hissed as her eyes began to adjust to the dark.
“Chill Kyrie! No one is going to going to find us,” Edmund’s mischievous eyes glinted in the dark, making him look older, and sophisticated.
“And besides, now that we are here, we might as well explore, because Jill or Alex have probably won by now.”
“But-”Kyrie didn’t get a chance to finish what she was saying, because at that moment, Edmund grabbed her hand and pulled her to the nearest door, which just happened to be labelled with “Staff Only”.
“Oh yes, this is going to be fun!” Edmund’s voice was full of excitement, and even Kyrie had to admit that this was nicer than studying at home.
“Help me,” grunted Edmund, pushing the door with all his strength. After a while, an open door lay in front of them, and the two children (who now had sore shoulders and backs) ran in, having no idea what awaited them.
“Well…this is boring-er than I thought it would be,” Edmund said. It had only been a minute, and while Kyrie was engrossed in the boxes and boxes of books, Edmund was kicking the corners, and sighing every now and then.
“Edmund! Come here! Now!” Kyrie’s voice was filled with enthusiasm, something that was becoming more and more common.
“Look at this!” Kyrie waved a piece of paper around in the air.
“What is that?”
“It’s a story!’’
“Oh well that’s very fascinating, isn’t it?” His voice was the definition of sarcasm, and Kyrie, who wasn’t used to this, soon had red eyes and a stuffy nose.
“Hey Kyrie, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to make fun of you, honest. I was just joking around,”
“It’s okay,” Kyrie said, wiping the tears away, and beginning talking about her piece of paper again.
“It says this is a script, written in the 1890’s! Apparently all the teachers had to perform this, because they…
A few minutes later, when Kyrie had finished reading the story, Edmund finally realised how worried Alex and Jill would be.
“Kyrie! We have to go! Now!” His voice had a new sense of panic that Kyrie thought she would never hear.
“Okay, okay! I’m coming!” Kyrie stood up and brushed some of the dirt of her shirt, and hurried to the door, where she met Edmund and a very angry looking librarian.
“WHAT, WERE YOU BOTH DOING IN THERE?” The librarian’s (who’s name tag said her name was Jennifer), face was red and her hands were curled up into fists.
“Oh-um-we didn’t mean to” Kyrie started, her only wish being that Edmund and her wouldn’t get into trouble.
“Oh hello! Are you Jennifer?” Edmund’s eyes were twinkling and his smile told Kyrie that he had some mischief planned.
“Edmund! What are you-” Kyrie didn’t get to finish her sentence as Edmund kicked her in the shins, and punched her (for extra measure).
“What was I saying? Oh yes, Jennifer, lovely to meet you,” He extended his hand and Jennifer shook it slowly, with a angry look still lingering in her eyes.
“The only reason Kyrie and I were in there is because my Mother, Rachel, the head librarian, sent us to get a book, but we couldn’t find it, so we were like, we better ask a librarian, and you come along!” Edmund smiled a smile that showed his pearly teeth.
“Ah, that makes sense. Rachel is your Mother? Well, her kids are welcome here, and it’s totally fine you were in there,” She gestured to the door.
“Now, what book did Rachel want?”
“The Secrets of the Hidden Door,” Kyrie blurted out.
“Oh, that book won’t be in there! It’ll be in the YA Section. You kids wait here, and I’ll get it for you both, okay?” Jennifer smiled and left in the other direction.
“That was a close one,” Edmund was grinning a bit too much.
“Can we just get out of here?” Kyrie had enjoyed the little adventure, but the librarian had been a bit too much.
A hour later, after hearing a bunch of scoldings from Jill and a few “pat on the backs” from Alex, they reached the park, and while Alex and Edmund wanted to run a few kilometers, Jill and Kyrie sat down on a bench with ice-cream, and started chatting.
The next day, when Kyrie was home again with her Aunt and her Grandma, she decided that today, she would get one of them to admit the truth about her Dad.
She went downstairs, and found her Grandma in her rocking chair, watching television.
“Hello Grandma!” Kyrie said.
“Hello Kyrie. What do you want?”
“I just want to talk to you, because both of us are always busy, and I thought we both spent some time together, it would improve our relationship. Don’t you think?” Kyrie was pushing it, and she knew that, but she needed answers. Badly.
“I think.. That is a very good idea, my little cupcake.” She took Kyrie’s face in her palms, and immediately Kyrie knew it was a rare day, as Grandma NEVER called her “cupcake”.
“What did you want to ask me?”
“Oh, just about your family, and where they came from, and you know.” One step at a time, Kyrie thought to herself.
“Ah, my family. My Mother was from Italy, my Father, he was from Venice. They met at a wedding, I believe, and they got married in 1946. Two years later I was born, and then two years after that, I got triplet siblings! I still remember that day when Father and I went to the hospital to see Mamma, lying in a hospital bed, with Rose, Tulip and Daisy in a little bed next to her. They all looked so cute and they were just so… You know what? I’ll show you a baby picture of them.” Grandma took a deep breath and got up, walking to the little cupboard, and getting a dusty photo-book out, Kyrie having no idea what type of secrets it contained about her Father.
Amanda G. D.
Grandma slowly walked to her padded rocking chair, holding the old family album with both hands. As she sat down and opened up the book, Kyrie pulled up a chair next to her. Grandma had already started flipping through the pages, with an excited look on her face.
“These are some pictures of my family, when we were all quite young,” she said, “Rose, Tulip, and Daisy and I are all right here. Oh, that was my wedding day!” Kyrie looked were Grandma pointed, and there was a faded picture with four women. The three women who were identical she guessed to be Grandma’s sisters, and the blonde woman with the flowing white wedding dress had to be Grandma.
“Ah, those were the days,” Grandma sighed as she slowly turned the delicate pages, and pointed out certain important photographs.
“Look, there’s Eliza as a baby”, she chuckled while she pointed to a picture of a chubby, smiling toddler, about five. “And there’s Eddy”, Grandma stopped and her look of joy vanished. She hesitated for a moment, and then said, “Kyrie, I’m awfully tired, maybe we should do this another time.” Then Grandma closed the dusty book.
“Wait,” Kyrie said, putting her hand on the book, “Eddy was my dad, right? Could I at least see a couple of pictures of him? You can go upstairs and rest if you want.”
Grandma turned and looked at Kyrie with piercing blue eyes, while Kyrie tried to stay calm. She had never seen a picture of her father before, she didn’t even know they had one in the house! “Well, you could look for a minute, you’re old enough”, Grandma said reluctantly. And with a heave she stood up and started shuffling to the stairs.
Kyrie’s fingers trembled as she found the spot where they had left off. This is what she had wanted, but now she was almost too scared to look at the photographs she had wondered about for ages. The first one she saw was of Dad and Aunt Eliza together as children. They looked so happy. The next one she saw was when her dad was around twelve, and was just getting braces. He had very blonde hair and lots of freckles, and looked like he would have been a kind person to meet.
As Kyrie flipped through the pages, she could see her father changing while the years went by. He smiled less, his hair got longer, and there were less pictures of him. Maybe that season was too painful for his family to want to remember. When Kyrie saw the last picture in the book, she gasped. It was her Mom and Dad, and her as a baby doing a family portrait. Kyrie was about 3 months old. Mom and Dad had plastered on smiles that didn’t reach their eyes, and Kyrie was covered in blankets and held by her dad. She gazed at that picture for ten whole minutes, before she put the album back, trying to memorize their faces.
Kyrie tried to read a book she had gotten from the library, but she couldn’t stop thinking about the picture. Why did her dad look so familiar?
The sun shone bright and hot as Kyrie and the Worths biked their way to town. Since it was so hot, they had decided to go to town to get some ice cream sundaes, and were now racing toward the shop. Edmund was asking them their opinions of what he wanted for desert.
“What if I got four scopes of cookies ‘n’ cream, and mixed it with two whole brownies!” he said. “
I’d try it” Alec said with amusement.
“So would I! Although maybe with just one brownie. That’d be too much chocolate!” Phil added in.
“Guys! Mom only gave us enough money for two scoops each, and one topping. No one is getting giant chocolate sugar mountains!” Jill retorted. Kyrie was silent, still thinking about the picture.
They rode past Town Square, where their was an event going on. Blue and white ribbons where everywhere, and a man was standing on the gazebo, apparently making a speech. There was sound equipment all over the place, so you could hear him 200 yards away. Kyrie stopped her bike and stared at the gazebo curiously.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“I’m pretty sure that’s Mayor Walker doing another speech”, Jill said, pulling up beside her. “He’s been making a ton of speeches lately, and been saying some pretty nasty things about Neil Binverisie, the republican candidate. We should catch up with the others.” Jill glanced to the shop, where Alec, Edmund, and Phil looked at them with confused expressions.
Kyrie looked one more time at Mayor Walker and froze. He had the same freckles as her dad. His facial expressions were the same as her fathers in the pictures. Sure, he had gained a lot of weight, and his hair was jet black, but people could change a lot in 14 years. Which still meant he couldn’t be her father, it could just be her imagination. But Kyrie was sure she could see the tiniest bit of yellow in his hair.
“What’s wrong?” Jill asked, concerned by Kyrie’s sudden silence. Kyrie knew how crazy it would sound, but she said it anyway.
“I…I think my dad might be …Mayor W-w- Walker.” Jill stared at her as if she had grown another head.
“Kyrie, are you ok? Maybe you should get out of the heat. Your mind is too full of those pictures you told us about, of your dad.” Kyrie glanced up and saw the others ride toward them, looking annoyed.
Edmund spoke first. “What’s the hold-up? I’m about ready to die of heat out here!”
“What’s wrong?”, Phil said, immediately quieting down Edmund after she saw Kyrie’s distraught state.
“I’ll tell you about it later, but do you guys mind coming back tomorrow? I have a plan.”
“What’s this plan about?” Alec asked, “Because I have basketball practice tomorrow, and I can’t miss it.”
Kyrie answered quickly, “It’s about finding my dad, who just might’ve lived in the same town as me for four years, and I’ve never known him.”
All the Worth kids started asking questions on top of questions about “the plan”, but Kyrie said she’d tell them when they had they’re ice cream, and she could think things more throughly.
But Kyrie had already thought of one. Get a few pictures of her dad. Come tomorrow while Mayor Walker was saying another speech. Compare him with the pictures. And, if she was right, talk to her dad for the first time.
“No one’s here” Edmund said, surveying the Town Square. The gazebo was empty. Kyrie was too disappointed to speak, and also upset with herself. Of course Mayor Walker wouldn’t make speeches two days in a row, at the same place! She should’ve known that!
“Well, what do we do now?” Phil asked,”Maybe go to the library? I have some books to drop off from last time. I thought we could do it after we, you know, did the plan. But now…” She looked at Kyrie, trying to cheer her up. It wasn’t working.
Alec was looking thoughtfully at the library, and then suddenly said,”Hey, what about the Archives, don’t they keep old newspapers there? Mayor Walker has got to be in one of them!”
“Alec, that’s brilliant!” Kyrie almost shouted.“But we have to hurry, Alec has his practice in about an hour,” Jill reminded them all.
When they got to the archive room, Kyrie was relieved to see no one was there. Phil had gone to return her books and get a couple more. The Archives were two small rooms connected together by a tiny hall, lined with glass bookshelves. In the shelves were large cardboard boxes, one holding all the newspapers for that year. Kyrie was surprised to see they had newspapers starting at 1884.
“Look at all this cool stuff! It’s so old!” Ed said, walking into the next room. “Hey, this is the year I was born!” he shouted back. Alec, Jill, and Kyrie began to work steadily, finding newspapers and comparing pictures of dad and Mayor Walker. After about thirty minutes they found a pictures of both in the same position.
Jill inhaled sharply, “Kyrie, that is so your dad. We need to tell someone who Edmund Landers is back in town. But only someone we trust.”
But the only person who had come in was a forty-year old man Kyrie had seen at the rally yesterday, who sometimes glanced their way, and then looked back at his phone.
Randal Lemons was growing quite annoyed. He had been waiting for 37 minutes for those kids to leave, but they were still gawking at those newspapers. The newspapers that he was supposed to get rid of. He was also getting alarmed as to why they were looking at those particular newspapers. Getting up, Randal moved to where last week’s issue was, and where he could hear their conversation.
“I know this is fascinating, but Alec is going to be very late if we don’t leave in the next 15 minutes.” Jill said as Kyrie gazed at an obituary from 14 years, her mother’s. She finally felt like she was getting to know her parents, but why did it have to be through newspapers articles, and only about her father’s wrongdoings?
Alec was looking at another paper, “Your dad’s on the missing persons list here,” he commented, then turned and faced her, “What are you going to say to your dad?” he asked.
Before Kyrie could reply, a deep voice behind her answered, “Well, guess what I’m going to say to you.” They turned around to see the man on the phone staring at them with an unwelcoming expression.
“Give me those newspapers, all of them, and never speak of what you found out here. Or else.” Kyrie realized the man had been in the gazebo yesterday, helping out with her dad assemble the podium. He meant business.
Kyrie stared at the man for a second, then timidly started handing him the papers.
“Hold it, Kyrie,” Alec interrupted. “We have as much right to look at these as anyone.” He stood a little straighter and looked the man in the eye. You can’t take them – or threaten us.”
“Listen, kid,” he snapped, throwing down last week’s paper. “I’m Randal Lemons, the director of this library. You better scram before I lose patience and call the cops.”
Kyrie glanced nervously at the others, but Alec continued, undaunted.
“What for? This is a public building, and you don’t have any charges against us.”
“I’m sure I can find one. Now get.. out.” Mr. Lemons’ glaring eyes and tight jaw showed that he was in no mood to parley. Prodding Ed, Jill and Kyrie made a hasty retreat, but Alec hung back in the doorway for a last attempt.
“The police can’t do a thing without a warrant.”
Jill pulled Alec away as Mr. Lemons slammed the door in their faces. The quartet stood quietly together for a moment. Ed spoke up first.
“Charming fellow. Well, we know who Mayor Walker is now; what’s next?”
“Wait for me!” Phil called, running toward them with her newest book. “Find anything interesting?” she panted.
“Will you kids be quiet?!” shushed a librarian coming around the corner, hands on her hips.
“We should go.” Jill urged.
Outside, Ed told Phil about what they had found and their discourteous visitor. Upon hearing Mr. Lemons claim of identity, Phil exclaimed,
“He’s not the director! Melissa King is; I talked to her just a few minutes ago.”
Alec dashed back into the library without another word. Ed and Phil ran after him at a slightly slower speed, but as Jill was about to follow Kyrie spotted Mr. Lemons exiting from a side door.
“Wait, there he is!” She cried. Striding quickly to a blue Honda, he threw a bag on the passenger seat, climbed in and started the engine. Alec reappeared at the main door, and then approached the girls.
“Did you see him?”
Jill pointed to the car, now backing out of the parking lot. Alec raced for the bikes.
“Where are you going?!” Kyrie asked, hoping her speculation was correct.
Alec rolled Kyrie’s bike to her.
“He’s stealing the newspapers; we’re going to follow and see what he does!”
We?! Kyrie’s heart rose as a thrill of anticipation washed over her. Finally, a real adventure! However, Jill put out her hand on Alec’s bike.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?”
“I want to know where he’s going.” Alec responded, matter-of-factly.
“You have to get to basketball practice.”
His shoulders sagged at Jill’s reminder, and they dejectedly watched Mr. Lemons’ car merge into the noon traffic. Alec’s eyes suddenly brightened and he ran to a huge tree in the middle of the parking lot. Nimbly, he swung up on a limb and to Kyrie’s dismay, climbed til he was nearly a full story above the roof of the library. Pushing aside leafy branches, he peered out over the town. Rolling her eyes, Jill strode to the base of the tree.
“Come on, Alec, you can’t track him like that.”
“Yes, yes he’s there!” Alec pointed wildly with his hand, causing him to nearly lose his balance. He clung tightly to the limb and grinned. “I still see him… Perfect! He lives right down there.”
“Just come down now, okay?” Kyrie called.
Once on the ground, Alec explained his plan:
“He went in one of the houses on 12th St. I have to go, but you girls ride over and see what he’s up to, take pictures, catch him in the act. Do you have your BCF, Jill?”
Jill hesitated. “Yes, but shouldn’t we call the police and let them handle it?”
Alec shook his head as he mounted his bike. “That guy is probably going to destroy the newspapers. The police wouldn’t have enough time to get here. Will you do it?”
Face beaming, Kyrie declared enthusiastically, “Absolutely!”
Jill sighed in resignation, and grabbed her bike as Alec rode off with a wave.
“Why would he want to destroy the papers, though?” she pondered aloud.
“He was helping Mayor – err, my Dad at the rally yesterday.” Kyrie answered, steering carefully over to the sidewalk. “ I think he might have-”
She stopped, and contemplated what she was about to say. But Jill finished the thought for her.
“You think your dad might have hired him to steal the papers because they’re incriminating?”
“Maybe.” Kyrie pedaled harder, trying not to think about any, “what-ifs”.
Standing outside the library, Edmund and Phil saw Alec disappear into traffic to the south, and Jill and Kyrie ride out of sight to the north.
“The fellowship is broken.” Ed muttered.
“They left without us!” Phil jumped onto her bike to follow Jill and Kyrie, but Ed shook his head.
“We don’t know where they’re going. Besides, Ms. King said we should stay to describe Mr. Lemons to the police.”
“Well, at least that should be interesting. But it’s not fair!” Kicking some gravel, Phil plopped down on a bench to read. About ten minutes later, sirens were heard, and a police car was seen approaching. Ed slipped on a pair of trendy sunglasses as two officers climbed out, accompanied by a few ladies with cameras and recording devices. Soon, he was engaged in chatting with the reporters and giving his statement to the amused officers. Phil stood in the background admiring the officers’ paraphernalia. Eventually, they collected all the information needed, and the curious onlookers dispersed. Ed removed his sunglasses with a contented sigh.
“It is fun being in the spotlight.”
“Where do we go from here, Mr. VIP?” Phil snorted.
“My brain says go watch Alec shoot some hoops, but my delightfully enterprising instinct says to find out what we can about our beloved Mayor and his connection to Mr. Lemons, ‘cause I’m sure there is one.”
“And just how do we do that?”
“We’ve got Google, m’dear Philadelphia.” Edmund replied. “How hard can it be?”
“What’s a BCF, Jill?” Kyrie asked as they hid their bikes behind a tree facing the driveway where Mr. Lemons’ car was parked. Jill smiled.
“Best Camera Forever. Alec named it.” She pulled it out of the bicycle basket and, after snapping a picture of Mr. Lemons’ license plate, motioned to a neighboring Dutch Colonial. “Let’s walk around this house first, then make a dash for that bush under his window; it looks from here like it might be his living room window. Boy, I hope he doesn’t see us.”
Breathlessly, they snuck around the house and crept up under the bush, Kyrie trying not to soil her dress as Aunt Eliza would be furious. Aunt Eliza! Kyrie gave a short gasp. A glance at the clock tower soaring above the trees confirmed that she was half an hour late for flute practice. Part of her wanted to run home immediately, but she convinced herself it was too late to turn back now. Hearing a voice, they cautiously peered through the window.
“You want me to bring it to your house, Dustin?” Randal Lemons asked, over the phone. The man seemed a bit annoyed but then laughed it of.
“Sure, we can celebrate together. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” He clicked his cellphone off and stood there a moment, thinking. Neil Binverisie wouldn’t be able to look over the old papers any longer! Any evidence would be gone. He and the Mayor would burn them and that would be the end of it. He grinned mischievously, then turned toward the door to leave his house.
Randal grabbed a box and put the newspapers in them. He locked the door before walking toward his car. He grunted when he looked up at the sky; it looked like it was going to rain. Dark clouds gathered together in front of him and the wind started to pick up a bit. He thought he, also, smelled rain.
The man threw the box of newspapers in his small, black vehicle and was about to leave when he spotted something bright behind his tree. Could it be a flower? Determined that not even a bright, little flower would grow in his yard, he headed toward the spot. To his surprise, what was behind the tree wasn’t something in the ground. It was people. Two girls looked extremely frightened. He recognized them as the two girls from the library room. They were after him and his papers!
“Girls!” he shouted, which made them jump.
“I’m sorry, Kyrie. I didn’t mean for that to happen,” Jill said, as Mr. Lemons quickly headed toward his car. The man, thankfully, didn’t lay hands on them but he did threaten them. He said if he ever saw them again, he would definitely do something.
“That’s alright…I guess. Thankfully he didn’t do anything to us,” Kyrie said, shivering a little. “We need to stay out of his sight. ” All of a sudden, as if it just dawned on Kyrie, she said, “But he has the papers and we need to follow him!”
“You think we should? Will your Grandmother and aunt be angry?” Jill said, asked. She grabbed a hold of her bike.
“They’ll most likely be angry but I don’t care. Let’s follow him, I know you want to. I’m already half an hour late to my flute lesson and the lesson only lasts an hour, ” Kyrie said, grabbing the other bike that leaned against the tree. “Plus, I’d rather see what’s going to happen.”
“Oh! I forgot about the pictures,” Jill said, looking at the camera that hung around her neck. “Ed, Alec and Phil will be so angry with me!” She looked toward Mr. Lemons’ car. “If we’re going, let’s get to it!”
Mr. Lemons’ car quickly pulled out of the driveway and headed up the road.
Kyrie followed the fast-moving Jill up the sidewalk. Jill came to a halting stop before Kyrie knew what was happening and jammed into her.
“What are you doing?” Kyrie asked. “Aren’t we going to follow?”
“Yes, but we need to follow secretly, ” she reminded Kyrie, getting off her bike. She pulled the two bikes apart before continuing. “We certainly don’t want him to see us again! ” Jill pointed at his car. “He turned down that road. Let’s go up this road and see where he goes.”
The two girls rode their bikes until they hit the end of the road. They watched as Mr. Lemons’ car turned down another road and they followed behind at a good distance. Finally the car turned into the driveway of a house.
“Do you know who’s house that is?” Kyrie whispered to Jill.
“No but–“ BOOM!!!
The two girls looked up at the sky.
“Looks like a storm is coming,” Jill said, as the wind began to blow her thick, brown hair. The wind did the same to Kyrie’s. The two girls slowly rode their bikes down the sidewalk, as they watched Mr. Lemons run inside the house with the box.
“What do you think he’s going to do with the papers?” Kyrie asked.
“Well, I didn’t hear him very well, back when he was talking at his house, but it sounded like he’s going to burn them,” Jill said, getting off her bike.
The two girls walked up the road for a little while before Jill said, “Let’s leave our bikes here so they’re out of view.”
Kyrie got off her bike and set it against a tree.
“Mrs. Miller lives here. She wouldn’t mind us doing this,” Jill said looking up at the house. It looked small. The house stood a few feet away from them and wore grey shingles that were falling off.
“Oh! Alec and Ed forgot to do some repairs Mrs. Miller asked them to do. We can visit her after we’re done here.”
“Who is she?” Kyrie asked.
“She’s a widow with about a dozen kids,” Jill laughed.
Kyrie’s eyes grew wide. “Really?”
“No, but it seems that way! There’s about 6 or 7 of them. Can you believe it? I’d love to have more siblings!” Jill smiled. “But enough about the Miller’s, let’s get onto our searching. Come this way.”
The two girls quietly walked down the street and around the back of the house that Mr. Lemons entered. They stopped when they heard voices. Two men walked outside.
Jill quickly yanked Kyrie behind a bush. “Look, it’s your Father,” she whispered.
Kyrie nodded. She could tell, for sure, that this was her Father. This was the closest she had ever seen of him. He had black hair but his roots were still blond.
“So, this is your Father’s house?” Jill asked.
Kyrie looked up at the side of the house. It stood tall and looked nothing like the Miller’s small home. It looked like a mansion compared to their house. “I guess so.” If she lived here with her Father in her early years, she remembered nothing of it. ” Get a picture of it. ”
“Thanks for the reminder,” Jill snapped a picture before turning her eyes back onto the men. They had walked over to a fire pit that was built in the middle of the yard. A wall of bricks stood around it and in the middle of the pit was where they laid the old newspapers.
“I told you they were going to burn them!” Jill said, a little too loudly.
“Jill–shh!” Kyrie said. Thankfully Mr. Lemons and Mayor Walker didn’t hear Jill’s loud exclamation.
A bolt of lighting shot through the sky, then another loud boom of thunder came. All of a sudden, the clouds opened up because the rain started to come down and drench the girls. The men quickly ran inside.
“Hey, look, quick!” Jill said, running toward the pit.
“Jill, what are you doing? This is too dangerous!” Kyrie said. She was already soaked and didn’t feel like getting caught by Mr. Lemons again.
Jill ran to the pit and started grabbing as many papers as she possibly could. “Here, help me!” Kyrie ran over, too.
They heard the door open and a man’s loud voice boomed out, “HEY, YOU GIRLS!”
Jill handed Kyrie a stack of wet papers and grabbed a few more before they flew out of the yard, with the men behind them.
“You come back here!”
Kyrie remembered hearing that voice somewhere and she knew it wasn’t the other day when he was talking in front of those people. This man, without a doubt, was her Father. Should she stop so he could see her? Or should she continue following Jill? Of course she had to follow Jill, what was she thinking?
They flew up the sidewalk. Jill pulled Kyrie up the Miller’s front porch and they gently fell on the wooden slats without a sound. The railing and plants that were on the porch hid them very well because they heard footsteps come and then disappate. The men had passed the house.
Jill and Kyrie were out of breath and drenched. Mud had splattered all over their clothing and their hair clung to their necks because of the rain.
“Can you–believe–it?” Jill gasped for breath, as she sat up. She took the camera off her neck. “I hope this is okay!” She set it down.
Kyrie shook her head as she pulled her dripping hair in front of her.
“Let’s rest a minute, ” Jill said, her heavy breathing coming down a notch.
The two girls stayed quiet, not knowing what to do or say. Kyrie’s mind was a mess with thoughts. Did that just happen?! Did we not get caught? I thought for sure we would! What would’ve happened if we did? Would Grandmother miss me? Would my aunt? What would Grandmother and aunt ever think of me right now?! A chuckled came to her just thinking about how Grandmother and aunt would react.
“What’s so funny?” Jill asked, turning toward Kyrie. She looked surprised and confused that Kyrie was laughing at such a time.
“I’m just thinking about what Grandmother and aunt would think of me,” she smiled. “I don’t know if they’d be more angry at me for getting my dress dirty or for being late for my flute lesson!”
Jill laughed. “I hope they won’t be too angry they won’t let you out of the house for a week!”
Kyrie gasped. “Oh, Jill, don’t think that way. That would be horrid!”
Jill looked down at the papers that sat soaked in her lap. “Well, let’s go inside the Millers’ house with these papers before we get caught.” She jumped up and rang the doorbell.
Thirty minutes later, Jill and Kyrie were warmly dressed in dresses that some of the Miller girls loaned them. Their hair was combed back and their faces were washed. They sat at the kitchen table with Mrs. Miller and her children.
“Would you girls like some tea?” Mrs. Miller asked, smiling.
“Sure, thank you,” Jill said.
Mrs. Miller looked like a nice woman. She wore an old, blue dress that went down to her ankles and her brown, graying hair was tied back in a bun. Two of her children sat at the table with Kyrie and Jill, looking curiously at the two newcomers.
Mrs. Miller nodded at Kyrie and Jill and went into the kitchen.
“Remember me?” Jill asked to the one little girl. She had on a pink dress and her golden curls outlined her face prettily.
When the little girl nodded, her curls bounced up and down. “Jill.” Her voice was quiet and high-pitched.
“That’s right,” Jill grinned. “And you are Caitlyn.”
The little girl smiled shyly.
“And I’m Ben,” the little boy sitting next to Caitlyn said triumphantly.
Jill nodded. “I remember you!”
“Yeah,” Ben said, then laughed.
Mrs. Miller came in, smiling, with some delicious smelling food. “I’ve got some cinnamon rolls for you girls and your tea is heatin’ up.” She had a bit of an accent. It sounded Irish but Kyrie wasn’t sure.
“Thank you,” Jill said with a smile, as she grabbed a warm roll.
Kyrie took one and said thank you, as well.
“What were you girls doing out in the rain? You’ve could’ve caught yourself a cold,” Mrs. Miller sat down at the table. “And don’t you be catchin’ one there.”
The girls laughed then Jill replied, “Getting these. ” She held up the newspapers as if they were a treasure. “Kyrie’s got some, too.”
Mrs. Miller smiled but looked a bit confused. “What-what are they?”
Jill was all perky up until now. She looked a little discouraged. “That’s what we’re wondering, too. All we know is that Mayor Walker and Mr. Lemons wants them. They were going to burn them.”
“Hmm, now that sounds very interesting,” Mrs. Miller said. Her r’s rolled nicely off her tongue. “Better eat those rolls while they’re hot. Excuse me, girls.” She left the room.
Ben and Caitlyn got up from their seats, uninterested in the girls, and left the room, as well.
Jill looked down at the papers. “I wonder why they wanted them so badly? There doesn’t seem to be anything interesting in them.” She was scanning through the front page of the first newspaper.
Kyrie began pulling apart the papers she had until she tore one apart. “Oops.”
“We need to get home soon to let these dry,” Jill said, then she gasped. “Mother will wonder what these are! I don’t think she’d like us bringing in wet papers.” She shook her head.
“How about I bring them home?” Kyrie suggested.
Just then Mrs. Miller came back in the room and gave them their tea. The girls gave their thanks and continued their conversation.
“Good idea,” Jill said. “I just hope your Grandmother and aunt wouldn’t mind.”
“I’ll hide them,” Kyrie said.
After ten minutes of drinking tea and eating cinnamon rolls, the two girls left with their papers and nicely-washed dresses. Mrs. Miller said good bye and told them they were welcome anytime.
The girls hurried to their bikes and were about to leave when Jill rememberwe her camera she left on the front porch. When she got there, it wasn’t on the porch.
“Kyrie, did you take my camera?” Jill asked, her eyebrows coming together.
Kyrie shook her head.
“It’s not here!”
The girls looked all around the house but gave up, knowing Kyrie needed to get home. They grabbed their bikes and started to ride home. They found it difficult to ride while they held the wet papers. They managed to finally get to the Worth’s house. When they did, Alec, Ed and Phil came rushing out of the house.
“What do you have there?” Phil asked, with delight, as Jill handed her the papers.
Jill got off her bike before saying, “The exact papers Mr. Lemons took from the library! They were about to burn them until it started raining. They went inside and Kyrie and I ran toward the pit and grabbed as many as we could before getting caught.”
“Who are they?” Alec asked .
“The Mayor and Kyrie’s father.”
“Really?” Phil sounded surprised. She squealed.
“Is that all of the newspapers?” Ed wondered.
“No. There were still a lot left in the pit but we had to make a run for it.”
“How did you get away?” Alec asked.
“We went on the Miller’s porch. With all the plants, we hid very nicely! I told her you and Ed are going to come over sometime next week to help make her house look better.” Jill laid her bike on the grass. “Remember you forgot?”
” Yikes! I hope she wasn’t mad or anything. We totally forgot! ” Ed said.
“Oh, no. She understood.”
“Good! Did you get any pictures?” Alec asked.
Jill’s shoulder slumped. “No!”
“Why not? That’s why you took your BCF!” Alec said, shaking his head.
“Well, guess what happened to it?!” Jill wailed. “It got stolen! I left it on the Miller’s front porch and it was gone when we left.”
“What?!” Alec asked. “You have to take better care of our stuff, Jill!”
“I’m sorry,” Jill said sadly. She sighed. She grabbed the papers from Phil. “Kyrie said she’d bring the papers home, I don’t think Mom will like to see wet papers in her house. Plus we need to let them dry before we read them and we’d be too eager to wait. It would be best to give them to Kyrie plus they’d probably dry best in the attic.”
“Yeah, I think I should get going, ” Kyrie said as Jill handed her the stack.
“And we’ll be over tomorrow!” Phil said.
“Don’t invite yourself over,” Jill scolded, shoving her elbow into Phil’s side.
Kyrie laughed. “It’s alright, you guys are free to come. I know you want to.”
“Yeah, this is going to be exciting!” Ed exclaimed.
“You might-as-well give them to me,” a voice from behind said.
Kyrie quickly turned around. It was her Father! His stern face turned to her and his eyes grew huge.