“Well we’re definitely not doing that,” Rose said with an attitude.
“And why not?” her Science partner replied.
“Because it’s stupid!” Rose shot back.
“Well we are not doing it your way,” said her science partner. Rose didn’t even notice her classmates had stopped their conversations and were all staring. The next thing she knew, she was in the principal’s office being told that she was suspended because that was her last strike.
“Rose, you have had too many detentions. We have no choice but to suspend you,” said Rose’s principal, Mr. Fletcher.
“I don’t care. I would like a day off from this school anyway,” said Rose. Rose left the school hoping that her Aunt was not home to get the message from the principal. Normally Rose would have taken the bus home, but since she was suspended and she didn’t want to call her Aunt for a ride, she walked. Rose was especially grateful to be wearing sneakers that day, although she always dressed sporty. When she finally got home, luckily her aunt was not there. She threw her bag down and walked over to the fridge, hopeful her cousin had left some watermelon for her. It was her absolute favorite food, but her cousin was pretty much the opposite of her favorite anything.
Just as she realized her cousin had indeed eaten the last bit of watermelon, she heard her cousin approach. “Why are you home so early?” Agatha asked rudely. Rose was sure Agatha would tell on her so the first thing she thought to do was hide the note the principal had given her and tell her aunt the truth when she got home.
“I had a really bad headache so I got sent home early,” Rose answered quickly. She was always pretty fast on her feet, and not just physically. Agatha didn’t seem to care and turned back to the TV room, giving Rose an opportunity to stash the note. Her cousin had a half day and was watching her favorite tv show. Rose was not getting into another fight, and decided to just leave her alone. Rose said “bye” before her cousin could ask questions and went to play in the forest outside.
She was pretending to be a spy and investigator just like her favorite tv shows and books. She was always particularly fond of the Nancy Drew series. She went through the forest, pretending to find clues. Rose was enjoying herself and mostly forgetting about her cousin and the suspension. While she was pretending, she found a note. Breaking character, she opened the note and read a phone number and address. She looked up and a few steps away she saw a key. The note’s address was 37 Brook Street. Rose had never known there was a house number 37 on Brook Street so she read the phone number. The number was 413-780-3478. Rose got the feeling that this could be a real mystery. She liked the idea of solving it. She knew her aunt would not be happy to find out Rose had gone to a random address, but she already knew she was in trouble as is. Rose stuffed the note and key in her pocket and she set off.
She went to the house and made sure she was in the right place. But she could not find the house. So she checked again. This is where it’s supposed to be, she thought. So she went home and made sure to avoid her cousin Agatha and went into her room. She called the phone number it rang but no one picked up. This was getting creepy.
Rose had to go back to school. It was only a one day suspension and she could not just skip. The next day she was getting ready for school and she already had a plan for how she would get suspended to work on her mystery. She got into class and she just started talking and when the teacher started talking about the lesson, Rose got louder just so everyone knows.
Rose’s teacher Mrs. Mascaro had had enough and yelled to Rose in a stern voice, “Go to the principal’s office.” Rose did not think about them having contact with her aunt who she forgot had no work that day. So with excitement for having her plan work ran all the way to the principal’s office without even caring that the other teachers were yelling at her for running down the hall.
When she got to the principal’s office “Your teacher just told me you were coming. Take a seat I have called your aunt,” said principal Fletcher.
“What?” said Rose. Rose knew now that she was not going to get her mystery solved today and she knew that for certain. After a few awkward minutes of waiting her aunt finally came and she was not happy.
When her aunt sat down the talk started about how she had too many detentions and blablablabla that is really all Rose heard. Rose did not really care about the rest of the conversation. She also figured out this time she has 3 days of suspension and she was going to spend that time working on her mystery. The rest was a blur between her aunt’s ranting the whole way home, and Rose’s focus on her mystery. She barely noticed that her aunt told her she had to go to work, and her cousin was babysitting her.
Once she got in the house, her aunt went to talk to her cousin about keeping an eye on Rose. While she was doing that, Rose ran upstairs to change her clothes. She needed a good mystery-solving outfit for running around and perhaps getting a little dirty. Rose never liked dresses anyway. They were too itchy. She threw on a pink t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Rose went back downstairs and headed for the door just as she caught her cousin staring at her. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m going outside,” Rose answered, annoyed.
“You’re not allowed to leave the house cause you’re in trouble,” Agatha rudely pointed out.
“I’m going to get the mail.” Rose would have to go down all the way to the first floor of the apartment building to get the mail, which could take a while. She knew Agatha would get distracted and forget all about her.
“Fine.” Rose ran out the door. Rose ran all the way to the mystery address or where it was supposed to be. All of a sudden she felt someone watching her. She turned around and saw a boy watching her and then Rose said, “Why are you staring at me?”
The boy said, “I want to help you solve your mystery. I saw you a couple days ago walking around this area. What are you looking for?”
“Well you can stop wondering because I am not planning on having any help,” said Rose.
Rose, not wanting to keep up this conversation, just walked away and when she looked back she saw that boy was following her. Giving up, Rose turned around and asked “Who are you?”
The boy answered “My name is Tom.”
“Well Tom this is my mystery so stop following me,” said Rose. That’s when Rose stepped on a button and opened a door in the ground and getting excited Rose ran into the passage in the ground forgetting about the boy following her. Rose ran down the old worn out stairs of this mysterious passage only to stop dead in her tracks at the sight of what was down there. The boy Tom who was following her, who Rose completely forgot about, started talking randomly about the place they found. That finally broke Rose out of her trance of the stuff she had just found. Rose had had enough of his talking so she very rudely asked him to stop talking which Rose thought was the kind thing to say out of what she wanted to say. Tom shut his mouth abruptly, and continued to look around. Around the perimeter of the room were tables. On the tables sat computers. As Rose walked closer, she realized there were addresses and phone numbers on the screens. Rose was completely creeped out. What started as a fun mystery had quickly turned scary. Then something caught her eye on a nearby table. There was a note, very similar to the one she had found with a phone number and address. She walked over and realized there were several notes like this. She looked up and saw pinned to the wall news articles and various clippings from newspapers. Each one had a headline about a disappearance or a missing person.
“We should get out of here,” Tom spoke up.
“Sure,” Rose replied. As she was about to turn and leave, she had a thought. She turned back and snatched up the notes and the news articles. They ran up the stairs and shut the trap door.
“Let’s go to my house. We should figure this stuff out,” Tom said.
“I never agreed to working with you,” Rose said.
“Well, I guess I already know too much,” Tom replied with a smile. Rose rolled her eyes. She figured it could be helpful for the mystery to have a sidekick.
Tom and Rose walked down the street to his house. “I’m a little creeped out that that weird underground room is on my street.” Rose didn’t answer as the continued down the street. Once they arrived at his house, Tom offered, “We can hang out in my living room.”
“Sure,” Rose replied. As they entered the house, Tom started talking. Rose wasn’t really listening to him. She was too focused on the notes she had found what all this could mean.
“Are you gonna answer me?” Rose was jolted out of her thoughts.
“What kind of snack do you want?” Tom asked again.
“Watermelon would be great.”
“My mom just bought watermelon yesterday!” Rose felt like his enthusiasm was annoying, but she also didn’t have many friends, and he was trying really hard.
“That would be great. “ said Rose in her sweetest voice. But Tom just ended up looking at her like there was something wrong. Rose did notice that it sounded a bit forced but she did not think it was that bad. Rose, now mad that she was trying to be sweet, got a look like she was crazy. “ We are not here to chat about snacks, I am here to solve a mystery like you told me we would do.” said Rose in her meanest voice.
Tom felt so confused it took him a couple seconds to respond “ Okay I will grab our snack and we will go right in to trying to solve your mystery. Now Rose felt bad he was the only person that did not yell or fight with her when she had an outburst like that but she was not going to say sorry she felt bad and she felt that was punishment enough she was not going to torcher herself with saying sorry.
When Tom came back ready to solve a mystery he saw the thing Rose did not the address it was sent from. Rose was so frustrated with herself that he out of all people saw the address and she did not. But Rose could not dwell on that fact. She had to solve the mystery and she was one step closer. So she read the adress it was on the same street that they found all these clues.
“We found these clues on the same street the notes were sent from. They could have been watching us.” said Tom.
“Wouldn’t they try to stop us if they did see us?” said Rose
“Maybe we should go to the address and see who is there,” said Tom.
“That is a terrible idea we could get caught,” said Rose.
“ Not if we are smart .” said Tom
“Fine.” said Rose
Rose and Tom walk to the house and are surprised to see there is nothing creepy or weird about this house; it is a plain light blue house with its curtains closed. There is a small driveway that leads to the house. The front lawn is nice because all the grass is green. Rose thought they were at the wrong house; she had to double check the address. “This is the house. I guess it is not creepy at all.” said Rose.
“Are you sure this is the right address.” said Tom
“I already checked to make sure this is my mystery, remember I would not mess it up,” said Rose. Rose, trying to be the brave one walks up the driveway to the house and knocks on the door while Tom follows behind. A friendly looking woman came to the door and upon opening it, stepped aside as if to let them in, which Tom found odd but Rose seemed to find perfectly fine. As Tom and Rose stood in the entryway, Tom wondered why she would let them in without even asking a question.
“Hi my name is Rose,” said Rose and before she knew what was going on the woman shut the door.
“What can I help you with?” asked the woman. Rose, confused, answered without thinking.
“I found this address and it led me to your house,” said Rose.
“Where did you find that address?” asked the woman.
“In the woods,” Rose answered reluctantly.
The woman looked at Rose first, a little bit aggravated, but changed to a smile too quick for Rose to notice but Tom who had been watching the whole time noticed and was now scared.
The woman then said sweetly, “I think I might have something that could help you. It’s just this way.” Without waiting to see if they followed, the woman turned and began to walk down a hallway. Rose just followed the woman and Tom, a little scared and confused, followed Rose. When walking down the gray, tiled hallway Rose noticed it was weirdly dark and dingy, but she was too focused on the chance for clues to care.
Rose, now annoyed at how long it was taking, started to realize other things like it smelled strongly of cleaning products and was not as welcoming as the room they were just in. Rose was starting to get a little suspicious but not enough to turn around they had to be close by now.
The woman told Rose, “We are almost there. We are going to that door at the end of the hall.” Rose did not answer. Once they got to the door, which was a strange metal door that had taken up a lot of space and was locked, the woman took out her keys. She unlocked the door and before Rose or Tom could think they were being shoved into a dark room. Then, a door slammed in their faces.
Rose tried opening the door several times with no luck. She knew they were trapped and she knew the address was correct. Rose was terrified. She had no clue what was happening and she was starting to rethink everything she had done. She did not know why she didn’t think when the woman had opened the door and led them down the hall and Rose also knew she would be trapped like everyone else. Rose hadn’t even saved anybody; all she did was get her and Tom trapped.
Rose looked at Tom and said, “Sorry. I didn’t mean to get us trapped.”
Tom answered, surprised, “I didn’t expect you to say anything and it is fine.”
That’s when all of a sudden Rose heard sirens and heard the front door open and shut a bunch of times. Rose did not know what was happening but Tom looked relieved. Actually he seemed to know exactly what was happening.
“Oh thank god the police are here, they got my call,” said Tom.
“What are you talking about?,” said Rose.
“I didn’t trust that woman,” said Tom.
Rose did not say anything. She was so relieved and confused and mad he didn’t tell her earlier. Right when she was about to answer Tom, the door opened.
A police officer said, “I found two more.”
Rose ran out of that room with Tom behind her and made it all the way outside in the fresh air and saw that there were a lot of people out there and not all of them police. Rose came to the conclusion that those were all the people who she found numbers. They must have been trapped in a different room, thought Rose.
That is when Rose realized that Tom had saved everybody including herself. If he had not called the police, they both would still be stuck in that room with no way out.
Rose turned around and looked at Tom and thanked him for all the help with the mystery which she is not claiming to be hers anymore.