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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)

TITLE: The Secret at the 457th Precinct
By Carol Dee Meeks
06/06/07


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The original 3D-Illusions hung on the wall in a zigzag
manner at the interrogation quarters. Unless your eyes gazed with the necessary-fixed stare, the pattern of police would be even more difficult to find. The professor knew its exemplar well; one hung in his office at school.

He looked around the cubicle. The Sergeant’s family
pictures adored the other wall of his U-shaped, makeshift
section for an office. The space was too crowded for the number
of officers working here. There were hustles and bustles all
around.

His hands pillowed his head as his fingers stretched up through his new permed curls. He was too tired for additional questions. The 456th precinct was apathetic to his mind and soul. He knew they didn’t believe him, but now they had disappeared and silence filled the air.

“Do you recognize this sweater?” Sergeant Brown yelled
leapfrogging over his vacant chair.

“Yes.” The professor paled as he reached for the small
turquoise cardigan. “This is what she was wearing today when I
dropped her off at school. Where did you find it?”

“Here.”

“Here? In the police station?”

“Yes, in the women’s restroom.” The sergeant’s voice
softened as he placed his hand on the hand of a man pleading for help to find his daughter. “Until now, I didn’t believe a word you said. But now I think you are dealing square with me.”

Hope rose in this tired college professor left with a
seven-year-old six months ago. She hadn’t been too much to
handle since her mom drove the car down the canyon side: always
driving where she was looking and never careful at the wheel.
Luckily, Jeanette was visiting grandparents when this
catastrophe took place. She was all he had. Now, she was
missing. It seemed like days not an afternoon.

“Can I see the bathroom?” He rose from the chair picking up the sweater his eyes had been fixed on since Sergeant Brown handed it to him. He pushed his glasses up into his curls and away they went down the hall.

Sergeant Brown carried a broader frame than the tall, lanky
professor. The professor’s nervous habit of popping his knuckles could be heard throughout the police station and irritated him. He sounded like tap shoes on the marble-tiled floor.

The ladies’ room had been roped off. It was like a tomb.
The quiet screamed as they opened the door and slowly entered.
As it closed, a thud rang throughout the empty lavatory hall,
and a small black purse that hung where the sweater had been
retrieved earlier, fell to the floor.

“That’s her purse. She must be in the building,” the
professor shouted and picked it up. He looked through it and
decided nothing was missing. Searching each stall, also found
nothing. With his daughter’s bag over his shoulder, they raced
back to the front desk. He paced the corridor feverishly popping his knuckles.

“Call a doctor.” Sergeant Brown commanded. “He needs
something to calm him down.”

“No, I’m fine. She is here. We just have to find her.
Her purse is with her wherever she goes. She is here.”

“Daddy, Daddy, I’ve lost my sweater, my brand-new sweater.
You didn’t come to the field trip. I heard you pop your
knuckles, and I knew you were here, but you missed the field
trip.”

“Oh! I totally forgot your class was touring the police
station today. They found your sweater and your purse but
everything is all right now ‘cause you are here and you are not
hurt.”

Sergeant Brown turned to his employees. “What field trip?
I want to know why I was not informed.” He turned to watch the
professor lift a small, blonde bundle up into the air. They
were talking, hugging, kissing, all at the same time. He
extended his hand. “Sir, I apologize for this. There are going to be some changes around here.”

“There will be changes at our house as well.”

“Can we go to McDonalds’ first?”

“You are going to turn to McDonalds’ but we’ll go later. First we are going to Home Depot for supplies to make a bulletin board for all our activities.”

710 words


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This article has been read 486 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Emery06/10/07
Wow! A harrowing experience, to be sure. This would have fit in with "adventure" or "mystery" but you made it work for the kids' theme. Nice work.
Jacquelyn Horne06/11/07
A good story and good pov. The bulletin board is a good idea. We need to know what's going on in our households.
Dee Yoder 06/12/07
I think this story would really be appealing to the 'tweens. They love a mystery!