Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: FOLD (10/08/15)
- TITLE: Unfolding a Mystery
By Trudy Newell
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Did Aunt Linda think no one would see her as she tip-toed down the hall?
It’s the middle of the night, but she sure isn’t headed to the bathroom. Anyone would be curious. Especially a thirteen-year old self-appointed detective. That’s me, JT Bradley. JT stands for James Tiberius. I would NEVER tell my buddies that. They’d tease me forever.
I know it’s wrong to sneak around and spy on people. But I can’t help it. I write everything I see, or think I see, in a Georgia Bulldog notebook. (The Bulldogs are my favorite football team!)I have to be careful because my kid sister, Alexus, loves to get her hands on all my private stuff.
Aunt Linda slips past my parent’s bedroom. She opened the door to my dad’s office.
Her flashlight shines on dad’s desk, and I catch a glimpse of Grandpa’s Bible. Last year Grandpa died, and since then, Aunt Linda has been staying with us. Mom and Dad said we had to be nice to her. Mom makes me do her laundry too, but that doesn’t mean I like it, and I’m not sure I like Aunt Linda either. If we try to cheer her up, she scrunches up her face and stomps away. I remember when I used to pop my eyelids out to freak out Alexus, and mom would tell me my face would freeze that way. I wonder if that’s why Aunt Linda’s face is all wrinkly, her face froze.
Often my mom glares at me and says in a firm voice, “James Tiberius, leave your Aunt Linda alone.” I guess I need the reminders.
Back in my room I grab my notebook and scribble, Why is Aunt Linda sneaking around the house at 3 am? Investigate further.?
For weeks I keep my eye on Aunt Linda. Each night she creeps around the house for about thirty minutes. I think she’s looking for something? Maybe I should tell dad?
But before I have a chance, mom approaches me with my Bulldog notebook. “James Tiberius, you have no business putting your nose in other people’s business. “
My face burns like fire.
“I didn’t deliberately get into your things,” she continued, “but the notebook was open. I couldn’t help but see your comment about Aunt Linda. She is Dad’s sister. I’d like to know what you are doing sneaking around at three am!”
I stared at my feet, “Mom, I’m sorry.” What else could I say?
Dad’s office is off-limits to us kids, unless he tells us we can use his computer. But I had to know what was going on. One evening when dad and mom were out, I snuck into the office and looked around. Dad is a professor at the university and has all kinds of books. I love books.
I flipped through the pages of Grandpa’s Bible, curious to know why it was so important to him. It is well-worn and scribbled with notes. It looks like Grandpa treasured his Bible. I wonder why Dad isn’t into reading it or going to church. I know he loved Grandpa, and I bet he keeps Grandpa's Bible on the desk out of respect, but does he ever open it?
As I turned the dog-eared pages, there inside the crease of Psalm 119 I see an envelope with dad’s name scrawled across it. Why is it sealed? I glance over my shoulder to make sure Alexus isn’t creeping about. I slip into the kitchen to boil some water. As the steam comes up, I gently open the envelope. Folded inside is a note, “The key to my safety deposit box is in the bottom of my tool box. Use what’s in it carefully. Son, remember that God’s Word is the real treasure you should seek.”
Ah, man, now what should I do?
I hear Dad and mom come home and I walk into the living room with the note.
I lick my lips and hand Dad the letter, “Dad, this is for you.”
Putting his keys in his pocket he frowns. “Where did you find this?”
“Dad, it’s a long story.”
Dad finds Grandpa’s key, and the three of us go to the bank. Folded inside Grandpa’s safety deposit box we find stocks and bonds worth over five hundred thousand dollars.
“Is this what Aunt Linda was looking for, Dad? Did she know that Grandpa had a safety deposit box?”
“Maybe so, Son, maybe so.”
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