Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: Nosey Parker
By Dee Yoder
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“You a new girl around here, huh?”
“Where’d you come from?”
“Why’d you guys move here to Ohio?”
“My Dad got a new job down at the National Balloon Factory.”
“Huh.” He pushed the toe of his Red Ball Jets through the square hole in the chicken wire fence. He looked up at me eyes squinted from the sun. “You want to be in my club?”
“Who’s in it?”
“Buncha boys and me.”
“Right now, unless you join, then there’ll be one girl.” He smiled.
“Now, we like to solve mysteries. Do you think you can do that?”
“What do I have to do?”
“Well, we just hang around and when we see a mysterious event, we check on it and figure it out. Will you be afraid to go out at night?”
“No sir, I’m no fraidy cat.”
“I’ll come get you after supper then.” He waved and walked back into his yard.
After supper, I waited impatiently by the front door. Soon it got to be around 10:00 and it was bedtime. I begged for more time, it was summer, and she said,”Well, all right but just fifteen minutes now, and I mean it.” Right after that, came Nosey Parker. As we went to the backyard, I asked him what his real name was and he told me Arthur Campbell, Jr.
“Why in the world do you let people call you Nosey Parker, then?”
“Oh,” he waved his hand, “that’s my detective name.”
Made sense to me. He walked to the next yard and suddenly dropped down in the bushes by the neighbor’s patio.
“What’re you doing?”
“Shh. I have to hear what this boy is saying. You gotta get down here, too if you’re gonna help me.”
We knelt there in the grass for a good ten minutes and I was starting to get worried about my Mom calling me to come in the middle of our investigation.
Soon, he whispered, “Did you hear him? He told his sister that book was his but I know it belongs to David Miller. I knew it!”
We angled backwards, crabwise, to my yard, then stood and ran to the back porch.
“Tomorrow my buddies and me will watch him after school and when we see him get in someone’s locker, we’ll nab him!” he smacked his palms together like he was catching a mosquito.
Next day, I looked for Nosey but he was busy with his friends and only gave me a smile and wave. At home, I hurried into my play clothes and ran outside to wait for Nosey Parker. I saw his father drive in with Nosey in the backseat. They got out and Nosey glanced my way, quietly made the Ok sign and followed his Dad in the house. I stood by the fence until my own bedtime. Just as I turned to go in for the night, Nosey poked his head out his bedroom window.
“We got him!” he whispered excitedly.
“What happened?” I whispered back.
“Got in a little trouble, but that boy won’t be stealing from nobody else, I just bet!” He grinned. “Ready for a new mystery tomorrow?”
“If you have one.”
“Oh, I’ll find one and then we’ll just have the whole summer to figure it out.”
Inside I heard his Mom call to him to get to sleep. He grinned again and slipped away.
That was a golden summer. Late nights with Nosey and sometimes his friends, sneaking around solving mysteries all over the place, it was real and important. If only the grownups knew the good we were doing for our town, I imagined, they’d realize what a great detective Nosey Parker was. A good detective is always nosey.
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