Archive for July, 2016

The Missing Painting: Part 3

Monday, July 25th, 2016


When the police arrive, they ask me if they can see the fingerprints I picked up.

“Sure!” I reply, handing them the fingerprints. “And here are the shoeprints too. My brother has the matching shoes on the staircase.”

“Where is Gavin?” the police ask.

“He is also on the staircase,” I reply. “Follow me, and I’ll show you where it is.”

They then follow me to the staircase, where they lift Gavin’s fingerprints.

“The fingerprints and shoe prints are perfect matches,” the police state. “Now we just need to pick up fingerprints from the painting, and see if they match the other two sets.”

“OK,” Maddie, Aaron, Justin, and I reply all at the same time. We laugh.

A minute later the police are done lifting the fingerprints from the painting.

“These fingerprints also match perfectly,” they state. “Sorry Gavin, but you’re going to have to come with us.”

“But, but… I didn’t do anything,” Gavin pleads.

“Gavin, don’t play innocent with us,” the police reply, annoyed. “We know you did it. You just saw us get proof. Put your hands behind your back.”

Gavin, surprisingly obediently, resigns as he puts his hands behind his back to let the police handcuff him. I guess he realizes that he’s caught, and he’s going to have to go with the police whether he likes it or not. We follow the policemen out of the house and watch them drive away with Gavin in the backseat.

“Aaron and Justin, thanks for helping. I’ll see you tonight! Maddie and I have to get back to work now.” It seems like before the words are out of my mouth, the boys are gone. “I guess they have plans. Maddie, would it be okay if I run off ahead?”

“I guess that’s fine, but couldn’t I run with you? I’m a pretty fast runner,” Maddie asks.

“Well, you know how you have super strength?” I ask Maddie.

“Yeah,” she replies.

“Well, I have super speed,” I explain. “So, I can get back to Colonial Williamsburg in like, a few seconds.”

“Oh,” she replies, disappointed.

“This way Sophia won’t be worried about us so long, and I can wait for you in the main office,” I continue.

“OK,” she replies, sounding more exited this time.


A few minutes later, I am sitting in the office, talking to Sophia when Abby walks in the room. “Great work girls!” Sophia tells us. “I can tell you’ve had a busy morning. How about you have lunch together then see if there is anything you can do on the farm?”

“Sure!” we excitedly reply. We quickly jump out of our seats, grab our lunch bags, and with Sophia smiling behind us, Abby and I walk off together towards the farm.

The Missing Painting: Part 2

Monday, July 18th, 2016


A minute later, once I’m in front of Gavin’s house, I start looking around. I’ve never been in this part of town before. The houses here are nice. Really nice.

In the distance I see two uniformed men walking up. “Hello, officers!” I call softly. “Did my dad tell you what we’re supposed to be doing here?”

They shake their heads no, and hold their fingers up to their lips to shush me. I gesture them to come closer, and they run over to me. That’s when I notice something. These aren’t Dad’s policemen. These are my two younger brothers, Aaron and Justin dressed in some of Dad’s old uniforms.

“Aaron, Justin, what are you doing here? I thought Dad was sending his two best men.” I whisper. They rolled their eyes at me, and Aaron replies, “We are his two best men. Aren’t we Justin?”

Justin nods with a grin, and then asks, “What are we doing here anyway?”

“Well, since you’re already here, I guess you’ll have to work.” I sigh. “Come closer and I’ll tell you what we’re doing here.” The boys huddle in.

“I think the guy who lives here stole a famous painting from Williamsburg, where I’m volunteering.” The boy’s eyes grow wide in excitement. “Dad got an emergency permit for us to go inside and look for the painting, his fingerprint, and other clues.”

“We’re gonna break in this place!” Justin states eagerly.

“Be quiet!” I whisper. “If anybody finds us snooping around here, it could be dangerous.”

Aaron replies, “This thief guy could come home any second. Oh, and what’s his name?”

“His name is Gavin,” I reply. “And, well, I guess you’re right. He could come home any second. Justin, you stay out here, and if anybody pulls into the driveway, you rap on the back door. Aaron, come with me. We have to hurry, OK?”

“OK,” he answers.

“Let’s go see if the front door is unlocked, and if it’s not, I’ve got a little trick,” I mutter.

“OK,close” he agrees. We quietly walk up to the front door and try it. It’s locked.

“Now for the trick,” I whisper, pulling a bobby pin out of my hair. “I just stick a bobby pin in the lock and…” click. “It unlocks the door.” We both walk inside and quietly closed the front door behind us. I turn to Aaron, “Let’s start by finding Gavin’s bedroom. A lot of the clues we need should be in there.”

Once we are in the bedroom, I open the closet and start flipping shoes upside down, looking for a shoeprint that matches the one in the palace. I quickly find one that matches perfectly! “Hey Aaron, I found some evidence that Gavin might have committed the crime!” I state.

“I think I did too!” Aaron replies. “Look at what I found under the mattress. Is this anything?”

“Aaron that is the stolen painting!” I cry. Then we hear a faint rapping, and a door opening downstairs. We both know what that means. Gavin! We quickly but quietly scramble around, looking for a hiding spot. Finally, after no luck, we decide to see if we can sneak downstairs, and through the back door.

On our way downstairs, I bump into something. I quickly glance up to see what it is. Gavin!

“What are you doing in my house you little thieves?” he yells. “And with my new, expensive painting! Do you want me to call the police?”

“No thank you, Gavin, you don’t need to call the police on us, but we might need to call the police on you,” I calmly reply.

“Um, uh…. What are you talking about?” Gavin stutters. “It isn’t like I stole a very expensive painting from the governor’s palace last night while I was wearing those shoes you are holding.”

Me and Aaron glance at each other and roll our eyes.

“Gavin, I know what you were really doing last night. You were doing exactly what you just said you weren’t doing. You are lying to us. Aaron, go ahead and call the police. This guy deserves it.”

“OK,” Aaron willingly replies.

“You will not call the police on me,” Gavin hisses, knocking Aaron’s phone out of his hand, and shatters the screen to tiny pieces. “Sure, I may have stolen a few things from Colonial Williamsburg, but that can just be our little secret, OK?” Then, grabbing us by the necks, he shoves us against the wall, “I’m not letting go until both of you promise never to tell anybody. Promise?”

I know I could never make a promise to someone like Gavin. I think fast, trying to come up with a good response. Just then, Justin, with a girl who looks about my age, come running in. “Hi, my name is Abby. Sophia sent me to check on you, and Justin told me …. Whoa! What’s going on? Oh, is this the thief or something? Are you OK?” Abby blurts out. She runs over to us, grabs Gavin’s hands, and pulls him away from us. Aaron and I both take a big sigh of relief.

“This is the thief. Now we are fine. He’s a little upset because we were upstairs getting proof that he is the thief. I reply.

“Are you sure he’s just a little upset?” Maddie asks. “He looks ready to kill you.”

“OK, maybe he is really mad,” I agree. “If you can keep Gavin right there, I can go call the police.”

“Sure, I can keep him right here,” Maddie replies, holding Gavin back with one hand. “I have super strength, so it’s easy. That’s why Sophia sent me, instead of one of the other volunteers.”

“Oh, cool!” I answer. “And thanks. The police should be here shortly.”

The Missing Painting: Part 1

Monday, July 11th, 2016


Title Page 2

I’m on my way to work, and the sun is just peeking out over the treetops. I can already feel the temperature rising as I check into the main office before running to the Governor’s Palace to make sure it’s ready for visitors. When I reach the palace, I can tell something is amiss, but I’m not sure what. I pull my shoulder length honey blonde hair off my neck as I glance around.

After a few moments of silently looking around, I notice that one of the paintings is missing! I immediately begin searching for clues. I pull my miniature fingerprint powder out of my pocket (I always carry it with me) and start brushing a little bit on the spot where the painting had been. I also sprinkle a little on the floor below the missing painting to see if I can get a shoeprint. I excitedly pull in my breath as I see there is a perfect man’s shoeprint right underneath where the painting had been, and a very large handprint on the wall.

I start zipping around the governor’s palace to see if there are any broken windows or picked locks. Nothing. That would mean one of the staff members had probably taken it. In my mind, I go through all of the men who have keys to the governor’s palace. There aren’t very many. After a minute, I conclude that there are two large men who have a key to the governor’s palace. Their names are Gavin and Luke. I decide to find out where Luke had been first.

A few seconds later, once I’m in the main office, I start talking to the volunteer manager, Sophia. “Do you know where Luke White was yesterday, Sophia?” I ask.

“Maddie Archer! Good to see you this morning, honey. Luke has been in Hawaii for a week, and he’ll be gone a week longer,” she replies, smiling.

“And what about Gavin Baker?” I inquire. “Where was he yesterday?”

“I believe he was giving tours at the governor’s palace,” she answers.

“Do you know how late he stayed?” I ask. “And where does he live?”

“Oh, he stayed late. I don’t know what he was doing. I do have his address, though,” she replies, handing me a slip of paper. Smiling, she added, “Solving another mystery for us this morning?”

“Yes, and I’ll tell you about it as soon as I can!” I call over my shoulder as I zip out the door.

Once I’m out of the main office, I find a quiet spot behind the main office, where nobody is in earshot and pull out my phone. I call my Dad, who is a sheriff at the local police station.

“Hi, sweetie!” Dad answers a moment later. “How’s my favorite twelve-year-old this morning?”

“Hey, Dad!” I reply. “I think I’m on the trail of a thief! Can you send a few of your men?”

“A thief, huh?” he asks. “And you want a few men? Sure, I’ll send you my two best. Where should they go?”

I look down at the paper Sophia gave me. “325 Cobble Drive, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185.”

“Okay, sweetie! My two best men should be there in a few minutes.” Dad replies.

“Thanks, Dad. I’ll meet them there!”