Can the bonds of FRIENDSHIP overcome all odds?
The Code
Closing In
Dylan showed up on Bethany’s doorstep early the next morning. He knocked lightly on the door.
Bethany pulled it open and slipped out. “Are you ready?” she asked, slightly nervous.
Dylan nodded and held up his hand. His fist was closed around something. “I brought an AM-FM radio, so it can distract us from thinking about Sapphire.”
Bethany took the radio out of Dylan’s hand and looked it over. She switched it on and messed with the tuning until she found a station she liked. “This okay?” she asked.
Dylan nodded again. “Sure.” He latched the radio onto his lanyard and swung it around his neck. “Where do we look today?”
Bethany thought. “Why don’t we check downtown?”
“That’s as good a place to start as any, I suppose.”
So they began down the street, silently listening to the song on the radio.
It ain’t about the money, money, money,
We don’t need your money, money, money.
Just wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the price tag.
When the two finally reached downtown, it was almost deserted. “Where is everyone?” Dylan asked, frowning. “It’s usually packed down here.
Bethany looked around. “Well it’s 6:30 on a Sunday morning. Most people with common sense are still in bed.”
Dylan raised an eyebrow at Bethany. “Oh? Then what does that make us?”
Bethany smiled. “Idiots. We’re idiots.”
Dylan stared at Bethany, and the two of them laughed. “You know what?” he asked. “I think we are.”
Travis crept quietly down the stairs, awoken by his parent’s arguing. He hid behind the banister and watched the current battle unfold.
“It’s all your fault!” his mother screamed, pointing a long, bony finger at her husband. “Where were you when we needed you? You go off on business all day everyday, and leave me home alone to deal with a pathetic, needy child. And where does the money go? To your cars and your business. What do I get? Nothing. I am forced to keep the house tidy when I can hardly keep our retarded son under control!”
Travis’ dad pushed his wife’s finger out of his face. “Oh, right, like I can control everything he does. He got those genes from you, you know. You’re the one with the looney brother, not I. I come from a completely normal family. And a man is entitled to come home to a happy home. But what do I get? A greedy wife and whiny toddler.”
Travis’ mother raised her voice even louder. “Greedy? Greedy is it? Well. I guess I’m greedy. If I’m greedy, then you would expect me to take all the valuables and leave, wouldn’t you?”
Her husband narrowed his eyes. “You wouldn’t dare. And even if you did, you’d have to take Travis along, and you of all people know that you can’t make it on your own.”
Her jaw clenched shut. “Watch me.”
Travis awoke with a start, his eyes teary. He wiped his cheeks dry and rubbed the goosebumps down on his arms. He grabbed his blanket off his legs and clutched it to his chest. He hated his mother. He hated her. Hated hated hated hated hated her.
Dylan sighed in exasperation. “I told you, she’s not here. This is the fifth time we’ve checked!”
Bethany searched the hedge one more time. “Well, it doesn’t hurt to be sure, okay? Sapphire’s quick. She could be anywhere, even places we’ve already checked.”
Dylan rolled his eyes. “Ugh. You’re such a perfectionist.”
Bethany stood up and straightened her back. “No, I’m a girl. There’s a difference.”
Dylan shook his head. “Whatever.”
Bethany walked away from the hedge lining her fence and frowned. “Well, no dice. I guess we should look elsewhere then?” Suddenly, Bethany’s face grew serious. “Hey, turn up the radio quick.”
Dylan’s fingers fumbled for the knob and he turned it to the right.
“And now, in local news, a downtown local has reported sighting a strange beast roaming tenth street. It is said to have smoke rising from its nostrils, a long, teal, spiked tail and gray, wispy wings. It is assumed to be some sort of bird. Citizens are advised to stay away until this matter is resolved. The police have been summoned and should be arriving soon. I repeat, for your own safety, all citizens are advised to stay away...”
Dylan and Bethany glanced at each other, and, without hesitation, hurried off toward the downtown area.

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