Dana wishes she’d have just followed one rule...
The Mystery of Windesta Creek
CHAPTER
13
Sleepover To Scary
I walked into Gwen’s house, and immediately, I saw how luxurious it was. A chandelier floated above my head. The floors were dark wood, and the ceiling was high. In those ways, it was a lot like Lil’s mansion.
But at second glance, I noticed the major differences: Music came from speakers. I saw a table with fantasy books on top (Gwen’s for sure.) The couch was squishy and comfortable, with a rip in it. The difference between the homes was simply that Gwen’s house had been lived in. Lil’s house mirrored her personality, it was an impostor.
“This is a cool house, Gwen.” I told her honestly. She waved me off.
“Nah. This is just the living room. Check out the movie room. It’s pretty sick.” She said. A movie room?! I had grown up in a middle class family, and we did well together. But I had never experienced something like a movie room!
And so we headed down stairs, and I was met with a medium sized rock wall blocking the entrance. What? Had Gwen led me to the wrong room?
But I turned around to see Gwen grinning broadly.
“To get in to the movie room, you’ve got to climb over.” She told me. I wasted no time. I took one step back, and then began to tackle the rock wall. It wasn’t easy. I almost fell a few times, and one rock my hand was on was just simply too small. But after ten minutes, I was up. Gwen followed in just a few minutes. I didn’t take it to heart that she was quicker. It was her movie room, she had plenty of practice.
At the other side, there was a yellow slide, that I went down on. It was twisty and filled with turns, and at the end there was a trampoline, and then a bare wall.
“Gwen,” I looked at her, confused, “There isn’t any movie room here, just a trampoline. What do I do here?”
“Just bounce on the thing for a few seconds, and you’ll see. Go ahead, bounce on that trampoline. Trust me.”
I heeded her words, and took one jump on the trampoline. Two jumps, still nothing. Then three jumps, and I felt the ground get out from under me, and I was falling, falling, right into a foam pit. The foam broke my fall, but it took a lot of effort to get myself out. Gwen almost landed on me, but I moved out of the way just in time.
“I present: The Movie Room!” Gwen gestured proudly while I gaped. It was just like a movie theater, except that instead of one hundred seats, there were twelve. In the corner, there was a super cool popcorn machine, a whole mini fridge filled with chocolate, and a book case filled with movies. The black screen was huge, and almost covered the entire wall.
“That was a totally roundabout way to get here, but it was worth it! This is so, so cool! We could watch The Lion King, or Harry Potter, or Annie, or Labyrinth, or Brave, or whatever we want! And we can eat lots of buttery POPCORN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I got slightly too excited, but being a normally reserved person, I never got to have that much fun. It was pretty pent up. And I wanted to get the mystery off my shoulders, at least until tomorrow.
“Calm yourself, Dana. And we can’t watch all those movies. We’re watching Harry Potter! I’m a Fangirl, you had to see that coming.”
“Well, what are we waiting for! Let’s go make some popcorn, and watch this movie!” I pumped my fist in the air.
Around three hours later, the movie was finished. It had been so cool on the screen, and I personally adored Harry Potter nearly as much as Gwen.
“Cedric, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy????” Gwen wailed at the end.
“You’ve seen the movie before, Gwen, cheer up. We should probably go to sleep now, so we’ll wake up well rested.” I stated. Gwen looked at me like I had sprouted a tail and was beating up Harry Potter at the same time.
“It’s a sleepover. We can’t sleep! It’s not even that late! There’s still so much to do!”
“Your mom is going to murder us.” I pointed out.
“Hey, you thought Lil was going to murder us. Has that happened? No.” I sighed. I felt uncomfortable mentioning Lil, but I saw what she did.
“Fine. What do you want to do?” I succumbed. She showed me to this elevator, and led me towards another room. Inside, I saw a balcony, a harness, and a steel cord. I recognized it instantly.
“A zip line? No way! That’s really dangerous! How exactly do you have this stuff in your house, Gwen?” Well, it was a fancy house. Why not? But my mom probably wouldn’t want me going on a zip line at all, much less in the dead of night.
“Chill, it goes right to my Tree House that Parker made for me last year. He’s meeting us there. I felt bad that he was being left out, so I invited him here. Now go to the kitchen, and bring some snacks. We’re gonna need them.”
“Gwen, are you serious? There’s no way Parker would have sneaked out of his house just to come here when he’ll see us tomorrow. He’s probably not even there right now. And even if he was, how come we’re going to sneak out. You have a cool house, why can’t we just stay in it? We can watch Half Blood Prince if you want.” I understood I needed to loosen up, but this was out of my comfort zone.
“Well, it’s gonna be fun to go. Come on!” She attached the harness to her, and jumped off the balcony. I saw her glide all the way to the tree house.
“Fine, I’m coming! Meet you there, Gwen!” I hollered. I tried to attach the complicated harness to my body. I stepped into the holes, tightened the waist, attached the metal clip to the steel cord.
But what if it didn’t hold? It was probably a better idea just to take the harness off and walk to the tree house. Yes, I decided. That’s what I had to do.
But just before I undid the harness, I accidentally toppled off the balcony. Terror struck me. I was going to fall to the ground! But just when I thought the zip line wouldn’t work, the cord caught me, and I soared on the line, straight to the Tree house.
That had to be the coolest sensation ever. Not even looking down scared me, I was moving too fast for fear. The line made a funny scraping noise, and I suddenly realized it was slowing down. I didn’t want it to slow down.
But, inevitably, I landed in the window of the tree house. I undid the harness, and jumped in. Parker and Gwen sat, grinning about something.
“So, how was it?” Parker asked.
“Well,” I said slowly,” I’ve learned one thing from this.”
“What?” Wondered a curious Gwen.
“That Gwen’s even crazier than I thought!”
The next ten minutes, we spent talking. Gwen wanted to chat about the movie, Parker only wanted to say stuff about how there was a meteor shower today, and I bubbled to tell them about the zip line.
“I was going to chicken out...but I fell off the balcony, and I did it!”
Parker groaned. I had told them this three times already.
Just then, I heard an eerie siren breaking the cheer outside. I looked out the window to see what was going on. There was no accident or people around or anything.
I saw a police officer stare up at me. He had thick hair, freckled skin, and a leather jacket. He was muscular and would tower over me.
“Hey, kid. We don’t want to scare you, but there’s been an accident a few blocks away. You might have seen something. We’re going to take you to the police station and ask you a few questions. Nothing major. Now get in the car.” He demanded.
“Can we see your badge?” Asked Parker. I nudged him. Why did he have to be so rude?
“Sorry, kid. I left it in the car. When you get in, I’ll show it to you.” He threw up his hands.
“Hey,” Something wasn’t right, “Police Officers would have their badge on them. Go get it from the car, and we’ll come with you.” I said.
“I’m afraid that isn’t possible.” He started climbing up the rope ladder.
“He’s a fake! Run for it!” I screamed. We scrambled.
Not so fast!” Cried the fraud. He grabbed onto my leg. I used it to kick him in the neck. While he yowled in pain, I took that opportunity to scamper towards the zip line. I knew I had one choice, to use my arms and get across that long rope, like monkey bars.
“Go, everyone, get away from this jerk! He’s trying to kidnap us!” Yelled Parker, who was running across the grounds, towards the door.
The steel grated my palms, and left them burning. The fake officer tried to cut the rope, but his knife was no match for the metal. So he chose the nearest target: Gwen, who was climbing onto the roof.
“Help! Dana, Parker, save me!” She cried. What could I do? I saw the fraud reach to grab Gwen, and I remembered the only thing I had on me: three boxes of candy. I threw the first a the officer’s head. He whirled around, giving Gwen a chance to hop down and run for her life. I gave myself a mental high five.
“Hey! Come back here! I wasn’t going to hurt you, kid! Well, not that much.” He called after her. Then he turned towards me.
“I see why they want to get rid of you, Dana. And they will. Oh, they will soon. And I will make sure of that.” I threw the next bar of candy at him. Vengeance was sweet, quite literally.
The man tried to climb across the rope, a weak attempt that he couldn’t pull off, but I finally made it into the house. I was safe, and so were my friends. We got really lucky this time. If we had hesitated a few seconds longer, the fraud would have gotten us for sure.
He jumped in his Police Car, and sped off, sirens blaring.
I rushed downstairs to check on Gwen and Parker. They both were shaken up, but otherwise untouched.
“Is he still outside?” Parker looked around. I shook my head.
“He’s gone.” And I wished he had taken his ominous message with him.
I see why they want to get rid of you, Dana. And they will. Oh, they will soon. And I will make sure of that.
Now I had yet another enemy. Right now, it seemed to be all in a day’s work.
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