I walk around in circles, tapping my fingers on my lap, thinking, brainstorming, trying to figure things out. It’s been awhile after my gramma’s death and yet I understand nothing, I’ve only known two things so far; one, my gramma’s name is actually Eudora (Euros, Idolized, Cobra) , and two, the doodle I found on the old photograph was actually written in a pigpen cipher code and says MOS. Three days from now, I’ll be turning fourteen and apparently I’m spending it with Mary and Brutus, again.
Anyway, I was inspecting gram’s room looking for clues and that’s where I found her old scrapbook, “I used to see the world high up, up in the sky I travel” she told me once. Flipped through the pages and found a series of pages titled “Current Currencies” where she pasted different bills from different parts of the world. I then just keep looking for what I need.
“You found the page where she written down the basic facts of the European Union didn't you? The Euro’s? That’s where you found your next clue, yes?” That was Carol, we’re doing this science project with Durand, unfortunately, Durand isn't here so it’s only Carol. Might not have mentioned it before, but Carol and I have been friends for years so long I lost count, she’s been out camping with her friends and I was too ashamed to say it honestly. “Yeah, and I found this, a piece of paper, random stuff are scribbled on it, messed up lines to be precise.” “Let me see that.” She said grabbing the paper from my hands. “Ha! Typical.” “What? Carol, what does it say?” I asked. “Henry! You? You’re the one person I know could understand mysteries like this and yet here you are haven’t even done anything to solve this, typical you.”
“Let’s just put it like this, your gramma gave you a riddle to solve everything, she gave you the old Hatchet book thing, leading you directly to your family photograph and just hours after your discovery, your gramma died. Henry, your gramma has been training your brain for this very day, now why would she?” At this point Carol’s palms are just pressing my cheeks and she’s basically squishing my face, but there it is! “OH!” I screamed.
“My gramma knows this is going to happen, she told me, ‘something big is coming’, something in this house is just waiting to be found! The riddles, the puzzles, everything!” Wow, I’m smiling so wide my jaws might crack, then silence, then Carol, “Henry, you know what this means right?” We exchange looks, then another smile.
“Yep, that’s right. Your gramma might still be alive.” Definitely, I nodded. “Anyway, I better head home, my cousin’s coming over, I’ll see you again later at seven, bye!” Gives Carol our handshake staring back to the paper. “Wait, that didn’t solve anything! I still don’t know what these scribbles mean. Instinctively, I fold the paper imitating the same size of the Euro and there it is, letters are formed.
“Well done Talbot! You’ve managed this far. Well then, I would like you to give another look at my room, you shall find your next clue there. Good luck my dear!”
I read, huh, just a sweet little note from sweet old gramma.
That’s when I got a text from Carol, she’s coming over sooner than we both thought. Said we’re going to go grab some ice cream. Well, I've finished all my work here, I guess it wouldn't hurt going outside just for a while, right? So I went inside my parents study room to grab a little bit extra money. I've never been to my parents’s study before, and I never should have, because that’s where my life changes.
Papers are scattered everywhere, and the fax machine seemed to be printing something, some kind of a contract, an analysis of, “me?” I whispered to myself. “Wait, what? What’s this?” I dropped everything and head straight to my bedroom, texted Carol to come over nicely, “AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.” And yes, the capital letters were necessary. “Alright, I’m here, Henry! Henry?” The cheer in her face is now gone. “Hey, Henry! What’s the matter? Found anything?” She asked. “Yeah, my parents tricked me, they've been using me, Carol.” I told her feeling sad, but I really don’t feel depressed or anything. “What? What are you talking about?” “Carol. They’re only keeping me alive because I’m well, rich. My family is, my real family including gramma Eudora.” I showed Carol papers, papers I found and she looked terrified. “Initiate operation code 937 Mike Oscar Sierra. Hmm... You know what I think?” “What?” She grabbed the biggest backpack I have and just drop it on the floor right in front of me. “We need to bust you out of here.”
“Seriously? I wouldn't survive a week out there!” “Oh yeah, you’re right, you’re definitely right, you won’t survive out there.” Then she runs back to her house, she’s incredibly fast she got back one minute later with her backpack ready. “You won’t, but we will, I’m coming with you! Now come on, pack your things!” She told me, she was really prepared, I can see that so giving up, I packed my things and we design a plan to our escape. Luckily, there will be no school for two more weeks (our school is having a renovation, there was a fire in the lab), my parent’s wouldn't be home for awhile, five days possibly, and my maid goes home at eleven every Sunday.
“That’s perfect! We can do it all tonight then!” We prepared everything, a route, lead clues, places to go, things we’ll need to survive and clothes. We narrowed all the stuff down, so now Coral will bring pack the food, money, scissors, clothes, flashlight, a bottle of extra-strength glue and a pair of binoculars, me myself on the other hand, will have to pack money, clothes, fishing twine, a slingshot, bag of marbles, Swiss Army knife, food, rope and a super strong magnet, we also have one walkie-talkie each and an extra phone in case we’re in trouble.
Okay, so the plan is for me to pretend to sleep long enough until my maids are already two kilometers away, by then, Coral will inform me through the walkie-talkie to tell me when it’s safe to go. When so, I will have to get out from the back door, this is where Mary will come handy (I've told her everything I discovered and quite disapprovingly, decided to help me out), she’ll wipe my fingerprints of the door knob and the key, and re-lock the door from inside.
This next part is tricky and I have to move really fast, one mistake and I’ll ruin the whole mission.
Brutus here is the one thing I have to rely on, so he’s going to chase Gladys my maid, who has no idea of what is happening, around the mansion causing the security guards to run after Brutus and Gladys, giving me a minute to approximately run across a 5 kilometers field, to the gates and make my way out before Brutus and the guards come running back. After that all I have to do is meet up with Coral in O’Semonar PS (some sort of a cafe nearby). “See? Easy!” “Are you out of your mind? Can you even run through a 5 kilometers field in one minute? Plus, it’s not even five kilometers, I mean like, have you seen your mansion???” Coral asking with a teensy bit of doubt in her eyes, okay, a lot I guess. “Hey, it’ll be easy! I'm clever, I’ll work something out.” I said trying to reassure her and she just gave me this super flat face and a frown.
“Or you could just exit from the front door, which would cover a distance and in the end, you just have to ride your bike outside to O’Semonar.” She said explaining it like she’s a genius, okay, she is. “Fine, we’ll do the no-fun one.” I was saying it like a whining baby and Carol just hit me with a pillow. “Shut up. It’s faster you little hedgehog!” “Hey, I know you love my hair and all, but don’t be jealous, I’m sure you’ll find someone who’s just as cool as I am. Well, I doubt that.” I answered teasing Carol a little bit and at this point we’re just having ourselves a pillow fight.
“Okay, okay, you got me, I surrender!”
“Good, now I am your master, hedgehog, so are you ready for this Henry?”
“Heck yea I’m ready!”
“Oh and one more thing, can I crash at your place? I just had a fight with my sister and I’m not in the mood of seeing her for awhile, we've got a mission coming along tonight, might as well stick together.” Carol asked.
“Yeah sure it’ll be fun, hey, do you think we should take a nap for now? We’re going to be out for a whole night, sleeping sounds like a good idea at the moment.” I agreed, and suggested, and yawned. “Cool, so where do I sleep?” “You can sleep on my bed.” I answered already lying on the carpet. “Your bed? Your bed is huge! My whole family would fit in here! Wait, where would you sleep then?” “I dunno, couch?” “I don't think so your majesty, you sleep on your bed, I’ll sleep on the couch.” And here comes another argument, in the end however, we pulled out the mattress from bellow the bed and Carol sleeps on the mattress.
“Why didn't we think of this before?” I said wondering myself as we both tries to sleep. “We’re such idiots.” And.... sleep.