Jefferson Middle School newsletter
Chapter Sixty-Six: In Which Once Again Someone Appears Unexpectedly
For a moment, it was like time stopped. Everyone froze in place, looking in horror at the bookshelf opening…
Then Rose swiftly shut it closed and everybody breathed a sigh of relief.
While she and Jack and Snow tried to hold the bookshelf door closed, the person at the other end pounded at it, causing the shelf to shake and the books to fall. Then the shaking stopped.
“Snow, can you pull over that coffee table over there so we can bar the door?” Jack asked. She went over to get it, and right when Jack was about to pull it in front of the shelf, it swung open, knocking them all aside.
Flake could only watch in horror as he saw everything unfold. Oh no, what do I do… I won’t be of much help so… He quickly shut his eyes and feigned unconsciousness. I hope they don’t get caught… now I don’t even know what is going on…
Suddenly he heard a loud shriek. Flake could help but open his eyes. Was that Snow? Did something happen?
“What are you kids doing here?!” screamed Chief Alya, standing in front of the bookcase. He blinked a few times. That was definitely her, and the kidnapper guy was nowhere in sight.
“What are YOU doing here?” Jack exclaimed back. “I thought you- I thought you were a prisoner, how come you are just standing around here, shouldn’t you be locked in a room?”
Chief Alya cleared her throat and tried to regain her regal look. “I am a prisoner, but I was clever enough to escape that horrid prison I was put in.”
Jack was still a bit suspicious, but Snow was just relieved. “Great, then you can help is free Flake and Windy!” she said, smiling. “Wow, everybody we needed to rescue is here, this makes it so much easier.”
Too easy, Flake thought. And where is the kidnapper guy? Something is wrong. I was sure I saw him go in the basement through that way...
“Hey, Chief Alya, have you seen Mr. Kidnapper Guy anywhere? We all thought that he was you, when you came out of the bookshelf, but he wasn’t. It would be helpful to know where he is though, if you know,” Snow asked.
“It’s Queen Alya. And I have never seen him,” Chief Alya said.
Snow nodded. “Oh, okay. Can you help free Windy over there then? I’ll help Flake.”
The chief pursed her lips, then said sweetly, “Yes, of course, but first, I have something interesting to show you in the basement. Something you will definitely want to know.”
“Really? What?” Snow asked curiously, stepping forward.
“Snow, are you sure we should go in there? I mean, Chief Alya might not know if there is anything dangerous things in there… ” Jack said uncertainly.
Don’t go, Flake wanted to say, but he couldn’t risk it. Did Chief Alya even know he was awake? Why did he feel so cautious around her? Was it part of his Oracle-sense to feel like something was off all the time? Maybe there was something important in the basement.
“Wait. Why is that girl here?” Chief Alya pointed to Rose who was lingering on the side. “She’s in league with John!”
Rose crossed her arms and looked at the chief with a look of obvious distrust. No I’m not! And how do you know his name?
“She’s not! She’s helping us!” Snow said. “Her name is...um, Ruby or something like that? Or Rosie? I’m pretty sure it starts with a R…”
“Oh, never mind. But she can’t see what I’m going to show you.”
“Rose isn’t in league with anybody except us! And I’m sure she can see whatever you are going to show us,” Jack argued. “Just let her come.”
“Fine, fine. Whatever you want.” Chief Alya pulled on the bookshelf and it swung open like a door, revealing a set of stairs descending into darkness. “Watch your step and be quiet.”
“It looks dark in there,” Snow whispered quietly as she looked at it. Jack slowly stepped down, creating a big footstep noise as he did so. Rose looked reluctant to go in, but eventually she stepped down into the darkness.
The door slammed shut behind them, leaving Flake alone in the laboratory.
But he wasn’t alone for long.
A beep noise sounded and the metal door slid open. Flake gasped and pretended to be unconscious again. Is it him? Did he overhear our conversation?
After a while, hearing no noise, Flake opened his eyes and found himself looking at a curious Flint, who was staring at him like he was an unusual specimen of squid that was supposed to be extinct.
“Flint! Help me get out of this chair!” Flake whispered, as loud as he dared. He didn’t say anything back, he just continued staring at Flake, which kind of creeped him out.
How did Flint get here? Did he wake up after I got kidnapped? Did he lose his voice too? Flake thought.
“Hello, Oracle guy,” Flint said, which answered his last question, but brought up many more.
“What? What happened to you?”
He laughed. “Always full of questions!”
“Flint! Answer me! What happened? What’s wrong with you?” Flake asked.
Flint suddenly became serious. “A lot of things. And nothing is wrong. And everything is wrong. And you have to fix it. Before it happens to you.”
“Care to explain?”
Flint shook his head and smiled.