Monday, December 26, 2011


Hi everyone....
Here is a quick story-in-progress that I made. I haven't worked on it in a while because I've been working on another story, and some parts about Harry are confusing, but thats just because I haven't really edited it in a while.
Everything that could have gone wrong today for Elise had. She had missed the bus back to that wretched orphanage, forgotten her homework, and she had gotten kidnapped. It was officially her worst day ever. She stood up and looked around. She was in a room with sterile white washed walls, a locked sliding door, a long bunk against the wall, and a vent high up on the wall. She slumped against the wall and dragged her fingers through her dark curly hair. She instinctively reached for her wrist, but her mother’s watch, the only thing she had of her, was gone. She didn’t know what time it was, though she was fairly sure the old hag from the orphanage, Mrs. Purger, was starting to look for her. Not because she cared for her though, but because she was going to be if they found out that she was gone. A sudden clicking noise came from the sliding door. She pulled the handle and entered a large meeting room.
Chairs littered the room and infuriated children filed in from other doors and rooms. There were only 5 kids in the room, and they were from the orphanage as well. She recognized them easily. There was Ainslie and her brother Ethan, who both had blonde hair and blue eyes. Ainslie was dressed in a purple striped tunic and back jeans. Ethan wore a comfortable sweater, even though it was the middle of summer. I had rarely even seen their faces though, because they always had them buried in a book. I noticed Finn and Addison also. Finn had his normal grin. Addison was his twin, but they were not alike in any way. She had black hair and Finn had brown. Addison had brown eyes and he had green. They were both very athletic, with muscular builds and long tan legs. Addison wore brown shorts and a loose orange and cream top. Finn had on a pair of dark blue sweats. The other person in the room was Jacob, her annoying brother. He had their father’s purple eyes and black curly hair. Their parents had died in a freak car accident almost 6 years ago. Elise pushed the thought out of her mind and turned her attention to a man sitting in the front. He was very distinguished, with salt and pepper hair, dark shifty eyes, and pale skin. His gaze settled on her for a moment. Suddenly he clapped his hands. “Children, take your seats, all will be explained in a small amount of time.” Elise sat down silently. “You all have been assembled here for a certain reason, of course. I need you to….,” the man paused for a moment. “Help me. Some of the world’s greatest possessions are needed, because I believe they contain clues. I can’t go get them myself, because I am rather old, but you can. Don’t look at this as a problem though, look at it as an opportunity to travel the world and have adventures.” His voice brimmed with promise and he looked at me pleadingly. Elise looked at Jacob and he looked at her. They were able to communicate without words.
No. It’s too dangerous.
But if we don’t we’ll just end up back in the orphanage. You know Mrs. Purger hates us!
But, Jacob….
Exactly. You don’t even have a reason to say no.
Fine….so it’s settled.
Elise turned to the man in front. “We’re in.”
The man’s eyes brightened as Finn, Addison, Ethan and Ainslie agreed to the proposition. “Call me Harry,” he chuckled. Suddenly he lowered his voice. “The first thing I need is the Golden Monkey Statue. You’ll find it in the Red Pyramid, Cairo Egypt.” “Um, Harry, You do know that the Red Pyramid is extremely dangerous, especially for a couple of kids. It is not excavated yet, and it is not open to visitors.” Harry leaned forwards. “You are no longer a ‘couple of kids,’ you are a team. I understand that it is a dangerous place, but you are all very resourceful. You’ll be fine.” Suddenly Harry leapt to his feet and pushed us out of the door to the right. “I am very, very, very, late. Now you must go. You will find your backpacks out there. Hurry! I know you will make me proud!”
“Flight number 4532 to Cairo, Egypt, please head to the door number 45,” came the woman’s voice over the intercom. That was the last thing Jacob had ever expected to hear. He had never been out of Virginia, let alone the country. He turned to follow the others. He had played football with Finn and Addison before, but he had never really noticed them before. The plane was crowded and hot, with little babies with faces covered in mushed bananas.  He took his seat next to Annelise. He opened his backpack and looked inside. He pulled out 4 sets of clothes, nicer than he had ever had before, a sleek laptop, some granola and energy bars, a set of boxed books on Egypt and the Red Pyramid, a touch cell phone, and a visa gold card. “Score!” he yelled, lifting the card in the air like a prize to show his sister. “Shh!” she hissed, pulling the credit card out of his hand and stuffing it back in his bag. She began reading her book on The Red Pyramid again. Jacob grunted and leaned against his seat. This was going to be a long ride.
 We all sat on the bed in room 203 in Egypt’s finest hotel. Jacob had finished running back and forth between the rooms. “Let’s get to business,” said Elise in here most professional voice. “Here’s what we’ll need: walkie-talkies, tourist clothes, a camera, flashlights, transportation to and from the pyramid, and some possible climbing tools.” They looked at her with blank expressions. “Just trust me,” she urged.
 So they did.
Addison and Finn looked the ‘lost tourist’ part for sure. “The eagle is going for its prey,” He muttered into the walkie-talkie. “I thought we agreed, no code names,” came Ainslie’s crackled voice though the phone. Addison lowered the volume and knitted her brow. “Follow my lead,” she instructed. Walking forward, she smiled vivaciously and snapped a picture of the guard. The guard growled and curled his lip. “No photography,” he snarled. Addison smiled, nodded her head, and snapped another picture. The guard lunged out to grab her, but she had been waiting for this moment her whole life. She reached forwards and grabbed his shoulder and pulled. The officer was knocked off balance by her strength and cunning. I grabbed the opposite arm and within seconds the sentry was lying on the ground, out cold. “He’ll get up within the next few hours, so we’ll have to work fast,” she commented. “Call in the new info, Finn.” He whipped out the walkie-talkie and relayed the new knowledge to the others. Soon we were all at the entrance of the giant mausoleum. We filed into the building quietly. The door behind us slammed shut in a swift motion. Elise handed the others a flashlight and map of the area. The path was pretty straightforward and they moved fast. Suddenly they came to an unexpected fork in the road. Elise scoured her map but there was no two-way path anywhere on the map. “We need to split up. We’ll be able to cover more ground. Boys go to the right wing, and the girls will go the left,” she commanded. “Call in every half-hour. Stay on the marked path only.” She nodded solemnly and turned left. The other girls fell into line and marched off. We turned left into a narrow passage way. It was dusty and smelled mildewed and stale. The path made a sharp right. We could hear echoes from further ahead. Jacob turned to us and smiled wearily. “Probably just the girls,” he said, uncertain. Finn ran his fingers along the cave wall. It was filled with cracks. ‘Not cracks, carvings!’ “Guys, look,” he yelled. Soon they were following a long trail of monkey carvings. They led into a large room. “Whoa,” Jacob whispered. The boys explored the wall, not even noticing the hulking figure hiding in the corner. “Looking for something?” asked the shadow.      Perfunctorily they backed into the opposite corner. The shadow was formed by a middle aged security guard. He scowled at them and barked, “Sneaking into a pyramid huh? Not so funny anymore.”  He reached his hand into his pocket and produced a sleek pistol. TWACK! The man’s expression went blank as he slumped to the floor. Behind him, Elise stood, frozen in shock. Her backpack was suspended above her head, like a lurking tiger, poised to attack.
“Very nice job,” Addison commented, moving out from behind her and leaning down to check the man’s pulse. Ethan stood, petrified. “You…, killed him,” he asked, bewildered. Addison blew a bubble with her gum and straightened her spine. “No,” she responded, easily. “Just knocked him out for a little while, apparently. He’ll be back up in a few seconds though so let’s move,” she said moving quickly towards the door. There was a sudden rattling sound from the outside of the cave. We moved towards the entrance. Elise let out a low noise. “What?” asked Jacob? “Run,” she responded. We all stared at her usually determined face, twisted in thought. She suddenly became yelling. “Run…….just go!” she screamed. She motioned to the door and we sprinted down the slender pathway. The rattling noise had changed into a rumbling of falling rocks. “Avalanches of rocks are common in unexcavated pyramids,” Ainslie panted as the passage widened. The narrow area had turned into more of a roomy opening. There was a cracking sound and I whipped my head around. The section of rock directly above me was shaking. There was a shrill scream from either Ainslie, Elise, or Ethan, and suddenly everything went black.
Harry Talbow stared at the tracking device. The blinking green dot moved closer and closer to the final prize. The screen went blank and he banged his fist on the table, frustrated. “Eli,” he yelled. The young man scuttled out from the corner. His sweater vest and thick ‘Harry Potter’ glasses were striking. He shuffled over. Harry rubbed his temples. “The stupid thing’s not working,” he mumbled, pointing at the device. Eli knelt over the tracker. “Um, sir, there seems to be a problem. The signals have been lost because of a distraction between the satellites.” “English, please, this time Eli,” Harry chided. “They are stuck somewhere where their tracking device won’t work, sir.” Harry narrowed his eyes into slits.  This was going to be tricky.
For a moment Annelise thought she was dead. Her head was pounding and the room was dark and dusty. There was a cough somewhere in the room. She heard it again and quickly realized that it was coming from the left corner of the room. She rolled over and her head hit something hard. She reached over and pulled at it. Her familiar purple backpack erupted from the rock pile. Reaching inside, she pulled out her flashlight. Slowly she sat up straight and dusted off the dust on her shirt. She checked herself over, and seemed unscathed. Ainslie, Ethan, Finn, and Addison were sitting up and conversing near a tall pile of rocks. The north side of the cave was blocked by giant boulders. On the south side was a tunnel. There was a low moan and she realized that it was Jacob. Tenderly she knelt down and examined him thoroughly with my flashlight. He blinked twice as his eyes adjusted to the glare of the light. Slowly he squirmed but stopped abruptly. “The rocks are pinning me in place,” he said, his voice wheezy and cracked. “A little help, guys?” she asked. Finn and Addison picked up the boulders holding him in place. Finally he was free, but still in horrible shape. There was a long gash 4 inches above his eyes, oozing blood. On his leg was long shrapnel wound. Dust had caked around it, turning it into an angry red lump. We needed to get out of here, and fast.

Just looking at Jacob made Annelise scared. His usual playful-self had been replaced by a silent, unresponsive person. He was feverish and slept for most of the time. While he was asleep we would take turns venturing into the tunnel, turning around after a half-hour. Finally it was obvious we were making no progress. “We have to go further,” Addison coaxed. “We can’t while Jacob is this sick,” she reasoned. “Then you can stay behind and watch him,” she snapped. Even though she hated Jacob, she had promised her mom that she would keep him safe. The final image of her mother on the long sterile hospital bed popped into her mind. “Okay, fine,” she agreed. “But, you’ll leave tonight and send someone back if you find ANYTHING,” Elise stressed. Finn placed his hand over his hand and nodded. That night Finn, Addison, Ethan and Ainslie adventured into the tunnel while Elise and Jacob slept. When she woke up in the morning she ate a light breakfast of 2 energy bars. Jacob slipped in and out of consciousness like a car on a wet slope. He could barely speak and his breaths came out in deep rasps. There was a shuffling sound and Addison and Finn appeared in the doorway to the tunnel. Behind her was Ethan, gasping for air and clutching his chest. “He tried to race us,” Finn explained, giving Ethan a hand to get up. “We found it,” Ainslie screeched. Addison took charge. “Finn and Ethan grab Jacob. Ainslie, Elise, and I will run ahead. Now let’s hurry.” Elise slung her bag onto her shoulder and tossed one last glance over her shoulder at Jacob. He was being hoisted onto a makeshift stretcher made out of her jacket. He managed a pained smile. Ainslie latched onto Elise’s hand and yanked her towards the door. They ran down the jagged pathway at full speed for about a half hour. By the time Elise got to the sixth turn she was gasping, but Addison tugged at her hand. “Please,” she begged, “just a little further, please,” she prodded, dragging Elise as she went. Ainslie stopped promptly. She stood in front of a mud-caked wall with a single tile on it. The tile was decorated with 4 monkeys. She nodded at me and prodded at the design. With a shove it moved, creating a crater in the wall. There, on a pedestal, stood a golden monkey statue, adorned with jewels of incommensurable colors. She gently passed it to Elise who stashed it into her backpack. Finn and Ethan appeared around the corner. Elise walked into the cavern that the statue was hidden in and turned to the left. There was a tunnel, furbished with oil lamps. She reached into her bag and pulled out a box of matches. Within a minuet she had all the lamps lit. Elise walked inside with Ainslie and Addison following her. The tunnel widened as they traveled on. There was a rustling noise and Elise turned around to look at the others. She felt a hot breath on the back of her neck. She whirled around and came face to face with the grueling face of the security guard she had knocked out earlier. “You again,” he grunted. Elise smiled and suddenly lifted the statue from her bag. In a swift movement she whacked him over the head. His face twisted in pain, and he crumpled to the ground. “Dang,” Jacob whistled. “You really have something against that dude,” he commented. Elise twisted around in shock at the sound of his voice. He was sitting propped up against my books with his oh-so-familiar smile plastered on his face. She winked at him and said, “Well, duty calls….” The rest of the group laughed as they traversed further into the cave. The cave came to an abrupt dead end at a dark piece of rock. Elise turned around and said, “It’s pretty thin.” Addison pushed Elise aside and cracked her knuckles. “Let me,” she prompted. Picking up her backpack she smashed it against the rock, forcing it to shatter immediately. There was a cloud of dust and a piercing light. Elise shielded her eyes as they saw daylight once again. Jacob let out a hoot and Elise couldn’t help but shout for joy herself. Ethan suddenly tapped her shoulder. “I don’t want to be a killjoy, but take a look over there.” Elise strained to look over at the other corner of the pyramid. The security guards had collected and were now sprinting towards them at full speed. Elise looked around and spotted their escape vehicle. A safari jeep was parked about 10 feet away from them. She grabbed Addison’s hand and yanked her along with her. “Can you drive a car?” she asked. “Um, golf cart, yes, but a car….” she pondered. The guards were only a mere 6 feet away. “Close enough!” Elise yelled, pushing her into the driver’s seat. The sentries were right behind the car now. “Hold on guys!” Addison screamed. She stomped her foot on the gas and the car flew backwards, almost trampled 2 of the guards. “Wrong way!” Addison switched gears and trampled the ignition. The guards stood in awe as we drove off into the beautiful Cairo horizon.
Harry turned to the others to relay the good news. “They’ve got it!” There were immediate shouts of joy from the other offices. This would definitely put them ahead in the race. Harry kneaded his forehead. The children were smart enough to realize that this was a dangerous race with fate. And other contestants. He leaned back in his chair. Poor Jacob had been hurt when another team had caused an explosion. The race was becoming harder and harder to hide.
Elise and the others sat on the bed in room 203 of Cairo’s Finest Hotel. Elise hung up the phone. “Harry said that he’s sending a doctor for Jacob. He doesn’t know who may have caused the cave in at the pyramid though.”
“Do you think that it was Harry?” Ethan asked.
“No, if he wanted us dead, he could have killed us on day one.”
Ethan lay back on the bed in thought.  Elise played with her hair in thought. “Guys,” she asked. “ I think there’s a lot more to this than we think.”
Jacob shook Elise’s leg. “Wake up,” he yelled. Elise yawned and stood up straight.
“What do you want Jake. It’s only 4:20. And what’s up with your hand?” Jacob held up a casted hand in a green sling hanging from his neck.
 “Doctor,” he mumbled holding up a finger to silence her as he held the phone to his ear. He finished to conversation dropped the cell phone on the counter. “Big news. Look at this.”  Jacob pressed the statue up to Elise’s face.

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