Today’s “Three Things” are from Suki in North Carolina. Among other things, she writes fan fiction. Check out her site. I’m sure you’ll be entertained.
As always you can check out the full story (thus far), or catch-up if you’ve missed an episode, on the page dedicated to it, The Three Things Serial Story. …And now let’s see where these three things take our characters…
Bent Key, Empty Barrel, Torn Hem
There was more commotion as the coppers went inside the Nickelodeon Theatre, nightsticks and guns at the ready. We all stood taller, trying to see what was going on — all of us except Boris, that is. He slumped down even further into the seat of Andy’s Studebaker.
“So, who got clipped?” Andy asked Frankie. However, the fireman didn’t know who had been shot, or whether the person was wounded or dead.
Frankie spotted an empty barrel in the alley a few yards away and rolled it all the way to the car. Then he lifted me up so I could stand on top of it for a better view of the action, though there wasn’t really anything to see.
I hopped down from the barrel so Mona could take a turn, but my skirt got caught on it. I heard a little ripping sound and looked down in dismay at my torn hem. “Oh applesauce! This was my favorite outfit.”
Mona stooped down to inspect the damage and said that it didn’t look so bad. “I bet Tim the Tailor can fix it in nothin’ flat,” she said, meaning another of our neighbors. “Cheer up doll. It’ll be okay.” Then she took a safety pin from her pocketbook and made a passable repair in a jiffy.
When Mona finished I looked up to find all the boys staring at us. Or rather at my legs, the police and the shooting were all but forgotten. Even Boris had roused from his slump and got out of the Studebaker. Honestly! Men… I cleared my throat meaningfully. “What are you mugs lookin’ at?” I demanded and they made a big show of looking the other way.
Just then I heard the crack of “Chicago lightning” — gunfire and a lot of it, from inside the theatre. A chair crashed through the big plate glass window in front and a man jumped through the shards. He was dressed all in black and wore a hat, which made it hard to focus on him in the dim light. He made a beeline toward the group of Russian dignitaries and grabbed that white-haired woman who was so rich looking. A car from across the street suddenly roared up, and the man in black dragged the old woman into the car before it completely stopped moving. Then it sped away.
The getaway car careened past us, mere inches away. Mona jumped back with a shriek and Andy yelled angrily at it. I heard a metallic ping and the streetlight glinted off something. I moved to see what it was. At first I thought Boris was following me, but he continued for several paces, staring in the direction the car went. He had a pained expression on his face.
“You know her, don’t you?” I said and he turned back to me with eyes that were wide and questioning, but also fearful. “The white-haired woman in the fox fur stole. You know her.”
Boris didn’t answer. He walked back to the Studebaker, and standing behind it stared at the very upset group of people and the police for a long moment. Then he shook his head and looked down at the ground.
I sighed in frustration at his silence. There was definitely something going on with him and this whole goofy mess. I almost forgot what I had been about to do… that metallic sound and the glint of light. I bent down and spotted the source. It was some sort of key. I picked it up and turned it over in my hand. It was a bent key and it was engraved with something, but it was too dark out for me to read the inscription.
What mysterious words are engraved on the key? Who is the white-haired woman? Stay tuned…