Day 12. Oh Jimmy . . .

Day 12: Write the ending of a mystery story . . . then the beginning.

That night, James snuck through the bathroom window much too small for a grown man to fit through; he had done his stake out of the house as Mr. Robinson suggested. James slid through the window and knocked over several bottles on the bathtub but was not fast enough to stop their commotion. He paused for a lifetime, poised to take flight, listening for any sign the Sams family was roused by the commotion in the bathroom. When he heard nothing he carefully exited the bathroom, peering down the hall on his left then his right. All the doors were closed; all the lights were off as they should be. It was 2am. Mr. Robinson said this was the perfect time.

James had never been in the Sams home but he knew exactly where he needed to go. All the houses in this neighbourhood were built the same. He inched his way down the hall close to the walls. Mr. Robinson said the floorboards don’t creak next to the walls, and that’s where they’re supported.

“Stay close to the walls kid and you’ll do great.” Mr. Robinson rasped. James glued himself to the walls.

“Be careful with the pictures on the walls Jimmy,” James remembered Mr. Robinson’s warning when he almost brushed a family portrait off the wall.

He tip-toed through the living room, past the kitchen and the wash-room, and made his way through a door that led into the garage. He flicked on the flash-light he had ready for this very reason, and set about looking for his radio-controlled helicopter. He knew Mr. Sams had it, he practically said so himself . . . even though he didn’t say so at all.

Where is it? James frustrated himself. He looked everywhere and couldn’t find the helicopter, but he knew it was in here somewhere. The alarm on his watch started to go off since it hit 5 minutes. Thankfully it was a vibrating alarm but it still made James anxious; he should be leaving now.

“What are you doing? Calm down Jimmy.” Mr. Robinson gruff voice broke through James’ hysteria. He stopped and took three deep breaths. When he opened his eyes, there sticky out of the top of a cardboard box was the helicopter. James carefully withdrew his helicopter and left.

The End . . .

. . . the Beginning

It was a beautiful day, that morning. The sun was perfect, the air a little gusty but nothing James couldn’t handle. That was the day James finally got to take his helicopter out for a spin. He had gotten it as a birthday present the Saturday before, and while he played with it all weekend he wasn’t allowed to play with it during the school week. So he counted down the days to that Saturday when he’d finally get to fly all weekend. He took his helicopter out and played: James did nose drives and tested how high it could go. He took it around the house and over to his friend’s house and back to his house that Saturday, until he lost control of the helicopter in a huge gust of wind that it blew over into Mr. Sams’ yard, over on the street behind James’.

James went to Mr. Sams and asked politely for the helicopter to which Mr. Sams chased James off his property. James asked his mother to accompany him to Mr. Sams to retrieve the helicopter but when they got there Mr. Sams made his moves on James’ mother. Needless to say, James was seething by Friday night and ready to burst come Saturday.

“Jimmy, Mr. Robinson says his lawn needs trimming today. You want to go?” James’s mother held the phone out for him expectantly. James took the phone and reluctantly put the receiver to his ears.

“Hello.” James mumbled.

“Jimmy look, I know it’s a lovely Saturday and all but I need you to come cut my lawn. I’ve got twenty dollars for the job, whaddya say?” Mr. Robinson baited James.

“Make that thirty and I’ll be there in a jiffy.” James perked up.

“Twenty-five and you can get some iced water.” Mr. Robinson croaked.

“Deal” James said then hung up.

James was the known gardener for the neighbourhood and was pretty good at it too. He grabbed his bicycle with his tools dumped in the basket and headed onto Mr. Robinson’s street. When he got there, he immediately set about tending Mr. Robinson’s lawn. While he raked the leaves and was lost in a trance; James saw Mr. Sams pull into his driveway. That’s when he realized Mr. Sams lived across the street from Mr. Robinson.

As James raked, he thought up evil plans and schemes to get his helicopter back but didn’t notice that Mr. Robinson was watching him.

“Jimmy, the sun beating you down?” He asked as he brought a glass of water over to James.

“Huh, what? No, I’m good Mr. Robinson.” James took a healthy gulp of the water.

“Well, I aint paying you to rake one spot dry. There are no leaves right here Jimmy.” Mr. Robinson pointed out. James had been raking the same spot since he first saw Mr. Sams.

“What’s troubling you James?” Mr. Robinson rarely called him James so this must be serious, James thought.

He sighed and hesitated but succumbed. “Mr. Sams has my helicopter and he wont give it back.” James relented.

“How long now?” Mr. Robinson asked.

“A week.” James replied.

“Do you want me to talk to him?” Mr. Robinson asked.

“No.” James replied firmly.

“Well, how do you plan to get it back?” Mr. Robinson egged James with a wry smile.

And so it began . . .

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