Dani’s Story: Chapter 6

Sometimes we stop and remember that we are just one person among billions.  And sometimes, that invisibility is a good thing.

Screenshot-588Sunday morning.  Get up.  Do exercises.  I’m looking good!

Screenshot-587Alina goes fishing in the park.

“I want a red herring.  I want a red herring!”

Screenshot-583The repo man shows up again.  He has some choice thoughts about Alina’s gardening.

Screenshot-584I guess no one paid the bills again.  Just when I though things were getting better around here.

Gotta get out.  I’ll stroll downtown.  Wonder what I’ll find.

Screenshot-601I stumble into a crowd at city hall, protesting the recent string of
robberies.

I think I’m in trouble.

Chapter 6

Look Right Through Me

Screenshot-593Rally.  Downtown.  With cops.  Protesting crime.

And I’m in the middle of it.

Screenshot-594I take a look at a sign.  It looks an awful lot like my mask.  There’s no way I don’t stand out here, and it’s too late to slip quietly away.

I have to do something radical.

Screenshot-596I’m so nervous I’m shaking.  I take a deep breath.

“Who would do such a thing!”

Screenshot-597“Who would steal from innocent people?  Catch this criminal!”
(“Catch ‘em!”)

I’m starting to get into this.

Screenshot-600“We’re supposed to be free.  Where’s our freedom from crime?”
(“Yeah!”) (“Where!”)

“Make Sunset Valley a safe place for our children!”
(“Yeah!”) (“Yeeeah!”)

This is actually fun!

Screenshot-602I recognize the cop in charge of all this.  It’s Hank Goddard, the guy I robbed as a little kid.

I wonder how much he knows.

Screenshot-605“So, Hank? I’m worried about this robber. What should I know?”

“We don’t have much info.  We don’t even have a description.  Just keep your eyes open for anyone acting suspiciously, okay?”

Screenshot-608“Thanks Hank. You’re a great cop!”  I’ve pulled it off !  And the crowd’s winding down now.

“Hmm, this book ‘Time Spy’ is wonderful!”

Screenshot-607They’ve all gone on to other things.  It’s time for me to leave.

Screenshot-688I swing by home.  Kimmo and Alina are just sitting in front of the TV.  I’ve never seen anyone so invested in the GARDENING CHANNEL!

Sheesh.

Screenshot-617Still on a high from this afternoon, I head over to Sam’s.  I can hear my own house from across the street.

(“They put the veggies in the salad!”  “Noooo!”)

Screenshot-616Whew.  I am exhausted.  And hungry!

Screenshot-609Surely no one will mind if I-

“Stop!”  “Dani, don’t do that!”

Screenshot-610Sam sits down in the chair across from me.  I figure he wants to chat, but instead he pulls out a remote and turns the TV on.

Geez, it’s just a piece of toast!

Screenshot-611I mean, maybe I shouldn’t have taken it but – it’s soooooo good!

Screenshot-612Sam finally turns to look at me.

“Dani, just ask next time, okay?  Money’s been tight lately.”

Screenshot-613Yeah Sam, well money’s going to get a lot tighter.

Screenshot-614There’s stuff in this bedroom I haven’t stolen yet!

Screenshot-615I go back downstairs to find Leighton fussing at Sam.  I think he’s telling him to exercise more.  I feel kinda sorry for him.

Screenshot-620I feel bad for getting upset earlier.  I holler from outside, “Night Sam! Thanks for the bread and jam!”  Just seeing him puts me in a good mood.

Screenshot-622I have happy dreams.  For a few hours, I’m the best thief in the whole world.

Screenshot-621“Who’s a good little red herring?  You are Marci!  You are!”

“Goodnight little fish.”

Screenshot-624“Blebleble! Booga booga!  Goodnight, you silly clown you!”

Screenshot-625Monday morning!  It’s my first day of high school.  It’s a ready-made excuse to get out of this house.

Screenshot-626“Hello? Boss? …  An opportunity? … You’d like me to find out everything I can about Miraj Alvi?  Can do!”

Screenshot-631“An opportunity?  You say there’s big money in a biography of Nicholas Sweet?  I’ll get right on it!”

Screenshot-627“…Soon as I finish reading this book…”

Screenshot-632After school, I get invited to Juan Keaton’s house.  This is so easy it feels like a joke.

Screenshot-634Juan sits outside to do his homework.  It’s too light to nab anything now, so I do some homework too.

Then Juan’s mom comes home.

Screenshot-637Figures.  She’s another cop.

Screenshot-639“This book ‘Time Spy’ is the best book ever!”

Screenshot-643I’m only half done. But between the homework and the stress of sitting across from a cop, I just can’t take it anymore.

Screenshot-641Juan’s mom turns to shake my hand.

“Justine Keaton. You must be Juan’s friend!  It’s so nice to meet you!”

Screenshot-642“So you’re in law enforcement?  Very smart of you!”

Not smart enough to catch me though!  I sneak away into an upstairs bedroom.

Screenshot-645It’s…sparse.  Come to think of it, this whole house is really sparse.

The Keaton’s must not make that much money.

Screenshot-646Not like that will stop me!

Screenshot-650I’m still so stressed.  I need to go home and relax and finish my homework.

“Bye, Juan.”

Screenshot-652“Don’t leave yet Dani!  Mom’s just started dinner.”

“Okay.”  Yeah, I can stay for a home-cooked meal.

Screenshot-653Mmm, it’s…unevenly cooked.  And it gives me a slight bellyache.  But the Keaton’s have been really nice to me, and I feel good.

Screenshot-654I run home.  Gotta finish my homework!

Screenshot-655But I’m sooo tired.

Screenshot-656I’ll just need to relax for a bit first and…

“Have you read the Time Spy, Dani?  This is the best book ever!  I can’t put it down!  It’s so thrilling and…”

Screenshot-659Oh, high school is gonna be hard.

Previous: Chapter 5

Next: Chapter 7

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