by Madison Dahl
I was sitting at home, watching T.V. when I got the call. "Hello, Vera Nosy at your service!"
"Hello, Vera. This is Cravin Coldcash. I own Costa Fortune Theater. I have a mystery for you. Can you help me?"
"I can certainly try. What's the mystery?" I asked.
"Well, I'm sure you probably know that tonight at the Costa Fortune Theater we were to have the movie premiere of...."
"The movie 'I'm so Hip and Happening' starring Ima Prettyone?"
"Well, yes, but it didn't happen though. Once everyone was seated, someone stole the keys to the movie theater and locked everyone in!"
"What would be the point of doing that?" I quizzed.
"To give them time to get away with their loot."
"What was stolen, Mr. Coldcash?"
"You mean who. When Ima Prettyone was returning from the bathroom, someone dressed in all black took her from behind and carried her off!"
"How do you know all this?" I inquired.
"A nearby security guard saw the kidnapper take Ima, but they knocked him out, so he doesn't remember much."
"Have you thought of any possible suspects and their motives?" I said.
"Well, there are three suspects that have good motives."
"Who are these people, Mr. Coldcash?"
"The first suspect, Vera, is Penelope Pickme. Her possible motive is that she was competing with Ima for a $20,000,000 movie role. I know she is in very deep debt because of all her plastic surgeries. Second, is Seif Earth. He is a nature preservationist. He claims that all of the hairspray Ima uses to hold up her long blond hair is creating a new ozone hole. He has been known to try and steal Ima's hairspray. Third, Ms. Nosy, is Needa Straightjacket. She is a fanatic. She has had therapy for her problems, but I don't think it worked," explained Mr. Coldcash.
"Well, Mr. Cravin Coldcash, I will find Ima and the keys unless my middle name isn't Snoopy."
"Okay then, Ms. Nosy. I am counting on you. Feel free to stop by anytime to investigate. Goodbye."
I hung up the phone. It was a puzzling case. I tried to gather the main facts. Someone had kidnapped Ima Prettyone and gotten away. There were 3 suspects and motives. This reminded me of the time I had solved the case of the missing Show Dog. In that case there had been 3 suspects, but all of them had an alibi. The actual criminal was a hired henchman.
I walked to the garage door and put a sweatshirt on. I glanced in the mirror. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. I had just turned 17 and was a junior in high school. I had brown hair and bright blue eyes. I had just gotten braces off my teeth and my teeth were perfect. I was pretty much your normal teenager. Except for the crime solving stuff. My secret power was that I was a wizard in Algebra! My dad is the town's police chief. I guess that explains a lot. I grabbed the keys to my Nissan and walked out the door.
I pulled into a narrow parking spot next to the theater. I climbed out of the car and checked my watch. It was 5:30 p.m. I walked in the revolving door. It was pretty impressive. The ceiling was made to look like a nighttime sky. The walls were a beautiful gold color. I walked up to the ticket counter. "Where is Mr. Coldcash's office located?" I asked.
"Up the stairs to your left and then straight ahead. You can't miss it."
I went up the stairs on my left and did a double take. Had I just seen Penelope Pickme run around the corner? I crouched down and peeked around the corner. It was Penelope! She had her back to me and was on a cell phone. I listened in.
"You have no reason to worry," said Penelope. "No one has to know about our little secret. You will get paid. Okay. Bye."
I decided to talk to her.
"Hello, Ms. Pickme. I wanted to see if you had a comment about today's kidnapping?" I inquired.
With that remark she ran away. I noticed that she had dropped a little white piece of folded paper. I was about to unfold it and read it when Mr. Coldcash boomed, "Why, Vera. It was so nice of you to come. Have a seat!" he finished.
I considered telling him about the phone conversation and the little slip of paper I had found, but I couldn't be too sure about anything. He could be a fake and have committed the crime himself.
"Vera Nosy, I am going to give you free reign. I have a pass for you here that allows you to go anywhere, at anytime. We have to find Ima because she could possibly be in deadly peril. I will close early tonight at 7:00 p.m. Feel free to stay later than that. Is that okay with you?" he asked.
"Yes, it is, sir," I replied.
"Here's your pass. I will find you before I leave."
"Okay then!" I exclaimed.
I rose from my seat and left.
(To be continued)