By Dominic McCaffrey
Second Prize Winner, 2016-2017 Young Writers Short Story Contest
Download a PDF of The Crime.
“Wake up! Wake up!” whispered James.
“It’s only three in the morning,” complained Jay.
“I can’t find my favorite pillow. I have to have it to sleep,” James whined. “Do you know where it is?”
“No, of course not.”
“Will you please help me find it?”
“Sure,” grumbled Jay.
James and Jay slipped past their parents’ room and into James’ room. Then James quietly shut the door and went towards Jay. Jay was looking all over the room hoping to find the pillow so he could go back to sleep. An idea popped into James’ head. He crept up to Jay and yelled, “Booooo!” His brother was scared so badly that it looked like he’d wet his pants. After the wake-up call, Jay realized that James was holding the pillow the entire time.
“Good morning, everyone,” Jay said coming down the stairs. Bob, their dog, greeted him, hoping to get a treat. But he got none. Jay looked at the clock. It was 11 AM; he’d slept in. He jumped up and shouted with a worried look, “I’m late for school!”
“No, Honey. Remember?” questioned his mother.
“It’s the first day of summer break. Now do you remember?”
“Oh, YA!” replied Jay.
“Will you take your brother uptown after breakfast?” asked his mother with a pleading look. “He keeps begging me to take him.”
Just then, James walked in and asked, “When are we heading uptown?”
“I’m trying to arrange it with your brother,” his mother responded in an irritated voice.
“Come on. I’ll take you up,” offered Jay as he engulfed his meal.
“YES! YES! YES!” James yelled at the top of his lungs.
“First, why do you want to go uptown?” quizzed Jay curiously.
“I’ll tell ya later,” replied James.
“Tell me now. Why do you want to come up here again?“ questioned Jay.
“It’s Mom’s birthday tomorrow, so I wanted to go uptown to buy her a diamond or jewelry,” replied James.
“Do you know how expensive those things are?”
“Hey! I’ve saved $30!”
“Thirty dollars? You can barely get a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g fancy for $30!” shouted Jay, angry that he was walking up- town for nothing.
When the boys got to the jewelry store, they got a big surprise. The store was covered in police tape, and there were police cars everywhere. When they asked the police officer what was going on, the officer replied calmly, “The store was robbed. We think it was done by a new criminal, because all of the other criminals are behind bars. Thanks to those meddling…I mean good, detective kids and their dumb…I mean smart, dog.”
“Hey! We aren’t meddling and our dog isn’t dumb,” James screamed at the officer.
“What’s all this screaming about? Oh! Hi, James and Jay. Where’s Bob, the pooch?” questioned Barney, the police chief.
“Hey, Barney. How are you?” asked Jay.
Butting in, James said, “He called us meddling and Bob dumb.”
“Hey! Can’t a man speak in Watsonburg?” the officer said in self-defense.
“Kids, why don’t you come see what you can find?”
“We will. But first, we have to get Bob.”
Later, when the boys had Bob, they went looking for clues at the crime scene. The first clue was a piece of cloth on a shard of glass. It almost looked like the fabric from an officer’s uniform, but they doubted it. Then they looked at the video cameras. They found that the thief had disabled them. Suddenly, Bob was on a trail. The scent led to a closet. When the boys opened it, something sprang out. Right then, Chief Barney walked in and was caught in the middle. He grabbed the thing and didn’t let go. As the fight cooled down like tea with ice in it, they saw a masked thief.
“Who are you?” interrogated Chief Barney as he unmasked the thief. He saw that it was the officer that the boys had talked with.
“Okay. Okay. I’m Jake. I was paid by some guy to help out.”
“What was his name?” probed Jay.
“He said to call him David. David is the robber. I’m just a normal guy. He paid me to get in the way of anyone who tried to stop him.”
“Well, you’re gonna pay jail a visit,” declared James.
“Not quite yet,” said Jay quickly. “Where were you supposed to help next?”
That night at the mall the police were in position. Jake was behind bars. Suddenly, BANG!! An air vent crashed to the ground, and David slid down a rope. The police officers jumped out and arrested David on the site.
In the morning, Jay and James rushed around getting everything ready for their mom’s birthday. When their mom got up, she read the newspaper and drank her coffee. Then she spit her coffee out and laughed. “Why should I have been surprised that you weren’t home at all yesterday? You solved a crime! Congratulations!”
“Here, Mom,” James said, handing his mom a box neatly wrapped. “Happy Birthday!”
When she unwrapped the gift, she gasped, “How beautiful! Thank you so much for the diamond necklace. But how’d you get money for such a fancy thing?”
“They let me have it in gratitude for helping them solve the crime. I love you!”
“And so do I!” added Jay.