“When Pandora woke up, she had no idea where she was. She was still in a bag. Then she realized that she had been kidnapped.”
One day when ten-year-old Pandora got home from gymnastics, her favorite activity, she ran into her sister Maria’s room and saw that she was crying.
“Why are you crying?” Pandora asked.
After blowing her nose, she told her, “I lost my necklace.”
“We will find your necklace, okay?” said Pandora.
“Okay,” said Maria.
Before they started looking, Pandora asked some questions like, “What were you doing?” or “When was the last time you saw it?”
“Well, I was in the kitchen helping Mom cut the onions and prepare dinner,” Maria said.
“Now we know that Mom was in the room, but was there anybody else?” said Pandora.
“Nope, there was nobody else,” Maria said.
“Okay, this is going to be harder than I thought. Did Mom pull on your necklace while you were putting the onions in the pot?” said Pandora, hoping that it did not happen.
“Yes,” said Maria, not knowing what Pandora was going to do.
“Oh no.” Pandora grabbed Maria’s hand.
“Where are we going? Let go of me,” Maria said.
“Didn’t you say Mom pulled on your necklace while you put the onions in the pot?”
“Yeah,” said Maria, while Pandora dragged her.
“Then it must have fallen into or around the pot. It must be boiling by now,” mumbled Pandora.
“What,” said Maria.
“Nothing you need to know,” said Pandora, rushing down the stairs and sighing.
After Maria answered the questions, Pandora said, “If you lose anything else or your necklace again, think of these questions and then retrace your steps.”
When they got down, they looked around the pot, but they couldn’t find the necklace.
“I think it fell into the pot, Maria,” Pandora said after searching everywhere and not knowing what Maria’s reaction was going to be.
“Wait, what?!” said Maria in shock.
“You have to ask mom if you could get it out,” said Maria with a worried look on her face.
Their mother was at another stove cooking.
“Hey Mom, I was wondering if you would let me turn off the gas and stick my hand in the pot to see if Maria’s necklace was in there,” said Pandora hoping that she would say yes.
“Yes,” said Pandora’s mom, distracted by cooking. After saying yes to the question Pandora said, “Quick, till she figures out what I really said.”
After Pandora’s mom figured out what Pandora said, Pandora’s mom said, “What?” while turning around to make sure they were not sticking their hands into the pot, but when she turned around Pandora’s hand was already in it. Pandora didn’t even realize that her mom was coming.
“Oh no, you should’ve told me to help you, Pandora. Now take your hand out of the pot so I can make sure you didn’t burn your hand.”
“Sorry I wrecked dinner,” Pandora whispered into her mom’s ear so no one else heard.
“Don’t worry. It’s okay. This time we’ll make dinner as a family,” Pandora’s mom said.
“Wait, one other thing, have you seen Maria’s necklace,” said Pandora hoping that she did.
“No, sweetheart. I’m sorry,” said Pandora’s mom. “Oh, by the way sweetie, can you go check on your brother to make sure that he’s doing his homework?”
“Sure,” Pandora said. She went up the stairs to go check on her brother. When she got up there she asked her brother, Peter, “Did you do all your homework?”
“Yeah,” said Peter thinking about something else.
“Are you sure? ‘Cause it seems like you lost something,” Pandora said.
“Um, Pandora can I tell you something? I think I lost my iPhone,” Peter said, whispering the word “iPhone.”
“I never heard the last word. What was it?”
“iPhone,” Peter said a little bit louder.
“Did you say iPhone?” Pandora said, confused.
“Yeah,” said Peter, hoping that Pandora wouldn’t be mad.
“It’s okay. We’ll find your iPhone, but first let’s go downstairs to get dinner and greet our guests. And we’ll have to tell mom,” said Pandora.
“Okay,” said Peter.
They walked down the stairs to find Mom, Dad and Maria sitting with their next-door neighbors, Kevin and Vincent, who were in their forties. Ever since Pandora’s family had moved to the Poconos, they only knew these neighbors, but not very well.
“Sweethearts,” their mother said, “come say hi to our neighbors.”
The guys got up and shook her hand, saying hello, and shook Peter’s hand too.
“Mom, Peter lost his phone by accident and we can’t find it, just like we can’t find Maria’s necklace!” Pandora said.
Her mother frowned. “Kids, take your food and go upstairs. We have to talk about something important and we’ll call you when you guys can come back down. And it’s okay, you don’t have to be upset, you will eventually find your phone and necklace.”
Wow, Pandora thought. It must be pretty serious if we kids need to leave.
After Pandora, Maria, and Peter ran up the stairs, their mother said to the neighbors, “Pandora is trying to help them find their things and doing a great job.”
Without anyone noticing, Pandora stayed on the stairs.
But their dad seemed worried. “I wonder if our credit cards and money will also go missing. It seems weird that one thing goes missing and then the other on the same day.”
“That is very odd. Did your kids check everywhere?” said Kevin.
“Like five times,” said Pandora’s father like a know-it-all.
“Then tell Pandora to keep up the good work,” said Vincent, complimenting her.
“You should go check on your bank account, and if you want we’ll stay behind and make sure that the kids are not up to any mischief,” they offered.
The parents thought that it was a good idea, so they quickly went to the bank.
As soon as they left the house, the neighbors started sneaking around.
Pandora followed Kevin and Vincent all around the house until they stopped. Pandora didn’t even notice what they were doing because she was focused on making sure her brother and sister didn’t come out of their rooms.
When she turned her head she was about to bump into Kevin and Vincent. But she was lucky that she didn’t. After a little while, she noticed that they were in front of her parents’ room. She thought to herself, Why would they want to go inside my parents’ room? Once they walked Pandora watched what they were both doing very closely. She saw that they were trying to steal her parents’ wedding rings, which were on their dresser.
Pandora quickly came out of hiding. Kevin and Vincent saw Pandora and said, “You’d better not tell your parents,” they gasped.
“Oh really? You both aren’t in charge of me. A matter of fact, I can call the police if you would like,” said Pandora.
Vincent and Kevin cupped their hands around Pandora’s mouth. They grabbed her arms and legs. Vincent gave Kevin Pandora’s arms. Vincent quickly got the sleeping spray. They sprayed and then stuffed her into a bag. Pandora shut her eyes and fell asleep.
When Pandora woke up, she had no idea where she was. She was still in a bag. Then she realized that she had been kidnapped. The bag was very dark, but there was a tiny hole that showed a speck of sunlight. She stayed calm, even though she felt like she was about to scream.
But then she felt something sharp. It was a broken part of a knife. It was in the bag. She started ripping her way out. Pandora could see Vincent and Kevin sleeping on the couch. Before she did anything else, she found the sleeping spray that they sprayed her with, and then sprayed them. Then she stuffed the bag with two beanbag chairs so that they would think she was still in there.
After she got out, she sewed the bag so they wouldn’t be suspicious when they woke up. The room was dark and empty. The couch and a small round desk were the only pieces of furniture. It was not welcoming. On the desk was her sister’s necklace, her brother’s iPhone, and her parents’ rings. She felt so happy that she found the stuff and hadn’t failed them. She grabbed them and put them in her pocket, while also putting on the rings.
Then she saw rusty pipes going up the wall and across the ceiling that looked like ladders and monkey bars. The last set of ladders was at the end and beginning, leading somewhere out of the room and outside.
After she got up she noticed that she could climb up the pipes. She was afraid that if she climbed them she’d be too heavy and the pipes would fall down. She decided that she should jump down from the rusty pipes and tiptoe the rest of the way. But she saw another set of pipes that weren’t as rusty so instead she started jumping up. She was almost out.
She climbed her way out of the stairs, pushed open a floor door that entered a real house, and got out. She realized that she was in her neighbor’s house next door, and needed to go home right away, so she ran there.
When she got home, she saw her parents looking around for her, very worried. They looked like they were about to cry until they saw her face.
“Where were you?” said Pandora’s parents.
“I was trying to get your wedding rings that were on the dresser,” said Pandora. “And now I can call the police.”
“Wow, that must have been hard.”
Before Pandora could even answer, her mom said, “But where did you go specifically?”
I don’t want to tell them the truth so they don’t freak out, but I also want to tell them, Pandora thought.
“Not to worry, I’m home safely, no scars or anything,” she said, “but I got kidnapped by the neighbors. I saw that they were stealing, so yeah. They didn’t want me to tell you. I threatened to call the police, and then they kidnapped me. I used a piece of a knife to get myself out and did some gymnastics to get here.”
Her mom’s jaw dropped open and she could barely move, but at the same time, she was handing Pandora her phone to call the police.
Pandora told the police everything. About five minutes later, she saw the police show up in front of her house. She went running outside to show them where the neighbors were underground in their secret lair. Then she went down the ladder with them to find Kevin and Vincent. They were still sleeping. They tiptoed around them. The police quickly handcuffed them before the two men got up. After they finished handcuffing them they felt uncomfortable and woke up.
“You called the police on us!” they both said at the same time.
“Well,” Pandora snapped her finger, “I told you that I would call the police.”
Then the police brought Vincent and Kevin to their car.
“Would you like to celebrate with a party at my house after you take them to the police station?” Pandora asked.
“Yeah, sounds fun,” said the police. They smiled. “You did an amazing job.”
“You did a horrible job,” said Vincent.
When the police came, they had a badge for a new detective coat and a leotard that had a badge on it. The police asked her, “Would you like to work with us?”
Her parents and her siblings stood around her, waiting to see what she would say.
Pandora exclaimed, “Yes!“ and the rest of the night they partied and stayed safe.