Detective Crystals Investigation

Clutching the wooden spoon tightly and shaking it at my younger sister, I began my investigation. OK, who did it? Who licked the mixing spoon?

Not me, Madison answered, not looking up from the table.

Did too. Who else would have done it?

Did not.

Did too.

The back door closed with a thump. Mum came in with her arms loaded with towels.

All right you two, break it up.

But Mum色

Madison crossed her arms tightly. I did not lick Crystals spoon.

Did too.

Girls, thats enough, Mum demanded.

I tossed the spoon into the sink. Mum, you promised that if peeled the potatoes last night, I could lick the spoon when we baked the cookies this morning. It was my turn. I glared at my seven-year-old sister.

She poked her tongue out and I stomped out of the kitchen.

When I returned a few minutes later, notebook and pencil in hand, Mum and Madison were busy removing cookies from a baking tray.

OK Mum, what happened when I left the kitchen to use the bathroom?’

With an audible sigh, Mum opened the oven door and placed another tray onto the top shelf. Well, after we finished mixing the cookie dough, I went outside to bring the towels in from the clothesline. If Madison licked the spoon, I didnt see her.

Madison added a fairy-shaped cookie to a large plate and then turned toward me. I did not lick your spoon.

I noted her statement. Madison, what were you doing while Mum was outside?

Colouring in my book.

Before that, stupid.

Please, Crystal, Mum intervened. You can play your detective games but please dont be rude to your sister.

Madison pushed a tiny candy bow into the icing on the top of a pink fairy before she continued with her defence.

I didnt touch the spoon. Mum said it was your turn to lick it so I went and got my colouring pencils and book from my bedroom.

Sandy, Madisons kitty brushed against my legs. Where was Sandy? I crouched down and checked the kittens paws and mouth.

She followed me outside, Mum replied, handing Madison the container of sprinkles.

Well, it couldnt be Sandy, Madison added not looking at anyone.

I added my notes about Sandy then poked the pencil behind my ear and placed the notebook onto the table. Can I help decorate the cookies, Mum?

Wash your hands and show Madison how to use the icing gun.

Obediently but aggravated, I moved to the sink and washed my hands. I still think Madison did it. I kept my eyes on miss goody two-shoes while I turned on the tap.Little sister seems to always avoid punishment.

Did you come to any conclusions, Mum asked.

My attention remained focused on Madison. I took a small spoon from the drawer to use to fill the icing tube. Well, if it wasnt Madison or Sandy, who else could it be?

It wasnt me, Madison began in her sing-song of innocence. You always blame me.

Momentarily, I concentrated on filling the tube.

Well, Mum was saying. If you did Madison, no one would be mad at you for it. Its the lies that I dont tolerate.

Madisons lips quivered. I didnt.

A noise from the living room caused me to turn suddenly. Whats that?

Mum glanced up at the doorway as Dad entered.

Madisons frown disappeared. Daddy, youre home early.

I placed the icing gun on a clean plate. How long have you been home, Dad?

I grabbed my notepad and drew the pencil from behind my ear. I tapped my foot. Well?

Well好ice to see you too, Dad laughed.

I approached Dad and leaned forward. There on his loosened tie, was a tiny blob of chocolate. Dad you didnt. How could you?

Do what?

Mum pointed her finger. So youre the culprit.

Dad bent down to kiss my forehead.

Da地d, your lips are sticky.

Dad just stood there and grinned. Yeah, I came in to see my beautiful girls before I put my briefcase away. No one was here so I licked the spoon. He grabbed a paper serviette and wiped his mouth. I guess you found me out.

You licked the spoon? It was my turn!

Mum came over and touched my shoulder. I think you have an apology to make, Detective Crystal.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in Children & Teens at Riverside Peace

Teen Reading

Out of the Shadows – Jenna’s Secret

JennaFinalFrontCover

This is a novel about a girl who, at the brink of going too far, learns from her mistakes and from witnessing the devastating effects to those who crossed the line.

Note: Out-dated language has been revised for the modern teen reader.

Read more about this book on my Teen Novel page or go straight to the publisher to ORDER NOW!

 

Annoying Cousin Gertrude

It was Erics third morning of his mountain holiday. Hed just nestled back against the decaying roots of a fallen tree that lay balancing over the edge of a large waterhole. The trickle of a lazy waterfall created tiny ripples across the surface of the water where sunbeams played. The peace was interrupted by the sound of a twig snapping.

What the? Howd you know where Id be?

Gertrude giggled and approached Eric. I got up early to follow you. I thought you might be lonely fishing by yourself. Besides, this is one of my favourite places.

Well, Im not lonely, so you can go home.

Gertrude paid no attention and began to toss pebbles into the water. I can catch fish too, you know. She stepped into the water and inched her way toward the waterfall, splashing about as she went. Here, fishy, fishy.

Eric rolled his eyes. He looped a worm, spearing it onto his hook with the last turn. He was two years older than his pain-in-the-neck cousin and he didnt particularly want her around. His parents decided the summer holidays with thirteen-year-old Gertrude at her familys mountain property, would be good for Eric. He doubted it.

Get out of the water and keep quiet, youll scare the fish.

Only if I can help.

Eric scanned the parameter of the waterhole and began to work on a plan. Okay, I need more worms. Lots of worms and they have to be long, fat ones. You could try over there.

He pointed towards a small opening in the rocks behind the trickling waterfall, almost twenty feet away. The waterfall is really only a trickle and the water doesnt look deep. Shell be fine. He smiled at the thought.

Eric cast his line, leaned back and closed his eyes. This is nice

* plop *

Eric opened his eyes towards the sound. His bait tin had blown into the water. It was then that he noticed the dark clouds overhead and the strengthening breeze. He reeled in his line and scrambled down to retrieve his tin. He paused. Uh oh

Gertrude, where are you? Wed better get back.

He did a quick check of the area. I guess she took the hint.

Light rain fell as he packed up his fishing gear, but by the time he put his backpack on, it had become a heavy downpour. He was about to leave when he thought he heard his name being called. He stopped and listened.

Help me, Eric.

The call repeated and although it was faint, it was definitely Gertrude. He couldnt tell where it was coming from. It seemed to be coming from under the ground. Eric was baffled.

WHERE ARE YOU?

Her reply was barely audible. Im in here. Behind the waterfall.

Eric dropped his backpack and ran straight through the waterhole. He climbed over slippery rocks and slid behind the falls that now flowed steadily down the rock face. The ground inside the narrow cave was muddy and he struggled to stay on his feet.

Gertrude, where are you?

This way! Be careful, the walls collapsed. Her voice echoed faintly but Eric could now hear her clearly.

He gingerly felt his way along a dark tapering, downward tunnel. Gertrude色

Right here.

Eric almost tripped over his cousin. He crouched and felt the ground around them. Mud had covered her legs.

Can you move?

Yes, but I hurt my ankle when I slipped with the mudslide.

Eric dug the mud away with his bare hands and eased Gertrude to her feet.

Lean on me, he said gallantly.

Once they were moving and fumbled their way back up through the short tunnel to the opening behind the falls, Eric found himself whispering. What is this place?

Gertrude grimaced and leaned heavily on Erics arm for support. This whole area around the waterfall is a maze of caves and tunnels. Ill show you around in a few days when the ground dries out. Heavy rain comes unexpectedly up here I should have known better. The upper streams dont take long to fill and create enormous changes in the falls and waterhole.

She paused momentarily. Hopefully, we can swim back to where you were fishing, before the water rises.

With their back against the wall, they eased their way around to the far end of the waterfall where its flow was less intense. They jumped simultaneously into the water below. Cascades of water plummeted down on them, thrashing them below the surface.

Coughing and breathless, they finally dragged themselves onto the bank and into the shelter of a huge rock.

He watched Gertrude shiver and squeeze the water from her shirt. She wasnt really a kid.

Gertrude, he asked quietly. Why do you have to be so, so…

Annoying? I dont know. I just wanted to be friends.

He studied her face. Can we start over?

After a few moments Gertrude nodded causing drips of water to fall from her hair and spill down her face like huge tears.

Okay, but call me Trudy. I hate Gertrude.

They both laughed.

So, Trudy, what do you want to do when the rain stops?

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in Children & Teens at Riverside Peace

Abigails Special Birthday Gift

Abigail Hyatt was almost seven and her daddy let her choose where to have her birthday party. It had been a sad winter and a party was a good idea.

‘Can we have it at the park, Daddy?’ Abigail asked.

‘Which park, Abigail?’

‘The big one, Daddy the one Mummy loved. You know… the one where we threw the rose petals after her funeral.’

‘If thats where you want it, then thats where we shall have it.’ Daddy kissed the tip of her nose.

Abigail smiled. ‘Ill help with the invitations but we have to invite Grandpa and Grandma Lawson. Do you think theyll come, Daddy?’

‘You can ask them. They would like that.’

Her smile faded. I wish they didnt live so far away. Do you think Grandpa and Grandma miss Mummy, too?

‘Im sure they do. I would miss you, my darling daughter, if you had died. Now, lets not be sad. Mummy would want us to enjoy your party.’

‘I want to wear the party dress Mummy bought me last year.’

‘Abigail, honey, I dont think it will fit. You have grown so tall. Why dont we go to the mall tomorrow after school and see what we can find?’

‘Okay, Daddy.’

Finaly the party day arrived. It was a sunny day and the park had lots of spring flowers growing in the gardens. Abigail could see her grandparents at the end of the short path that led to the playground. They were tying balloons on swings and trees. There were two picnic tables. One had lots of party food on it and the other held a huge birthday cake with pink icing.

‘Grandma! Grandpa!’ Abigail called and ran to meet them.

‘Abigail! You look so grown up and your party dress is so pretty,’ Grandma said, smiling.

‘Its Mummys favourite colour. Do you think shed like it?’

‘I think its perfect, Grandpa said.’

‘Abigail,’ Daddy said quietly. Your friends have arrived.’

She looked up at Daddy to ask him to greet them for her, but he was wiping something out of his eye. Grandma hugged Abigail. Abigail knew Grandma was crying too so she hugged her as well. ‘Oh Grandma, I miss Mummy soooo much, but she would want us to enjoy the party.’

Grandpa hugged them both ‘Yes, she would. Now go and meet your friends and enjoy the afternoon.’

Abigail greeted her friends and opened her presents. A clown skipped into the playground, making the children laugh. He twisted balloons to form the shape of little animals, stood on his hands and spun hoops on his feet. Abigail thought it was the best party ever.

Abigail was too excited to go to bed that night. After her bath, she dressed in her new summer night gown, and sat on Grandpas knee while he read her favourite story: Noahs Ark. She knew it almost by heart because her mummy had always read it before she went to sleepsometimes twice.

‘Abigail, Daddy said, coming into the room with a glass of milk. Grandma and Grandpa Lawson want to talk to you.’

Abigail felt suddenly afraid. Daddy had said something like that when Mummy got sick. She remembered that Mummy was crying and Daddy told her they would be okay. Abigail climbed off her grandpas knee and went to her daddy.

‘Its all right, Abigail, Grandma smiled at her. Everything is OK.’

‘You see, Daddy said, lifting Abigail onto his knee, we all miss Mummy very much and…’

‘What your daddy is trying to say, is that we miss your mummy, too, Grandma continued. But, we also miss you and your daddy.’

Grandpa sat on the floor in front of Daddy and Abigail reached down to hug his neck.

Grandpa took a deep breath. ‘Grandma and I want to move in with you and Daddy, at least until we get a house close by. Your daddy and I talked about it a lot and we think your mummy would like it. What do you think?’

‘This is the best birthday gift ever! Can they live with us, Daddy please?’

‘Abigail, this is your birthday gift. Its up to you.’ Daddy was laughing now. He hadnt laughed for a long time.

She jumped off her daddys knee and hugged her grandpa and her grandma. ‘Please come and stay Ill even let you call me Abby. Mummy always called me Abby.’

Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in Children & Teens at Riverside Peace

Locked Out!

‘Geraldine! Open the door. Please, let me explain.’

‘Go away, Mum! I dont want to talk to you.’

‘Please understand, Geraldine. I hadto do it.’

‘Thats just so lame.’ Geraldine rolled her eyes. ‘Youre pathetic.’

Geraldines mobile phone played her favourite Red Hot Chili Peppers song: Nobody Weird like Me. She grabbed her iridescent purple phone from the bed and checked the caller ID. Crystals photo appeared on the screen. ‘Hi, Crystal, Im not really in the mood to talk.’

‘Geraldine, whats going on? I was about to knock on your front door when I heard you screaming.’

‘Where are you now?’

‘At your front gate. Where are you?’

‘In my bedroom, but’

‘Ill come round to your window.’

Geraldine was about to argue but realized Crystal had rung off. By the time she opened the window Crystal was outside waiting.

To Geraldines relief, Crystal kept her voice quite. ‘So, are you going to tell me whats wrong?’

Geraldine turned and threw herself back onto the bed. ‘I cant believe she did it.’

‘Did what?’ Crystal asked, raising her voice to a hoarse whisper to be heard from where she stood in the garden.

‘She threw Dad out.’

Crystal climbed through the window. ‘Hes been drinking again, huh?’

‘Just because he likes a drink after work…’ Geraldine bit her lip and paused. ‘It wasnt his fault that he hit her last night.’ She began to cry.

‘Hey, girl, you cant possibly think he should stay if hes hitting her.’

‘But, hes my dad and its his home too.’

Geraldines best friend sat beside and put an arm around her shoulder. ‘Do you remember when my mother threw my dad out?’

‘Thats different, Crystal; he was beating you and your brother. I remember going to the hospital with you when he broke your arm.’

‘Like, before that, he was hitting my mother. She used to hide out the backyard until he fell asleep, but then he started beating us instead. Yes, Geraldine, thats why she threw him out, but do you think your mother is going to wait for that to happen to you? Your mother knows what we went through.’

There was a gentle knock on the bedroom door and Geraldine accepted a tissue from Crystal to wipe her eyes.

Her mothers voice was croaky. ‘Geraldine, can we talk?’

‘Ok, Mum, just a minute.’

Crystal gave her Geraldine a quick hug before she climbed back out the window. As she waved goodbye, Geraldine took a deep breath before opening the door.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in Children & Teens at Riverside Peace

Haunting Wails and the Seashell

Multi-coloured seashells lined the shelf in Sophies spare room. They had always fascinated her nine-year-old granddaughter, Emma. Each shell had its own special story. Today, Emma had asked to hear about the big, shiny, spotted one, which twisted and curled to a little holey point.

Emma carefully lifted the shell from the shelf and sat on the bed as Sophie entered from the kitchen, wiping her wet hands on her apron. She smiled down at her granddaughter holding the shell gently in her lap. I suppose you want to know about this very special seashell.

Where did you find it, Nana? Its so pretty.

It is prettyas pretty as the beach I found it on. But, this shell has a sad story to tell. The memory will live forever in here. Sophie placed her hand over her heart before continuing.

Poppa and I were visiting a place far from here on the west coast for a holiday back in 1992. It was our holiday of a lifetimejust after your mother finished college. It was a summer. We were staying at a resort village and Poppa and I spent the evenings walking along the cooling sand. On the third evening there was a full moon and we were about to head back up the beach to our bungalow when we heard a pitiful moaning. It seemed like it was coming from the ocean. The sound lingered like a haunting wail that echoed. I have to admit, I was afraid. Im not one to believe in ghosts, but that night I would have believed anything.

Oh, Nana, that must have been soooo scary. What did you and Poppa do? What was it?

Sophie traced the contour of the twisted shell to the point, holding her finger in mid-air for a moment before continuing. Well at first we just stood there trying to work out what it was. Some of the resort staff came running down onto the beach yelling, Save them! Save them! It was then that we realized there were black mounds rolling in the surf. They looked like huge boulders. Some were closer to us on the wet sand; water lapping around them from the incoming tide. Some of the people started running into the waves. Poppa grabbed my hand. The boulders were actually whales. Some had already beached themselvesothers splashed about a little offshore where waves crashed around them.

Tears ran down her cheeks as she recalled the events. People were trying to persuade them back by yelling at them. Others just stood, staring, as one by one they beached themselves. It was an awful sight.

Did they go back into the water? Emma asked, her eyes reflecting her anguish.

Unfortunately, most of them didnt. I guess its part of nature. We never did find out why those whales beached themselves. We tried to help by keeping the whales wet. We even tried to encourage them back into the water. Sophie shook her head. Four days later the beach was covered in dead and dying whalesfifteen in all. I remember I sat in the shallow water beside a mother and her calf and wept for them. Poppa and I took turns taking short naps and taking time out for meals provided by the resorts kitchen. We continued our vigil for four daysthe remainder of our holiday. Weve always considered it a small sacrifice. We managed to get three whales back out into deeper wateronly three, but we were relieved we were able to help in a small way.

Oh, Nana, this is the saddest story of all. But, where did you find the shell?

Sophie picked up the shell and blew into the small hole at the point. It made a howling sound, like the wind. She handed it back to Emma so she could have a blow, and continued her story.

About mid-morning on the last day, men with hoists came and loaded the dead whales onto the back of trucks to take them awayfor burial. I suppose we were too exhausted to ask where. When they lifted the calf beside me, I noticed something lodged in the wet sand. Poppa used his hands to dig it out and held it up to look at it more closely. One of the helpers from the night before took it from Poppas hands and washed it in the seawater. He lifted it to his lips and blew it, long and loud. It sounded almost like the mournful cry we had heard the evening before. The man handed it to me and walked away, back up the beach to the resort where he worked. Ill never forget those whalesor the beach.

Emma blew into the shell. The haunting wail lingered like the memories on the shelf. Sophie sat beside her in silence for a few minutes. Emma traced her finger around the shell before placing it into Sophies hand. She too, traced her finger to the point then placed it back in its place. They continued to sit in reverent silence.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in Children & Teens at Riverside Peace