The Osceola News-Gazette is posting the works of the Osceola Library System’s Lit Mag 2019 winners. Young authors were invited to submit original works of up to 1,000 words to be judged by a panel of published authors. Subject matter in their poems and stories spoke out about gender, race, love, death and identity. We hope you enjoy these talented young writers.

11-year-old Addison ran down the stairs of her tiny apartment. Another knock, knock sounded on the door.

“Coming!” Addison yelled. She jumped past the two last steps and landed on her feet with a thud! She unlocked the door, opened it up, and ran outside to greet her friend Matthew.

“Mr. Ronald said a million dollars was stolen from the bank last night!” Matthew blurted out.

Addison put a hand over her mouth. She gasped.

“No one knows who stole it,” Matthew continued. “The police can’t even find one finger print, a boot print, not even a wisp of hair!”

Addison put a finger up. “Hold up, Matthew. You said the police don’t know who it is, right? Well, how is the bank going to get a million dollars back from a person they don’t even know?”

“Don’t know...”

Addison could tell Matthew was nervous. His dad worked at the bank, so the bank could give him lower pay since they couldn’t pay him the full amount.

“All I know is that someone – a kid, an adult, doesn’t matter – has to find that money,” Matthew said. “Otherwise, my dad isn’t getting paid...”

Addison started thinking, who’s going to get that money back? Then she had an idea.

“I’ll be right back!” she yelled, then raced for the door.

“Wai-” Matthew yelled, but the loud slam of the door cut him off.

Addison ran up the stairs and into her bedroom.

“Back already?” her mom asked.

“I forgot something,” she answered. She kept running until she got to her room. She grabbed a notebook from her bookcase and dug through her backpack for a pencil. After she found one, she ran down the stairs and out the door.

“What’s that for?” Matthew asked, pointing to the notebook.

“Clues,” Addison answered, proudly.

“We are not going to the bank,” Matthew said loudly.

“Oh, yes, we are,” Addison said, as she took his hand and yanked it. “Let’s go.”

Ten minutes later, they were standing outside of the bank. “Are you ready?” Addison asked.

“No, Addy.”

“Oh well,” Addison said. She started dragging him inside.

Then, five minutes later, Addison was taking notes of every single speck of dust.

“It’s just dust, Addy,” Matthew groaned. “Let’s go.”

“Wait!” Addison yelled. “Dust always has little bits of dead skin in them, right?”

“Yeah...”

“So, we can take some to that officer over there and ask him to do a scan on it!”

“Addy,” Matthew groaned. “He probably knows that already.”

“Then, why do they still not know who did it?” she asked. She was already making her way over to the officer. “Excuse me,” she said politely. “Do you know, you might be able to track down the thief with all the dust here.”

“What do you mean, little girl?” the officer asked.

“I’m eleven,” she said. “But I mean you can find pieces of dead skin in dust, right? Well, why not scan the dust?”

“We already tried, big girl.”

What is with the insults?! Addison thought.

Addison walked away from the officer and over to Matthew. Or at least where she last saw him...

When Addison lifted her head to tell Matthew she wanted to leave, she saw that he wasn’t there!

She looked left and right, but Matthew was nowhere in sight. He’s probably in the restroom, she thought.

So, she walked over to the men’s restroom and stood there. After four minutes she decided Matthew was playing a game. Maybe just to spook her, since last night a real bad guy came to the same place she was.

She started to walk around, saying, “Got you, Matthew!” every time she found a good hiding spot, only to find out he wasn’t there. After twenty minutes Addison stopped.

Ugh! He seriously CAN’T be hiding anymore! Addison thought. Then she sat down on an old, ugly, broken bench. Suddenly, she spotted a moving tile on the floor. It wasn’t really moving, to Addison, it looked like someone was trapped underneath, but couldn’t get out.

She hopped off the bench and leaned over the tile. She slid her fingers underneath and pulled.

“Ugh,” Addison groaned. “Come on! Move already!”

POOF!

Addison looked down, into the hole. The tile flew into the air, and hit the floor with a crash. Nobody was under the tile, but a huge hole was.

“HELP!!!” Matthew screamed from inside.

Addison gasped.

“Hey!” another voice yelled.

Addison looked to her left. The officer she talked to earlier was standing next to her. Suddenly, he pushed her in!

“Aahhhhh!!!” she yelped. “SOMEONE! HELP!!!”

She landed inside a cage with a THUD!

“Addy!” Matthew said.

Addison hugged him.

“W-where are we?” she asked.

“No idea.”

Addison looked around. There was only a small desk in the middle of the room.

“I think that officer isn’t an officer,” Matthew said.

“You think?”

BANG!

The door to the cell slammed open. Matthew smiled. “Hi, Alexa...”

Alexa was Matthew’s girlfriend. Her father worked at the bank, too.

“Get out,” Alexa demanded. “I told you to stay away, Matthew, didn’t I?”

“Yeah,” he replied.

Alexa continued, “I told you my dad was hiding the money today. Correct?”

“Yeah...”

What money? Suddenly, Addison realized why Matthew didn’t want to go to the bank. Alexa’s dad is the ‘officer’ who’s really the thief!

Matthew walked out of the cell. “Sorry, Addy. Alexa promised me some of the money, if I kept it a secret.”

Alexa slammed the door shut and waved. “Buh bye!” Alexa left smirking, followed by Matthew, who was frowning in shame.

Two minutes later Matthew came back. “I told her my mom made cookies for us.” Matthew opened the cell door. “Let’s go to the police department,” he said.

“Thank you for telling us, kiddos!” a real officer named Wanda said. “Here’s a Lolli-Pop for each of you kids!”

Addison’s mom smiled. “My little detective,” she said.

“NO FAIR!” Alexa screamed from inside her cell.

“Yes fair!” Addison and Matthew said together.

The End!

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