“Hurry up, Clemence! You’re so slow at unlocking the door!” Tristan whined, jiggling his backpack up and down. “I really have to go!”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m hurrying!” Clem snapped, glaring at her brother as she fiddled with the key in her hand. Finally, the door opened and Tristan raced inside, with Esme close behind him, singing the My Little Pony theme song again.
“What on earth?” gasped Tristan, stopping suddenly. Clemence sucked in a breath as she looked around the house. Everything was in chaos: papers were strewn everywhere, chairs were knocked over and dishes were shattered.
“What happened here?” Clemence whispered, gazing at the mess.
“Musta been burglars,” Tristan said, frowning.
“Wonder if they took anything…” Clemence started trying to neaten up some of the disorder, but Tristan reached out to stop her.
“Stop! Maybe the police can, like, get some fingerprints or something!”
“Ok, ok!” snapped Clemence, and she stalked upstairs, wanting to see if her room was in the same disarray. Sure enough, the covers were thrown back, and the glass from her mirror was in shards on the floor. A wave of guilt washed over Clemence as she thought about her missing bracelet. Could it have been robbers that stole it, and not Esme?
Clemence pushed away the thought. Her parents were home from work.
“Oh, Silas!” Dawn gasped, her hand over her mouth.
“This doesn’t look good,” Silas answered. As he set his briefcase down to survey the mess, papers fluttered off the ground and settled again. “Has anyone noticed anything missing?”
“I checked my room, and nothing’s gone,” Tristan said.
“It was probably robbers,” Dawn said.
“Yeah, we already figured that out!” snapped Tristan. Dawn raised a warning eyebrow at her son and turned back to her husband.
“They’ll probably be back, Silas. It’s almost inevitable!”
“I wonder if the burglars have robbed anyone else!” Silas answered, stroking his stubbly chin.
“We should ask around; see what other people think. And of course, we need to contact the police! Who knows what else these burglars might do?” Dawn said.
“Are they gonna kidnap me, Mommy?” sobbed Esme, who had been quiet this whole time. Wailing, she melted to the floor.
“Don’t be scared, Es! The police are really good at catching bad guys,” Silas said, leaning down to hug his youngest daughter.
“Yeah, Esme! Don’t be a scaredy-cat!” Tristan sneered. Esme began to sob again. Clemence rolled her eyes.
“Oh, I really didn’t need this right now…” sighed Dawn, her face creased with worry. “Everything’s so busy at work and—”
“Mom, will we have it cleaned up before my party tomorrow?” Clemence asked. Dawn pushed her glasses up to her hairline and sighed.
“Sweetie, we might have to postpone your party. Things are just too hectic right now, okay?”
“I’m sorry, Clem, but it can’t be helped!” Dawn stroked her daughter’s hair, but Clemence jerked away.
“I’m sure if it was Esme, you’d let the party still happen!” she snapped, and with that, she stalked to her room.