My alarm would go off early in the morning, so I decided to get my stuff ready for school before I went to bed. First I picked up my Porta-detective kit. I’d chosen a metal carryall the size of a small lunchbox to contain my portable detective tools. It was pink with leopard spots and it locked with a small key. Hopefully anyone who saw it would think it was just my lunch, or a make-up kit or art supplies.
The rectangular container actually held a miniature version of my most important equipment: a penlight, small magnifying glass, rolled-up measuring tape, and a square of soft wax for taking impressions. There was also a smaller fingerprinting set called a Uniprinter, since it was just big enough to take one print. It contained a tiny vial of powder, a one-inch square stamp pad, and matching tablet of paper. Unzipping the plastic pouch inside my notebook, I checked to make sure I had everything I needed for class. Pen, pencil, eraser, gum eraser, ruler. Put my notebook and Porta-detective kit in my backpack and I was good to go.
Sort of. Thinking about going to Gwendolyn’s school had me worried. I didn’t know my way around Malibu Middle, and I didn’t have a single friend there either. How would I find my classroom? What if the Malibu locals were stuck-up and picked on me? Why couldn’t I just stay home at my aunt’s house and investigate the secret spot I’d found behind the gate in the backyard?
I put some quarters in my change purse in case there was a snack machine, and double-checked my backpack to make sure I had everything I needed.
After I picked out a cute pair of shorts and a pink top, I set out one of my new bras. All of my bras were new since I hadn’t been wearing them for very long. Unfortunately, they were also the smallest possible size. I painted my toenails pink to match my striped flip-flops and set my thongs down next to my outfit.
Feeling a little hyper like I couldn’t sleep quite yet, I thumbed the combination on my detective kit locks and opened it. I pulled my pink Super-Zoom binoculars out of their pocket and knelt down in front of the window. My aunt’s words echoed in my brain: Stay out of the hills at night.
Excerpt From: Carrie Cross. “Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=3484045733971AE645ABB6A57571342A