Moms and Dads: need a fun game to keep your kids quiet in restaurants? Check out this passage from SKYLAR ROBBINS: THE MYSTERY OF SHADOW HILLS, and learn how to play, “Silent Detective.”
My grandfather always made everything fun. I remembered going to my favorite seafood restaurant with him when I was six years old. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep Skylar busy,” Grandpa said, winking at my mom as we followed the hostess to our table.
Goody! We got a window seat. Waves crashed right next to us on the other side of the glass, spraying white foam into the air like someone had just turned on a gigantic fountain. It was exciting and I talked too loud.
“Use your restaurant voice please,” my mom said.
Grandpa held up one finger, catching my attention. “Let’s play Silent Detective,” he whispered. I nodded fast, wiggling in my seat. “I see something…blue.” My grandfather’s merry smile and folded arms challenged me to figure out what it was. If I said anything out loud, I would lose. After looking around the restaurant for a second, I pointed out the window at the ocean.
I raised my eyebrows but Grandpa shook his head. Too easy. I tugged on my ear, signaling that I needed my first clue. He pointed at me with both index fingers, and then moved them closer together. Something smaller.
A lady sitting near us wore a light blue blouse. Grabbing a tuft of my shirt, I tilted my head in her direction and mouthed, “Her top?” while raising my eyebrows.
Was I right?
Grandpa blinked twice, signaling no. Brought his fingers together again. Something smaller than that.
I looked slowly around the restaurant. A big, multi-colored bouquet sat on a table near the entrance. Bright blue peacock feathers poked up in between green ferns and some weird-looking red-orange flowers. I pointed at the bouquet and flapped my arms like a bird. “Peacock feathers?” I mouthed silently.
Blink, blink. Wrong again.
I needed my second clue and tugged my ear again. If I couldn’t guess it after two clues, I would lose the game. My grandfather touched his fingertips together and pulled his hands toward his body: Silent Detective language for something closer. I concentrated on our table. Nothing on it was blue. I looked at my dad’s colorful tie. No blue there either.
A busboy set down four glasses of ice water and my mom reached for hers and took a sip. Her ring sparkled. Grinning with my success, I pointed at the blue gem on her finger and watched Grandpa touch his nose and smile. I’d won Silent Detective.
“I’m proud of you,” he said, reaching forward just as the waiter came to take our order. Grandpa pulled a quarter out of my ear, and I got to keep the prize.