THE MASKED MAN
Chapter 1 Among the Shadows
Chapter 2 Childhood Friends
Chapter 3 Robberies Downtown
Chapter 4 Routines
Chapter 5 Investigations
Chapter 6 The Thief is Caught
Among the Shadows
It was a dark and gloomy night, everything was silent. The wind was howling wildly and the full moon shone mightily over the horizon. Among the shadows, lurked something no one ever expected to be there. In the peaceful town of Pennsylvania, nothing wrong could ever occur. However, at this time of the night, anything could happen.
“What’s that sound?” asked Jane, a little girl from the town. She had woken up, hearing a strange sound. Even I could never actually tell what kind of a sound it was.
Jane was a very polite girl. She always wore two pigtails in her long blonde hair which looked like gold spun into subtle thinness, the filaments finer than a spider’s silk. The bloom on her cheeks was like a butterfly’s wing and her eyes shone like diamonds. She was a fearless girl and was extremely kind-hearted too.
“It’s nothing,” said Jane’s friend Mary, “You just might be imagining things.”
“Yeah, I just might be!” said Jane and fell asleep again.
The truth was, Jane wasn’t imagining things. Mary was very sleepy so she just didn’t take time to notice. The sound was something like a screech, a type of screech that comes when you try to open a rusty iron door slowly. But the real question was, where was the sound coming from? The answer, I must say, no one knew. Not even me!
All of a sudden, Jane woke up with a jerk. She woke up mary too.
“What happened?” asked Mary, Half awake and half asleep.
“I had a nightmare, I don’t know why!” said Jane.
“Alright, just try to sleep. Dream happy thoughts,” Mary told Jane, yawning.
So Jane lied down. She tried dreaming happy thoughts but it just would not work. Jane could just not get even a wink of sleep. There was a window beside the bed, which Jane slept on. Turning around, she could see the whole city. Jane gazed out of the window when something caught her eye. Something was moving among the shadows. Something so swift! All someone could see was its shadow.
Jane and Mary were childhood friends ever since they were babies.
When they were children, Jane and Mary were neighbours. Outside both their houses, the had a humongous backyard, big enough to fit a giant! Jane and Mary both thought that it would be a good idea to grow trees and different flowers in their backyards, so that it would become much more lively. Well, their idea sure did work out! The backyards became a centre of attraction for all kinds of creatures, and both the girls took great care of everything.
In between the backyards and houses, they had a huge nine-metre high fence and it had a loose picket in it. Either girl could push it up, go underneath it and get to the other side.
The street on which Mary and Jane lived on was full of life. It was like a society, everyone knew each other very well. Jane and Mary also had many other friends, friends who used to help them out whenever needed. Both girls loved to go on expeditions. They always pretended to go on adventures with their friends by making tents in either of their backyards and they also sometimes pretended that they were in a jungle, hiding from ferocious animals. They loved doing this. Jane and Mary also sometimes wished that they could go on real adventures.
Both the girls adored their mothers. Who doesn’t? But as they grew up, their mothers passed away and their lives completely turned around. They started living in the same house but, fortunately, their friendship hadn’t been broken.
Mary was a girl who loved to read books. She had short hair which came up only till her shoulders. Mary used to decorate her hazel-coloured hair with colourful clips and assorted hair bands. Her hair was curved inwards at the base and that made her hair look sleek and modern. Circular,navy blue glasses rested on her wavy nose. Mary had a fair complexion with rosy- pink cheeks as well as lips. Jane and Mary were in fourth grade when their mothers passed away. They faced a lot of difficulty but managed everything. They were tremendously confident, and nothing could stop them from doing what they had to do.
The figure which Jane had seen that night had escaped from her vision, yet she was still curious about what it was. Meanwhile, the figure had gone into one of the rich mansions. It was plotting to take revenge against the city! The figure crept into the mansion and just disappeared! Maybe it took the back exit, maybe that figure isn’t even a figure, it could be a ghost! No one knows.
In the morning, a rumour had spread across Pennsylvania about a robbery last night. The victim was the owner of the mansion, Mr. Gunderson. He was a stout person with quite an impressive moustache, and he was tearing his hair apart.
“My chest! Oh, m-my precious! It’s been stolen! Oh, how can it be?” he sobbed in frustration, “I’m ruined!”
All the people present there tried to console him, but he was unconsolable. He had lost his chest, and to him, he had lost everything.
Mr. Gunderson had a tiny chest, the size of your thumb. He had dreamt about that chest one night, and in the morning, saw that chest beside him. Since then, Mr. Gunderson has had this chest and it has made him the talk of the town. This chest was his lucky charm. Therefore, now that he did not have his chest, everything he hoped for the future would be gone.
The next night, another robbery had taken place. Mrs. Scarlett, the wife of the son of Mayor Santos, had lost her diamond ring. The ring had been given to her by her husband, Michael, at her wedding proposal. She loved that ring dearly. Another rumour went around town. Two robberies, from two of the richest families, on two consecutive nights? Who could be so cunning to do this? Many stopped at the main inn, the Arma Ged inn, for taking a glass of wine or beer and then for sitting and gossiping about the recent events. Many were puzzled about this, nonetheless nobody was able to get to the bottom of it. Everyone was sure that this was going to happen again. But nobody was sure who was the culprit.
When Jane and Mary were little, their mothers had a routine made for them. They would get up in the morning, freshen up, read a book or study and go to school. In school, they learnt many things, writing texts, mathematics, arithmetic, science, history, geography and art. In art, they learnt how to make origami, how to stitch, how to weave, how to knit and how to sculpt. After they came back from school, they changed their clothes, had lunch, rested for a while and started their homework. Then, both the girls ate their dinner and went to sleep. The next morning was the same.
On weekends, they could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted! No one stopped them from doing what they wanted to do on weekends.
Even now, the girls follow the same routine, and they love this routine.
The whole of Pennsylvania was deep in wonder. Who could this imposter be? Nobody had any clue.
The next day, Jane and Mary decided to do some investigation. Jane told Mary what she had seen a few nights ago. They both suspected the figure for robbing the mansions.
Suddenly, Jane’s eyes lit up.
“Mary, we were at Mr. Gunderson’s house the day everyone had gathered there to witness the crime scene, right?” asked Jane suspiciously.
“Of course we were! We even left late, after everybody, remember?” explained Mary.
“That is it! When we left late, did you see Mr. Gunderson at all?”
“Yes, Jane, I did see him but what is so special about him anyway?” enquired Mary.
Jane smacked her head. “Didn’t you notice? He smirked at the wall after you turned you back. I quickly looked at the wall. I saw a part of the same figure behind it! The shadow, Mary, the shadow!”
“Actually? You actually saw it?” asked Mary, curious.
“Yes, Mary, and I also think Mr. Gunderson is upto something. He might be the cause of all these robberies!” cried Jane.
“You might be right. Let’s follow the figure tonight and see what he is upto.”
That very night, Mary and Jane tip-toed to the very place they had seen the figure. They caught him sneaking around among the shadows and followed him till he came to a bungalow. It was Professor Albert’s house. Professor Albert was a friendly neighbour who lived on the same treet the girls lived on.
Mary and Jane exchanged looks when they saw that the figure was entering the professor’s bungalow.They decided to wait for the thief in case he sneaked out. Sure enough, after a few minutes the thief came out, his hands loaded with famous and expensive gadgets. Both the girls followed him and as Jane had said, the figure stopped at Mr. Gunderson’s house. When they peeked in, they saw Mr. Gunderson speaking with the figure. When he came out of the shadows, Mary and Jane saw that the figure was actually a masked man! Mr. Gunderson’s ‘stolen’ chest was also there. There was a conversation going on between the masked man and Mr. Gunderson. The girls pricked up their ears and listened.
“Now that we’ve got all the things we need, we can rob the whole of Pennsylvania and then sneak out of this town. We will be so rich, we will be able to rule over another city!” they heard Mr. Gunderson say.
“We have to tell the police about everything, “ Mary said.
Jane agreed. They heard cackling from the house and ran away, hoping that the police would believe them.
The Thief is Caught
When they reached the police station, they immediately went to the head of security.
“Mr. Gunderson is a criminal!” Mary cried.
“Not possible. Mr. Gunderson is a trustworthy and faithful citizen,” said the police.
“You can’t call him a citizen!” shouted Jane.
After the girls told him everything, the police was in shock.
“Show me the place it happened,” said the police.
The girls led the police to the mansion Mr. Gunderson lived in. The police peeked inside and saw nothing.
“There’s nothing in here!” the police exclaimed.
“But the thief and Mr. Gunderson were right there!” the girls said.
Suddenly, they heard some footsteps. All of them hid behind a wall.
“Did you get everything?” asked Mr. Gunderson.
“Yes, I got everything…”
“Hands up!” cried the police holding a revolver.
“Wha-what? How did this happen? My plan was about to succeed!” cried Mr. Gunderson
Just then, Mary and Jane stepped out.
“You girls! You spoiled everything!” cried Mr.Gunderson angrily.
Finally, the police and the girls had caught the thief red-handed and stopped Mr. Gunderson from completing and succeeding in his evil plan.