Chapter 9

The Break-In

Sh-sh-sh…don’t be so noisy; you could wake the dead!”  Kash waved for Trevor to get behind him, “Follow me and be QUIET,” he whispered fervently. “And watch where you step.”  They moved around the outside of the house as discreetly as possible, checking each window to see if they had forgotten to latch one without success.  They had even checked all of the two story windows using a ladder from the garage!

“What about the key you left under the pot?” Trevor suggested, “Maybe it’s still there?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Kash scoffed.  “That’s how she got in to begin with.  She’d have to be a moron to put it back in the same place I put it and you don’t know Lila like I do.”   After an hour of trying to find a way to get into the house they sat down on the porch, frustrated and discouraged.

“Maybe you could call the fire department and when they get her out of the house you could sneak in and get the book.”   There was a smug look on Trevor’s face.  He liked contributing ideas to the predicaments they got into.

“Oh…that’s a brilliant idea,” Kash said facetiously, “I’m sure no one would ever see me go in through the front door with all the other firemen and come out with a large book.  If I wore camouflage I’d probably blend in with the workers and it would be like I was the invisible man!”

Trevor wrinkled up one side of his face and slumped back down to think some more.  They remained silent for several minutes.

“Hey, what about using a credit card to unlock the door like they do on TV?”  Trevor spoke out with renewed enthusiasm.

“That’s perfect except I have no experience breaking and entering with a credit card.  Do you?”

Trevor shook his head and wrinkled the other side of his face.  Sitting there doing nothing made him nervous and was driving him crazy.  He started poking around on the front porch for something to do.  For the heck of it he lifted up the flower pot by the door.  “Look…look,” he whispered in a throaty sort of way.  “Look what I found!”

Kash crawled over to the pot and picked up the key.  “Who’d of guessed she’d do that?” he said in amazement.

“Well…I did!” Trevor instantly reminded him.  “So is this Lila really a moron?”

Kash snorted trying to hold back a laugh and quickly slapped his hands over his mouth to muffle any further outbursts.  “You wait here and stay out of sight.  I’ll be back in a minute.”  Kash slowly opened the front door and crept up the stairs.  “Gosh it’s dark in here.  Thank goodness there’s nothing in the halls to trip over,” he thought to himself, right before he stumbled over a pair of shoes Lila had kicked off earlier on her tour around the house.  For the most part he did an extraordinary job of concealing the noise from his fall.  However, on the last motion required for a full recovery his knuckles bumped into the wall of Lila’s bedroom with a thud.  Kash froze where he was to see if he could hear Lila waking up.  His forehead was beginning to form beads of sweat from the anxiety that was building within him.  He heard the rustle of satin sheets and Lila making some sounds like she was chewing with her mouth opened.  Then there was silence.  He crept forward peeking around the corner of the door towards the bed expecting to see Lila still asleep.  To his astonishment and horror, the sheets had been tossed back and the bed was empty.  Before he could pull his head back he found himself face to face with Lila.  Shocks ran up and down his spine.  It scared him to the point of silence! He stood petrified until he realized that her eyes were still closed.  He pulled back around the door and flattened himself against the wall, holding his breath as she walked right by him towards the bathroom at the end of the hall.  As soon as she disappeared into the bathroom, he hurried over to the fireplace and pushed on the face of the clock carving in the mantle.  The secret drawer popped open and he gently lifted the ancient book out of its hiding place.  He slowly ran his hand around the bottom of the drawer until he felt the key and stuffed it in his pocket.   He felt the drawer latch when he slid it closed and stood up to leave when he heard Lila shuffling back down the hallway.  He quickly sidestepped to get back over to the door where he could hide behind it.  When he passed the vanity he bumped into the chair and a letter popped out of the old book.  There was no time to pick it up before Lila would be back in the room.  He left it lying there, hoping her eyes were still closed.  Luckily she was still half asleep and didn’t notice the letter.  She climbed back into bed and after several minutes Kash could hear her breathing get heavier and knew she had fallen back asleep.  He crept back over to the vanity and snatched up the letter from off the floor. Hastily stuffing it in his back pocket he slipped out the door and into the hall to freedom.  He stumbled over the shoes one more time for good measure, double stepped down the stairs and locked the door before carefully closing it behind him.  He placed the key back under the pot and they both ran down the street towards the car, laughing hysterically as they went.

“What a rush!” said Trevor as he opened the car door and slid in.  “You sure don’t live a boring life, Mr. Bott.”

Kash shook his head, “Oh, you have no idea, no…idea!”

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It didn’t take long for Trevor to fall asleep once they got back to the motel.  Even though it was late, Kash sat up to search the book for ideas or clues of any kind that could help him get Mattie back.  He started humming to keep himself awake while he continued to turn page after useless page, without success.

“Two, two, two of 92…hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm…”  Kash continued to hum the familiar tune, singing a word here and there.  His eyes were beginning to feel like there was sand in them as he fought to keep them open.  Finally, after searching about half of the book, he gave up and decided he’d probably do much better in the morning if he could get a little bit of sleep.  He kicked off his shoes, pulled the pillow out from under the quilt and sprawled himself face down across the top of the bed.  He was almost asleep before his face even touched the sheets.

The next morning Kash was awakened by the sound of Trevor taking a shower.  He glanced at his watch to see what time it was.  “Oh-h-h, it’s only 6:00,” he muttered to himself and rolled over on his side, tucking his pillow in under his head.  Seconds later he sat up with a jerk as the words to the tune he had hummed during the night came to life inside his head.  He jumped up and began dancing around the room, laughing in a high pitched tone.  Trevor opened the door to see what all the noise was about.

“I’ve got it, my boy!  I’ve got it!  I know how to bring Mattie back!”  Kash’s arms and legs were flying all over the place in rhythm with the jingle he began singing:

“Two, two, two of ninety two, Daddy knows just what to do,

To bring his baby home again, he’ll call for her bout’ half past ten…

He’ll speak the words that Mommy wrote amongst the families many notes,

The final page to catch his eye will help him find his Mattie Pie.”

Trevor stood in the doorway with a blank stare on his face, brushing his teeth.  “I don’t understand.  How does that help us?” Trevor said in a juicy, toothpaste-in-his-mouth sort of way.

“Mattie must have gone back to her mother. Amber taught us the words to this jingle that I’ve been singing about seven or eight years ago.  She wanted to make sure I knew how to get Mattie back home from the unexpected Divvy.”

“Divvy…what’s a Divvy?” Trevor asked.

“You’d better get dressed and then sit down before I explain the way things are.”

Kash hurried back to the desk to open the Book of Ancestors and flipped to the last page.  “Here it is,” he shouted with excitement, “she wrote me the instructions for Mattie’s return.  Hey…here’s the jingle, too.”

Kash ran his finger down through the words that were written.  The more he read the more serious he became.

“What’s wrong?”  Trevor asked, after pulling his shirt over his head.

“Something’s missing!” Kash replied.

“What?”

“The instructions!  I don’t understand what to do!”

Kash began to retrace his steps.  He couldn’t help thinking that he had forgotten something, somewhere.  All of a sudden he remembered the letter that had fallen out of the book in Lila’s bedroom.  “Maybe that’s the missing piece.”  He reached into his back pocket and pulled out the crumpled envelope, opened the letter and began reading it.  His face brightened up as he read.  “This is it.  It makes sense!”

Trevor ran a quick comb through his hair and pulled up a chair next to Kash.  “OK, I’m ready” he said, stretching his legs out to get comfortable for the lengthy story he expected to get.

Kash turned his chair around to face Trevor.  “I know you don’t know me well, Trevor, and I know you probably have never met Mattie’s mother, but I also know that you love Mattie.  Am I right?”

“Yes sir, that’s all true.”

Kash placed his hand on Trevor’s shoulder and looked him straight in the eye. “This is going to be a bit of a shock to you, but you need to be open-minded and trust me.  Do you think you can do that?  Mattie’s life is at stake.”

“I’ll try, Mr. Bott.  I’d do anything for Mattie.”

“Call me Dad!”

CHAPTER 10 – The Plan

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