Chapter 30: The Plan Stripped Away (JB)

Published on 9 October 2023 at 01:04

I lost track of time a bit when I was playing my game. Even though Snake is a relatively simple game, it still requires a lot of focus and sharp reflexes. I had set a pretty decent high score, one I was sure my dad wouldn’t be able to beat for a long time, when I noticed that the yard was quiet. A little too quiet. 

 

Quickly I scanned the entire expanse of the yard and then let out a frustrated groan. I had failed to keep a successful watch. Jimmy and Lizzy were gone. I closed the game and then saw that there was a flurry of text messages from Lizzy, sent from my mom’s phone.

 

There were about a dozen messages so I decided to ignore them for now and just message her straight away. I asked her where they were, if they had gotten the pants and left already. 

 

I dashed around the house and looked both ways down the street. They weren’t in the yard and it seemed as if they weren’t even on my street anymore.

 

I heard a soft buzz and I checked the phone. Lizzy had texted back. She said no, they didn’t have the pants. And that she thought I should ask my parents for help.

 

My heartbeat quickened and my palms began to sweat. Why did she want me to get my parents involved? Are they hurt? Are they in trouble somehow?

 

I quickly opened all the texts she had sent, searching them for clues. I didn’t have to try hard. If I had been paying attention instead of playing that game, I would have seen that she was texting me the whole time, giving me a play-by-play of the mission.

 

Text 1: Jimmy just explained the three types of pants takers.

 

Text 2: Jimmy is looking around, not seeing the footprints. I’ll see if I can lead him that way.

 

I skipped about halfway down and started reading the more recent messages, to see where they had gone off to.

 

Text 7: We followed the footprints backwards and he actually found something. Not sure what it is yet.

 

Text 8: It’s a matchbook, from a gentleman’s club.

 

My breathing quickened. I internally reassured myself that the case couldn’t have gotten too out of hand this quickly. I mean, really, I had only played about four or five games, right?

 

Text 9: I didn’t know gentleman’s club meant strip club. It’s called A Tale of Two Titties. He thinks that the thief went there. Will try to talk him out of it.

 

My forehead became matted with sweat. I thought about how mad my mom and dad would be if I let this get out of control.

If we ended up caught at a strip club in the middle of the afternoon. I tried to slow my breathing and I read on.

 

Text 10: I lost the argument. He told me that at a strip club nobody wears pants, so it’s the place we would least expect a pants thief to hide. Therefore it's the perfect hiding spot. I didn’t have a response to that and now we’re on the way.

 

I copied the address of the club from one of her following messages and I punched it into the GPS. It said it was a twenty minute walk. I went back and read the time stamps from her messages. It seemed like they were already about eight minutes into the walk. 

 

Instead of panicking, I made a plan. I dashed for the back of the yard and recovered the missing pants. After that I grabbed my bike from the side of the house and started pedaling as fast as I could. If I rode hard, I could beat them to the club. Once I was there, I’d plant the pants somewhere for Jimmy to find, somewhere not even he could miss, and then book it back home before my parents realized we were gone.

 

I couldn’t help but smile a tiny smile to myself. Despite what Jimmy and my parents all seemed to think, I was actually the one making the best plans.

 

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