This story is rated G. Anybody can read it, all ages.
Esmeralda Jones is a regular 12 year old in Deadwood, South Dakota. She goes to One River Junior High, and is an Honor roll student. But what shatters her is when her best friend Jessy goes missing. But why? Can Esmeralda ever find out?
Prologue ~ The Golden ScepterEdit
A king from a faraway land held out a scepter. He sat on his golden throne; in his meeting place in his castle, the whole of his citizens were there, looking up at him, up at his tall figure, royal purple robes, his dark brown short hair and bushy mustache, his forehead wrinkled, eyebrows straight, and his eyes full of emotion and a slight bit of regret.
"Fair citizens, this scepter is no longer to be called mine. It is of that time due to religion that I must hand this down to my eldest son: Prince Casimir, I ask of you to walk up here and receive your Father's gift."
A handsome young man with sleek black hair and cunning eyes, with the faint trace of a mustache, walked up to the throne. He took the scepter in his hard hands and as his father stood up, and walked away, Casimir sat on his new throne, but his eerie blue gaze on the scepter. He did not even look down proudly at his citizens crying out his new name: King Casimir.
Then, his mother - the former queen spoke up. "Son, you have no queen at the moment. You were supposed to as a prince..."
And finally, finally Casimir looked up. "Mother, you shall have no more worries; this scepter has shown me a beautiful maiden. Of my age, fair model...yet so far away. Mother, I have fallen in love. This young beauty will be my queen at any cost...I will need 5 armymen to go and collect the young one's body, here's her picture. Now go, and get her!"
But had he never thought if the maiden would want to come.
Chapter 1 ~ A Missing FriendEdit
Esmeralda was eating a breakfast of jelly sandwich, waiting for the school bus when she got a text from her friend Jessy. Meet me at the tree after school -Jess. Jessy was Esmeralda's 14 year old best friend, but two years older than her. Neither of them could find fit enough friends their age, but the two different agers found each other a great companion. So that's how it worked out. Esmeralda remembered the first time she saw Jessy in Math Class. Esmeralda was really good in math so she ended up in Jessy's class - the eighth grade level. She remembered her friend's dark brown, French braided hair, the purple tee and blue jeans, and especially the friendly face. They had been assigned to work on a Pythagorean Theorem sheet together, and the friendship started from then.
Esmeralda heard the bus screech to a stop outside. She quickly checked herself in the mirror. Chestnut hair in a ponytail, glasses, freckles, simple dress- "Bye, Nanny!", she called.
"Where you goin' girl? Bet it's the ol' ice cream shop, get me a small cone o' vanilla while you're at it, ok? Pah, she already left."
Esmeralda raced to the bus entrance and climbed into the bus and strolled over to the seat where Jessy would usually be waiting for her. Huh. It was empty. What? Maybe Jessy had chosen somewhere else to sit. She searched the entire bus. No Jessy.
"Hey, Hon'?, the bus driver called. You're gonna have to sit down, we're running late". Esmeralda nodded and sat in the seat Jessy would've been in. She leaned her head against the window as the bus began to move, wondering why Jessy wasn't here...
Jessy was in not in math. Now Esmeralda began getting really worried. It would be fine if she was sick, but the text in the morning really threw her off. Why would she ask her to come to the tree after school, if she was sick at home. Perhaps Jessy had sent the text before she realized she was sick. Esmeralda guessed she was just overreacting. She decided to drop a visit at her friend's house after school.
"Oh hello Esmeralda! Where's Jessy?", Jessy's mother, Mrs. Albany peered over Esmeralda's shoulder at the bus entrance, searching for her daughter.
"Um...I thought she was absent?", Esmeralda asked.
"What? No she wasn't, she was getting ready for school, and she told me she was going over to your place to wait for the bus-
"She never came."
Esmeralda could sense that the mysterious pang in her heart was playing in Mrs. Albany too. "But-no-no, this is just...too strange-wait. Have you seen her at school today? At all? Not even once?"
"She wasn't even on the bus when I got there..."
"Then where could she have-oh no, I'm calling the police!"
"What's going on?!", Mr. Albany and Jessy's twin brother, Max came over.
Mrs. Albany gave them a quick fill-up on what was going on.
Mr. Albany sat down in shock, while Max looked stunned and worried.
"We must call the police!", Mrs. Albany rushed over to the telephone, sobbing.
"You can go now, Esmeralda", Mr. Albany told her. When she hesitated, he said: "I'll give your house a call later on, okay?"
"All right, see you", Esmeralda walked away, but on the verge of tears. Where could Jessy have gone? And why? Especially without telling her? All the possibilities swarmed in her head and, as she reached her home, she immediately ran to her room, locked the door, and fell on her bed, not even pausing to answer her grandmother's concerns.
Chapter 2 ~ Finding out the TruthEdit
The next morning was a Saturday so there was no school. Mr. Albany had not called the previous night which made Esmeralda worried. This morning, she had eaten and omelet and told her Nanny what had happened and her response had filled Esmeralda with shivers. It was: "Ah, young girls get kidnapped, drugged, then eventually killed. No big one. But - tell the Albany's I'm sorry for their loss"
Now Esmeralda was walking over to the Albany house. She rung the doorbell, and Max opened it. "Why are you- ach come in", Esmeralda gave him a weird look, which he returned and allowed her to enter. "Esmeralda!", Mr. Albany said from his coffee table and he stood up and walked over to her. "I bet you are wondering why I didn't call-sorry, I forgot. I'll update you here. Please, have a seat.", Esmeralda and Max followed and sat down next to Mr. Albany.
"Now, we heard that the FBI had agreed to doing our case, but later at midnight, they called and...said that all agents were occupied and...the only time approximately available for our case was in the summer."
"But...that's 2 months away!", Esmeralda cried, aggravated.
"We know, and we showed our anger and demanded Jessy was searched for but-", his voice cracked. They still refused. Our little girl is gone", Mr. Albany took his glasses off covered his eyes with his hand.
Before Esmeralda could offer words of comfort, Max pulled her away, and into the kitchen. "Look Es-bud, you can troop all you want over the house, but don't bother Mom. She....uh...", His light tan face looked awkward. He took his muscled hands and brushed his dark brown gelled hair back. "Just keep away from her", he strolled back to the entrance room. Esmeralda decided the best place to start out with would be Jessy's room. That's where she went when they hung out. She went up the white stairs, her right hand flicking across the golden handle.
As she opened the large door, she realized, she was not alone. Mrs. Albany was kneeling down, plucking through Jessy's photo box. She looked up as Esmeralda entered, and her eyes were stained with tears. "Esmeralda!", she choked as she dropped the box and rushed to hug the girl, her blond braid brushing her shoulder. "The FBI refused to-"I know, Mr. Albany told me"
Mrs. Albany sighed. "She was my little girl...I always feared she would grow up to be a teen rebel, the type that hates their parents and runs off and gets themselves killed and...never turn back to look at who helped them the most on their journey. But that wasn't Jessy. She was the sweetest girl even as she grew and matured....I guess most of someone's behavior comes from their friend's influence", Mrs. Albany smiled weakly at Esmeralda.
Esmeralda was quite shocked. But Jessy was perfectly the same even before she knew me
"And...now I guess even if someone doesn't make bad choices...they end up with a worse fate", Mrs. Albany started crying fiercely. Esmeralda backed out and sat on the stairs, her hands on her head.
Why? Why wasn't Esmeralda as depressed as them? She knew why. From her parents never being around her as they were actors/actresses, her baby brother dying at infant age because he took in poison, and finally how she got beaten up in her old middle school until she moved...this was normal. But she couldn't let her only friend get away like that. She had to find her. With someone that cared. With someone that knew her really well, was upset in her going missing but, who-
"Hey, why you sitting on the stairs?", Max asked us he walked up.
"Max!, Esmeralda stood up. Have you ever wanted to go and search for Jessy yourself?"
"...Why? She's probably lost in the neighborhood, she'll get back."
He cares less!
"Are you kidding? This is your sister! What if someone kidnapped her-don't you want to find out?
"Calm down, calm down!"
"Don't you care the slightest bit of her welfare?!"
"Look, I do care just....it's complicated, like where would I start?"
"I could help you with finding her!"
"Don't give me that scoff. Now or never, let's go and plan in the park"
"What do you think you're-ach fine"
Chapter 3 ~ The Danger PlanEdit
"Why do I listen to dumb 12 year olds?", Max grumbled. They were sitting on top of a tree in Rosemary Park.
"Look. I've got the perfect plan. Jessy was last seen going to my house, right? So she must've disappeared when she went out...-",Esmeralda broke off.
"So that would be a perfect chance for a kidnapper", Max said simply.
Esmeralda trembled as she knew Max may be correct. She held back tears. "Whatever. The point is, we have to find out who 'kidnapped' her and why"
"What if they didn't", Max began chewing on sour taffy"
"All right, all right!"
"Does she go on Facebook, Twitter, anything a creepy hacker could get at her info?", Esmeralda hoped this wasn't true; she didn't know if Jessy had one. If she did, she would've told Esmeralda...right?"
"She goes on Wi-chatter", Max suggested.
Esmeralda shivered. "Which one?"
"Fire Dragon Wi-chat? I dunno"
Esmeralda wrinkled her nose. Ugh. Something with Jessy she never shared with was her like of the show of a boy turning into a red superpower dragon that saves everyone and goes on quests. Wi-chatter was a community of chatrooms that you could chat with people that had similar interests. Esmeralda had never been interested with anything on the internet.
"What's her account?"
Max stood up, nearly falling off the tree. "Do you expect me to stalk my sister's private stuff? I bet that's what you'd do. I'm outta here!", he jumped off the tree, landed safely, and skateboarded away.
Esmeralda sighed, and ran her hands through her brown hair and thought deeply. To look through Jessy's accounts and stuff, I'd need permission of a family member of hers...would Mr. and Mrs. Albany allow me?