Alice Through the Prism- Part VII

Author’s note: I’m sorry that I haven’t posted in a while, but I took some time off for my birthday, and then life got a little crazy. This part is a little longer than usual to make up for it, and I’ll be making a couple of non-fiction blog posts soon, as well. For now, enjoy part VI!

Part VII

The Lonely Hearts Club

 

Alice stood a little ways from her school locker, afraid to approach.

On one side of the locker stood Brendan Monroe, and on the other side stood Lucy Perez. The two were staring at each other, and the intensity of their glares seemed to create a force field across Alice’s locker.

Alice took another step toward the locker, and a chill ran through her. Alarm bells went off in her head.

Bad. No. Wrong. Turn back. Danger.

In that moment, Alice realized that she was doomed. She didn’t know what was about to happen, but it would be bad.

Just then, Brendan broke eye contact with Lucy and turned to see Alice.

“Alice, would you like to go on a date with me?”

“A- date? You want to go on a date with me?”

“I-” Brendan seemed to falter, and then he rallied. “I thought we could go to dinner at La Dix Croix. I know someone who works there, and they said that they can get me a reservation.”

Lucy opened her mouth to speak, but Brendan cut her off.

“Let Alice decide for herself,” he said curtly.

Alice stared at Brendan, and for a long time she couldn’t speak. Her heart began to race.

Alice had been avoiding any thoughts about Brendan’s feelings for her ever since the chocolate incident. He’d made his feelings clear for Alice on that day, but ever since, he’d given her space. Now Alice had to decide what to do.

He’s just a friend, said Alice’s heart.

He’s nice, he’s sane, and he likes you. You should give this a shot, said Alice’s head.

But what about…?

Alice gritted her teeth. Why was she thinking about Eddy of all people? She’d never even met Eddy. She’d talked to him all night, several times, but she’d never met him.

“Ok,” Alice finally said. “When did you want to go?”

Both Brendan and Lucy blinked at Alice, as though they’d expected a different answer.

Brendan rallied first. “Friday- I’ll pick you up at 7:00.”

“Okay. I’ll be ready,” Alice said, and then her courage seemed to fail her all at once. She turned to flee, leaving her laptop in the locker.

 

#

 

The golden evening light filtered through muslin curtains and fell on a smudged, full-length mirror, hitting Alice in the eyes. She turned the mirror slightly, and her own reflection popped into view.

She tried to view herself with a critical eye, but she found it was impossible. She was wearing a cream-colored lace dress- which she had worn to her cousin’s garden wedding, and which was her best dress. Paired with the dress was a pair of gloves made of the same, soft lace as her dress. She would remove them at dinner, of course, but the outfit just didn’t seem complete without them. She’d curled her hair and piled it on top of her head, and even put on actual makeup.

Was she overdressed, she wondered? La Dix Croix was a very fancy restaurant, but perhaps her dress was still a little too formal. Maybe her hairdo was a little bit pretentious. Maybe the gloves looked stupid.

She tilted the mirror back to its original position, and the sun’s fire caught in her curls, creating a dazzling halo around her.

Yes- she’d definitely overdone it.

There was a timid knock on the door, and Alice’s dad said, “Are you decent?”

“I don’t think so, but you can come in, anyway,” Alice said.

Alice’s dad opened the door, and handed her a velvet pouch with a sheepish grin.

“These belonged to your mother,” he said. “I wanted to give them to you for your first date.”

Alice opened the pouch, and a string of freshwater pearls slid out of the pouch, into her palm.

“They’re beautiful,” Alice breathed.

Alice’s dad smiled, and took the pearls, draping them around Alice’s bare neck and clasping them in the back.

“Of course,” Alice said, blinking back tears, “this isn’t my first date.”

What?”

“I went on three dates last year. I even went to the junior prom.”

“But you said that was a group thing,” Alice’s dad protested.

Alice cut her dad off with a hug. “Thank you, Daddy. I love them.”

 

Brendan came to the door at 7:00 sharp, wearing a black t-shirt and a blazer.

“You look-” he stopped, swallowed, and seemed to remember the flowers he was holding in his right hand. He thrust a bunch of peonies into Alice’s hand.

“You look amazing,” he said.

“You don’t think I’m overdressed?” Alice said, staring down at her dress.

Brendan shook his head.

“Be back by 10:00,” Alice’s dad said to Alice. “Do you need any money?”

“I’m fine, Dad. I’ll see you later.”

She ducked out of the door before her dad could get emotional again.

 

#

 

Alice had been expecting a trendy restaurant, with mismatched furniture and modern art on the walls. What she found, instead, was something out of a history book.

Alice and Brendan walked in through a pointed arch, like something from a gothic cathedral ,and were led into a room with plush red carpets and tables decorated with intricate candelabras. The room was lit with a series of massive chandeliers, which hung from a frescoed ceiling.

Alice no longer felt overdressed.

As soon as they were seated, a waitress in a black tie came over with a pitcher of ice water.

Brendan stood, indignant. “Lucy?”

“A girl must make a living,” Lucy replied, pouring water into his glass. “Welcome to La Dix Croix. My name is Lucy, and I’ll be serving you this evening.”

“I didn’t know you worked here,” Alice said. She turned to Brendan. “Is she the friend who got us the reservations?”

“I had no idea about this; I swear.”

“Tonight, the chef recommends the coq au vin, though the steak au poivre is also quite good,” Lucy continued as though Brendan hadn’t spoken.

“Could we have a few moments alone” Brendan said icily. “To look at the menu, I mean.”

“Of course,” Lucy turned to go, knocking Brendan’s glass of ice water into his lap as she went. “Oh, I’m so sorry. How clumsy of me.”

She tossed a napkin into his lap, turned, and left.

“How did she become a waitress in a place like this?” Brendan wondered.

“Never mind her, let’s try to enjoy ourselves,” Alice said.

“Yeah- you’re right.” Brendan wiped his trousers with the napkin and sighed. “This looks bad. I’m going to see if the men’s room has a hand dryer I can use. Excuse me.”

Brendan tossed the wet napkin onto the table and got up. Soon after he left, Lucy returned, bearing a tray.

“Here you go- escargot, on the house. I wanted to apologize to Brendan for spilling the drink. Where is he?”

“He went to the restroom to clean up,” Alice said.

“By the way,” Lucy said, bending down and whispering conspiratorially, “you look amazing tonight. You must really like Brendan.”

“Well, I don’t know,” Alice said, looking down at the table. “I just thought I’d give this a chance.”

Lucy laughed. “Well, it’s be a shame for that outfit to go to waste. Mind if I take a picture? I mean, you’ve taken plenty of pictures of me.”

“I- guess not,” Alice started to say, but before she finished the sentence, Lucy had already taken her phone from her pocket and snapped the picture.

“Thank you. I’ll be back to take your order,” Lucy said before dashing away.

Brendan returned shortly. His pants were dry.

“What’s that? Did you order already?” Brendan asked, indicating the tray Lucy had left.

“No. Lucy felt bad about spilling the water, so she brought a free appetizer.”

Alice reached out to take one of the escargot forks.

“Wait, you’re not going to eat that, are you?”

“Why not?”

“They’re snails,” Brendan said. “Lucy just brought them to be annoying. It’s another prank.”

“How is this a prank?” Alice said. “She can’t put anything bad in it- she’d get in trouble.”

“But they’re snails.”

Alice removed the meat from the shell and took a bite. It was soft and chewy, but it tasted like butter and garlic.

“You eat shellfish, don’t you?” Alice said. “What’s the difference?”

Brendan shook his head. “Fine, if you like them, you can have them. Just remember what kind of person Lucy is.”

Alice paused, her fork stopped halfway to the platter.

“How can I remember, when I’ve never been able to figure out what sort of person Lucy is in the first place?”

Brendan sighed. “She’s a drug dealer, remember? She even admitted it. Plus, she blew up the science lab, last year.”

“Brendan, you said that she was giving people ‘performance enhancers,’ but what does that mean? Is she giving out adderall, or steroids, or…”

“Something else,” Brendan said.

Lucy returned to the table, cutting Brendan off. “So, what will it be?”

Brendan looked at Alice. “You go first. I’m still looking.”

“I guess I’ll have the Coq au Vin,” Alice said.

“Yeah- I’ll have the same,” Brendan said. He thrust his menu to Lucy.

Lucy smiled and took the menu.

“Look,” Brendan lowered his voice and leaned toward Alice as Lucy left. “It’s dangerous stuff, and the less you know about it, the better. You’ve noticed Lucy’s weird growth spurt, I’m sure. That can’t be healthy, can it?”

Of course, Alice knew the real reason for Lucy’s growth, but she said nothing.

Brendan leaned back again, regarding Alice with a narrowed gaze. “You’re changing, Alice. I don’t get it.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know. You used to be so sensible. You didn’t let people draw you into drama. You could see through all of the bs that goes on at school. Now you eat snails, and befriend drug dealers.”

Alice closed her eyes for a moment, trying to gather her thoughts. “Brendan, there’s so much bs at school, and so much drama, that I can’t ignore it any more. I have to do something about it. I have to find out what is really happening, and show people the truth. This is why I want to become a journalist.”

Alice’s phone buzzed, then. She stood. “I’d better go answer this- it could be my Dad.”

Alice slipped away toward the front of the restaurant, where she’d seen the restrooms, and stopped in a quiet area away from the tinkling of crystal dishes and laughter. She unlocked her phone, and saw a message from Eddy.

Lucy sent me a picture of you. Is that alright?

I didn’t tell her she could, but I guess I don’t mind. You know Lucy?

Yes, she’s my friend. She sent me your picture because I’ve been looking at pictures of people lately. I’ve been trying to figure out which ones are more aesthetically pleasing.

That’s kind of creepy, Alice replied.

Is it? I’m sorry for looking at your picture, then.

Alice laughed out loud. No- it’s fine.

            Ok- as long as you don’t mind, I’ll share my conclusion. You seem to be significantly more attractive than the average human.

Alice’s cheeks grew warm. Thank you.

You’re welcome. I really mean it, though. You’re pretty.

Alice stood for a moment, smiling like an idiot at the Women’s Restroom sign. Then she

replied.

You’re sweet. Listen, I’m a bit busy, now. Can we talk later tonight- around 10:00?

It’s a date.

Alice slipped her phone back into her handbag, and walked back into the main restaurant.

When she got back to her table, Brendan was gone.

 

 

Alice Through the Prism- Part VI

Part VI

Who Are You?

 

Alice read Eddy’s words, and then hit her head against the wall.

Had she really expected a reasonable reply from a mysterious prankster, who was apparently trying to hack the school computers? Of course she had, because she was an idiot.

Oddly enough, Eddy had seemed like a reasonable person during their short conversations, until now.

Hey, it’s Eddy. Have you found anything out, yet?

Tell me your theory, first

Ok. I think that the Wombat’s mascot was abducted by aliens.

When Alice was done hitting her head against the wall, she rubbed her head and groaned. Even if Eddy was just as weird as everyone else at school, he’d been right about one thing. She needed to show people that reality could be interesting, and to do that, she needed to find out the truth.

Alice typed her reply. I don’t agree at all. It’s far more likely that the wombat was abducted by pranksters.

Are you sure?There have been many signs of of alien activity at Burrow High School, such as crop circles, students with unusual abilities, UFO sightings, and now a possible abduction. The evidence is fairly weak on its own, but so much evidence together makes the alien hypothesis much more likely.

Alice bit her lip. How could she explain what she knew about the world, on a gut level?

Eddy, high school kids are caught pulling pranks every day, but there’s never been a single confirmed case of alien contact.

Good point, Eddy replied. I’ll have to update my probabilities based on that.  Still, I estimate a high probability of alien activity.

Alice sighed. You must be using some strange definition of the word “probability,” or maybe a strange definition of the word “alien.”

Maybe I am. An alien doesn’t have to be extraterrestrial. Anything outside normal human experience can be alien.

Well, whatever is happening, it’s not normal, Alice conceded.

For a long time, Eddy did not reply. It was getting rather late, Alice thought, and she wondered if Eddy had decided to go to bed. Alice lay down, propped her computer up on a pillow in front of her, and wrapped a quilt around her shoulders.

Alice, I don’t have much experience with people. When is it appropriate to ask a personal question?

I don’t know. When you feel comfortable with someone, it’s okay to ask. Just let the other person know that they don’t have to answer.

Thank you. Alice, are you afraid of things that aren’t normal? You don’t have to answer.

Alice stared at the screen.

I’m not afraid; I’m just lazy. Unusual things are complicated. I want a simple life.

I was told that life isn’t simple.

Alice laughed out loud. No, it isn’t, but I’m going to make it simpler. That’s why I’m trying to find the truth, now.

 

#

 

On Sunday morning, Alice sat alone on a weather-warped bench at the park. She had been up very late talking to Eddy, and now she felt the results. Her eyelids drooped, her head throbbed, but, somehow, she didn’t mind. It was a beautiful morning.

The sun rose a little higher as she sat, glistening off of the dew-sprinkled grass. The birds in the air around her swelled their song in response. Something in the cool wind that swept Alice’s cheeks seemed clean and new.

A tall, dark-haired girl approached Alice from across the park, and Alice’s content smile faded. Alice had dragged herself from her comfortable bed on a Sunday morning because Lucy had texted her twenty times, demanding that they meet, and now Lucy was late. The girl who approached looked similar enough to Lucy to be related, and Alice guessed that Lucy had sent the girl to give Alice a message.

“Hello,” the girl said, stopping in front of Alice’s bench. “Sorry I took so long.”

Alice regarded the girl in front of her. She was tall and thin, with short, dark hair. Her dark eyes, her nose, her mouth, and even the dimple in her chin were identical to Lucy’s.

“Can you give Lucy a message for me?” Alice said.

The girl laughed. “Silly- it’s me!”

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for her to- wait… what?”

Alice squinted her tired eyes and looked at the girl more closely.

“It’s me- Lucy,” the girl said in Lucy’s voice. “Don’t you recognize me? I know I’m a little taller, but-”

“You aren’t Lucy’s sister?”

Lucy frowned. “I don’t have a sister- not that I know of. You probably don’t recognize me because I just got an upgrade. I haven’t had any upgrades since junior high, and I was tired of being so short, so I told them to make me as tall as possible.”

Alice stood. Sure enough, Lucy was almost a head taller than her, now. Despite the change, Lucy’s voice and mannerisms were exactly the same. Alice walked slowly around Lucy, examining her from every angle.

“So-” Lucy said awkwardly.

“Who are ‘they?’” Alice asked. “You said that they had given you an upgrade.”

“Just some friends.”

Alice came back around and looked up at Lucy questioningly.

“I came to the park to give you more proof,” Lucy continued. “I could go run an obstacle course on the playground equipment, or – hey, I just remembered- my eyes can glow, now.”

Lucy blinked, and her brown eyes flashed bright blue, lighting up like LEDs.

Alice tried and failed to be shocked. Perhaps she’d used up all of her surprise when she’d seen Lucy jump from the Gym roof, or maybe she was just too tired to be shocked.

“Ok, your eyes glow,” Alice said. “Can I ask you some questions, now?”

“Of course you can! Should we set up an interview, or what?”

“We can do it now. This won’t take long.” Lucy fished her phone from her pocket and hit record, not wanting to miss a single clue.

“First question: did you have anything to do with the wombat incident?”

“No,” Lucy said.

“Do you know who was involved?”

Lucy paused. “I know who was involved, but I can’t tell you. I don’t think you’re ready to know.”

Alice sighed. “Ok, next question: are you this maddening on purpose?”

Lucy just smiled.

 

#

 

None of my evidence is helpful, Alice admitted to Eddy, later. The wig and tape that I found at the stadium are too suspicious, the burn marks on the grass weren’t present when the wombat was captured, and even though Lucy claims to know who was involved, she won’t tell me anything more.

Still, it is evidence, even if it’s weak evidence.

Eddy, I think I’m going to lose my mind if I don’t find some real answers, soon.

I’ll help you, if you want. I don’t have much more evidence about the alien abduction, but I’ll try to find more.

You’re a mystery too, Eddy. If you want to help, tell me who you are.

Alice didn’t really expect this to work, but she bit her lip in anticipation as she waited for the reply.

I don’t understand. You know who I am. I’m Eddy.

Is Eddy your real name?

Yes.

There are several Edwards in school. What is your last name?

I don’t have a last name.

Alice wanted to hurl her computer across the room.

Can you tell me anything? Is Eddy short for Edward or Edwina or… something else?

It’s just Eddy.

Are you a boy or a girl, then.

Does that matter?

Alice sighed. No, not really. A lot of people are looking for you, though. You’re going to be in big trouble, when you’re caught. Just- stop trying to hack the school computers.

I’m not trying to hack the school computers. I live there.

Alice groaned and pinched the bridge of her nose. Her headache was returning.

Just then there was a soft knock on her door.

“Hey, peanut. You’ve been in your room all day. Are you ok?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

Alice’s Dad came into the room and smiled sheepishly at her. “You were on your computer all night, and now you’re on again? Do you have too much homework, or are you chatting with someone?”

Alice shrugged. “I’ve been chatting with someone. Why?”

“Ooooh,” Alice’s dad said in a singsong voice. “Well, don’t let me disturb you.”

“It’s not like that.”

But Alice’s Dad just winked.

“Ugh, Dad!” Alice threw a pillow at her Dad’s head, but he just dodged it and left the room, laughing.

“Invite them over for dinner, sometime,” he called as he left.

Alice looked back at the computer, and for one one moment of madness she actually considered inviting Eddy. Then she shut her laptop and resolved not to look at it again.

Alice Through the Prism- Part V

Part V

 

Curiouser

 

My name is Eddy.

Alice should have closed the window and blocked the sender right away, but she remembered Mr. Bertram asking for information about the pranksters, and she paused.

There must be a reasonable explanation for the recent madness, and she was going to find it.

She waited a few moments, and then typed, hi, Eddy. I’m Alice.

It’s awesome to meet you! You write for the prism, don’t you.

Alice started at this.

How do you know so much about me?

I’ve read all of the archived issues of the Prism. I found your articles fascinating.

Alice laughed out loud. That’s a shame. I try really hard to keep my articles from being

fascinating.  

Why would you do that?

I think writing should be simple- factual. Even if I have to pander to an audience once in a while, I’d rather show people the world as it is than to muddy the facts with speculation or editorializing.

But why wouldn’t simple facts be fascinating?

I don’t know why, but most people find mere reality to be dull. They’d rather believe in nonsense, like aliens abducting wombats.

What do you think really happened to the wombat?

I don’t know- I haven’t looked into it, yet.

The screen remained static for a while, and then the bottom of the screen said typing… flashing on and off for a time.

I guess you don’t find simple facts to be fascinating, either?

Alice reached out to her keyboard again, but she didn’t know what to type.

Well, what do you think happened to the wombat? Alice finally replied.

I have a hypothesis,  Eddy replied.

At that moment, Alice’s Dad knocked on the door. “Hey, Peanut. You feeling okay? You’ve been awfully quiet, up here.”

“Yeah Dad,” Alice said. “I was just tired.”

Alice’s dad came into the room and placed a hand on her head.

“Well, you don’t seem sick, but we’d better be careful. Get all the rest you need.”

“I’m fine, Dad,” Alice said. She sat up and shut her laptop. “Do you need any help with dinner?”

“Well,” Alice’s Dad said with a sheepish grin, “if you absolutely insist, filet mignon would be lovely, perhaps with some oven-roasted asparagus and a nice chianti. And for dessert, I’ll have creme brulee. If you need me, I’ll be watching TV and drinking beer.”

Alice laughed so hard she snorted. “I think we have stuff for chili. If you make that, I’ll make cornbread.”

Alice’s Dad sighed pathetically, and then grinned. “Sounds fair. Do you have any homework that you need to finish.”

Alice looked back to her laptop, and then back to her dad.

“No, I’m done for the night.”

 

#

 

That night, Alice had chili with her father, and then she fell back into bed and slept…and slept…and slept. When she awoke, it was Saturday morning, and she was blissfully free. For two days, at least, she was free from school’s madness.

She made some tea, and spent the morning in her bathrobe, reading. Then, around noon, Lauren called and invited her to go to the coffee shop, so she changed out of her bathrobe, tucked her book in her bag, and went to the coffee shop to order yet more tea.

Lauren didn’t seem inclined to gossip. Instead, she ordered her coffee and then opened her laptop to work on her latest story, periodically stopping to ask Alice what she thought of a character’s name or if she could guess the next plot twist. Alice gave up on trying to read her book and, on an impulse she would quickly regret, opened her laptop to check her e-mail.

123 E-mails

Subject: The Missing Wombat

Subject: The Aliens

Subject: The Alien Abduction

Subject: Why didn’t you cover the alien abduction?

Subject: Interview me: I saw the aliens…

Subject: I have a hot tip about the aliens.

“What the hell?”

“Oh, are you getting e-mails about the alien abduction, too?” Lauren said. “I got a few, and I don’t even write articles. No one’s talking about anything else but aliens. Maybe I should write a sci-fi story.”

Alice sighed and shut her laptop again. “I guess I can’t ignore this anymore. The only way to shut people up is to find out what really happened.”

“That might not work,” Lauren said. “Aliens are more interesting in pranksters. People will believe what they want to believe.”

“Reality can be just as interesting as fiction,” Alice said. “I’m a writer- I’ll make it interesting.”

Alice sent Brendan a text, then shoved her laptop into her bag and stood up.

“Where are you going?” Lauren asked.

“We’re going to the stadium to look for clues. Come on.”

 

#

 

Brendan was already waiting for Alice and Lauren when they arrived at the stadium. He stood by the gates with his arms folded, wearing a bemused expression.

“So- you’re finally succumbing to the craziness you used to hate,” Brendan said as Alice approached.

“No, I’ve decided to fight it.”

“You used to say that engaging with nonsense will make it seem more legitimate,” Brendan said, arms still folded.

“It isn’t working,” Alice admitted. “The crazy people just get louder, the more I ignore them.”

“Are you sure you want to find out what’s really going on?” Brendan asked, narrowing his eyes.

Alice hesitated.

“If she can’t figure out what is going on, I’m sure she can come up with some reasonable-sounding explanations,” Lauren said impatiently. “Let’s just get this over with.”

“That’s not the point at all,” Alice protested, but Lauren and Brendan were already opening the gate and walking into the stadium.

Alice hurried through the gate before it shut behind them, and ran to catch up with her friends.

“So- where do you want to search, first?”

“I’m not sure,” Alice admitted. “I thought we might go into the sound booth. Someone must have tampered with it, to cause that weird music that we heard during the ‘abduction.’”

“Or someone just played the sound on their phone,” Lauren pointed out.

“No- the sound was too loud, and the sound quality was too good,” Brendan said. “Anyway, the sound booth is a good place to start.”

Alice agreed, and the small group climbed the concrete steps to the sound booth.

Lauren went straight to the window of the sound booth and looked out. “Wow- it’s really strange to be here when the stadium is empty, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it is,” Brendan said. “So, what are you looking for? The sound file?”

“I don’t know, but-” Alice looked under a chair and groaned. “Oh no-”

Lauren looked under the chair too, and laughed. “Wow, so does this mean that someone broke in by using a disguise? Or maybe they seduced the usual announcer.”

“What the-” Brendan started. “What is that?”

“It’s a blonde wig,” Lauren said. “And I’m not touching it.”

Alice sighed and took out her phone, snapping a quick picture of the wig.

“There- no one has to touch it,” Alice said. “Brendan, have you found anything?”

“Just a cassette tape labeled ‘cool space music.’”

“Wow- a real cassette? I’ve never seen one. Let me see,” Lauren said.

Lauren took the cassette from Brendan and played with it for a while, winding the tape with her finger until she got bored and handed it to Alice.

“I think that’s all we’ll find here,” Brendan said. “Why don’t we look around where the Wombat was taken?”

Alice agreed, and the three teens went back downstairs, and then out into the warm fall sunshine.

“The Wombat’s cage was just over there,” Alice said, pointing to the sidelines on the opposite side of the stadium.

The earth around the sidelines was dry and hard-packed. Alice quickly noticed some black streaks in the dirt around where Lauren had pointed.

Alice took her phone from her pocket and flipped through some saved pictures until she found one she’d taken of the wombat cage- the one that had ended up on the front page of The Prism.

“This is a setup,” Alice said.  

“I think you’re paranoid,” Brendan said.

“No- seriously- this is a setup,” Alice said. “Those scorch marks weren’t there before. Besides, why would someone go up to the sound booth in disguise and then just leave the wig and tape behind? It doesn’t make sense.”

Alice turned and away.

“Come on- let’s go.”

“So that’s it?” Brendan said. “You’re giving up?”

“No- I’m going to find out who is messing with me, because it’s becoming pretty obvious that’s what is happening.”

“Who would want to mess with you?”

Alice stopped. The first person who came to mind was Lucy, who took great pleasure in messing with Alice on a daily basis. But Lucy was usually much more straightforward with her madness. Who else did Alice know who would have any clue about the recent string of pranking?

And just then, Alice knew where to find the answer.

 

#

 

Alice spent the rest of the afternoon on her bed, staring at her computer screen.  Finally, around 5:00…

Hey, it’s Eddy. Have you found anything out, yet?

Alice smiled in satisfaction, and then typed, tell me your theory, first.