Chapter 2

Tuesday

School . . . a wonderful place in my opinion. I don't understand how kids can hate school. It's where you learn some of life's hardest lessons. It prepares you for the world. Katie thought as she stood observing the Meglacia High School. It was not very large, but still a respectable size. Made of bricks in 1956 the school still stood tall, and students still detested entering its doors every morning.

"Hey Katie," Angel yelled as she crossed the schoolyard.

"Angel, do you like school?"

"It's alright," Angel replied with a shrug. "Why?"

"Just wondering," Katie replied as both girls entered the school.

"Are we going to the library after school today?" Angel asked excitedly.

"Yeah, I think we should."

Katie didn't have Angel in homeroom, but she did have Jack. Today Jack was wearing a green sweater and blue jeans. Most of the girls threw themselves at Jack, he was hot in every sense of the word, and sweet too.

"Jack, did you hear about the library?" Katie whispered while the teacher blathered on about something or other.

"No, what happened?"

"The records for Maxell city were stolen, and only for the year that I wanted to see. You know that murder that I was researching . . . those files could have pointed to the murderer! The murderer or an accomplice is in Meglacia right now!" Katie whispered fervently.

"Whoa, that's heavy stuff." Jack said with an incredulous look on his face. "Something exciting in Meglacia, that's like an epic event."

"Angel even suggested that maybe, this person, excuse me . . . murderer stole those files just so I couldn't see them." Katie said observing Jack closely.

"That's crazy, are you going to listen to her? We all know she's off her rocker." Jack replied.

Katie watched, and saw something tighten in Jack's face. It was unidentifiable, but he seemed suddenly uncomfortable. Then again, that could just be because he hated Angel. However Katie had the distinct feeling that this had nothing to do with that old and tired conflict.

It was already lunch period and Katie had seen neither hide nor hair of Mark. She thought that he was going to this school, but apparently she had the wrong impression.

"Hi Katie, could I join you for lunch?" The voice from behind had startled Katie. She turned to gaze into his innocent light green eyes, but there was something behind that innocent look that suggested he was acquainted with tragedy.

"Sure, I haven't seen you all day. What classes do you have for the first half of the day?"

"I wasn't in school at the beginning of today; otherwise I think I have all your classes." Mark replied casually.

Katie however caught his mistake. "How do you know what classes I have?"

"Oh well . . . you know . . ." Mark fumbled for an explanation. He was tripping over words left and right. "The secretary gave me a list of all kids in my classes, and I noticed the name Katie Mulldon was on all the lists." He finally had come up with a plausible justification for knowing what her classes where. Though Katie didn't buy it she pressed no further, even when he had just said her last name, which she hadn't mentioned to him.

There was something weird about this boy. Something creepy, a shiver ran up Katie's spine. Mark definently had a cold air about him. He wasn't cold of manner . . . he literally radiated cold air.

"Mark, are you cold?"

"Yeah . . . I need to go find my next class. See ya." With that Mark took his leave. Just as he walked out the door Jack joined her at the table.

"Jack do you like school?"

"Yeah, why," Jack answered giving her a look that was so quick Katie was sure it was her imagination.

"Just continuing a thought I had this morning."

"Katieeee, why do we have to stop at this gas station?!" Angel whined she desperately wanted to interrogate the librarian.

"Want a slushy?"

"Katie!!!"

The tinkling of the small bell alerted Roger Katie had arrived.

"Guess what Roger!!!" Katie said excitedly.

"What . . ."

Katie then went into great detail and poured out the whole story about stolen records, murderers, and the strange new kid Mark.

"Sounds like your day yesterday was full of excitement," Roger said with a wary look.

"Oh, it was!" Katie was in pure ecstasy. This was her element. Finding out who did this, and telling everyone about it. The latter then again was not a very safe thing to do.

"Just be careful Katie," were the words Roger yelled out the door as Katie and Angel left. Katie with her slushy (lemon-lime, grape, and cherry) and warheads. Angel on the other hand was far too excited to be able to keep anything down.

"Katie . . . tell me every detail of what happened yesterday." Angel demanded. "I wasn't there, so I need to know these things."

"Angel I already told you at least five times what happened, I'm not telling you again." Katie replied exasperatedly, she did not want to go through this again. Next time she was dragging Angel to the library no matter what.

"Hello Katie, Hello Angel. How are you girls doing today?" Opal said cheerily. "Such a lovely day isn't it?"

"Yes gorgeous." Angel agreed readily. "May we speak to you privately for a moment?" She was very to the point. There was no beating around the bush with Angel. Either she said it first, or it was dragged out of you in a matter of seconds.

"Of course, what do you want to ask me?" The librarian replied after taking them in her office behind a glass partition.

"Yesterday the Maxell city records for two years ago were discovered to have been stolen, is that correct?" Katie asked putting on a professional air of importance.

"Yes . . ." replied the librarian, not sure where this was going. Hadn't Katie been there?

"Do you know, or have an idea who could have had the opportunity to steal these records?" Angel asked not wanting to be left out of the questioning. (This in her opinion was always the most exciting part.)

"Yes girls I think I know who stole the records, but it is a confidential librarian-reader matter. I'm afraid I can't tell you who I think it is. This matter will be solved though, because next time he comes in I'm going to confront him. If he does not confess I shall call in Officer Barge."

"Alright . . . thank you for your time." Angel said in a defeated kind of way.

"Did you actually expect her to tell us?" Katie asked with surprise. "I thought you knew better than that Angel. The witness never reveals the identity. We have to pry and spy. We're going to be here everyday after school, watching, waiting for him. Plus . . . now we know we are looking for a boy . . . or man." Katie added as an afterthought.

"Oh! Hello! Listen there is something I need to talk to you about." Katie and Angel heard Opal say. They both whipped around to see a trouser leg disappear behind a door.

"Katie! That could be him!" Angel whispered frantically. "We have to get closer! We have to see who it is!" Unfortunately there was a slightly obese man standing in the way.

"I'm glad you understand. Please return them tomorrow. I knew it was just an accident. Thank you." Opal said as she led a young man out of the door. The slightly obese man stepped in the way to talk to the librarian and in doing so let the boy who stole the records get away unobserved by Angel and Katie.

"Damn! We were so close! He has to come back to return the files though . . . doesn't he?" Angel looked questioningly at Katie.

"He does . . . but I don't think they will be returned. I have a bad feeling." Katie said cautiously. "Something just doesn't feel right."

"Hi!"

In uttering that small salutation Mark made both Angel and Katie jump and spin around looking like guilty children.

"What were you guys doing?"

"Angel, Mark, Mark, Angel." Katie said as she introduced her best friend to her strange acquaintance.

"Hi Mark . . ." Angel trailed off. "Sorry we gotta go." Katie was then dragged by Angel out of the library.

"What was that?" Katie asked confused at her friends out of character behavior. She was NEVER shy.

"Oh nothing . . . just want to go home that's all . . ." Angel chanced hoping Katie wouldn't question further, and to her relief she didn't.

Dear Diary,

I told Jack and Roger about the records getting stolen. Their reactions were completely opposite. Jack was disbelieving and Roger was reticent and cautionary. Then Mark knew what my classes were and my last name. That of which I had not told him. Later Angel and I missed who the thief and in all likelihood murderer was. After that Mark showed up and I introduced him to Angel . . . and Angel ran out of the library faster than you can say "My uncle's name is Billy Joe Bob." Today was surely strange. MAYBE Mark is the thief! He has been near the scene of the crime every time! I will have to suggest that to Angel tomorrow!

Love,

Katie

Note to self: Mark is cold.