What is going on with Hazel?
|Hazel was confused.
How was the message sent from her computer if no one was home? She and Darren have school, and her mom and dad both go to work: her mom gets home a little before she and Darren does, so the kids wouldn't have to be home alone.
So, that would give a person a good chance to break in, since no one was home; but how would they get in?
The place was surrounded by a tall fence, and no one could crawl through easily—it was electrocuted, so you couldn't climb it or dig underneath. But there were a lot of trees around, so maybe someone could've climbed a tree and hopped down from a branch onto the other side.
But you would have to jump pretty far, since her parents make sure that the trees branches that are closer to the house are cut whenever necessary.
Hazel stared at the strange woman, , who was drinking coffee and helping herself to some of Hazel's mom's eggs on toast.
Hazel was slowly sipping down her cup of the day—her mom forgot to brew her a cup that morning—as she stared at Calexia.
"Hazel, please don't stare at strangers. It makes them feel uncomfortable," Hazel's mom snapped at her, which brought Hazel back into reality.
"Sorry, Ms. Valleris. I was just thinking about what has been going on, and I guess I zoned out when I focused on your stunning outfit," Hazel replied sheepishly, and Calexia just gave her a slight smile.
"It's alright, Hazel. I'm used to having people stare at me, since I wear such interesting clothes." Calexia took one last sip of her coffee and placed the mug down. She then cut the last piece of egg toast in two and ate both, one after the other. She swallowed, dabbed her mouth, scooted her plate to the middle of the table, clasped her hands, placed them on the table and looked at Hazel.
"So, Hazel. What have you come up with?" Hazel was confused, but Calexia explained with: "You're zoning out. Did you come to a conclusion while you were in your little zone?"
"Oh, that. No, not yet. I was just going over the facts about if someone had broken in, how could they have gotten in?" Calexia motioned to Hazel like she was saying, "Pray, continue."
"Well, our fence is electrocuted, so you couldn't crawl through, climb it—if you were able to find foot holds, which wouldn't be easy—or dig underneath. There are trees in our backyard, but they are on the other side of the fence; plus Mom and Dad make absolute sure that the branches are cut whenever it looks like they are "too close" to our fence. So, from what I can tell, there is absolutely no way to get in, except through the gate—and that's only when someone pushes a button to let you in—and if you sky-dived from an airplane down. But I'm sure that that's out of the question, because there are not a whole lot of people who are rich like us." Hazel took another sip of her coffee as she caught her breath.
Calexia looked up from her notebook. Hazel stretched her neck a little to see what was written on the notebook.
Hazel read in fancy cursive:
No easy way of getting in.
Tree branches cut.
Only way is through gate or sky-dive.
Sky-diving most unlikely.
"That's some beautiful cursive, Ms. Valleris," Hazel complemented.
"Why, thank you Hazel. But let's not distract ourselves. Is there anything else that you would like to add?" Hazel thought for a moment, but then shook her head.
"If you will excuse me, I'll just be in my room," Hazel said as she excused herself from the table and walked upstairs.
Hazel locked the bolt, walked over to her bed and plopped down, face first.
"Why is this happening?" Hazel asked herself out loud, her question muffled by the covers on her bed.
She lifted her head off of the bed and propping her head on her hands, she looked out the middle window from her three window window seat.
She studied the trees, the leaves, and the green and brown color as she thought some more about the events.
As Hazel walked up to her room, Calexia looked at her, then into her mug that used to hold coffee.
"Would you like me to brew you some more coffee?" Veronica asked. Calexia nodded as she handed Veronica the mug, and observed the home.
"This is quite a home, Mrs. Brock," Calexia said, still studying the room.
"Why thank you, and please, call me Veronica," Veronica called from the kitchen.
As Calexia studied the room, she noticed something interesting about the dining room.
It was tidy and neat, except for one little corner.
"Mrs. Brock… Veronica… Are you aware that there is a dirty corner in your home?"
"No, I wasn't," Veronica said in a curious tone of voice. She was carrying a full mug of black coffee in one hand and a bowl full of creamer and sugar packets in the other.
As Veronica was setting the mug and bowl down, Calexia got up to investigate the dirty corner.
The only dirty thing about it was the fact that there was a big pile of dirt trash and the little wall where the two walls met was filthy. It was so well hidden that you couldn't see it unless you were looking for it.
Calexia ran out to her car and grabbed a camera to snap pictures. She didn't know what the big pile of dirt trash and the filthy corner had to do with anything, but she thought she should take pictures, just in case.
She snapped a few photos with her Polariod, and then noticed that there was a vent right next to the filthy corner.
She tried opening it, surprisingly it opened and there was a note wedged in the vent.
Calexia pulled it out and read it: We know who you really are, Agent 209. You will die if push comes to shove.
She read it three times before showing it to Veronica.
"Do you know who Agent 209 is?" Calexia asked, waving the piece of paper in front of Veronica's face.
"No, no clue." Veronica thought for a moment, and clearly an idea popped into her head for her expression changed and she asked herself out loud, "Could it be? Is this from the agency?" Veronica took the note and walked upstairs.
"What? What agency?" Calexia ran after Veronica.
Hazel heard a ruckus going on on the stairs with Calexia yelling, "What? What agency?"
"Agency?" Hazel thought to herself as she opened the door and stuck her head out to take a look.
Calexia was walking with her mom, talking, but it was in whispers so Hazel couldn't hear anything that they said. They walked into her parent's bedroom and Hazel heard the door lock.
Hazel dashed out of her bedroom and listened to the door, hoping that she would hear something. She did, something weird.
"Veronica, what agency are you talking about?" Calexia asked her mom.
Her mom sighed, then spoke.
"Hazel will probably never remember this, but… She was a part of a spy agency when she was little."
Hazel had to cover her mouth to keep from gasping too loudly. "A kid agent? I was a kid agent?" She thought to herself, but then tuned her thoughts back to the conversation.
"Everyday, the agency seemed to always give her an assignment; and these assignments were not little kid assignments, but assignments that were meant for adults. Meaning, instead of sending an adult out to go fight off robbers in a bank with loaded guns, they would send my daughter and others kids her age out to fight them! I couldn't believe it, but we were helping the town and they were paying us a lot of money, so we kept her in the program. Then things went from bad to worse."
Her mom took a breather to keep from crying, then continued.
"One day, Hazel was sent out to help a kitten in a tree, but saw smoke coming from the school, which was miles away. But she could see it because they gave the kids special equipment to see farther, run faster and fly. So what she did was she grabbed the cat, handed it to the elderly lady and flew off. She wasn't supposed to help the people at the school. She was supposed to save the kitten, then report back to her post, which was here. But when she never showed, Bill and I got really worried. Then we saw the news. The school was saved, thanks to a little girl who was eight years old, who had risked her life for these people. The T.V. showed Hazel being carried on a stretcher to an ambulance, not moved a muscle. Bill grabbed the keys, we hopped into the car and we drove as fast as we could to the hospital."
You could hear the tears swelling up in Hazel's mom's eyes. Her voice cracked as she finished telling the story.
"She was there for a week. They did test after test on her to make sure that everything about her was alright, then she was free to go, but she had to lay low for the rest of her life. No more saving the day. None of that. And frankly, that was my first intention when I saw her being carried on a stretcher into an ambulance. So when she recovered, we took her to the agency and erased everything about the agency, just in case someone wanted to use it against her." Her mom cried, but it was all muffled. Clearly, she was crying into Calexia's shoulder.
Hazel moved away from the door and was stunned. "I was an agent when she was little?" She asked herself in her mind, again. "Did I look cute, or badass? No wonder I feel like hitting people a lot. Maybe that's where I got it from!" The door started to open. Hazel panicked and ran down the hall and into her room. She closed the door softly, so her mom wouldn't hear.
"Hazel Sky Brock, were you running down the hallway?" Her mom yelled down the hall, angrily.
"No ma'am," She called out; her heart racing from running down the hall and from being scared that she would get caught.
"Well, don't run down the hall please!" Her mom called, then everything went quiet in the Brock household.
Hazel plopped down on her bed and pondered what it was like as a kid agent as she looked at the glow in the dark stars on her ceiling.
Her thoughts were interrupted by Darren calling out, "Mom! Haze! I'm home!" and her phone ringing.
Hazel picked it up. "Incoming call from , the annoying, petty, 'I'm better than the Brocks' next-door neighbor."
"Why's he calling?" Hazel thought. "He never calls our family, let alone me."