Monday, January 16, 2012

Excerpts from Amanda Younger

Sarah stared at her foster sister incredulously as she, Amanda and Steve pretended to be playing marbles on the school play ground. “You mean you were a grown up and you changed into being a kid again?” she asked her. “And you’re some kind of a secret agent?”
“That’s right,” answered Amanda. “I was working on an assignment and I was attacked, shot at, cut and the next thing I remember, I was in the hospital and I was, well like I am, a kid.

My head got beaten in and I can’t remember a lot of things. At first I couldn’t even remember my name.”

“And this guy that’s coming to see you today, he really isn’t your uncle?”

“No, you see I just took the name Younger because I’m, well younger and since he says that’s his name, he’s got to be a phony.”

“I believe her,” spoke up Steve. “This is the real thing.”

Sarah nodded her head slowly. “I believe you too, Amanda,” she said. “I really do. But I’m scared for you. I don’t want you going with this guy if he’s really a fake. There’s no telling what might happen to you. I know you’re really a grownup, but you’re a kid too, I don’t know how to put it, but you’re my sister and I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

“I feel the same way about you,” answered Amanda. “You and Steve and Brenda and Robbie, you’re my brothers and sisters but I’ve got to do it, it’s my job. I’m part of Operation Themis, our country depends on me.”

“Can’t you get hold of some other agent and tell them about this Uncle Teddy Younger fellow?” asked Sarah.

“I’m working on that, answered Amanda. “I just wish I could remember everything, but my head still isn’t working right. I need you and Steve to help me. You’re the only ones I’ve told about this. You’ve said you’d like to be like that girl detective and Steve said he wants to be an agent, now you’ve both got your chance. Are you with me, Sarah? Do you really want to help? It could get dangerous. I mean really dangerous. You could get changed like I have or you could even get killed. Are you sure, really sure? I won’t think less of you if you change your mind. Doing this for real is a lot different than reading a book and pretending to be the heroine.”

“I’m in this,” answered Sarah.

“And you’re not getting rid of me,” said Steve.

“Good,” answered Amanda. “I may really need help and you two are perfect. I’ve already taught Steve a secret code so we can communicate and the two of us will teach you.”

“Are you going to tell Brenda too?” asked Sarah.

“No,” answered Amanda. “She feels loyal to the Carters for adopting her and she might feel she had to tell them. I think it should be just the three of us.”

The three of them clasped hands quickly and then hurried to obey the clanging school bell, each wondering what the rest of the day would bring and each especially wondering about this man calling himself Uncle Teddy Younger and what he was up to.

“Is he another agent out to rescue Amanda or is he out to do her harm?” wondered Steve. “I wish I knew. I sure wish I knew.”

After school Brenda, Amanda, Sarah and Steve hurried home. Terri O’Rourke’s car was already in the driveway and a stocky man dressed in a business suit and a middle aged women were standing in the driveway with her, talking to Kate Carter. Even at that distance, it was easy to see that the man resembled Amanda.

“That must be that Uncle Teddy fella,” whispered Steve, pulling Amanda back so that Brenda wouldn’t overhear them. “He looks like you, Amanda. Are you sure he has to be a fake? “

“I’m not sure of anything,” whispered Amanda. “There’s so much I can’t remember. But I do know I made up the name Younger and since he’s using it, there has to be something going on.”

“I wonder who that woman is,” whispered Steve. “Maybe you’ve got a phony aunt too.”

The children reached the Carter driveway and the stocky man stepped forward, giving Amanda a big smile. “Well here you are,” he said, leaning down and giving her a kiss on the forehead. “I am so glad to see you.”

Amanda stepped back. “I don’t know you,” she told him. “I don’t remember ever seeing you in my life.”

“That’s all right,” the man said soothingly. “I’m Dr. Theodore Younger, you call me Uncle Teddy. Actually I’m your father’s cousin and I’m your guardian until your parents come home. I was told that you’re head was hurt and that there are a lot of things you don’t remember. That’s all right, I’m hoping that things will begin to come back to you now that you’re back with family. This is Mary, she’s, well, my number one helper. I thought you might feel more comfortable if I brought a lady along with me, in case you didn’t remember me.”

Amanda looked up and found herself looking into the face of the contact person she often met with when leaving and receiving messages in connection with Operation Themis. She quickly reached out and shook hands with the woman called Mary and surreptitiously gave her the secret hand sign that identified her as an Operation Themis agent.

Mary gave her the hand sign that also identified her. “Good, very good,” she thought to herself. “And wouldn’t she be surprised if she knew she was actually shaking hands with the chief of Operation Themis. Wouldn’t she just be surprised?”

“I thought I wasn’t going to be going with you today,” said Amanda to the man who had introduced himself as her Uncle Teddy.

“That’s right, that’s right,” he assured her. “I know you’re head was hurt, I was hurt myself so I do understand, we’re going to take things slowly. I thought we’d go out to supper and sort of get reacquainted and we’ll just do things together and pretty soon you’ll be living with me in our new home we got just before all this happened. Things will be back to normal pretty soon and all will be well, yes indeed, things will be just the way they should be.”

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