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by Hannah Langley

Okay . . . just calm down. Calm down and pick up the phone. It’s not like I can sweep this one under the rug, like the broken vase . . . or the mirror.

Oh my gosh, I’m in so much trouble! How could I have done this? I am the stupidest sister in the world. How could I lose my little brother!

She’s never going to forgive me for this. Okay. Here goes. Maybe it won’t be so bad. Mom, come on. Be in a good mood. "Hello, Mom. Hi, umm . . . how’s your day going? You’re stuck in traffic? And someone stole your purse.”

“Rough day, huh?”

“Well, Mom. The reason I called was—

“I messed up big time! I’m sorry! I-I didn’t realize. I’m so sorry. I just went upstairs to check MySpace really quick. And then Mel messaged me about how this cute guy Jason was going to ask me to the dance and, well, I got distracted and I started messaging her back. Then Mel called and I just ended up talking on the phone and then once I hung up, I realized how long I had left him alone.

“I ran downstairs and he was gone.

“The doors were all shut, but he was gone. So I ran through the house and I looked and looked and he wasn’t anywhere. I ran outside and I knocked on all the neighbors’ doors and they hadn’t seen him. I’m sorry. Everyone is so great helping me look for him, but we just can’t find him.”
“Chelsea’s mom called the police and now they’re looking too. I’m so—

“Who am I talking about? Kyle! I know, I was supposed to be watching him and now I’ve lost my baby brother. I left him downstairs and he was—

“What? Kyle’s with you. But I—

“You took him with you? Oh. Ha, ha, ha, that’s funny—in a sick way. Well, what a relief.

“Uh, I guess I better tell the police.”

Hannah Langley is a high school junior looking forward to a career as a fiction writer.  An excellent student, Hannah has her eye on Stanford after graduation and recently had three stories accepted for publication in Hack Writers Magazine, G Twenty Two Literary Journal, and Puffin Circus, in addition to completing her first novel, Don't Call Me Sam.  Last November she was selected as a contributing writer at Intercut Magazine. Hannah lives in Santa Clarita, California with her mom and dad and her German Shepherd, Jake. Contact Hannah.