33 - Where They Stalk

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         “I feel like a stalker.”

         “Shh! You’re not.”

         “I’m pretty sure I am.”

         “No, you’re not. You’re too loud to be considered a stalker.”

         Jacoby scowled as much as he could at me. “Neither of us are stalkers then?”

         I scoffed. “Of course not. I’m a spy.”

         “So when you’re stalking, it’s not stalking, but spying?”

         I looked at the predicament we were in. Funny how we ended up crouching uncomfortably in a hedge surrounding an apartment.

         The five-hour bus ride back to Caston had tired us out. We went back to the youth hostel we’d stayed at previously, going on and on about how fantastic their place was, which was why we decided to stay there again.

         “Smooth,” Jacoby had said, his elbow poking me in the ribs as we made our way to our previous room. “It’s squeakety- squawkety clean!” he said in another poor imitation of me.

         “I didn’t know what else to say, and the stink face you were pulling wasn’t helping convince her why we were here again,” I whispered, not hesitating to put a little extra force behind the elbow I gave him.

         “Oomph. All right, all right. It was a performance worthy of a thousand awards.” He clapped his hands slowly a couple times.

         I was too tired and hungry at that point to give a coherent retort.

         The minute we finished having an afternoon snack (our lunch only consisted of cheese strings and a pack of Lunchables that made me feel like a kid again) we made our way to the centre of the busy town. We managed to persuade the sales clerk in Tommy Tours to tell us if there was an Oakensfield family nearby.

         It was only when we were halfway there that the argument on whether the apartment was Parker or Barker arose.

         “I’m telling you, it’s Barker. Parker’s the name of the apartment that has the information centre. The guy clearly said Barker was the Oakensfields. I would advise you to clean your ears of wax when you have the chance.”

         He snorted and looked at me with a confident smirk. “We’ll see who’s correct. But, to save us some time, can we go to Parker first and find Sandra?”

         I scowled and shoved him into a telephone pole.

         He pushed himself away from it and joined my side again, saying, “We’re looking for Sandra, not Fido the dog at Barker.”

         “Oh, ha-ha, you’re just a bucket of laughs, aren’t you?”


         We bickered all the way to the cluster of apartments at the heart of the busy city. It was about six blocks away from the youth hostel we were staying at.

         “Parker.” I peered through the door and spotted a large white “i” backed in blue. “Aha! Parker equals info centre. Let’s go to Barker now.”

         When we circled around and found a golden sign labelled Barker, I said, “Told you so.”

         “Yeah, and what do you propose we do now?” asked Jacoby, his expression disgruntled, which clearly meant his question was more of a challenge than an inquiry. “What’s your plan?”

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