Windy Davis was just your typical 6th grader.
She had wild, strawberry blond hair that fell to her waist; large, gray-blue eyes; and always wore jean shorts and tank tops. Windy Davis took karate, hated when people called her ‘Wendy’, and was bold—she was loud and spoke her mind.
She hadn’t done anything wrong, as far as she knew.
So it was no surprise when it was an, er, surprise to Windy when she woke up in a dimly lit room.
Windy had been lying on a cot—the kind at a nurses office: blue-gray leather covered in a sheet of thin paper. The room she was in was small—maybe 5-by-5 feet, the same size as her walk-in closet at home that she had definitely not hid in to scare her sister.
The bad lighting made Windy squint around. “What the…”
She was confused. And kind of nervous. She had no memory of the past…minutes? Hours? Days? Her most recent memory was at lunch was her closest friend Melissa. It was the same day, right?
What was happening?
Windy had an awesome memory. She could remember the exact digits and letters on a license plate he family saw at the beginning of a 10-hour road trip at the end of the road trip. She remembered going to the park when she was 3, going to her karate studio when she was 4, and going to the park to show her enemy her karate then smirk at age 5.
So not remembering just life in general was freaky. There was just a…gap in her memory lane. You know, that one that you sometimes take trips down? Well, Memory Lane was closed for construction because of the damage near the end.
Windy spotted a door. She rushed up and pounded on it. “LET ME OUT!”
A second later, two burly men came into the room. They had silver suits and one was holding…were those handcuffs?!
“Oh, good.” Windy sighed with relief. “Hi, I’m Windy. If you could just tell me where I a—wait, what are you doing?!” Before she could protest, the handcuffs were out of the man’s hands and clasped onto her.
“What did I do?” She cried and she struggled against the cuffs. They hurt, the sharp steel digging into her wrists. “What did I—”
A gag was stuffed into her mouth.
“You know what you did,” one of the large men grunted.
As they hauled her up and led her out the door, Windy racked her brain. But she didn’t. She didn’t know. What did she do? Why was she here? Had she been kidnapped? Who were the men? Her brain filled with questions as her panic increased.
She was led down a hallway. It looked like it belonged to a school. Was it her school? She couldn’t remember. She was led down another hallway, this one thinner, and finally, into another room.
As the door shut behind her, Windy took in the scene. She was in a 10-by-10 room, with whitewashed walls. There were no windows and the door locked behind her—with the strange men on the inside. A huge desk was at the back of the room, with a single chair in front of it. Tons of stuff was stuffed on the desk, piles reaching 2 feet. This room was also dimly lit, and it was safe to say Windy needed a new change of pants.
“Sit.” One of the men said in a low voice. The two guys were standing on either side of the door, so Windy walked up to the chair and sat down.
Up close, she realized there was a person behind the desk. A heavyset, bald man with another silver suit. He looked at her curiously and Windy cautiously sat down. “He…hello?”
“Hi,” he said in a cold voice.
“Why am I here?”
“Wendy, Wendy, Wendy,” he tutted.
“It’s Windy, actually,” Windy gave him The Look—the glare reserved only for people who messed up her name.
“Whatever. You know why you’re here.”
He ignored her. “So don’t act innocent.”
Windy’s lower lip trembled. She was really scared—everybody was acting like she did something. But she didn’t know what. So what was it that she didn’t know but did? “No, really, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The guy snarled. “I just said don’t play innocent.”
Windy’s eyes flicked around nervously. “Again, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why am I here? Is it because of what I did? If so, I really don’t know. Tell me.”
He chuckled. “First, I don’t believe you. Yes, you’re here for what you did.”
Windy nodded. “What did I do?”
The man looked anywhere but her face. Windy persistently stared at him until he sighed. “Do you know that there have been several student kidnappings lately? They were all taken near this very school. They were each held for 7 days, getting a small cup of water but no food each day. Then they were released in the middle of the woods, unconscious.”
Windy turned queasy. Her stomach tried to visit her throat and her mouth tasted like copper. “Is that what I did?” Her eyes widened even more. “Oh, god, did I kidnap people?”
The guy chuckled again. “No, no, I just wanted to tell you.”
Windy had had no idea that had happened. She didn’t read the news, after all, and nobody had told her. Windy settled back in her chair but started to get suspicious. If she didn’t do that, then why did the guy bring it up? “So what did I do?”
Windy stood up and smacked her hands on the table. “I DON’T know, okay? I DON’T KNOW! Do I need to spell it out for you? I D-O-N-T K-N-O-W! I have NO idea what you are talking about, NO idea ‘what I did’, and NO good feeling about being here! You tell me WHAT I DID and WHO YOU ARE right now. RIGHT NOW.”
Her words hung in the silence, then...
The guy gave her a chilly smile. “That’s what you did.”
“You talked back. Loudly.”
Windy’s expression crumbled. She was relieved she didn’t do anything awful, but seriously? After all that fuss, she at least expected herself to be some evil mastermind. An evil genius mastermind. “Uh, okay. No apologies, though. Now, who are you and what do you want?”
The man chuckled for the second time. “You don’t know? I’m offended, Wendy.” Windy snarled. “I’m your principal.”
Windy gave him the side-eye. She believed him, even though her memories were getting fuzzier and fuzzier. It made sense—talking back sounded like something Windy would do, and getting mad at a student for talking back sounded like something a principal would do. The one thing that didn’t make sense: why was she here? The principal definitely wasn’t allowed to treat a student this way, shutting her in a closet and getting two large men to handcuff her and bring her, against her will, to the principal's office. Plus, he had brought up kidnappings. Near this school.
Windy was getting an idea. Of what was happening. It was bad, really bad, and freaky, super freaky…but luckily for Windy, she had attitude and karate.
She decided to wait just one moment, to see if she was correct.
The principal said, “So, you know what I do to people who talk back?”
“What?” Windy stared him down.
“Let’s just say I don’t like being interrupted.”
The principal started to edge out from behind his desk and Windy grinned. It was ‘time’, and fighting was her home court.
In one fluid movement, she had kicked the principal in the face. He staggered backwards and Windy rushed to the door—not to leave, but to let the two guys take care of the two guys.
She was in between the large men, and they both tried to punch her. One in the head, one in the gut. And they didn’t hold back when trying to punch Windy, which was good, because they ended up punching each other.
Windy slipped out from between them just in time for the two guys to roll to the floor, groaning. She grabbed her chair and knocked them both over the head, and they both passed out.
The principal, clutching his bloody nose, started to advance on Windy. “You’ve got fancy moves, kid. But unluckily for you, you’re out-sized.”
Windy smirked and said the line she had always wanted to say before busting some moves: “Maybe so, but you’re outmatched.”
She flung into action, 8 years of karate training on her side. She and the principal had a pretty epic fight for a couple minutes.
Okay, I lied. Windy was epic. She gave a kiai (a Japanese term for a shout hollered before a move) then punched, jabbed, kicked, and overall hurt her evil, kidnapping principal.
The principal, meanwhile, was being really brave by trying to hide behind his desk.
Windy was trained in karate. She was also trained in tackling her little sister, Isali.
A moment later, the principal was on the ground, Windy on top of him. She held her elbow over his face, which his hands pinned down. Elbows are the deadliest strike in karate (and in general): while punching hurts, it can damage your fist. Elbowing is a single, solid strike that causes a ton of damage.
“It’s not me!” The principal croaked. “What are you doing?”
Windy gave her best version of the principal's chuckle. “Don’t play innocent. I know you’re the kidnapper, ya big awful person.” She punched her elbow down, and the principal went unconscious.
20 minutes later, the (now conscious) principle was loaded into the back of a police car. It turned out, yep, he was the kidnapper. The police had been unable to identify his face before because all the witnesses had been drugged so they lost their short term memories.
Windy was given some medicine to counter the effect, so she wouldn’t keep losing her memories as she got them (the principal’s drugs for kidnappings were weird). She was also given tons of thanks.
Windy was proud. She, your average middle schooler, had fought against a kidnapper, won against a kidnapper, and gotten the kidnapper where he belonged: in jail.
The first thing the assistant principal did when promoted was give the school and early release. Their principal had kidnapped, drugged, and starved several of the kids in the school, so everybody was freaked.
As Windy went outside to the buses, her friend Melissa ran up and hugged her. “Windy! Where have you been?! Our principal was that kidnapper! Thank goodness he’s in jail now! Anyways, I was super worried! Where were you?!”
Like usually, Windy’s excited friend talked at the speed of a bullet. Windy blinked and shook her head to clear it. She stared at Melissa. “Where have I been?”
Windy grinned. “Oh, just same old, same old.”