Nick tossed about in bed. He couldn’t sleep. He gave up trying to keep his eyes shut because he knew it was useless. And his pillow was on the wrong side of the bed.
Nick sat up and put the pillow on the right side of the bed. He straightened his blankets and lay down on the bed, still unable to sleep. He stared at his ceiling. And then he stared at the window. There was the moon. How round and bright it was. He got up and went to the window to get a closer look.
Nick admired the moon. He lived in a flat on the 7th floor. From up there, he saw someone dressed from head to toe in black sneaking around. Nick’s bedroom door opened and someone came in.
It was Nick’s half brother, Alfred or as Nick called him, Al. Nick’s parents left him when he was two. First his dad and then his mom. It was his most traumatic experience. Nick had been sent to a foster family with his half brother Al. They had shared the same mother. The Wools family had taken them in. Nick now had a new mother and father, Brittany and Samuel. Nick was also introduced to his new sister Precious.
“I couldn’t sleep either,” said Al taking out some chocolate buttons from his pockets.
Nick licked his lips at the sight of them. They were one of his favourite foods. He didn’t mention the person in black to Al but took a chocolate button and popped it into his mouth.
There was a big CRASH and the window exploded into hundreds of tiny pieces.
“What the-,” said, Al.
“What’s going on!” yelled Brittany and Samuel from their bedroom.
“I don’t know,” yelled Precious back.
Nick and Al ran to their parents’ room.
“What happened?” asked Samuel.
“Nick’s window got broken,” said Al.
“How?” asked Brittany.
“I don’t know. We were just-”
“What were you doing?” demanded Brittany.
“We were just eating chocolate-”
“I want some too,” said Precious at once.
“We were just in my room and then the window shattered into pieces,’ said Nick.
“How?” asked Brittany.
“We don’t know!” said Nick and Al at the same time.
Samuel grunted. “A window can’t just shatter into pieces by itself.”
“What if something was thrown at the window?” suggested Precious.
“That might be it. Let’s check what happened to it,” said Samuel.
They went up and found among the glass pieces, a small grey pebble.
“Who would do that?” wondered Samuel aloud.
Nick thought that was the time to tell them about the person in black.
“Before that happened, I saw a person in black, dressed like a robber, sneaking around.”
The family stared at him at this news.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” asked Samuel.
“I… I don’t know,” muttered Nick.
Al bent down and picked up the pebble.
“Why did the person in black throw the pebble at the window?” asked Al. “For what reason?”
“Quick!” said Samuel. “Check if anything is stolen.”
“Don’t be silly Sam,” said Brittany. We live on the 7th floor. The person couldn’t have climbed up here,”
Precious looked out of the window.
Everyone went to the window and peered out. There was a ladder leading to Nick’s window from the 6th floor’s balcony.
“Would you look at that,” said Samuel. “The person in black’s living in the same place as us.”
Everyone stared at each other in shock.
“Does that mean this place isn’t safe?” asked Brittany.
“Maybe… we’ll have to move,” said Samuel. “Is anything missing?”
“Nick dug into his drawers. All was there. He searched his cupboard. Everything seemed to be in place.
“Why is your backpack thrown in the corner?” asked Precious.
“I didn’t put it there,” said Nick and went to get it. He opened a zip and felt about in it. There was nothing in it.
“Oh no, it’s missing!” he exclaimed.
“What’s missing?” asked Samuel.
Nick looked at Al.
“The chain,” he said.
“Huh?” said Precious.
“Our mother gave Nick a gold chain when she left,” said Al.
“Is it real gold?” asked Brittany.
“Yeah,” said Nick.
“Well we can get it back; we know the person stays in this building,’ said Samuel. But for now, how about you sleep in Al’s room, Nick?”
Nick brought a sleeping bag into Al’s room and they talked about stuff and ate chocolate buttons and had a spooky story contest and they fell asleep.
In the morning, Nick woke up with Al’s foot on his face. He pushed it off and got up and started getting ready for breakfast. Nick woke up Al and they had a swordfight with their toothbrushes and were very late for breakfast.
Brittany and Samuel didn’t mind though that they were late. Brittany just made them toast and served it to them. After breakfast, Samuel led them to the couch and said that they were all going to have a talk.
“We are going to go to the 6th floor and find out who are the people living there,” said Samuel.
Brittany was shocked. “But that wasn’t what you said Sam!”
“How else are we going to find the person in black?”
“Can I come?” asked Precious
“No, you’re not coming, it’s too dangerous,” said Samuel. “Just Nick and me,”
“And me,” said Al.
“Yes, and Al,” added Samuel.
After the talk, the three of them went to the ground floor and went to the guard to talk.
“Who is living on the 6th floor?” asked Samuel.
“Eh, only Edgar Walker, the Jones family and Martha Crick,” said the guard a little surprised.
“Thank you,” said Samuel and turned to Nick and Al. “First we’ll visit Martha Crick and then the Jones family and then Edgar Walker.”
Nick and Al nodded. They left for the 6th floor with the guard looking at them with a puzzled expression.
They took the stairs to the 6th floor. There were five rooms. Only three of them were used. Nick, Al and Samuel wondered which one to enter.
Little did they know the guard had heard them talking and he had called the police because he thought something suspicious was going on.
“Let’s go in this one,” said Al pointing at a door that said, 101.
Samuel knocked on the door and opened it.
“Hello? Sorry to disturb you but-” Samuel stopped mid-sentence and looked around the room.
It was empty.
“Oh,” said Nick and Al. “To the next room.”
They went to room 102 and knocked on it.
A lady with a blue pleated skirt appeared at the doorway. She was carrying a baby and holding a milk bottle.
Nick thought that she must be Martha Crick.
“Hi um, is your husband in?” asked Samuel.
Martha looked surprised.
“My husband?” she repeated. My husband left me nine years ago!”
Nick’s stomach gave a weird jolt. It had been nine years since his mother left him.
“We’re sorry for disturbing you,” said Samuel politely.
“It’s alright then,” said Martha and shut the door.
Nick knew that the woman’s face looked familiar. He couldn’t put his hand on it. It might’ve been his mother but he had forgotten her name as well as his father’s. He only remembered his surname which was Walker.
They came to door 102. Samuel knocked on the door. A small girl opened the door.
“What do you want?” asked the girl.
“Is there any boys in your family?” asked Al.
“Well my father and my brothers,” replied the girl.
“Were all of them in the house last night?” asked Nick.
“No, my father was at work and my brother’s slept at their friend’s house,” said the girl and then frowned. “Why are you so nosy?”
“Oh we’re not being nosy,” said Al. “Some toxic gas was released yesterday and it wasn’t safe for people to go out. That’s why we’re making sure no one went outside last night.”
“Oh,” said the girl and shut the door.
“How un-polite,” said Samuel and walked to the last door, 103.
A man opened the door.
“Hello, are you Mr Edgar Walker?” asked Samuel. Have you been anywhere last night?”
But Edgar Walker was staring at Nick. Nick told himself that this couldn’t be his father as there were lots of other Walkers out there.
“No, I haven’t,” said Edgar, still looking at Nick.
Precious and Brittany appeared from nowhere holding hands.
“Then what’s that?” asked Precious pointing at Edgar’s trouser pocket.
“That’s my chain!” shouted Nick.
The police arrived with the guard behind them. “What’s all this about?” asked one policeman.
“This man stole my chain from me in the night!” said Nick.
Now the guard looked mightily confused.
“What?” he said.
The policeman went to Edgar and took out the chain from his pocket and handed it to Nick.
“B-but that’s mine!” protested Edgar.
“You climbed the ladder and broke the window and took the chain,” said Samuel.
“I never did such things,” said Edgar. “You can’t accuse me without proof!”
“I have proof,” said Al smugly.
He brought out his phone from his pockets and showed them a video of the man in black entering the room from the window. The man searched underneath the bed and on top of cupboards and then searched in Nick’s bag and brought out the chain. When the man climbed out of the window, his mask dropped and he was revealed as Edgar Walker.
The police handcuffed Edgar and led him outside. Martha Crick came out and stared at Edgar.
They shared a look at each other. And then they looked at Nick.
“Do you think we should tell him?” asked Martha.
“Nah, he’s better off not knowing,” said Edgar as he sat in the back seat of the police car.
The cars zoomed off to the police station and Martha was nowhere to be found. And then Nick knew something. Martha and Edgar were his parents.
With a sigh, Nick followed his other parents home.