Chapter 1

The phone was ringing. Laurie groaned, 'Don't let this be Elizabeth again', she thought. The door of the refrigerator snapped shut as she hurried out of the kitchen.


'Hello, this is Elizabeth.'

'Oh, help', Laurie prayed. "Hello Elizabeth. You're still out of luck. Keith hasn't come home yet."

First there was silence on the other end of the line, then Elizabeth sighed. 'Please, when he gets there, have him call me immediately.'

'I'll tell him that the minute I see him, Elizabeth, I promise.'

'Thank you, Laurie. Bye.'

'Bye.' Laurie looked at the receiver, shaking her head. This was the sixth time that Elizabeth Billings had called this afternoon. She was a good friend of her brother Keith.

Laurie heard a noise outside. It was the family bus. The motor died, then she heard steps, a key was being stuck in the entrance door and her brother Keith appeared.

'Hi, Laurie,' he greeted her, throwing the keys on a plate and hanging his jacket in the wardrobe.

'Keith, for heavens sake, where have you been? Elizabeth kept terrorizing the whole family with her phone calls this afternoon. She said that you and she had a date after school, but you hadn't shown up.'

Keith stopped dead in his tracks, glancing at her with an expression of guilt on his face.

'Don't look at me like that', Laurie snapped. 'She's waiting for you to return her call. Quick, she just hung up. Here's the receiver, it's still warm.'

Laurie held it in her outstretched hand, wanting to toss it over to him. But Keith didn't react. He just kept standing there. She could see him thinking. Then he shook his head.

'Not now, I'll be in the garage.' He turned around and hurried out of the room.

Laurie looked thunderstruck. Normally, Keith and girls were like bees and honey, and Elizabeth was one of the girls Keith liked especially. At least that was what she thought. She remembered how happy he had been on the day of their first date.

'What was that?' Danny's head peeped up from behind the sofa. He held a comic book in his hand. 'Was that our brother Keith, Mr. Hazel-eyes, Mr. Sweet-face? He reminded me of an alien.'

Laurie laughed. 'Danny, you're right. That sure wasn't his normal reaction.'

Now, they noticed the lights flickering as the amplifier was turned on, then dimmed as the sound of Keith's guitar filled the room.

'He probably has an idea for a song and is afraid to loose it,' Danny guessed.

'Or maybe he's having a fight with Elizabeth and just doesn't want to talk to her,' Laurie suggested.

After a few seconds, the sound of the guitar broke off. Danny and Laurie exchanged glances, stunned.

'Now, that's unusual,' Danny stated.

Shrugging her shoulders, Laurie returned to the kitchen and Danny opened his comic book again.