A/N: Again I'm giving recognition to Trenton Lee Stewart for making up the characters in his wildly popular series The Mysterious Benedict Society. The plot is mine, the characters are not: Reynie Muldoon, Nicholas Benedict, George (Sticky) Washington, Kate Wetherall, Constance Contraire, Number Two, Rhonda Kazembe.
"Constance. Are you sure this is what you need to do?" Nicholas Benedict, Constance's legal guardian, spoke to Constance as if she were an adult, even though she was only six years old. In Mr. Benedict's house, everyone had authority, from his six year old child to his two assistants, Rhonda Kazembe and Pencilla, whose code name was Number Two and responded to nothing else.
"Are you sure you need to do what?" Number Two asked as she walked into the library munching on some roasted almonds. This room in the Benedict house was technically the library, but anywhere you went you would find a book.
"None of your beeswax!" Constance snapped at the assistant. "Me and Mr. Benedict were having a private conversation when you butted in!"
"Now Constance, no need to talk to Number Two like that," Mr. Benedict said with stiffness in his voice.
"What are you going to do about it? Make me get married to a platypus?" Mr. Benedict began to laugh, and when Constance kept a straight face he began to snort, chuckle, and hoot until he suddenly dropped his head down roughly in between his knees.
"Now look what you've done, Constance! You've caused his narcolepsy to act up," Number Two scolded Constance when Mr. Benedict's head suddenly snapped up.
"How long was I asleep?"
"Not more than a minute," Number Two assured him. "Now I'm going to step out so you can finish your conversation." Number Two walked out of the room, and the two continued their conversation in private.
"Well, if you must. Go pack up your things." Mr. Benedict released Constance to her room so she could pack up her things, then sighed and picked up the first book he could grab. He read for hours, trying to avoid panicking, but it was no use. When Number Two walked into the room with dinner for Mr. Benedict and Greek yogurt for herself, he was fast asleep.
ONE YEAR LATER
The guests mingled amongst themselves while finding seats at little tables with red tablecloths. For the first time in a year, three of the society members were reunited. Reynie Muldoon, Kate Wetherall, and Sticky Washington sat around a table. Although it was normally a grand occasion when they met up with each other, they were all solemn, and the chatter was a polite attempt at conversation. These eighth graders were quite intelligent, but made no ingenious remarks.
"I would like to thank you all for gathering at this most difficult time. For all of us, a great friend has been lost. Although there are some bad memories, let us all remember the good ones. Let's have a toast: Although we have all hit a stumbling block, let us wish that wherever we go, we remember the skills we have learned from a great friend and family member. Thank you." Rhonda Kazembe stepped down from the podium as a slide show began, showing pictures of the deceased. The three children cried on each other's shoulders, and Mr. Benedict lay asleep as tears wet his face. The congregation walked over to a tombstone. It read: "Constance Contraire. 2000-2007. Friend, daughter, and hero. May she rest in peace."
In the shadows cast by the setting sun behind the trees, a young girl stood holding her suitcase. A red raincoat kept her dry as it began to drizzle, but she let her hair become soaking wet. She began to cry, but told herself it was the only way to keep the Ten Men away from her friends. As she turned, something caught her eye. Reynie and Kate stood, holding hands. Sticky saw, and when he did, he ran away from the graveyard and down the dirt road. Reynie saw and went after him. Kate was close behind, her bucket clanging against her black dress pants.