The Case of the Cunning Celebrity
A Shirley Holmes Fan Fiction

by MacGyverMagic
January 07, 2001         12,300 words
a part of the Magical Mystery Series starring Jeffrey Brisbane


Readers are invited to discuss the story in the Means Motive Opportunity Egroup.

DISCLAIMER: OK. AGAIN THE LEGAL STUFF. I DON’T OWN THE RECURRING SHIRLEY HOLMES CHARACTERS. HOWEVER, I DO OWN ALL OTHER CHARACTERS EXCEPT THE ACTORS. (I JUST WISH I OWNED THEM). I DO NOT GAIN ANYTHING FROM THIS BUT FUN. SO PLEASE DON’T SUE ME! MY EXCUSES, IF I DON’T PORTRAY THE CELEBRETIES AS THEY ARE IN THIS FIC. FEEDBACK IS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. PLEASE SEND IT TO ME AT MacGyverMagic@gmail.com. THANKS TO DAMON FORD FOR THE INFORMATION ON THROWING A BOOMERANG. FINALLY, JUST ONE MORE THING. HAVE FUN READING!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: THIS STORY IS SET IN 1997 BETWEEN SECOND AND THIRD SEASON. IT IS ALSO PART OF A SERIE (THE MAGICAL MYSTERIES) OF STORIES I’M WRITING THAT STARTED WITH "THE CASE OF THE CRAZY KIDNAPPING" IT MIGHT SPOIL PART OF THE FUN OF THAT FIC IF YOU READ THIS ONE FIRST.

CHAPTER 1: RUMOR IN REDINGTON

Shirley, Bo, Jeffrey and Bart were at a table outside Sussex Academy having lunch. They looked at each other in silence, not knowing what to say. Ever since Jeffrey had met Shirley when he first came to Redington he had a crush on her. He liked her very much. He didn’t tell her, however. He was afraid he’d hurt someone’s feelings, especially Bo’s. He seemed to have a crush on her too and he didn’t want to ruin it, because Shirley seemed to like him too. No one noticed Jeffrey was thinking as Shirley started conversation.

"Hey Bart! Anything interesting lately? UFO’s? Poltergeists?" she asked him.

"No nothing. It seems the paranormal has taken some time off in Redington." he replied. Shirley sighed.

"No crimes either. I am so bored." she stated. The great grand niece of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes had taken an interest in solving any kind of mysteries since she discovered the chest of her ancestor in her attic. She managed to open it and since that day she had his deducting powers. Something she had used frequently over the past few years. Because of her, several criminals had been put behind bars to serve their time. The only mystery she hadn’t been able to solve was the one involving her mother. She had disappeared in Rwanda some years ago and never heard from again. Shirley was dragged out of her thoughts by the voice of her best friend.

"Come on. Cheer up, lass!" Bo quipped with and funny English accent. "I’m sure you find some mystery. You always do! I might just be a missing dog. But it will be a mystery!" Shirley smiled at him. He wasn’t as smart as Jeffrey, but they’d been through a lot together and they saved each other’s butts on several occasions. She wouldn’t know what to do without him. At that moment a small Italian girl sped from the doors of the main building of Sussex Academy. She moved in on the table where the friends were sitting.

"Can you believe it?" Alicia said almost out of breath when she reached the table. "I have the hottest news you could ever wish for." She looked around the table and searched the faces for any signs of excitement. She didn’t find any. But that was probably because they didn’t know the news yet. They would be excited as soon as they heard the news.

"So? What is it?" Shirley informed. Alicia had regained her breath and started to explain in her usual hyper way.

"Get this…Marco Vespucci is headed for Redington." Her eyes glittered as she spoke the words. Bo rose his eyebrows.

"You mean the big shot director from Hollywood?" he asked.

"Yes! I love his films. They have all those cute boys in them." she babbled. Bo rolled his eyes, as did Jeffrey. Boys, it was all Alicia would ever be able to talk about.

"Deserted Island with Leonardo Dicaprio, Vacation in the Jungle with Jonathan Taylor Thomas…" she rattled. Bo interrupted her.

"Could you calm down for a minute? How do you know he’s here. And more important, what is he doing here?" Bo asked. Alicia cut of her flow of words on boys and explained everything.

"I know a reporter. He said Vespucci is headed straight for Redington. He didn’t know what he wanted to do here. Vespucci was very secretive about it. But I heard rumors he’s shooting his latest movie right here. Isn’t that exciting?" Her eyes glowed with joy. "It’s so hot even Y doesn’t know it yet." She looked around before she closed in on her friends. "Now comes the confidential part." Shirley’s interest was now fully directed to Alicia and her story. "He seems to have brought people with him. No one knows who they are, but I bet they are the actors for his new movie. And do you want to know the really neat part?" She didn’t wait for an answer. "I heard he’s still looking for some people to play in his movie. Isn’t that great? Me and Leo, with our arms wrapped around each other…"

"I hate to break it to you Alicia." Jeffrey stated. "But I think you’re to young to be playing a romantic scene with the dude. That’s film policy. Maybe you could play something else." Alicia shot him a dead glare before leaving. Shirley started thinking. What part of the story was true? Or was it just another unfound rumor Alicia told so much. Only time would tell. No one noticed the figure behind the tree that had been listening to every word they’d said.

"Oh boy…Are you wrong!" The person grinned in an evil way. "That star will be mine!"

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 2: GOING TO REDINGTON

The large black van sped across the road that led to Redington. In it there was a large fat man accompanied by to boys who were in their teens. One of them was 9 years old. He had light brown hair and intense blue eyes. He wore blue jeans and a blue sweater. Although he was 9 years old he seemed like he was at least 2 years younger. Without the fancy stuff that was in the vehicle like the caviar and the TV he would have been an ordinary nine-year-old. But people knew him all over the place and his life had changed because of that. He wasn’t the ordinary kid he used to be. Because of his fine acting cyberspace was now filled with websites dedicated to him. It was a bit weird, but he adjusted as much as he could. He liked acting a lot and he pleased his father at the same time. What more could you wish for? The boy next to him wasn’t any less famous. He had blonde hair and certain looks that certain girls, like Alicia for example, would call attractive. He had played in a hit TV series recently. When he finished shooting the season, Mr. Vespucci had talked him into doing the movie. When he had heard who was going to play with him, he immediately agreed to do the movie and so did the other boy. They were looking forward to play together. There was only one thing that bothered them…

"So what is the big secret Mr. Vespucci." the youngest boy asked fixating his eyes on the fat man.

"I don’t want everyone to know were we’re going yet. It could create mass hysteria before we even get there. And this movie is to good to be the victim of failure, just by being delayed. That is why I send the crew ahead. They’re staying in a hotel, until we are ready to start putting up the set." he said with genuine passion for his work. "Someone mailed me saying that I could make a lot of money when I shot my next movie in a certain place and that I would get a terrific story. The guy kept his promise…"

"So, where is the script? Aren’t we supposed to study it?" the older boy asked. Vespucci laughed out loud.

"No, no my boys. I just got the story. There is no script. It’s all up here." Vespucci pointed at his head. The two teens looked at each other with questions swirling through their minds. "I cast you two, because you are great actors. You two are perfect for the roles. I want you two to do some improvisation, so the story will look more real. If you know what happens in advance, you are prepared. Your actions wouldn’t look as real as you did them in real life. We just need one more actor to complete the cast before filming."

"So where are we going?" the youngest boy asked the fat director. The man hesitated for a moment before answering him. "We are headed for Redington, BUT you are not allowed to go outside the set for the moment. Your presence must remain a surprise for the public." The boys looked at each other again. Great! Locked up on a movie set. How long would they be able to stand that before getting bored to death?

The van continued riding along the way. It had gone dark without warning. The driver turned on his lights. The rays of light illuminated a sign that said: "Welcome to Redington."

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 3: BOOMERANG

The next day there was no school. Shirley hated it. Without school she was really bored. She decided to call Bo to see if they could catch a movie with Alicia, Bart and Jeffrey. She picked up the phone and started to dial Bo’s number. On the other side of the line a telephone rang until someone answered it.

"Bo Sawchuck."

"Hi Bo, it’s me Shirley. I was wondering if you’d like to go to the movies with Bart, Alicia, Jeffrey and me." Shirley said to him. Bo hesitated for a moment before he answered. If he didn’t go with her he’d probably be stuck in the store cleaning fish or boring himself in his room. Going to the movies seemed the best option.

"Yeah sure!" Bo answered grinning. "In fact, I’ll be over right now."

"OK! See you later!" Shirley responded before replacing the receiver.

********

Shirley and Bo were cycling to the edge of Redington, they were headed for Jeffrey’s house. Shirley had kissed him on her surprise birthday party a few weeks ago, but somehow he saw that there was something going on between Shirley and Jeffrey. Although he had proclaimed that he was just Shirley’s best friend he didn’t like it at all. He just couldn’t admit he loved her. The trip was totally silent until they reached the street were Jeffrey lived.

"Bo? Is something wrong? You haven’t said anything since we left my place." Shirley asked concerned.

"No…No…I just got nothing to say." Bo lied. He tried to seem as truthful as possible. But he felt like Shirley pierced right through that disguise. But she didn’t say another word about it.

"So you don’t mind going to the Brisbanes with me?" she asked him.

"NO! You know that I stand by your side…no matter what…" he said silently. Then he proceeded with a happier voice "Anyway I would miss a live performance of a world famous illusionist for the world." Shirley smiled. He made a good point. She pushed the gray button at the gate. Within a few minutes they were welcomed by a man with a stiff English accent wearing a spotless black suit. He drove the white golf cart. He told security to open the gate through a walkie-talkie. After they went in, the gate automatically closed behind them.

"Hello Miss Holmes. Nice to see you again. Who is your friend?"

"This is Bo. Bo this is Jeeves, the butler." Bo and Jeeves politely shook hands.

"You came to see young Jeffrey, I suppose." Jeeves guessed. Shirley nodded. Jeeves showed a little smile. "Follow me." He gestured Shirley and Bo to take place in the cart. When they had taken their seats. Jeeves brought the engine to life, causing them to close in on the main door of the huge residence. When they arrived at that door, Jeffrey was already awaiting them.

"Come quickly!" he yelled at his new friends. "Dad is almost starting an illusion in the parlor." Shirley and Bo jumped out of the cart and rushed in after Jeffrey. Jeeves looked after them shaking his head. "Kids."

********

Everyone was gathered around the wavy shaped, glass table in the center of the room. On the leather couch Shirley sat between her friends Bo and Jeffrey. In a comfortable chair on their left side sat Mark. In front of them was Lloyd Brisbane, also known by his stage name David Gold. He smiled as he looked at his young audience. Behind him against the wall was a large piece of paper. Next to the paper was a small prop table containing 3 cans of spray paint. After examining his audience he looked straight at Bo and started to talk.

"You all know what we’re here for, so why don’t we just start?" He walked a bit towards the kids. "Since you are our latest guest, Bo, I’d like to invite you to participate in the illusion."

"Really?" Bo asked not believing what he just heard.

"Really." Lloyd answered. Bo rose from the couch and approached Lloyd while the others threw him a spontaneous applause. When everything was quiet again Lloyd resumed his speech. "Today I will prove to you that I can read minds." he said mysteriously. "Please open your pockets and see if you got anything to write with. You can place the stuff on the table." Bo did as he was told, but as he suspected he had nothing to write with. "That doesn’t really matter, ‘cause here…" he pulled the table with the cans towards them. "I’ve got paint you can spray on the paper behind me. I’ve got three colors: red, yellow and blue. Just choose one of them." Bo picked up the can with the blue paint, remembering the time he used to be in a gang.

"I think I’ll have this one." he stated.

"Are you sure?" Lloyd asked.

"Yeah, I’m sure." Bo replied.

"OK," Lloyd said as he pushed the table aside. He walked to the paper ushering Bo to do the same. "Now you can draw anything you want on the sheet of paper with that paint I gave you." Bo removed the cap of the can and drew a fish with vicious teeth and large eyes. When he was done he replaced the cap on the can. Lloyd started talking again. "Bo, you chose a color and you chose an animal all out of free will. You could have chosen any of the three colors on the table and you could have chosen any animal on the face of this earth, but…" He paused a moment for the effect. "I knew what you thought all along." Bo rolled his eyes.

"Big surprise! Like I didn’t think that would happen." he said a bit disappointed.

"But I not only predicted your drawing I also placed it in your wallet without touching it." Lloyd explained.

Bo’s eyes grew as he walked towards the table were he placed his wallet minutes before. He opened his wallet finding an envelope inside it. He tore it open and removed the sheet of paper. He unfolded the paper and found a picture of a blue fish with teeth and large eyes just like he had drawn it. The room was filled with silence for a moment. "Unbelievable!" Bo managed to say. Shirley grinned.

"You should see what he does to old coffee tables." Jeffrey and Mark knew exactly what she meant, but Bo didn’t understand the remark. He hadn’t been there when Shirley first visited the Brisbanes. That’s when Lloyd had made an old coffee table float in mid air. Bo checked to see if his wallet still contained everything that he had put in it that morning before returning to the couch.

"So…You guys are Australian, right?" Bo asked after he finished checking his wallet everything was still there. "Can you throw a boomerang then?" he joked with a grin.

"As a matter of fact, I can." Jeffrey answered while he got up from the couch. He walked over to a cupboard and produced an original Australian boomerang from it. Bo looked at him in disbelief.

"I’d like to see you try…" he stated.

"That’s a deal then." Jeffrey responded. He patted Bo on the back as he walked to the door. Shirley followed him. "Let’s go to the football field near Sussex. There’s a great wind and not many trees there."

"Show off." he murmured under his breath. But nobody noticed. Bo reluctantly followed them, but Lloyd stopped him for a moment.

"Got the time?" he asked Bo. Bo looked at his lower arm. His watch had disappeared. "Sorry, couldn’t help myself." he excused himself. He handed Bo his watch. Bo put it back on and checked for any other missing or appeared items before he joined Shirley and Jeffrey outside.

Lloyd watched him leave and made one final remark. "You can never be too careful when there are magicians around." He smiled at his own remark and started to move his stuff out of the parlor.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 4: COINCIDENCE

The two young actors were sitting in a trailer. Because they were supposed to play brothers they had decided to get to know each other better, do some ‘family bonding’. They had questioned each other for several hours while they played a game of cards. They were having fun. But since the set was almost totally deserted the fun changed into boredom rather quickly. The youngest boy threw his cards on the table.

"Full House. I win again." he smiled. When he finished his sentence he grabbed the stack of matches from the center of the table and moved them onto his own pile. "Another game?" he asked his companion. The blonde boy shook his head.

"No thanks. I’d like to do something else." he answered.

"OK. What do you want to do?"

"Go out. I don’t want to be stuck her. If I’ll stay I get bored to death." he explained. The younger boy was shocked.

"But…We are not supposed to…"

"That director hasn’t checked on us in hours and we’ve got plenty of disguises her. With a bit of acting no one will recognize us. Not even our parents." The youngest boy cracked a smile that resembled an evil grin.

"You know what? You’re right. It’s pure research; real brothers do this sort of things all the time." He followed the blond boy to the other side of the trailer. The got some wigs and changed into jeans and T-shirts with the picture of shark on them.

"Ready?" the oldest boy asked, not waiting for an answer. "Then let’s have some fun!" They grabbed a football from the props table and exited the trailer.

********

The piece of wood sliced through the air making a large turn before landing in Jeffrey’s hands again. He smiled at Shirley, who gave him a spontaneous applause.

"Thanks." he simply said. "But actually it’s pretty easy. It’s all in the wrist." He gestured Shirley to come closer and offered her the boomerang. "Now throw it against the wind under an angle of about 30 degrees." He closed his hands around hers and guided her hand. Bo looked at it.

"Oh brother…" he mumbled before he turned away. He didn’t want to see this. Two boys caught his attention. They were playing football just a little bit further down the field. They both wore jeans, but what caught his attention was their hair. He sure didn’t want to meet their hair stylist. Behind him, Shirley gave throwing a boomerang her first shot. When the thing left her hand it headed to the boys playing football. If it hit them, they could get seriously hurt. Bo saw what was happening and started yelling.

"Look out, boomerang!" he yelled. The boys gestured him they didn’t understand. Bo didn’t take much time to think. The boomerang was just 5 seconds from impact. "DUCK!"

This time the boys got the message. They immediately dropped face down to the field. Shirley saw what happened and sped towards the boys. Bo and Jeffrey were right behind her.

"I’m so sorry!" Shirley excused herself. "I should have paid more attention to what I was doing. Are you OK?" She helped the larger of the two boys up while Bo and Jeffrey helped the other one up.

"It’s OK. Really!" the smallest boy uttered. Shirley frowned. It was obvious she was thinking. Where did she hear that voice before? Bo looked at her. He knew what was happening. Shirley had another mystery on her hands.

"Don’t I know you?" she asked both boys, with her usual curiosity.

"I don’t think so." the larger of the two answered. He seemed quite uncomfortable. The answer didn’t satisfy Shirley, but she didn’t have any proof they were lying…yet. Bo was the one to break the silence.

"Your shoelace is untied." he told the youngest boy. The boy bowed to tie it. When he did Bo noticed his hair was moving. Without thinking he pulled the hair of the boy’s head. Both boys were shocked by the turn of events. One of their identities was revealed; the other one would soon follow. Jeffrey looked at the youngest boy and was struck by the resemblance he had to Mark, Jeffrey’s brother.

"Unbelievable, I-I-I don’t know what to say." Bo stuttered in amazement. Shirley now noticed what was weird about the boys. They were disguised actors. She also noticed that was the second time Bo used the word unbelievable that day. She smiled.

"You can start with an introduction." Haley said. "And an apology." David said as he removed his own wig. "We also need some privacy, just like you." Bo decided to do as they asked.

"I’m Bo Sawchuck and these are my friends Shirley Holmes and Jeffrey Brisbane." Bo introduced. He extended his hand to David, then to Haley. "It’s so nice to meet you. You are two of my favorite actors." he said in excitement. The boys shook his hand and needlessly introduced themselves. "How do you do it? You were so great in Forrest Gump and …Bogus…wow!" he said to Haley Joel Osment.

"I don’t know why I seem to have this effect on people." he joked. David smiled at him, knowing exactly what he meant. Since he started shooting 7th Heaven last season people, especially girls, went crazy over him and it didn’t stop yet.

"So what are you two doing here? I mean here in Canada." Shirley asked, already knowing part of the answer. David and Haley looked at each other for a moment and both decided to do the same.

"Actually, it’s a secret. But since you guys already know we’re here we could tell you. Wouldn’t do much damage now." David said. "But only if you promise to keep your mouth shut." he added quickly.

"OK, we promise." they all chorused. Shirley noticed David and Haley were uncomfortable. It probably was because everyone could see them in the open field.

"Why don’t we go to Jeffrey’s house. We’ll have some privacy there and I’m sure no crazed fan can get in there." Shirley proposed. The faces of the actors brightened.

"OK! Let’s go." David said. They group of youngsters left the field and headed for the large Victorian house Jeffrey and his family lived in.

TO BE CONTINUED…

CHAPTER 5: AUDITION

Jeffrey walked into the room with a tray filled with glasses of cola. He gave everyone a glass before taking one himself and sitting down. As soon as he had taken his seat, Haley started to explain.

"We’re here because Vespucci cast us for a movie. The weird thing is, there’s no script. He got the story from some guy over the Internet and he only tells us about certain stuff that has to happen. We’ve got to improvise the rest. That’s why we were on the field. We wanted to experience the feeling of having fun with each other like brothers." He paused for a moment before continuing. "If you want to know the story, you should do audition. They’re putting up posters all over Redington as we speak. We still need someone to play our best friend." Bo’s eyes grew. This was his chance.

********

The next morning Bo got up early and made his way to the theater where the auditions were held. His efforts didn’t pay off as much as he would have liked. A huge line extended from the entrance. It zigzagged through some barriers to the other end of the street. If he wanted the part, he would have to be really good. Now his undercover operations with Shirley really paid off. The line moved tauntingly slow and it seemed to be years before Bo reached the door to the auditioning room. Actually it was just about an hour. A voice came from behind the door.

"NEXT!" the man screamed. Bo opened the door slowly and entered the room. The man was a long and thin man of about 40 years old. He wore a spotless black suit and on his nose was a set of glasses that seemed a bit too small for his head. "Take a seat." the man offered him. Bo thanked him and seated himself. The man rummaged through some papers and found an empty form. "And your name is…?"

"Boris Sawchuck, but you can call me Bo." Bo responded automatically. The man filled out the top line of the form. After he finished that he raised his head to face Bo again.

"OK Bo, any accomplishments we should know about?" Bo thought it probably wasn’t a good idea to tell the Hollywood guys about his adventures with Shirley.

"No." he answered reluctantly. The man seemed to be disappointed. He probably thought of Bo as the umpteenth fame-hunger teen. However, the man still gave Bo a chance.

"We will be playing a scene from the movie. It will be totally improvised. You will play the friend of some boys. One of them is kidnapped and you are falsely accused. Got it?" Bo took a big breath.

"Got it! Fire away."

********

A bright light was shining in Bo’s eyes. He tried to cover his eyes with his arm, but a set of handcuffs prevented him from doing so. The policeman came closer, until Bo could feel him breathing in his neck.

"Now tell us kid! Where did you bring Bryce after you took him?" the cop demanded. Bo breathed heavily. Here goes nothing, he thought.

"Please listen to me! I got nothing to with the kidnapping. I want to find him as bad as you do." he pleaded like his life depended upon it.

"Don’t give that rubbish! There were no signs of burglary and your prints were all over the place." the officer yelled.

"I suppose my prints should be there! I come there every other day. As for the burglary stuff, Bryce trusts more people than just me. Dozens of people could have taken him." Bo explained to the cop. By now his eyes were full of tears. He remembered how Tremain falsely accused him of setting fire to some warehouses a while back. He felt pity for his character. "I’m his friend…why would I do such a horrible thing?" The compassion in his voice was almost real.

"I think I’ve seen enough." the man that played the cop said. Bo bowed his head.

"I’m sorry for wasting your time." he excused himself.

"On the contrary!" the man replied. "You did a marvelous job. Welcome to the team."

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 6: THE SHOOTING STARTS

"Congratulations!" Jeffrey said as he extended his hand to Bo. Bo took it and shook it happily.

"I can’t believe, I’m actually playing in a Hollywood movie." Bo said still dazed by the surprise.

"Neither can I." Shirley remarked. The three friends were standing near the place where the first scene was going to be shot. It was the field they had met Haley and David in secret a few days before. It was filled with equipment. Cameras and wires were all over the place and several metal bars were placed overhead to place some other cameras above the actors. Since there was no script, Vespucci wanted every moment captured instantly from every possible angle. He couldn’t ask the actors to repeat what they had said before. In the middle of all the technical devices just enough space had been left free for the actors to play their scene. But even that space had been prepared. To make sure everything could be filmed. Vespucci had placed marks on the ground to show Bo and the others where to walk. Bo was extremely nervous. This was his big chance in showbizz and if he blew it he wouldn’t get a second chance.

"Come on Bo," Shirley said like she could read Bo’s mind, "you’ll be great." Bo thanked her with a small smile as he walked over to Haley and David.

Suddenly Vespucci’s voice filled the field through a speaker. "Quiet on the set please. Visitors stay in your designated areas." After a pause he went on. "Lights, Camera, Action." David, Haley and Bo started playing football as a camera hovered over them recording their every movement. When David had scored, Haley started conversation.

"I’m tired. What about you Mike?" Although Bo was nervous he answered almost immediately. Mike was the name of his character.

"Yeah, me too. Danny has worn me out. He scores too much." They both sat down on a mark. "Hey Danny, come on man! Cool down!" he yelled towards David who kept on following the ball.

"Sorry, no can’t do. I have to keep practicing if I want to become a pro." He kept on practicing as Haley and Bo continued their conversation. Even though Bo was in the film for only a few minutes he already felt at home. Bo’s face turned into a sad grimace.

"Do you guys really have to move?" he asked Haley, who’s character name was Bryce. His voice showed no joy and Haley’s face also turned sober. He had acquired the art of that during the shooting of Bogus and he never forgot how to do it. He was planning to use it many more times. With a soft voice he answered Bo.

"Yes. Dad has got a job in Europe and it seems to be permanent, so we are moving there." Bo acted angry.

"What do you have to say about it! You never even see him! He’s always to busy with his work!" he said. David now turned to the two of them and was about to join the conversation. "Stay cool, we’ll still be friends. No matter —." Bo was interrupted by the voice of a man who came running from the trailer from where the automated cameras were controlled.

"LOOK OUT! IT’S LOOSE!" David looked up and saw a camera that was about to fall on the spot where Bo and Haley were. He dashed towards them withstanding his tired feet. When he reached them, he pushed them away, just as the camera fell down. David rolled away just in time to see the camera crash into the ground centimeters next to him. He just risked his life to save the life of two other people.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 7: AN ACCIDENT?

Shirley had followed the events that happened before her very eyes in horror. Her eyes grew as the camera fell down and almost immediately she started running of into the direction where her best friend was laying on the ground. At the same moment Jeffrey followed her. The three boys lay motionless on the ground, realizing what had just happened.

"Oh, my God!" Shirley screamed as she approached them. "Bo are you OK?" she asked with concern as she ushered him to get up. Still dizzy from his sudden fall to the ground, Bo spoke to her, while rubbing his hurt arm.

"Err, yeah…I think so…" he stuttered. After that he turned to his fellow-actors and helped them up. Apart from some bruises they were OK too. At that very moment Vespucci joined them. His eyes showed genuine concern.

"Are you guys OK?" he asked. The boys confirmed they were fine. "This is the most terrible accident I’ve ever seen." Shirley, who had investigated the wire with which the camera was held in place, turned to Vespucci with a serious expression on her face.

"I don’t think it’s a accident Mr. Vespucci." He gave her a weird look. "This wire was deliberately cut." Vespucci was shocked.

"You mean someone is trying to kill my star actors."

"It sure looks like it." Shirley responded.

"Why?" Vespucci asked her. Shirley frowned.

"If only I knew…"

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 8: THE INVESTIGATION STARTS…

Mr. Vespucci had ordered the crew to take a break until extra security had arrived. He was extremely pissed off, someone tried to ruin his movie. If only he had never come to Redington… He was awakened from his thoughts by the voice of a young girl.

"So who exactly gains anything from your stars having an ‘accident’?" Shirley Holmes inquired. Vespucci looked around the room. His stars were sitting next to each other on a couch that was placed on the left side of the room. They all held a glass of water and drank from it only one small sip at a time. Next to that couch stood another boy, leaning against a filing cabinet. He had intense green eyes and somehow he seemed familiar to Vespucci. However, he was too shocked to come up with a name. The girl in front of him had long brown hair and bright blue eyes. She repeated her question. "Who gains anything from an accident?" Vespucci turned in his seat. He was uncomfortable. Shirley gave him a look that finally made him answer.

"You probably saw some of my movies and thought that I had made it in Hollywood." He paused for a moment. "The truth is that I made many enemies in this job." Shirley waited until he was finished and asked another question.

"Do you really think one of those enemies would kill some kids to get to you?" Vespucci sighed and took a handkerchief from his pocket. He removed some pearls of sweat from his face with it.

"I don’t know…I really don’t know…" he answered.

"Bo told me there is no script." Shirley said while gesturing to Bo. "How do the actors know were to stand so they are filmed in the right way?"

"There are marks on the ground that mark the exact spot they should be in, at a certain moment." Shirley shot a glance at Bo who gave her a nod of conformation.

"So who knows about all this?" Shirley asked him. Vespucci hesitated before he answered.

"Well, I do, of course, and then there is my chef technician, Stephen Kendall. He places all the camera’s and marks on the set. He knows exactly what is where for what reason. And the only other person I could think of is Bob."

"Bob?"

"Oh sorry, he’s the security manager around here. He keeps this place from becoming a mess. Some dump filled with crazed fans." the fat director answered.

"I see…" Shirley remarked. "Thanks for your time." she said to Vespucci as she gathered the boys to leave. After some more greetings they left the office while Shirley still tried to order her thoughts.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 9: MEET ‘N GREET

There was no sense in staying since the production had been interrupted, so the group of friends went for a stroll in the park. It was silent for a long time until Shirley spoke.

"What do you think of Vespucci?"

"He seemed nervous." Jeffrey responded. "But it can be totally not related."

"I want to check out his past nevertheless. It might be surprising." Again it was silent, but this time it was only for a short while. It was Bo who spoke. His face showed a sad expression.

"My first movie and already someone is trying to ruin it. It’s not fair." He stopped and bowed his head. "Why?" It made Shirley’s heart ache to see her best friend like this. She was not sure what to do. David and Haley tried to cheer him up, but it was no use. All of a sudden a pond came in sight. Next to it stood a beautiful girl looking at the water. The group of friends went over to her. From up close she was even more gorgeous. She had long blond hair and had almost the same blue eyes as Shirley. The only thing missing in them was Shirley’s twinkle, the one her eyes gave every time something caught her interest. When the girl saw Haley and David the usual responses came. When she finally calmed down she introduced herself.

"Hi!" she smiled. "I’m Christine Manning." She eyed the young movie stars before continuing. "I’m a big fan of you two."

"I noticed…" Haley said grinning. Christine pointed at a model of a speedboat in the middle of the pond and then took a remote-controlling device from a bag.

"I’m practicing for the big race next month. Dad says I have a lot of potential."

Jeffrey showed interested. "What is its top speed?" Christine looked at him and smiled. The smile gave Shirley a weird feeling. Maybe she liked Jeffrey more than she wanted to admit.

"It has been clocked at 75 miles an hour." Jeffrey made a whistle through his teeth.

"Wow! Now that’s impressive." He looked at the boat in the pond from every angle as Christine maneuvered it to shore. "Isn’t that a model FID 58-T?" Christine looked at him in amazement.

"Yes! How did you know?"

"Let’s just say I’m interested in those things. I’d really like one of those." Jeffrey told her. Meanwhile Shirley looked at them, as something came to her. She went over to Jeffrey and Christine and introduced herself to Christine.

"Hi! I’m Shirley. I’d like to ask you something…" Jeffrey practically shot her a death glare. "This park has been hermetically sealed for the movie they are shooting in here. How did you come in?"

"I can ask you the same question." She bounced back.

"Because our friend Bo is cast for the film we are invited to the set." she explained. "Now, what about you? How did you get in?" she insisted.

"I have my ways." She stated mysteriously. Then she took the boat out of the water and left into the direction of the exit at the East Side of the park.

TO BE CONTINUED…

CHAPTER 10: SECURITY

They looked at the figure of the beautiful blond as she walked away from them. After a few minutes she had disappeared between the trees.

"What a peculiar girl…" Shirley observed. Bo grinned.

"She might have been weird, but she sure was pretty." he said. Shirley decided not to respond. They all circled back to the set to find security people swarming all over the place. Shirley immediately forgot how she had felt the moment before and sped towards Vespucci.

"Is this much security really necessary?"

"I’m afraid so, Miss Holmes. Someone poisoned the food. The lady that worked in make up got very ill. She’s on her way to the hospital right now." Everyone gasped when they heard the news from Vespucci. Shirley was about to ask a question. She feared the answer, but she had to know.

"Who was meant to eat the food?" Vespucci gulped as he tried to answer.

"I-iii-it was meant for the actors…" Behind Shirley eyes grew wider, just like what happened to Shirley at that very same moment.

********

Minutes later the young detective and her friends had tracked down the security manager. The boys had agreed to stay near Shirley, so her deductive powers could save them from anymore accidents if necessary. Shirley knocked on the closed door of the trailer. After a little while a man of about 40 years with a bald head opened the door.

"Hi I’m Shirley and this is a friend of mine, Jeffrey." she said introducing the both of them. And I’m sure you know these guys." She finished gesturing to the young actors. "We’d like to have a word with you. Can we come in?" The man hesitated for a moment, but finally stepped aside to let the lot pass him. He led them to the other side of the trailer were a table was placed. There was just enough room for all of them to sit at it.

"Well, I’m Bob Carter, the security manager. What can I do for you?"

"Why aren’t you out there with the other security people?" Shirley inquired. It was obvious she had struck a sensitive subject.

"I never really good work well together with Marco, but couldn’t prevent the wire from getting cut and the lady from getting poisoned, he decided to fire me. The jerk!"

"Do you know why you may have missed anything during your check?" Shirley asked him.

"I couldn’t have missed anything. I checked everything 15 minutes before shooting. Everything was OK." Bob answered her.

"Seen anything and unusual since the check?" Bob was still for a moment, before his face brightened.

"Now that you mention it, yes, I saw someone in a blue uniform working on the camera installation that turned out to be sabotaged. Maybe…" he stopped. Shirley didn’t need to ask what should follow. The implication was very clear to her.

"What are you going to do, now you’re fired?" Jeffrey asked him. Bob looked him straight in the eyes before answering.

"I’ll just hang around. If I save your lives, he’ll have to ask me back." It was extremely silent until Shirley asked Bob and led the others out of the trailer before leaving herself, sunken in her inner thoughts. No one noticed Bob moved the curtains away from a window and looked at the young friends until they’d left his sight.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 11: SUSPECTS

The next morning Shirley got to the set early. She had organized a meeting with Bo, Jeffrey, Haley and David. She had been surfing for hours last night and recovered some interesting information from the dark depths of the Internet. She went over to the trailer where the boys should be that moment and knocked on the door. After a few minutes Bo opened it and let Shirley in.

"So, what did you want to tell us?" Bo asked the young detective when they had all taken a seat at the table.

"I’ve been up last night to do a background check on the suspect we’ve found so far and I came up with some interesting stuff." she stated. She leaned back and started to talk.

"Vespucci is in serious money problems. Even if he could finish this movie and make it a big hit, he’d still owe people money. Apparently he wrote the script for a movie. Everyone said it was going to flop, but Vespucci produced it anyway. Because no one wanted to invest in the movie he loaned money at the bank." Shirley paused. "He loaned half-a-million dollars!!!" Bo whistled through his teeth.

"That’s not your average allowance." he joked. Shirley glared at him before she continued.

"You guys are insured for 250.000 each. If you all get an unfortunate accident, Vespucci can pay off his depths and still make 250.000. When he’s lucky he can even finish the movie with different actors. There have been enough people waiting in those lines."

Shirley’s explanation had shocked everyone, but there was still more to come. Jeffrey stared at Shirley. She still managed to surprise him. She hacked in confidential files most people couldn’t even find, let alone access.

"Bob Carter told us he couldn’t stand Vespucci. He’d never been really friendly with him. Not really a reason to start creating accidents for innocent actors. But maybe he’s taking his revenge on Vespucci for ruining his job. Remember that he has access to everything and everyone around here. It would’ve been easy for him to cut the wire and poison the food. His last job got him just a fraction of what he would normally make. It was said he did a lousy job protecting the place."

"And there is your motive…" Jeffrey said understanding.

"So, again it’s one of the oldest motives. Always that darned money." Bo growled.

"Not exactly." Shirley continued. "If it was Christine here motive was jealousy. We know she is jealous of Bo because he was chosen to play in the film. She was a big fan of Haley and David. She told us so herself. She got in the park somehow and I’m sure she could use that to her advantage. If Carter was telling the truth about the person he saw in the blue uniform, it could have been almost anyone. But Christine is certainly on the top of my list. Especially after last night."

"What did you find out?" Haley asked as he came closer to the table. Shirley’s eyes turned even more serious.

"A few months ago she was arrested…" she said, controlling her heavy breathing. Bo frowned.

"For what?"

"For the stalking and assaulting of an actor." she whispered.

TO BE CONTINUED

CHAPTER 12: MISSING

"Promise to stay on the look out, OK?"

Jeffrey nodded. "Sure Bo, no problem. Just get out there and make a good movie." Bo gave Jeffrey a small pat on the back to show his appreciation and followed his fellow actors to their places. Jeffrey had checked everything minutes before and everything seemed in order. He couldn’t find any sabotages and all. He scouted the area. Besides the ordinary- crew and castmembers there were no people. He had promised himself to keep an eye out for Christine. If she was going to turn up she had a lot of explaining to do. There was a gentle breeze that moved the leaves on the trees and there was a bit of sun. All together it was a great day for filming. Today they were going to film the part in which Bryce gets kidnapped. The actor that was supposed to play the kidnapper turned out to be OK and he had been in Jeffrey’s sight ever since he came on the set. Suddenly a large mass of crewmembers pulled away from the spot the cameras were pointed at, as a voice resounded across the set.

"Attention everyone! Shooting will start in 2 minutes." Vespucci sat in a chair raised above all others. He looked down with a smile of satisfaction on his face. Today was going to be a day he would like to remember. A day with no problems whatsoever. He looked at a timer to his left and grabbed the megaphone again. "Lights? Cameras…..Action!" He lowered the megaphone a bit and looked at the story unfolding between the actors.

Bryce, Danny and Mike were sitting on a bench in the park. All with sad looks on their faces. There was a long silence at first before Mike spoke. "So. I guess this is it. Do you two really have to leave tomorrow?" Bo thought of saying goodbye to Haley and David. They had become good friends to him and just thinking about them leaving made the acting easy for him.

"Yeah." Bryce said, while he bounced a football near his feet. "One last game of football?" Mike looked at the brothers, one at a time. By this moment tears had formed in his eyes. One of them started its way down his cheek to his chin. A camera zoomed in. It was kinda strange to cry in front of a camera, but Bo stayed in his role.

"Sure." he responded. Bryce’s face lightened a bit.

"Go ahead, we’ll be there in a little while." Danny told his younger brother. Bryce left the bench and went to the field behind the bench. Then Mike and Danny turned to each other.

"Promise to write me. OK?" Mike said to Danny with a fake smile through his tears.

"I will." There was a long silence in which they remembered all the good times they had for the last 8 years. They’d known each other since they were tiny and leaving each other was just too much to ask.

"I’ll miss you, man." Danny uttered. After another long silence they embraced each other, while patting each other on the back. They didn’t notice the dark figure in the bushes near Bryce. The figure was dressed in black and wore a hood. He was unrecognizable. Diverted by their emotions, Mike and Danny didn’t see the man sneak up behind Bryce until it was too late.

"HELP! HELP!" it suddenly sounded. Mike and Danny looked up and saw the man who attacked Bryce. Danny immediately sped towards him.

"Leave my brother alone you jerk!" he growled. The figure was too strong for him. He got pushed to the ground and had to watch helplessly while the man abducted his brother.

"Aaand cut!" Vespucci yelled. A small applause sounded for the young actors. This scene was impressive. The emotions they had showed in it where almost real. Jeffrey smiled, completely forgetting what he was meant to do.

"I need to have a word with you." Jeffrey heard as someone tapped him on his shoulder. He swung around to see who it was. His eyes widened as he saw who it was.

"Christine?" Jeffrey quickly corrected himself and spoke again. "I need to have a word with you too. How did you get in here? This is a closed set and please don’t give me that junk on ‘your ways’ again." Christine looked at him like she was surprised.

"What do you mean?" she asked him.

"I heard you got a record for attacking an actor. You shouldn’t be here…" Christine almost exploded.

"You’ve been digging into my personal life? You don’t have the right! I’m just a fan!"

Jeffrey looked at her sharply. "A crazed fan who can’t stand the fact she hasn’t been chosen to be in the film with her idols, perhaps?"

"NO!" Christine yelled. "AND NOW IT’S MY TURN!" Jeffrey looked at her innocently.

"What?" he asked. Christine’s eyes were flaming with anger.

"You liked my boat, right? So where did you hide it?"

"I didn’t take it. Honestly!" Christine’s anger cooled just a little bit.

"Someone must have. I left it in the pond when I was practicing. I turned my back on it for just two moments to give someone directions and when I turned back it was gone. Vanished into thin air. Just remember I’ll be keeping an eye on you…"

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 13: TECHNICAL STUFF

Shirley was touched by Bo’s performance. She knew what it was like to lose someone you love. Her mother went missing in Rwanda. Shirley had been looking for her ever since. She had never given up hope. While looking at the TV screen in front of her all those thoughts came back. Stephen Kendall turned his chair around and faced Shirley.

"What can I do for you young lady?" he asked the young detective. Shirley left her thoughts and observed the man. He seemed to be in his late twenties. Stephen also had dark hair and brown eyes. He wore a green overall and had a gentle smile on his face.

"Did you see something odd before the first take yesterday?" Shirley started.

Stephen took a moment to think before he answered the question. "No. Not that I know of."

"Bob mentioned someone in a blue overall working on the cameras." Shirley added hopefully.

Again Stephen thought for a second. "No. Sorry. Can’t remember." Shirley investigated Stephen again hoping to see a sign that told her he was lying. She didn’t find anything.

"So you say Bob lied…" she said.

"NO! I just said I can’t back him up." Stephen protested. He took a pen from the desk and started to turn it in his fingers and click it several times. Shirley decided to change the subject.

"What about Mr. Vespucci. Did you get along with him?"

"A bit better than the others I suspect. I keep out of his way. That way I take the least chance of getting into an argument with him."

"Where were you yesterday morning?"

"Here checking all the screens and cables. I’m sure some colleagues can vouch for me." Suddenly the pen slipped from his fingers and Stephen ducked to pick it up. A small red object fell from his pocket making a thud on the hard floorboards. Shirley grabbed it before Stephen got the chance.

"What have we got here?" she mused aloud. The metallic object 3.5 inches long and had a shiny cross on one side.

"A Swiss army knife…Just the kind of knife used to cut the wire of the camera."

TO BE CONTINUED…

CHAPTER 14: COMPARING NOTES

The five friends were taking a stroll in the park. There was still a gentle breeze that moved the leaves on the trees. It was the kind of weather almost everyone would like. Shirley was thinking about what had happened earlier in the technical trailer. She took the knife out of her pocket, opened it and put it against the sunlight. The light scattered on the blade. The boys seemed surprised to see it.

"Where did you get that from?" David asked. He looked at the knife and a quiver went down his spine. This could be the very knife that almost killed them. Shirley closed and lowered the knife again before answering.

"Stephen Kendall dropped it when I was with him." she answered. Theories started to grow in the boys’ minds. "Bob said he saw someone in a blue overall doing some work on the camera that fell down. That’s strange. All technicians wear green overalls, just like Stephen. And Stephen said he was checking the screens in the trailer, yet he didn’t see anything. It just doesn’t add up. I can’t even seem to find anyone to corroborate his alibi." Shirley paused for a minute to take a breath. "If he did do it, what was the motive?" She sighed and slowed down her pace.

Jeffrey stopped thinking about the technician and decided to tell Shirley what had happened shortly after shooting the latest scene. "I saw Christine." he stated. Shirley glanced at him in surprise.

"When?"

"Just after the scene with the kidnapping. She accused me of stealing her boat!" he said with a tone of frustration in his voice. Shirley quizzically raised a single eyebrow.

"Really?" she said. "What exactly did she say?"

"She said she was practicing for the race in the pond. She turned away for just a few seconds to give someone directions and when she turned back it was gone." Jeffrey explained.

"Maybe someone didn’t want her to win the big race." Bo suggested.

"I don’t think that’s it, Bo. No one in this park except Christine entered that contest. Of course it could still be someone related to one of the other contestants, but that would be hard to find out. I think she’s lying anyway."

Haley frowned. "Why do you think that?"

"Everyone with access to the park knows his way around here. Why would anybody ask her for directions?" Shirley asked no one in particular.


"You’ve got a point there…" Haley noted. There was a long silence. The group turned in the mean time to head back to the set.

"So, who are the suspects again?" Bo asked. Shirley thought for a moment and then started her explanation.

"First there is Marco Vespucci. He would claim 750.000 dollars if you three could hurt and he could use that money to pay of his depths with still a quarter of a million to spare." Jeffrey interrupted her.

"Now that’s a motive. But we still don’t know how he could have done that."

"No." Shirley admitted. "But we still have more suspects. Take Bob Carter for example. He could be creating the accidents to save your lives and be offered a better job with some other hot shot director. And, of course, we have Christine and Stephen who we’ve just discussed."

"I think it’s Christine." Jeffrey said. "She’s the stereotype obsessed fan. Turning up at the weirdest moments at a place she couldn’t even be. My guess she’s jealous of Bo. He got the part with her greatest idols. The part she wanted so desperately. When she found that out she plotted revenge." Shirley started to think, only listening half to what Jeffrey said. "She dressed up like a technician to sabotage the camera." Jeffrey continued. "But because she’s not acquainted with business on the set, she put on a wrong costume. That’s what Bob saw. It was probably even easier for her to slip in the masses of the crew to poison the food."

"How terrible." Haley uttered. "I guess the hunger for fame can make you do strange things." Suddenly something inside Shirley’s mind clicked.

"Of course! How could I’ve been so blind?" she almost yelled out.

"You know who it is then?" Bo asked her.

"Yes. I think I do." Shirley said without even a tone of relief in her voice. "And I also have a plan to catch this person red-handed."

TO BE CONTINUED…

CHAPTER 15: SEARCHING IN THE DARK

Two people dressed in dark clothes approached Vespucci’s darkened office. When they had both reached the door, one of them produced a lock-picking device from a black bag. The person had opened the lock in seconds and went in followed by the other person. Once inside they both lighted their flashlights and removed their hoods. From under one hood came the face of young girl with long brown hair and curious blue eyes. The other hood revealed the face the young actor Haley.

"This feels weird. Isn’t breaking and entering illegal?" Haley asked the young detective.

"In an emergency rules don’t always apply." Shirley responded while putting on some latex gloves. When she put her own on she threw a pair to Haley. He put them on as well.

"So what are we looking for?" Haley asked while he explored the walls of the office.

"Evidence to support my theory." Shirley replied.

"What do you need to prove your theory?" Haley asked her.

"I need the list of people who auditioned for Bo’s part." Shirley said. Haley immediately understood the implication. Jeffrey’s theory had been true. Bo had been the target of the maniac all along. That was why Shirley had asked him to come along instead of Bo. He was overwhelmed by this knowledge.

"How did you know?"

"I’ll explain later. Let’s find the files first." They examined every inch of the office, but they found nothing of any interest, until Haley pointed at the filing cabinet.

"Don’t you think there’s something funny about that filing cabinet." he asked Shirley. Shirley came to him from the desk she was searching and went over to the young actor. The upper drawer was placed far too much under the top of the cabinet. Maybe… Shirley moved her hands over the cabinet in search of some secret switch. She found one hidden behind a stack of files on top of it. The front of the cabinet above the drawers moved away and revealed a safe. Shirley had cracked the safe in minutes and took the papers from behind the heavy door. She searched the papers for two single words. When she found the words her face got an expression which didn’t show her emotions. Shirley took a spy pen out of her backpack and photographed the page she was looking at.

"Just as I thought…" she said not looking at Haley.

"What?" he asked her. Shirley didn’t answer, instead she put the papers back and closed the safe again. She made sure everything was as when they’d come in. With a serious look on her face she turned to the young actor.

"Come…We have a lot to plan ‘till morning." They put their hoods back on and left the way they came in. Their presence was not detected.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 16: THE CHASE

Bo felt a peculiar feeling as he exited the costume van. He was ready for the big scene of the movie, but to be filmed for an audience of maybe millions of people in a pair of swimming trunks made him feel strange. As soon as he spotted Shirley he noticed she was staring. She saw he was looking at her and immediately looked away. He approached Shirley and smirked.

"What do you think of my outfit?" Shirley turned back to Bo and looked at his broad chest. She smiled at him.

"You look pretty good." she joked. Bo acted as if he felt hurt. "OK! You look great." Shirley admitted. They both turned and started to walk to the lake were the big scene of the movie was going to be shot. It was going to be a pursuit. Bo and David were going to chase the bad guys, who were going to drive a speedboat, with waverunners. When they reached the edge of the lake Bo felt the sand beneath his feet. As he stopped, his feet slowly started to sink until both his feet were entirely submerged in the sand. The sand even moved between the toes of his bare feet. But he didn’t mind. His face turned serious as he looked Shirley in the eye and asked her the one question that had been bothering ever since she told him she knew who was responsible for the ‘accidents’ the afternoon before.

"Are you sure this plan is going to work?" he asked her.

"I’m sure, but just in case I’m wrong, I’m keeping an eye on all suspects. You just do your job. You’re going to be fine." she reassured him. They reached the set and Bo met up with David to run through the scene one more time before shooting. Haley greeted the two boys as he passed them. He went to the speedboat and was locked in a large bag. After that the speedboat took off.

"Get to the waverunners, boys. Let’s start rolling." Vespucci yelled to the young actors who were standing at the side of the lake. Bo gave Shirley a look of worries as he mounted his waverunner. Shirley raised her thumb to show him everything was fine. Jeffrey had appeared next to Shirley.

"I took a look at both the speedboat and the waverunners. They are all in top shape." He reported to the young detective. Shirley started thinking. If both the boat and the waverunners were OK and someone was trying to pull something it had to come from outside. She told Jeffrey what she thought. They had to keep an eye on the suspects. They agreed that Jeffrey kept an eye on Bob and Christine while Shirley looked after Stephen and Marco. They took their places as Vespucci yelled the famous words for the umpteenth time.

"Lights, camera, aaaaand action!" The boats moved as planned and the shooting went smoothly. Shirley looked around the set and spotted her suspects. They were not up to something. They were just working. Jeffrey had a little bit more trouble. He turned to Shirley and whispered something in her ear.

"Hey, Shirley. I can’t see Christine. What if she is the person who we’re looking for?"

********

From under a nearby pontoon a radio-controlled boat went out in the lake. The little model came terrifying close to its large counterpart. Now the boat was in the water between Bo and the speedboat. Bo yelled into the speaker Jeffrey had equipped the waverunner with.

"Shirley, there’s something in the water between us and the speedboat!" The answer came almost immediately. Shirley didn’t need any time to think.

"Warn everyone! Get away from there NOW!" The message could’ve scared Bo if he hadn’t been too busy following Shirley’s advice. He gestured David to turn as he heard a beeping sound. A closer inspection of the little boat showed enough TNT to blow them all into oblivion. Bo was just in time to warn the stunt people to jump overboard and get away himself before the final seconds ticked away. Then a deafening explosion sounded, that startled all the crew on the land. The cameras had followed the events that lead to the explosion. Haley didn’t leave the wreck…

Near the pontoon a figure started smiling. The person didn’t see all the events as clearly as the cameramen and thought to have succeeded in eliminating Bo.

"Bye, bye, Sawchuck. I’ve got my revenge…Just a pity innocent people had to die for it. But then again, life’s not fair, is it?"

TO BE CONTINUED…

CHAPTER 17: CONCLUSION

An evil grin moved across Molly’s face as she looked at the pieces of the vessels scattering across the lake. Finally she did it. Not only, did she get her revenge on Bo Sawchuck. She had also gotten to Shirley at the same time.

"Nice sight such an explosion, isn’t it?" a voice behind her sounded. She turned around to see who it was and came face to face with Haley.

"What…how…?" she managed to mutter. Haley came a bit closer and explained.

"Filming Bogus has left me with some interesting knowledge of magic. That and a little help from a friend." he grinned. "I wasn’t in the bag when the boat exploded. That was just a dummy." Molly was still not fully recovered from the shocking surprise.

"But why would you do that? Unless…" The sound of quick footsteps closed in on them and within a realization of what must’ve happened grew. Behind Haley a group of four figures appeared. It was Shirley and her friends. Haley looked back with an expression on his face that showed gratitude towards Jeffrey for helping him on his escape trick.

"Holmes! I should have known." Molly growled. Shirley narrowed her eyes and walked up to Haley until she was next to him.

"The feeling is all mutual." she said without the tiniest smile.

"I should have known it was you when I heard Vespucci got the script from some anonymous guy over the Internet. You just didn’t put it on your site to keep a low profile. Unfortunately, you forgot to make the hard copies of the audition lists disappear. It showed you auditioned for the part." Shirley explained. Molly knew it was over and decided to confess.

" You’re right. I got Vespucci to Redington hoping he could make me famous. But when it was my turn to audition they told me the role was already taken. And of all people, he had to come along and snatch the part that was meant for me." Molly pointed an accusing finger at Bo. Bo didn’t react to it.

"It’s your regular motive again power and fame. Like Haley said, huner for fame can make you do strange things. Even dangerous things…" Shirley stated. This time it was Molly who didn’t have anything to say, so Shirley decided to keep on talking. "You blackmailed Kendall, so he wouldn’t tell anyone about you."

"I found out he was cheating on his wife. When I confronted him and gave him the choice between listening to me and being exposed as a cheater he choice the first. He gave me an alibi and he was the substitute perpetrator. Everyone would suspect him after lying about the saboteur in the blue suit. And I planted the knife with him just be sure of it. But I’m sure he won’t expose me. He wants to keep his secrets." Molly said, still looking at Shirley showing genuine hatred.

"Then I guess I’ll have to do the exposing for him, don’t you think?"

As soon as Shirley had said that Molly’s face brightened, which the junior detective didn’t take as a good sign.

"You’re right." Molly said. She revealed a file from a bag at her feet and proceeded. "If you expose me, I’ll reveal the contents of this file and I’m sure Mr. Vespucci would love to know about his new actor." Bo’s eyes grew wider. If Molly did that it was sure to ruin his career as an actor. Haley and David were surprised Bo had anything to hide, but even more surprised by Molly’s apparent blackmail.

"If there is one thing I have learnt from you, Holmes, it must be to always keep some insurance." Shirley’s nemesis said evilly. "So what will it be?" No one spoke and the only sounds heard were the wind, the birds and the sound of people yelling about the explosion.

"I thought so." Molly finished with a sarcastic tone. Then she turned and disappeared between the trees.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

CHAPTER 18: THE END

A FEW WEEKS LATER…

Shirley, Bo and Jeffrey entered the large dark room. Besides a few people in the back, it was empty. The three friends took a seat in the middle of the room. Bo was wearing a wig and a fake moustache. Shirley turned to him and gazed at his disguise.

"What’s up with the disguise?" she asked him. Bo hissed through his teeth.

"Would you keep it down? Since I met David and Haley, I know what actors have to go through when they are popular. You’ll never be alone. People will always watch you, follow you, point at you, ask for autographs. It might seem fun at first, but they know what it’s really like. They told me all about. I don’t even now if I like my name listed in the credits everyone will know it’s me…Be jealous and stuff." Bo paused for a second. "It’s a shame they couldn’t stay a bit longer. I didn’t get to know them that well, but somehow they’d become good friends." He ended in a much softer voice. Shirley passed Jeffrey the popcorn as she responded.

"You’re right, they even helped to save your life."

"Real friends." Bo said softly. The atmosphere was about to drop to a minimum level, so Jeffrey decided to bring up another subject. He cracked a small smile as he started to speak.

"Yeah, sometimes things do change. For example: Who would ever think Molly would improve the film? The explosion was like a free effect." He paused for a while to eat some more popcorn. "She did a good thing. As far as I know that’s a first…Well, it wasn’t meant that way but…" Jeffrey started to look uncomfortable as he looked Bo and Shirley straight into their eyes, one at a time. Bo patted his back.

"It’s OK. I know what you mean." he said. Shirley just smiled at him. After a short while that smile disappeared and made way for a serious expression on her face.

"I still can’t believe Kendall keeps his mouth shut. No one is going to believe him anyway when he says he’s blackmailed by a student of Sussex Academy." Her expression started to turn angry. "I’ll never forgive Molly for sending an innocent man to prison. I’ll get her for it!" she growled.

Suddenly the lights dimmed and the screen in front of the room lit up brightly. Names flashed across the large screen as a group of three boys was seen, playing football. "MISSING STARRING DAVID GALAGHER AS DANNY…HALEY JOEL OSMENT AS BRYCE…INTRODUCING: BORIS SAWCHUCK AS MIKE." Proudly Shirley looked besides her as the volume of the music increased. Bo couldn’t help cracking a smile. Despite the trouble they’d had, the film had turned out great. Shirley moved towards Bo. When her mouth was close to his ear she whispered something.

"I’m proud of you, Bo."

"Thanks." They hugged each other. The names had stopped flashing across the screen and two boys moved away a bit from the other one. Bo and Shirley had broken their embrace and looked at the screen again.

"I’m tired. What about you Mike?" Haley’s character, Bryce, said on the screen.

"Yeah, me too. Danny has worn me out. He scores too much." Bo said also on screen. To Bo it was weird to see himself on the big screen. Something Haley and David were accustomed to by now. Both Bo and Haley sat down. "Hey Danny, come on man! Cool down!"

"Sorry, no can’t do. I have to keep practicing if I want to become a pro." Danny kept on practicing as Bryce and Mike continued their conversation. Mike’s face turned into a sad grimace.

"Do you guys really have to move?" he asked Bryce. His voice showed no joy and Bryce’s face also turned sober. With a gentle voice he answered Mike.

"Yes. Dad has got a job in Europe and it seems to be permanent, so we are moving there." Bryce said with a sad face.

"What do you have to say about it! You never even see him! He’s always to busy with his work!" Mike said angrily. Danny now turned to the two of them and was about to join the conversation. Mike tried to reassure Bryce with a line that seemed appropriate to the three friends watching in the cinema and their newfound friends from America. "Stay cool, we’ll still be friends. No matter what."

THE END