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Espion Written By: Georgia Young

When I was boarding my flight to Paris, many thoughts were flowing through my mind, but none of them included what I was about to encounter…

Chapter 1 “Hope! Wake up, you sleepy head! We must catch that flight!” my mom was tapping on my back. “Arrrgggg,” I whined. Wow, my mom must really be excited if it’s 7AM in the morning and she has this much energy! “Come on…” cooed my mom. Then she crossed her arms. She means business. One thing you’ll learn about my mom is that she is one tough cookie. She always gets her way! Since I wanted to avoid the possibilities of either getting water poured on my head or getting dragged out of bed by my mom, I decided to sit up. “Fine!” I groaned. My mom opened up the curtains to let the sunlight into my room. “Come on, honey. Get yourself ready and come downstairs,” my mom replied. “Sure,” I muttered. I pushed myself out of bed and got changed into sweatpants and an old tee. I walked into the bathroom for my normal morning routine: brush teeth, wash face, and brush hair. I ran downstairs only because I was starving, but when I was approaching the kitchen, I heard my parents talking to one another. Being a 2|Page

natural eaves dropper myself, I pressed my ear against the wall that separated the kitchen from the foyer. “I don’t know, Tim. Are you sure this is the right decision? I mean, Hope doesn’t seem too thrilled about moving. Is it really worth it?” That’s all I needed to hear.


Chapter 2 What did they mean? Is it really worth what? This whole moving thing is so over my head. I tip-toed into the kitchen, smirking, trying to cover up the fact that I heard my parents talking. “Good morning, mom and dad,” I said. “Hey kiddo!” replied my dad. My parents gave me a big hug. “Take a seat, honey. Dad and I made you a special breakfast,” mom explained. “A short stack of blueberry pancakes with syrup and a smiley face made out of whipped cream. Since it’s your last meal at this house…” Dad cleared his throat and interrupted. “Eat up! It’s going to be a long flight, and the plane food isn’t appetizing.” Mom chuckled. I took a seat at the breakfast bar and my mom brought me my plate. I could tell that the pancakes were fresh off the griddle because there was a tiny cloud of steam above them. My parents may not be gourmet chefs, but they sure know how to make delicious pancakes! I stuffed my face until I felt my stomach sticking out and then I thanked my parents for the great breakfast. I was about to watch TV in the living room when my mom insisted that I go upstairs and check on Veronica, my older sister. Veronica is going through that “no time for family” teenager phase, which means that she’s always going out with friends, closing her bedroom door, texting 24/7 – that kind of stuff. It doesn’t really bother me except for the fact that she freaks if 4|Page

I “invade on her space” or “mess with her social life”. I ran upstairs and knocked on her bedroom door (did I mention there’s a “knocking rule”?). “Come in!” yelled Veronica. I opened the door and walked in. She was at her vanity table brushing her hair. “Yeah… so what do you want?” she asked. “Nothing. Just checking in,” I replied. “Well, can you leave now so I can update my status in peace?” Veronica snapped. “Fine.” I stepped out of her room and shut the door. Then I walked downstairs into the living room and clicked on the TV. Flipping through the channels, I came across a news station talking about global warming. BORING! I turned off the TV and went upstairs into my room to make sure I packed everything I needed. Once we leave for the airport, we’re probably never coming back again.


Chapter 3 “Flight to Paris, France in 10 minutes on Plane 310. Please go to Boarding Area D. Repeat. Flight to Paris, France in 10 minutes on Plane 310. Please go to Boarding Area D. Thank you for choosing American Airlines. Have a safe and enjoyable flight.” I wish that annoying flight attendant would just be quiet. She has literally said the same thing 20 times already! “Come on girls. Let’s board the plane now,” my mom directed. “OK,” I responded. We walked toward the boarding area and waited in line to hand our tickets to the attendant. Once we entered the plane, things started to get really strange…


Chapter 4 My parents, Veronica and I took our seats. I pulled my iPod out of my pocket and turned on some Justin Beiber music. I love music. It calms me, and that’s exactly what I needed. I noticed my parents suddenly exchanging weird glances at each other. Not the “good” kind of glances, but the “bad” kind. The kind of glances they made when my cat died and when my sister flunked a test. That kind of glance. The look in my parent’s eyes was indescribable. There was so much fear and so much worry. But why? What was so scary? Was there a death in our family? Were there terrorists on the flight? My knees started to shake. What was wrong? What was wrong? My parents immediately stood up, grabbed a hold of me and my sister, and jolted out of the plane. Veronica was going on and on about how embarrassing my parents were being, and I was just so confused. What was happening? The flight attendant kept repeating, “Sir. Ma’am. Why are you leaving? Is there an emergency? Do we need to get assistance? Sir. Ma’am. What’s wrong?” My parents rushed us to the nearest family bathroom. “What was that about?” yelled Veronica. “I’m so confused,” I mumbled. “Girls, mom and I have something urgent to tell you,” my dad whispered. There, in an airport, in a public bathroom, my parents told us something so unbelievable, so remarkable, it left us speechless.


Chapter 5 “Girls, mom and I have been waiting to tell you this. We just didn’t know when. Well, I guess now’s the time…” My mom and dad looked at each other again. Mom’s eyes looked worried; my dad’s reassuring. “Well… your mom and I are… um… we are… um...” My dad couldn’t let it out and I was at the edge of my seat. I couldn’t wait any longer! “SPIES!” blurted my mom. My jaw dropped and so did Veronica’s. “Yes. Your mom and I are spies. We’re going on a very important mission that’s confidential. We can’t say anything else right now for the safety of our family. All we can tell you is it’s the reason why we’re moving.” “So that’s why we are moving!” I exclaimed. It was finally making sense. “Oui, you are correct. We got assigned to this mission and we didn’t want to turn it down. Well, we could have, but that wouldn’t have looked good on our resume, right? Just think, ‘Timothy and Amy denied the biggest mission in history!’ That wouldn’t have gone over well!” “Oui? What in the world does that mean?” Veronica asked. “Oops! That must have slipped out,” dad said with his face turning red. “Remember several months ago when I started coming home late from work?” “Yeah…” “That’s because I was taking French classes. I have to be fluent in French for this mission or else I won’t be able to communicate effectively in Paris. Mom also knows French, but she is more fluent than I am!” 8|Page

“Dad, how long have you been working as a spy?” I asked. “Your mom and I have been training to be spies for years.” “I thought you were accountants!” “No, we made that up. We’re pretty good liars, huh?” “Yes, you are! The Oscar goes to Timothy and Amy Johnson for their roles pretending to be accountants!” It’s fun joking around with my dad. He always makes me smile. “But dad, why did we have to run off the plane like that?” “Honey, it’s complicated. But to keep it simple, we saw this guy on the plane who is trying to ban spies in France. He doesn’t want us in his country, and if he finds out who we are, our whole family is in jeopardy.” Dad looked at Veronica straight in the eye. “This is very serious and you cannot tell anyone. Not even your friends, Veronica.” I had actually forgotten that my mom and Veronica were still in the room! “Why was that guy on our flight? He lives in France, so why would he be here?” questioned Veronica. “I don’t know, Veronica. He’s a sneaky man. Do not talk to him, look at him, or go near him. If he senses that you might be the children of spies, he will bribe you to turn us in. Under no circumstances can he find out about us. Understood?” “Yes, mom,” we both replied. This sounds more serious than I thought.


“Amy, we better get out of the bathroom soon, or else we might look suspicious. We can answer more questions later,” murmured my dad. “Tim, excellent point. We should go now. Girls, stand up and grab your stuff,” commanded mom. We left the bathroom and went to the customer service desk where we talked to a soft-spoken employee. “Hello! My name is Melissa. What can I help you with today, ma’am?” “Nice to meet you, Melissa. We were unable to make Flight 310 to Paris due to a family situation,” explained my mom. “Are there any upcoming flights that we could catch?” “Let me check for you, ma’am,” she responded. “Please wait a minute.” Melissa tapped quickly on the computer keyboard. “You’re in luck, ma’am. There is a flight in two hours at noon. We can print the tickets for you now, if you’d like.” Yep, that’s typical mom. Like I said, she always gets her way! “Sure, that would be fabulous! We’ll need four tickets.” Melissa hesitated, “Um, ma’am. We only have first-class tickets available. Is that ok with you?” My mom looked over at my dad. He seemed reluctant, but Veronica and I were thrilled! We’d never been in first class before because it’s really expensive. Dad thought for a minute, “Ummm… Ok. Let’s go for it! So what if we are spoiled for a day? We’ll take the tickets!” First, we learned my parents were spies. Now we’re going to travel in first class. Wow, this day is full of surprises! 10 | P a g e

Chapter 6 The flight to Paris was peaceful. I can assure you there was no evil French man on the plane! From the airport we took a trolley to our new house. Our house was relatively large compared to most houses in Paris, but it was about the same size as our old one. It was made out of white brick with black shutters. There was a small front deck and front yard but hardly any space behind the house. The landscaping was HORRID! Unlike our old house, all of the plants had shriveled up and died. It definitely needed some sprucing up. “Veronica and Hope! Come take the bags inside!” mom yelled. We brought about 10 pieces of luggage into the house, plus toys, blankets, pillows and everything else we “needed” to bring! I went directly to my bedroom and started to unpack. There was already an empty bed there which we bought when we visited the house two months ago. I put my new sheets, blankets and bedspread on my bed which my mom had bought me yesterday. Lastly, I put decorative pillows on top. I have to say, it looked better than my old room! The blues and yellows looked great together. It was so inviting, I just wanted to take a nap! It was actually starting to feel like home.

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Chapter 7 The next day my parents went to work as spies. I’m not sure where, though. Up until yesterday I thought they were accountants! Veronica was in charge of me while my parents were gone. I wasn’t sure what to do in the new house. We had a TV, but I wasn’t in the mood to watch anything. I just wanted to go to the beach, but that was impossible. All Veronica was doing was texting her friends. (Note to self: It is soooo boring to stay home with your teenage sister.) A light bulb went off in my head. I could bake! A vanilla cake with buttercream frosting sounded delicious right about now! I was about to ask Veronica if she could drive me to the market but remembered we only had one car at our new house which mom and dad were using. On second thought, we could probably scooter there. It was only two blocks away and we’d get there fast on our Razor scooters. “Hey Veronica,” I said. “What?” “Could we scooter over to the market? Please, please, please?” I whined. “Fine, but let’s make it quick. Get your sneakers on and go out front. I’ll be there in a minute.” When I finished lacing my gray Converse sneakers, I went outside and sat on the front step to wait for Veronica. “Grab the scooters from the garage. And hurry! I don’t want to be out too long.” “Ok.” 12 | P a g e

I did as Veronica asked and we began to scooter on the vacant sidewalk. When we arrived at the market, we parked our scooters and went inside. The market was similar to a Wawa store back in America, except in France they call it a market. The market was crowded with people wanting their morning coffee. I went down the aisles searching for flour, butter, baking powder, vanilla extract, eggs and milk. I had to buy everything I needed to bake a cake because we had no ingredients at home. While I was shopping, Veronica mentioned that she had to go to the bathroom. I’m sure she just needed some privacy so she could text her friends! When I finally finished picking out my items and was ready to go to the register, I looked for Veronica but couldn’t find her. I looked in the bathroom and down every aisle. Where was she? “Veronica! Veronica!” I repeated anxiously. Nowhere. I knew something wasn’t right when I realized the market was now empty. Where were all of the coffee drinkers? Where did everyone go? I was the only customer left in the market. Alone. All by myself. I walked up to the cashier and politely asked if she had seen Veronica. “Bonjour. Have you seen a tall girl with short brown hair? She is my sister and I need to find her.” “Sorry, madame. I have not seen her,” replied the woman. “Merci. Thank you anyway.” I walked down the aisles one last time. 13 | P a g e

“Veronica! Veronica!” I shouted. It was no use to keep calling out her name. She vanished. I went outside and saw that my scooter was still there. Veronica’s was gone. I hopped on my scooter feeling frightened. I didn’t know what happened to Veronica and bad thoughts were going through my mind. What if she got hurt? What if she was abducted by aliens? There was more to worry about than just Veronica. I didn’t know where I was! I didn’t know this area. Nothing was familiar to me. I was terrified.

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Chapter 8 After what seemed more like 20 miles than 2 blocks, I finally arrived home. The door was unlocked. I went inside the house and dashed quickly to the phone. I called Veronica’s cell but there was no answer. I called again. Still no answer. I gathered up the courage to call my mom and tell her what happened. As I dialed my mom’s cell number, I thought of what I was going to say. Hi mom! Umm… I sort of lost Veronica. Or, hello mom! I hope your day is going good. Well… I lost Veronica! I wasn’t sure what to say. It’s definitely not a situation that fifth graders face every day. Then I heard a soft voice on the phone. It was my mom. “Hello. This is Amy.” “Hello mom?” “Hi sweetie! Is everything ok?” “Well, not exactly. You see, Veronica and I rode our scooters to the market and…” “You went without calling me first? Hope, I am disappointed in you.” “Mom!” I interrupted. “Let me finish! We were in the market and… well… ummm...” 15 | P a g e

“Hope, what are you trying to tell me?” “Well, you see… I lost Veronica! I’m so sorry! I can’t find her anywhere. It’s like she vanished or something!” “Hope! Oh my. This is bad. Really bad. Oh no!” “What mom? What?” My heart was racing. “Honey, Veronica might have been kidnapped!” mom said with panic in her voice. “What? Mom, what are you talking about?” “A few minutes ago I heard on the news that police caught a suspicious man with a teenager in his trunk,” mom explained. “The man was arrested and the girl’s identity has not been announced to the public yet. That girl might be Veronica!” My stomach suddenly had a sunken, sick kind of feeling to it. “We have to leave right away and get to the police station,” mom continued. “I’ll pick you up at the house in 10 minutes. Love you, Hope.” Click. Mom hung up the phone.

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Chapter 9 Mom and I were both in disbelief as we spoke with the police at the station. Veronica was the girl who was kidnapped! But who was the culprit? Who was the man who did this? And why? Alexandre Martin. HE is the man who kidnapped Veronica. HE is the man who my parents saw on our flight. HE is the man who is dangerous and against spies in France. And HE is the man who left my parents to face a larger-than-life decision. Dad soon arrived and wrapped his arms around us with a long comforting hug. Mom and dad both knew that being spies was a risk to our family, but it never really hit them until now. This wasn’t some spy movie. This was reality. They quickly realized that the safety of our family wasn’t worth any special mission no matter how long and hard they trained most of their lives. Their lives wouldn’t be complete without all of us in it... all four of us. That’s what matters the most. Family comes first. I couldn’t agree more.

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Epilogue Veronica was not injured in the kidnapping. While in the trunk, Veronica had text for help which led the police to find Alexandre Martin. Alexandre was sentenced to five years in prison and was eventually released. He never caused any more trouble for the Johnsons because Tim and Amy both quit their jobs as spies and became real accountants! As for the family, this experience brought them closer together than ever before. They remained living in Paris and adapted to the French culture beautifully.

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11 year old Hope is having to deal with moving to another country. But there is another family secret that is taking a turn for the worst.....


11 year old Hope is having to deal with moving to another country. But there is another family secret that is taking a turn for the worst.....