Welcome to Chapter 12 of the Mystery Edition of our Choose Your Own Adventure series. Last week, after discovering that Silas is actually an undercover reporter, y’all voted to head over to his house with Sam to try to get some answers. Let’s see if you succeed!

Chapter 12: Confrontation

You question your impulsive decision to allow Sam to come with you as your car pulls to the curb outside Silas’s house.  Not like she REALLY gave you much of a choice, with her, “I cracked the code. I get to come.” speech, but still.

The two of you make your way to the front door, and you wonder exactly what you’re going to say to him if he answers.  You never get the chance to come up with anything, though, because the front door opens to reveal a relieved looking Silas.  “Caitlin!  Oh thank god.  Where have you been?  I’ve been texting since I got out of school and you weren’t there.  I thought we were going to hang out.” 

You stand mute for a moment, and Sam interjects.  “Jig’s up, old dude.  We’ve seen the contents of your laptop.”

Well, you couldn’t have said it any better yourself.

Shock gives way to resignation on Silas’s face.  Mature resignation.  You wonder how you ever believed he was a high school student.  He steps back inside his house, gesturing for you and Sam to follow.  “Come in.”

You feel hot and kind of itchy all over.  Just yesterday, you were having seriously swoony feelings for this guy, but now every time you look at him, your stomach turns a little bit.  He actually suspected you?  How could he possibly have suspected you?  Righteous anger builds inside you until you blurt out, “So has this all been some sort of joke to you?  Running around with the pathetic little teenagers while their friend has gone missing?”

Silas looks you right in the eye and you feel a little bit like you gave the wrong answer in chemistry. “Not a joke, no.  This is very serious.”  He ran a hand over his eyes, a weary gesture.  “Little rich girls go missing almost as often as any other demographic.  Run away, steal a credit card, make off with one of their parents’ business associates, so the authorities don’t pay much attention… but this… this doesn’t feel right.”

Even though you’re still angry with him for lying to you, his words make you feel justified.  Because as much as you don’t’ want to admit it, you think something very bad happened to your best friend.

“Okay, so what do we do about it?”  this from Sam.

“You two do nothing.  Go home.  Do your homework.”

You shake your head.  “No way.  I have to help.  Besides, I’m not sure home is such a safe place for me right now.”  You tell him about the note you found on your car window, and watch the color drain from his face.

He swears.  “You need to go to the police.”  You look at him incredulously.  “NOW, you say go to the police?  What am I going to tell them about our little B&E?”

“I’ll stay with you,”  Sam interjects.  “You’d be doing me a favor, really.”  You thoughts flash to her mom, and you’re pretty sure she’s right, but the thought of just going home, while Silas continues his investigation doesn’t sit well.

“Look,” Silas puts a comforting hand on your shoulder, “I’m going to check out Crane’s house.  I’ll call you guys tonight with any new information I find.”

You find yourself nodding as he ushers you both back outside, but once you get in your car you turn to Sam.  She gives you a look that tells you she might just be thinking what you’re thinking.  She asks, “Where to, boss?” 

With one more glance at Silas’s house, you put the car in gear, “I say we follow Mr. Reporter.”

Sam’s satisfied smirk makes you feel all warm inside.  You’ve forgotten what it feels like to have a friend.

You park around the corner and watch until Silas’s car pulls away, before following him through the winding neighborhoods of your town.  It seems to take forever before he parks in front of a non-assuming condo.  You drive right by, hoping he can’t see inside your car now that it’s dark, but Silas seems singularly focused.

You watch him go around the side of the unit before both you and Sam follow.  You peek in through the window, and see Silas searching through boxes.  From what you can tell, the entire condo has been packed up.  So.  Crane is leaving town, right before the school play.  Very, very interesting.

Silas has found your teacher’s laptop, and from the glow of the screen, you can see him looking at something with horror and disgust evident on his face.  You’re just about to follow him inside, when Sam, beside you, gasps.  That’s when you see the looming form up Mr. Crane, sneaking up behind Silas, with a… is that a sword?!!

Do you:

A. Rush into Mr. Crane’s house screaming. Since it’s a sword he’s holding, at least you won’t have to worry about getting shot.

B. Call the po-po. It’s time to turn this investigation over to the authorities.

C. Run.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.