Lily and Melissa were chattering away as they walked through the door of the after-school club and almost collided with Sam and Nathan, gazing at the notice board.
“You must know that off by heart,” said Melissa, grinning.
“Yes, it’s been up there for weeks,” added Lily.
The notice that the boys were so engrossed in had been up on the board a long while but it wasn’t the usual type of notice.
This one read -
CLUB TALENT CONTEST
SPECIAL FIRST PRIZE!
TONY HAWK’S SKATEBOARD
Complete with helmet, pads and spare trucks worth $200+ Prize to be awarded on contest night.
The date for the contest was drawing very near and had been all that anyone in the club had talked about for weeks, discussing exactly which Tony Hawk’s board it might be.
“I wonder how Mr Reynolds got hold of something so special?” Sam said, half to himself.
“That really doesn’t matter now” said a voice behind them and they all turned to look at Mr Reynolds gazing sadly at the notice himself.
Something in his voice had struck all of them as strange.
Mr Reynolds was one of the adults who helped out at the club and also happened to be one of the teachers from school.
He was a popular teacher because he was fair and talked to them differently to the other teachers who sometimes treated them like babies.
His securing such a prize for the talent contest had raised him even higher in the children’s estimation.
Most adults didn’t seem to know one end of a skateboard from the other but Mr Reynolds knew a lot about things that kids did.
“What do you mean Mr Reynolds?” asked Lily when he didn’t add anything further.
“What I mean is the skateboard has gone, somebody has stolen it. I just can’t believe anyone would do such a thing”.
The children all stared at him, completely lost for words.
How do you mean, stolen?” said Nathan suddenly, looking angry.
The other children all looked at him, unused to any sort of outburst from Nathan who was normally quite shy.
“The skateboard was under my desk in my office at school.
It was there yesterday and today it wasn’t,” said Mr Reynolds.
“I don’t know why I kept it there, it was silly of me really.
All sorts of people are coming and going in that office, it’s never locked.
What on earth was I thinking”.
It’s not your fault Mr Reynolds,” Melissa said sympathetically.
“You could never have expected some-one to be so horrible as to steal it.
Perhaps we’ll be able to find out who took it,” she added hopefully.
“That’s a lovely idea Melissa but I doubt it,” Mr Reynolds said shaking his head sadly.
“Like I said, my office is a bit like a school highway and I don’t think we can narrow the search for the culprit down much”.
Mr Reynolds sighed heavily and his shoulders drooped a little.
“Sorry kids,” he said softly and he walked away dejectedly with the children staring after him.
“Poor Mr Reynolds” said Melissa.
The children walked together towards the main hall where they could hear laughter and music although none of them felt much like having fun now.
The club was busy tonight and all four children headed to a table in the corner to sit a little apart from all the hustle and bustle.
Lily kept looking at Sam with a slightly odd look on her face.
They were understandably all feeling a little uptight.
“Why do you keep looking at me like that?”
Sam eventually snapped.
“Lily shuffled nervously in her seat.
“Come on, out with it. know what you’re thinking so just say it,” Sam said throwing himself heavily against the back of his chair and folding his arms across his chest.
“Well, you were called to Mr Reynolds office yesterday and we know you were left there on your own because you told us that funny story about how Mr Reynolds tripped over the waste paper basket in his hurry to get out the door when he heard some-one swearing”.
“I see,” said Sam not looking at Lily but staring straight ahead.
“Sam don’t be angry,” Melissa said softly leaning forward and gently touching Sam on the arm.
“I’m sure Lily doesn’t really think you took the board, do you Lily? We’re all just a bit upset but let’s not fall out with each other”
Sam and Lily glared at each other but before any more could be said three of their class mates came over and sat down noisily, scraping chairs and fooling around, pushing each other.
“Hey, have your heard,” said Leon “about the skateboard I mean?”
“Yeah, it’s been stolen,” added Max “I was so sure I was going to win it.
It’s the only way I’m ever going to get a skateboard, my mum won’t buy me one.”
“Well no-one’s mum is going to buy them a Tony Hawk’s Crossbone skateboard are they,” said Leon “they cost far too much.”
“Well you’ll just have to borrow Melissa’s again, won’t you,” said Chris, the third boy who had joined them.
“I don’t mind,” said Melissa “I don’t use mine much anyway.”
“Are you okay Melissa?” asked Nathan, “you look a bit well......angry.”
“Melissa? Angry? Never!” laughed Lily.
Melissa did look a little shaky. “I’m going to go and see Mr Reynolds. I know who stole the skateboard,” said Melissa getting up from the table.