As Sheryl and I were walking to school one day, we heard a wail charging towards us, "Sheryyyl!"
"Holmes," said Sheryl, in an annoyed tone, as she turned around, "Call me Hol-"
However, Sheryl's insistence on being called by her surname was interrupted by a girl tackling Sheryl into a hug. The two of them almost fell over from the force of the tackle-hug, but Sheryl managed to keep her balance somehow.
Hugging Sheryl tightly, with tears welling up in her eyes, the girl managed to sputter out some words, "Sh-Sheryl, Annabell's been kidnapped!"
"Sa-Samantha?" Sheryl was surprised to see our usually bubbly classmate so upset.
"You have to help me!' cried Samantha.
"Um," I chimed in, hoping to make sense of this situation, "Who's Annabell?"
Samantha loosened her grip on Sheryl and wiped her tears, "Oh! Sorry, I didn't see you there, Watson."
"It's James," I replied, annoyed. Ever since Sheryl made that announcement in class, some people have taken to calling me that whenever I'm with Sheryl Holmes. Focusing on the main subject again, I asked, "So who's Annabell?"
"Annabell's her cat." Sheryl answered for Samantha, who was trying to calm down. Samantha managed to somewhat recompose herself before Sheryl asked the next question, "So what happened?"
"I was in the front yard playing with Annabell on Saturday, when her collar broke off, so I went into the house to get her a new one. After I got the collar, I saw a woman outside the window. She walked over to Annabell and- and," Tears were starting to well up in Samantha's eyes again, "And then she took Annabell into her car and drove off!"
Samantha was crying now. Sheryl and I backed away a little, not knowing what to do. Sheryl shot me a look that said that I should go and comfort Samantha, so I shot a look back at Sheryl that said that she should do it, since they were friends.
Sheryl got the message and sighed. Slowly she walked up to Samantha and patted her on the back, "Uh, don't worry, Samantha. We'll help you."
Samantha's crying was reduced to sobbing as she looked up at Sheryl, "You will?"
"Of course!" Sheryl gave Samantha a smile, "The After-School Detectives are on the case!"
Samantha's face brightened up, "Thank you, Sheryl!"
"Wait," I said, "If this really is a kidnapping, shouldn't we tell the police?"
"Well, I told my parents, but they didn't believe me and they think that Annabell just ran away, so we've been posting these up around the neighbourhood since yesterday." Samantha reached into her bag, took out a poster, and handed it to us.
On the poster, it had the standard "Missing" headline, along with the cat's name, Annabell, and the standard details, such as address and phone number. In the middle, of course, was a picture of a cat with a bell collar.
"Annabell?" I noted the somewhat uncommon spelling of the name.
"Yeah," Samantha said, "Because of the bell!"
I smiled at the innocent pun.
And then I realized that we had been standing on the sidewalk for about fifteen minutes now. "Uh, guys, shouldn't we be heading towards the school?"
Sheryl and Samantha's eyes widened. Then, without a word, Sheryl took off in the direction of the school like a speeding bullet.
"Uh, here you go." I handed Samantha the poster back and started running too.
"W-Wait!" yelled Samantha as she struggled with putting the poster back into her bag quickly. However, her hand slipped and she dropped her bag, causing the contents to spill out on to the floor and causing Samantha to cry out desperately.
I sighed and walked back.
"Let me help," I said, crouching down to help her put her things back into her bag.
After we finished, she stood up and slung the backpack on to her back, then, giving me a smile, she said, "Thanks, James!"
The both of us ran all the way to the school, but we ended up late anyways. Luckily, Ms. Grey only gave us a minor warning before telling us to take our seats.