“I can’t believe this can and string trick actually works!” Penny giggled as she hid in her tree house. She and her best friend Taylor had been talking all afternoon. It had been enough to take her mind off all the police wandering all over Taylor’s house.   But here in their matching tree houses, separated only by a wooden fence, everything was perfect.

“Penny! Bed time!”

“That’s the third time your they’ve called.” Taylor’s voice was as clear as if she were sitting next to her. “I think you’d better go.”

“Yeah.  Should we do this tomorrow? It’s fun!”


“Coming Mom! See you tomorrow, ok?”

Penny put down the tin cup and climbed out of the tree house. Half way down the ladder, she saw the cops leave and Taylor’s dad put the cover back on the swimming pool.  He looked so serious and sad. The cops did too. Penny wondered why.  As she entered the house both her parents rushed over to her and held her close. “It’s ok to cry, sweetie. It’s ok to cry.”

“Cry? Why would I cry?”

Her dad stroked her long dark hair. “Honey, you we talked about this. Taylor drowned last night.”

Penny stepped back looking at both her parents. “No way. I’ve been talking to her all day.”

Both her parents looked alarmed. “All day?”

“I just said good night to her. Now would everyone stop me bugging me about it? You’re starting to weird me out.”