I ran to the shadow of an enormous maple tree and crouched low to the ground. I couldn’t believe I had let Libby talk me into this. We had set our alarm clock for 2 AM, then sneaked out of my house while my parents were sound asleep. Libby was ticked off about some stupid science assignment over spring break. She believed she had been purposely singled out by Mr. Brinks. I pointed out that her entire class had a project to work on over the break, but she insisted her assigned project was more difficult than everyone else’s.
Still confident that this was the dumbest idea she had come up with in months, I asked, “You’re sure this is his house?”
“Of course, I’m sure. I wrote down the house number today, 811 Stone Avenue.”
I eyed the small scrap of paper in her hand – only the number was scrawled down. “You’re sure this is the right street?”
“C’mon already. Yes, his address is 811 Stone Avenue. Do you need me to break in and steal a piece of his mail?”
I was struggling to find a way to talk her out of her plan. Delaying, I pointed at the driveway, “I thought he drove a blue four-door car?”
Her gaze drifted to the driveway where a red SUV was parked. She shrugged my question off, “Maybe he keeps it in the garage.”
“Or maybe this isn’t the right address.” I eyed the upscale neighborhood where the two-story brick home stood. It had a three car garage, and there looked to be a detached guest house in the back. This didn’t look like the sort of home a high school science teacher could afford.
Libby scowled at me, “It’s the right address. Are you going to help me or not?”
I took another look at the SUV. The license plate caught my eye: it was a vanity plate that read: SUPRINT. “What do you think the license plate stands for?”
Libby barked, “Surprise instantly, super instantly, super instructor. . . who knows, he’s a dork. If you aren’t going to help me, go wait in the car.”
As much as I hated this idea, I couldn’t let Libby do it on her own. I grabbed a roll of toilet paper, “Okay. I’m helping. I’ll take the trees, you do the house.”
“You’re the best.” Those were the last words spoken before the two of us set off an external alarm and the house lit up like Caesar’s Palace. A computerized voice began to broadcast, “Intruder alert,” every five seconds. Flood lights poured down onto the grass from several points on the roof. Lights in the house turned on, then the computerized voice coming through the loud speaker shut off. We had obviously awakened Mr. Brinks, and he was about to catch us red-handed teepeeing his house. I froze. I willed my legs to move, but they ignored me.