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  • Susan Stoderl

Mission 2: Unexpected Visitors | A Middle-Grade Time Travel Novel

When Lionel looked into the park, all he could see was dense foliage. He heard a heavy grating noise coming from inside, but no other sounds. It could be the foliage prevented sound from traveling—but with Sophia involved, it was more likely she was maintaining radio silence.

He decided to give them thirty minutes, and if no one exited, he would wander down to meet Henry. He had just ended his stakeout when he heard Pedro and Sophia talking inside the gate. Lionel pulled back into the bushes.

“I hope Jeb and Liza are okay in there until we get them out on Sunday.”

“I’m sure they will be. They have the learning tapes to do and Netflix. They can also call or text, plus I put in some books and magazines from the grocery.”

“Yeah, but it’s kind of spooky in there!”

“It is, but they have plenty to keep their minds off of it. They’ve got to clean, get stuff ready, and warm up their dinner. Speaking of which, we better hightail it home. Mr. O’D. is already suspicious. He probably has Lionel and Henry watching us after the Jack mission.”

“Yep, we’ll need to confess pretty soon,” said Pedro.

“Okay, but let’s wait until after Monday’s seminar. Plus, this weekend, I’ll start doing serious research on how their time travel is even possible. Once I get some info that is credible, we’ll talk to the elders.”

“The what?” asked Pedro. “Who are ‘the elders?’”

“Why Mr. O’D, Henry, and Lionel, of course. I just made it up. I think it suits them since they’re all pretty old.”

Pedro and Sophia exited the park and began walking home at a fast pace back to her apartment. Lionel waited until they were well down the block before exiting his hiding place. He pulled out his cell phone to text Mr. O’D and Henry. 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘴 𝘶𝘱! 𝘒𝘪𝘥𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘧𝘧. 𝘜𝘯𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘢 𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭—2 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘳𝘶 𝘊𝘳𝘦𝘸!!! 𝘛𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦’𝘴 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨! Lionel hit send and continued on his way.

Little brats! They called me an ‘elder?’ I’m only thirty-two! I better get my self-care regimen back in order.


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