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I can’t believe it! When I said I wanted an adventure, I certainly had not wished for this! Our first day on vacation had turned into a complete mess! Now the police were scouring the place. From what I hear, they had been here in the morning too. It’s all so confusing. One of the hotel staff brought us cups of hot chocolate. It helped us feel better. Almost all the other guests had retired into their rooms. We however were still being grilled by the police.
From what I learnt the man had managed to escape once more. It was really getting scary. Even though I’m usually a strong boy, I was close to tears. My mom and dad managed to tear themselves away from the police and sat with us. That’s when the story became clearer. Robert’s father was a criminal and had escaped from prison. His mother had come to Hotel Capri in the hope of hiding and staying far away from him. (Poor Robert knew nothing about it. He always thought that his father was dead!) That however did not turn out too well for them. His father had managed to track them down. He apparently wanted to take Robert away from his mother. I shuddered at the thought of being separated from either of my parents!
Early that morning, Robert’s father broke into the room and abused Robert’s mother. Luckily Robert was up on the terrace when this all unfolded. That was the only reason he stayed safe. My mother said that they had gone to visit Robert’s mother. She was hurt and scared but very relieved that Robert was okay. I’m sure any mother would feel the same. From the look that my mother gave me, I know that she was thinking of the same thing. We were lucky to have escaped from his clutches on the beach. The hotel had been a close call. If it hadn’t been for Larissa’s quick thinking we would have been in big trouble. I glanced at my sister with a sense of pride. There was a first time for everything!
I didn’t get much time to ponder over what my mother had said. A police officer interrupted our conversation to say that they had managed to catch the man. He needed us to come and identify him. My heart picked up pace and my hands turned sweaty. I did not want to face that man again. Larissa came and held my hand. Robert clung to my Dad. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have your family around in such situations.
To cut the long story short, we identified him. Robert’s dad got sent back to prison and my friend was finally safe. We went to meet his mother the next day. It’s embarrassing to see a grown up cry but I guess I can understand the sentiment. It was relief and happiness all rolled into one neat package! With all that adventure out of the way, we were finally looking forward to a peaceful holiday. Not that we didn’t get up to mischief… That’s not even possible! Robert stayed with us till his mum got discharged. He shared the room with Larissa and me. Somehow that didn’t seem to be a problem anymore!
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Mum and Dad were back. Our story didn’t help the visible tension. I saw Dad take Mum aside and they started discussing something. I just caught a few words… Break-in… Assault and Battery… All big big words which didn’t hold much meaning to me. It was time for me to have my own discussion. A fifteen year old sister with the mind like a dictionary always comes in handy in such situations. Never thought I would feel that way but then my only other option was Robert and he was a sobbing mess. I couldn’t blame him. It had been one hell of a crazy day!
Larissa looked like a mess too. I signaled that I needed to talk. It wasn’t long before we started piecing the puzzle together. Someone had broken into the room when Robert and I had gone to see the sunrise. Luckily for Robert he wasn’t in the way but his mother wasn’t so lucky. The man who we met at the beach somehow did not fit in with the puzzle. Who was he? What did he want? That’s when Larissa had a brainwave. She suggested checking out Robert’s room.
We made our way up to the first floor. This time we did not hide. We walked as if we were not doing anything wrong! I have to admit it never struck me to do that. I followed Larissa’s lead. We rounded the bend and the room came into view. This time I was more objective and less surprised. I saw the yellow tape which had cordoned off the room. I also saw the blood splatter on the ground. Then… I saw him! Larissa saw him too. She shouted at me to run. She did not have to tell me twice. I ran as fast as my feet could carry me but my legs were short and they were not covering much ground. That’s when my sister scooped me up in her arms and ran. It couldn’t have been easy but she didn’t think twice.
We made it to the lobby but the man hadn’t given up. I glanced around for our parents but I couldn’t spot them. That’s when Larissa broke the ‘In case of fire glass’! The alarms went off and the hotel security made it’s way in, while everyone made their way out. Luckily for us they were the same people who had come to our aid on the beach. This time they wasted no time in getting the whole story. They ran after the man. I hoped that they would manage to catch him but I didn’t get a chance to wait and see. Larissa and I were ushered outside to our parents.
Robert was clinging on to my mother’s hand. I was just glad to see all of them. Larissa swung me up and soon I was in the strong hands of my Dad. Good old reliable Dad. My parent’s faces went from shock to horror as we told them the story. Larissa got a good shouting for putting our lives in danger. She however, was bold enough to answer that she had done no wrong. We had not left the hotel premises! We had obeyed the rules. I don’t think my parents were very happy with her answer but they let it pass. I gazed past them wondering what would happen next!
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The day had begun with a horrible start. Robert was sulking, my parents were shouting. This vacation wasn’t really cutting it! The news was that Robert’s mother had had a fall and that she was recovering in hospital. Somehow I did not believe it. Something just did not add up. The stretcher had passed in front of us. If it had been something minor then Robert would have had a chance to speak to his mother. He didn’t even get a chance to see her face. It scared me but I decided to keep my silence.
Mum and Dad went down to the hospital and left Larissa in charge much to my indignation. Somehow, this time it was a little reassuring to have her around. (I wouldn’t admit it to her though). Larissa took us down to the beach. I have to give her credit. She tried to cheer us up. She even bought us ice cream with her own pocket money. Mom and Dad had forbidden us from playing in the water, so we had to make do with the beach ball and sand castles. It took Robert’s mind of everything. It didn’t distract me though. I noticed that there was a man watching us for a long while. It scared me so I took Larissa aside and told her. She laughed at me and told me I was being silly. Nevertheless I saw her keeping an eye on the man.
I guess that Larissa got nervous and she decided to take us back to the hotel. We were dragging our feet through the sand when the man came towards us. He was tall and had a hat on. We quickened our pace. Robert however lagged behind (Can’t blame him as he didn’t know what was going on!). Larissa caught his hand and pulled him. Our feet however did not move fast enough. The man caught up with us and caught Robert by his shoulder.
I can still hear Robert’s voice screaming but the man did not let go of him. He peered down at Robert’s face curiously. By now we were in a complete panic. Larissa screamed and so did I. We caught hold of Robert’s shirt and pulled him away. The sound of the fabric ripping tore through the air. We somehow got him loose and ran towards the hotel. Our screams attracted the hotel staff and some them of the ran to our aid.
By the time we managed to tell them what was happening the man was far away. The hotel staff set out in pursuit but nothing came of it. The man was long gone! It was scary. We didn’t feel safe at all. I suspected that there was a link to the mornings accident and the appearance of the man. It had to be! Both incidents involved members of the same family. Something was wrong! I could feel it in my bones. Robert was in grave danger! We were all in danger by just being associated with him. I couldn’t help pacing around! I wanted my parents to get home! I hoped nothing had happened to them too!
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I was up bright and early. I had promised Robert that I would meet him and we would go and watch the sunrise. I was excited. I was staying in room 101 and Robert and his mother were in room 118. I got out of bed quietly and got dressed quickly. I glanced around to see for my key card. It took a while but I found it. Unfortunately I knocked a bottle of water over and my sister Larissa moved in her sleep. My heart kept pounding but luckily she did not get up. I had planed to be back in the room before she woke up.
Closing the door quietly, I crept towards Robert’s room. The corridor was empty. It was frustrating. I thought that Robert would have been ready. I contemplated on the idea of knocking on the door but decided against it. I didn’t want any trouble. Turning round I began to make my way back to my room when a cupboard opened and someone yanked me in. I tried to scream but someone put a hand over my mouth.
“Shhh… It’s me!” said a hushed voice. I recognized it as Robert. I couldn’t have been more relieved. I thought I was being abducted! It just turned out that Robert was too scared of being caught and he decided to hide in a cupboard and wait. I told Robert my plan. We were going to watch the sunrise but from the roof. Robert hesitated. It took a while to convince him. I was worried that we would miss the sunrise. I finally gave him an ultimatum… I was going with or without him. That got him moving.
We crept along the corridor and up the stairs. The laundry lady almost caught us. It was a close call but we ducked into the staircase just in time. We couldn’t let the stories get back to our parents! From then on the job was easy or so we thought. It turned out that seeing the rising sun was the easy part. Getting back was more difficult. The rising sun and the rooster had woken everyone up. Getting back into our room without being seen was not an easy task. Robert came up with the brilliant plan to hide in the laundry lady’s cart. With the amount of dirty linen she was carrying, the two of us were hardly even noticeable!
We jumped out of the cart in front of Robert’s room and found the door was ajar. A number of people were going in and out of the room. We saw a stretcher making it’s way down the corridor. I found myself planted in one spot. Robert however dashed inside and screamed for his mother. The news did not look good. Something had happened and nobody was telling him exactly what. I caught his hand and dragged him to my parent’s room. Somehow, whenever something bad happens you just know that the adults will be able to set everything right. This time I wasn’t sure about that. Still, I hoped for the best. I hoped that they could help Robert and I sure as hell hoped that our adventure had not caused the bad luck!
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Life had been getting hectic and that’s a real big statement if you are just ten years old. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Luke. As I said before, I’m ten years old and I sometimes feel like the adult in the household. I have an elder sister, her name is Larissa. She is alright but at times I feel that all she wants to do is get me into trouble! Of course, the other two family members are my mom and dad. Now that we have the introductions out of the way let’s get back to my story…
Mum and Dad had been fighting a lot lately. The stress of work had been getting to them. Larissa and I did our best not to step on anyone’s toes. Days seemed to fly by until our mom called us aside and spoke to us. She said that both she and dad had planned a vacation. I can’t tell you how excited I was. I could have sworn that I even hugged Larissa. The destination had been finalized! The tickets were booked and the hotel reservations were made! We were ready to embark on the adventure of our lives.
I can still remember the moment I stepped into the hotel. It was the first time our family had taken a vacation (At least the first one I could remember). The name of the hotel was displayed outside on a signboard. It read ‘Hotel Capri’. The hotel itself was magnificent. It was nothing like I had ever seen before. There women and men chatting on phones. The lobby was bustling. It made me feel so very important… Like I was one of them! Now all I had to do was shake my tail. I had to get rid of sister. I couldn’t help hoping there were other children around. Boys who were my age!
My mum gave me a key card to our room. Larissa and I were sharing one. It was great but I kept wishing I could be on my own. I hated sharing a room with my sister but I wasn’t going to argue. Mum made me promise that I would roam around only in the hotel and not go outside. I had to be back in my room by 8 o’clock. It was better than nothing. I did what every boy with a curfew does… I dashed off to explore. I don’t think any of the employees were too pleased when I mowed straight into them but they never complained. In fact they were very pleasant. It was such a relief. With so much space around me, I had no need to worry about getting in my parents way.
That’s when I met Robert. He was sitting in a chair and sulking. I later learnt that his mom had come on work and he had to tag along. It was lucky for him that I found him. It didn’t take long to get Robert out of his shell. We went around exploring the hotel. Hotel Capri had a lot to offer. We sat in the lobby and observed the different types of people entering and exiting. We made up stories about each person. Some were robbers and others were kings. It was fun! We even sneaked into the kitchen! We were ushered out by the chef but not before he secretly handed us some really tasty goodies.
The best part was when mom and dad found out I had made a friend, they went searching for his mum. That’s when Robert’s luck turned. Mum suggested that he could join us when his mother was busy with work. The vacation just seemed to get better and better. When Robert’s mum said yes, both of us knew that it was going to be the best vacation of our lives.