Chapter Five

Mac bolted out onto the street. He was so scared after the encounter with the strange man with the bad haircut. Mac looked over his shoulder while running. There was no sign of the policeman, so Mac slowed down his retreat into a slightly fast walk.

As he was walking in the crowd in the street, he bumped into somebody. It was (or should I say SHE was?) a girl. She let out a little shout of surprise as some books of hers fell down to the ground. Mac's eyes widened. He stooped down and picked up all the books and handed them to the girl. She had blonde and wavy hair and wore a spaghetti strap blouse and a miniskirt. She was around the age of 13.

"Oh, thanks!" The girl said cheerfully as she accepted the books. She extended a hand. "I'm Paige." Mac was startled. Well. Nobody had been THIS friendly to him before.

Mac looked at Paige's hand. It was very clean. He grabbed it and pumped it up and down. "Nice to meet you. I'm Mac Crow." "Thanks for helping me pick my books up, Mac. That's really nice of you." Paige replied. "Well, it's my fault anyway. I bumped you, which made you drop those books."

Paige laughed. Mac noticed the cover of one of the books. It was a fully-white cover with many black silhouettes. It was titled Secret Societies: From Ambitious to Zealous.

"Hey, why are you researching about Secret Societies?" Mac's curiosity was aroused. "Oh, let's discuss that while eating at that café. My treat." Paige said.

"Sure." Mac replied. As they were walking towards the café, Paige said, "You know, I'm feeling very light-hearted about you. You seem very trustworthy." Mac laughed. "We just met."

"I don't know. You have that aura." Paige and Mac arrived at the Sea of Poppies, the café. They sat down and a waiter came close. "Two frappes, please." Paige said. "What's a frappe?" Mac asked, feeling stupid in front of this pretty girl.

"It's a sort of coffee." Paige explained. (They didn't have caffeine in Stick-in-the-Mud, so Mac didn't know, but he nodded otherwise.) The waiter nodded, too, and walked off. "So, about why I'm obsessed over secret societies. It's because…" Paige lowered her voice into a whisper; "…I think my dad's part of one."

Mac's eyes widened. "How did you think that?" Paige looked left and right, then continued. "He and my brother are always in two places only; their bedroom and the bathroom. Yes, they share a bedroom. Their bedroom is just about as big as half a basketball court, so I have a feeling that they're hiding something…or someone. Plus, I found this card."

Paige dug around in her pockets until she fished out something familiar. "Hey!" Mac cried. "I've seen something like that before!" It was exactly the same as the HUH card. "Let me see it!" They said simultaneously.

Mac grabbed the card that had fallen from the man from the sky from his bag and handed it to Paige. He now turned to examine Paige's card. The front side was pure white and just said Huh. The other side, however, revealed more information.

Name: Foleyerus McRoberts

Role: Driver of trucks to S.I.T.M.

Gender: Male

Status: Dowager, two children

"What the heck!? This is Foley!" Mac shouted. Everybody in the café turned to look at them. "Lower your voice, Mac Crow." Paige whispered. "Sorry." Mac whispered back.

He looked back at the card. "I know this guy!" Paige blinked. "You know my father?" Mac's eyes widened. "That's your father?" She nodded. "Yes, I know him then. See, I live in a town in a desert called Stick-in-the-Mud. None of us know where we came from, who we are, why we're there and where we were. We had supplies delivered to us every week by a bunch of trucks. Your dad drives one of those trucks."

Paige looked surprised and triumphant at the same time. "So that's where he and my brother go to every week!" "Wait, what's your brother's name?" Mac asked. "Damian."

"He was with Foley, too!" "Hey, Mac, did you see the back of YOUR card?" Paige asked, holding his card up. "Not yet, actually." Paige handed it to him. It read:

Name: John Hughes

Role: Chef to S.I.T.M.

Gender: Male

Status: Single, no children

"This card came from a guy that visited us one day. He gave us weird and different foods and then disappeared in a flying vehicle." Mac said. "Okay, so the clues now are that—oh, thanks waiter—both my brother, my father and this chef Hughes dude are part of an organization that sort of supports Stick-in-the-Mud, your town." Paige said, stroking her chin thoughtfully.

"Hey, I have an idea. Why don't you come to my house? We can spy on my brother and my father through the vents. I'll introduce you as my friend." Paige suggested. "Great plan!" Mac exclaimed happily. They high-fived each other and sipped the frappes simultaneously.

Author's note: Well, how was it? Sorry, I haven't updated in a while. A bit busy with school. Leave a review, fellahs!