chapter seven: fire!

The Adventures of Lilly
Book One – The Beauty Pageant


Early Friday morning around 7:30 there was a knock on the girls’ dorm room door. They were all seated on Gwynet’s bed reading from Lilly’s Bible. “I wonder who that is this early?” asked Lilly.

“I’ll get it. “It might be your enemy,” said Cathy with a smile. Who is it?” she asked.

“It’s me, Dominique.”

Cathy swung the door open. “Hi, Dominique. Come on in. What’s up?”

“I have something to tell you,” she said looking from one girl to the other.

“Go ahead. We’re all ears,” said Lilly closing her Bible.

“Are you all reading the Bible? Wow!” exclaimed Dominique. “You know, I brought my Bible but I have not read it since I’ve been here. I guess I have been too ashamed to read it in front of the others. Well, anyway, I wanted to let you guys know that Casey is planning on squirting ketchup all over and under your door if not early tomorrow morning then the next morning.”

“How do you know that?” asked Cathy.

“A group of us were in her room on yesterday. That’s when she told us. Some of us tried to talk her out of it but she said it’s an innocent trick and that they did it all the time at camp,” answered Dominique.

The girls looked at each other thoughtfully.

“I want you to know that neither Kwanza nor myself agree with Casey in how she has been mistreating you, Lilly. And after we left her room some of the girls said they were not going to hang with her anymore. She’s just doing these things to get attention,” Dominique continued.

“Thank you so much for letting us know,” said Lilly.

“You’re quite welcome. I believe I speak for all the other girls, Lilly. We all love you,” said Dominique.

Dominique turned to leave, then stopped at the door and said, “If you don’t mind don’t tell anyone I told you. And can I come by and read the Bible with you all on tomorrow?”

“Sure,” said Cathy and Gwynet in unison. “The more the merrier,” said Cathy.

“Well,” said Gwynet after Dominique closed the door behind her. “What do we do now?”

“That Casey does not know when to quit, does she?” said Cathy. “I believe she keeps doing these things because no one has ever told on her.” Cathy was looking Lilly directly in the eyes.

Lilly swallowed hard. Cathy was right. She had never told on Casey in detail, and the little that she did tell her parents did not give the true picture of how cruel Casey really was.

“Lilly, I think you should let someone know. Maybe Ms. Jameson. You’ve already spoken to her about some things so she’ll believe you,” insisted Cathy.

“But I do not want to tattle. After all she has never done any real hurt,” said Lilly.

“She hasn’t done any real hurt, yet,” said Cathy. “She believes she can get away with these so-called innocent little pranks now; she will believe she can get away with bigger, more hurtful pranks. Lilly, she may hurt someone else. You owe it to the other person to stop her now. What do you think, Gwynet?”

Gwynet nodded. “I agree with Cathy, Lilly. She may really hurt you later thinking you will not tell on her. She may even hurt someone else thinking they will not tell on her. You’ve got to stop her, Lilly.”

Lilly thought about it. She could see where they were coming from. “But,” she said, “what about turning the other cheek?”

“Turning the other cheek?” said Cathy trying to remember where she had heard those words before.

“It’s in the Bible,” reminded Gwynet.

“Oh, yes. We did talk about the other cheek before. That’s all well and good, Lilly. But I’m sure Jesus does not want you to just sit back and let someone hurt you or mistreat you without reason, and when it is in your power to stop it,” said Cathy.

“Lilly, we’re with you. We’ll go with you to tell Ms. Jameson. And if need be, we’ll get Dominique and Kwanza as eye witnesses. I’m sure they won’t tell that we’ve spoken to Ms. Jameson,” said Gwynet.

Lilly knew they were right. It was her job to stop Casey from possibly really hurting her in the future or someone else for that matter. “OK, let’s do it now before I change my mind.”

Ms. Jameson gladly received the girls and the news they brought her. She recorded in detail all that they told her on a memo pad. She even asked Lilly to recount some of the earlier negative behavior of Casey towards her, including some of the incidents at school. They talked past the breakfast hour but received a note from Ms. Jameson giving them permission to have breakfast past the scheduled time.

“You know, I feel good about this,” said Lilly as they walked out of her office.

Throughout the day, it seemed as though everyone was extra nice to Lilly. Joslyn gave her three of her mystery books to read. Rebecca offered to be her partner during the aerobics class. Dominique, a natural born comedian, had her laughing whenever their paths crossed. One other girl, Bryce, offered to teach her tap dancing. Apparently, word had gotten around about Casey’s meanness towards Lilly.

Casey was angry at all the attention everyone was giving Lilly and her roommates. Everyone was beginning to stay away from her as much as possible. She did not like that. As discreetly as she could, Casey whispered one-by-one to all the girls she had told about the ketchup trick that she would pull it off at 7:45 just before they would leave for breakfast and that she would love for them to hang around a little ways in the hallway to watch what would happen. But one-by-one the girls all turned her down thinking that if she did not have an audience she would be too scared to carryout her plan. Little did she know that Ms. Jameson had mentioned her plan to the security lady and had asked her to patrol that area from twelve midnight until breakfast time. She wanted her to catch Casey red-handed.

The next day at 7:05, there was an urgent knock on Lilly’s door. The girls were already up having their morning devotions. They had already peeked out the door and did not see any ketchup in sight.

Cathy opened the door to see Dominique, Kwanza, Rebecca and two other girls standing before her. “Well, are we going to be invited to Bible reading?” said Dominique holding up a pocket-sized Bible. Lilly and Gwynet squealed in surprise. “The more the merrier,” said Cathy locking the door.

“Before we begin,” said Dominique, “Casey plans to ketchup spray your door around 7:45, so we had better be moving out of here by 7:30. I’m sure they’ll let us in the dining room until it’s time to eat.”

The girls read a Psalm, prayed and sang a little chorus, then Lilly, Gwynet and Cathy quickly got completely dressed while their friends made their beds for them. Thank God they had already brushed their teeth and washed their faces. Then walking quietly out the room, they all headed for the dining room, saying ‘good morning’ to the security lady.

There was a look of great surprise on Casey’s face when she entered the dining room escorted by the security lady. “Good morning, Casey,” said Lilly and the rest of the group. They had conveniently seated themselves at the table closest the door. Casey stopped suddenly in her tracks. She wished the floor would open up and swallow her. How embarrassed she felt. She did not know whether or not the girls knew where she was just coming from.

Shortly after the group of girls left Lilly’s room at 7:45, Casey stuck her head out her dorm room door. Looking to the right to make sure the coast was clear, she did not notice the security lady who had slipped behind the wall in the opposite direction at the far end of the hallway. After giving Casey a few seconds to look in her direction, she peeked around to take note of what was about to happen. She noticed Casey squirting ketchup out of two ketchup bottles simultaneously. The security lady gave her time to make a good mess over the door before quietly tiptoeing down the hallway to make her presence known.

“Halt!” she shouted as she increased her pace. Casey tried to hide the bottles under her sweat jacket while turning to quietly slip back into her room pretending not to hear the security lady.

“Stay where you are, young lady. I believe your name is Casey.” She was caught red-handed. The security lady took Casey to Ms. Jameson’s office with the ketchup bottles as evidence. Casey was sorry she had gotten caught. Ms. Jameson, after talking to her without mercy, allowed her to go for breakfast, but would be sending for her later to discuss other appropriate punishment. Her first punishment would be to clean up the mess she had made.

Casey was extremely quiet that day. She was furious that her ketchup trick did not work out. She was furious because no one wanted to talk with her. She was furious because she got caught. She was furious because she did not know ahead of time what her punishment would be. She was furious about the whole pageant. She was furious that Lilly seemed to be coming out on top.

No one really paid her any attention throughout the day on into Saturday. Even Samantha who normally kept her company was finding new friends. “I’ll show them,” said Casey.

Lilly had a grand time with her family that Saturday. She told them everything that took place that week. They rejoiced with her over the Bible devotional that was taking place in her room. “God has you here for a purpose. Just be obedient to Him. He will protect you.”

Getting permission from the coordinator, she was able to go off the property for lunch with her parents. Upon their return, fire trucks and police cars were parked in the parking lot. There was fire coming from the back end of the building. They had to park up front and walk to the back. The firemen were trying to put out a fire that seemed to be a rather large one. The police were making sure no one was hurt and that everyone was safely outside the building and on the running tracks and was accounted for.

The Couture Boutique was on fire. All the clothes for the pageant would probably be burnt up. After joining the others on the running tracks, Cathy, Gwynet and a few others told Lilly and her parents all they knew about the incident: They were having lunch when the fire alarm sounded. The security persons urgently told them to evacuate the building. Someone had set fire to the Couture Boutique. Apparently it was an attempt to stop the pageant.


About lillyinca

I'm Lillian Charlotte Hill (Lilly for short). I'm 13 and I love God, adventure and having fun.
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