Ethan typically got out of bed at 9 in the summer. But today he was up early. 8:57 to be exact. He ate a quick breakfast and then prepared himself for the day’s mission. He put on black shorts, black socks, and a black shirt. Ninjas wear black, probably not black shorts, but it was hot. Ethan needed all the ninja he could get.
He didn’t tell anyone in his family what he was doing, just in case someone had a problem with it. Better not to say anything than to say stuff that ruins your fun. Ethan’s sisters were still sleeping when he left, and his parents were gone.
Ben was waiting for him when he showed up. “The neighbors are gone. I watched them leave,” Ben said as Ethan came in the door.
“OK, well, let’s do this thing!” Ethan said with his ninja game face on.
They went into Ben’s dad’s room where the closet door was open and a step ladder had been set up. “If you can get on that, I think you should be able to see over the wall, and depending on what’s over there, maybe get up in there,” Ben said. “I tried looking in there earlier, but my head was too big to see much. I figured I’d let a little person get in there.”
“Thanks. Yeah, I’m ready.” Ethan climbed up the ladder, lifted up the ceiling tile, and poked his head in. “Yeah, I can see over the wall. Yup, it’s a closet! I knew it!”
“That’s awesome. I can’t believe they didn’t put a real wall in between the sides of the duplex. That’s weird,” Ben said.
“You got a flashlight?” Ethan asked. “I can’t see what the shelf in their closet looks like.”
“Yeah, hang on.” Ben left the room and returned in half a minute with a flashlight. “Here you go.”
Ethan flashed the light into the other closet. There were kid clothes piled on the shelf, but right under the wall Ethan looked over, the shelf was empty. The shelf was pretty thick, much thicker than Abby’s shelf. “The shelf looks sturdy. I think I can get over there.”
“Be careful, man. Don’t break anything,” Ben said.
Ethan was just small enough to fit over the wall. He got onto the shelf in the other room. He pushed the closet door open a little bit and saw that he was in a kid’s room. There were toys on the floor and a kid’s bed in the corner. He wasn’t sure what all he was looking for at this point, nor did he see any reason to get off the shelf into the room.
As Ethan was turning around, the ceiling tile slipped off his arm and dropped back down. As Ethan was about to ask Ben to push the tile back up, Ethan noticed two nails in the top of the tile, slightly hammered into the tile and yet bent together, making a sort of handle. Ethan grabbed them and pulled up. Sure enough, the tile came up smoothly.
“Give me your iPad. I need to take a picture.” Ethan grabbed the iPad and closed the tile again. He snapped a picture of the nails. He climbed back into Ben’s closet. He turned and took a picture of their shelf being empty right by the wall. Ben was impressed with the evidence.
What to do with it now, neither one of them really knew.
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