• Chapter One: The Necklace

    "This place sucks."
    I looked over at my bestfriend, Gwendolyn. My parents had taken us with them to Rio for a week-long vacation. Today was the last day before we flew back home and while my mother was at a day-spa and my dad was back at the hotel still working, Gwen and I had decided to go shopping. Not our best idea. There weren't any stores worth shopping at in this strip mall. No Aeropostale or American Eagle; there wasn't even a Rue 21 or Gap! "I know," I told her. "Do you wanna leave?"
    "If we do won't we get stuck with your Mom all day?" Gwen asked.
    "Well...Yeah, but maybe a spa day wouldn't be so bad." I shrugged and started walking further into the strip mall.
    "We went to the spa two days ago and my manicure is still perfect," Gwen stated, blowing on her french manicure for emphasis and following after me.
    I shrugged again. "Lets just see if there is anything good farther in, then."
    "How about there?"
    I turned around and looked where she pointed at a dirty old shop without even a name hanging up somewhere. "Why?"
    "So we can make fun of the stuff they sell, of course."
    I smiled at my long-time friend. "Good plan." We started toward the shop and entered with the sound of those horrible bells some cheap stores put above their doors so they know when someone walks in. I hate those.
    "Bells?" Gwen whispered, sharing my distaste.
    "I know; can you believe how tacky this place is?"
    Gwen shook her head and rolled her eyes. "Ugh. Some people have no taste."
    By now we were standing infront of a shoe rack filled with what I swear were pre-worn faux leather boots.
    "May I help you ladies with something?"
    We turned and saw a man, balding in his early forties at best, standing behind us. "No, thankyou," I told him.
    "We're just browsing," Gwen finished.
    "I will leave you to it then." The man turned away and walked off. As soon as he was gone Gwen and I looked at eachother and laughed quietly under our breath.
    "Hey, look over there," Gwen said when she had stopped.
    "That room. Lets see what's inside."
    "I dunno. I just wanna look inside."
    "'Kay." I followed her as she entered the small room.
    "Holy s**t!" We whispered at the same time. The room was filled with the cutest hats, belts, sunglasses, purses, and jewlery we had ever seen.
    "Ohmygod!" Gwen said, running over to some purses.
    "Pick out whatever you want. I've got Daddy's plastic."

    ~Thirty Minutes Later~

    "My, you certainly did get a lot of items," the balding man said.
    Gwen and I smiled up at him. In the end, we picked out almost forty items together; including this one necklace I found that was simply to-die-for-cute. But I guess that he didn't think so because when he got to it his smile dropped.
    "I can't sell you this!" he practically screamed. "Go! Put it back right now!"
    I just stared at his hand that was shoved in my face for a minute. Taking the necklace I said, "I have a credit card and extra cash. However much it is, I can pay for-"
    "It's not about the price! This necklace it NOT for sale!"
    "But it was with other items that were for sale," Gwen told him.
    "Put it back!"
    "Fine," I lied, walking back into the smaller room. Once I was there and out of sight, I checked for cameras but didn't see any. The way I figured, we would be back in good ol' America by the time he even noticed it was gone. I quickly put it in the inside zipper pocket of my red leather purse and walked back out looking grumpy.
    "I put it back where I found it," I lied smoothly.
    "Thankyou. Now, you said you had a card?"
    I handed him Dad's credit card and after swiping it he handed it and all of our bags to Gwen and me.
    "Have a nice day! Come back soon!" the shoppkeeper called after us as we exited.
    As soon as we were back in my Porsche, Gwen turned to me with a sly look on her face. "You didn't really put that necklace back, did you," she said knowingly. In answer, I pulled it out of my purse. "Ooo, it's so cute," she said. And it was; it had a golden chain and a tear-drop ruby hanging from the end. You don't find this sort of necklace in any everyday jewlery shop.
    I fastened it securly around my neck before hitting the gas and driving off to our hotel thinking, I don't know what was screwy in that guy's head. This is totally wicked. I mean, what could be so bad about this necklace?