10 Jobs: #3

3. Detective.

Jake ponders the back yard.

Brian watches him with an odd frown, puffing away on a smoke. “Easy Jake,” Brian says. “She’ll turn up.”

Brian, their older brother, home on leave, had shown up two bright and sunny days ago, tossing a duffel bag Jake’s way. Jake figures for someone with army skills he should be able to sniff out their little sister. But one look at Brian tells Jake he’s unconcerned.

Brian’s always unconcerned.

“Mom’s gonna kill me,” Jake says, cupping his hands. “Sally! Hide and Seek’s over.”

“Get your ass out here!” That’s Brian.

Bored, Sally had asked multiple friends and her brothers if they had wanted to play hide and seek. Apparently, many had nodded yes, none had meant it. She hid, no one searched. An hour later, Jake finally got wise.

Jake surveys the yard, wondering where his sister could have gone when the house next door catches his eye. The neighbor’s yard resembles a junk store: a busted truck on the front lawn, a stove, a refrigerator, a banana seat bicycle—

Jake squints at the refrigerator and then takes off for the yard. He doesn’t know why but something tells him Sally’s crawled inside. Brian follows, striding languidly, and Jake rips the door open. Sally tumbles out, her cheeks flushed.

“Hell! I’m a regular Sherlock Holmes,” Jake crows, pulling Sally to her feet.

“You found me!” Sally croaks with happiness, oblivious to her predicament.

Brian waltzes up. “Sal,” he says. “Before you go crawling into tight spaces, make sure you can get out.”

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