It was Tuesday afternoon at Jim Jr. Junior High School. Chazz and Kira were in the principal's office. It was something about Kimi.
Kimi sat between her parents who sat before Jim Skinner, the principal. Kimi knew that she was in deep trouble.
Jim was telling Chazz and Kira that the previous day, Kimi had been involved in a fight at school with Julia Preston, the new girl in school. Julia had been sent to the hospital for numerous bruises.
This is how it had all started...
It was Monday afternoon at Jim Jr. The kids were waiting for the bus to come.
Among the kids was a new girl in their class. Her name was Julia Preston. She was like Angelica, only she had brown hair. She was already the most popular girl in class, but only because she hang out with other popular girls. Like Angelica, she was spoiled and rotten, but even worse than Angelica.
Julia hated each of the other girls in her class, mostly Kimi. The reason? Unlike everyone else in school, Kimi was not American. Julia hated people who weren't American.
Kimi and Julia became instant rivals. The other kids in the class also hated Julia. The reason? Julia felt that she was so great because she was so popular. She only hang out with other popular kids. She even called Chuckie a "dork", just because his sister wasn't an American, even though he was.
At the bus stop, after Samantha kept on bragging how great she was, Kimi was getting very annoyed. So were the other Rugrats. Finally, after Julia called Chuckie a "geek", a fight broke out between Kimi and Julia. Kimi kicked Julia in the shins, pulled her hair, and even pushed her to the ground.
The other kids cheered.
Julia had been rushed to the hospital. When Skinner found out about the fight, he called Chazz and Kira.
And this is where we came in -- in the principal's office.
Kimi was nervous. She sat between her parents in the principal's office.
"Mr. and Mrs. Finster, I called you here, because yesterday at the bus stop, your daughter Kimi was involved in a fight with a girl named Julia Preston" said Jim.
"Kimi is this true!?" asked Kira.
"Ummm, well...yeah" said Kimi.
"But there's no detention this time Kimi" said Jim. "I'm suspending you for the next month."
"Suspension?!" cried Chazz. "Are you crazy?! What will Kimi do all month if she can't go to school?!"
"Don't ask me" said Jim, "try asking the judge."
"What judge?" asked Chazz.
"Didn't you hear?" asked Jim. "Julia's parents are pressing charges. They're suing for their daughter's hospital bills, plus other miscellaneous damages. And if they're lucky, Kimi may even be sent to Juvenile Hall."
Chazz and Kira were shocked.
"Out of the question!" said Kira. "Surely there must have been a reason for the fight."
"Tell it to the judge" said Jim.
Later that day, at 6:30 p.m., the Finsters were all dressed up, except for Kimi who was still wearing her pink and yellow shirt, her green skirt, and her purple shoes. Her hair was still in a pigtail.
Chuckie and Chazz were in black suits and ties while Kira was in a red dress.
"Why do we have to dress up?" asked Chuckie.
"Because we want the judge to know that Kimi comes from a respectable family" said Chazz.
"Who's the judge anyway?" asked Kira.
"John Parker" said Chazz, "the same judge who placed a restraining order on your inlaws."
"Yeah I remember him" said Kira.
Chazz said, "John is a good, reliable judge who has dealt with many juvenile kids."
Half an hour later, the Finsters sat at a table at the courthouse. With them was Lionel Mason, Chazz' lawyer. At the other table were the Preston's, along with Julia, who had been bandaged where she had been bruised.
"All rise for the honourable John Parker" said the bailiff.
Everyone rose as John Parker came into the room and sat at the desk.
"You may be seated" he said.
"Tonight's case is the Preston's vs the Finster's" said the Bailiff. "Kevin and Heather Preston are suing Chazz and Kira Finster, whose daughter Kimberly got into a fight with their daughter Julia."
"Haven't I dealt with the Finster's already?" asked John.
"Why yes" said the bailiff, "six weeks ago."
Kira knew that it had been about a week since her former father-inlaw Pierre had been released from prison for child abuse. He and his wife Anita were in the audience, along with Kira's parents Kyoto and Koki who had come when they heard the news about Kimi.
The first person called up to the stand was Kira.
"Mrs. Finster" began the prosecutor, "are you aware of your daughter's behaviour?"
"Yes" said Kira. "Kimi's been fighting alot, but nothing like this."
"Ladies and gentlemen of the court" said the prosecutor, "the defendant's mother had admitted her daughter's guilt."
"Kimi's been watching too much wrestling" Kira said to herself.
"I demand that someone be called for the defense of Kimberly!" said Lionel. "Witness please!"
Chuckie came up to the stand.
"Now Chuckie" said Lionel, "could you describe in your own words what exactly happened that day."
"Well" said Chuckie. "All I remember is that Julia is a spoiled brat and she was always calling everyone names. She even called me a dork and a geek."
"Objection!" said the prosecutor.
"Overruled!" said John.
"But your honour...!" started the prosecutor.
"Quiet please, the boy is talking" said John.
Soon, Julia and her parents came to the stand.
"Look what that girl did to our daughter!" said Kevin.
Everyone gasped at Julia. She had about a dozen bruises and she was bandaged on her legs, knees, and face.
"We demand that Kimberly be thrown in jail and the key thrown away!" said Heather.
"Quiet please" said John.
Finally, Kimi was called before the judge, standing next to Julia.
"Now, surely you two can speak properly" said John. "Everyone knows that rivalry can lead to something like this."
"Why should I even talk to her?!" demanded Julia. "She's a foreigner!"
"Oh yeah?!" said Kimi, "at least I have proper respect for people unlike you!"
"Do you call what you did to me respect?!" demanded Julia.
"Not exactly" said Kimi. "But after what you've all done to my friends and my brother, what choice did I have."
"Oh yeah?!" said Julia, "at least I don't come from a country that lost two world wars!"
"And I'll have you know that your country is responsible for the bombings on my country in 1945!" said Kimi.
"I don't care about you, your friends, or your stupid country!" said Julia.
"Alright, that's it!" said Kimi. And she tackled Julia and began to apply what she learned in karate and wrestling.
"This is for Nagasaki!" said Kimi. "And this is for Hiroshima!"
"Help!" cried Julia. "Help!"
Kimi stood. "Wimp" she said.
"There you have it your honour" said the prosecutor. "Proof of the defandant's guilt."
"Overruled" said John as he banged his gravel.
"What?!" demanded the prosecutor. "You just saw what happened!"
"Kimi's actions were perfectly justified" said John. "However, her actions also indeed hurt the plaintiff. Please return to your seats girls."
Kimi and Julia returned to their desks with their parents. Kimi noticed her friends giving her thumbs up.
"Mr. and Mrs. Finster, I fine you $75 for Julia's hospital bill" said John. He turned to Kimi. "And as for you Kimi, I can see that your actions are justified by a form of anger. Not only am I a judge, but I am also an expert in child behavior. I have also recieved word that you were suspended from school today for the next month."
"Yes, that is true!" said Jim.
"Be quiet sir" said John.
"Sorry" said Jim.
Chazz and Kira held Kimi's hands as John continued to speak. Her friends were very nervous.
"What you need to do is relax Kimi. Therefore, I sentence you to one month in Juvenile Hall. However, due to the circumstances, your stay will not be included in your criminal record, as long as you remain on your best behavior."
"What?", yelled Julia. "I want that foreigner deported!"
The judge said, "Julia, you have got to learn that people who look foreign to you may be Americans like the rest of us. And keep in mind that, except for Native Americans, of course, all our ancestors were once foreigners. People with an attitude like yours ended up in deeper trouble than the foreigners. In times like these we have got to keep an open mind. You got that?"
Julia responded, "I don't care! Kimi's a foreigner. And I consider the entire Finster family are foreigners, just because of Kimi. And until she and her mother return to Japan -- not France -- Japan, I will do my hardest to make their lives miserable."
The Judge responded, "Because of that remark, I am giving you a restraining order to stay away from all members of the Finster family."
Julia said, "I don't care -- to me, that silly piece of paper will have no affect on my actions, and when they call the police, I will deny all actions. Also, after jailbird Kimi gets out of juvenile hall, I will give her and her family the blame on all my crimes, and the crimes of everyone else. And there's nothing you can do about it!"
Angry, the judge said, "Listen, missy, if I see you in the court again, you may end up spending some time in juvenile hall -- and with a criminal record! Or, you may end up in prison -- not juvenile hall -- prison! Case dismissed!"
He lightly banged his gravel and left.
A little later, the Finsters were in the front hall of the courtroom with their friends. They were all filled with despair.
"Good-bye guys" said Kimi. "I'll see you next month when I get out."
"We'll miss you Kimi" said Susie.
"Be brave Kimi" said Chuckie.
"Hey don't worry about me" said Kimi. "I can take it. I may be a girl, but I can go through it like a woman!"
A security guard asked for Kimi to put her hands behind her back. Kimi obeyed and the guard cuffed her hands behind her back. Then, he slowly walked out of the hall.
"Bye everyone" she said. "And take care of Superthing, would you?"
Then suddenly, Kimi had a thought. For thirty days, she would be living without television, her friends, and her family.
"I don't want to go through this!" she cried. "I don't want to go!"
As the guard slowly led Kimi out, her family and friends watched sorrowfully. Silent tears dropped down Ken's face as he watched the girl he was destined to marry walked out of his life, for the next thirty days. He would miss her. He turned away, as his parents stood by his side.
Kyoto thought to himself, "this is all my fault. I was the one who taught Karate to Kimi when she was eleven! Why...me?"
The officer led Kimi down the steps out of the courthouse and to a van.
"Kimi, I know how you feel about leaving your family and friends behind. I'm sorry" he said.
"I accept your apology" said Kimi, tears welling in her eyes. "Let's forget the whole thing."
The officer opened the door inside the van and helped Kimi in. He closed the door and the van drove off.
Kimi's family and friends came out as the van drove out of sight.
Just then, Kimi's friends saw Julia waving at the disappearing van.
"So long foreigner!" she said with an evil smile. "See you in a month, if you even make it!"
Chuckie was furious. "This is all your fault Julia!" he said.
"All my fault?!" said Julia. "Are you blaming me, the most popular girl in class?! With Kimi gone, another threat to my popularity is eliminated."
"Oh my god!" said Chuckie. "You don't seem to care about her at all! You don't care about anyone! All you care about is your stupid popularity!"
"Hey, I can't help it if I'm so great!" said Julia as she walked off.
"Man, that's it!" said Chuckie. "I wish she would just go back to the hospital and stay there!
"We gotta do something about her" said Susie.
"Like what?" asked Chuckie.
"Leave that to me" said Susie with a smile.
Ten minutes later, the van arrived at a large building outside of town. The building's name was "Benedict's Hall".
The officer led Kimi into the building and into the main office.
The warden of the hall, Robert Benedict was a middle aged man with grey hair and a grey goatee on his chin, a black suit, a red shirt underneath, a black tie, and black leather shoes. He was in charge of all the kids. All the kids feared him because he was a very cruel man.
The officer uncuffed Kimi's hands.
"Finally!" thought Kimi.
Robert Benedict looked over her. It was almost as if he had never seen a girl before.
"Your name is Kimberly Watanabe Finster?" said Robert.
"Yes" said Kimi. "But it's just Kimi."
"Here, you go by your formal name" said Robert.
"But..." started Kimi.
"No buts!" said Robert. "I'll have you know that I hate children, especially children who have no respect for their superiors! One slip up and you'll be here for extra time!"
Kimi was scared. She didn't like Robert.
"You wanna know something?" asked Robert. "You're the first girl to ever come to this Juvenile Hall. I've never had a girl here before."
"Do I get a prize or something?" asked Kimi.
"No!" said Robert. "There are no rewards here in Juvenile Hall!"
He calmed down. "Now let me take you to meet the other children."
After dismissing the officer who brought Kimi, he led Kimi to a large room where the other children, all boys, were working, peeling potatoes from a large mound, scrubbing the floor, and washing clothes.
The boys stopped what they were doing when Robert and Kimi came in.
"Stand together!" he told the other boys.
The boys stood up straight, side by side, in a line. There were about fifty boys here.
"Let us welcome your new inmate, and the first girl ever to come to his hall, Kimberly Watannabe Finster. She'll be here for the next month, unless she causes some trouble."
The boys shared their greetings.
"That's enough work for today" he said. "Back to work tomorrow morning! Come and get some supper."
Kimi and the boys went into another room of the hall where Robert dished them a bowl of a green pea soup and a slice of bread.
Finally, it was Kimi's turn. Robert dished her a bowl of green pea soup and a slice of bread.
"You got jam?" asked Kimi.
"Jam? Jam?! You don't need Jam!" said Robert. "Next! Move along!"
Kimi took her tray and went to a table.
"Disgusting" said Robert. "These children always want jam!"
Kimi sat down at a table with a boy her age. He had dark blonde spiky hair.
"I'm not asking much" she said, "but I'd just like to have some jam on this bread."
"I know" said the boy. "I mean, we do an honest days work, we all want some jam on our bread."
He continued to slurp his soup. "So what are you in for?" he asked.
"I got into a fight at school" said Kimi.
"I'm here because I shoplifted" said the boy. "My name's Benjamin. And you are...?"
"Kimberly" said Kimi, "although everyone calls me Kimi."
"You're the first girl we've ever had here" said Benjamin.
"So I wonder what the next thirty days will be like" said Kimi.
"Well, you wouldn't want to know" said Benjamin. "Every day it's the same, I wake up to the same boring future. I've been here for five months. It was originally two weeks, but I kept getting into trouble, so that Robert guy keeps adding to my time. Some of the boys here have been here for over a year."
He finished his bread. "But it's not all bad. Our families come to visit every Friday."
Kimi knew that this was going to be a long month. All she had were the clothes she wore.
Soon, it was almost time for bed. Benjamin introduced Kimi to some of his friends.
"This is Travis, he's been here for six months for vandalism. Bobby's been here for eight weeks for setting fires. And Kyle is here because like me, he shoplifted. He's been here for eighteen months."
Travis has brown hair. Bobby had red hair. And Kyle was bald.
The boys exchanged their greetings with Kimi.
"My name's Kimi, and I'm here because I got into a fight with another girl."
"You're the first girl we've ever had here" said Kyle.
Kimi asked, "Kyle, what is shoplifting?"
Kyle responded, "It's when you take stuff from the store without paying for it. I'm already an expert at shoplifting, as I've been doing it for some time. I even know the history of shoplifting -- it began in ancient Phonecia. Thieves would literally lift the corner of a shop in order to snatch the sweet, sweet olives within. Flash forward to ancient Babylonia -- "
Robert suddenly came into the room. "Time for bed!" he said. "Now, or you'll get another week!"
The boys headed towards the bedroom. Just as Kimi started following them, Robert stopped her and handed her an envelope.
"Mail for you!" he said. "Read it tomorrow! Now get off to bed or else you get an extra week!"
Kimi walked off to the bedroom with the other boys.
Kimi opened the envelope. Inside was a letter from her mother.
How are you doing? We miss you. Chuckie misses you alot. Ken's mother called me, saying that her son couldn't eat his supper. Hope you're doing well. We'll be in on Friday for a visit. We'll bring the others. We'll bring Ken too.
Silent tears rolled down Kimi's face. She dried her eyes and put the envelope under her bed.
One boy handed her some old bed clothes.
Kimi went into the bathroom in the bedroom to undress in privacy. Then she put on the pajamas, picked up her regular clothes and walked back into the bedroom. She placed her clothes at the foot of the bed and climbed into bed, pulling the covers over her.
Robert came in, turned out the light, and locked the door.
Kimi knew that this month was going to be a long month. She didn't like Robert at all. But she had a Friday to look forward to. And with all the boys being so friendly, perhaps her stay wouldn't be so bad.
Meanwhile, at Anita and Pierre's mansion, they were having tea, while listening to some old French music. When suddenly, a brick crashed through a window.
Startled, they went to the broken window to pick up the brick. There was a note attached to it. Anita read it; it said:
"Go back to France! America doesn't want you!"
Anita said, "Well, I never!"
As they pick up the pieces and call police, Julia, with an evil grin, went off in the night on her bicycle.
An hour later, Anita and Pierre paid a visit to the Finster's house.
"Hello," said Kira.
"I need to talk to you, Kerima," said Anita.
Anita & Pierre came in.
Pierre said, "An hour ago, this came crashing through our window, threatening us and our nationality."
Kira said, "I assure you, Kimi's in juvenile hall right now, so there's no way she could do it."
"But if Kimi didn't do it, who did?", asked Anita?
"I know who," said Chazz. "Julia Preston! I'm calling the cops right now!"
Chazz walked over to the phone.
"Wait a minute Chazz" said Kira. "Julia may have done this, but there isn't any evidence. What we need is proof."
"Proof?" asked Chazz. "Where are we going to get proof?"
"I believe Susie has a plan" said Chuckie. He called Susie on the phone.
A little later, the remaining Rugrats met in the backyard.
"Here's what we do" said Susie. "First we pull a series of pranks on Julia to make her the laughing stock at school. Then we have to be lucky enough to videotape Julia pull off something against the Finsters or the LeClercs. Operation Julia Foolia will be a piece of cake!"
"We're going to make Julia pay for sending Kimi to Juvenile hall!" said Chuckie. "Nobody does that to my sister, and gets away with it!"
"Let's do it!" said Tommy.
"Yeah!" said the other Rugrats.
So the Rugrats began creating their plan of action. When they thought they had enough ideas, they ran up to Chuckie's room to pick the ones that they would most likely work the best. When they had decided on the best ones the all went home.
The next day, they would tell Kimi's friends of their plans.
The day after that they would put them to action.
The next day they began with just small, simple, common pranks that they wouldn't need much help with. They taped signs to Julia's back that said:
Hate me because I'm popular!
My name is Dork-o!
All day everyone kept calling her Dork-o and giving her little kicks, and she couldn't figure out what was going on. So during science class, Sergio Lopez, from Spain, kicked her under her desk, she stood up and screamed, "Sergio Lopez you idiot, stupid, foreigner! Will everyone just stop!?"
Mrs. Turner gave her detention on Thursday, so she got really mad and yelled a bunch about her perfect record, so Mrs. Turner gave her detention next Thursday to and told her that if she didn't sit down and be quiet, she'd add a week.
Then, later, Tommy "accidentally" tripped her while she was walking to her table during lunch, and she spilled food all over herself and her friend, Rachel. Rachel put up a show about how Julia had spilled Mystery Casserole Surprise all over her new purple silk, designer, custom made shirt and vegetable soup all over her hair and ruined her new perm. Julia was complaining about similar things, and every one in the lunchroom was laughing at her.
Rachel said, "I hate you Julia! I don't want to be your friend any more!"
While Julia was eating her lunch (she got a new tray) she found a dead fly, which Phil and Lil had caught, in her raspberry pudding. While all of this was happening, Chuckie was wondering what life was like at Juvenile Hall. He hoped it wasn't to horrible for Kimi and he hoped that she had made some friends, at least.
Kimi was in her hard uncomfortable dreaming about Ken and her friends when a sharp yell awoke her with a start. It was Robert.
"Up, up, everybody up! Come on you despicable, little sleepy headed boys, er, children! Up! Now! Anyone who isn't up and dressed by the time I get back will have another week!" he commanded.
"But I'm still tired!" Kimi wanted to say. But she knew she would just get in trouble. So she quickly went into the bathroom to change into her clothes. Then she rushed out just as Robert returned. He handed some mail to a few people. Kimi couldn't wait until tomorrow, Friday, when her family and friends would come to visit her. She had two letters. One was from Chuckie and the other was from Ken. She started to open Chuckie's letter, but Robert snapped at her to save it for night. So she stuffed the letters in her pocket and followed Robert down to breakfast. For breakfast they had an orange, a slice of cold bread, and a glass of water, that was awfully warm. Kimi sat down at the sit to which her name tag had been taped, and ate her food. Pretty soon Benjamin sat down next to her.
"This water is hot as heck!" Kimi complained.
"You'll get used to it," said a boy with long curly brown hair freckles that practically covered his entire face, but were no where else, and braces with pink bands. He was wearing a purple tank top with gray spots and lime green pants with blue strips. You could tell had painted the spots and the stripes on himself, parts of the lime green pants showed spots of black, where the lime green paint peeled of. His top was tucked into his pants, but only on one side, and his hair often hid most of his face. Kimi starred at him for a very long time. Finally, she asked,
"Do you always dress so weird?"
"You'll get used to it," he said.
"What's your name?" Kimi asked. The boy went on eating as if he hadn't heard her.
"His name's Zachary," Benjamin told her.
"What are you hear for?" Kimi asked Zachary. But, again, he went on eating as if he hadn't heard her.
"He broke into someone's house," Benjamin explained.
After breakfast, Robert put the kids to work peeling potatoes. They stopped only for lunch and dinner, and then for bed.
Kimi went into the bathroom to change into her nightshirt, then climbed into bed to read her letters. She read Chuckie's first. He had written:
Hi! How are you doing? All of us miss you. Dad and Mom cry every day. You're in their prayers! Even in church!
I really miss you! Our home is just not the same without you! Sometimes we can't play sports cause we're a player short. And Fifi and Puppy even seem to realize that you are gone and won't be back for a while. Puppy's starting to act scared again and Fifi won't always eat her supper. Superthing is fine.
And did I tell you? Susie has a plan to get Julia in trouble! We are going to play a bunch of pranks on her and try to catch her doing something mean to us. We took some video cameras and turned them on all night, and left the porch light on too in case she comes, but we haven't caught yet. She did already throw a brick in Anita and Pierre's window that said, "Go back to France, foreigners!" Or something like that. We know she did it, but we don't have proof. Be on the look out for Julia! You might be seeing her pretty soon.
Enclosed were three small photographs. One was of Kimi and her family and friends, camping at in the Rocky Mountains. Another was taken of Kimi when she was younger, playing with Superthing. The last was a photo of her original father.
Then she opened the letter from Ken. It said:
My Dearest Kimi,
I miss you more than anything and I hate that popular kid, um, Julie? Was that her name? It is all her fault that you are in Juvenile Hall! It is all her fault because she does not like people from other countries! What is wrong with us? Nothing, but Julie stills finds fault in us. What does she not like about us? I cannot believe it! I am very much looking forward to next month. I cannot wait until tomorrow. I wish more than anything to see you again.
Kimi took the two letters and the three photos, and put them in her pillowcase with her first letter. Then she pulled out the first letter and read it again.
Then, she started writing a letter to Chuckie:
Things are doing, well...okay here at the joint. But now I have to stay another week because I talked when I wasn't supposed to! Harsh! I hate this Robert guy, because he expects us to be perfect! I DON'T EVEN GET JAM WITH MY BREAD!!! Sorry, gotta go! Robert's coming!
Love even more extremely,
Kimi Watanabe Finster
P.S. Tell Ken I said Hi!
Soon after she was done, Robert came by to pick up Kimi's letter to Chuckie. Then, he instructed the inmates to turn out the lights, which they did Then he left.
Kimi put her head down on her pillow and went right to sleep.
She started to dream.
he went back in time in her dream, to the day she was in court.
"Will Kimi Finster please step up!" shouted the bailiff.
Kimi walked up to the stand.
"Really! I didn't do it! I swear I didn't do it! She judges books by their covers! Okay, so maybe I did do it. But really it wasn't me that made me do it!" Kimi said.
"Kimi Finster, you are making no sense at all! The judge is very confused!" said the bailiff.
"Bailiff, I can speak for myself, thank you, but Kimi, what in the name of Davy Jones are you talking about?" asked the judge.
"I'm innocent I tell you! I really am! I..." Kimi shouted as she was being dragged along by the bailiff and out the door. Kimi was being stared at.
Her dream ended when she woke up in the middle of the night having to go to the bathroom. When she woke up, she heard scrapping at the stone in the far corner of the room.
"Rats, great," she thought, but then she heard voices. Curious, she slipped silently out of bed, then tiptoed toward where she thought the noise was coming from. As she got closer, she could see several boys huddled in the corner. They suddenly seemed to hear her, because they whirled around, looking scared. Kimi was surprised to see that one of them was Zachary. She could make out two other faces, Benjamin and Kyle. The rest she couldn't tell. They all seemed relieved when they saw it was just her.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"We're trying to escape," Zachary explained, "See, I just act crazy so that Robert doesn't suspect what I'm up to. We're going to dig a hole and come out beyond the fence. Then we'll run to town and I'll lead everyone to my house. If we get there while it's still dark, we'll be OK, but if we don't, we'll have to hide and wait until they leave for work. Then we're going to run four mile into the woods to an old run down cabin. We're going to fix it up, and we're going to live there. There's a creek really close to the cabin, and a quarter of a mile down the creek is a neat waterfall. We're going to have to take at least to showers a day for a long time to keep the dogs from smelling us out. We'll also get water to drink from the creek. We can eat sunflower seeds and dandelion petals, which are edible, from the meadow behind the cabin, plus wild strawberries, blackberries, mulberries, raspberries, apples, and whatever else we can get our hands on that is edible. We figure that the dogs won't be able to follow our sent through town, because we are leaving as soon as soon as Robert goes away and they won't find out for a long while. And by then plenty of people will have walked there, so the sent will be lost. When we get to my house, we'll take everything that we can find that will be useful, then take a bath (to rid us of our scent) and head out. But the hardest part will be digging the hole. We will probably dig it behind something so they won't find it. Do you want to come with us?"
"How will you get food in the winter?" Kimi asked.
"We'll save some of the food we get in the mid to late spring and summer and early fall. Do you want to come with us?"
"No. I'm only supposed to be here for a month anyway, and I would miss my family and friends to much."
"OK, but you have to promise not to breath a word of this to anyone," Zachary said solemnly
"Don't worry, I won't," Kimi promised. Then she heard footsteps coming their way.
"Someone's coming!" Kimi whispered. The boys ran off to their beds, and Kimi ran to the bathroom.
The next morning, Chuckie and the rest of the rugrats were all very excited for two reasons. First, "Project Julia Foolia" commenced -- that meant they would play real pranks on Julia, not just little easy ones. Secondly, they would be visiting Kimi at Juvenile Hall right after recess.
The Julia Foolia plan that day was a success! They put a rubber spider in her homeroom desk, and put glue on her chair. Then, during history, she sat down on a wad of chewing gum, and found a cockroach in her hair. At lunch, she walked very slowly and carefully, as not to fall, because this time the floor was wet. Once she tripped, and almost fell, but she didn't. She sighed with relief, but just then, Dil, who was standing right behind her "accidentally" tripped, and spilled his tray all over her new dress, shoes, haircut, manicure, and everything else she had on to help make up for the day before.
"That is the second time in two days!" Julia screeched, "It's almost like..." she paused for a second, then whirled around eyeing Dil suspiciously,
"Someone is TRYING to spill food all over me. And put glue and gum on my chairs. And put spiders in my desk. And put cockroaches in my hair!" Dil put a confused look on his face and told her he didn't know what she was talking about.
"Yes you do!" Julia snapped, "You fell on purpose!"
"Julia!" said Rachel from a nearby table, "The floor is wet and slippery! You almost fell yourself! It was an accident!" At recess they gave it a rest and stopped pulling pranks for the day. Then their parents came to pick them up from school to go visit Kimi.
When they arrived, Kimi was happier than she'd been in days! She and her family and Ken hugged and kissed, and she and her friends talked and talked. Soon many of the other boys were there with their parents too. Kimi noticed that the boys planning on digging out were swiping pens and things that. Kimi suspected they were going to use them to try to chip away at the stone.
Well, visiting hours were over all to soon. Kimi was sad to see her friends and family leave.
The next day, Robert came in with a girl, Kimi's age.
He said, "Kids, this is Britney, she will be staying for a month."
"Hi!" said Kimi. "You're the second girl to ever be here! I'm Kimi!"
"I'm Britney," said Britney.
Kimi said, "Hey, I'll show you around! This is Bobby, this is Travis, this is Kyle, and I really don't know the other's names."
"Hey, Kimi, um, can I be your best friend here?" shyly asked Britney.
"Of course!" said Kimi. Britney's frown turned to a smile.
Shortly afterward, Kimi was eating breakfast next to Britney.
"I wish they would put jam on this bread," said Britney.
"Oh, that's what I said when I first came here," said Kimi. "But you get used to it."
"So, why are you here?" asked Kimi.
"I got accused of badly damaging a show-off," said Britney.
"Wow! So did I! We really have a lot in common! Do you have a dog?" said Kimi.
"Yeah! Two!" said Britney. "A baby poodle and a big pomaranian. What do you have?"
"I have a big purple poodle named Fifi and a fairly old orange dog named Puppy. My brother named him," said Kimi.
"Time for SSR! Silent Sustained Reading!" said Robert, handing each one a book.
Everyone moaned and groaned.
"Come on, let's go to our bunk," said Kimi.
Meanwhile, The Rugrats were hanging out at the local candy shop, where popular people usually hang out.
They went in to see Julia bragging about her new clothes. "And so my mom bought me this bright pink croptop," said Julia. "And now no Kimi 'Wannabe' Finster can ruin it."
All of the popular kids drooled in amazement.
"Oh, yeah, well, maybe a Charles Cranall Finster can!" said Chuckie.
"Oh, you again? I thought I got rid of you dorks!" said Julia.
"You'll never get rid of us, dork," said Tommy.
"You might have taken away my girlfriend, BUT YOU'LL ABSOLUTELY NEVER TAKE AWAY MY DIGNITY!!!" said Ken proudly.
"Where'd you get that, Ken?" asked Lil.
"A movie," said Ken.
"Figures," said Julia. "What else would little dorks do? I have TWO DVD systems and 100 DVDs!" bragged Julia.
The Rugrats slapped their faces, and walked to the drugstore across the street for some sodas.
"Oh, and I have a new faux fur mini! It's all the rage in Paris, I had went there," said Julia.
Her crowd was stunned.
Soon, the Rugrats came up to her.
"Hiya, Julia!" said Chuckie.
"Oh, it's you, metalmouth," sneered Julia.
"Well, I just wanted to say that you ARE the best most popular girl," said Tommy.
"You dorks have finally came to your senses," said Julia.
"So we brought you this chocolate cream pie from Juanita's Bakery," said Lil, taking it out of the paper box and handing it to Phil.
"Whoa, really? It's mine, thank...hey, wait a minute!!! You're gonna pie me in the face!" objected Julia.
"No we're not!" lied Dil.
"Okay, then, if you say som" Julia said, as she reached for the pie.
But Phil slammed it in her face.
"Psyche!" screamed all of the Rugrats.
Julia's crowd laughed and cried tears of joy. They had gossip to tell. They ran off, laughing histerically. Julia had chocolate cream pie all over her new faux fur mini shirt.
"Oh, I'M GONNA GET YOU!" screamed Julia.
Later, the rugrats met Julia at the park. She was with an different group of easily amazed crowds.
"And I'm wearing 'La Peri' lipstick! You can ONLY buy it at Hallstrom's," said Julia, showing off her perfect lips.
"Hey, why are you guys following me around?" said Julia.
"Oh, we just wanted to admire how you look," said Phil.
"Oh, really, do you expect me to believe THAT?!!!" said Julia.
She tossed her hair.
"Really," said Dil.
"Shake?" asked Lil.
"Okay, if you insist," said Julia.
Her pants were very loose. Lil put over her hand and dropped a rat that she found on the street in her pants. Julia screamed and danced. The crowd ran off just like the other one. The rugrats laugh very hard.
The Rugrats walked back to Chuckie and Kimi's house.
That night, Julia hurled another brick through another window. The Finsters heard glass shatter and ran to the living room. There on the floor lay a brick. It said:
Go back to where you belong, foreigners!
They hurried outside to check the camcorder, and sure enough, they saw Julia throw the brick into their window. They hoped the judge would be able to tell that it was Julia. It was dark, even with the porch light on.
Meanwhile, at Juvenile Hall, the kids were still reading silently.
Four days in Juvenile Hall had been rough for Kimi so far, she only had another twenty six days left to go.
It wasn't bedtime yet, so all the children were still in their regular clothes. Kimi was in her pink and yellow shirt, green skirt, and purple shoes.
The book Kimi was reading was a photo album that her family and friends had given her. Benjamin and Britany were now crowded arounded her, looking at all the pictures.
There were many pictures. One was of Kimi and her friends when they were toddlers. Another was Kimi playing with Superthing. And yet another had Kimi and Ken in a tender embrace. That was also the day Kimi and Ken shared their first kiss.
"I miss the good old days" said Benjamin. He took out a photo album given to him by his mother. "Here's me with my father on a fishing trip several years ago."
Britany took out another photo album. "And here's me with my boyfriend, before he moved away to Canada."
"These books sure bring back memories" said Kimi.
"These books are so emotional" said Britany.
Suddenly, a shadow appeared over Kimi. "Those books are filled with meaningless fantasies!"
It was Robert.
"Give those to me!" he said as he swiped the three photo albums. "There will be no breakfast for the three of you tomorrow!"
"Hey that isn't fair!" said Britany.
"Questioning my authority?!" demanded Robert. "I hate children like that!"
He seized Britany by the back of her shirt and lifted her out of her chair.
"You're coming with me young lady!" he said as he started to take her out of the room.
Kimi jumped onto the table and leaped at Robert, and tackled him to the floor. Britany fell to the floor as Robert collapsed under Kimi.
"Get off of me!" shouted Robert as Kimi proceeded to give him a clobbering.
"I may be a little girl" said Kimi, "but I happen to be the state junior wrestling champion!"
The boys could not believe what they had heard. They were quite suprised to hear that the first girl in Juvenile Hall was a wrestling champion.
Robert suddenly stood up and slapped her. The force sent Kimi flying, hurling her against the wall. Fortunately, she was not hurt. Unfortunately, her arm knocked off Robert's portrait from the wall. It smashed on the floor.
"Ahhhhhhh!" screamed Robert. He stormed over where Kimi lay sprawled on the floor. She sat up.
"You are in so much trouble young lady!" he said. He seized Kimi by the back of her shirt. "So you like fighting eh?" he said. "Then fight your way out of this! Three months added to your stay!"
He dragged Kimi and Britany to another room in the building and opened the door. Then he tossed them in.
"You'll be staying in here from now on!" he said. Then he slammed the door behind him.
"Thanks for helping me" said Britany.
"Friends don't let friends down" said Kimi.
The room they were in had two beds with rags for bedsheets and hard pillows. The two girls undressed and climbed into bed.
"That Benedict guy is insane!" thought Kimi. "This is torture! As soon as my family and friends visit next Friday, they'll hear about this!"
Robert came to the cell and said:
"Due to your terrible behavior, I am placing the following restrictions on both of you -- no more letters, received or written! No more phone calls! No visitors! If you get any mail, calls or visitors, you will get three more months for each piece of mail, for each phone call received regarding you, and for each visitor that comes here. And finally, to remind of your stay here, you will get criminal records, not only listing the mean things that got you here, but the mean things you didn't do! Why? Because your future ends here! You will spend the rest of your lives in the gutters! I'll make sure your families disown you! And whatever the judge has decided regarding your cases, I will not listen to them. Do you know why?"
"Why sir?", said Kimi.
"I am above the law!", Robert said with a sinister laugh.
"Above the law?!" demanded Kimi. "Say that to my face you overgrown rotten beanstalk!"
In a rage, Robert opened the door, seized Kimi and forced her into the hall.
"Of all the rotten kids that have ever come into this hall, you are the
most troublesome of all! Why do you think I even hate children?! They are the
locusts in a farmer's field! Children like you should be spanked!"
The other boys came into the hall to watch the two arguing.
"Now you listen here Mr. Benedict!" said an angry Kimi. "I may be only a kid, but at least I know the meaning of the word respect!"
"Respect? Ha!" laughed Benedict. "If you want some respect, then treat me with respect you loathsome wasp!"
Kimi felt rage stir up inside her. Her breathe came out in rough pants. Then, like a japanese samarai, she screamed out in rage. Then, before Robert could react, she delivered a swift punch, right to Robert's chin, knocking him down.
The other boys could believe what they had just seen. They rushed to her side.
Benjamin knelt beside Robert.
"He's out cold!" he said.
Everyone looked at Kimi.
"Oops" said Kimi.
"Way to go Kimi!" said Kyle. "We're free!"
"Until he wakes up" said Travis.
"Now I can make a quick phone call!" said Kimi. "Get back to your rooms before he wakes up!"
The boys ran off to their room.
Kimi knelt down beside Robert and took his cordless phone. Then she dialed home.
At the Finster's household, the Finster's and their friends were still watching the videotape.
Suddenly, the phone rang.
"I'll get it!" said Chuckie.
He picked up the phone.
He was shocked to hear the voice on the other line.
"Everyone!" he said. "It's Kimi!"
Everyone rushed to the phone.
"Kimi, what's happening?" asked Chuckie.
"Guys, you gotta do something!" said Kimi. "The warden here is insane! He abuses us, he pushes us around, he forces us into labor, and now, he's out cold on the floor!"
"I punched his lights out!" said Kimi.
"All right Kimi!" cheered Chuckie.
"Now listen up Chuckie!" said Kimi, "I don't got time to explain! You guys have got to do something about this torture! I'll die here if I have to stay more than thirty days! And what's worse, is that I just got three more months!"
Chuckie could not believe what his sister had just said.
"Kimi, I got some good news" he said. "We think we've caught Julia on video, but unfortunately, we can't make out the figure because it's too dark!"
"Well keep trying!" said Kimi. "And while you're at it, do me a favor. GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!"
"Hang in there Kimi. We'll take the video to the police tomorrow!"
"Thanks Chuckie" said Kimi. "I don't know what I would do without..."
But before Kimi could finish, a hand grabbed the phone from her. Kimi turned around.
Standing behind her, holding the phone, was Robert.
"He he" snickered Kimi with a shy grin. "Why Mr. Benedict. What a suprise."
"Kimi! Kimi!" cried Chuckie on the other end of the line.
"Oh no!" said Lil. "The warden's got her!"
Then, they heard a voice from the other end of the phone.
"Nice try you loathsome worm!"
It was Robert.
"Mom! Dad!" cried Kimi. "Don't let him do this do me!"
Robert laughed an evil laugh.
"Do something useful Mr. and Mrs. Finster!" said Robert. "If I were you, I'd disown this monster you call your daughter and forget about her! Now excuse me, I have a punishment to deliver!"
He turned off the phone.
"Oh no!" said Chuckie. "Kimi's in big trouble now!"
"Great" said Susie. "Now we got two problems. One, getting even with Julia. Two, saving Kimi from that lunatic!"
"I'm calling the judge right now!" said Chazz. He grabbed the phone and called John Parker.
Everyone heard this on the other end.
"I'm not in right now, but if you'll leave your name and number, I'll get back to you when I'm back from vacation."
"Vacation?!" said Chazz. "Now?! At this time?!"
"I know who else to call -- Clerk of Court -- they're the ones who keep things moving in the court system." said Kira.
Chazz hung up and called the Clerk of Court.
In the office, John MacDonald, the Clerk of Court, answes the phone.
"Office of the Clerk of Court, John A. MacDonald speaking."
'Hello, sir?", Chazz asked. "I'm trying to reach Judge Parker on a life-or-death situation involving Kimberly Finster."
"Sure; one moment, please," John said as he looks up her file.
John replied, "Oh yes -- Kimi was placed in Juvenile Hall for 30 days for rough behavior. What seems to be the problem?"
Chazz said, "I just received a call from Kimi at Juvenile Hall -- the warden there is hurting her and the others badly, and is issuing sentence extensions left and right! He even suggested that we disown her and take her out our lives!"
"Oh dear," John said. I'll call the judge right away. I'll call you back in a few minutes."
John hung up and called Judge Parker at his vacation.
"Hello," Parker said.
"This is John MacDonald here, your honor," John said. "We have a serious problem involving Kimberly Finster..."
John told the judge what he told Chazz.
The judge said, "I demand an early release for Kimi, and her criminal record cancelled! As a matter of fact, I'm having second thoughts about Brittany, as well -- give her the same. With that creep Robert Benedict at the helm, I think it was a big mistake putting her behind bars. I'm on my way home -- see you in the office as soon as I return."
The judge hung up.
John then typed up a judicial order, demanding Kimi's release, and gave it to a probation officer, who then starts leave for juvenile hall.
Meanwhile, back at Juvenile Hall, Robert was dragging Kimi down the hall.
"Let me go you dispicable...!"
"Dispicable? My, my, what a filthy mind you have Kimberly" laughed Robert.
"You're insane!" screamed Kimi.
"Shut up you nasty little foreigner!"
He opened the door to the room where Brittany still was and literally tossed her inside. Then he locked the door.
"That's three more months!" he said. "One more slipup and you'll be here the rest of your life! I got a big mound of potatoes that have your name written all over it! You can start tomorrow while everyone else works!"
"Why are you doing this to her?!" demanded Brittany.
"Because I rule this place!" said Robert with a laugh. "I can do as I please! If you really care about her, you can work on the potato mound with her tomorrow! And as for you Kimi, you are a worthless brat! You were born a brat, you will die a brat, and only your fleas will mourn you!"
He walked away.
Kimi frowned. "I'm not worthless!" she said. "And I don't have fleas!"
Kimi sat on the bed next to Brittney. She wanted to be home with her family.
"Come on" said Brittany, "let's go to sleep."
The two girls climbed into bed.
That night, Kimi had a dream. It was a happy dream. She was running through a field. Her family, friends, and boyfriend were running towards her from the other side.
Then suddenly, everything changed. The sky turned red, the clouds turned black, and appeared in the field. Ropes lashed out and grabbed Kimi by her arms and legs.
"Going somewhere Kimberly?" laughed Robert.
The ropes turned into chains. Kimi's family, friends, and boyfriend watched in horror.
"You cannot escape me, Robert Benedict!" laughed Robert as he pulled on the chains, knocking Kimi off her feet and pulling her away from her family, friends, and boyfriend.
"You belong to me!" laughed Robert. "You are mine forever!"
"Nooooooooooo!" screamed Kimi.
Then suddenly, Kimi sat up in bed. It was still dark out.
Kimi sighed and laid her head back down. She wanted to be home with her family. She wanted to be with her friends. She wanted to be with Ken, the boy she was destined to marry. But most of all, she just wanted to get away from the madman that was Robert Benedict.
As Kimi sleeps, the Probation officer came into the front office.
"Mr. Benedict," said the officer, "I am here to pick up Kimi Finster and Britney Wilder, on emergency orders from the judge."
Robert shot back, "There is no early parole here! Kimberly and Britney will stay three more months by my orders! As a matter of fact, the way those stupid brats are behaving, they'll get out when I say so!"
Angry the officer said "It is decided by the judge! Hand them over, or you'll be fired and charged with contempt of court!"
"Make me!", said Robert.
"Stand aside," said the officer.
Robert stood aside as the officer gets the keys and proceeds to Kimi & Brittney's cell.
Just then, the officer unlocked the cell. The girls feared for the worst, until they saw that it was someone else.
The officer said, "You two get dressed; you ladies are getting off early."
The officer escorted Kimi & Brittney out of juvenile hall. As they pass by Robert, two plainsclothes officers, Sergeant Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon, came in. The first officer (with Kimi and Brittney) whispered something to Friday and Gannon. Then, Friday and Gannon walked toward's Robert.
Joe Friday said, "Robert Benedict, you're under arrest for two counts of child abuse, two counts of forced labor, dereliction of duty as a warden, and contempt of court. You have a right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney; if you can't afford one, one will be provided to you without charge before questioning. Do you understand your rights?"
"Yes," said Robert.
"Even those girls have rights...", said Joe. "Cuff him, Bill."
Officer Gannon cuffed Robert and sent him to a waiting police car, while a fourth officer came in to take Robert's place as warden.
The first officer took Kimi and Brittney back to their homes.
The following day, Kimi met up with Travis, Benjamin, Bobby, and Kyle. The boys have been released from Juvenile Hall the day after Kimi & Britney, thanks to a decision by the new warden.
"Hey Guys!" greeted Kimi.
"Hey Kimi!", greeted Benjamin. "Guess what? We got out today! Did you hear the news? Benedict's got committed to the insane asylum!"
"Really?" asked Kimi suprisingly.
"Yes!" replied Kyle. "He was going on about children being bad so he was committed at a mental hospital for psychiatric evaluation before he goes to trial next month."
"Now that's great news!" exclaimed Kimi.
Kimi spent much of the day with her friends from Juvenile Hall. It felt so good to be back in the outside world. She was back with her friends, her family, and her boyfriend. Everything was back to normal. However, it would still be a while before she could go back to school again, as she's still suspended for the rest of the month.
The sunset turned the sky orange as they were riding on their bicycles home to Kimi's house. Along the way, they met...Julia.
"Well well well" said Julia. "The foreigner is out. When did you escape anyway?"
"I didn't" said Kimi. "They let me go. The warden abused us, just like I did to you earlier last week!"
"Wait a minute" said Brittany. "This is the girl you beat up?"
"Yes" said Kimi.
"This is the girl I got into a fight with too!" said Brittany.
"Yeah I remember" said Julia. "You two messed me up real good! You even broke a few of my bones, just like I broke a window in your home and your grandparents home!"
"You what?!" cried Kimi.
"And there's nothing you can do about it!" said Julia.
"Oh yes there is!" said Kimi. "I'll call the police!"
"Who'd believe you anyway?" laughed Julia. "You got no proof!"
"My friends can back me up!" said Kimi. "Plus they videotaped you last night!"
"So what are they going to do about it?" laughed Julia. "The authorities can't do anything to me, I'm popular."
"You think just because you're so popular, you can whatever you please" said Brittany. "You disgust us Julia!"
"Besides, even if I was caught, my parents would just bribe the police!" said Julia.
"In your face!" said Kimi. "Now get lost Julia!"
"Or else what?!" demanded Julia. "You'll beat me up again?"
"No" said Kimi. "I'll only get in trouble. Now we're leaving guys!"
Kimi and her friends left.
As they passed a Radio Shack, the television in the window gave this news report which Kimi and her friends stopped to watch.
"In other news, Robert Benedict, the crazed former warden of juvenile hall has escaped from the asylum. Be on the lookout for this insane madman who faces criminal charges of child abuse, forced labour, dereliction of duty as a warden, and contempt of court. If you see this man, call 911, or call Crime Stoppers -- 555-TIPS."
The kids could not believe what they had heard.
"We'd better be on the lookout guys" said Kimi.
As they continued down the street, Kimi stopped at a phone booth to call home.
"Hi, this is Kira speaking."
"Mom, it's me, Kimi."
"Oh hi Kimi, are you on your way home right now?"
"Your grandparents are taking us out for dinner tonight. There's some cold chicken in the fridge for you to heat up for supper. We'll be home at 9:00."
She hung up and joined her friends, riding home under the setting sun.
At last, they arrived at Kimi's house. Kimi was quite suprised to see a black car parked near the house.
They went into the garage where they placed their bicycles, helmets, knee pads, and arm pads.
"You're late for dinner Kimi!" said a voice.
Kimi and her friends were horrified. They recognized that voice!
From the shadows, and into the light came a man. He was dressed in a black suit, a red shirt underneath, a black tie, and black shoes. He had grey hair and a grey goatee around his chin.
"Oh no!" said Kimi.
"Suprise kids!" said Robert. "I'm back!"
Kimi, Brittany, Kyle, Benjamin, Travis, and Bobby were shocked.
"What are you doing here?" cried Kimi.
"I'm here for one purpose only" laughed Robert. "Revenge! Imagine me, being turned in to the authorities by a little girl!"
"Little girl?! cried Kimi. "I'm twelve and a half!"
"Says you" laughed Robert. "You kids are coming with me!"
"You and what army?" asked Benjamin.
"Me and this army!" laughed Robert.
Three men stepped out of the shadows and joined Robert's side.
"Oh no!" cried Kimi. "Not you guys again!"
There stood Walter, Samuel, and James, the three men whom she and her friend Robin Banks had foiled when they attempted to steal the Iqualuit Diamond.
"Hello Kimi" said Samuel, "remember us?"
"Thought you'd seen the last of us kid?" laughed Walter.
"Payback time for busting us!" said James.
"I helped them escape jail" said Robert. "And now, they're going to be my accomplices in your kidnapping. Get'em boys!"
Walter, Samuel, and James grabbed Kimi and her friends. While Benjamin, Kyle, Brittany, and Bobby did not resist, Kimi put up quite a fight before she was finally grabbed from behind by Walter.
"Put me down!" she said, still struggling. "Put me down, or you're in trouble! Big trouble Mister!"
"Trouble eh? Ha!" laughed Walter. "Hear that boss? I'm in big trouble!"
Robert laughed. "Away with them!" he said.
Kimi and her friends were dragged outside to the black car outside the house. They were forced in, then the men climbed into the car.
Robert sat behind the wheel and drove off, towards a luxury hotel where he and his men had their hideout in the penthouse suite.
Meanwhile, at the police station, the other Rugrats, along with Ken, were showing a videotape of what they had recorded last night.
"I'm sorry kids" said officer Bonds, "it's kind of hard to identify the person without any light. But we'll keep on investigating."
"Well...thanks anyway officer" said Tommy.
The Rugrats left and rode their bikes home.
As they approached home, they saw a girl standing in the yard near the Finster's household. Julia!
Tommy whipped out his video camera and began recording.
Julia threw a brick through another window of the Finster household. Smash! Laughing, Julia got on her bike and rode away.
"We've got it!" said Tommy. "The evidence we need to get even with Julia! But for now, let's go see the damage she's caused!"
They rode to the Finster household.
But when they arrived, they came across a startling discovery. There were numerous footprints on the dusty floor of the garage.
"What happened in here?" asked Chuckie.
Just then, a car pulled up. Out came Chazz, Kira, and the other grownups.
"Kids, what happened to the window?" asked Chazz.
"It was Julia" said Chuckie. "We caught her on video!"
"But we've got another problem" said Tommy. "It looks like there's been a break in!"
Chazz and Kira noticed numerous bootprints and shoe prints on the floor, some they recognized as Kimi's.
"What happened?" asked Kira.
"Has anything been stolen?" asked Betty. "We'd better go see!"
They went into the living room to check on the window. They saw a brick with a note attached. Chuckie picked it up.
"Well, nothing's missing" said Didi.
"What does it say?" asked Stu.
Chuckie read the note.
"Get lost foreigners!"
"All right that does it!" said Chuckie. "This is the last straw! We're going back to the police right now!"
"I've got only one question" said Tommy.
Everyone looked at Tommy. "What?" asked Stu.
"Where's Kimi?" asked Tommy.
Meanwhile at that very moment, at the hotel, in the penthouse suite, Robert and his accomplices had tied Kimi and her friends up to chairs.
"Forgive us Kimi" laughed Robert. "We wanted you to learn something."
"What can I learn from you?!" said Kimi.
"You can learn this, Kimi" said Robert, "I am an authority figure and I can do as I please!"
"You insult me!" said Kimi. "What kind of authority figure kidnaps innocent children!"
Robert finished writing the ransom note. Then he took out his cellphone and dialed a number.
Meanwhile, back at the Finster's household, everyone was still pondering what Tommy had said. Where was Kimi anyway?
Suddenly, the phone rang.
"I'll get it" said Chazz.
He picked it up. "Hello?"
"Hello Mister" said Robert in a strict voice. "I have your daughter and her friends hostage! Deliver $100,000 to the Luxury Hotel's Suite or you'll never see them again! The bills must be unmarked, untraceable, and coming directly from your bank account only, in 10s and 20s. Also, I want a notorised document and videotaped statement, saying, in your words, how bad parents you are. Do as I say, or it'll be curtains for your daughter, and I may come back for all your other children, too."
He hung up.
Chazz could not believe what he had heard.
"You're not going to believe this guys" said Chazz. "Kimi's been kidnapped by that former warden at juvenile hall!"
Everyone was horrified.
"Why that no good awful man!" said Anita. "He's even worse than that girl who threatens our nationality!"
"That's Julia!" said Chuckie.
"Whatever" said Anita.
"Guys, we gotta save Kimi" said Chazz. "First, we've got to get the ransom money and deliver it to Mr. Benedict. You kids call the police."
"I've got an even better idea!" said Chuckie. "We'll call another good friend of Kimi's to help us!"
"Who?" asked Kira.
"Robin Banks!" said Chuckie.
Kira has called the FBI, where Banks was working. He'd say he'll be on his way.
A short time later, Banks arrived, with Sgt. Friday and Officer Gannon.
Banks said, "Ma'am, my name is Banks, FBI. With me is Sergeant Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon from the city police -- they're the guys that first arrested Benedict. What are the details?"
Chazz responded, "Benedict has demanded $100,000 out of my own money, in unmarked 10s and 20s; plus a written and videotaped statement, saying how bad parents we are. If we don't respond, something bad's going to happen to Kimi, and he might go after Chuckie."
Friday handed Banks a folder.
Friday said, "That folder contains Benedict's record. He graduated from the police academy about 14 years ago, but was denied employment at the police department, due to his bad temper. Instead, he has found employment at the maximum-security state prison in Cactus Flats, as a warden. However, 6 months ago, he got in a fight with a couple of prisoners after they laughed behind his back. Afterward, he was transferred to juvenile hall as a warden there. He was on his best behavior -- that is, until Kimi came into his life."
Gannon said, "When we first arrested him, he was probaby going to get a few years behind bars. But with kidnapping of several children, he might be looking a several consecutive life terms without parole. And if he does the unthinkable, he might be taking a trip to the gas chamber."
"Oh my," said Chazz.
Kira said, "Also, there's another case involving Julia Preston -- we caught her window-smashing on videotape."
She gave Friday the video tape and the notes from past smashings. He places the tape into the VCR and watches it.
Friday said, "Yep, she did it alright. And it's a hate crime, so the penalties are more restrictive. I'll have my men arrest her, while we work on rescuing Kimi and her friends."
Friday called the cops, while Banks worked up a plan, which he whispered in Chazz's ear.
Later, at the Luxury Hotel's Suite's penthouse, Kimi and her juvie friends are all tied up in their chairs, wearing gags over their mouths.
Benedict says, "You all soon are going to see what a kid really feels like! After we get the $100,000, we won't be returning you to your parents! We'll all be going to Mexico, where all of you will be my servants, forever! Your parents will be so distraught and poor, there will be no reason to live!"
Kimi managed to get her gag off and said, "I pray to God that we kids get out of this mess safely, and that you mean men go behind bars!"
"There is no God, because I am God!", said Benedict, followed by an evil cackle.
And then, there was a knock on the door.
Benedict looked through a peephole -- outside stands a bellboy with a briefcase and a videotape.
Benedict opened the door, got the stuff, tipped the bellboy a quarter, and closed the door.
The videotape had something written on the jacket -- "Play me first."
Benedict popped the tapr into the VCR, then pushed "play".
Chazz came on screen and talked.
"Mr. Benedict. I would like to make a confession about our parenting. However, the sound on the camera isn't too great, so you might want to turn the TV up all the way."
Benedict did so.
Chazz continued, "And now, my confession. We apologise for being such bad parents. To be honest, I don't think we are ever fit for parenthood. As a matter of fact, we are willing to give up Kimi forever, and forget that she ever existed. The paperwork is in the briefcase, along with the $100,000 cash. But before you open it, please press the pause button on the VCR, then after you opened the briefcase, press play. Press pause now."
Benedict did so. Then he opened up a brief case. Inside, there wasn't any cash, but a phone book.
"Who's bright idea is this? No cash, just the Yellow Pages!", said Benedict.
Benedict pressed play on the VCR.
Chazz, on tape, said, "Oh, I put the Yellow Pages in the briefcase instead of the money. Oh well, looks like you'll be looking up 'J' for Jail." Then, Chazz shouted, "Come in, boys!"
A SWAT team burst into the room, at the front, Banks said, "Freeze! FBI!"
Walter, Samuel, and James raised their arms.
Robert however was prepared. He pulled out of his pocket, a smoke bomb which he still had with him from his past days as a warden in prison. He tossed it onto the floor.
The room instantly filled up with dense smoke.
"What's going on?!" demanded Friday. "I can't see a thing!"
"Never mind the smoke!" said Gannon. "Let's get him!"
The officers slowly made their way through the smoke. As they did, Robert made his escape through the door on the opposite side of the room.
Finally, the smoke cleared.
"He's gone!" said Banks.
"At least he left the children behind" said Gannon.
"We surrender!" said Samuel.
"He went that way!" said James pointing in a certain direction.
As the three men were cuffed, Banks said, "thanks for the advice. Maybe the judge will go easy on you three."
The parents of Benjamin, Kyle, Brittany, Travis, and Bobby came in. They had been called by the police. They began to untie their children.
Also here were Kimi's family, friends, and the families of their friends.
But someone was missing.
"Hey!" said Ken, "where's Kimi?!"
"Benedict took her" said Samuel. "They went to the rooftop!"
"Thanks for the advice...again!" said Banks.
The Rugrats and Ken rushed to the door across the room. "We're coming Kimi!" said Chuckie who was leading them.
"Kids! Get back here!" said Didi. "It's too dangerous!"
The Rugrats rushed upstairs with Kimi's juvenile friends. Just up ahead, was a door leading to the rooftop.
Chuckie threw the door open and rushed outside with the other Rugrats.
"Where are they?!" said Chuckie.
Suddenly, they heard Kimi's voice.
They turned. Standing at the other end was Robert himself. He was clutching Kimi with one hand. In his other hand was a gun.
The Rugrats rushed towards her, but Benedict stopped them.
"Don't move" he said. "One more step and Kimi will take a twelve story plunge!"
The Rugrats stopped in their tracks.
"Come on!" said Robert. "Where is my getaway helicopter?!"
"Let go of my sister!" said Chuckie. "Or release the beast within me!"
"Yeah right" said Dil. "Nobody is afraid of a mouse."
"This is no time for puns Dil!" said Tommy.
Their parents rushed onto the rooftop.
"Give me the ransom money now!" said Robert.
"I guess we have no choice" said Chazz. "It was a good plan anyway, but we've always got our backup plan."
"Give me the money now!" said Robert.
"First release my daughter!" said Chazz.
"The money first!" said Robert. "Now!"
Pierre and Anita were carrying a briefcase full of the money. They tossed it to Robert.
"At last!" said Robert. "$100,000!"
"Ok Robert" said Ken, "you got what you wanted. Now release my girlfriend!"
Robert laughed. "No."
"What?!" gasped everyone.
"Now, I've got the money, and the girl!" laughed Robert. "What better deal can there be?"
In the distance, everyone heard an approaching helicopter.
"Soon, I'll make my escape!" he laughed.
"That's what you think!" said Kimi.
"Ha!" laughed Robert. "Watch me!"
"You will never get away with this Benedict!" said Brittany.
"Oh yeah?" laughed Robert. "Well who is going to stop me?!"
In Kimi's mind, she heard the voice of her natural father. "Fight Kimi! Only you can stop Benedict!"
Filled with determination, Kimi grabbed the hand of the arm that Benedict clutched her with and bit it.
"Yeow!" cried Robert.
Kimi then elbowed him in the stomache, stomped on his left shoe, then she flipped him over her body onto the floor.
"You wanna piece of me Benedict?!" she said as she got into a fighting stance.
Robert stood. "I don't want a piece of you! I want the whole thing!" He slapped her for the second time in two days, sending Kimi flying. Kimi's family, friends, boyfriend, and everyone else watched in horror.
"Say your prayers you loathsome wasp!" laughed Robert. "Say your prayers to me!"
"I can't" said Kimi as she stood. "I didn't take my bath yet."
"Have it your way!" laughed Robert as he slowly lifted the gun. Then
suddenly he stopped. "Oh that's right!" he said. "I didn't even
to load it!"
Kimi rushed at Robert and kicked the gun out of his hand, sending it flying over the edge and onto the street where it smashed to pieces.
"That was for me and all the kids at juvenile hall!" she said as she prepared to fight some more.
"You little brat!" said Robert. "That was from my prison warden days!"
Suddenly, the helicopter landed.
"Sorry, can't play no more" said Robert as he snatched the briefcase and climbed into the helicopter.
"Hey! Come back here and finish this you coward!" said Kimi.
The helicopter lifted off the rooftop and flew off.
"Come back here!" said Kimi. "I'm not finished with you!"
Just then, the FBI agents came onto the rooftop.
"He got away Robin" said Kimi.
"I don't think so" said Robin. "We had a backup plan."
"What's in the briefcase anyway?" asked Kimi.
"Just a little suprise" said Anita. "Stu helped us rig it."
Meanwhile, in the helicopter, Benedict cackled evilly as he opened the briefcase.
Suddenly, out of the briefcase, came a set of handcuffs which snapped automatically around his wrists, thanks to a set of robotic hands.
"Hey! What's going on?!" demanded Robert.
Suddenly, two police officers stood before him. They had disguised their helicopter so that Robert couldn't tell it was a police helicopter.
"Robert Benedict, you're under arrest for kidnapping of innocent children for ransom, and the escape from police custody." said one of the officers. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you without charge before questioning. Do you understand?"
"Yes" sighed Robert. "For the second time!"
Back on the rooftop, Kimi was reunited with her family and friends.
"Kimi, we're so glad you're safe!" said Kira.
"You had us so worried" said Chazz.
The rest of Kimi's friends gave her a hug.
"I got something I've been wanting to give you since last visiting day at Juvenile Hall" said Ken.
"What is it?" asked Kimi.
To everyone's suprise, Ken gave Kimi a big hug, then they kissed. It was just like the day when they shared their first kiss.
A little later, as everyone drove home, they saw something up ahead where Julia lived.
"Dad, stop the car" said Chuckie.
Chazz stopped the car.
Outside Julia's home was a police car. Out of the front door of the house came two officers, clutching Julia.
"Get your hands off me!" she screamed. "I'll have my parents sue! You can't do this to the most popular girl in school!"
"Save it for the jury!" said one of the officers as the two officers put Julia into the car, right next to a cuffed Robert Benedict.
The police car drove off towards headquarters.
"We did it Kimi" said Chuckie. "We got even with Julia! She's the one who started this whole mess!"
"I knew I could count on you Chuckie" said Kimi with a smile.
That evening, back at the Finster's residence, the phone rang. Chazz answered.
"Hello," answered Chazz.
"This is your attorney, Lionel Mason. Mr. Finster, I am calling reguarding the trial against Robert Benedict but anyway I went to the insane asylum to visit him today. He is still being observed here, due to possible mental problems. However, he has been proven sane, and he will stand trial."
"Well, that's good news, Mr. Mason," replied Chazz. "By the way, about the girl who had a fight with Kimi. She threw a brick at our window last night. The police has taken custody of her."
Lionel said, "That's great. We'll try to schedule both cases on the same day, under the same judge."
The following month, at the courthouse, Julia was put on trial. The video tape showed her throwing the brick.
"I warned you young lady" said Judge John Parker. "I find you guilty on three charges of vandalism. And since it is racially-motivated, the charges will be doubled. For what you've all done, I sentence you to eight months in juvenile hall and one year of probation. And, upon your release, you will attend your first year back in the public school system at the John Shaft Alternative Secondary School."
He banged his gavel. The guards took Julia away.
"I'll be back foreigner!" she screamed at Kimi. "And I'll see to it that you're deported!"
"Make that ten months in juvenile halland two years probation!" said John Parker.
He banged his gavel.
Soon, Robert's trial came up. After all the evidence was weighed, the jury convicted him of kidnapping, child abuse, and all other charges against him.
"Robert Benedict, you have been found guilty on six charges of kidnapping for ransom, one count escape from police custody, two counts of child abuse, two counts of forced labour, one count of dereliction of duty as a warden, and and one count of contempt of court. Before I pass sentence, do you have anything to say?"
Robert sternly turned to Kimi and said, "You took my job, you took my life! Well someday Kimberly, you'll pay! Someday, you're gonna pay!"
The judge responded, "You should have thought of it before you have turned to kidnapping. Therefore, this is the sentence I impose on you. The jury has recommended the gas chamber, but, since none of these crimes led to death, and the fact that I am opposed to capital punishment, I sentence you to six consecutive life terms in Cactus Flats maximum-security prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years."
He banged the gavel.
"And as for your accomplices, I am reducing their previous sentence from life in prison, to twenty years since they helped the police in your arrest. Case dismissed!"
He banged the gavel again.
The guards handcuffed Benedict. They started to lead him out of the room.
Kimi's parents put their arms around Kimi as they watched Benedict being hauled out of the courtroom, and out of her life.
"Good riddance" Kimi said to Robert.
"Case closed," said the judge, banging his gavel.
"Parties excused" said the bailiff. "You may step out."
Everyone left the courtroom.
As they walked out of the courtroom, they met Jim Skinner.
"Kimi, I just want to say that school hasn't been the same without you. So as of now, I am welcoming you back to school. You return next week since this week is a holiday."
"What about Julia?" asked Kimi.
"Oh don't worry about it" said Jim. "She's been expelled for a year, then she'll be going to Shaft for a year, before coming back to Jim Jr. I'll expect you all in school next Monday" said Jim. He left.
"Come on!" said Stu. "Let's all go home and celebrate tonight! Tonight is for you Kimi."
"Thanks" said Kimi.
"It's good to have you back Kimi" said Susie.
Even Angelica was happy to have Kimi back.
"Come on" said Kimi. "Let's go home."
That night, the Rugrats and their families celebrated at the Finsters. Also there, were Benjamin, Brittany, Bobby, Travis, and Kyle. They had a barbeque in the backyard and then everyone gave a speech about what their life was like without Kimi. Then they all pulled down a banner that read "Welcome Home Kimi".
"Thanks" said Kimi. "You guys are the greatest!"
Soon, the kids played games and sports with teams while their parents cheered them on. With Kimi, it was much more enjoyable since they had more players.
Finally, it was time for everyone to leave. Ken was the last to leave. He and Kimi hugged and kissed again before he left, promising to get together with Kimi and her friends tomorrow. Until school started again, the week would be long and fun.
That night, Kimi lay on her bed and rested her head on a soft pillow with Superthing close to her. She was happy to be home and in her comfy bed. Life was good. Everything was back to normal. Julia was in prison, and Benedict was out of her life.
She soon fell fast asleep.
Meanwhile, at that very moment, at Cactus Flats prison, Robert Benedict was dressed in a prisoner's uniform and cap with his legs and arms chained. He was hammering rocks with the other prisoners, but it would soon be time for bed. Being a former warden, Robert found it very hard to make friends.
"It's all that Kimberly Finster's fault!" he said. "Who does she think she is ruining my life and putting me in this dump?!"
He hammered another rock and wiped the sweat off his forehead.
"Well she's got another thing coming!"
He stopped working and shouted up to the sky, loud enough for the other prisoners and the guards to heard.
"Do you hear me Kimberly Finster?! You'll pay for this, if it's the last thing I ever do!"
"Hey loudmouth!" said a guard, "get back to work!"
Frowning, Robert began hammering the rocks again. "This is no way to make a living!" he muttered to himself.
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