It was an early Sunday morning in late August. In less that two weeks, it would be time for our favorite Rugrats to return to school.
A bus pulled up on the street near the Finster's house. Out came Kimi and Ken. They had returned from soccer camp.
Kimi had the time of her life at soccer camp. In the final game, she had scored the only six goals for her team, winning the game. Being one of the few girls at soccer camp, she was the best.
The last week had been awful for Kimi. First, she had started recieving threatening notes from her former arch-rival, Robert Benedict. Then he escaped jail. Kimi was relocated to Philadelphia. But Benedict tracked her down and kidnapped her, along with her juvenile friends Bobby, Kyle, Travis, and Brittany. Benjamin, her other juvenile friend had gone to baseball camp before the notes arrived. He would be coming back today.
After escaping to Canada, Benedict drove off to Ottawa to hide out. Kimi's family and friends gathered the ransom money and delivered it to him. During the final showdown, Ken, Kimi's future husband had been tranquilized, along with Kimi. But being strong, Kimi resisted until after the end.
But the biggest horror of all that week came when Kimi kicked Benedict in the shins, causing him to lose his balance and fall. When the police arrived to arrest him, he was already dead. Kimi was now full of guilt. Normally, she would have wanted him to rot in prison. But instead, she caused his death.
Soon, another bus came along. It dropped off Benjamin. Waiting for him, Ken, and Kimi, were their juvenile friends.
"Benjamin, you wouldn't believe what happened last week" said Kyle.
"What happened?" asked Benjamin.
"Well to start" said Kimi, "we got threatening notes from that juvenile hall warden."
"You mean Robert Benedict?" asked Benjamin.
"That's right" said Bobby.
"Then he escaped jail, kidnapped us, and took us to Canada to escape" said Brittany.
"Kimi's family and other friends delivered a ransom to him personally" said Travis. "Then there was a struggle between us and Benedict."
"I'm glad to see you're all ok" said Benjamin. "But what happened to Benedict?"
Bobby, Kyle, Travis, Ken, and Brittany looked at Kimi.
Kimi was hesitant to speak. Finally, she broke the silence.
"He was insane, to the end" she said.
Benjamin could not believe what he had heard. "Benedict is dead?"
"Yes" said Kimi. "And I'm responsible."
"She's been traumatized about it for the last few days" said Ken.
"I'll get over this eventually" said Kimi.
Later that day, Kimi was watching television. She was watching a movie about a man who was seeking revenge against the man who had sent his brother to prison.
This made Kimi very nervous.
"What if Benedict had a brother?" she asked herself. "What if he finds out that I'm the one who killed his brother? What if he comes after me?"
Suddenly Kimi stopped. "What am I thinking?! No way Benedict could have any relatives!"
Just then, the doorbell rang.
When Kira opened it, she saw her former inlaws Pierre and Anita outside.
"Kimi, your grandparents are here!" said Kira.
Pierre and Anita came into the living room.
"Hope you don't mind us dropping by" said Pierre.
Kimi turned off the television. She didn't feel like watching any more.
"Not at all" she said.
"So how was soccer camp?" asked Anita.
"It was great!" said Kimi. "I scored six goals in the final game!"
"That's very impressive" said Pierre.
"Why thank you" said Kimi.
"By the way Kimi" said Pierre, "we recently met a new friend here in town. He owns a school outside of town. Like us, he's a wealthy man, but not as wealthy as us."
"He's also a member of our rich society club" said Anita. "And we've invited him here today."
"When's he coming?" asked Kimi.
"Later this afternoon" said Pierre.
"His name is Julius" said Anita. "He never told us his last name."
"Kirima!" Pierre called to Kira, "we're having another guest over for dinner today! Set an extra place at the table!"
"Ok" said Kira.
Later that day, at 3:30 p.m, the doorbell rang. Kimi opened the door. Outside stood a man in a black suit and pants, a purple shirt underneath, brown leather shoes, brown hair, and a brown goatee around his chin.
"Are you Julius?" asked Kimi.
"Yes" said the man. "My name is Julius. And you must be Kimberly, the granddaughter of my fellow rich society club members."
"It's Kimi" Kimi corrected him.
"Who is it Kimi?" asked Kira coming into the front hall.
"It's Julius" said Kimi. "The guy that grandma and grandpa told me about."
"Do come in Julius" said Kira. "You're invited to stay for dinner as Pierre and Anita said."
"Why thank you" said Julius as he came in.
At 6:00 p.m, everyone was seated at the table.
"Here's dinner" said Kira as she put several pots on the table.
"Mmmm" said Kimi licking her lips. "Roast beef, corn on the cob, and mashed potatoes!"
"With sour cream?" asked Julius.
"I can get some for you" said Kira. She went to the refrigerator and took out a container of sour cream.
Soon, everyone was eating.
"So Julius" said Chazz, "what do you do for a living?"
"I own and run a school outside of town" said Julius. "I also invest in numerous stocks on the market."
"Much like Drew" said Kira.
"So Kimi, what did you and your brother do this summer so far?" asked Julius.
"We hung out with our friends and played alot. Last week however was a nightmare."
"Tell me about it" said Julius.
Kimi told him everything about what happened the previous week.
"You've been through quite alot" said Julius.
"After that, I went to soccer camp."
"You like sports don't you?" asked Julius.
"How did you know?" asked Kimi.
"Easy, you just told me that you went to soccer camp."
At the end of the meal, Kira said to Chuckie and Kimi, "kids, would you two please help me with the dishes?"
"Sure mom" said Chuckie.
They went into the kitchen.
Chazz said to Julius, "what kind of school is this that you run?"
"A reform school" said Julius. "We train juvenile kids to help re-enter society."
"Kimi's been sent to juvenile hall several months ago. The warden there abused her and the other children."
"What was the warden's name?"
"Is that so?" asked Julius.
In the kitchen, after washing the dishes and putting them away with her children, Kira said to Kimi, "could you take the trash out?"
"Yeah mom" said Kimi.
Kimi opened the trash canister, tied the bag closed and carried it outside.
It was beginning to grow dark. Kimi walked across the front lawn over to the trash can and put the bag inside the can.
She walked back into the house. She took a can of dog food, opened it, and put it into Fifi's dish. Then she took it outside.
She placed the dish near Fifi's dog house. As Fifi ate, Kimi walked back towards the house.
Halfway across the backyard, she met Julius.
"I have something I need to discuss with you Kimi Finster" he said.
"What is it?" asked Kimi.
"Your father told me all about you being in Juvenile Hall and dealing with a cruel warden. You must have gone through quite alot."
"I have. But I don't want to talk about it anymore."
She continued walking, but she tripped on the garden hose and fell down.
As she began to help herself up, she heard Julius' voice.
"Don't bother getting up Kimi!"
She turned, to see Julius pointing a gun at her.
"You're not going anywhere until I make things clear!" he said. "Now I'm gonna ask you nicely. You ever heard of a man named Robert Benedict?"
"Umm...yes" said Kimi. "How do you know him?"
"I'll tell you how I knew him!" Julius said angrily. "He was my older brother! And you killed him!"
Kimi could not believe what she had heard. Just when she was beginning to forget about Robert, here she was, face to face with his brother!
"I didn't kill your brother!" Kimi said. "It was an accident!"
"I don't care!" said Julius. "You sent him to his death!"
"You're not going to hurt me are you?" asked Kimi.
"No" said Julius. "Situations like these are like being under a ton of bricks. One wrong move and you can be crushed!"
He put the gun away. "You're lucky it wasn't even loaded! And if you do tell someone about this, you will regret it!"
Kimi nodded in understanding. Then she stood and walked back inside.
Julius took out the gun, and buried it deeply beneathe the sand in the sandbox.
One hour later, the doorbell rang.
When Chazz answered it, he saw two police officers outside.
"Is there a problem officers?" he asked.
"We recieved a call from Kimi Finster recently" said one of the officers. "It seems someone recently threatened her with a gun."
"What's going on?" asked Kira as she came in.
"Kimi called the police" said Chazz. "It seems someone recently pointed a gun at her."
Kira was shocked.
"Mind if we come in?" asked one of the officers.
"Not at all" said Chazz.
The officers came into the front hall.
In the living room, Kimi and Chuckie were watching television. On a chair was Julius.
When Kimi saw the officers come in, she tackled Julius, knocking him out of the chair.
"I got him!" she said.
"Let us handle this" said one of the officers.
Kimi got off of Julius. The officers helped him up. Then they frisked him.
"Nothing on him" said one of them.
"Try looking in his suit" said Kimi.
"We did. There's nothing."
"Looks like we got us a case of the girl who cried 'Help! This guy pointed a invisible gun on me!'"
"But it's true!" Kimi said.
"Kid, we don't have time for prank phone calls. Next time you call us, we might not help."
When the police left, Kira said to Kimi, "young lady, what do you have to say for yourself?"
"No buts Kimi! You are grounded! Now go up to your room and stay there!"
Kimi went upstairs.
"I must apologize" said Kira to Julius. "She's never been like this before."
"You know" said Julius, "I run a reform school outside of town. With your permission, Kimi can spend the rest of her summer there. Either that, or I can see to it that she's sent back to Juvenile Hall."
"I guess we don't have much of a choice" said Chazz.
A little later...
"What?!" cried Kimi. "I have to go to school, before school even starts?"
"It's either that, or it's back to Juvenile Hall" said Julius. "See you Monday."
"Yes sir" Kimi sighed.
The next day, the rest of the Rugrats came over to Kimi's house. They sat around the sandbox, not knowing that Julius' gun was buried there.
Kimi said, "Wouldn't you know it? There's no way I can get rid of this nightmare. Robert's brother, Julius, came over, and he's sending me to reform school, where I'll be spending the summer."
Tommy said, "That's too bad. Why are you going?"
Kimi said, "Because he hates my guts. Even though I did nothing, he thinks I killed Robert. The Benedicts probably get a thrill out of punishing little kids like me."
"That's too bad," said Lil.
"Hopefully it won't be too bad," said Phil.
As he spoke, he was playing in the sand when he found an importand discovery..."
"Look at that!", Phil shouted.
"What is it?" asked Tommy.
"Julius' gun!" said Kimi. "Nobody touch it! I'm getting mom and dad!"
Kimi raced into the house to get her parents.
Kimi said, "Mom! Dad! Come to the sandbox, quick!"
They do so.
When they got there, they saw the gun.
"Looks like Kimi wasn't lying," said Kira.
"We're sorry we didn't take you seriously," said Chazz.
Kimi said, "There is one person who knows the Benedicts really well to take me seriously -- Robin Banks!"
Chazz went into the kitchen and took the phone. He dialed a number.
After several rings, there was a reply on the other end.
"I need to speak with agent Robin Banks" said Chazz.
"I'm sorry" said the man on the other end, "he's currently on vacation. Can I take a message? Who is this?"
"This is Charles Finster, and I have a very important piece of evidence that you may be interested in."
"And what is it?", the man says.
"A gun," said Chazz, "which may have been used to threaten a little girl last night."
The man sais, "Okay, take it to the police station right away. So you won't destroy the fingerprints, pick it up with a pencil and place it into a plastic bag. I'll call the cops and tell them you'll be on the way."
"Thank you," said Chazz.
They hung up.
"We'll go to the police right now, after we pick up the gun. Like to come?" asked Chazz.
"I think I'll just stay here" said Kimi. "They wouldn't take me seriously. Don't you remember what they said last night? If I called again, they wouldn't help me."
Chazz, then, took pencil and picked up the gun from the sandbox, then placed it in a Ziploc bag. Soon, he and everyone else went to the police.
As Kimi sat down to watch tv, the doorbell rang.
When she answered it, she saw a familiar man.
"You all packed up?" asked Julius.
"Uhh, no" said Kimi. "But there's no need to. The police will be here soon looking for you."
"Is that so? Well then, you're coming with me! Now go pack up! We're leaving for that school right now!"
Having no choice, Kimi went upstairs to start packing.
At the police station, everyone met the chief.
"Are you saying that Kimi was right about a man pointing a gun at her?"
"That's right" said Chazz. "And here is the evidence."
Chazz placed the wrapped gun on the counter.
The chief said, "Okay; we'll take it to the crime lab and analyse the fingerprints, and we'll call you informing the results. But for now, go home, relax, and lock all doors and windows."
"Thanks," said Chazz.
Back at the Finsters house, Kimi finished packing her bags. She had packed some more clothes, her Superthing doll, and the picture of her natural father.
She went outside to meet Julius. He took her outside, taking his other gun with him. He opened one of the doors on the car outside. Kimi went in.
Julius closed the door after climbing in and drove off.
Just as they left, they saw a mysterious black Cadillac leave the Finster's house.
"Who was he?", said Chazz.
When they got into the house, they were unable to find Kimi.
Meanwhile, Chuckie and the other Rugrats went looking for Kimi, but she was nowhere to be found.
They came back downstairs.
"Dad, we can't find Kimi!" said Chuckie.
"What?!" cried Chazz. "Kimi is gone too!"
"I think I know what happened" said Kira. "Julius must have come here!"
"Where could Julius have gone with Kimi?" asked Kira.
"I don't know," said Chazz. "I'm calling the cops."
He does so.
"Police department," said the chief.
"Charles Finster, here. I'm reporting an abduction of my daughter, Kimi."
The chief said, "Right. And I know who probably did it too -- Julius Benedict."
"That's right," said Chazz.
The chief said, "I got the results back from the lab, and the prints on the gun belong to Julius. And he has a criminal record, too -- he was a principal at a high school in Dayton, Ohio, but was fired for slapping a 15-year old boy for posessing pot. Then, at a high school in Lima, Ohio, he was fired and fined $5000 for punching a 16-year old girl for smoking cigarettes. Then, he became a middle school principal in Lansing, Michigan, but was thrown in jail for a year after beating up a 13-year old boy for making a face at him. And now, he's in our town, running the local reform school, where a person as tough as him runs a school for kids as tough as him. But, with Julius ordering Kimi to go by pointing a gun at her, I think he's due for a lifetime scholarship at the state prison, with more charges possible."
"Wow", said Chazz.
The chief continued, "We'll have Friday and Gannon on the case, and we'll have the FBI page Agent Banks and have him come back. We'll call you later to arrange some plan, but for now, try to relax."
"Thanks again," said Chazz.
He hung up.
"Now" said Kira, "I'm making a call to Pierre and Anita to tell them what's happened."
Kira called them. Pierre answered the phone.
"Hello," said Pierre.
"Pierre," replied Kira, "Julius, the man who came last night for dinner, is Robert Benedict's brother!"
"You mean the awful Juvenile Hall warden?" asked Pierre.
"Yes!" exclaimed Kira, "and in fact, last night, after you two left he threatened Kimi with a gun, and ordered her to go to his reform school against her will."
"What?!" demanded Pierre. "That's it! I will see to that Julius is banned from our social club! I will not have anyone torture my only granddaughter! I will not have that! We are on our way."
"Okay, thanks," replied Kira.
Then they hung up.
Meanwhile, outside of town, Julius drove his car towards a medium sized building several miles outside of town.
"You're going to like it here" he said. "This place is kind of like a house combined with a school. There's a classroom, a kitchen, a dining room, and sleeping quarters."
"Does anybody else work there?" asked Kimi.
"Why yes" said Julius. "I've hired a cook to prepare the food, a maid to manage the sleeping quarters and clean the place, I've even hired a man with experience as a teacher. Apparently, he used to be a principal at your school."
"Who?" asked Kimi.
"William Walker" said Julius.
"Uh oh" Kimi said to herself. She knew all about William Walker. William Walker was the principal who had cut back on recess, given out detention, forced the kids to do more homework, and even threatened to take away vacations, days off, and holidays.
"I helped him escape from the asylum several weeks ago" said Julius. "I'm sure we'll all get along just fine."
"Do I have to go through this?" asked Kimi.
"Would you rather go back to Juvenile Hall?"
"Good. The other kids currently attending this school were all given that choice. But remember, I'm in charge. Any slipups and you'll be staying extra time! And I know my brother said that to you several times when you were in Juvenile Hall!"
"How'd you know?"
"He said that all the time to all the kids. But I'll warn you just this once Kimi. If you mess with me or prove to be a bother, remember, I hold a grudge against you for killing my brother!"
"I didn't mean to kill your brother!" cried Kimi.
"Silence" said Julius. "And remember, I warned you!"
Kimi gulped. She had never been so nervous before. All she had to do was try to adjust for the next twelve days and it would be all over.
Soon, Julius pulled up in front of the school. "Now, how about we go in and get you settled in. I'm sure everyone else will want to meet you."
"Ok" Kimi said.
"Maybe it won't be so bad after all" Kimi said to herself. But there was something else that worried Kimi. And that was how William Walker would feel about seeing her again.
Meanwhile, back at home, Chazz planned on calling their lawyer.
"Now," said Chazz, "I am going to call Lionel before he closes up for the night."
"Wait!" said Pierre. "I have a better idea! Let's call OUR attorney!"
"I don't know, Pierre," replied Chazz. "Lionel has been my attorney since the kids were very young."
"Now Charles," Pierre retorted. "We are not going to argue about this. This is our granddaughter the daughter of our dead son and we are calling our attorney."
"Alright," sighed Chazz, "if that's what you wish."
Pierre dialed the number to his attorney.
Chazz said, "I don't know Kira, Lionel has been my attorney for many years and he is associated with Judge Parker..."
"...and so is our attorney!" replied Anita.
"That's a relief," replied Chazz.
Anita said, "Our attorneys, Brenda and Kenneth Smith, are very good attorneys. They are good, experienced, have dealt with a couple of children and their parents in the past."
"But just in case," Chazz said, "I would like to have Lionel work with them. He has an impeccable record."
"Very well," Anita said. "We'll all work together."
Meanwhile, at the reform school outside of town, Kimi was nervous. Questions raced through her head.
"What if the staff at the school aren't as nice as Julius?"
"How will I get through this?"
"What will my room look like?"
"What will I be doing for the next two weeks?"
"How will William Walker react when he sees me again?"
"How will the other kids react when they find out I accidentally killed the headmaster's brother?"
Julius took her into the school's main hall. It looked like the inside of a small mansion. There was a staircase leading to the next floor along with several doors leading to other rooms on both floors.
Julius looked at the grandfather clock by the door.
"It's getting late" he said. "I'll take you up to your room to meet your fellow schoolmates. School starts for you first thing tomorrow. The cook will make your breakfast tomorrow. For now, you may go upstairs and wait while the cook calls you downstairs for supper."
He walked up to one of the doors and rapped on it with his cane.
"Miss Krone! We have a new student here! Prepare another serving of split pea soup!"
"Yes sir" said a woman's voice behind the door.
Julius then led Kimi upstairs to the bedrooms. There were two of them, one for boys, another for girls.
Julius rapped on the door for the girls bedroom. "All of you! Stand up straight!"
He opened the door and went inside. Inside, nine girls, about Kimi's age were standing in a line. Most of the girls were older than Kimi, the oldest, looked as if she was sixteen. Two were younger than Kimi, one being only about ten.
"I want you all to welcome a new edition to our faculty of students" said Julius. "Kimberly, get in here!"
Kimi walked in, carrying her suitcase.
"This is Kimberly Finster. I'm sure we'll all get along just fine. Now go back to what you were doing! The cook will be ready with your supper soon."
Julius took his leave, closing the door behind him.
The girls went back to what they were doing previously. Several played board games, a few read books, and a couple of others were playing with dolls.
As Kimi began to unpack her suitcase and put her stuff away in a small chest of drawers near the bed where she would be sleeping, there was another knock on the door.
Outside, came a voice.
"Supper's ready!" said the voice of a middle aged woman. "Come and get it!"
The bedroom doors opened. Out came the boys and girls. Altogether, including Kimi, there were two dozen kids. They all followed Miss Krone downstairs to the dining room to eat.
To Kimi's suprise, the dining room looked just like the dining room in her grandparent's mansion. There was a large table with lit candles and enough chairs to seat everyone. Above, was a chandelier with a dozen lit candles.
Miss Krone, a middle aged woman with grey hair and dressed in a white cook's uniform and apron began to dish some split pea soup. One by one, she served everyone their supper, Kimi being last.
"I want you all to welcome at the table, a new student" she said. "Kimberly Finster!"
The boys and girls muttered greetings to Kimi and began to eat their soup. Miss Krone supplied everyone with some bread with strawberry jam. Kimi was quite suprised because back in juvenile hall, she didn't get any jam with her bread. And the soup was also hot instead of cold. This place seemed to be quite an improvement over juvenile hall.
To Kimi's relief, Miss Krone was actually a very nice person. She also hoped that everyone one else on the staff would be friendly too. Of course, even she knew that William Walker would not be so good to everyone, especially with her.
When everyone finished their soup, Miss Krone asked if someone wanted more. Each of the kids had another bowl of soup. They also had another slice of bread with jam.
As the kids finished and returned to their bedrooms, Miss Krone said, "if there's anything you need, just let me know!"
The boys and girls went upstairs to their room and spend the next three hours playing games or reading books. When it was time for bed, they all dressed for bed and went to sleep. Kimi noticed that the beds were made so nicely and kept clean. She knew that the maid had been in recently.
Meanwhile at the Finsters house, Chazz finished calling the attornies of his wife's former inlaws, and his lawyer. Unfortunately, Judge John Parker was temporarily out of town. He would be back in about a week. Lionel said that he would contact the judge as soon as he returned to town. For now, an investigation would be held to determine if Kimi had been kidnapped and forced to leave home against her will. Unfortunately for Pierre and Anita, even though they knew Julius' reform school was outside of town, they had no idea exactly where it was. But for now, all the Finsters could do was wait and hope for the best.
Hours later, back at Reform School, Kimi had a terrible nightmare. She was standing in the cellar of a house. It was the same house in Ottawa where Robert Benedict was last seen alive.
Lying on the dirt floor was Benedict himself. Kimi looked down at him, gazing at his dead body.
Suddenly, something grabbed her and bound her arms and legs together while gagging her mouth.
The next thing Kimi knew, she was standing in a courtroom in front of the judge. The judge turned out to be...Julius!
"Kimberly Finster, I find you guilty in causing the death of my brother! Therefore, you I sentence you to the worst form of punishment ever!"
He banged the gavel.
Soon, Kimi found herself atop a three story house. It was the same house where she had knocked Robert Benedict to his death (accidentally).
"You can't escape me Kimi!" a voice boomed out behind her.
Kimi ran as fast as she could along the roof, but she was trapped.
"Nowhere left to run!" said Julius as he appeared out of nowhere from behind her. He grabbed her and lifted her up. "This is for Robert!"
The next thing Kimi knew, she was falling through blackness.
Then, she landed on the ground without any pain. But she was now in a new place.
She found herself in what appeared to be a prison cell.
Sinister laugher was heard in her ears as she stood.
A familiar man appeared before her. Only he appeared to be a ghost.
"Now see what you've gotten yourself into you little worm?!" he laughed. "This is your punishment for killing me Kimberly! I never thought I would actually die at the hands of a twelve year old girl! You will spend all eternity with the fact that you caused my death! This memory will never be forgotten! And don't even think about getting down on your knees and begging for mercy, because you killed me!"
"No!!!" cried Kimi.
Suddenly, Kimi sat up in bed. She breathed a heavy sigh of relief. It had all been just a dream.
Meanwhile, back downstairs in his study, Julius was drinking a glass of wine while reading the paper on the desk before him. Among the obituaries was Robert Benedict.
"Robert Benedict, 51, died August 14th after a fall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, from a three story house after a struggle with one of his hostages, Kimberly Finster. He was cremated several days later."
Julius frowned as he read the obituary. He had already read it three times since he had first heard of his brother's death.
"Someway or another Kimi, I'll break your spirit through your time in this school. You will soon regret the day you killed Robert Benedict!"
He tightened his grip on his wine glass until it shattered, spilling the remaining wine onto the desk.
Meanwhile, back at the Finster's house, Chuckie couldn't sleep. He was thinking about what kind of torture Kimi would go through at the hands of Julius. First thing tomorrow, he and his friends (and Angelica) and their parents would be expecting the arrival of an investigator to begin an investigation.
Early the next morning at 7:45 a.m, the doorbell rang. Kira got up, put on her slippers, and went downstairs.
When she opened the front door, she saw a young red-headed man in a trench coat smoking a corn-cob pipe. He took out his badge.
"Trent Parker, private investigator" he said. "I've been assigned to conduct an investigation. May I come in?"
"Certainly" said Kira. "Come on in."
A few minutes later, Kira and Chazz were on the couch, still in their slippers and bathrobes. Trent was sitting on a chair.
"Now tell me" said Trent as he took out his notepad and a pencil, "when was the last time you saw Kimi?"
"Yesterday" said Chazz. "She was outside with my son Chuckie and their friends. One of them discovered a gun in the sandbox. We took it to the police while Kimi stayed at home since the police wouldn't take her seriously since they believed she made a false alarm. When we came home, she was gone."
"Do you have any suspects?" asked Trent as he wrote down some notes.
"Just one" said Kira. "Julius Benedict."
"Tell me about him."
"He's the younger brother of Robert Benedict, a cruel warden at the juvenile hall Kimi was sent to for rough behavior. Apparently in Ottawa, Kimi got into a fight with him and sent him down tumbling to the cellar from the roof. He didn't survive. Even though Julius forced Kimi to go to his reform school, we suspect that he wants something more, like revenge."
Trent continued to write notes.
Just then, Chuckie came downstairs in his pajamas.
"Who's he?" he asked.
"Trent Parker" said Trent. "Not only am I a private investigator, I'm also the brother of judge John Parker."
"Are you going to find my sister?"
"I'll do my best. Government Agent Robin Banks is returning from his vacation today, so we'll be meeting him late this afternoon. We'll be working together."
"Wow" Chuckie thought. "Wait till my friends and Angelica hear about this!"
But Chuckie also had another thought.
"What was happening to Kimi now?"
Trent asked, "How did Julius get here?"
"Well," replied Kira, "he is a friend of Kimi's grandparents, and they brought him over for dinner the night before last."
"Would you call her grandparents?" asked Trent. "I have a few questions to ask them."
"Sure," replied Kira.
Kira called Anita and Pierre
At Anita and Pierre's mansion, the phone rang.
Anita reached for the phone.
"Hello," said Anita.
"Anita," said Kira,"I hate to call you at a time like this, but the investigator is here, and he needs you two over here as soon as possible."
"Already?" asked Anita suprisingly.
"Yes," replied Kira, "and he has a few questions to ask you two."
"Alright," replied Anita, "we are on our way."
They both hung up.
Anita talks to Pierre.
"Pierre," said Anita. "Kerima just called and said the investigator is here and he needs us."
"An investigator?" Pierre asked suprisingly.
"Yes, and he has a few questions to ask us. He needs us there as soon as possible, so hurry along!"
"Alright," replied Pierre.
Meanwhile, at the reform school, Kimi was just getting dressed with the other girls. Then, they went downstairs with the boys to the dining room for breakfast.
As they entered, they saw a middle aged blonde woman in a maid's uniform setting the table for everyone.
"Who's she?" Kimi asked Mrs. Krone.
"That's Madeline" said Mrs. Krone. "She's the maid here. Sit down everyone, breakfast will be ready soon."
Everyone sat down at the table.
Mrs. Krone soon came in, with a cart of pancakes on plates.
"Eat your fill" she said. "Due to the strict policy set by Julius, there's no lunch."
Everyone dished up on pancakes. Mrs. Krone placed a container of butter and syrup on the table.
"Enjoy!" she said.
Back at the Finster household, Trent was now interviewing Pierre and Anita.
"When did you last see your granddaughter?"
"Two days ago" said Pierre. "When Julius came."
"And what's your relationship to him?" asked Trent.
"He's in our social club" said Anita. "He used to be a friend of ours, until we found out about him threatening our only granddaughter with a gun!"
"According to your former daughter-inlaw, Julius' brother Robert Benedict was accidentally killed by Kimi."
"That's true" said Pierre. "And we suspect that he wants revenge. Next time I see him, I'm kicking him out of the social club!"
Back at the reform school, Kimi had just finished her breakfast with everyone else. It was alot better than the breakfasts she had in Juvenile Hall.
Just then, the grandfather clock began to bong.
"Hurry up kids!" Julius demanded as he passed the dining room, "I don't got all day!"
"What's that?" asked Kimi.
"It's time for your classes!" said Mrs. Krone. "Do a good days learning, or no supper!"
As they left, Kimi said to a boy older than her, "why is Mrs. Krone being so mean now? She used to be so nice!"
"If Julius found out that she's kind to us, he'd fire her!"
Soon, they entered the classroom. It had a desk for everyone, with two chairs each. Only one desk had a single chair.
As they all took their seats, Kimi found herself sitting next to a girl slightly older than her.
Just then, the door opened again. In came a man too familiar to Kimi.
"Good morning you rotten brats!" he said.
He strolled by each desk to make sure everyone was here.
"Jim, sit up! Michael, don't slouch! Penelope, spit out that gum!"
But when he came to Kimi's desk, he stopped, with a look of surprise in his eyes.
"Well, well, well" he said. "It's you again Kimberly."
"That's Kimi" said Kimi.
"Here you go by your formal name you worthless worm!"
Kimi gulped. "Yes sir."
"Any slipups and you'll get all night detention!" William said angrily.
Just then, Julius came in.
"Is there a problem?" he asked.
"The new girl is giving me problems!" said William.
"Ah, Kimberly Finster isn't it? Well then, tonight Kimberly, and all throughout your stay, nightly detention! You'll see me in my office tonight!" Kimi gulped.
"I got a question Julius" said William. "What's she doing here anyway?"
"I'll tell you" said Julius.
"Uh oh" Kimi said to herself.
"Kimberly, why don't you tell everyone who is responsible for my brother's death?"
All eyes were on Kimi.
Kimi gulped. "I am."
The students gasped.
"But it was an accident!"
"You're guilty!" said Julius.
"No!" cried Kimi. "I didn't mean it!"
"So as you can all see" said Julius, "Kimberly killed my brother!"
The students gasped again.
"Remember Kimberly, my office, tonight!"
"I don't want to sit by you!" the girl sitting next to Kimi said. "Does anyone want to trade?"
The boy sitting in the desk with a single chair traded spots with Kimi.
Kimi sighed. Her troubles had just began.
Kimi's first day didn't go so well. William Walker's classes were so harsh that several times, he even threatened to beat the students with a measuring stick. He even made some kids write lines on the blackboard, Kimi being one of them.
And if that wasn't enough, whenever Kimi was close to another student, that kid would move away. And at suppertime, when Mrs. Krone served more hot green pea soup, those sitting near Kimi moved away when she sat down. Eventually, Kimi had to eat in the hallway.
Kimi sighed. Nobody wanted to be near her. After all, what could she do?
Meanwhile, at the Finster household, there was a knock on the front door. When Kira opened it, she met Robin Banks.
"Robin Banks, FBI. I just got off my vacation today when I heard the story about Kimi. Mind if I come in?"
"Not at all" said Kira. "Please come in. Trent is awaiting you in the living room."
Robin went into the living room where Trent awaited him.
"So what have you learned so far?" he asked.
"I've learned that Julius, the younger brother of Robert Benedict, has taken Kimi to his reform school outside of town. However, since Kimi was the last one to see Robert alive, Julius may want revenge."
"Does Julius have a criminal record?"
"Yes. He used to be principal and teacher, but was fired for abusing several students."
"What has he done so far since he first came here?"
"The only thing that matters is that he threatened Kimi with a gun and taken her by force to his school."
"Do you know where it is?"
"We will continue our investigation and try to gain a warrant for Julius' arrest tomorrow."
"Good. But for now, we must take it easy."
Back at the reform school. Kimi was sitting on the floor outside the dining room, finishing her soup. This was no way to end her first day.
Just then, a message was heard on the announcer.
"Kimberly Watannabe Finster! Report to the office immediately!"
Kimi stood and went to the office.
Julius sat at his desk.
"You're probably wondering why I called you here Kimberly" he said.
Kimi didn't speak.
"It's because you have detention! That's why!"
He pressed a button on the intercom.
"Madeline! You will not have to scrub the floor of the main hall tonight. Someone else will do it for you!"
"It's not me, is it?" asked Kimi.
"Thanks for volunteering" said Julius with a snicker.
A little later, Kimi was on her knees, scrubbing the floor of the main hall. For two whole hours, Kimi scrubbed hard. By the time she finished, her hands and knees hurt.
It was 8:45 p.m. Kimi still had plenty of time till bedtime to enjoy herself.
She went upstairs up to her room with the other girls.
But after opening the door, she saw the oldest girl blocking her path.
"Just where do you think you're going murderer?" she said.
"Inside" said Kimi.
"Well we don't want you in here! Now scram!"
She tossed all of Kimi's belongings at her and slammed the door.
Kimi slowly began to pick up everything. Her clothes had a few wrinkles, but the picture of her natural father wasn't even damaged.
"It's not fair!" she said to herself. "Just because I accidentally killed the headmaster's brother doesn't mean I'm a murderer! Why don't the kids like me anymore?"
"I saw everything" said a voice behind her.
Behind her, stood Julius.
"Obviously, since you won't be sleeping in there anymore, I'm moving you!"
"Where?" asked Kimi.
"Uh oh" Kimi thought.
"You'll still be attending your classes here, but you'll be spending they nights at my house! Now come along! Let's get going! Madeline, pack Kimi's things into a suitcase!"
Downstairs, Madeline said, "yes sir."
Kimi went downstairs to the kitchen and went into the dining room where she met Mrs. Krone.
"Whatever is the matter child?" she asked.
"The girls kicked me out of my room. And Julius is making me stay with him!"
"Why don't you have a seat and I'll make you something to eat. The children were so cruel to you at dinner time, not allowing you to sit anywhere."
Kimi sat at the table. Mrs. Krone began to make beef stew.
"To tell you the truth, I've never actually trusted Julius" said Mrs. Krone. "After all, the Benedict family line was full of people like him and his brother Robert Benedict. Still, it is a shame what happened to his brother. Is it true you killed him?"
"Accidentally. I didn't mean it!"
"Accidents happen" said Mrs. Krone. "We all make mistakes. However, just because Julius is a Benedict doesn't mean he is necessarily a bad person."
"What do you mean?" asked Kimi.
"Julius is only cruel because he chooses to be. In your case, he blames you for his brother's death and wants revenge. If somehow you can prove you really didn't mean to do what you did against his brother, he may change."
"Possibly, a low probability" Kimi said.
Soon, the beef stew was ready.
"Enjoy" said Mrs. Krone.
Kimi began to eat.
A little later, Kimi met Julius outside by his car. Madeline had prepared her suitcase which she now carried.
Julius forced her into his car and drove off.
After traveling for several miles down the road, they came to a medium sized grey brick house with a flat roof.
Inside, Kimi noticed that it was like a small mansion inside.
Julius took Kimi to her room. It was like her room back home.
"This is where you will be staying" he said. "Since Madeline isn't here, you'll have to clean it yourself!"
"Yes sir" Kimi sighed.
"And when you finish putting your things away, come to my study. It is dusty and I want you to clean it!"
Kimi sighed again. "Yes sir."
After Julius left, Kimi began to put her clothes into the chest of drawers. She put the picture of her natural father on top and placed her Superthing doll on the bed.
When she finished, she went to the Study where Julius awaited her.
He handed her a feather duster. "I'll come back in a bit to see how you are doing. Now get to work."
"Yes sir" Kimi sighed.
Kimi began to dust the Study. She dusted the desk, the phone, the plant pots and the lamp.
As she continued to work, she saw several pictures on the desk. Both had two two boys, one in his late teens, and the other in his early teens. One had a picture of one of them at his highschool graduation, while another had the other boy at his college graduation.
"I see you've found those pictures!" said Julius who was watching her from the doorway. He went into the Study and took them.
"Who are those two boys?" asked Kimi.
"One of them is me" said Julius.
"Who's the other boy?"
Julius only frowned.
"No!" said Kimi.
"Yes" said Julius. "My brother!"
Kimi could not believe what she had heard.
Julius locked the photos in his desk.
"Ok, this is good enough" he said. "Now, go to your room."
"Yes sir" said Kimi as she left.
Julius sat at his desk.
Suddenly, in his mind, he heard a voice.
"Brother, you are doing well!"
"I am doing what I set out to do!" said Julius.
"Then do the next goal on your revenge list. Now listen to me. Kimi may be strong and free spirited, but you can emotionally destroy her! Break her spirit and make her suffer, just like you did! Make her wish she had never been born, then grant her wish!"
"Yes brother" he said.
He no longer heard the voice in his mind.
Back in her room, Kimi changed into her pajamas and climbed into bed. She thought of her family and friends back home. How she wanted to go home! But tomorrow was another day.
The next day, back at the Finsters household, Robin Banks was reading Trent's notes.
"According to these notes you've taken" he said, "you've certainly got your work cut out for you. Now all that's left is to call John Parker to get the warrant."
He picked up the phone and called John Parker.
On the other end, the judge picked up the phone.
"Judge John Parker, this is agent Robin Banks. I have some information for you."
"What kind of information?"
"It involves Julius Benedict, the younger brother of Robert Benedict. I'll fax it over right now."
He placed the notes in the fax machine and pressed "Send".
On the other end of the line, Judge John Parker saw the notes come up in his fax machine. He took and read the notes.
"Yes, this is very interesting. You'll soon recieve the warrant for the arrest of Julius Benedict."
At Julius' house, Kimi had just woken up. Today was going to be another bad day.
"Up and at it!" said Julius from outside. "Come get your breakfast while it's cold!"
Kimi got dressed and went to the kitchen where she saw Julius drinking his coffee and reading the paper.
Waiting for Kimi was a cold piece of toast, without jam! There was also a glass of orange juice.
While Kimi ate her breakfast, Julius read the business section.
"According to the papers, I made $1,000,000 on the shares I bought."
Kimi said nothing as she drank her juice.
Overall, it was a terrible breakfast.
"Ok" said Julius, "now the little girl will go to school, now!"
Julius drove Kimi back to the school.
Once again, Kimi had a terrible day. In fact, it was even worse. No one wanted to sit next to her.
"The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isoceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side" said Kimi.
"Wrong!" said William Walker as he banged her desk with a ruler. "That's a right triangle!"
"Hey I can't help it" Kimi protested. "Math isn't my kind of subject."
"Mocking the way I run this classroom?!" demanded William.
"Umm...no sir" stammered Kimi.
"Get up to the blackboard and write, 'I will not mock the teacher', a hundred times!"
"But I wasn't..."
"Now you little brat or else I'll report you to the headmaster!"
Kimi began to write on the blackboard.
"I never had to do this back at my old school, not like this old windbag!" Kimi said to herself.
Unfortunately, William heard.
"I heard that! Make that two hundred times! And you will not leave until it is done!"
"It can't get any worse than this!" she thought.
But Kimi was wrong. She was at the blackboard all morning and after noon.
"I hate this!" she said to herself.
Finally, she finished.
"Good" said William. "Now, clean the blackboards!"
Kimi sighed and took the chalkboard eraser.
Back at the Finster household, Robin and Trent were alerted to the fax machine. Waiting for them, was the warrant issued for Julius Benedict's arrest. After they took it, they bid good-bye to everyone. All that was left was to find Julius.
The rest of the second day for Kimi didn't go so well. It had taken her three hours to write all the lines. After that, William Walker made her erase the chalkboard, and then clean the erasers.
As Kimi clapped the erasers together, Julius watched her, without catching her attention.
"She looks crushed to me brother" he said.
"Indeed" said a voice in his head. "And do you know why? It's because you are making her miserable! Keep it up and eventually, you'll have your revenge!"
At 6:00 p.m., it was time for dinner. But unfortunately for Kimi, she would be eating with Julius.
As Kimi rode back to Julius' house, she felt empty inside. She hated this school and the way she was being treated.
He and Trent climbed into their cars and drove off.
A little later, Julius and Kimi were seated at the table. They were having soup.
"Eat your soup!" he said.
"But it's cold" Kimi protested. "How come you get the hot stuff?"
"Don't question my authority or else!" said Julius. "Either eat your soup, or you'll clean the kitchen!"
Quickly Kimi ate her soup. It tasted terrible when cold.
"That's a good girl" said Julius.
"Man, that was terrible" said Kimi.
"Like it?" asked Julius. "Have some more!"
He dished up more soup.
Kimi groaned and ate that too.
When she finished her next bowl, Julius said, "Had enough?"
Kimi nodeed "no", but Julius took it as a "yes".
"You must really love this soup!", said Julius.
He gave her another bowl.
Fortunately, she had finished the rest of the soup.
Unfortunately, Julius still made her clean up the kitchen.
Finally, Kimi finished cleaning up. She knees hurt from kneeling on the floor.
"I can't take this anymore!" she said to herself. "I've got to call home!"
She picked up the phone and dialed the number for home.
Back at the Finster household, the phone began to ring.
"I'll get it!" said Chazz. "Maybe he found something!"
He picked it up. "Hello?"
"Dad? It's Kimi."
"Kimi, where are you?"
"At Julius' house. It's several miles out of town and away from the reform school."
"Where is it?"
"You drive north along the highway, go for about six miles, and then you'll find it!"
"Thanks! Pack up everything you have and leave it outside! We are on our way!"
He hung up. "Kira, gather up everyone! I know where Kimi is!"
Back at Julius' house, Kimi went to her room to pack up everything she had. After doing so, she quickly looked outside her room, looking for Julius. Not seeing him anywhere, she quietly went to the front door and opened it, leaving her suitcase outside.
Suddenly, she heard Julius from his study.
"Kimi, get in here!"
Kimi went to the study.
"What do you want now?" she said.
"My windows need washing! Clean them! Now!"
"Yes sir" Kimi sighed.
He handed her the bucket and sponge. "When you're done, you can scrub the floor!"
Kimi began to work. This had been the worst two days of her life. Julius treated her like his slave. But soon, she would be free.
A little later, the doorbell rang.
When Julius opened it, Chazz, Kira, and their families and friends forced their way in.
"Who are you?" asked Tommy. "I've never seen you before."
"Don't you remember?" said Julius. "I'm Julius Benedict, the younger brother of Robert Benedict! And your friend killed him!"
"Julius, we will not tolerate this attitude towards our only granddaugher!" said Pierre.
"And we're writing a very strict letter to the committee about your actions against Kimi!" said Anita. "Imagine, pointing a gun at a defenseless child!"
"Ha! I'll have you all know that..."
"We know!" said Chuckie. "But what happened about your brother was an accident!"
"I'll be the judge of that!" said Julius.
Kimi came into the hall to meet everyone.
"Oh good, everyone's here!" she said.
"You aren't going anywhere Kimi!" said Julius.
"You twisted fiend!" said Chuckie angrily. He charged at Julius. However, Julius pulled out a gun.
"I wouldn't!" he said. "I've decided to protect myself. After all, one of you killed my brother!"
Now Kimi was very angry.
"Why won't you listen to me?!" she said, "it was an accident!"
"I wouldn't do that if I were you Kimi!" said Julius. "This time, the gun is loaded!"
"Watch it Julius" said Anita, "with this kind of behavior, you shouldn't be in any social club!"
"You should be in prison!" said Pierre.
"Me? Ha! I'll have you all know that in this case, I'm not the bad guy. I'm the victim!"
"What are you talking about?" asked Chazz.
"My brother is dead because of your daughter!"
"Julius!" said Kira, "Kimi is only a little girl!"
"A troublemaking little girl!" said Julius.
"Julius, this is the last straw!" said Chazz. "We're taking Kimi home right now!"
"Ha! I'll have you both know that you allowed me to enroll Kimi in my school! If you try to take her out, I'll have her sent back to juvenile hall, or even better...prison!"
"What for?" asked Kira.
"For murder!" said Julius.
"When is this going to end?!" Kimi said to herself.
Julius turned to Kimi.
"Kimberly, why would you want to go back home? Wouldn't you rather stay here? Look what you can have! Riches! A comfortable bedroom! Someone to cook your meals for you!"
"Your cooking is terrible!" said Kimi.
"Wrong answer! For that, you get the death penalty!" said Julius as he lifted the gun towards Kimi.
But Kimi was quick. She kicked the gun out of Julius' hand. It landed on the floor.
There was a bang as the gun went off, the bullet pierced the rope holding up the candlebra on the ceiling.
The candelbra came crashing onto the floor, right in front of the grownups.
The heat from the lights set the floor on fire.
"Now look what you've done!" said Julius.
"Me?!" cried Kimi.
"Kimi, run!" cried Chazz as he and the others ran out the front door.
Kimi started to run for the door, but Julius grabbed her by the arm.
The fire began to spread. Soon, it blocked the front door.
"No!" cried Kimi.
"You're coming with me Kimi!" said Julius. "We can escape from the roof! And then, you're mine!"
He forced her through the burning hall and ran up the stairs, still clutching her arm. He climbed up to the second floor and opened the door to the attic.
"I have a feeling of Deja Vu!" Kimi said to herself.
Julius opened a trapdoor on the ceiling. Then he climbed out onto the balcony and forced Kimi up onto the rooftop.
Suddenly, Kimi stomped on Julius' left shoe.
"Yeow!" he cried, releasing Kimi.
But he quickly overcame the pain and grabbed Kimi again. Then, with a mighty shove, he pushed her down.
"Misery, misery, misery" he said. "That's what you've chosen. I offered you friendship and a chance to redeem yourself, but you spat in my face!"
Kimi stood and punched at Julius, but he caught her fist.
"Impressive!" he said. Then he gave her a forceful push, sending her skidding a few feet.
Kimi got up and began to fight again, but Julius was prepared. He tossed her over his head, sending Kimi flying.
Down below, Kimi's family and friends watched in horror.
Kimi kicked at Julius, but he caught her leg. Then he slapped her, knocking her down.
As Kimi began to get up, Julius grabbed her by the back of her shirt and forced her up, lifting her up off the rooftop.
"You fought your last fight Kimi" he said as he pulled out his gun. "Had you not been so selfish, my brother would still be alive. But since you've really made me mad, I shall now have sweet revenge!"
"Don't hurt me!" cried Kimi. "Just give me a chance! Please!"
"What about my brother?!" demanded Julius. "Did you give him a chance?! Did you?!"
Kimi didn't say anything.
"I thought so" said Julius.
He pulled the safety latch.
"This is for my brother!"
But before he could react, Kimi punched him in the face, knocking him down.
As he got up, Kimi punched him again. Then she kicked him in the shins. Julius could not seem to react fast enough to stop her.
"Kimi, stop! Stop!" he cried.
"You don't have to do this" said Julius. "I mean, haven't we had some good times here? Didn't you have fun?"
Kimi didn't say anything.
"I've been like a father to you" said Julius. "Be a daughter to me now."
Kimi was silent.
Finally, she broke the silence.
"I had a father" she said. "His name was Jean-Pierre LeClerc."
Julius looked quite surprised. Then he frowned.
He lifted the gun back up towards Kimi.
Kimi responded by kicking him in the shins.
Stunned by the blow, Julius dropped the gun. He staggered backwards towards the edge of the rooftop.
Kimi's family and friends watched in horror.
"Oh no!" Kimi thought, "this is exactly how his brother died!"
Kimi rushed forth and grabbed Julius' arm.
"Hold on!" she said.
"What are you doing?" asked Julius.
Kimi didn't respond. She continued to pull.
"You can let go Kimi" said Julius. "I wouldn't blame you! Go ahead and drop me."
"No! I'm not going to let go!"
Finally, she pulled Julius back onto the roof. Exhausted, she collapsed.
Julius could not believe what had happened.
"You...saved...me?" he said puzzled.
He slowly bent down and retrieved his gun. Then he pointed it down at Kimi.
"That's right brother!" said a voice in his head. "Finish the job!"
He stopped. He looked at Kimi and at the gun.
In his head, he heard the voice again.
"What are you waiting for brother? Avenge me!"
Julius closed his eyes and shook his head. He opened his eyes and aimed the gun down at Kimi again.
"One shot, and the deed is done!" said the voice again.
Julius stopped and aimed the gun away from Kimi.
"Brother?! What are you doing?!" demanded the voice inside his head.
Julius turned on the safety and tossed the gun to the side.
"I...I can't do it!" he said.
He bent down and picked up Kimi.
"I guess you're not the brother-killer I thought you were" he said to himself.
Kimi slipped into unconciousness.
Several minutes later, Kimi awoke.
"She's awake!" said Chazz.
Everyone crowded around Kimi.
"Where am I?" she asked.
"Outside the mansion" said Kira. "The fire department is putting out the flames."
"How did I get down here?"
"Someone brought you to safety?"
Everyone stepped aside. In the opening, stood Julius.
"You?" asked Kimi.
"You saved my life up there" said Julius. "Now I realize that you couldn't have killed my brother on purpose. By saving me from the same fate that took my brother, you've really changed me. Because of my desire for vengeance and my own hatred, I've been obsessed with you. Now I see that I have been wrong. There are no words to express how sorry I am."
"Julius, those words will do just fine" said Kimi.
"Thank you" said Julius.
"Mrs. Krone was right" Kimi though, "he has changed."
Just then, a car drove up. Out came Robin Banks and Trent Parker.
"Excuse me sir" said Robin as he stood before Julius. "We're looking for Julius Benedict."
"That would be me" said Julius.
"Ok Julius. I'm Robin Banks with the FBI and this is Trent Parker, a private investigator. We have a warrant for your arrest."
"Ok Mr. Banks" said Julius. "You got me."
Julius showed no resistance as Robin cuffed him. Robin and Trent were quite surprised.
As they led Julius away, Kira said to Kimi, "let's go home Kimi."
"Yes" said Kimi. "I am anxious to be home again!"
The next morning, Kimi read the newspaper. According to what she had read, the city was closing down the reform school. William Walker was now back at the asylum. Mrs. Krone and Madeline were offered new jobs in housekeeping. Kimi's fellow students were set free. And Julius' trial was scheduled for today.
Later that morning, everyone was at the courthouse.
"Julius Benedict" began Judge John Parker, "you are charged with child abuse, child labor, threatening a child with a gun, attempted murder and kidnapping. How do you plead?"
"Guilty your honour" said Julius.
"Do you have anything to say before I pass sentence?"
Julius said, "Yes -- I apologise to Kimi for treating her the way I did. Since my brother's death, he gave me a message, telling me that she killed him, even though I knew that he actually never killed him herself. He told me that the only way out was to see her eliminated. But, it was Kimi's life-saving heroics that taught me the fact that, while I was trying to ruin Kimi's life, my mission almost costed my own life. And because of this, I would like to deeply apologise to Kimi and her family for acting the way I did and to all the students that I ever harmed. I will accept any punishment you are about to pass on to me, in which I will use the time to make myself a better man. And as for my brother, he may be dead, but, since he taught me to ruin the lives of Kimi and the others, I will be disowning him. Because of the way he acted, he is no longer part of my life. Thank you, your honor."
"Very well then. Julius Benedict, I sentence you to twenty five years in prison, with parole after ten years. Case dismissed!"
That night, Kimi was watching television, when Chazz and Kira came into the living room.
"Kimi, you got a letter" said Kira.
Kimi took it and opened it. It read:
Thanks to your deed from last night, I have now seen the error of my ways. Let us forget the past few days and be friends.
Kimi smiled after reading the letter.
"Have you learned something from all your experiences?" asked Chazz.
"I certainly have dad" said Kimi. "I've learned that just because someone is related to someone else who is bad, doesn't make that person terrible."
"And I've learned that you should never shoot down a candlebra" said
Kimi continued to smile. She would write to Julius the next morning. Perhaps having a Benedict for a friend would be the start of something new.
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