The Empresss Tomb | Page 3 of 187

Author: Kirsten Miller | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2890 Views | Add a Review

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people assumed was a minor earthquake (I knew better) had toppled the tall towers of books that had lined the walls of our apartment. But the task of putting my parents’ large and bizarre library back in order was too tedious to consider, and most of the books were still lying where they fell. My mother lowered herself into a chair across from me, keeping her eyes trained on my face.

“What was the story?” I asked, trying to remember if I’d done anything that might have made the papers. On Wednesday I’d helped nab a flasher in Grand Central Station, but that didn’t seem terribly newsworthy. And as far as I knew, the source of that earthquake was never determined. I was trying to keep a low profile.

“See for yourself.” My mother slapped the newspaper down in front of me. The front page of the New York Post featured a picture of a young orangutan wearing a pair of purple boxer shorts and brandishing a set of salad tongs. I started to laugh until I read the headline: Is This the Work of Kiki Strike? the paper asked. The smile slid off my face as I glanced up at my mother.

“Go ahead. Read it,” she insisted. “The story’s on page three.”

As my mother watched, I skimmed the article. Apparently, at eight o’clock the previous evening, a woman by the name of Marilyn Finchbeck had woken to find a three-foot iguana crawling into bed beside her. Her next-door neighbor, hearing Marilyn’s terrified screams, was dialing 911 when he stepped into the nursery to discover his one-year-old son playing peek-a-boo with a family of hairy-eared lemurs. Not long after, a man on the third floor of the same building leaped from his bedroom window when confronted by the orangutan pictured on the newspaper’s cover. At the time, none of the residents of 983 Broadway had noticed that the animals that had invaded their apartments were all wearing handwritten notes tied around their necks.

When police had responded to calls from Marilyn Finchbeck’s building, they quickly discovered the source of the mayhem. Someone had picked the locks to a pet store on the ground floor and liberated the animals inside. Rotweiller puppies were found gorging themselves on bags of premium dog food. Half a dozen cockatoos and one foul-mouthed parrot screeched from the rafters. But rather than search for the animals’ mysterious benefactor, the police instead arrested the pet store’s owner. In the back of his shop, behind a hidden door, they had found a series of secret cages. Most were empty. Only two drugged koalas remained inside, both too woozy to join the party. The zookeepers who were called in to capture the lemurs and orangutan (along with a young snow leopard that had chased a deliveryman for thirteen blocks) knew a crime when they saw one. The animals that had been locked away in the secret cages were all members of endangered species. They had no business being in New York. Around each of their necks was a note that read I w

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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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