Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend! Sorry I’m not posting as often–it’s actually county fair season for me, so my photography, sewing, and needlework is all focused on projects to enter in the fair. I still want to update the blog regularly, though, and I found this post in my draft bin from a few months ago. I decided to finish it and share with you! 🙂
As you might have guessed by now, Holly and Poppy are my favorite Ever After High dolls. In fact, if I could only choose three dolls to keep, it would be Dexter, Holly and Poppy. Holly’s hair is gorgeous (and it’s RED!!), and Poppy is so cutting edge but classy looking. In short, I LOVE them.
If you’d read my blog for a while now, you also now that I love spies. I’ve written a MISSON: IMDOLLSIBLE short story before, but now I’d like to share with you a story that’s sort of a sequel to that–but focused around the adventure of two twin secret agents by the names of Holly and Poppy. 🙂
To keep this post from being ridiculously long, I’m going to be publishing this story in two parts.
THE O’HAIR FILES
“Come on, Poppy!” I yelled into my sister’s bedroom. “We’re gonna be late!”
“Coming!” she replied. “Just getting my teasing comb.”
“As if you didn’t already pack three,” I teased.
“Well, this one is my favorite,” she grinned, emerging from her room. We gathered our bags and scurried downstairs to the awaiting taxi. I was so looking forward to this weekend. It’s not easy being on a team of specially trained secret agents for F.L.A.M.E. (an international organization dedicated to thwarting espionage crimes), but it’s a rewarding job and we have great teammates. We were heading to the train station, to catch a train to a mountain resort for some well-deserved down time. The weekend was going be awesome–hot chocolate, skiing, and relaxing by the fire place with our best friends (and fellow agents) Ashlynn, Hunter, Dexter, Raven, Clawdeen, Frankie, Apple, Maddie, and Ginger.
As the taxi approached the station, we climbed out and paid the driver, carrying our bags into the station. We found a bench and settled down to wait for our train. As secret agents, Poppy and I are trained to observe unusual actions, even tiny ones, which was why I happened to note out of the corner of my eye a mysterious looking man sitting down on another bench a few feet from us. What made him mysterious was actually his briefcase. It had an odd looking insignia on it, and he had just been slipping a lumpy parcel into it discreetly. I continued to watch silently, but Poppy caught my eye. She stole a glance at me and a raised an eyebrow. We have this weird sort of twin sense when it comes to stuff like this—and I guess it helps that we’re both secret agents, too. Suddenly, our train pulled up and we began to board. We each had only one bag, but as we were stepping onto the platform, the mysterious man asked in a friendly voice,
“Need any help?”
“Um, thanks,” Poppy smiled. He picked up our bags and lifted them into the baggage compartment.
“Of course,” he smiled back, tipping his hat. I got a good look at his face…he was handsome, with dark, wavy hair, and a shining smile. Still, though, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this business, it’s to not trust people based off of their looks. Even if he did look like Mr. Darcy on steroids, he was still a suspicious character.
We were directed to our seats and sat down. As the train started to move, a mother and little girl sat down near us, as did a young girl with brown, wavy hair. I noted, too, that our mysterious man was also a few seats back. As the train began to move, I settled in with my latest knitting project: a cabled hat. Poppy opened a magazine and began working a sudoku puzzle. In our line of work, keeping both your hands and mind sharp is important. I continued working, but paused to check my pattern when I noticed that the little girl nearby was staring intently at my work. I pretended not to notice but continued working with an amused smile. I love it when kids are interested in knitting. I heard her whisper to her mom,
“Mommy, what do you think she’s making?”
“Maybe you should ask her, dear,” her mother replied, glancing up from her novel. The girl sat for a few minutes more, attempting to make up her mind to ask. She turned determinedly and asked politely,
“Excuse me, but what are you making?”
“I’m making a hat,” I replied with a smile, looking into the little girl’s wide violet eyes.
“It’s beautiful!” She exclaimed, peering at it. “Purple is my favorite color.” Poppy and I continued conversing with her for a while, and I learned that her name was Charlotte.
“I’m Holly,” I offered.
“I’m Poppy,” my sister spoke.
“Those are lovely names,” she sighed. “They sound just like a fairy’s song.” Charlotte was a very sweet child, and I smiled as we introduced ourselves to her mother.
“I’m Mrs. Lynden,” she replied. As Charlotte skipped away to buy some candy from a nearby salesman, Mrs. Lynden added with a wink, “You seem to have enchanted my daughter.”
“Holly tends to have that effect,” Poppy grinned sarcastically. I blushed.
“I just really love kids—especially ones interested in knitting.”
“Nothing wrong with that!” Mrs. Lynden laughed. “I used to crochet, myself, but I just don’t seem to have time anymore.” I nodded, and Charlotte skipped back with a tin of chocolates.
“Would you like some?” She offered to Poppy and me.
“No thank you,” we replied. I pulled out some cinnamon gum of my own and popped it in my mouth. For some reason, gum helps me to concentrate when I’m knitting.
I heard a scream in another part of the train, and the conductor dashed into the car within a few minutes.
“Attention, everyone!” He yelled. “One of the passengers has lost their necklace. It is gold and has pink sapphires in it. If you happen to see it or have any ideas, please report to my office.” I was alarmed. I was mainly amusing myself when I observed “mysterious” people, but this was serious. There was silence all around for a few minutes, but I caught a glimpse of the mystery man, heading to the dining car. I looked over to see if Poppy had noticed, too—and she had.
“I’m going to trail him,” Poppy whispered. I nodded. Poppy is known throughout F.L.A.M.E. to be as sneaky as a cat burglar, and she’s been useful on many a mission as an inside worker. She slipped away from her seat casually, as if she was just going to get a snack in the dining car. I tried to concentrate on crossing my cables the correct way while I waited. It was almost fifteen minutes before Poppy returned, wielding a giant pickle wrapped in wax paper.
“Looks like you had quite an adventure,” I giggled, in spite of my concern over the jewel theft.
“What?” she inquired with a mouthful of pickle. “You know how much I love pickles. Want some?”
“No thanks,” I pursed my lips to try to keep from laughing any more. Poppy has been obsessed with dill pickles ever since she was a toddler. You would think that such a strong taste would be unappealing to a little kid, but not to Poppy.
“So, what did you find out?” I whispered. “And, seriously, what’s with the pickle?”
“Long story,” she replied. “Anyway, I tracked our mysterious man to the dining car. I ordered this so I could wait and watch him without seeming suspicious. He ordered a sandwich and ate it there—but he kept his briefcase with him the entire time.”
“Did you get a good look at that insignia?”
“Yeah,” she whispered. “It looks kind of like the logo for T.R.E.B.L.E., but it’s sort of different.” T.R.E.B.L.E. is kind of like the reverse of F.L.A.M.E. They’re constantly encouraging crimes and loaning money to thieves. It seems like at least half the time, a problem that we have to solve is caused by T.R.E.B.L.E. Their logo looks sort of like a treble clef, but curlier, and with a skull in the center. Yeah, I know. Their design team is awful.
I leaned back in my seat. Charlotte had fallen asleep in her mother’s lap, and Poppy was attempting to eat her pickle and work a crossword puzzle at the same time. She groaned as pickle juice dripped onto the page. I was about to hand her a tissue out of my purse when I realized that the pack of them I always carry was gone. I must have put them in my suitcase. That got me thinking. What was up with that guy carrying our suitcases for us? They weren’t that heavy and we obviously weren’t struggling with them. Maybe he just wanted a better look at us. Or maybe…I thought hard. If he was an enemy agent, and not just a really handsome, nice guy, what would he want with our bags? We were off-duty, so it wasn’t like there was any valuable information in those bags. Or was there? I shook my head. Holly, you are really going crazy, I thought. Just because a guy had an odd briefcase wasn’t any reason to suspect him of being an enemy agent or a jewel thief. But I had this weird feeling about him. I had to ask Poppy something.
“Poppy?” I whispered as quietly as I could. “Is there anything—special—in your suitcase?”
“If you mean anything top-secret, no,” she replied, apparently following my train of thought (it’s a twin thing). “But if that guy knows that we work for F.L.A.M.E., he might have wanted a look anyway, even if he wasn’t sure if we had anything valuable.” I nodded. At that moment, I saw the man sit back down behind us. He opened a newspaper and began to read. I relaxed a little, knowing that if he did anything we would be able to see it. I looked around. No one was stirring, but up ahead the girl with the brown hair that I had noticed earlier was writing furiously in a black and white composition book. She wore a lavender business suit. The train swerved sharply, and her pen flew out of her hand. It rolled down the aisle, and I reached down and plucked it from the carpet.
“Here,” I walked over. “I think you dropped this.”
“Oh!” She exclaimed nervously. She took it, not bothering to thank me. That was odd. I didn’t mean to snoop, but as I returned to my seat, I saw her open the book again. I couldn’t see exactly what was written there, but there was an unusual chart, presumably from the pen she had just dropped.
I pulled out my own notebook from my purse. It always helps if I have my thoughts down on paper.
— Possible T.R.E.B.L.E. agent. Tall, dark hair. Briefcase with potential T.R.E.B.L.E. insignia.
— Brown haired girl. Nervous for anyone to touch her pen. Odd chart in notebook.
Several hours passed with no more interesting events. I caught a nap, and when I awoke to look at my watch, it read 6:30.
“Wanna go get some dinner?” I inquired.
“Sure,” Poppy replied.
“I couldn’t help overhearing,” Mrs. Lynden interjected. “Would you girls care to eat dinner with us? Charlotte and I are alone.”
“We’d love to,” Poppy agreed.
“YAY!” Charlotte chimed in a bit too loudly. The mysterious brunette girl flinched, as though she was startled. We walked to the dining car, and as we sat down I caught the scent of fresh-baked bread. We ordered promptly, a salad with rolls for me, a grilled cheese for Poppy and Charlotte, and spaghetti for Mrs. Lynden. We casually conversed as we ate, but I noted as I buttered a roll that the brunette girl was whispering something to a nearby waiter. She slipped him a note, then scurried away. I was staring so intently that I lost all track of what the others were saying. I suddenly realized that Poppy was shaking my arm.
“Hmm?” I shook my head back into reality. “What?”
“Charlotte was just asking you what your favorite color is,” Poppy filled me in.
“Oh!” I grinned at our little companion. “Definitely pink! Yours is purple, right?” We finished our meal soon afterwards and continued back to our seats.
I loved the style of the train. The seats folded out into recliners and there was a little curtain that you could pull around your seat for sleeping at night. I went to get my suitcase so I could change into my favorite sweatpants. I saw a shadow moving in the baggage car, so I was on the alert as I entered and bent to pick up my lavender suitcase. Suddenly, someone wrapped a cloth around my neck. I tried to scream, but instead I let out only a little croak. I knew I would pass out soon, so I did my best to karate chop the shadowy person in the leg. It didn’t work—so I resorted to grinding my boot’s heel into the person’s foot. They let out a shriek, and I knew immediately it was a girl. They released me, but ran away before I could question them. I reached out and grabbed. By sheer luck, I was able to rip a piece of fabric off of their clothing. I slipped it into my pocket, and retreated back to Poppy. I breathed deeply.
“Are you okay?” Poppy gasped.
“I’m fine,” I replied. “But someone just tried to strangle me in the baggage car!” I added in a whisper. Her eyes were wide as saucers.
“Who do you think it was?”
“I’m not sure…but I grabbed this as they ran away,” I showed her the scrap of fabric. It was lavender, and it had a purple blotch on the corner. Something clicked in my head. I lean over and looked where the brown haired girl had been sitting. She was gone! I glanced behind me. The mysterious man was still in his seat—so I guess that accounted for him. I whispered my thoughts to Poppy. Her eyes grew wider still.
“Holly, this is serious!” She stated with concern in her voice. “Should we radio Dexter and ask for backup?” I shook my head. He wouldn’t be able to get here before morning, and that was when we were scheduled to arrive at the train station anyway. I had a suspicion—but I needed another clue. On a hunch, I casually walked over to the brunette’s empty seat, which was empty. I observed that the pen she apparently valued so much was left behind, beside her seat. I picked it up and walked back to my seat. I turned it over in my hand, where it left a purple ink stain. It had no apparent markings on it, but I was alarmed to notice that there was a tiny skull on the end. I pulled a magnifying glass out of my purse (a good agent is always prepared), and examined it closer. No doubt about it—that was a T.R.E.B.L.E. skull. I peered at the side of the pen. There was a tiny tab of white on the end. I grabbed some tweezers from my bag and pulled it out gently. Poppy was watching and gasped. A small message written on white paper in purple ink popped out. It read:
“Being watched. Make exchange tonight in dining car.”
I stared at my sister in amazement. What had started out as a casual train trip had turned into a full, blown-out mission! I knew what we had to do.
Excited for the next part? I know I’m excited to show you! 😀
As a side note, are you planning on buying any new dolls soon? Let me know! 🙂