Circle of Silence

Free Circle of Silence by Carol M. Tanzman

Book: Circle of Silence by Carol M. Tanzman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carol M. Tanzman
got that horrible flu
that’s going around. The runs, the stomach—”
    I hold up my hand. “No further details needed, thank you very
    “Yeah. Okay. He hasn’t been in school all week, so he didn’t
put up the flyers. He’s not MP.”
    “Are you going to tell Mira so she won’t keep worrying?”
    She holds her phone. “Already texted.”
    * * *
    Later that evening, I catch the news while the twins
take a bath. Channel 5’s Emily Purdue does a piece about roadkill jewelry,
actually modeling a rat bracelet. Shows how far that lady will go for a story,
even if it’s fluff. I love the way she keeps her cool, though, never letting
viewers know what she really thinks. Watching her on the screen, I fall into one
of my favorite fantasies. A summer internship as Emily’s assistant. How cool is
that? My dream college in Syracuse has an extensive internship list, so it’s not
like it’s out of the question.
    That line of thought leads me upstairs. No sense sitting around
when I have so much stuff to do. Narrowing down the list of schools that I
should apply to. I could start the Common Application admissions essay. Or
figure out a way to catch MP.
    The door to my bedroom is closed. It’s no surprise to find
Bethany on her bed just…sitting there.
    “What?” she snaps.
    “I just watched the grossest thing—”
    My sister blinks. “And you’re telling me because…”
    “I’m considering buying you a skunk necklace for Christmas.
Just want to know what you think.”
    She yawns. “I hate skunks. Everybody hates skunks. Are you done
with the TV?”
    Honestly. Why bother trying to have a conversation? “All yours.
Until the twins get out of the bath, that is.”
    Bethany shoots out of the room like a cannonball. Her feet
pound the steps. Dad yells, “Who’s running like that? I’ve told you kids a
million times…”
    Instead of starting the essay, I pull out my Campus News notebook and try to come up with a plan
to unravel the MP mystery. A coup like that would go a long way with college
admissions committees. Is it a group, like Henry thinks? If so, what does that
mean? No lightbulb ideas hit, so I move to the computer. Bethie and I share,
which means I can only get on when she’s not. As producer, I’m on WiHi’s
announcement distribution list, so I try to check email at least once a day.
    Two messages are in my in-box. Reading the second one sends a
jolt of electricity through my brain.
    Information is power. MP has the power. Stop trying to find out
who this is or Campus News will be cut out.
    Holy smokes. Actual contact! Never mind what it says.
Sending an email means my stories have hit home. Maybe I’m closing in without
realizing it.
    The email address, mp@hotmail ,
doesn’t help. Anyone can set up a Hotmail account. Leaning forward, it takes a
couple of tries to craft the right response.
    Can we meet to talk about this? Any time and place you say.
    Imagine the scoop! Meeting MP, trying to convince him—or a
group—to go public. The triumph when I tell the team. Raul will have to admit I
was the right choice for producer. It won’t matter whether Jagger smirks or not.
I’ll break the story. Student Emmy Award—and college of my dreams— here I
    I cannot wait for the reply.
    * * *
    Which never comes. After two days, I give the team the
go-ahead for a segment using the flyers-on-lockers footage. Everyone except
Marci works on it. At the end, I ask the question: Is MP one person or a group?
The camera cuts to a close-up of the flyer. Henry highlighted the faint MP on
each of the birds’ claws. Just as the piece comes to a close, the letters start
to glow. We hear actual applause from the neighboring classroom when the
broadcast signs off.
    Raul gives each of us the WiHi fist bump. “Great show,
    “Agreed!” I say. “Best team ever!”
    Marci’s caught up in the excitement, too. “Let’s eat lunch
together. Never, in the entire history of Campus
News, has anyone

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