Beth Kanell

writer of mystery stories with a historical twist


The thing was, the numbers weren’t coming out right. Not the extra credit part—that would come at the end. I mean, thenumbers for the room sizes on the rst oor weren’t coming outto match the foundation we’d already drawn, which was the outside of the cellar walls. At least, we’d tried the best we could; a couple of rooms at Thea’s house have been added on and in some places you can see where bits aren’t original, sometimes even with cement blocks and stuff under them. We knew we should do the outside measurements over again and draw theadd-ons more carefully. But because it was a rainy October day in Vermont, even at five o’clock the cold wet weather and dimness made measuring the outside again a real pain.

So we measured the inside of the cellar instead. Spiderwebs and dusty strings of spider silk made this very icky, frankly. I give Thea credit—she slapped any spiders she saw with the back of her notebook and kept hold of the measuring tape. I hate it when other girls scream and run and leave me looking like I’m not a real girl, just because I stand my ground and don’t run away. That’s not fair, either.


 from The Secret Room by Beth Kanell (Voyage/Brigantine Media)