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					       It was a beautiful morning and I couldn't believe my
luck. I have been looking for the last three years of my life
thinking that it was out of my reach. Then, today I finally
found it! I was not completely sure until I held it in my hand.
I’m now able to complete my collection, I have found Johnny
Bench's rookie baseball card. I have my prized possession!
        Being twelve years old it may
not seem like a lifelong challenge, but I
have been looking for this baseball
card ever since my dad died. It was
the last card to complete the collection
that he left me. It is all that I have left
to remember him.
       So today as I walked around
town, I stopped at some of my favorite
baseball card shops just to check in. It
seemed as if today would be like every
other day. I walked in to the store and
I didn't see what I was looking for. I
was about to walk out when I heard,
“Chip, I think I have what you've been
looking for.” My heart skipped a beat
and I started to tremble.
         I turned and said, “don't joke
with me! I not in the mood for jokes.”
         “I'm not kidding, I finally found a
perfect Johnny Bench rookie card,” Joe
          I screamed as loud as I could and
ran to the counter. This was the most
amazing news that I ever could have
imagined. I looked at the card and it was
the most beautiful thing ever. It was
better than a pile of gummy bears or
chocolate, my two favorite foods. This
was it; I have completed my father's
dream and finished his collection.
         As I stepped outside of the store I
was in a complete dream world. I could
not believe that after all this time that I
was holding the final piece to complete my
         “Excuse me.” A voice came from
behind and startled me. “I didn't mean to
scare you.”
         “I wasn't paying attention to where I was going,” I replied.
         “I was in the store when I couldn't avoid hearing that you
recently came into possession of Johnny Bench's rookie card. I too,
have been searching for that card for quite a while.” Something about
the way he said that made the hair on the back on my neck stand up.
He was a little creepy. He wore a dark suit, actually it was black and he
had on a black shirt and black tie. His hair was greased back and his
eyes were squinting as if the sun was too bright, but we were in the
shade of the buildings.
         “I….I have been looking for this card for three years…” I
quietly said.
         “I am willing to pay you double for what you have paid for the
card,” he said calmly.
         “No thank you,” I quickly said. “It is not about the money.”
He could have offered me 100 times what I had paid and it still would
not have been enough.
         “I have been looking for that card for so long and I
happened to be in the store before you arrived,” he said.
         “I am sorry sir, but no amount of money will buy this card
from me.” I quickly turned and started to walk away rather quickly.
I had this very strange feeling that this will not be the last I see this
man. As I walked faster and faster I took a quick glance over my
shoulder to see if he was still there. He was gone. I have no idea
where he disappeared to but I was glad that I didn't see him. I let out
a quick sigh and felt relieved that I had escaped from this strange
        The next thing I knew was on the ground and the man in
the black suit was running away from me. The bag that I was
holding was gone! He turned down a small street and I
immediately jumped up and ran after him.
        “Stop, thief!” I yelled, but nobody seemed to care. When I
came to the street I ran to the end. In front of me was a 15-foot
high wall and on either side were streets. I couldn't see which way
he went. As I look left all I see is a dark opening and I think I hear
voices. When I look right, there is light down at the far end. Which
way should I go…

Left                                                    Right
You must make a choice!
         I start running as fast as I can, but it
is very dark. I am afraid that I will crash into
something. I continue on because all I can
think about is my baseball card. What kind of
person would steal a kid's baseball card? I
run with my hands out in front of me to feel
my way around. The darkness is so thick that
I can't even see my fingers that are stretched
out in front of me. I run as fast as I can when
my foot hits a crack in the street. I fall face
forward and put my hands out in front of me
to protect my head. My hands hit the
pavement and pain shoots up my arms. I roll
and tumble until I come to a stop. I
immediately grab my hands and feel that the
skin is been peeled back and warm blood is
dripping down my wrists. The pain is searing
in my hands and I can barely think. Then, I
remember what I am been doing in this alley
         I get back up to my feet and start to continue on my
way, only this time more slowly. The pain is unbearable but I
press on. Slowly my eyes start to adjust to the darkness and I'm
able to make out shadows and small details. The street begins to
narrow. I started to go faster and faster briefly forgetting about
the pain in my hands. All I could think about is getting my
baseball card back. I must find it!
          I feel like I have been running for
miles. Where is this dark alley taking me?
When all of a sudden it came to an abrupt end.
I crash into something at the far end of the
street. Stumbling, I look back to the other end
of the street and I do not see any light. How far
have I traveled I wonder? I reach out and pain
shoots up my arm. The raw skin feels like
coarse sand paper and the blood is sticky as it
tries to dry. The pain is so shocking that tears
start to run down my eyes.
          I carefully reach out to feel my way. I
notice that there are two lights in front of me.
They are keyholes! I run my fingers along the
first keyhole and feel around until I find the
door handle. I do the same with the other door
until I find the second handle. Both door
handles are unlocked. Which one should I

                                           Left     Right
You must make a choice!
 I quickly turn to the right to where I hear voices and see a light. I
start to run as fast as my legs will carry me. I can't make out what
the voices are saying. It sounds muffled as if people are whispering.
As I get closer and closer the voices seem to get louder but I still
cannot make out any words. Out of the corner of my eyes I see a
shadow streak across the path. Was that the man that I have been
chasing? Could this be my lucky day again?
At that moment I came to a fork in the road. I had two choices.
The path to the right of me leads out of the city through the
forest. While the road to the left of me seems to turn back
around towards the way I came. Will one of these paths take me
to the man in the black suit? If only I had some sort of way to
know which was the right path. I look around trying to get any
information that will help me make the correct decision.
                 I couldn't tell which direction the shadow went. It
       blurred by so quickly that I couldn't get a handle on where it
       went. My gut says to go to the left because that is where the
       sound is coming from and it seems that the path leads back to
       the city. But on the ground it seems that the dirt on the path
       has been kicked up as if someone has just gone running down
       the path.

Left                                                           Path
You must make a choice!
          So I reach out with my left hand and
open the door. My eyes squint from the light and
I realize I am standing at the top of a curving
staircase. I try to focus my eyes on my hands to
see the damage that I’ve done. The skin is balled
up on my palms and the blood is dried and mixed
with dirt and gravel. I pull my eyes away quickly
so before I get too grossed out. The stairs seem
endless and I stop to listen. I don't hear any
noise. I was expecting to hear footsteps or
something, but I hear nothing.
             “Hello!” I scream.
             “Hello…hello…hello.” Echoes back.
   Nothing. I start to run down the steps two at a
   time. I run as fast as I can without tripping and
   falling down the stairs. I finally make it to the
   bottom and the room is empty. What kind of
   place is this?
             At that moment I hear laughter and the
   door at the top of the stairs slams closed. I hear
   the lock turn. I spin around about to run back
   up the stairs when all of a sudden the lights go

Go Back?
         So I reach out with my right hand and
open the door. My eyes squint from the light
and I realize that there is a long curving corridor
in front of me. I try to focus my eyes on my
hands to see the damage that I have done. The
skin is balled up on my palms and the blood is
dried and mixed with dirt and gravel. I pull my
eyes away before I get too grossed out.
         I immediately start running as fast as I
can. It seems like an endless hallway with no
exit. Twisting, turning, I struggle to keep up
with my feet. Sweat begins to trickle down my
forehead and my hands are beginning to throb.
The pain is starting to become almost
unbearable. I am not sure if I will ever find my
way out, let alone catch the man who stole my
baseball card.
         More left turns, then right turns. Just
when I think that this is a dead end I round the
corner and CRASH right into a person standing
on the street. I tumble to the ground reopening
my wounds.
         The pain in my hands is excruciating but I get up
slowly. “Excuse me. I am sorry, I didn't see you there,” I
say apologetically.
         “Are you OK?” the gentleman leans down to help
me up. “Your hands are bleeding.”
         “There alright, I have to find someone. Did you
see a man in a black suit with a black shirt and black tie
come by here?” I ask.
         “No, sorry.”
          I look up and stare at the man.
“You're…you're…Johnny Bench!?!” I say half asking and
half telling. “The man that I have been chasing stole my
baseball card. I, I mean your baseball card. Your rookie
          “Let's not worry about that now. We need to make
sure that you're alright.”
          “I'm alright. I have to find the man in black to get
my card back. It is the last one I need to complete my
collection.” I whined.
         “Let's get you home before your parents
start to worry and make sure that your hands are
alright,” Mr. Bench said.
         “But, but….I have to find that man and get
my card back.”
         “I think I might know where you can get
another Johnny Bench rookie card,” Mr. Bench said
smiling and gave me a wink.

Go Back Left Path?           Go Back to Right Path?

         Go Back to First Choice?
You must make a choice!
         I turn and head toward the voices. “This must be the way,” I
pray. The corridor twists and turns and empties into a large room. In
the middle of the room there are two women standing and talking.
Both of the women seem older than my mother and they are speaking
in a language that I can't understand. I quickly scan the room and
notice that there is only one other way out at the far end of the room.
Along the wall to my left there are two comfortable looking chairs with
a small table between them. There is a lamp on the table giving off a
warm glow of light, perfect to sit and read by. The opposite wall is
lined with many bookshelves from the floor to the ceiling. The floor is
covered in carpet, not soft comfortable carpet but a commercial
looking brown weave, enough to keep the sound of footsteps and voices
down to a minimum.
         I quietly walk up to the two women
and ask, “excuse me, but have you seen and
man in a dark suit with a dark shirt and tie
come through here?”
         Both of the women turn to me. One
of the women says, “why yes, just a short time
ago a man came through here resembling that
         “Can you please tell me where he
went?” barely being able to hold my
         “He passed through that door.”
She stated as she pointed to the far end of
the room.
         “Thank you,” as I took off
running towards the door. I reached out
and flung open the door at full speed, only
to find that there is a small step. I fly
through the air, actually leaving the
ground. The only thing that stops me is
that I crash right into a person standing on
the street. I tumble to the ground ripping
open my hands on the pavement.

         I turn and head down the
path. My feet kick up the dirt as I
try to make my way as fast as I
can. I duck under a tree branch
and weave in and out of the tall
trees trying to avoid the certain
pain I will feel if I crash into one.
I look as far ahead trying to get a
glimpse of anything that might
give me a clue where the man in
the black suit might be. I think
that I see a shadow up ahead; it
gives me some new strength to
keep running at this furious pace.
          My foot catches on a branch and I
stumble. Everything seems to slow down as
if it were in slow motion. I see myself
falling and I can't seem to be able to do
anything about it. My chest is falling
towards my knees and I put my hands out
to keep from tumbling head over heels. I
touch the ground with my left hand and I
am able to stabilize myself by putting my
right hand against the bark of a tree.
         It takes a few moments for my breath to
catch up. My heart is pounding and I am not sure if
it’s because of the fall or because of the running.
Either way I can feel the beating all the way up into
my head. THUMP, THUMP, THUMP. The sound is
beginning to overwhelm my mind. Do I hear
something around me? Or is that just my mind
playing tricks on me. I stand up and gather my
thoughts again.
          “I have to find the man in the black
suit,” I say it out loud as if I am trying to
convince someone. I guess I am trying to keep
myself from being too scared.
          I start up again, this time trying to be
as careful as possible. My adrenaline kicks in
and my courage begins to take hold again. I
begin to speed up. Faster, faster. I’m running
at full speed when I round a blind corner. I
realize that the path has come to an end. An
abrupt end! Over a cliff I fall!!!
  The End
     Go Back to choice of path?

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