The Challenge
       “A girl had been missing since yesterday. Whoever finds her and help solve the crime will be awarded eight hundred pounds,” the radio reported. “Wow, that’s a lot of money!” I thought. I was sitting on the sofa, reading a storybook when I heard this news.

       The next day, I went to school. I told my best friend, Ivory, about the news. “Wow! I think that the money came from the victim’s parents,” Ivory exclaimed. I nodded in agreement. Suddenly, someone patted my shoulders. It was Jennifer. “Jiaxin, I dare you to take the shortcut home!” “B ... but,” I trembled in fear. “If you don’t dare, you are a coward!” I hated it when people called me a coward. “Fine,” I replied, “I accept your challenge.” Ivory reminded me of what our form teacher, Madam Kow said, but I was too preoccupied to bother about it. We ran to the deserted road where we were supposed to take the shortcut.

       Once Ivory shouted, “Start!”, we would start the race and see who gets to my house first. “Start!” Ivory shouted. We began our race. As Jennifer was a very fast runner, she was soon nowhere in sight.

       All of a sudden, I saw an old car parked along the street. I was surprised and curious. Nothing could stop my curiosity, not even the challenge. From far away, I could hear Jennifer’s laughter but I was too distracted by the abandoned car. I peeped into the car.
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What I saw terrified me. A girl was lying in a pool of blood. I peered closely at the girl and found out that it was Jill, my close friend. “That’s the reason why she was not in school yesterday and today!” I was at a loss as to what to do. I stood there like a statue with my heart thumping rapidly. Cold beads of perspiration trickled down my forehead and I began to cry.

       "Ahh ..." I let out a yell when a pair of strong hands grabbed me from behind. I blacked out. When I woke up . I was tied to a chair. I struggled to break free but failed. I saw Jennifer grinning from behind and a burly man glaring at me. I had fallen into Jennifer's trap! "Jennifer, are you the one who killed Jill?" I asked. "No, I didn't do it myself. I asked my uncle to do that for me," she replied. I burst into a flood of tears. I recalled the happy memories I had with Jill. And now, she was gone. I felt as if it was the end of the world. Then Jennifer said, "Do you know why I killed her? It is because ..."

       Suddenly, the door swung open. Policemen surrounded the door. I gasped. I knew that the policemen had come to rescue me. Jennifer and her uncle had nowhere to escape. "Hands up, or we will shoot!" one of the policemen warned. Then, they arrested Jennifer and her uncle. Ivory ran into the house and untied me. She told me that she called the police as she did not see me at the finish point after half an hour. I thanked Ivory. The policemen wanted me to go back with them to the police station for further investigation. Jill’s parents were contacted by the police and they wanted to reward me with the money for solving the crime but I refused it. So, they gave me a token of appreciation and I thanked them.

       The next day, while I was eating my breakfast, I heard the radio reporting, "Two brave girls solved a crime. Two persons ganged up and killed a girl named Jill. One was a girl and the other was an adult. The adult was imprisoned while the girl was sent to the girls' home." I felt sorry for Jennifer. But my father said, "Serves them right!" "But, father, don't you pity them?" I asked. "Why pity them? They are so wicked. Now they are punished and got what they deserved."