Ella the Spy and the Case of the Mysterious Letter

It is a well known fact that I like a good real-life mystery, even better if it is coupled with a prank.

When I was nine, I hid in a basement window for over an hour so that I could scare someone by telling them I could see the future and mentioning plans for the next day that they hadn’t told me about yet.

And yes, I did spy on Tal several months back and creep her out by telling her exactly what she and a few other friends were doing, with messages like “Tell John to take his fingers out of his mouth. He might choke on a fingernail.”

Along with Cecelia, I’ve sent George weird magazine collages while she was at German camp, including one that was covered with eyes and said nothing else. We mailed them from another town and made my sister address them so that she wouldn’t recognize the handwriting.

I was even planning on texting Sadie with a bunch of information I had gathered about her college (I had found it online while researching something else. I am not so strange as to spend hours thinking these things up.), but she wasn’t there and immediately caught on to what I was trying to do.

I know how to do a creepy mystery and how to do it well. I could maybe even add it to my list of special skills on my résumé, though I doubt it would improve my chances of employment.

I am not, however, used to being the but of a case that is too hard to crack.

But that happened today.

In the mail this afternoon I received this:


There is no return address, the envelope is typed, and the note is written by handwriting I don’t recognize. It’s an article about retirement, which could possibly be a reference to all of the “active adult retirement community” flyers I keep getting in the mail. I have yet to express any concern about my investments or retirement funds to anyone (I’m eighteen, and some guy at an investment bank works with my parents to handle my money.). The town it appears to be sent from is one I do not know, nor is near the college or house of any of my friends or family, and the list of people I know with J as a first initial is very small.

I will figure this out, and I will report back with my findings. Ten-year-old Ella would be very disappointed if I gave up on the case.

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