Please note: this material is copyrighted (2007).  All rights reserved by Meredith J. Berlin. 
Do not print or copy this material without express permission from the author.

Chapter 1

No Boundaries, No Base

Maggie and Jacob were alone in the lobby of a dark theater. They looked at each other and smiled.

“This theater is awesome!” said Jacob.

Maggie had to agree. Their mom’s new theater was totally awesome. The lobby was beautiful. The carpet was like a river of colors and patterns. The sun made paths of light as it came in through the windows. A grand staircase led to the balcony. It seemed to be inviting them to climb it.

Jacob ran to the stairs. “Last one up is a rotten egg!”

“Cheater! You have a head start!” Maggie ran her hardest and caught up with him just as he reached the top of the stairs. She tucked a few stray hairs into her ponytail, and tried not to seem out of breath.

“What‘s the big rush? Mom’s going to be in meetings
and rehearsals all day.”

“Exactly!” Jacob replied. “It’s the perfect time to explore! Mom said we could go anywhere in the theater we want.”

“As long as we don’t get in the way,” Maggie added.

Jacob leaned way over the balcony railing and reached for a hanging sculpture. Maggie yanked him back and pulled him over to the wall to look at the posters from past seasons‘ shows. There were dragons, giants, Vikings and fairies. Maggie tapped her finger on one with a picture of Peter Pan.

“That’s Mom‘s show!” shouted Jacob.

“Looks like they’ve done it a few times before,” said Maggie. She pointed to a poster with a picture of three children flying, and then to another with a winking Captain Hook. She walked over to take a closer look at the drawing of Captain Hook.

“Hey, Maggie, over here!” said Jacob. He was done looking posters and was standing by a door marked “NOT AN EXIT.”

“It probably leads to the offices,” said Maggie. “Or maybe backstage.” Maggie was good at finding her way around theaters. Her mom was a director. From time to time she was invited to direct a show in a different city, or even abroad. Wherever she went to direct a show, Maggie and Jacob went with her. A new theatre company, a new city, a new adventure. And then, when the show was over, the family would go back home.

But this time was different. The family wouldn’t be going back home. Mom had signed a contract to work at her new theatre for at least two years. Two years! And Maggie didn‘t know a soul. It was going to be a very long summer. She wondered what her friends back home were doing. Probably playing volleyball by the lake.

A hit on the arm from Jacob brought Maggie’s thoughts back to the present. “Let’s play hide and seek!” he said. “No boundaries, no base.”

“Yeah, okay. A game of hide and seek sounds good.” At least it would keep Maggie’s mind off what she might be missing back home. “I’ll count to a hundred and then I’ll come looking.”

Jacob pushed open the door and ran down the hall. Maggie closed her eyes and started counting. She heard a door slam in the distance. And then there was silence.