Rule #12: Teen super-sleuths don’t take vacations. They just solve mysteries in exotic locations.

It’s the kind of beach that would usually be crowded. On an ordinary day, the serene water would be glistening in the sunlight. The sand would be shining as if it was made of gold. Children would be frolicking in the gentle waves as their parents looked on with a smile. Couples would be holding hands as they walked down the beach, leaving footprints from where they came from, all the way to where they were going.

The footprints I leave disappear almost instantaneously, ripped from the sand by the harsh waves. Those same waves that take my footprints long to take me too. The strong winds conspire with them, threatening to put me off balance enough that the waves could pull me down beneath the water.

The rough ocean churns beneath the restless sky. It’s not raining, not here, not yet. But the clouds above are dark, and ready to burst. The sun is nowhere in sight.

I look up and see my destination. A lighthouse. It looks familiar – I’ve been here before. The Lighthouse of Mystery Point. It was sunny when we caught the guy.

I walk up to the lighthouse. Just as I reach the door, it starts to rain. I try the knob. The door is locked. I break it down with ease. I stand just inside the threshold, in the darkness. The darkness? The light is off. It shouldn’t be. There is no keeper in this lighthouse – the whole thing was automated years ago. The automated systems doesn’t seem to be working, but there should still be a way to turn the light on manually. I feel my way over to the stairs and start climbing. In less than a minute, I reach the top.

As I emerge from the trapdoor, I see a man holding a crowbar over his head, getting ready to smash the light. I yell at him to stop. The crowbar hits the ground with a clatter barely audible over the sound of the wind. He jerks around to face me. There is fear in his eyes. He makes the mistake of taking his eyes off me, bending down to pick up the fallen crowbar.

I flow out of the trapdoor and crash into him, just like the waves crash into the rocks far below – my body both fluid and unyielding. We fall to the ground together. I stand up alone.

I feel nothing but contempt for this man. He was a fool and a coward. He thought he could let the sea and the storm do his dirty work for him, condemn his target to death by destroying the beacon that would bring them safely to shore. Who did this man think he was, to try to command the sea to do his bidding? I pull out my knife from his back, then stab him again. And again. And again. And again. When I’m finished, he looks almost as bad as the guy I threw out of a plane. What was his name again? Vince? It doesn’t matter.

I walk past the body. I would have stepped in a puddle of blood if not for the nature of the floor. It is a thick metal grate. Blood drips down through the grate. I hear the faint sound of the drops landing on the concrete of the ground level. Reaching the other side of the small room, I flip a switch straight out a mad scientist’s lab and the light turns on. If the ocean kills tonight, it will be of its own free will. I walk down the stairs and out the door. The heavy rain washes the blood from my hands.

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