Chapter Five

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by June Vernau

Chapter Seven
The message from legend world

Jamie threw his coat down on the floor in the hallway of his house. Louise had been right. Miss Foster was away all day and they didn't use the computers. He would have to check the website at home.
   "Jamie, hang your coat up when you come home from school, and don't drop your bag on the floor," his Dad called out from the kitchen as Jamie raced up the stairs.
   Jamie ignored the request. He needed to see if Danny was on the website. Once in the spare room, he activated the computer. Would there be a photo of Danny? He found the website and went straight to the Notice Board - Dragons, more dragons! He scrolled down. It was there - the photo of Danny. Jamie ran to the top of the stairs. "Dad, I've emailed a photo of Danny to Legendworld!"
   "I don't care if you've emailed last night's dinner. I want you to clear up these things now or you won't be going out for the rest of the week!"
   Jamie dried the last cup in the kitchen, hung up the tea towel and went to join his Dad in the lounge. "Dad, why do you use so many pans when you cook tea? There was a lot of washing up."
   "Well, you could do with the practice." His Dad laughed. "Come and watch the News. There's something about Nottingham Forest."
   "Today the police joined in the investigation into the disappearance of young First team footballer, Danny Lacey. The team Manager is very concerned. There has been no contact with him since yesterday morning. Family members think he may have been kidnapped as an act of sabotage before the big-match."
   "They can't keep Danny! Dad, if Danny doesn't come back we won't win on Thursday!"
   "They'll substitute."
   "That's no good. Danny's a key player!"
   "If he's not back that's all they can do," said Jamie's Dad.
   "We've got to win on Thursday!"
   "I'm sure they'll find him before Thursday." Jamie's Dad stood up from the settee. "Watch some cartoons. They'll cheer you up." He changed channels with the remote control. "I'll just check the fridge. See what we've got for sandwiches tomorrow. Keep the seat warm for me."
   Jamie pulled his knees up onto the settee. The cartoon characters darted around the screen. But Jamie was not watching. His mind was on other things. Where was Danny? If he'd been kidnapped someone would have to pay the ransom. They could have a collection in every school in Nottingham. But it could take days to get the money, even weeks. Why did they have to take Danny? But no one had sent a ransom note. Kidnappers always sent ransom notes. Maybe he hadn't been kidnapped.
   Maybe. His mind began to race. No, that was stupid. How could he begin to think that? Miss Foster had said you couldn't email real people to Legendworld. It was all make believe. No, he'd only emailed a photo of Danny to Legendworld. You couldn't send a real person across the Internet.
   "All made and packed." Jamie's Dad came back into the lounge as Jamie jumped up from the settee. "Where are you running off to?"
   "I just want to check something on the computer," said Jamie, heading for the door.
   "Three minutes that's all," his Dad called after him. "Don't spend all night up there."
   Jamie bounded up the stairs. Was it possible?
   He sat at the computer, his mind filled with thoughts of Danny. "No, Danny's not in Legendworld. It can't happen. You can't email a person across the Internet, can you? But you never know." He gazed at the computer screen then logged into his email account and began to type in a message.
   Would you please send back.
   When the message was complete Jamie sat back in the chair. Legendworld would think he was crazy asking for Danny back. But they'd probably just send back the photo. He pressed send. There he'd done it. Now he could forget all about the Legendworld emailing.
   "Jamie are you staying up there all night?" his Dad called from downstairs.
   "I'll be down in a minute," Jamie called back.
   He prepared to close down the computer for the night. But something flashed on the screen. He had a new email. It was from Legendworld.
   "A message from Legendworld." His brain began to race. "What do they want? Maybe they didn't understand. Maybe they thought I was being silly, asking for a person to be returned." He brought the new message up on the screen.
   Jamie, you seem to be causing confusion with your emails - I think it's time to come and see you myself.
   Dierling! Who or what was Dierling? Jamie was not going to wait in the darkened bedroom long enough to find out