There was once a girl named Scarlet who had red hair true to her name. She lived in a big two-story house on Corcus Lane in the city of Twilight Mist. Her heart was as big as the world. She was funny, smart, and brave, and she had an amazing sense of smell. She could smell a fire from 30 miles away!
One summer day, warm as freshly baked bread, Scarlet trudged upstairs. Usually, her parents didn’t give her chores in the summer, but today she had a million things to do. Suddenly, she heard the phone ring. It was her best friends, Alice and Alex.
“Hey Scarlet! We don’t really care if you say yes or no, but you are coming exploring with us! We think there is a quartz in the city!” She and her friends were obsessed with gems and stones.
After a lot of persuading with her mother, she finally gave in. Scarlet, Alice, and Alex searched for the quartz until lunchtime. Scarlet was getting tired of looking and suggested they turn back, but instead, they decided to split up to cover more ground.
Suddenly, as Scarlet reached the outskirts of Twilight Mist, she felt a strong hand firmly grip her back. Scarlet could hear her enemy, Crystal, and Crystal’s best friend, Rebba, snickering behind her. Then the hand let go. Scarlet stumbled on a rock and landed on the grass.
“Wait. What? I landed on the grass?! Twilight Mist is located on a peninsula! It doesn’t have grass on the outskirts!” she wondered out loud. A thought struck her. What if she was in a new city?
“Hi,” a voice woke her from her thoughts. It belonged to a girl with long, silky hair. She was wearing a sky blue mask and wore long feather earrings. “Umm. Sorry. I did NOT mean to scare you, but are you new here?”
Scarlet smiled, “Am I that obvious?”
The girl replied with a grin, “You’re not wearing a mask. Citizens of our town, Midday Clearness, must wear masks because we live near a fire zone and it can get smokey really fast. My name is Jackie,” she held out her hand.
“I’m Scarlet,” she replied. “Actually it does smell like smoke!“
“Well, you have a great sense of smell, Scarlet, ‘cause there is a fire 30 miles from here! We better get you a mask,” she said. Scarlet could smell the fire moving closer to the town.
“Where is your mayor?” Scarlet asked urgently. She needed to get all the townspeople of Midday Clearness to evacuate before the fire reached the town. Jackie said she would bring Scarlet to the City Hall.
When they arrived at the City Hall, the mayor was busy fixing a Rubik’s Cube.
“Someone hurt you, I presume?” he said lazily.
“No!” she screamed. “The fire is moving closer to your town! Make your people evacuate! NOW!” He was impressed by how much Scarlet cared about his town. The mayor put down his Rubik’s Cube and pressed the alarm button. A recording of a woman’s voice bellowed from alarm speakers placed all over the town:
“Fire. Fire. Please evacuate now. Bring all children, pets, and special items to the edge of town.” Scarlet, Jackie, and the Mayor watched sadly as everyone rushed from their homes.
Thanks to Scarlet, everyone got out safely and tearfully watched their town go down in flames from a safe distance. The mayor looked down at Scarlet and said, “What can I do to thank you?”
She replied, “I could use a glass of water. And the path back to Twilight Mist.” Scarlet learned that she had been taken through the deepest, darkest, most dangerous path of the forest from Twilight Mist to Midday Clearness. The Mayor arranged for guards to escort Scarlet back home through a much safer path.
Scarlet’s parents and her friends, Alice and Alex, had been looking for her tearfully. As Alice caught sight of Scarlet, she ran and broke into sobs.
“Where have you been? We’ve been looking everywhere for you! We were all so worried!” she cried.
Scarlet told them about Midday Clearness, Jackie, the Mayor, and the fire. They were amazed by the story.
Scarlet realized that while she was saving the people of Midday Clearness, the Mayor had slipped a quartz into her pocket. She handed it to Alice who accepted the gem with a wide, goofy grin. Scarlet asked her parents if she could invite Jackie for a sleepover. Of course they said yes. Jackie took the safe route to Twilight Mist.
They quickly figured out that Crystal and Rebba had sent Scarlet to Midday Clearness, thinking she would never find her way back. Crystal and Rebba were sent far away as punishment.
“No! We will come back! We will get our revenge!” they screamed as they were being sent to a far off place. But did they come back? Well, nobody knows. But what we do know is that Scarlet became one of Twilight Mist’s best police officers in 3 centuries!
And after that, all was well.