The mid-afternoon sun bounced a shine off the Guard’s recently washed kitchen floor. The dads sat at the table playing a game of speed-chess while the moms sat at the island drinking tea when the phone rang.
“Hello?” Jaclyn Guard answered.
“Ian! What a surprise! I wasn’t expecting to hear from you until the end of summer. Are you still in the rainforest?”
“No, I just got back yesterday. I was planning to call you anyway, but now I have something I need to talk to you about…”
“I know I haven’t seen you in a few months, and I literally just got back, so, this might sound a little strange, but I don’t want you to worry.”
“Worry about what? What is it? Now you’re worrying me!” Teplan’s mom snapped into the phone.
“Well, I think Teplan and his friend might be in trouble.”
“How could you possibly know they’re in trouble?”
“Well, I was at the regional office earlier today and saw an alarm go off at a giant pig farm we monitor. They had two trespassers on their property earlier today. Because we tap their video feeds, we can see the videos from their cameras. And, as you can imagine, I was shocked to see my nephew and his friend on screen, hiding in the bushes!”
“They just went for a walk to the river. What are you talking about? If they’re in some bushes, they’re lost. Are you sure it was them?” Jackie asked, popped out of her seat and paced around the kitchen.
“Yeah, it was Teplan, for sure,” Ian said. “The Planet Earth Protectors monitor companies we think are polluting. One of those companies is a big pig farm that has over 100,000 pigs in its barn. An alarm went off at their facility so we tapped into their video feed. That’s when I saw Teplan and his friend hiding in the bushes, taking pictures. I don’t know what they were taking pictures of, but whatever it was, it must be important to the pig farm because they’re going crazy over there.”
“I don’t understand. Teplan and Terah went to the river today, that’s it. How’d they end up wherever you’re talking about?”
“I don’t know Jackie; I’m looking for them now and will let you know what’s going on when I know, okay? In the meantime, just stay home until I call you back. I know someone in the area who might be able to help. Trust me. Don’t call anyone or tell anyone yet. I want to get them back first. You can get a hold of me at my cell phone number.”
“My son is in danger and you don’t want me to tell anyone!”