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Code Red at the Supermall

Have you ever visited a shopping mall that has sharks and piranhas, a triple-loop rollercoaster, 22 waterslides, an Ice Palace, submarines, 828 stores and a major mystery to solve?  Soon after Tom and Liz Austen arrive at the West Edmonton Mall, a bomber strikes and they must follow a trail that leads through the fabled splendors of the supermall . . . to hidden danger.
 

"Fast-paced and loaded with action, Wilson's book is a gem.  His meticulous research is evident as he vividly brings to life the workings of the supermall.."

                                   Saint John Telegraph-Journal
 

 

Chapter 1
 

 

The shark came out of the darkness, moving swiftly toward Liz Austen.

 

         She stared at the deadly white teeth and stepped back with a gasp.  As the shark reached the glass wall of its tank and swept away, Liz glanced at the people standing nearby, wondering if her fear was obvious.

 

         They were all in a dark underground cave.  Behind one glass wall the sharks circled in their big tank; on another side of the cave penguins preened themselves, while nearby crocodiles with gleaming yellow eyes watched their visitors.

 


         Leaving the cave, Liz hurried up some stairs to the marble corridors of the West Edmonton Mall.  Sunlight poured from the domed windows high above, warming shoppers who strolled past some of the 828 stores.

 

         The sun sparkled on the blue water of an indoor sea where subs moved slowly past a Spanish galleon, lighting up dolphins performing spectacular leaps in their pool beside the sea.

 

         Behind a high glass wall was the World Waterpark, where girls and boys strolled on a beach under palm trees, kids surfed the big waves and others plunged down an amazing collection of waterslides that were intertwined like green and blue snakes.

 

         Nearby, Liz saw a store called Lots of Fun Stuff.  It featured a display of stick-on tattoos, which the owner explained were very realistic.  “They’ll come off, of course, but you need to follow my special, printed instructions.”

 

         “I like the bats,” Liz said.  “Their eyes are really scary.”

 

         Consulting her map of the mall, Liz decided to visit Bourbon Street, a replica of the famous tourist attraction in New Orleans.  It featured restaurants like the Cafe Orleans facing a street of cobblestones and benches.  Lights twinkled above suggesting a night sky, neon signs glowed outside the restaurants, and realistic mannequins stood on second-floor balconies above the crowds parading past.

 

         A girl named Susan waited for customers at a row of old-fashioned shoeshine chairs.  Like Liz, she was 16.  “The money’s good and it’s a great summer job,” Susan laughed, “but sometimes I get homesick for Nova Scotia.”

 

         “I miss home, but I sure love this place.”

 

         “How much longer are you staying?”

 

         “Until this weekend.  My Dad’s teaching a course to the mall’s security guards.  After that,” Liz pouted, “we fly home.”

 

         “Did you say he’s an inspector in the Winnipeg police?”

 

         “That’s right.  He’s . . .”

 

         “Liz, something’s wrong!”

 

         “What do you mean?”

 

         “Listen!”

 

         From speakers hidden in the ceiling, an urgent voice was saying, “Code Red, Bourbon Street.  Code Red, Bourbon Street.”  Susan quickly put away her brushes and polishes.  “Code Red is the maximum alert for security guards.  There’s some kind of  trouble here in Bourbon Street.”

 

         Liz looked at the people strolling past.  “Who’s going to tell them?”

 

         “The guards will be here any second and they’ll clear everyone from the area.”

 

         “But what about the Code Red?  We won’t know what it’s about!”  Liz stepped closer to Susan. “I have to find out what happened.  Is there anywhere I could hide?”

 

         Susan hesitated, then looked at a nearby booth.  It was decorated with the signs of the zodiac, and the promise to reveal your past, present and future.  “The fortune-teller’s away and she left me with her key.  You could hide in there.”

 

         “Great!” Liz saw security guards at the entrance to Bourbon Street asking people to leave.  “Hurry Susan, hurry.”  Then, safely inside the booth, she called from the darkness, “Thanks a million!  See you tomorrow.”

 

         “Let’s hope so.”

 

         Crouching against the wooden wall, Liz listened to the guards clearing people from the area.  As the Code Red continued to sound, a curious hush fell over Bourbon Street.  A few minutes later Liz’s heart skipped when she heard her father’s voice saying as he approached, “A package?”

 

         “Yes, Inspector Austen,” someone replied.  “We’ve alerted the local police, but we’d like you to take a look right away.”

 

         “The robot can’t get up there?”

 

         “No, sir.  Whoever planted this thing made sure a robot couldn’t get near it.”

 

         As the voices faded away, Liz slowly raised her eyes to a crack in the wall.  Through it she saw neon lights glowing along the street, now deserted except for several security guards.  They stood in the distance with arms crossed and faces creased into frowns as they watched her father step onto the balcony above the Cafe Orleans.

         Kneeling, he cautiously reached toward a package wrapped in brown paper.  Liz was certain it was a bomb.
 
 

        Is Liz Right About The Package Being A Bomb? 

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CODE RED AT THE SUPERMALL. Copyright 2012 by Eric Hamilton Wilson
All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be used or reproduced in
any manner whatsoever without prior written permission except in the
case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

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