“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream,” rang through Beatrice’s head, not only because they were in a boat, but also because her mother was singing it at the top of her lungs, with Pepe howling in the background. Arthur sighed, audibly annoyed.
“What’s next?” Beatrice called over the crashing waves.
“Hopefully land,” grunted Arthur.
Just then, Beatrice heard a loud mechanical buzz coming up behind them. It was a helicopter! Pepe, whose favorite pastime was chasing cars, tried leaping out of the boat, but was caught in mid air by Beatrice’s mother moments before plunging into the dark abyss. The helicopter slowed to a hover shining lights upon their dingy.
“They found us!” Beatrice’s mother wailed, “I knew it was too good to be true.”
But Arthur sat smiling casually, seemingly unperturbed.
Arthur’s team popped their heads out of the helicopter, calling out to reassure the boat’s passengers everything would be okay, and they would soon be safe.
However, they soon found everything would not be okay. Because at that very moment a behemoth of a whale leaped out of the choppy ocean, hitting the helicopter with a flick of its tail and sending it spinning. Arthur’s team began yelling a series of expletives followed by some very official sounding numbers and concluded with Bobby screaming, “Abort mission!” One by one, they put on their helicopter hats and flew away, leaving Beatrice, her mother, and Arthur stranded once again.
Baffled, the three sat in the boat silently. Even Pepe didn’t move an inch. Time seemed to have stopped.
After what felt like centuries passed, Arthur spoke. “Well, that didn’t go as planned.”
They sat a little while longer, unsure if Arthur’s team would come back and wondering what would happen if they didn’t.
Suddenly, as if answering their prayers, the water around them began to bubble and churn. The boat rocked perilously; Beatrice’s mother shivered. Looking to her right, Beatrice could see something moving in the water. She feared the whale was returning destined to sink their small boat.
It wasn’t a whale, but the large metal hull of a submarine appeared instead. As it settled parallel to them, the hatch on the top of the submarine creaked open. Climbing out of the vessel was someone Beatrice recognized, but could not place due to the individual’s uniformed attire and department issued cap.
“That’s my boss,” Arthur leaned in and whispered. Beatrice didn’t have to look to know Arthur was smiling and saluting.
“Ma’am,” he said.
“Arthur,” she replied, “Beatrice, Tess. Your work has been phenomenal. Because of you we have finally been able to infiltrate the cousins and will be stopping them from any further terror. We will need you to confirm the identities of each of them, and verify that none are missing.”
Her voice was what allowed Beatrice to identify, Arthur’s boss as…
The four of them, Arthur, Beatrice, her mother, and Pepe were able to identify all of the cousins, but one remained unaccounted for – Beatrice’s father.