What's Up For Today?


The Big
Apple Posse:
Escape From
New Orleans

First Chapter

Written by Wendy R. Williams
Illustrated by
Sophie Escabasse

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The Big Apple Posse:
Escape From New Orleans
(Second Book of The Big Apple Posse Trilogy)

Written by Wendy R. Williams
Illustrated by Sophie Escabesse


The Big Apple Posse: Escape From New Orleans will be published on December 15, 2011. The Big Apple Posse: Escape From Los Angeles will be published in August of 2012.

Buy The Big Apple Posse, at Amazon.com

Buy The Big Apple Posse: Escape From New Orleans at Amazon.com

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Teen Action Adventure Story
Copyright @ 2011 by Wendy R. Williams

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce or transmit this book or any part thereof by any means whatsoever, without written permission of the author, except where permitted by law.

Address story inquiries to:
Wendy R. Williams

Address illustration inquiries to:


Chapter I

Amanda kicked the soccer ball toward the goal and saw him. He looked just like the others—the tall, blond men who terrorized New York City six months ago.
They had been found.

Amanda ran, away from the man, away from the trees, away from her fear, and towards Peter. It was only 3:30 p.m.; she was supposed to be at practice for another hour, but she couldn't stay. As her team raced down the field she peeled off, grabbed her backpack from the bleachers and raced into the middle school. She could hear her coach yelling, "Amanda, where are you going?"

Amanda bolted through the front entrance to her school, flashed her ID card, dashed past the guards and lied, "I have to go to the bathroom and there is a water leak in the field house."

"What water leak? No one reported a water leak," replied the guard.

"I'm reporting it." Amanda continued running down the hall towards the stairs to the computer lab.

As Amanda entered the stairway, she heard a man entering the school and one of the guards saying, "Stop, I need to see some ID. What is your business at this school?"

Amanda ran up the stairs and stopped just outside the computer lab. She saw her brother, Peter, sitting at his desk, working on his laptop. Peter was in the advanced computer lab, a sixth grader sitting in a room filled with eighth grade students, but this was nothing new. Peter had been in advanced everything since the day he was born. He was probably the smartest eleven year old boy in town. Most days, Amanda thought Peter was intolerable, but not today. Today he was her brother and she needed to save his life.

Amanda marched into the room, straight to where Peter was sitting at the table. "Now! We have to go now!" she said.

Peter looked at her face and knew. He quickly unplugged his laptop and stuffed it in his backpack and ran out the door following Amanda as the teacher yelled, "Where are you going, you can't just leave."

"One of them is here. He ran into the school after me," Amanda told Peter as they raced down the hallway.

Amanda and Peter ran down the back stairway and stopped at the back door to the school. Amanda opened it a bit and looked outside. She did not see the man, but she could hear shouting from the front of the school. There were dozens of cars in the back parking lot which was surrounded by a wooded area. Someone could be hiding in, or between the cars, but they were out of time.

Amanda grabbed Peter's hand and pulled him through the door and out into the parking lot. Where to go? If they walked on the sidewalk, the man would surely find them. Taking a quick look, Amanda made a decision, "Through the trees."
Amanda and Peter ran through the parking lot into the wooded park behind the school. Traveling as fast as they could through the underbrush, they arrived at the end of the woods, next to someone's backyard.

"Should we call Mrs. Thompson?" said Peter as he pulled his cell phone from his pocket.

"Don't use that phone. If they know where we go to school, they know where we live and I bet they have our cell phone numbers," said Amanda.

"But we have to warn her," said Peter.

"We'll use a payphone when we get to the train station," said Amanda.

"The train station?" asked Peter.

"Yes, the train station. We have to get out of here and warn Thibodeaux, Auntie Tina, Mr. Garvain, and Miss Virginia," said Amanda listing all of the people who had helped them when the "terrorists" attacked and they were stranded in New York City last fall. "Cindy is the only one who is safe." (Cindy's mother and grandmother had taken her to her grandmother's family home in China as soon as the airports reopened after the attack.) "Everyone else is in danger."

Amanda and Peter quickly traveled through the backyard down a driveway and into a cul-de-sac.

"Come on, it's about an hour on foot," said Amanda.

"Are you sure we shouldn't go home, I mean go see our fake Mom, Mrs. Thompson," said Peter.

"I don't want to bring this trouble to her," said Amanda.

Traveling as quickly as they could without attracting a lot of attention, in a strange neighborhood, Amanda and Peter ran on Lake Street toward the Ramsey Train Station. It was very cold that day, the temperature was in the twenties. but running helped keep them warm. Amanda remembered what it was like to not need to know things like where is the closest train station, what it was like to go to school without first checking to see if she had over a hundred dollars with her, or always having to look everywhere she went to see if anyone or anything looked odd or out of place. She did remember what it was like to be normal, but she was pretty sure she would never be allowed to just be a kid again.

Amanda and Peter arrived at the train station just after 5 p.m.. They were in luck, they could see a Manhattan bound train coming towards them.

"We don't have tickets," said Peter.

"We'll buy them on the train," said Amanda.

"How much money do you have?" asked Peter.

"One hundred dollars. I always keep a hundred dollars with me since it happened," said Amanda.

"I have fifty," said Peter.

Just then the train pulled into the station and Amanda and Peter quickly walked onto the train.

"We did not find a payphone and call Mrs. Thompson," said Peter.

"I will figure it out," said Amanda.

Amanda and Peter picked a seat that had a window that looked out over the train platform and was also across the aisle from a nice looking older woman. She did not see the man on the platform. Maybe they were safe. She looked at the nice grandmotherly-looking woman and smiled.

"Hi, my brother and I are going into the city to visit our father and I forgot my cell phone. Do you have a phone I could borrow to call him and tell him we made it to the train on time? I have money, so I can pay for the call," said Amanda.

"Of course you can call and don't be silly. I have unlimited minutes and I don't want your money." The lady looked at them more closely, "You seem pretty young to be traveling into New York City alone."

"Our dad is meeting us at Penn Station. We just need to tell him we caught our train," said Amanda.

The nice looking woman handed Amanda her phone and Amanda quickly dialed Mrs. Thompson's number. She was not at home so she left a message, "Hi, Dad. We are on the train to the city. Sorry we did not have time to visit with your new friend before we left. He looked nice—so tall and blonde; he could be a basketball player. Would you please call Mom and tell her what happened. I will call you again as soon as we get off the train. Love you." Amanda hung up and handed the phone back to the lady.

"Are you sure you will be okay?" asked the lady.

"Sure, we make this trip all the time. Divorce." Amanda had always been a pretty good liar but by now she was superb.

"I'm so sorry. I really wish young couples would try harder to make a go of it. It is so much better for the children," said the nice lady. "I'm Mrs. Armstrong, what are your names?"

"I'm Amanda Thompson and this is my brother Peter Thompson." said Amanda. She had become used to her new last name, she hardly ever started to say Wolinski anymore.

"Do you live in Saddle River? I think it is the nicest part of New Jersey. I always love coming out here to visit my daughter," said Mrs. Armstrong.

"Yes, we do. We go to middle school," said Amanda.

"How nice. That is a beautiful school," said Mrs. Armstrong.

"Would you mind if I used your phone one more time?" asked Amanda. "I really shouldn't have left my cell phone at home."

"Of course," said Mrs. Armstrong, handing her the phone.

Amanda pulled a wrinkled old business card from her backpack and dialed the number of Benedicte Trudeau, Esq.. The phone rang twice and then she heard, "Hello, you have reached the law offices of Benedicte Trudeau. Please leave a message."

"Hello Mr. Trudeau. This is Amanda Thompson. My brother Peter and I are friends of Thibodeaux Botrain and his Auntie Tina. Auntie Tina told me to call you the next time I have to come into the city. Peter and I are on a train to the city right now and I will call you as soon as we arrive at Penn Station. Please do not call us back on this phone number. It belongs to a nice lady that we met on the train," said Amanda.

Amanda handed the phone back to Mrs. Armstrong who looked at her a bit oddly. "Thank you very much for letting me use your phone again."

Amanda looked at a schedule that had been left on the seat. The train was due into the Frank R Lautenberg Secaucus hub in just a few minutes. There they would need to change trains to travel into Manhattan's Penn station. They should be in New York by 6:30 p.m..

Mrs. Armstrong's phone rang, "Hello. Why yes, she is right here. It's for you dear."
Amanda took the phone from Mrs. Armstrong, "Hello."

"Amanda, this is Benedicte Trudeau, Tina deBruni's friend. You are on your way into the city so they must have found you," said Mr. Trudeau.

"Yes, they did, today, at my school," said Amanda.

"Which train are you on?" asked Mr. Trudeau.

"The 5 o'clock from Ramsey, New Jersey. We will be in Penn Station a little after 6 p.m.," said Amanda.

"I can't get anyone to you that quickly. So...when you get in the city, walk on 34th Street to the Tick Tock Diner. Take a seat and order something you can take with you, like a sandwich. Tell them you have theater tickets and are in a hurry. Don't worry, I know what you look like and the men I send will tell you that I sent them. Go with them; they will bring you to me," said Mr. Trudeau.

"Okay. Thanks," said Amanda. "I need to hang up now, we need to switch trains. Please don't call this number again, it belongs to a nice lady we met on the train."

"Did you call anyone else from her phone?" Asked Mr. Trudeau.

"Yes, the lady who is taking care of us," said Amanda.

"You need to tell the nice lady with the telephone that she needs to get lost. Go somewhere that no one can find her and stay there until the trial is over. And tell her to lose her phone," said Mr. Trudeau.

"What? That's not fair!" said Amanda.

"It won't be fair if those thugs hurt her either," said Mr. Trudeau. "Just tell her."

"Okay. Goodbye now. I guess we will see you later?" asked Amanda.

"Yes, you will," said Mr. Trudeau. "Please be careful. Look around you all the time and don't trust anyone except the men I send to pick you up," said Mr. Trudeau.

Amanda handed the phone back to Mrs. Armstrong.

"Young lady, what was that about? You were obviously not talking to your father and you look really upset," said Mrs. Armstrong.

"I am upset. We need to switch trains now. Please don't follow us and I have some bad news," Amanda was speaking very softly. "You need to go hide somewhere. I am so sorry but I had to use your phone and because I used it some very bad men may try to find you. So please go somewhere where no one will think to look for you. And you need to destroy your phone and leave the pieces far away from where you will be hiding and from now on never call anyone people would assume might know where you are."

"But why?" asked Mrs. Armstrong.

"Remember when New York City blew up and everyone thought we had been attacked by terrorists? Well, in June there will be a trial for the South African jewel thieves who blew up part of the city and made everyone think that there was anthrax everywhere. We are two of the witnesses," said Amanda.

"What?" said Mrs. Armstrong.

"Yes, Peter and I, my cousin, and some friends were trapped in the city. We became The Big Apple Posse and we figured out what happened. But now we need to hide and so do you. I am so sorry I brought you into this mess; being nice to us is dangerous." Amanda felt incredibly sad. It had been so nice to live quietly for a few months after that terrible week last October. But here it was the early March and they were on the run again.

Mrs. Armstrong looked at them, "How can I help you?"

"I already arranged for help. And you did help us, a lot. You let me use your phone," said Amanda.

"Are you sure you will be okay. I can take you home with me and then we can go stay with one of my cousins," said Mrs. Thompson. "I am really worried about you."

"We've made it this far. Someone is already helping us. We'll figure out what to do and we will be back in time for the trial," said Amanda.

The train pulled into the Secaucus station. Amanda and Peter stood up, grabbed their backpacks and started to leave. Amanda stopped, looked at Mrs. Armstrong and then she hugged her. "Thank you and please be careful."

Amanda and Peter then quickly ran off the train and headed for the one that would take them into the city. They boarded the train and looked around. So far, no one seemed to be following them.

When the train stopped at Penn Station, Amanda and Peter got off and ran up the stairs to the station which was filled with people. No one looking at the station or the city would be able to tell that the entire city was empty for almost a week last October. All signs of the attack were gone. Penn Station was modern, quite ugly, and filled with people traveling to and from Manhattan. Amanda remembered her mom telling her that once there had been a beautiful Penn Station designed by architects named McKim, Mead, and White, but that historic station was torn down in the 1960's to make room for this dull station. Her mom was really big on education and was always telling them the history of everything they saw. But Amanda did not have much time to think about architecture or her mom whom she had not seen in almost five months. They needed to move. Amanda and Peter walked out of the station, out onto 34th Street and traveled to the Tick Tock Diner. It was already dark outside and very cold. It had started to snow which should have been beautiful, but somehow only made Amanda feel sad. They entered the diner and sat down in a booth. Amanda sat facing the door.

"Please give us two grilled cheese sandwiches, some potato chips, two glasses of water and the bill. We have theater tickets," Peter told the waitress.

"How did you know to do that?" asked Amanda.

"Do what? Mom does not want us to drink cokes and I know you like grilled cheese," said Peter.

"I meant, order to go. Oh never mind," said Amanda. Peter had not heard Mr. Trudeau's instructions, but Peter always amazed her even when he was totally annoying.

The waitress was quick and soon they had their sandwiches and bill. They had just begun to eat when two tall young black men walked into the diner, looked around and walked straight to where they were sitting. Amanda had never seen anything quite like them; they were two of the best looking guys she had ever seen and they were dressed in what looked to be designer suits, the kind they shown on the covers of her dad's copies of GQ.

"Hi, are you Amanda and Peter?" asked the older of the two men.
"Yes," said Peter.

"Mr. Trudeau sent us. I am Terrence and this is Michael. We need to leave right now." Terrence grabbed the bill off their table and gave it to Michael who threw it and a twenty dollar bill on counter. Amanda and Peter grabbed their food and everyone walked out of the diner.

Outside was a huge Cadillac Escalade with dark tinted windows. Terrence looked up and down the street and then opened the door to the back seat and Michael helped Amanda and Peter climb in. There was another man sitting in the driver's seat. Terrence climbed in back with them and Michael climbed into the front seat next to the driver.

"Who are you?" asked Peter.

"I'm DJ True and these two guys are my associates and bodyguards, Michael and Nelson. We are going to take you to Mr. Trudeau." said Terrence.

"Why did he send you to pick us up?" asked Peter.

"Mr. Trudeau is my father and also my lawyer. My studio is just up the street so we were close by when he called. Hey, relax kids, we've got you covered. The guys are packing and the car has bullet proof glass," said Terrence aka DJ True.
"Oh, that's just wonderful," said Amanda in a weak voice. Could her life become more bizarre?

The car went around the block and then headed toward the Westside Highway. After about three blocks, Michael turned to them and said. "Hey kids, give me your phones."

"Why? They are just prepaids. There is no bill," said Peter.

"My dad will get you some phones. But right now, we need to destroy them just in case the bad guys have the numbers. Did you ever call the lady you were staying with from this phone?" asked Michael.

"Yes. And who is your Dad?" asked Amanda.

"Mr. Trudeau. I am Michael Trudeau and Terence is my brother. So give me your phones. Do you have anything else with you that has internet access built into it?" asked Michael.

"I have a Mobile Hot Spot," said Peter.

"Okay, so give me the phones and the Mobile Hot Spot," said Michael.

"Hey, that Hot Spot was expensive," said Peter.

"Just hand them over," said Michael.

Amanda and Peter gave their phones to Michael and Peter gave him his Mobile Hot Spot.

"Pull over," Michael said to Nelson who pulled over to the curb.

Michael got out quickly and put the phones and the Hot Spot on the sidewalk and stomped on them breaking them in to pieces. He then picked up the pieces and threw them into the trash.

Peter looked at Amanda. Would this never end?

"Hey kids, you can eat your sandwiches in the car if you are careful. But no potato chips," said Terrence/DJ True.

"Okay," said Peter as he started to eat.

Amanda was stunned. First they had to run and now they were in a car with gun-toting guys who just stomped on their phones, but who also did not want them to spill potato chips and there was nothing they could do about any of it. So Peter and Amanda just sat quietly in the car, eating their sandwiches and listening to the hip-hop music coming from the Sirius station.

"Hey, that's me," said Terrence/DJ True. "You kids really don't recognize me, do you?"

"Sorry, no," said Amanda.
"I have a TV show five days a week at 6 p.m.." said DJ True/Terrence.

"I'll look for your show the next time I have a TV," said Amanda.

"You do that," said Terrence/DJ True.




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