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The Big
Apple Posse:
Escape From
New York
First Chapter

Written by Wendy R. Williams
Illustrated by
Sophie Escabasse

Buy The Big Apple Posse Trilogy at Amazon.com

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The Big Apple Posse:
Escape From New York

Written by Wendy R. Williams
Illustrated by Sophie Escabesse

Buy The Big Apple Posse Trilogy for Kindle at Amazon.com

If you don't have a Kindle, you can download Kindle for PC, Iphone, Ipad, Blackberry, Android etc. etc. for free.

The Big Apple Posse on Facebook

Tween Action Adventure Story
Copyright @ 2010 by Wendy R. Williams

First Kindle Original Edition, February 2011
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

It was bright and beautiful that October day; the sky was clear, the air was brisk but cold for a late October day in New York City. Later, when people spoke about what happened, they always began by saying what a beautiful day it was.
But the atmosphere was barely tolerable inside the Range Rover that was speeding down the FDR highway on its way from Connecticut to Manhattan. Melanie Wolinski was driving as fast as she could, hoping not to get a traffic ticket, counting the minutes until she could stop in front of the theater and drop off her children, Amanda and Peter, who were trying to kill each other in the backseat.

“Yes, I know you hate each other, but you are making me hate you too,” she screamed over her shoulder to the backseat. “Would you please be quiet so I can concentrate on driving and not kill us all?"

It did no good. Even bad parenting didn’t work.

Amanda pushed Peter. “Don’t you sit next to me in the theater. If I have to listen to that brat Cindy sing ‘Tomorrow’ you are not going to touch me.”

Melanie spun around, almost losing control of the wheel. “Your brother is ten years old and he IS going to sit right next to you. And if I hear that you did not sit next him, if I hear that you or anyone even touched a hair on his head, I will ground you and lock up your computer and your cell phone for the rest of your life. He’s your brother and he is your responsibility. When I am not there, you are our family. Do you hear me?”

“You always…,” said Amanda.

“Do you hear me?” Melanie was speaking in her best no nonsense voice.

“Yes.” Amanda knew when she had finally pushed her mother too far.

“Yes, what?”

“Yes, Mom.”

Melanie pulled up in front of the theater in lower Manhattan. “Don’t either of you talk. I’m doing the talking. Amanda, here are the tickets. You are going to march in there, hey, you look at me when I’m talking to you. Right here, eye to eye. Okay. You two are going to march into the theater and take your seats. You are going to sit in your seats without putting your feet up on the seat in front of you or talking on your cell phone and you are going to watch Annie like good children who come from a good family. And when Cindy sings ‘Tomorrow,’ you are going to record it on the minicam so Aunt Janey can watch it tonight at the restaurant. Now, Amanda, what are you going to do if your brother needs to go to the bathroom?"

“He’s ten, he can go by himself,” said Amanda.

“Wrong answer. You are twelve and your brother is your responsibility. You are going to stand outside the men’s room and wait for him with a no nonsense look on your face. You hear anything that sounds like trouble, you are going to scream your head off,” said Melanie.

“Mom, I will look like a baby if she stands outside,” said Peter.

Melanie spun around to look at Peter. “Oh, I guess you don’t like your computer, either? Maybe you would like it more if it got a chance to take a nice long nap in my room….So what do you two say?”

“Yes, Mom.”

“And after the show, you stand up and clap when Cindy comes out for her bow and then you walk up to the stage and give her these flowers, here, take them and don’t crush them, with a smile on your faces. Afterwards, you go backstage and wait with Cindy until Aunt Janey and I come to pick you up. Our show is only about thirty minutes longer than yours so we won’t be really late,” said Melanie.

“Why can’t you and Aunt Janey come with us?” whined Amanda.

“Here we go again. I’m not going because I saw the show when it opened Tuesday and Janey has been here every night since then. So you two will represent the family at the matinee and you will represent us nicely, do you hear me?”

Amanda opened the door and she and Peter starte to climb out.

“Did you forget something?” Melanie handed the flowers to Amanda. “Look at me young lady. One more time, when I’m not there, you are me. You are twelve, your brother is ten and your cousin is nine, so you are the oldest and in charge. When the show is over, you two are to wait until Aunt Janey and I come get you and take you out to celebrate Cindy’s success as Annie,” said Melanie

“You keep telling us,” said Peter.

“Success! She’s half Chinese and she’s playing Annie. How dumb is that?” said Amanda.

“You say that again and I swear…Okay, time out.” Melanie took two yoga breaths. “Annie is an orphan so she can be anything and Cindy is an amazing singer. And I don’t ever want to hear you say Cindy’s Chinese in that tone again. She’s my brother’s baby, and your cousin and absolutely beautiful. She is family. Oh just get out of the car," said Melanie.

“Stop it Amanda, you are going to make Mom cry again.”

“I’m sorry, Mom, it won’t happen again.”

“Okay, okay. Just go into the theater and please make me proud of you. I know you two are terrific kids, so please be good.”

Amanda looked at her mother. “I’m sorry. I know you miss your brother.”

“I'll call your cell phone when I am in front of the theater.” Melanie blew a kiss at her children. “Amanda, please make me proud of you. Be the wonderful girl I know you are.”

Amanda and Peter got out of the car.

“Take your jackets,” said Melanie.

“I don’t need a jacket. It’s warm,” Peter yelled.

“It will be cold tonight. Take the jackets.”

Amanda took the jackets, threw Peter’s on his head, waved the flowers at her mother, yanked her brother’s hand and walked into the theater.

Peter turned to look at his mother as she drove away, “We really made her mad.”

Amanda shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. She never locks up the computer and cell phones. She just likes to scare us... like we believe her.”


The play was long, but Cindy really could sing. Amanda sat in her seat with her feet on the flowers, recording the brat singing “Tomorrow.” She thought about Cindy and Peter and about how it was so unfair that she always had to hang around with those two morons. She could not make up her mind which one was more annoying — grubby Peter who never showers after he plays soccer, but everyone keeps talking about how brilliant he is anyway, or Cindy who acts like she is so wonderful because she lives in Manhattan and works as a model. The first time Amanda saw Cindy on a Gap poster, she wanted to vomit. Her own mother would never let her be a model even though she was already five foot six at the age of twelve. And now Cindy wanted to be a singer and an actress and it looked like she was going to do it. And no one could be mad at Cindy about anything just because her father was dumb enough to be in the Naval Reserve and get sent to Iraq. At least Cindy still had a father. Her own father ran off with his administrative assistant. And now he was taking the administrative assistant to Tahiti while they were stuck in a slummy theater. When he was married to Mom, they all went on vacations together. Just look at this place, it was all beat up and looked like it could use a bulldozer. All the seats had rips in the leather and they were so slanted forward you could fall out if you didn’t put your feet on the seat in front of you. If Cindy was so talented, why couldn’t she be in a play in a nice place? Connecticut theaters did not look like this.

Amanda kicked Peter and motioned for him to get his feet off the seat in front of him. “Get them off or I’m telling.”

Peter reached across his seat and whacked Amanda who whacked him back. Several people turned around; they both froze. “Sorry,” Amanda whispered as she pinched Peter.

Amanda looked around at the rest of the people in the theater. They were all dressed in nasty dark clothes. Almost all of them had dark dirty-looking hair. Peter and Amanda were the only blondes in the theater. And they were certainly the only kids dressed in Abercrombie and Fitch. What a bunch of losers. Finally it was time for the curtain call. I guess it didn’t matter about Cindy being half Chinese thought Amanda, Daddy Warbucks was black and Mrs. Hannigan was Hispanic.

Amanda and Peter stood up and clapped. Amanda smiled at the people who had given her nasty looks when she socked her brother. A long time ago, she had learned that charm will get you out of most anything.

The people had stopped clapping, but Cindy was still standing in the middle of the stage like she wanted them to continue. What a loser.

Peter nudged his sister, “Come on, we’re supposed to be up there giving her the flowers. Hurry.”

Amanda and Peter rushed up to the stage and handed the flowers to Cindy who snapped at them through her smiling teeth. “What is the matter with you? I have been standing up here forever.”

“Here are your flowers. You were wonderful.” Amanda said in her best NOT voice.
Cindy started to walk off the stage. “Come on. We are supposed to wait in the dressing room. Don’t be mean to the actors and embarrass me.”

Amanda and Peter climbed up on the stage and followed Cindy behind the curtains. Cindy walked over to the side stage and started to descend a stairway.
“The dressing room is downstairs.” Cindy looked at them like they were three years old and couldn’t figure out anything for themselves.

The children climbed down the stairs, down a long dingy hall into a dirty old room with walls that used to be white, but now were covered in smudges and graffiti. Unpainted tables were nailed into the wall and every inch of the surface was covered with makeup, McDonald’s wrappers, coffee cups, wigs, and mangy-looking boas. There were costumes everywhere, some on hangers on a clothes rack and some in heaps on the floor. The room reeked of cigarette smoke. Amanda looked around and thought how hideous this place was and how none of her friends would ever be forced to wait in a room like this. The room was filled with actors who were changing. Amanda quickly turned around as some man started to take off his pants.

“Stop that right now. Don’t you see these children? Do you want to show your business to little kids?” Mrs. Hannigan picked up a straw hat and started swatting the man with it.

“This is my dressing room too,” yelled the man.

Mrs. Hannigan picked up a wig stand.

“Okay, okay. I’ll go to the bathroom.” The man ran from the room.

Peter looked at Amanda. “Maybe you do need to stand outside when I go to the bathroom.”

“I will. He’s a nasty perv.”

“It's theater. You’ll get used to it,” said Cindy in a bored, snotty voice.

“I will never get used to pervs. They don’t have them in Connecticut,” replied Amanda.

“Whatever. Go eat some cake. I can’t have any because I am a model, but you don’t have to care about how you look,” said Cindy.

Amanda and Peter walked over to a mangy looking birthday cake that looked like someone had bought it from a grocery store. Figures. No one in Connecticut ate grocery store cakes; people bought expensive cakes from bakeries that used organic flour. But they were hungry so they grabbed a piece and sat down to eat it.

Soon everyone had left except Amanda, Peter, Cindy, and Mrs. Hannigan.

“Hey, kids. Is Janey coming to pick you up?” said Mrs. Hannigan.

“My Mom and Aunt Janey will be here any minute,” replied Amanda.

“Okay, I will tell the house manager that you are still down here. Bye sweetie.”

Mrs. Hannigan hugged Cindy. “You were amazing today, kiddo. You are going to be a star and I am going to tell everyone I knew you when.”

Amanda looked at Peter and stuck her finger down her throat.

Mrs. Hannigan left the room and went up the stairs.

It was quiet in the dressing room. Amanda pulled out her cell phone and tried to text one of her friends, but she had no signal.

“Where is Mom? I’m so bored,” said Peter.

“Oh, she’s always late,” said Amanda.

“I want to eat Japanese.” Cindy was standing by the door with her backpack.

“Won’t they get mad at you if you do?” asked Peter.


“Eat some Japanese,” said Peter.

“Whatever. You are so boring,” said Cindy.

“We are really glad to see you too,” said Amanda.

Amanda sat slumped down on one of the old beat up chairs. How much longer were they going to have to wait? There was no computer in the dressing room, no Wii's, nothing. What a dump.

Amanda tried her cell phone again. Peter was on the floor, trying to get a connection from his netbook when suddenly, there was a very loud sound, louder than anything they had ever heard before. The children fell to the floor as the building began to shake and the lights flickered.

“What was that?” cried Peter and Cindy.

“Let’s get out of here.” Amanda, Peter, and Cindy ran out into the hallway.

The children stood in the hall looking at the stairway which had collapsed, leaving only a gaping hole in the ceiling.

“No, no, get back. Don’t climb on it. Is there a ladder down here?” Amanda
grabbed Cindy and Peter and pulled them away from the collapsed stairway.

“I don’t know. Where’s my mother?” Cindy said.

“Aunt Janey and Mom will be here any time now. They know we are here.”
Amanda tried to sound brave. “But let’s look for a ladder anyway.”

The children started to walk away from the collapsed stairway when the stairway ceiling fell, closing off the opening. They would not need a ladder.

Amanda grabbed Peter and Cindy and went back into the dressing room. The lights were still flickering, but it was quickly becoming dark. “Cindy, is there a flash light down here?”

“I don’t know.” Cindy sounded really scared.

“Here’s some matches.” Peter had gone back to the cake and pulled some candles from the top.

“Give me those, and give me that box of birthday candles too.” Not waiting for Peter to respond, Amanda grabbed the box of matches and the box of birthday candles and started pulling more candles out of the birthday cake.

“What else do you have down here?” Amanda asked.

“I don’t know.” Cindy sat down on the floor..

“We have to know. Something really bad has happened.” Amanda looked at Cindy, sat down on the floor and put her arm around her. Peter walked over to them. He looked like he was about to cry too.

“Hey, it's going to be okay. I’m here and I’m going to take care of you two. I promised Mom. I’m a Girl Scout.” Amanda pulled Peter down to the floor and wrapped her arms around both of them.

“A Girl Scout?” Cindy looked at Amanda like she had said she was Santa Claus.

“You promise?” Peter asked.

“I promise.” Amanda hugged them both. “But now, you have to help me. We need to get out of here.”

“My Mom will come get us. Let me call her.” Cindy opened her backpack and took out her phone and dialed. “I don’t have any bars.” Cindy sounded really upset.

“I don’t either. But we’ll get out of here even if all we do is wait. Mom and Aunt Janey know we are here and they will come get us,” said Amanda.

“Are you sure?” asked Peter.


“I’m thirsty.” Peter had eaten a lot of birthday cake.

“There are bottles of water under the table.” Cindy pointed to a flat of plastic water bottles.

“Well, that’s not very green!” Amanda looked at Cindy's face. “Sorry. Hey, grab as many of those bottles as you can carry and put them in your backpacks.”

“Why?” Cindy was still crying.

“I don’t have a backpack. I just have this computer case and I can't put water in it.” Peter's netbook case was really small and his Mom would be furious if he put water in his computer case.

“We need to be prepared. Girl Scouts take action.” Amanda was grabbing water bottles and stuffing them into her backpack.

“Girl Scouts!” Cindy started to say something and then stopped. “Oh, whatever. So we have water. Now what?” Cindy put a second bottle into her back pack.

“We wait.” Amanda sat down and pulled Cindy and Peter next to her. “Our mothers know we are here; so we wait.

And so they did. They waited, sitting quietly in the dark, illuminated only by occasional flickering lights.





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