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Snapdragon Alley


Sapphire and Alex
Sapphire was tall for her age, and strong. She was the terror of the
fifth grade dodge ball class, but the star of the volleyball team. She was
fearless, bold, and constantly in motion. At night she tossed and
turned in her sleep and often wound up on the floor along with her
blankets. Life for this girl was non-stop adventure, which is why her
friend Alex liked to be around her, even if she didn't know when to
stop, which could be a problem sometimes. You never knew what it
was going to be next, but it was going to be something, that was for
sure.
Alex was also ten, and it seemed like they'd known each other forever.
They made an odd couple - he was shorter, thinner, and had long
shaggy blond hair. From a distance he looked to be the girl and her the
boy, with her height and her jet black hair cut short and straight. He
was also quieter and by far the more cautious of the two. Alex liked to
study things first, puzzle them out, come to an understanding and then
mess around. With Sapphire it was jumping in with both feet first and
only then considering the consequences.
Together they'd progressed from sandbox to mud puddles, creek
walking and ice skating, tree climbing and skate boarding, and every
good thing along the way. Now at ten years old they were ready to
branch out, see the world, get out there and be life size, even if they
weren't quite yet.
"Now's the time", Sapphire declared, and Alex agreed. They'd already
decided on code names. She was to be known as Cipher, and he was to
be Aleph. It was perfect. Code names first and then disguises and
masks. Or maybe not. Cipher was still deciding about that. As for
Aleph, he was poring over his collection of official city bus maps, one
from each of the past nine years. He had the idea that if you're out to
discover the world, a bus map is a decent place to begin.
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