Amy turned to Nellie. Can you create a diversion to draw the clerk outside?The au pair was wary. What kind of diversion?You could pretend to be lost, Dan proposed. The guy comes out to give you directions and we slip inside.That's the most sexist idea I've ever heard, Nellie said harshly. I am female, so I have to be clueless. He's male, so he's got a great sense of direction.Maybe you're from out of town, Dan suggested. Wait–you are from out of town.Nellie stashed their bags under a bench and set Saladin on the seat with a stern You're the watchcat. Anybody touches those bags, unleash your inner tiger.The Egyptian Mau surveyed the street uncertainly. Mrrp. Nellie sighed. Lucky for us there's no one around. Okay, I am going in there. Be ready.The clerk said something to her–probably May I help you? She smiled apologetically. I don't speak Italian.Ah–you are American. His accent was heavy, but he seemed eager to please. I will assist you. He took in her black nail polish and nose ring. Punk, perhaps, is your enjoyment?More like a punk/reggae fusion, Nellie replied thoughtfully. With a country feel. And operatic vocals.The clerk stared in perplexity.Nellie began to tour the aisles, pulling out CDs left and right. Ah–Artic Monkeys–that's what I am talking about. And some Bad Brains–from the eighties. Foo Fighters–I'll need a couple from those guys. And don't forget Linkin Park...He watched in awe as she stacked up an enormous armload of music. There, she finished, slapping Frank Zappa's Greatest Hits on top of the pile. That should do for a start.You are a music lover, said the wide-eyed cashier.No, I am a kleptomaniac. And she dashed out the door.
Gordon Korman