Escape From New Orleans
(Second Book of The Big Apple
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
The Big Apple Posse, at Amazon.com
The Big Apple Posse: Escape From New Orleans
If you don't have
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Big Apple Posse
Teen Action Adventure
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
Wendy R. Williams
Address illustration inquiries to:
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?"
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
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
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
"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,"
"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,"
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.
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,"
"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
"Our dad is meeting us at Penn Station. We
just need to tell him we caught our train,"
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
"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,"
"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
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,"
"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.,"
"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,"
"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
"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
"I already arranged for help. And you did help
us, a lot. You let me use your phone," said
"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
"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
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
"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,"
"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
"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
"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
"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.