Mystery May
Mystery of the Letter

Mystery of the Letter
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.6

     challenging words:    brightly-colored, estate, ridiculous, roundabout, supposedly, leaving, easily, despondent, multicolored, potted, fell, office, building, onto, task, pavement

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Mystery of the Letter
By Colleen Messina

1     I was leaving my office building one fine spring afternoon. I had no idea that some odd things were about to happen to me. I heard footsteps behind me. People walk along the sidewalk all the time, but for some reason, the sound of these footsteps getting closer made me nervous. My neck prickled, and I began to walk a little faster even though it was difficult in my high heels.
2     I glanced over my shoulder and saw a tall figure trailing behind me. The person wore a dark-colored coat and was getting closer with each stride of his long legs. My heart started to pound. Was this person after me? I walked even faster and decided to take another route home. I turned down a side street, but the man still followed me.
3     "Wait, I need to talk to you! This is for you!" called the man. He waved something white in the air.
4     For some reason, I didn't trust him. I ran. He ran after me. I reached a sidewalk flower stand. We dodged in between the potted roses and cartons of marigolds. A pot holding bunches of daisies tipped over, and flowers sprawled across the pavement. I grabbed a bunch of daisies and threw it at the man's face as I ran to the corner bus stop.
5     The daisy missile gave me time to reach the bus stop and jump onto the bus. I felt so relieved. I did not know what the man wanted, but I didn't want to find out. I didn't understand why I felt so threatened by this person. The man ran up to the bus as it was pulling away. A shower of daisy petals fell like snow from the dark cloud of his coat.
6     I got out at the next stop and took a roundabout walk home. I had managed to evade the stranger. He was nowhere in sight. When I reached my apartment, I went inside quickly, and I spent a quiet evening at home.
7     The next day, I didn't think about the stranger as I got ready for work. I decided to wear a brightly-colored dress to celebrate spring. I looked like a walking garden. I didn't think about the man until I got to my office building. He was in the lobby waiting to get into the elevator! I quickly dashed to the stairs. I was getting nervous about seeing this person again.
8     Going up ten flights of stairs was not my usual routine. I was sweating and panting by the time I reached my floor. I opened the door to the tenth floor and ran smack into a man. We both toppled to the floor. He dropped a letter.
9     "It's you!" I cried as I recognized the stranger who had been following me.

Paragraphs 10 to 16:
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