"Hurry up, Mary-Kate!" my twin sister, Ashley said. "The Easter egg race is about to begin. Let's get to the starting line."
I finished tying the purple laces of my new roller skates. "An Easter egg hunt on roller skates," I said. "How cool is that!"
"Like Rudy always says, 'everything's more fun on skates!'" Ashley laughed, tucking her strawberry blond ponytail into her helmet.
Rudy Rizzo is the owner of Rudy's Roller Rink in the Sunny Grove Shopping Plaza. All the kids in our neighborhood skate there. Every year, Rudy holds a big Easter egg race in the park. And today was the Sunday before Easter, the day of the big race!
"Help!" someone cried. We looked up. Our friend Samantha Samuels was speeding toward us on her skates. She was totally out of control!
"Use your brake!" I shouted. But it was too late. Samantha lost her balance and tumbled down on the soft grass on the side of the path. Ashley and I helped her up.
Our friend Tim Park zoomed over to us on his skates. He clutched a doughnut in one hand and a chocolate bunny in the other. "Are you okay?" he asked Samantha.
Samantha took a shaky breath. "I think so," she said.
"Want a doughnut?" Tim asked, trying to cheer her up.
"No, thanks," Samantha answered. "I'm not hungry."
"Oh, good! I am!" Tim shoved the doughnut in his mouth and gulped it down. We all laughed. Tim loves to eat more than anything!
Rainbow Doughnuts, another store in the Sunny Grove Shopping Plaza, was giving out free doughnuts. Patsy's Photo Barn and Bailey's All Star Talent Agency, two other stores in the plaza, were taking pictures of the race.
Samantha sighed. "I'm not very good at stopping yet. I'm probably the worst skater here."
"No way," said Tim. He pointed at a brown-haired boy standing next to a bench. "Brett Ellery is much worse than you. You can't stop-but he can't even stand up on his skates!"
We all turned to look. Brett's left foot slid one way. His right foot slid the other way. He grabbed onto the bench and hauled himself up.
When he saw us looking, Brett waved. "Hi, guys!" Suddenly both feet slid out from under him and he fell flat on his face!
"Whoops!" Brett called as he got back up. Then he bowed, as if he were onstage. Everyone clapped. Brett grinned. His braces sparkled in the sun.
Ashley laughed. "Brett is always putting on a show."
"No wonder he's the star of all our school plays," Samantha said.
Just then our neighbor, Patty O'Leary, skated over to us. "What do you think of my outfit?" she asked. She twirled around in a circle.
Patty had on a pink helmet over her brown hair, a pink and white striped T-shirt, a ruffled pink skirt, and pink skates.
"Um . . . it's very . . ." Ashley started to say.
"Pink!" I finished.
Patty put her hands on her hips. "But don't I look pretty?" she asked. "Like a star?"
Ashley and I rolled our eyes. Princess Patty strikes again! We call her "Princess" because she acts likes she is one.
"Did someone say star?" a girl called. "Because I am the star of this race!" It was Casey, a new girl at school.
"Wow," Samantha said. "That sure is a sparkly outfit."

Everything on Casey sparkled. Her roller skates were covered with rainbow glitter. Her name was spelled out in silver glitter across her blue helmet. Even Casey's mouth sparkled! She was the only person in our class who had sparkly braces.
"You should see the awesome dress my mom made for me to wear in Rudy's commercial," Casey said. "It's even more sparkly than what I'm wearing now."
"What are you talking about?" Patty asked.
"The winner of the Easter egg race gets to star in a TV commercial for Rudy's Roller Rink," I reminded her.
Patty tossed her head. "I know that." She pointed at Casey. "But why is she talking like she's already won the race?"
Casey skated closer to Patty. "Because you've got to act like a winner to be a winner-and I am a winner. That's how I know I'm going to win this race!"
I couldn't stop myself from giggling. If Patty was a princess, then Casey was a queen!
A whistle blew. "Come on, everybody," Rudy called. "We're ready to start the race!" He was standing next to a huge oak tree near the entrance to the park. A sign that read START hung on the tree.
"Welcome to the Easter egg race!" Rudy said. He had a shiny bald head, and he wore a polka dot shirt and a tie that had Easter bunnies printed all over it. "Is everyone ready to skate and have fun?"
"Yes!" we all said.
"First, let me tell you the rules," Rudy said. "This morning, I hid fifteen golden eggs in the park. The eggs look like this." He held up a hard-boiled egg that was painted gold. "Each egg is hidden in a different spot. They are very tricky to find."
"Not for the Trenchcoat Twins," Tim whispered to Ashley and me. "You two can find anything."
Ashley and I smiled. We're detectives. People call us the Trenchcoat Twins. We run the Olsen and Olsen Detective Agency out of the attic of our house.
"But this isn't a mystery, Tim," I said. "Without clues, it won't be easy to find the eggs."
"You will have thirty minutes to find as many eggs as you can," Rudy went on. "If you drop an egg and it cracks, it doesn't count. When you hear the whistle, take all the eggs you have found and skate as fast as you can back to this tree. The winner is the person who gathers the most golden eggs and crosses the finish line first."
"Excuse me," Casey called. "How am I supposed to carry all the eggs I find?"
"I don't believe it," Patty muttered. "She really thinks she's going to find all the eggs."
Rudy smiled at Casey. "In your Easter baskets, of course!" Rudy's wife, Mrs. Rizzo, gave us each a basket.
Rudy pointed to a yellow line by the tree. "Everyone to the starting line."
Skate wheels screeched as we all tried to find a good spot. I squeezed next to Ashley. Adam Milano, a boy in our class, squeezed in next to me.
"Hey!" I said to Adam. "Quit pushing!"
"Sorry, Mary-Kate," Adam said. "I need a good spot if I'm going to win."
Rudy blew his whistle. "On your mark, get set . . . go!" We all took off as fast as we could.
Ashley and I skated up the main path. Casey zoomed past us. Tim, Samantha, and Patty skated off in different directions.
"Do you see any eggs?" Ashley called to me.
"No," I called back. "The grass is so high, it's hard to see anything." A group of kids sped by. I turned sideways to get out of their way. I wondered if any of them had found eggs yet.
Ashley pointed to the lake in the center of the meadow. "Let's look over there," she said.
I followed Ashley onto the path that led to the lake. I kept my eyes wide open, trying to spot eggs. I skated around a curve in the road.
"Ooops!" I quickly put my heel up to stop. Brett had fallen on the path, and I almost ran him over! "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay," he said. Brett got to his feet and skated away as best he could.
"Mary-Kate, look!" Ashley called. "It's the Easter bunny!"
Well, it was really a person wearing a fluffy white Easter bunny costume. The bunny darted between the bushes. Its tall ears peeked out from behind the leaves. Then the bunny hopped away down a different path.
Ashley and I giggled. "I guess the Easter bunny is looking for eggs too," I said.