The Stought Brothers: ‘The Mystery at the Market’ – Chapter 2
A BarbWire Exclusive Fiction Short Story Series…
Here is the second serial installment of the middle grade story, The Stought Brothers: “The Mystery at the Market.” First, a brief reminder of what this is and then the installment begins.
Nonfiction is great. But fiction is important too. And instead of just complaining about all the filth that is out there, we should start producing entertainment—culture—as well. Producing solid entertainment for kids is particularly important.
Furthermore, publishing a serial story is an attempt to expand what BarbWire is. So along with being a place for columns and opinion pieces, I’d like for BarbWire to become more like a magazine. Columns, editorials, and articles are all integral parts of magazines, but fiction and other cultural writings are as well.
You can read more of my reasons for experimenting with this idea from an earlier post.
Click on the “The Stought Brothers” tag at the bottom of the post to view all the chapters of, The Stought Brothers: “The Mystery at the Market.”
The Stought Brothers: “The Mystery at the Market”
By Gunner B. Summit
Reggie and Heathcliff entered the Lagos Tranquility General Hospital with their parents. The owners had invited their father, Dr. Geoffrey Stought, to visit the facility. He was a world famous physician who specialized in brain surgery. He was going to perform a surgery on a patient here. The other doctors would watch and learn how to do it.
Cordelia was Geoffrey’s wife and the boys’ mother. She helped keep track of Geoffrey’s schedule. In fact, she was like a professional manager for him. Additionally, she helped keep the family in order and watched the boys while Geoffrey worked. Although, she didn’t need to watch them much now that they were almost grown.
Reggie was 18-years-old and a senior in high school. Heathcliff was 16 and a sophomore.
The Stought family was used to traveling across the globe. That was normal for them. Geoffrey received so many invitations to share his expertise that they spent more time away from the United States than they spent in it. And it had been that way for as long as Reggie and Heathcliff could remember. Both boys loved it.
Dr. Baron Ugo greeted the Stoughts at the entrance of the hospital. The family recognized him from the video calls their father had had with him. “Hello, Dr. and Mrs. Stought,” he said in English. English was the official language of Nigeria. He shook both their hands as he smiled.
“And you must be Reggie and Heathcliff,” he said to the Stought brothers.
“Nice to meet you, Dr. Ugo,” Reggie said as he shook his hand. Heathcliff said the same thing when Dr. Ugo shook his hand.
Then Dr. Ugo began giving them the tour of the hospital. He told them how it started as he also showed them all that was on the ground floor.
Lagos Tranquility General Hospital was part of a Christian organization that set up local medical facilities. Years ago, two Nigerian businessmen decided they wanted a new hospital in Lagos. And so they formed a partnership with the Christian organization. The Nigerian businessmen provided the money, and the Christian organization guided them through how to start a hospital.
The hospital had been open for less than five years. So everything was modern. Reggie and Heathcliff looked around as Dr. Ugo continued leading them. The equipment and furnishings looked like they were still new.
“Your hospital looks amazing,” Geoffrey said to Dr. Ugo. Dr. Ugo had just finished showing the Stoughts the emergency room.
“Thank you,” he said. And then he looked at Reggie and Heathcliff. “I hope I’m not boring you two.”
“No, sir,” Heathcliff said. “We like visiting new places.”
Dr. Ugo chuckled. “So what will you be doing while your father works?”
“We’ve already met the Gwanis and they are a lovely couple,” Cordelia said. The Gwanis were the family that was hosting the Stoughts. “We’ll be going back there after the tour. And we plan to be out in Lagos a lot too.”
“It is a wonderful city,” Dr. Ugo said. “Just make sure to get good tips from the Gwanis. Ask them where to go and what to see. Don’t just go to the tourist traps.”
Cordelia assured him that they would do so.
“The Gwanis introduced us to a boy our age,” Reggie added. “So Heathcliff and I look forward to getting to know him. His name is Dan Awi.”
“That name sounds familiar,” Dr. Ugo said. He thought about it for a moment. “Ah, yes. Now I know. Dan’s uncle rents an apartment to one of our staff members. I remember that staff member talking about it.”
“And what’s the staff member do here?” Heathcliff asked.
“He’s one of our orderlies. His name is Rasheed Al-Tikriti,” Dr. Ugo said. “He’s a very friendly man. Everyone likes him!”
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