The Stought Brothers: ‘The Mystery at the Market’ – Chapter 7
A BarbWire Exclusive Fiction Short Story Series…
Here is the seventh serial installment of the middle grade (ages 8-12) 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
The Stought brothers arrived at Samuel and Fatima Gwani’s condo. Both the Gwanis were there and so were Reggie and Heathcliff’s parents. The boys told them what they had overheard on the streets on their way home.
“What do you think, Samuel?” Geoffrey asked their host. “Have you ever heard of Al-Sayf?”
Samuel nodded his hid and stroked his chin. “Al-Sayf is a terrorist group,” he said. “They have been in Nigeria for about five years now. But I have only heard of them carrying out attacks in the northern part of the country. I don’t recall them ever coming further south. They definitely have not done anything in Lagos.”
“But we can’t take any chances, can we?” Reggie asked. “We have to tell the authorities what we heard. Right?”
“Of course we will,” Geoffrey told him.
“And are you going to still going to be working at the hospital?” Reggie asked.
“As long as the authorities don’t say we can’t be there, I will be working like I promised to do. You know that,” Geoffrey said.
Cordelia looked at Reggie and Heathcliff. They knew she agreed with their dad without having to say a word.
“Come on, Geoffrey,” Samuel said as he got out of his easy chair. “I will help you make a call to the local police. I know a man there and he will be sure that someone investigates what your boys heard.”
Geoffrey got out of the couch he had been sitting in and followed Samuel out of the room.
“Let’s move to the kitchen,” Fatima said. “You boys said you ate some food but you still look hungry.” She led them out of the living room and the boys sat around the kitchen table. She and Cordelia started making sandwiches.
“So why are you back here so early,” Fatima asked them.
“It’s not that early,” Heathcliff said.
“Not that early in the day, but a lot earlier than you said you’d thought you’d be back,” Fatima replied.
The boys looked at one another. “We ran into a bit of a disagreement with Dan.”
Cordelia raised an eyebrow. “Oh? Why don’t you tell me about it?”
The Stought brothers told them what happened. Cordelia and Fatima listened and finished making the sandwiches, pushing them towards the teenagers.
“Do you think you might have been a little too eager in showing off your new phone?” Cordelia asked Reggie.
“I wasn’t showing it off,” he said as he ate his sandwich. “I just wanted to record the game to prove when someone was out.”
Cordelia stared at him. “Now do you see why Dan got mad at you? He probably thought you were calling him a liar.”
Reggie tried arguing some more but he eventually conceded his mother was right.
Reggie and Heathcliff finished their sandwiches and then Geoffrey and Samuel returned.
“We had a nice talk with the police,” Geoffrey told them. “They’re going to start interviewing people at the hospital and increase security. But they think that what you boys heard likely was the result of that woman’s nephew telling a lie.”
“So they aren’t going to talk with people outside the hospital to see what’s going on?” Heathcliff asked.
“Who would they talk to? You boys can’t identify these women,” Geoffrey said.
“True. But couldn’t they go out into Lagos and talk to people to see if anyone has heard anything similar?”
“I suppose they could. And maybe they will,” Geoffrey said. “But I didn’t get into every detail of their work. I’m confident they know what they’re doing.”
Reggie and Heathcliff thanked their mother and Fatima for the food and then excused themselves to their guest room.
“How long do you think it will take for the police to interview everyone at the hospital?” Heathcliff asked Reggie as soon as they had shut their door.
“How long do you think it will take before they even start interviewing people?” Reggie replied.
“If something is going to happen soon, then whenever they start might be too late,” Heathcliff said. “We could probably find out if anything is going on at the hospital sooner than they could. Remember Rasheed at Dan’s uncle’s place? He works at the hospital. We can go talk to him way before the police do.”
“We could,” Reggie said. “But we probably shouldn’t just go to see him directly—not after what happened today with Dan. That would be weird.”
“Well, we could always go to Dan and apologize to him,” Heathcliff said with a shrug.
Reggie sighed. “I guess.”
“We don’t have to,” Heathcliff said. “But sitting around and doing nothing seems even worse. I want to find out if someone is going to attack the hospital.”
Reggie looked at him. “Me too. I guess I’ll have to suck it up and apologize. Let’s go.”
And the boys were off again, soon down on the streets and walking back to Dan Awi’s house. They were determined to see Rasheed to find out if he knew anything about an attack planned for the hospital.
The Stought brothers would soon learn that he did—that he knew a lot about one and that it was going to happen soon.
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