By Tina Serrano
The Scavenger Boys
The last day of school had finally arrived. The boys were excited about finishing up their first year in middle school. Middle school somehow caused them to grow up quicker than they wanted to. Just being a kid and having fun was what the scavenger boys wanted to do. All the hard work, and trying to be cool was too much for them!
Even with the pressures of fitting in, school had been fun, but they were ready for summer! Their plan was to meet at Chris’ house after school to discuss their scavenger hunt. Pedro was sitting on the cement steps of the school waiting for Eddie, when he saw Mike talking to a group of girls.
“Hey Mike, aren’t we supposed to meet at your house?” asked Junior.
“Yeah, I’ll be there. Tell Chris to start without me.”
Eddie appeared from around the corner on his prized possession. He paid to have his bike custom made with the gold coins discovered during their last scavenger hunt.
Eddie shook his head and said “Chris isn’t going to like this. Girls are already distracting Mike!”
Junior looked over at Marisol Ortiz and said “I wish she would distract me!”
Eddie laughed and said “Not you too, come on…we have better things to do.”
“Like ride that bike of yours?”
“Hey man-don’t talk about my baby, she’s one of a kind!”
“Ever since you bought that thing, you do nothing else except ride it, shine it or just sit on it!”
“Whatever- I’ll meet you there” Eddie said as he rode off to Chris’ house.
Chris had been planning an investigation for the boys. They needed to get into the Police Station because he wanted to get more information on his long lost uncle. After doing much research, Chris decided to do more investigating once he was in Puerto-Rico.
He had been talking to his father about his uncle’s disappearance. His father told him how it all started with the story of a two headed snake.
Chris’ father looked at him sternly and said, “That snake bit your uncle and caused a lot of trouble. I had just married your mother and her brother wanted to go up to the cave, but Abuelo told us not to go up there.
We didn’t listen and when William was bit by the snake, Abuelo was furious and went up there himself to find it.”
“Did Abuelo find the snake?”
“I don’t know if he found it at that time, because after the incident, Abuelo was mad at me for allowing William to talk me into going up there, and Abuelo didn’t talk to me for weeks. William was always doing something that he shouldn’t be doing, so he just laughed it off when I tried to talk to him about it. He liked adventure. You are a lot like him, so remember not to go up there. Do you understand?!”
Chris sat quietly thinking about what the two headed snake must look like and he answered his father saying “OK, I won’t go in the caves. I know it is too dangerous.
Chris thought about how important it was to solve this mystery. After hearing the story of a two headed snake being seen in the cave, Chris was determined to find out more information on the snake. He had pictures of different creatures that were living up in the caves of Puerto-Rico, but they had nothing about a two headed snake.
He told his friends, “We are going to put together a puzzle that has had missing pieces for a long time. My father told me about my uncle and how he went up to the cave in Puerto-Rico to look for a two headed snake, and he was bit by the snake. What I can’t figure out, is why Abuelo never told us anything about the snake or why he never mentioned to me anything about how my uncle disappeared.”
“Abuelo probably doesn’t want you going up to the cave to search for that snake. He knows how you are with mysteries. He probably doesn’t talk about it because it must be really hard on him not knowing where his son is” said Junior.
“Yeah, you’re probably right. My father really made it clear to me about not going near that cave, but since Mike and I are going to be in Puerto-Rico, I’ll be checking it out. I can probably go up the mountain, but not go in the caves. Who knows, maybe there are some clues around there.”
“Chris, you should listen to your father and stay away from that cave. You know if he said it’s dangerous, it is off – limits” said Benny.
“Why is it Benny- you are always quiet, except when you have to say something that I don’t want to hear?”
“Well I just don’t want to get a message that you disappeared too. Then what are we going to do about our scavenger hunts?”
“Very funny, Benny” Chris had an uneasy feeling because he knew that he shouldn’t be thinking about going up that mountain and he wasn’t even in Puerto-Rico yet. He had a feeling that he wouldn’t be able to listen this time. Any other time, he would respect his father’s wishes, but this seemed too tempting to him. Especially since Abuelo never told him about the snake.
“Let’s get this mystery solved! Pedro and Benny are going to be the investigators and I want you to find all the information that you can about my uncle’s life. Ask questions, talk to your parents, neighbors, everyone that knew him. Take notes.”
“Eddie and Junior, you go to the library and check out the computer for any articles.
Try to get the file from the Police Station that tells about my uncle’s disappearance.”
“I’ll have to take my bike home first, so no-one steals it” said Eddie.
“Junior can go with you and then just head over to the library.”
Junior grabbed his backpack and jumped on the back of Eddie’s bike. They rode down to Eddie’s house and put his bike in the basement. Then they started their walk to the library. Their minds were filled with ideas and neither one talked until they reached the library.
“You ready?” asked Junior.
“Yeah” said Eddie. The boys entered the library and noticed how crowded it was.
“I hope we can get a computer. Sure is crowded today.” Junior said as he looked around at the people sitting at the computer stations.
The old card catalog was standing in the middle of the room. It looked like something from the transformers cartoon and alongside it were four round tables that looked like flying saucers-thought Junior as he walked towards the computer station. The round tables had the computers on them. Three of the computers were dark except for the bright green blinking cursors. There were all different kinds of people sitting there using the computers. A tall man looked like he had whiplash as he bent down and stared at the computer screen. A young girl sat smiling as she read what looked like the fashion challenge of the week. Two boys sat together reading about zombies coming alive on video games. Eddie just looked over at Junior and smirked as they continued on to the librarian’s desk.
Eddie and Junior went to the librarian’s desk with their library cards and each signed themselves in for a 15 minute computer time.
After logging in, Junior found a webpage that listed missing persons.
“Eddie, look- here’s a list of legal cases that involved missing persons.”
Looking over the list, the boys nervously read the reports of missing people and cases that involved mysterious animal sightings and bug invasions.
One report caught Junior’s eye as he noticed a name that looked familiar.
“Hey Eddie, isn’t that the name of Chris and Mike’s missing uncle?
“Look at this article, it says that he was missing and a reward was offered,” Eddie pointed out as he continued reading the article, “We better print this up, Junior.”
Coming Soon- Another adventure for the scavenger boys. Puerto-Rico’s caves and urban streets bring the mystery to an end!