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The Treasure In The Barn

Hunt Away

By David BrandyPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 8 min read

ONE

"It has to be here somewhere." Says Mel as she lifts another lid to a feed bin. This too is a fruitless act. She and her brother, Cal, had been coming to this barn that had belonged to their grandmother every day for a month after school to look for treasure.

Nana had regaled them with tales of adventure and danger. The two of them soaked up every word and hung on every detail. She told them that she had traveled to faraway lands and went on long-winded quests. Many of them she was rewarded handsomely for.

None of the adults believed Nana, and Papa had been gone long before he could corroborate her stories for the kids. Still, no one messed with Nana. She had a sort of air about her, one that told everyone that she had been through things and would put other people through things if they deserved it. This air was the proof for the children.

Before Nana passed, she told the kids that she had stowed away treasures in her barn, the very barn that they were searching in. She told them that they held more value than everything their parents had, and they owned a house and a couple of cars. So the kids assumed that it must be a lot of money.

"Mel!" Shouts Cal from the front of the barn. Startled, she jogs her way toward her brother. The shorter of the two siblings were frantically running in her direction.

"The, the, the," Cal tried to speak.

"Spit it out!" Mel shouted.

"The Wolf!" He says in the loudest voice he could muster.

Mel's eyes round and she grabs her brother's arm, yanking him back toward their bikes. Once the two of them were on two wheels each, they peddled as hard as their little legs could. Ripping around the side of the barn, their tires dig into the softer soil and then dip down into the potholes. The ride is not smooth.

After rounding the corner they head from the barn on an angle away from the only road and head into the tree line so that no one could see them. Mel was surprised that she remembered the quick escape plan that they had come up with when they had first started searching the barn.

She looks behind her and spots a car parked outside of the barn. From this distance, she could see that it is a light blue and that someone was coming out of it. She squints hard to try and see who it is, but she is nearly thrown from her bike when the front tire plows right into a rock. In the sudden rush of adrenaline, she spins her head back forward and thinks that she might have spotted someone else in the woods. Someone well dressed and dangerous. Someone who spotted her too. She peddles faster.

TWO

"You really think it was The Wolf?" Mel asks her brother. They ride lazily now that they are sure they got away from the barn.

"I mean, probably." Says Cal in a succinct way.

"What do you mean probably? Nana said that The Wolf was dangerous. Did he look dangerous?"

"Not sure."

"Does that mean you didn't see him?"

"I didn't"

"Neither did I, but I saw his car."

"So did I."

"It looked..." Mel starts but then the words seem to die in her mouth. The two of them skid to a stop and stand still as they stare wide-eyed. The blue car that they saw at the barn is parked in their driveway.

"Like that." Cal finished her sentence.

After the initial shock wore off, they came inside the house to find their father and a man they had never seen before at the dinner table. They had papers strewn all over the table and their father was holding a pen.

"Kids!" Their father said as they came through the door.

"Father!" The two of them respond in unison like they always do. Only this time there was a hint of suspicion in their voices.

"You two must be wondering who this is." Their father gestures to the man at the table and he waves. "He is a realtor and he is gonna sell the barn."

"What?!" The two children say in shock.

"No." Cal says.

"You definitely can not sell Nana's barn!"

Their father's face scrunches in a little and he says, "It isn't Nana's anymore, and I definitely can sell it. I have to. We can't afford it."

"Could you afford it if we find the treasure?" Asks Mel, with a lump growing in her throat.

"If the treasure existed, I am sure it would solve a lot of problems for us sweetie. For now, though, we will just have to settle for the face value of the barn. Like I said, since we had to refinance it, we can't afford to keep it."

The kids look into their father's eyes for a moment that feels like an eternity, then Cal speaks up.

"Grocery delivery?" He asks, starting a game that they had been playing since their father had lost his job. Cal would try to guess what kind of odd job his dad did that day.

"Nope." Their father said, with a smirk, "Today's gig was a weird one, I don't know if you are going to guess it."

"Hmmm," Cal starts, then their mom comes through the door.

"Kids!" She calls out in a happy tone.

"Mom!" They respond in happy unison, then Cal asks another possible odd job.

"Car detailing?"

"Warmer, but no."

THREE

The next day after school they go back to the barn to hunt for treasure. This time, they hunt through a tack room together.

"Remember yesterday when we ran out of here?" Asks Mel.

"From the realtor?"

Mel rolls her eyes, "Yes, I think I saw something."

"A realtor?"

"Cal. No. Well, yes." She lets out a huff of frustration. "Listen, I think I saw someone else in the woods when we were running."

"You did?" Cal asks, halting his search to make eye contact with her.

"I did, and he looked dangerous."

"The Wolf?" Cal says.

"Maybe, we have been wrong before."

Cal does nothing but shrug. They head into the observation booths to search them. A moment later they hear a car pull up. The siblings look at each other with sudden fear and duck. They creep their way to the observation window which overlooked the arena. In walks the realtor and they let out a breath of relief, then a second man walks in, and they tense again.

"Is that..." Cal whispers and stares intently at the second man.

"A wolf tattoo?" Mel asks as she spots the face of a wolf tattooed on the forearm of the second man.

FOUR

Cal starts to hyperventilate so Mel pulls him away from the window and drags him back to the bikes. She has a heavy feeling of de ja vu as they make it to their bikes and start to peddle as hard as they can to flee the barn again. They round the corner bouncing harder than ever. Angle out to dive into the tree line, bike for a little while, then a man steps into the bike path.

"Oh no." Say's Cal.

"Damn right." Mel replies.

Cal looks at his sister, "You swore!"

As he says this as he reaches the well-dressed man and ducks into a thicker part of the woods only to have a large hand grab him and his sister. They fall to the ground with a hard thud and they begin to scramble and scream but the man scoops them up and covers their mouths.

"I am a friend." He says, in a surprisingly calm voice.

They continue to squirm and Mel bites his finger hard, only to find that he is wearing thick gloves that her teeth couldn't penetrate.

"I am FBI Agent Dover, and biting my hand will not do anything. I am wearing a cup too, so don't get any ideas with your feet either."

After a moment or two longer, they stop fighting and look at each other. Their eyes told the other that they were ready to trust this person, at least for the moment.

"Okay, I am going to let go of your mouths. Please don't scream or it won't be great for any of us."

The kids nod their heads the best they could and the man lets them go. They both take in large breaths, but they don't scream, they just turn around to find the man smiling and holding out his badge. Cal takes a close look, then turns to his sister and nods.

FIVE

"So, you are investigating our Nana?" Asks Mel.

"Not exactly. More like I am investigating her legacy." Says the Agent.

"Her legacy?" Asks Cal.

"Her, not-so-legal legacy." The Agent responds, choosing his words carefully.

"And that isn't us?" Asks Mel.

"No, it has to do with The Wolf. I think he can lead me to the real person I am looking for."

"Who is that?" Asks Cal.

"That isn't important. Listen, kids, you have to stop coming here. Your Nana wasn't as good as she said she was, and the people who are going to buy this barn are even worse. They are dangerous."

"Like pulling kids off their bikes in the woods dangerous?" Mel asks putting her hands on her hips.

"Like no one will ever hear from you again dangerous." Says The Agent flatly.

"Yikes." Says Cal.

"So you're telling me that we are just supposed to walk away from the biggest adventure that we had ever heard of?"

"Yes." Replies The Agent.

"No." Says Mel and turns around to go back to the barn, "Come on Cal."

Cal doesn't follow her.

"You were just running away though." Calls out The Agent.

"They should be gone by now, a good time to look for the treasure. Come on Cal!" Mel calls back in a shout.

"Listen, it's too dangerous kid."

"Yeah?" Mel says turning around, "Well, I don't know if my dad will be able to find another job for a while and the job my mom got isn't exactly making ends meet." She is crying now, "If we don't find the treasure..." She breaks down and falls to her knees. Cal and The Agent go to her.

SIX

After Mel had a good long cry, she convinced The Agent to come to do one last search for the treasure. By the time that they made it back to the barn, night had fallen. The Agent was the one who found the hollow-sounding wall. Loud bangs had echoed through the old barn as they broke through the wall and into a hidden stall.

"It's empty." Cal says, peering in.

Mel leads the way inside as The Agent clicks on a flashlight. They push around the shavings on the floor for a while before they find a hatch. They freeze, hearts thumping with anticipation, then Mel lifts the handle with all her might but it doesn't budge. The Agent waits for her to give up, then he gives it a single tug and the hinges creak as it opens.

Inside, were bricks and bricks of gold. Their eyes almost come out of their heads. As quick as they can they put the bars into The Agent's jacket turned rucksack. 24 400 OZ gold bars in total come out of the hidden hatch and they again make the mad dash for their bikes. This time giggling, knowing that now their family was saved and that The Wolf would never find the treasure in the barn.

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Young Adult

About the Creator

David Brandy

My very first story crafting was an imaginary game that me and my two younger brothers would play when I was 12. My love of storytelling manifested itself quickly. Today I am a husband, father, and business owner.

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