Bradley stopped to peer into the weird store with all of the rats. He always stopped by here to watch them run by the windows in the huge maze of clear plastic pipes. One jumped at him, starling him into dropping his little shovel.
He picked it up and looked at the small clumps of dirt clinging to his mom’s garden tool. The green handle looked so new and his mom would certainly notice that it had been used. She was a neat freak, a word he overheard someone call her when they learned of her many cleaning rules imposed on him. He’d laughed at the term and called her that sometimes when she wasn’t around.
The same conversation was what led him here. He’d heard them talking about movies, then books, tuning out the conversation as best he could since it was interrupting his Transformers war. He tuned back into what they were saying once he heard the term “father” uttered, which always grabbed him since he didn’t know his dad.
“And his father spends time with him by burying items in the park and then leaving clues so he can find them.”
“Wow, sounds interesting.”
“Yes, and he goes on a quest to find his father’s final clue by searching the whole city.”
Were they talking about Bradley’s father? He was furious at first with his mother. She had known about these hidden treasures all along and not told him, not let him start the search? Maybe, if he started digging in the park he would find one of these treasures and somehow finally meet his dad. All of his friends had dads. Not all of them had one living with them, but they still had them, and Bradley always wanted to know his missing parent. Maybe this was his chance.
But he’d been digging for days now and only found a few squirrel bones (which were cool, he had to admit) and a few creepy bums tried to talk to him. Plus he’d saved that little dog from the bigger one. But still no treasure.
Maybe he should ask his mom. But she’d kept it a secret from him for a reason. He was on his own.
As Bradley realized he was probably late, he turned and started walking home. A car drove by and he saw a girl he knew from school, but he ignored her. He had bigger things on his mind.
If you would like to know more about the people in these stories, click on the “Stories of Connections” categories and read about some of the other people he’s bumped into or connecting events. Bradley pops up in other stories here and there. Tomorrow, learn more about what Bradley’s mom was talking about in “Ronald”.