The Mystery Crackers: A Chest's Tale It's hard to resist the temptation of possessing an antique golden chest, even if one doesn't own it. It's even harder to stop trying to open it, when it stays stiff shut. What if it contains precious gems, jewels, important documents or may be vital nation's security? However, when this chest goes missing, closely followed by their Dad's disappearance, the fraternal twins - Prash and Nish involuntarily don the teen detectives' avatar. A withered puzzle engraved on an old stone pavement showers light on their mysterious journey to seek their Dad's whereabouts and locate the precious chest. Will the young boys taste success at their first go? Only, The Mystery Crackers: A Chest's Tale has the stirring answer. Jinal Shailesh Doshi A Freelance Writer and an English and Creative Writing Teacher, she is a Gold Leaf Diplomat from the Writers Bureau Institute, has earned an MA in English Literature and had several published articles to her credit. The Mystery Crackers: A Chest's Tale is her first self-published novel and she aspires to create a series on it. Chapter One THE MYSTERY CRACKERS A Chest’s Tale Jinal Shailesh Doshi A Striking Puzzle “Let’s race!” challenged a fourteen-year-old, brown-haired teenager, in spite of the slippery road. He sped off in his red-and-black Hero Bicycle, zigzagging amongst the green lanes of Jhiljila Town, which gleamed bright green in the drizzle. “Oh! You wait Nish, I’ll get you this time!” bellowed a dark-haired Prash after his, a-minute younger brother and raced by the tall trees of the well-cared hill-station. Nish jeered from far, while Hri piped in, “Even I’ll race you guys.” Short and timid, Hri was the son of the rich merchant – Mr Yogesh Parikh, famous at Jhiljila for his collection of antiques. The two brothers – Prash and Nish, were fraternal twins, immensely unlike each other. However, these Jhiljila High School students were fast friends like their parents. They loved to ride about the peaceful Jhiljila, even in the rains and watch the sun disappear. Prash and Hri had almost caught up with Nish. Not to be outwitted, Nish increased his speed abruptly and shouted, “You guys can’t match me … yo-ho … uuoh!” Crash! His gusto had led him to slip on a murky stone pavement. While trying to sit up, he cursed the foul garbage of mucky leaves, twigs and the other waste that covered him. Prash and Hri soon joined him. Hri couldn’t help chuckling and commented, “You’re a mess Nish.” Prash leapt from his black-and-blue Hero Bicycle and gave a hand to Nish, while Hri straightened Nish’s bicycle, still laughing. “Are you alright, Bro?” “Fine, just a bit – hey Prash, look at this!” Nish’s fall had cleared a batch of waste around the stone pavement. When he cleared it further, a withered message emerged from the cold stone. Prash read it aloud, When the sky is clicking photographs, Where beauty dances happily, The Unseen will be clearly seen, And you will meet the Truth …! “What a funny thing to write.” “No Nish, it’s not funny. Read carefully. It’s a clever puzzle, clues to something … some answer,” Prash explained. “Uh-oh!” “What Hri? Seeing snakes?” asked Nish irritated. He hadn’t yet forgiven him for laughing at his fall. “N-no, worse … it’s Golu!” Hri trembled. “Inspector Gulkand! Oh no! We’d better hurry.” Prash quickly took the puzzle’s photograph from his Samsung Galaxy Grand 2, while Nish hastily covered it with garbage. The Inspector halted his police bike and strutted towards the boys. He was the current head of the Jhiljila Police Station. Pot-bellied and pompous, he loved shouting out orders to the others. Manning the Jhiljila lanes at dusk and telling off teenagers for roaming about there was his cherished custom. The kids hated him, but enjoyed teasing him Golu behind his back.