"The Warning" (Veronica Walsh )
Carrie and Carl, Laketon's youngest detectives, were pedaling their bikes to River Park.
"So you think that today you'll be voted captain of your Girls Can Run team?" Carl asked his sister.
"Hope so," Carrie answered. "The coach said everyone will vote today. I think the votes will be spread between me and three other girls. That's why it's so important that all of us four are at practice today."
"Well, you almost weren't going to be there," Carl said. "Good thing someone warned you that practice was at River Park instead of your usual place."
"Yeah." Carrie pumped harder. "We still have plenty of time to get there, thanks to that phone call. I'm not sure who made it. She was calling from a noisy public phone, and my cell was low on batteries. Had lots of static, too. But I heard the message OK."
Moments later the twins were at the park entrance. A truck was near the gate. "Can't get in today, kids," the driver said. "Nobody can. We're doing lots of repairs on the equipment."
"Oh no!" Carrie cried. "Someone gave me the wrong info. The team must be at our usual place after all."
"Maybe we can still get there on time," Carl said. "We'll have to ride like the wind!"
Panting and exhausted, the twins pulled into Watson's Field just as the Girls Can Run team was gathering around the coach. "Glad you made it," she told Carrie as Carl steered their bikes away.
An hour later the team was cheering for Carrie, their new captain. She and three other girls met Carl by the bleachers. "I was just telling them that I had a mysterious warning," she told her brother. "Someone told me we weren't meeting here today."
"It wasn't me," Emma declared. "I wanted to be captain myself and I was hoping you wouldn't show up today. But I wouldn't have lied like that."
"Me neither," Lauren said. "I didn't want you to be captain, Carrie. You're president of the student council so I wanted Emma to be our team captain. But I never gave you that false message."
"Well, I couldn't have done it," Tina said. "I don't even know your cell phone number."
"I know who did it," Carrie said.
Carl nodded. "Me too."
Whom do the twins suspect and why?
It was Tina. "Yeah, I did it," she confessed. "I thought that if you blew off practice, I would be voted in. I feel awful about it now, Carrie. How'd you know it was me?"
ARE YOU A GOOD DETECTIVE?
If so, you noticed that Tina was the only one who mentioned the cellphone. Only that person would have known how the false message was given.
"Tina's number was up as soon as she made that statement," Carrie said as the twins biked off. "Another mystery is solved."
"We call them like we see them," Carl replied, laughing.
For more Kids' Reading Room, visit latimes.com/kids.
Be sure and check out Short Stories in Activity Center for past episodes featuring Carrie and Carl, Laketon's youngest detectives.
Special thanks to Veronica Walsh for her illustration. To see more of her work, visit veronicawalsh.net.