Once upon a time there was a town. This town was called Barista town. Everyone admired this town, and plenty of people visited. One day people stopped admiring the town, and it had fewer visitors every day. Eventually there were only a few people left, and they never knew why the other had left.
The Woman at The Door
Moxie Madison was one of the very few people left in town. She wasn’t your typical fifteen-year-old girl. She had a passion, a passion for
detective work. Moxie sat on the floor of her bedroom reading one of
her favorite books “The Life of a Detective”. She brushed her pink-streaked blonde hair out of her face and kept reading. A few minutes later she heard a knock on the door. Moxie sighed who could be brothering her at this hour.
Moxie walked downstairs to the front door and opened it. A tall, pale faced woman stood in the door-way. “Hello there,” the women said in a soft tone. “Who are you?” Moxie asked, “Charlotte Alton,” she replied. As soon as charlotte had said her name Moxie recognized her right away. She was a famous detective. Earlier that month Moxie had signed up to be her apprentice. “Are your parent’s home?” Charlotte asked “No” replied Moxie. “Well then, out of the many people that signed up to be my apprentice, I picked you, and for one reason only. You see, I found this in the park”.
Charlotte held up a piece of lined paper covered in words. Moxie froze. That was a paper from her notebook, a notebook she wrote everything in. “Where did you get that?” Moxie asked in complete shock. “I found it in the park” said Charlotte “I was going for my usual afternoon walk when a paper blew into my face. I sat on a bench and read it, and it told me your all about your passion for detective work, your name and address, and of a mystery you want to solve- the mystery of this town. I recognized your name from the list of potential apprentices for me, and thought you were the kid I was looking for”. Moxie was shocked, her heart raced with excitement but the only words that came out of her mouth were. “What do you mean I’m the kid you’re looking for?” “I mean I’m a detective and I need an apprentice” Charlotte responded. “Exactly what would I be doing?” Moxie asked “I would teach you a thing or two about detective work by solving that mystery you want to solve” said Charlotte.
There was an awkward silence in the room as Moxie thought whether she should go with Charlotte and be her apprentice. It was like Moxie had a devil and an angel on each of her shoulders, and they were telling her opposite things do. Finally, she came to a conclusion. “I guess I’ll go, but I’ll have to leave a note for my parents to tell them where I’ve gone” said Moxie.
“Alright, you’d better go pack up your stuff” replied Charlotte with a smile. Moxie ran upstairs to her room, grabbed her trunk, packed it with all the essentials and ran back down. She grabbed a piece of paper and wrote a quick note to her parents. Moxie and Charlotte walked out the door. “A lot can happen when you answer the door”, Moxie thought to herself.
Outside there was a taxi parked in Moxie’s driveway. They climbed in and Charlotte said to the driver, “to the Brew-Inn please”. “Is that where we’re staying?” Moxie asked. “Yes, I have a room booked for us”, replied Charlotte. They drove down the abandoned streets and past a few cars until they reached the Brew-Inn.
As soon as they walked inside, it smelled like something had died in there. They walked up to the front desk. The man there looked older and wore round spectacles. It looked like he was deep in thought, and he had a lazy eye drifting off every now and then. Moxie felt bad disturbing the man from his thought, but Charlotte showed no emotion. She hit the bell quite loudly to break the man’s reverie.
“Who’s there?” he asked, surprised anyone still came to the hotel. “It’s Charlotte,” She said like she didn’t like the man. “I knew you would come back,” the man said to Charlotte. Finally, the man handed Charlotte the key to the room, and they headed upstairs.
Inside the room was a simple layout. There were two side-by-side beds with a bedside table separating them. Moxie laid her trunk on the floor next to the bed and unpacked. “What are we going to do now?” Moxie asked. “Get a good night’s rest,” replied Charlotte.
Barista Town Library
The next morning Moxie awoke to a loud beeping noise. “What time is it?” she groaned. “7:00am,” Charlotte said “Why are we waking up so early? “Asked Moxie with a yawn. “If you want to solve this mystery, its better to start early” said Charlotte. While they were eating breakfast downstairs, they made a plan about what to do. “Where do you think answers will be held?” Asked Charlotte “Maybe the library,” Moxie said. “Then let’s head to the Barista town Library” said Charlotte.
Everything inside the library was covered in dust, and it looked abandoned. A librarian sat at her desk typing away on a computer. “Excuse me,” said Charlotte. “Oh, hello,” the librarian said in a soft librarian voice. “Could you direct us to the aisle on the history of the town?” Asked Charlotte. The librarian pointed to a corner. “Over there,” she replied. “Thank you,” said Charlotte.
They walked over to the aisle and sat down at a table. “To solve a mystery we need to start at its roots. This town used to be a town that everyone admired and loved until one day people stopped coming,” Charlotte said. “So the question is, why did people like the town so much and then suddenly stop liking it?” Moxies interrupted, “but wait. How come a few people stayed? “I don’t know. Let’s try and find a book that tells us what was so popular about Barista town”.
Moxie and Charlotte looked through the whole aisle and found nothing. They tried a different aisle, but they found nothing that was related to what they wanted to find. “It’s like someone doesn’t want us to find out what was so popular about the town,” Charlotte told Moxie after hours of searching.
Moxie glanced over and saw the librarian sipping a cup of coffee, and it made the wheels in her brain turn. “Everything that we have found is Coffee related; all the books, the hotel, half the stores…even the town name is coffee related!” Moxie said in anger. “Wait a second, Coffee!” Charlotte said excitedly. “What about it?” Moxie asked. “Everyone loved the town because of its Coffee! I remember when I was a little girl my parents would always go down to the coffee shop because the coffee was so good!” Exclaimed Charlotte. “Is the coffee shop still here?” Moxie asked. “I don’t know, but we can check,” Charlotte responded. “What’s it called?” Asked Moxie “I’m pretty sure it’s called ‘A Cup of Heaven’” said Charlotte
“Great, let’s get a taxi and…” Before Moxie could finish the librarian stormed towards them and yelled “Get out!” “Ok, OK”, Charlotte said, trying to calm her down. “Now!” yelled the librarian. They ran out before she slammed the door. Moxie called for a taxi and they got in.
“That was odd” Moxie said. She turned to her partner, and Charlottes face was pale, like she had just seen a ghost. “Charlotte?” Moxie asked. “That expression, that random anger… I’ve seen it before, on my parents.” Moxie tried asking Charlotte more questions, but she didn’t answer.
A Cup of Heaven
When they reached A Cup of Heaven, Moxie tried asking Charlotte more questions, and finally she responded. “What happened to your parents?” Moxie asked. Charlotte hesitated. “When I was around twelve, my parents started acting strange. They would fight a lot and yell at me even if I wasn’t doing anything wrong. It was totally random, then one day when I came home from school, they were gone. I realized that other people where leaving the town too. So I made it my life’s work to find out why people were leaving the town so angry.” “Oh,” said Moxie, astonished by Charlotte’s story. “Let’s go inside, then” Charlotte said.
The inside of the coffee was very simple. There were wooden tables and chairs that were empty: they were completely alone. A woman came out of the kitchen; she was a middle aged woman with strawberry blonde hair, pale skin, and bright green eyes. “How may I help you?” she asked. “We’re looking for the owners,” Charlotte replied. “You’re looking at her” said the woman. “We came to ask you some questions” replied Moxie. “Why is that?” Asked the woman “I’m writing a piece for the ‘Barista Town News’ and this is my editor. She’s tagging along with me today,” Moxie said as she thought on her feet. “Ask away” said the owner. “Oh umm…” Charlotte elbowed Moxie and whispered, “I’ll ask the questions you follow along.” “I’ll ask the questions for today because my boss is coming down with a sore throat” said Charlotte, now speaking to the owner. “Alright” replied the woman.
“How long have you owned the coffee shop?” asked Charlotte. “About two decades,” she replied. “Do you know who owned it before you?” Charlotte asked “Yes, my parents actually,” the owner said. “Did they retire?” Charlotte questioned. “No, um… they died” said the woman sadly. “Oh, I’m sorry to hear…”
A man must have been listening to the conversation, because he ran in with an annoyed look on his face. It looked like he had been banged up over the years because he had a heavily scared face. His eyes where bright green.
“Hello” he said, “the name’s Doyll”. What are you doing with these girls Katie?” “I’m just answering the questions they have for me. They’re writing a piece for the ‘Barista Town News’”. “Who’s he?” Moxie asked. “This is my employee,” Katie said. “These questions seem a bit personal if you ask me,” Dyoll said. Katie ignored him “Let’s get on with the interview,” she said.
“I see where alone, is this place still a big hit?” Asked Charlotte “Over the year’s business started to slow down. We’re not able to get the same customer twice,” replied Katie. Dyoll started grinding his teeth, and then blurted out, “ok, I think that’s enough for today.” “No, I think we can carry on if they have more questions” Katie said. You could see Dyoll was starting to get on her nerves.
“I’ve been told that the coffee here is very good. What makes it so good?” Inquired Charlotte “My parents created a secret recipe and handed it down to me,” said Katie “then why is there less business if it’s the same recipe?” Asked Charlotte “I wouldn’t know. Dyoll here makes the coffee,” replied Katie “is he making the coffee differently?” Charlotte asked.
Moxie started looking back and forth between Dyoll and Katie. The two looked similar in a way. “Get out now!” Dyoll yelled. “Dyoll, calm down!” Katie yelled back. Then the two started bickering like brother and sister.
“Before we get kicked out,” Moxie whispered to Charlotte, “don’t you think Dyoll and Katie’s eyes look a lot alike?” Charlotte glanced up at them. “They do! Their eyes are exactly the same”. “Are you related?” Charlotte asked them. Katie and Dyoll both looked up in shock “Dyoll and I related? I don’t think so,” Katie said. “Do you have any siblings?” “Get out now!” Dyoll yelled again. “That’s it, get back to work!” Katie said as she pointed to the kitchen. “No, you don’t understand!” Dyoll screamed. Katie pushed him and he fell into the kitchen, then she locked the kitchen door. “I’m sorry I don’t know what’s gotten into him,” she said, quite embarrassed, “where were we?”
The Older Brother
“I had just asked you if you had any siblings”. “Yes, an older brother. His name is Lloyd, but I don’t know where he is”. “Could you tell us more about your brother?” “My family has owned this Coffee shop for decades and the tradition was to hand over the shop to the eldest child, which changed when my brother started to act up. He always assumed the shop would be given to him. He called the customers names, and never bothered to help at all. I on the other hand, worked hard. When the day finally came to hand over the coffee shop to him, my parents refused. He locked himself up in his room for weeks, and at night I used to hear him talking to himself; it was like he was planning something. After a while, my parents decided to send him to military school to teach him some discipline. I never saw him again.” Tears started to run down her pale face.
“Did you say his name was Lloyd?” Moxie asked “Yes, why?” asked Katie “Because now that I know that, I figured out that Doyll is your brother,” Moxie said like it was obvious. By now Doyll was banging on the kitchen door yelling and screaming. “How can you prove that, little girl?” Katie asked. “Isn’t it obvious? You have the exact same eyes, and you said you brothers name was Lloyd. The letters rearranged in Lloyd is Doyll.”
The little colour Katie had in her face drained away, and without thinking she let Lloyd out of the kitchen. “Who are you?” she hollered, “I’m Doyll your employee” he said, a little panicked. “No your not, tell the truth!” Said Katie. “Fine, it’s finished anyway,” said Doyll/Lloyd “what’s finished?” All three girls said unison. “My plan to ruin this town.” He replied. “Explain” Charlotte said
“After our parents decided to let Katie inherit the coffee shop, I knew I had to get revenge. All I needed was a plan. So before they sent me to military school, I devised one. After I found out that Mom and Dad were dead, I ran away from military school. I had second thoughts about coming back since you would probably recognize me. But I realized I had gotten so banged up at Military school you would never recognize me. Just to make sure you wouldn’t be suspicious, I rearranged the letters in my name to Dyoll. So I came back and got a job as an employee here. I made sure I would be making the coffee because that was the main point of my plan. I developed my own secret recipe; I put a sour solution in the coffee to make the customers sour and angry.” Said Lloyd. “Like my parents” Charlotte whispered to herself. “Since this place was so popular, I drove half the people out of the town, and that made this place go out of business. My work here is done.”
A New Detective
While Katie started chastising Lloyd, Charlotte called what was left of the police. That’s when Katie looked took a very close look at Lloyd. “It is you” she whispered to herself, like a small part of her still believed that it could’ve been a different man.
The police arrived a few minutes later and took Lloyd/Doyll away. Katie looked solemn, yet relieved. “I have a question though. Why didn’t it make the both of you sour and angry?” Moxie said as she looked at Charlotte and Katie. “I don’t drink coffee” they both said in unison. “Anyway, great job on piecing all that information together, Moxie” Charlotte said. “Thanks”. Said Moxie. “Well, now that nobody is putting sour solution in the coffee, the town should go back to being happy Barista town” Katie said happily. “Moxie here solved her first mystery. I guess that makes you a detective now. Well done.” Charlotte said. Moxie smiled “I couldn’t have solved it without you”.
By Francesca Avison