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Daring Sia and The Theft of The Twisted Candles

This is a story about a brave teenager called Sia. She was brilliant at her studies and sports too. She was good at using her brains and common sense to help her family and friends. They would often rely on her in the time of trouble. Her uncle was a police inspector and she would often help him in finding clues to solve robbery and other crimes.
It was a Friday evening and Sia had just returned from her basketball class only to find aunt Roma chatting with her mom. She looked a bit worried. "Hi aunty, how are you?" asked Sia. "Actually I came to talk to you Sia. Something's been troubling me since last 15 days. It's nothing serious but nonetheless it is strange" said aunt Roma. She had a small scale business of candle making. "Since last 15 days someone is stealing candles from my workshop. I don't understand who would steal candles and what would he or she gain from it? These are just ordinary looking candles and one pack would cost around 500 rupees or so. Why would someone steal something merely worth 500 rupees? There are many other things in the room which are worth thousands of rupees. But everything else is intact and untouched. I was thinking of reporting it to police but it is such a petty issue" aunt Roma was talking breathlessly. Sia tried to comfort aunt Roma and asked her to lodge an official complaint with the police. She also assured her that she would talk to her police uncle.
Next morning police uncle came to Sia's home and both of them decided to visit Roma aunt's workshop. Aunt Roma's candle making workshop was buzzing with activity. She started to show them around the place. "This is where we melt the wax in huge boilers and then we pour it in molds of specific size and shape. Sometimes we add colors, fragrance or flowers to enhance the aesthetic sense of candles. This way we can earn a bit more than with the regular candles". Sia was busy taking notes about each and every important thing. "This is where we keep our finished products, which are packaged and sent to different shops, all around the city" said aunt Roma. "And from this very place the candles are being stolen each night". Sia looked through the boxes. They all had been labeled serially and also had an identifier name explaining about the make of the candle. "Which type of the candles has been stolen? Are the scented ones or the more costly ones gone?" asked Sia. "No, surprisingly, one of the cheapest types of candle- the twisted type is missing" said Roma aunty. Sia noted down the serial numbers of missing boxes and their date of disappearance.
On the other hand Inspector uncle was busy looking for other clues in the workshop. He lifted fingerprints from the packaging area as well as he took fingerprints of all the employees working there along with Roma aunty. He sent the fingerprints right away to the forensics lab to match with the existing records. Then both Sia and Inspector uncle left for their homes promising to keep each other informed about anything interesting that might come up with these clues.
Next morning inspector uncle called Sia to share an interesting piece of news. All the fingerprints picked from the packaging area matched perfectly to those of the employees working there, except for one. The unique fingerprint which did not belonged to the employees was that of a thief called Baga who was a criminal with many notorious crimes listed against his name in police records. The most recent one was a diamond robbery which he had accomplished single handedly. He had stolen 25 diamonds worth 50 lakh rupees each from jeweler Bhimchand's shop. The robbery was reported 15 days back but the police could not nab him, though the security man from the jeweler's shop had chased him immediately after he saw him running away with the diamonds. "Uncle don't you think that the Roma aunty's twisted candle case and this diamond robbery are linked? After all both of the things started at a similar time point" said Sia. "Yes, you may be right. But why would a thief who already has 25 diamonds steal cheap candles worth few hundred rupees?" wondered inspector uncle.
On the other hand Sia too had something to share. Only packages containing twisted candles were being stolen, that too only after the shop closed for the day. Also, the packages were stolen serially. "I am sure we can nab the thief if we go to the workshop and stay there tonight" said Sia. They decided to meet at the workshop in the evening. Both of them entered the workshop late in the evening when all the employees had left. They climbed inside through an open window which aunt Roma had purposely kept open for them. Late at night they heard footsteps approaching the workshop. Someone entered the workshop through a broken window! The man cautiously tiptoed towards the packaging area and lifted a pack of twisted candles. Just then inspector uncle pounced on the thief and caught him, while Sia switched on the lights. "Baga, you have been stealing candles all this while? But why, you already have diamonds worth lakhs of rupees?" asked uncle. He took him to police station at once, but even after a lot of persuasion he told nothing about the diamonds or about the twisted candles.
Suddenly Sia said "I think I know where the diamonds are". She took uncle to workshop and in the boiler she melted all the twisted candles. As she was melting them, she saw something glistening in the wax. Wow! Diamonds were glittering in the melted wax! "How on earth did you know that the candles would have diamonds in it?" asked uncle. "It is just that I realized the candle making workshop was very near to Bhimchand jeweler's shop. Probably Baga did not get ample of time to run away with the diamonds. Also, if he would have got caught with the diamonds he would never get them back. So while running away randomly, he put the diamonds into one of the molds of twisted candles. But he did not know the batch number and other details of the candle. So every evening he would come to get the diamonds but till now could not get his hands on the right pack. Actually diamond thief's interest in stealing twisted candles aroused my suspicions" explained Sia.
Aunt Roma was very happy and so was Bhimchand jeweler, their twisted case had finally been solved. Together they came to visit Sia after a few days of solving the case. "And this is for you" said both of them. It was beautiful twisted candle with gold flowers embedded in it! It was a prize for daring Sia for solving such a twisted and a glamourous case!

Gayatri Gurjar

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STORY LIST

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