Chapter 1: The Idea 1 The Idea
Eddie Bell had been looking forward to five o’clock.
At five o’clock, the workers across the street stopped hammering, hammering, hammering. He could finally do his artwork in peace.
But it also meant his uncle Carter and his cousin Noah would come over for dinner. They were the ones hammering across the street to fix the Stuarts’ roof.
Eddie couldn’t wait for family dinner. His dad was making a side of homemade mac and cheese, and Eddie had made banana pudding for dessert.
He was so busy thinking about dinner, he didn’t even notice his friend Kiara.
“Hi, Eddie,” she said.
“Oh, hi,” said Eddie.
Kiara was one of his partners in Fort Builders Inc. He and his friends had a business building forts. But Kiara was only in the neighborhood when she visited her grandmother down the street. That’s when they had their meetings.
“What are you working on?” asked Kiara.
Clipped to his easel was a photo of a painting. Eddie’s canvas had the same bold colors and lots of shapes.
“Jacob Lawrence is one of my favorite artists. I’m trying to paint in his style,” said Eddie. “What do you think?”
Kiara took a good look at it. “I think your paintings will be in a gallery someday,” said Kiara. “It’s amazing.”
“Thanks. What’s going on with you?” asked Eddie.
“Well, guess what? I’m staying with Nani all week!” said Kiara. “My parents are going out of town with my brother and sister, but I asked to stay here.”
“That’s great!” said Eddie. “I didn’t even know you had a brother and sister.”
Kiara laughed. “They’re in high school, so they mostly hang out in their rooms or with their friends.”
Eddie knew all about having a teenage sibling.
“And since it’s summer,” said Kiara, “we can hang out every day.”
Eddie was happy that Kiara would be around more. And he was sure their friends and fellow Fort Builders Inc. partners Caleb and Jax would be happy about it too.
“And I have an idea,” said Kiara.
Before she could tell him about it, Caleb and Jax rode up the driveway on their bikes.
“Kiara’s staying all week,” said Eddie, to update them.
“That’s great!” said Caleb.
“More fort building!” said Jax.
“And she has an idea,” said Eddie.
They all turned to Kiara.
“I was going to ask Eddie if he could help me design a business card for us,” she said, “but I don’t know what address to put on there.”
Caleb and Jax got off their bikes and kicked down the kickstands.
“So I was thinking, we really should have some kind of office,” said Kiara. “Somewhere to keep our supplies so they’re not all at different houses.”
Kiara was right. They could really use their own space for the business. So far, they’d worked in either Jax’s or Caleb’s garage.
“My garage is definitely out,” said Eddie. “My dad is always working on his own projects.” He pointed behind him to a bicycle that had been taken apart.
“My dad is organizing ours,” said Caleb. “But right now it’s a mess. It’ll be a while before we can use it.”
“My mom parks her new car in ours now,” said Jax, “which doesn’t leave much room for us or our supplies.”
The kids had helped Kiara’s grandmother clean out her garage earlier in the summer. Maybe that was an option.
“I already asked Nani,” said Kiara. “But my uncle is moving, so he’s storing a bunch of his stuff in there for a while.”
They needed to find a place they could keep their supplies. A place their customers could find them.