Dedicated to wolfofthewoods. May your stories be remembered forever.
The rain pounded down on the glass windows, the beats
echoing through the candlelit house. A group of Neopets sat in a circle, talking
to each other about whatever came to mind. Upstairs, in the dark attic, a box
opened, revealing a light. It gleamed down the open stairway and to the ground
floor, stopping the girl’s conversation midway.
A small, perky Quiggle gave a yelp. “What is
it?” Her eyes were illuminated from the light, which was slowly making its way
around the room, filling every nook and cranny until the room was lit in a yellow
The group of girls stood up, staring at the patterns
of symbols that appeared on the walls. They seemed to be some strange written
language of some sort. It encircled around them, floating in air. The girls
screamed, as a flash of lightening seemed to darken the light. All the girls
vanished in a mist, leaving the house unoccupied…
“Apparently seventeen young Neopets disappeared a week ago with no trace left
at all except a packet of lipstick and a few broken Usuki dolls,” a Faerie Zafara
said to her commanding officer.
A short Skunk Grarrl sighed. “Why do I
always get the hard cases?” He grabbed the file from the Zafaras hands.
Zor, the Zafara, shrugged. “Maybe Commander
Bipid thinks you are worthy of such a challenge, sir.” She walked a little faster
to catch up with the officer.
“How many times must I tell you this?”
The Grarrl stopped to pick up a piece of paper from his desk. “Call me Ardrakos,
or Ardy if you want.”
“Okay, sir,” the Zafara smiled. “—I mean
Ardrakos.” She added quickly.
The Grarrl walked into a small room with
two desks, large files filled with papers on top of each. “Okay, let’s start
searching for similar cases.” Ardrakos sat down at a leather chair and started
to shuffle through papers.
“Have anything, Ardy?” Zor asked, furiously
looking through cases.
Arkados shook his head. “No, do you?”
Zor nodded. “It’s an interesting case.
Happen in October of Year One outside the Haunted Woods. Technically the same
case, minus the girls, adding three boys.” She flipped the page. “Then again,
strange things always happen near the woods.”
Arkados agreed. “Any main suspects?”
“One,” she said, looking down at the file.
“Markus Tarquin, a Lupe. He’s currently in the Haunted Woods. Think he may be
The Grarrl grabbed a bag. “Let’s hope
Zor followed the Grarrl out of the office
to the outskirts of Neopia Central. Soon, they were in the creepy looking Haunted
Woods. Gnarled trees and curved branches cut at the two as they made their way
to the center of the woods.
When the were on the street, Arkados looked
at the numbers. “It should be at house 2315,” he hummed to himself as he looked
at each of the NeoHomes. “Ah, here we go.”
The couple turned right onto a small pathway.
Ahead of them was a large yellow NeoHome. There was no noise at all, except
the rustle of a leaf and the footsteps of Zor and Arkados.
Arkados knocked on the door. He then stood
there, waiting for an answer. Zor was behind him, standing on the steps. The
door slowly opened, a Lupe peeking his head through. “Whaddya want?” he said
in a slurred voice.
Arkados showed his badge. “May we come
The Lupe sighed. “Nah, I come out there.”
The Grarrl moved out of the way to let
the Lupe onto the porch. He had taken quite a beating. His eyes were swollen
and he was drooling. His silver fur was matted and he limped on his left hind
leg. “Why are ya here? To investigate dat murder ‘gain? I ain’t got nuttin new
to say. I knew nuttins ‘bout it. ‘Stood?”
Arkados stared at him. Never in his career
had he ever heard such a strange accent. “Sir, would you mind telling us why
you think you were a suspect for the case?” As the Lupe was saying everything,
he was jotting down notes in a notebook.
“’E gettin’ a bit worried dat ya ain’t
gotten youselves a ‘uspect, ain’t ya?” he giggled. “’Ell, all I know is dat
da ‘ights were a ‘ake.”
Arkados then replied, “So the lights were
all a scam?”
“’Up,” he said. “Is dat all ya folks ‘eed
The Grarrl nodded. “Thanks for your time.”
He started to go back down the stairs, following Zor as the Lupe retreated back
inside and closed the door.
The partners had been pouring over files and books for hours, with nothing
but rubbish. They searched far and wide, through Neopian Times articles to the
oldest cases, some dating back to B.N. (Before Neopia). There was nothing that
would be sturdy enough to hold a full-fledged investigation.
“Are you sure there’s nothing?” Arkados
asked again, after closing a large red book entitled Neopia’s Earliest Trials.
He had been asking this question for hours now.
“Nothing, Ardy,” Zor replied, flipping
a page. “I can’t believe that there is barely any record of this happening anywhere.
Two cases excluding the current one. The first one, that was proved inconclusive
because it was a scam. The other one was unsolved.”
Arkados smiled. “A cold case, huh?”
Zor lifted her head from the book. “Why?
Don’t even think about reopening it… The case will be a waste of time. The old
Commander Bering couldn’t solve it and we sure won’t.”
The smile disappeared from his face. “Commander
Bering? You know how I hate him. He should have never been hired as Commander,
hence why half the cases during his rule were unsolved. With Bipid in the command
chair, we have sufficient file storage and enough to solve the case easily.”
Zor shook his head. “The Commander will
never let us. It was closed over three years ago. It wouldn’t be worth the effort.”
Arkados raised his voice a decibel. “Anything
is worth the effort if it does something.”
The Zafara sighed, her paw rubbing her
eyes. “Fine, Ardy. We’ll talk about it with Bipid in the morning. Let’s just
go to our homes and get a little rest. My eyes are bugging out from all this
“Fine,” Arkados sighed. “I would have
loved to see the look on Bipids face if we went into his office and asked him
at night.” He smirked. “You want to?”
Zor chuckled. “No, we can’t. Do you want
to be on the streets the rest of your life?”
Arkados exhaled. “I guess not…” He picked
up his bags. “I’ll see you in the morning, Zor.”
“Goodnight, Ardy.” She then shut the book
she was reading and grabbed her bag, walking out behind the Grarrl.
It is said that a good officer always waits for his partner arrives before
doing anything important that may effect their carrer. This was exactly what
a Grarrl like Arkados would do. He had been there well over an hour, waiting
patiently, before Zor arrived. When he heard the Zafaras’ footsteps, he quickly
opened the blinds, letting the light pour in over the room. “Good morning,”
Arkados said as Zor walked in. “Ready to ask Commander Bipid?”
Zor mumbled, rubbing her left eye as she
set her black bag down. “Huh? Oh, yeah…sure,” she said and yawned.
The Grarrl smiled and stood up. “Let’s
head off then!” He was excited to open a cold case. Arkados was almost totally
sure that he could solve it and maybe find the person behind both disappearances.
There was no doubt in his mind that the culprit was a pet. The blabber about
it being a “mystical force” was codswallop, in his opinion.
The two went up flights of stairs until
they reached the top of the building. When opening the gray door, Arkados and
Zor walked into a black tiled room with windows as walls. A few desks were scattered
over the floor, piled with papers. Off to the left, a small door was there,
closed. Arkados went up to it and knocked. He heard a buzz and the door opened.
Zor scurried up behind him, bumping the Grarrl into the room.
A heavy set Chia looked up, its’ blue
fur straightened to perfection. It was wearing small glasses that were a little
smaller than his bulging eyes. “Ah, Officer Arkados Num, how nice it is to see
you again!” He smiled, gesturing for them to take a seat. Arkados came in with
Zor and closed the door behind him.
As the two were getting comfortable, Commander
Bipid asked them what they needed. Arkados answered. “We’d like to open up a
Bipid frowned. “Why would you want to
do such a stupid thing like that?”
Arkados cleared his voice. “I think it
may help with the new case that you gave us, you know, the disappearance.”
“Ah, yes, of course.” His face lit up
again. “I thought you might. Very well then, you know what to do.” He snapped
his fingers and the door opened. “Off you go! I hope it turns out okay.”
The partners walked out the door, shutting
it behind them.
Zor stopped Arkados in the hallway. “Don’t
you think that was a little too easy. I think the Commander is hiding something.”
Arkados chuckled. “Never, Bipid isn’t
someone who would do something like that.”
“Are you sure?”
“Positive,” Arkados replied. “He’s a very
truthful man. Now, let us go to track down the suspects.” The Grarrl jogged
to the stairs, motioning Zor to follow him.
“Okay… sir,” Zor muttered. Zor had lost
all his trust. She had always though he was a good officer who always doubted
something instead of going with his gut. I guess she was wrong…
It was done. They had gotten the case box, read through it all, and figured
it out. Of course, that’s only what Zor told herself. It wasn’t at all true.
It was true that they finished the box, but they were still stumped. It was
getting late and they couldn’t label any suspects at all.
“Can we go and interrogate a few suspects?”
Arkados had asked the question a million times. It was like a hyperactive child
wanting a toy. Of course, as always, Zor refused. They could interrogate unless
it was nighttime, in which they would have to wait for the next day. This was
what the Neopian Detective Handbook says, but Arkados was never the Neopet known
to follow the book.
The clock outside of the building struck
nine o’clock. The dong echoed through the almost empty halls of the building.
The only detectives in this late were the Commander, a grumpy Skeith the floor
below, and obviously Zor and Arkados.
“Please?” Arkados pleaded.
“No! It’s late, I’m tired, and no one
will want an interrogation at nine o’clock,” Zor explained. It always seemed
that the Zafara was the one who had to scold her officer.
“Drat. Okay, then, I guess I have nothing
better to do than go home.” Arkados sighed and once again picked up his bags.
“Goodnight, then.” Arkados left, smiling.
Zor wasn’t exactly sure what Arkados was
going to do, but after much consideration, she decided it was none of her business.
Yes, even if it would threaten both of their badges. Of course, Arkados wasn’t
To be continued...