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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Hunting, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 40 > New Series > The Invisible Chia: Part One

The Invisible Chia: Part One

by soggydude

A breeze blew in my broken window. Ever since my last case, I had tried to get someone to fix it, but so far no luck. On top of that, I had lost my wings. My owner had the idea that the Lab Ray was perfect to use on me. It had worked for a while, but during that time I had changed species like people changed channels. My owner managed to find a Stone Lupe morphing potion, and thus I was now Stone. It was hard being in this form when I remembered soaring in the air. On a good note, Lupe Day was going to be here. I couldn't wait. My Airax that soggydude had gotten me was flying around my office, most likely not enjoying the small space.

"You and me both, Kazooie," I said.

As I was thinking this, my phone rang. I nearly leaped for it, because it had appeared crime had taken a small break. I answer calmly.

"Hello, this is Detective Lupe, how may I help you?"

The answer on the phone came from an unsteady voice. "Yes, I have a very unusual case, and I would like you to come to my apartment."

"I take all cases, normal or strange," I replied. I got his address, and left with Kazooie on my shoulder. After taking a bus, I looked at the apartments. There was a small garage at the bottom. The apartment building itself was a two-stories. There was a small pool in the middle. I knocked at the gate. A plump Chia came to the gate, and scowled at me. "I'm sorry, but no salesmen! I don't want my tenants disturbed!"

"Actually Ma'am, I'm-"

"I don't care what you are doing!"

"Ms. Shala!" I looked up to see an Acara coming down some stairs.

"I invited this Lupe over."

Ms. Shala gave me a glance, and walked off. The Acara came over.

"Sorry about that. Ms. Shala is very nosy." He shook my paw and looked at Kazooie.

"Thank you for coming. Please come to my apartment."

We walked up to his apartment. It was sized larger then most, and appeared to have been tended with loving care. Many different paintings hung on the wall. I then recognized him. "Hey! You're Ozie, the art collector!"

He chuckled. "I guess that was inevitable. Yes, I am he. But let's get on with the case." We went to a room with a chest of drawers. The drawers had been opened, and there were several letters in there. I turned to Ozie for an explanation. He saw my look, and took in a breath. "Well, this may sound weird, but I think I am being…" He looked around. "…haunted."

I stared at him. "Haunted?"

He nodded. "Several times, I have seen a shadowy presence. I wrote it off as my imagination at first, but I've been seeing it more now. Also, my letters have been arranged, and things have been left open, such as the drawers. I had a special lock put in, but these things keep happening. You must help me!"

I knew that sometimes people who lived alone could imagine such things, but I decided to help him away.

"When did this happen?"

"A while ago. Maybe a month or so."

I took out my magnifying glass and dust kit. I dusted the drawer. There were faint print impressions, but only one type. They were most likely from Ozie. Studying them more, I saw they were Acara prints, about his size. I sighed in defeat.

"Has anything else been touched?" He led me to other doors and even a medicine cabinet.

There were only his prints. I spent a good hour looking over the apartment, but there were no prints. I turned to Ozie.

"Has anything disappeared?"

He shook his head. "Nothing important that I would know about."

We both felt disappointed. Even Kazooie gave a sigh. I looked out a window.

"Any tenants you know who might look through here?"

"No, we respect each other. At least, I think we do. Most of the tenants are gone for the holiday."

"Can you name the tenants?"

"There are several. Lets see, there is Niki. Next is Creel. Then there is Rentree. His nephew, Eyrioch is visiting for a while. Last is Channy."

I had recorded this on my handy recorder. I switched it off, and then nodded.

"So the shadowy thing doesn't seem to take anything. All it does is move your things… very interesting."

Suddenly, sirens went off, startling Kazooie, who'd flown up and began to squawk loudly. We both glanced out the window and rushed down the stairs, following the noise as Kazooie caught up with me. We reached a large building. Ozie turned to me.

"This is where the Society of Nimmo meet. No one else goes here." We began to go forward, and met up with a small crowd.

"I saw it!" I turned around to see a frantic Lenny. She was waving her arms about. "It was the ghost!"

I noticed several people scoff at this. A Chia police officer came over.

"Now, Ms. Stami, you know there is no ghost." But his efforts were in vain. Ms. Stami kept shouting about a ghost.

"What ghost is she talking about?" Ozie looked at her with a look that said "Not again!" "There is a rumor that one of the Nimmos is still haunting the place. She believes in it and even claims on a daily basis that he exists." Ozie shook his head, and I went forward. An officer stopped me.

"I'm sorry sir, but no one is allowed beyond this point."

"What happened?

He looked at me with a funny glance, but then replied, "Someone robbed a house of some guy named…" he went over to another officer, and came back. "Ah yes. His name was Fero. His art is really valuable now, and some thief took off with a priceless glass sculpture. He might be in here. Say, are you that Detective Lupe?"

I nodded. It seemed like the story of my case was spreading.

"I thought so. Anyway, you can find out more later, when the chief will release more news." The doors then opened, and a red Nimmo walked out. He was in a dark cloak, but he looked friendly.

"Come in, officers." The officers began to go in and spilt up into groups. The doors closed, and everyone left, knowing that nothing else would be revealed. Having his slice of excitement for the day, Ozie began to walk off. I caught up with him, and we thought of a plan. Just then, I remembered a method used in a detective story.

"You know, there might be a way to see if the shadowy thing is a pet or not," I said casually.

"How?" He seemed interested.

"Well, I'll need three ingredients and a jar…"

I went to a nearby store and looked all around for two ingredients. Finding them, I paid for them and added it to Ozzie's bill. I went back to the apartment, and saw Ms. Shala peek out at me. I rolled my eyes, and went over to Ozie's small house. He gave me a jar, and I added the first ingredient. It was a fine white powder. I took a measuring cup, and poured the right amount of water in. I sloshed it around to mix it well. Then I took a tube with a special ointment and squeezed it out. I closed the lid and shook it. When I was done, there was a large amount of white cream in the jar. Ozie looked at me curiously.

"What is that?"

I grinned. "It's a special cream that detectives use. If you touch it, your hands, paws, fins, whatever you have, becomes black with a dye like material that cannot be washed off for a long time. It's hard to show up on darker colored pets, but I'm sure it's worth a try. We just simply spread it around whatever the pet has been touching, and in a few hours, we'll have a good idea of who did it."

"Great! So now what do we do?"

I looked outside. Almost all the tenants were home. "Lets leave, then come back."

We walked down the stairs, and Ozie said purposefully loud, "So Detective, where would you like to eat?"

"How about the Golden Doubloon," I asked in an equally loud tone. We continued like this until we couldn't be heard.

An hour later, after a small meal at the Golden Doubloon, we returned to his apartment. The first thing I did was look at the drawer. The cream, so carefully placed, was smeared. We went around the house. The intruder had gone in his bedroom, his kitchen, opened his fridge (no food missing) and even his bathroom and medicine cabinets! Ozie was outraged of course. "Why that- what gave him or her the right to just snoop around?"

I looked at him, trying to calm him down. "Do you have anything coming in?"

He nodded. "Yes, but what would the letters be good for? And why would the pet snoop around all these places?"

Those were questions that had to be answered. We walked out again.

"Now remember, act casual." We sat near the pool, talking about everything from the inflation rise to Hidden Tower items waiting for a pet with their paws smudged with black stains to come by. But it was a long wait.

After about half an hour, I looked around. "Where is everybody?"

"They could be sleeping or at work. Why don't you come back in the evening?"

I agreed, and Ozie went back into his apartment while I decided to go look at the case the police had been investigating. I walked over, and saw the police packing up their supplies. I walked over to the chief and greeted him.

"Hey Chief! Did you find anything about the burglar?"

The Chief looked at me and recognized me.

"Hey, Detective! No, not yet. The area has been looked over and we haven't found a thing." I nodded, and he left with the other Chia policemen. I knocked on the door, and the same Nimmo answered.

"Hello, who are you?"

"I'm Detective Lupe, and I'm interested in the burglary that took place this afternoon. Can I look around your building?"

The Nimmo seemed to think, and then he nodded. "Of course." He led me inside. It had a small entrance room. There were statues of several pets. Beyond that was a great hall, with many doors. There were a few more statues. I looked at them, then at the doors. "This might take a while…"

A few hours later, I had investigated all the rooms. I walked out tired, but then remembered I had to go over to meet Ozie.

When I got there, Ozie was looking at a watch.

"Good, you're here! People should be coming back now."

I watched as different pets came in, but none had any telltale signs. Ozie turned to me. "Well, looks like that didn't work. Now what?"

I continued to look at everyone coming in. "Say, do you know what the Society of Nimmos is about?"

He shrugged. "No one really knows. They all wear those cloaks and there are rumors that some of them are the great heroes in Neopia."

I took this all in. "And who was Fero?"

He sighed. "Fero was a great artist. He made many sculptures and paintings. They recently have gone up in price, so I wouldn't be surprised if thieves tried to take it."

I nodded to show I understood. Ozie looked at his watch again.

"You know, we still haven't found out. Maybe you should try another method."

"Sure," I said and walked off. While I was going that way I bumped into Ms. Shala.

"Well how rude!" She said. "Some people need to look out when they walk!"

"Oh yeah? Well some people shouldn't be snooping around other people's stuff without permission!" Kazooie roared in agreement.

Ms. Shala looked surprised then shocked. "How DARE you accuse me of such a thing!"

"Then why are your hands smudged with the black mess that comes from the cream put around the house?"

Ms. Shala looked at her hands with the telltale color. " I-I must have gotten something on my hands before."

Ozie came over. "Ms. Shala, would you like me to call a lawyer?"

Ms. Shala must have known that it was useless to lie. "All right, I admit it."

They walked off, and I smiled. Another easy case.

That night, I was woken up while I was sleeping. I dragged myself out of bed, and answered the phone.

"Hello, who's this?"

"Detective? The case isn't over." It was Ozie.

"Can't this wait until morning?" I asked, still groggy.

"DETECTIVE!"

"What? It's two in the morning."

"All right, but get over here ASAP!" Ozie hung up the phone and I went back to sleep. On the floor.

In the morning, I quickly got my supplies, while drinking a cup of house blend with cream. "Recorder-check. Duster-check. Magnifying glass- wait, where is it?" I looked around the house, when it occurred to me to check where it usually is. In its place was a note.

Dear Detective,
I borrowed your magnifying glass. Hope you don't mind.
Sheriff

I remembered the method of counting to ten.

"Okay, one… two… TEN! "SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRIFFFFFFFFFFFF!"

Meanwhile, out in Cougar Canyon, Sheriff Lupe, Sheriff for short, was holding Detective's magnifying glass.

"See, I remember that people always start fires by rubbing two sticks together, but there are none around," he said to his friends. Lately in Cougar Canyon, an avalanche near Terror Mountain had caused snow to come into the desert, which the pack wasn't used to. Sheriff was trying to figure a way to beat the cold.

"Actually, rubbing two sticks together doesn't work unless you have the right wood," said Shiarr, a desert Kougra.

"How would you know?"

"Fluffy told me," said Shiarr, which caused the Lupes to back away from Shiarr.

"Are you listening to those voices again?" Sheriff watched Shiarr carefully as he nodded.

"You know Sheriff, this is very unlikely to work," said Alvator, a starry Lupe.

"When have I done something that doesn't work?"

"How about the time we went up a cliff and you got it in you head to jump off into the creek?" This came from Braver, a red Lupe. The fire Lupe next to him laughed.

"Oh shut up, Anzy. What about the time Al made a snow Lupe and left, and when YOU came you thought he was turned into a snow Lupe, so you put your scarf and hat over it, then I came and ran into it and you thought Al was gone, then I pretended that I had turned him into a snow Lupe and you freaked out and-"

"I think he gets it Sheriff," said Sin, a starry Lupess.

"So it was YOU that destroyed my snow Lupe!" Alvator glared at Sheriff.

"Uh, well, let's get back to the fire issue!" Sheriff focused the magnifying glass. All the Lupes and the Kougra waited. A small light came from under the wood, until the entire pile was ablaze.

"I DID IT! YES YES YES!" Sheriff began to dance, while the others rolled their eyes. "I am the supreme intelligent being! I am the lord of fire, the master of heat! I make everything hot! Nothing is too hot for me! I can withstand the hottest temperatures! I-" Sheriff was interrupted when his foot hit the fire.

"OOOOOOWWWWW! TOO HOT! TOO HOT!" He stuck his foot into snow, which made the pack crack up. "Ha ha real funny," Sheriff said sarcastically as he looked at his foot.

"SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRIFFFFFFFFFFFF!" Detective's voice startled Sheriff, and he dropped the magnifying glass in the fire.

"Oh no!" He tried to grab it. "Ouch! Too hot!"

The pack was laughing their heads off. "I thought you said nothing was too hot for you, Lord of Fire and Master of Heat," said Alvator, while Sin, Anzy, and Shiarr rolled around laughing. Braver rolled his eyes.

"I'll get it." He quickly reached into the fire and pulled out what remained of the magnifying glass. Sheriff looked at it.

"You think Detective will notice? OUCH! Too hot!" He dropped the burned remains into the snow.

To be continued…

The Cougar Canyon pack is real, and the Lupes and Kougra are used with permission. Shiarr belongs to SilverSheDragon, Alvator belongs to Solargriffin, Braver belongs to gry_falcon125, Anzy belongs to radiopup, Sin belongs to o0famousgirlie0o, and Sheriff belongs to me (of course!). Thanks to these people for allowing me to use their pets.

Previous Episodes

The Invisible Chia: Part Two

The Invisible Chia: Part Three

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