The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Missing Miamouse - Part One
“—If you’re trying to say that I’m not fit to—”
“—Would you just let me say one thing—?”
“—You listen to me when I’m speaking!—”
If you lived within fifty feet from number 1906 Water Faerie Way, this heated argument would probably be something you’d hear every day. Faerieland citizens were often thought of as respectful, kind, and polite to one another, but none of those adjectives could describe the two Neopians bickering at the top of their lungs.
“Mother, please. For your own good, I really think it best if you’d just let me take care of Mika... at least for a while.”
The request had come from a faerie Grarrl, Taylor, who was standing in the kitchen doorway with his arms crossed over his chest.
“Oh for goodness sake, Taylor.” A faerie Shoyru named Rowan slung a large handbag over her shoulder. “I don’t have time for this again. I need to go to the grocery store.”
Taylor spread his arms against the door frames to prevent her from passing. “Would you please just listen to me? I’m worried about you,” the Grarrl’s calmer tone was sincere, “and I’m worried that maybe something will happen to Mika that you’ll hate yourself for.”
Rowan’s normally beautiful eyes narrowed to slits. “I told you I am perfectly capable of handling my own petpet,” she stabbed a finger at her son’s chest, “and there will be no more of this jabbering!” Brushing past him, Rowan strode angrily to the front door.
“If you don’t seriously consider what I’ve been telling you,” Taylor began aimlessly, “then... then... I just might have to take matters into my own hands.”
The Shoyru stopped on her way past the Nova Sofa. “We’ll talk about it this evening,” she said untruthfully. “Really now, I must be getting to the bookstore.”
“The grocery store,” Taylor corrected automatically. By her tone, he knew she wasn’t planning on speaking with him later.
“That’s what I said!” Rowan huffed, and continued on her way out.
“...and then he says to me, ‘You know, you’re pretty good at this. I bet you could make a career out of it some day...’”
Luna laughed at my story involving a naïve, elderly Chomby and a frisky Puppyblew as we walked down Bracknell Road. Flying would have been much faster, but we had done a lot of that recently.
“Seriously, it was the easiest case ever,” I continued. “The Chomby didn’t even realize that his Puppyblew left tracks heading into the neighbor’s backyard. We found the little guy fetching tennis balls for the neighbor kid. I felt bad when the old guy tried to push a bag of Neopoints into my paw.”
The shadow Yurble next to me smirked. “I see you took them.”
“Hey, he wouldn’t have it any other way!” I snapped playfully.
It’s not like we needed the extra money. After one of our biggest cases, involving multiple clients and exported Eustabees, we were pretty much good to go for the rest of the year. However, mysteries did not work that way.
Speaking of mysteries, we were lucky that they were in copious supply at the moment. This gave us an even greater opportunity to “expand our savings”, as Luna had put it. She was always the one to think ahead. I, a white Eyrie, was usually not.
“So where have you been?” I asked. The Yurble and I had met up on Guild Street.
“Mallard issue over on Aisha Avenue,” Luna told me. “One Mallard escaped and found another Mallard to play with and the owners of both couldn’t tell which was which. We ended up offering both petpets Forest Fruit Baby Food, which was what one Mallard was used to eating.” She caught a glimpse of the wild look on my face. “I know, really crazy.”
I snorted with laughed. “You’re kidding?”
I knew that sometimes we received weird requests such as rescuing Kadoaties from trees or tracking down lost Puppyblews in the neighborhoods. Being an Eyrie helped with that, because of the good flight and sight.
“Do you think that we’re spreading ourselves a bit too thin?” I asked. “Like maybe we should only stick to more serious cases?”
Luna smiled all-knowingly. “Whether it’s a misplaced Meekins or a stolen Snarhook...” She didn’t need to finish because I had heard the sermon many times before.
As we walked up the steps of number 411, Damien swung open the door and waved a white envelope in our faces. “Check this out.”
“Good grief, another one?” I asked, trying to keep the reluctance out of my voice as Luna snatched the letter.
“No,” said the royal Aisha, with a lopsided grin. “A novel.”
We saw that inside the envelope was a long page of text, written in loopy cursive. Luna scanned the first sheet of paper and shook her head. “A lot of this looks like... senseless rambling.”
“Let me read it,” I said, and took a seat on the Green Sofa. I smoothed it out before letting my eyes wander over what our new client had written:
Hello Petpet Detectives,
My name is Rowan and I live at 1906 Water Faerie Way, in Faerieland as you might have guessed. I am writing to you faced with a very grave problem. Two days ago, my small Miamouse was taken from my Neohome while I was at the grocery store, getting ingredients to make my special gingerbread cake. I am famous on Water Faerie Way for my sweets!
At any rate, I already know who took her. I regret to say that it was my fretful son, Taylor. He has been trying to persuade me to give Mika (the Miamouse) to him for the past month as apparently he thinks I am not fit to care for her. Personally, I think he’s the one with the problem, always worrying about everyone else. I love my little Grarrl-Warrl more than sunshine but he can be such a worrywart! He denies taking her, of course. I just need you to find where she’s been transported. We live in the same house, Taylor and I, so I know she’s not here.
The weather is absolutely lovely today and I wish Mika could be here to see it (she likes sunny weather and cloudless skies). On days like this we used to go picnicking on her favorite group of clouds and she’d skitter from cluster to cluster. At any rate, she’s about four inches tall, has green fur, large ears, and a pink nose. I’m sure Taylor has her kept up somewhere just to spite me, but just in case you needed a description or anything...
Please come as quickly as you can. I need Mika back with me and all I can do now is sit and fret in my Neohome. And I can’t even sew to pass the time! Unfortunately, I misplaced my needles and thread but I’m not worried. They will turn up eventually.
Oh, and I swear I’m not crazy. Don’t believe anything Taylor tells you.
At any rate, I should be going. There are places to be and people to see! Thank you very much.
After reading the chunky paragraphs before my eyes, I looked up from the paper, desperately trying to comprehend the cryptic message.
“‘Don’t believe anything Taylor tells you’?” quoted Luna, from my right.
“‘I’m not crazy’,” Damien joined in, from my left.
“‘I love my little Grarrl-Warrl more than sunshine’?” I added, and stifled a laugh behind my large, white paw.
“Wait, wait, there’s more,” Damien said, in a mock chipper tone. He pulled a second piece of paper out of his breast pocket and handed it over to Luna since I was still poring over the first.
She took it, aghast. “Please don’t tell me this is a P.S.”
“Not from Rowan, at least.”
Luna unfolded the paper and read out loud this time.
Dear Petpet Detectives,
Our Miamouse, Mika, was stolen last night. My mother suspects I’m the thief because I’ve been trying to persuade her to let me take care of it. See, my mother’s not well sometimes. She’s forgetful and goes through these personality changes that make the whole house shake. She often forgets to feed the Miamouse so I have to do it for her. When I go to work or run errands, I can’t be worrying about whether or not she’ll remember to feed the petpet that day.
Please help find Mika.
“Rowan is desperate to believe that her own son has confiscated their petpet,” said Damien.
“How do we know he didn’t?” Luna raised an eyebrow. “We know that he could have framed himself.”
I sighed. “It looks like this is going to require us to solve something other than the case: family problems.”
“Yeah, that always goes well,” said the shadow Yurble scornfully, and I knew she was remembering the sister rivalry case back on Terror Mountain over a year ago.
“Where’s Charlie?” I asked.
“Out,” said Damien. “I think he’s visiting a friend.”
I stood, feeling energized. “When he gets back, let’s head on over. After all, the day is young!”
The mother versus son case was starting to sound a lot more interesting.
To be continued...