The Case of the Invisible Incident: Part Three
From the Case-Files of Kojak_Hommes, Private Eye Lupe…
So, no evidence that could lead to a theft apart from
a missing Cookie Jar. Not exactly what I would call important, but I work for
what I'm paid for and right now I was being paid for finding out whom - if anyone
- was stealing from Cal, their owner, without leaving any visible evidence.
You'll be glad to hear that I managed to resist
the urge to make a stab at the old "Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar,"
but if I did, I'd have probably rearranged it to go as "Who Stole the Cookie
Jar From the Coffee Table."
Right now, though, all the small pieces of evidence
led to Tony, Cal's invisible Shoyru, though my instincts, gut feelings and hunches
all collaborated to tell me it wasn't him committing the crimes. Whoever was
trying to frame him was doing so terribly well, I'm afraid…so well I might never
I'd looked outside the house, so as to see if
there had been anyway for the Usul, or someone using the Usul's room, to get
from its bedroom to the living room via the windows, either by themselves or
by ropes and winches. The probability of this was slim, but right now I had
to take any such possibility seriously. I found nothing, much to my annoyance.
So, with nothing else left to do, I decided to
result to every detective's bane: interviews. Much as I hated them, I now realized
there was no other choice. I'd basically already received Cal's side of the
story, so I decided to start with Tony…
But first I had to find him.
Entering the house again, I shook off the snow
from my glowing fur with a shiver, glanced pointlessly around for a glance of
the invisible pet (hey, there are some things you just can't stop yourself from
doing, one of which is looking around for the person you wish to speak to) and
began to make my way up the stairs. I didn't bump into any unseen thing along
the way, so I guessed hadn't stayed around on the stairs after all.
"Tony?" I called into every bedroom I passed,
not sure which was his. It didn't help either that none of the other pets of
Cal's were in either. "Tony!"
"Yes, detective?" a voice answered calmly from
right behind me.
Now, usually I'm hard to startle, but this gave
me such a start that I literally jumped three feet in the air, turning around
in mid-air (hey, I'm very agile, so what?). Of course, there was no one there
apparently, but I couldn't mistake the sense of a pair of eyes staring at me
with a smirk.
"Geez, don't do that to me again!" I gasped as
I struggled to regain control of my breathing. "Where were you, one of the first
bedrooms I passed?"
"Actually I was downstairs," the Shoyru answered
in that same, calm tone, "I came out of the living room and saw you going slowly
up the stairs. I gathered you were looking for me and followed you up."
"Why didn't you tell me you were there earlier?"
"Would you have reacted differently if I had?"
he asked with slight amusement in his voice.
I thought about this for a short while, considering
the alternate scenario. "Probably not," I muttered, shaking away the alertness
Tony's sudden appearance had caused to well-up inside me. "Anyway, would you
mind if I asked you a few questions?"
"Sure," he answered with surprising willingness,
"if it will help me clear my name."
"Could we maybe do it in your room, whichever
one that is?"
"Why not?" the invisible Shoyru mused softly
as, with an unseen claw placed on my shoulder, he guided me into the second
room I had looked in. I closed the door behind us, so as not to be interrupted.
"Now," I began seriously after I had sat myself
down on the bed, Tony assuring me he was right in front, sitting on the carpet,
a statement I knew for a fact was true as I noticed the fabric of the carpet
flattening in a circle. "Your owner Cal seems to think you are behind the thefts
because not only can he not see the one perpetrating the crimes, but also because
the criminal doesn't leave any footprints behind afterwards."
"So you're saying he thinks I fly in, steal whatever
it is that's missing, and fly off again?" Tony asked glumly, sighing in such
a way that I imagined he was shaking his head sadly. "Really, I wouldn't do
such a thing…I couldn't!"
"Oh? And why is that?" I asked, eyebrow raised
"Because…well, allow me to demonstrate instead."
So saying, the door opened, and for a while nothing
happened. I had begun to think that Tony had run of, disgusted that his owner
could think he was possible of such things, when a book on a shelf to the right
me swayed, shook and fell to the floor.
"You see?" Tony asked wretchedly, footprints
in the carpet coming slowly towards me. "I entered the room by flight, and you
didn't even know I was here, did you? I hovered for a while and you didn't notice…but
it was only after my clumsy, shaking paws tried to lift the book that you were
aware of my presence, am I correct?"
"Very well," I sighed reluctantly as I rose to
leave, "that will be all…any idea when your siblings will be home?"
"Dunno about no thefts," Cruella the red Usul
muttered impudently as we sat I her bedroom. She wore scruffy, only what I can
truly describe as punk clothes, with a bright pink Mohawk that stood
at least twice as high as her ears. Don't call me obvious, but I doubted that
she collected any Usuki dolls, unless there was a Punk Rocker Usuki that I'm
not aware of. "If Cal is getting' stolen things from, then he ain't tellin'
"Why wouldn't he tell you?" I asked curiously,
staring in slight amazement at the Neopet before me.
"Because he thinks I don't care," she snorted
harshly, "and he's right. I couldn't care less - just like he couldn't care
less for me."
"What? Why wouldn't he care for you? You're his
pet; surely he must care for you. You're definitely…original." I said
this last sentence from experience. With a Halloween Mynci, a Mutant Chia (who
used to be a Mynci himself, so I feel to rivalry between us, before you ask)
and a Snow Grundo for brothers, I doubted you could get any more original
than an Usul that dressed herself up to look like a whole new style.
"Because of Tony, that's why!" she snapped suddenly,
catching my unawares from my blissful memories of back home. "Cal cares more
about someone he can't see then anyone he can, the spoilt little Snorkle…"
"If you don't like Cal, then why do you stay?"
I asked, wishing desperately that I had my notebook with me (note to self: take
that with your everywhere from now on).
"What, and ask him to abandon me?" she snorted
erratically, tending to her paws in a display of boredom. "Are you nuts or what,
"Okay," I muttered, sighing and getting up from
where I had been seated on her bed. "If you don't want to talk, I suppose I
can't force you…good day, Cruella."
"It's Cru," the Usul snapped acidly as
a parting gift.
"Yeah, I heard about the thefts," Gloom the shadow
Wocky told me seriously as he paced around his room in front of me. "In fact,
it would be pretty hard for anyone in the house not to have heard about
them, Cal's shouting about them all the time…terrible things, these crimes.
Do you know who did them yet? No, of course not, or you wouldn't be here questioning
me. I don't think Tony committed the crimes, though that's what our owner's
so quick to decide, but it wasn't me either. I love and respect Cal, despite
all his quirky behaviors…I understand that Tony needs more looking-after than
the rest of us, and that if he went missing, Cal would never forgive himself.
I think it's atrocious that someone's trying to frame him for these crimes.
I can't tell you who I think it might be, as quite frankly I don't know."
Yes, believe it or not, I sat quietly through
the whole of this little impressive monologue, because if there's one thing
you learn when practicing the detective craft, it's that a rambling suspect
often lets things slip, and Gloom was no different, even though he revealed
just one vital clue…I'll leave it to you to find it amongst that rabble.
After a few seconds silence, I jerked my head
up, "Is that all?" I asked him slowly, "You haven't seen anything suspicious
that could relate back to this case?"
"Sorry, detective, but I just can't help you
there…I'm afraid I've not been much help at all," the Wocky answered glumly.
"Oh, not much," I replied slyly, "but you have
helped significantly, thanks…"
To Be Continued…