The Case of the Invisible Incident: Part Five
From the Case-Files of Kojak_Hommes, Private Eye Lupe…
Slightly annoyed at the way I'd just be turned-out on
my ear, I stomped up the path to my own Neohome, opened and walked through the
door, slamming it heavily behind me with a growl.
"You're back then, Kojak?" my owner, the one
Tambourine_Chimp I tell you so much about, as almost immediately from the living
room, the faint tap-tap-tapping indicating that he was typing yet again.
"Nothing escapes you, does it?" I muttered grimly
as I stalked into the room, jumping into a Rolling Chair, which - believe it
or not - rolled with the momentum closer to the blazing fireplace.
"You're home late," TC announced from above a
ream of paper, "been on another case?"
"Fired is more like it," I snarled softly.
"Oh? Is that all you can say, oh?"
I exclaimed in disbelief, spinning around in my chair to face the typewriter
my owner was hiding behind. "I've had an awful day, a rubbish case, got fired
because my client - sorry, ex-client - thought I was rubbish at my job, and
I just had to walk all the way home in the freezing snow, and all you can say
is oh? Are you even human?"
"What's in a name?" TC asked sarcastically, still
not looking up from his precious work.
"Oh, right, of course your not…anyway, you could
still act more like one and have some consideration! Hmph…oh."
There was a long, painful silence between us,
interrupted only by the never-ending monotony of the keys of the typewriter
"So," TC began cautiously, the top of his furry
brown head rising from above his machine, "had a good day?"
"You," I snapped wryly, a smirk appearing reluctantly
on my faces, "are a regular comedian, you know that?"
"Well, it cheered you up, didn't it?" TC smiled
broadly, returning to his work. "And besides, don't sweat it, Kojak. If this
guy just fires you for no apparent reason, then obviously he's a nut case. There's
not a single mystery you can't solve, and I should know."
By this he meant the activity he and I sometimes
held before going to bed. During the day he would type up a little mystery,
adding everything I would need to solve whilst at the same time making it as
difficult as possible. I always got it right, of course, but most of the fun
came from trying and seeing what wonders my owner could devise. Plus it gave
me more insight and intelligence into the world of crime.
"Yeah, maybe he was nuts…"I sighed as I spun
full circle, paws dragging slowly in the thick rug. Then a sight caught my eyes
and I stopped myself, eyebrow raised, glowing chin dropping, "No," I corrected
myself as I stared out the window in disbelief, "I know for a fact that he is
"Oh?" my owner asked curiously, "And how is that?"
"Because he's running up the path, waving his
arms like a madman, that's how!"
Would you believe it, no sooner does the little
runt kick me out of his house, then another theft is committed and he realizes
the error of his ways, begging me to come back and "put an end to it all" rather
So what could I say? It was winter, and besides
being as cold as having the Snowager give you a hug, it was still the Season
of Giving and Forgiving, so thanks to tradition I had little choice but to say
that I'd still help.
As we walked back to his house, my luminous fur
lighting up the way before us like a novelty version of those torches on sticks
all those carolers use, Cal filled-me in on the current happenings.
"It's a book this time," he shouted against the
howling winds of the winter, a battle he might have lost had it not been for
my acute sense of hearing. "I was reading it in the living room when I went
out for a while to get more wood for the fire. When I got back my book was hovering
in mid-air, floating towards the stairs. When whoever it was noticed I had seen
them, they shot up the stairs and slammed the door. When I got up on the landing,
all the door were shut, and I don't want to accuse the wrong one!"
"Got it, " I sighed reluctantly, "so you want
me to do it instead…find out who did it, I mean, no accuse the wrong person."
When we finally reached the house winds died
down (oh yes, nature has a amazing sense of humor…King Skarl would have a great
time if he just went outside), and I had time to notice that the windows to
the living room were locked from the inside. Bang went my "winches and rope"
idea back in part three…
Taking a deep breath, I composed myself before
stepping back into the house I had not long before been banished from. I can
tell you, it felt strange being back so quickly.
"You said the thief took a book this time," I
muttered softly as I began to examine the living room. "I thought humans couldn't
read Neopian books?"
"Well, I've never had any trouble," Cal told
me with a shrug, "though they never disappear when I've finished with them."
"Hmm, and I bet you don't get anymore intelligent,
either," I murmured.
"What was that?" the boy snapped suddenly.
I would've quickly tried to have changed the
subject, but thankfully I didn't need to…the sound of breaking glass right outside
the window distracted the boy and myself all by itself.
As he began to make his way to the window, crept
past him back onto the front landing, opened the door and went over to the living
room window. There was Cal, nose pressed against the glass pane, eyes pushing
themselves down as they tried to see what had broken.
If he saw anything then he had better eyesight
then me, surprisingly, because there was nothing there whatsoever. No glass,
no contents, no nothing.
"Maybe it broke somewhere else?" Cal called,
his voice muffled through the glass.
"Maybe you should just let me do my job for once,
you little brat," I hissed back.
"What was that?!"
But back to the matter at hand (or should that
be paw?). Namely, the breaking-glass-that-wasn't-breaking-glass. There was the
slightest possibility that both me and the boy had mistaken the sound, that
either it had been something else or that it had happened somewhere else. But,
then again, breaking glass had a very familiar noise, and it was unlikely that
what we both heard was anything other then a jar, bottle or vase smashing.
But if this was the case, where was it now? Sitting
down on my haunches, I sat and stared at the patch of grass directly below the
window from a variety of different angles, hoping to spot the elusive shards
of glass glinting in the dim winter sunlight. No luck there, I just looked like
an expectant Horus searching for a single grain of corn.
And then a thought hit me, and I marveled at
the mere simplicity of the idea. If my hunch was correct, I'd have nailed this
case closed with six-inch nails of smugness. Lowering a paw slowly onto the
grass, I began to pat and rub the grass slowly and carefully, searching blindly
for what I hoped desperately would be there.
A few seconds and a yelp of pain later, and I
shot my paw back up. It was stinging, and something warm and wet was stuck to
it. Using my other paw, I half clenched it over the area of pain, grab the cause
of it, and yanked it out quickly.
I'd had cut myself on the glass…glass I couldn't
"Gotcha now, sunshine," I muttered grimly as,
sucking my aching paw I walked back into the house.
"What happened?" Cal asked as he saw me enter
the living room again, holding my poor paw. "Have you figured out who it is
"Yes, I have, so you can stop bugging me," I
grumbled sharply as I slumped into one of his Red Bean Bag Chairs.
"So it was Tony," the boy whispered sadly as
he walked to the landing, ready to call the invisible Shoyru and give him the
"Hold your Unis for a second, pal," I snapped,
causing him to stop in his tracks and step back into the room. "It wasn't Tony,
it never has been, not unless he felt he had to use the…never mind, at least
I know he was right all along, someone's been trying to frame him."
"But…but who?" Cal asked in disbelief, staring
at me wide-eyed.
"Before I tell you that, would you mind calling
your pets down?" I asked in reply, looking smugly to the window that had helped
me crack the case. "I think they should all hear this…"
To Be Continued…