Now with 50% more useless text Circulation: 191,224,933 Issue: 600 | 21st day of Relaxing, Y15
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600 Days of Winter: A Petpetpet Detective Story

by stoicjohn


It was cold in my office, and it had been for several weeks since the heating and air unit broke. Being a detective might be an exciting career but helping kids find their lost pets didn't pay well and there wasn't enough cash flow to fix the AC. I tried fixing the AC once myself but it's a lost cause, it's just a mess in there and the posts and board are just all over the place; there's no way to make any sense out of it. Opening my office to start the day I can see the cold has already taken its toll; the letters are peeling off my door! Welcome to work: HARRY MOOTIKOLOWSKI—PRIV E INVESTIGATOR.

     No messages on my machine and only bills in the mail means the air conditioning will have to wait a little bit longer but there's a package on my desk. It's wrapped in Defenders of Neopia paper with a big bow:

      "Happy Birthday, Sweetie, hope you enjoy the sweater. Love, Mom."

     Great, a sweater in the middle of Relaxing, I check my calendar. That's not right, it's still winter and has been for a long time... almost too long. I look out the window and there is snow everywhere. A few conversations with the other tenants in my building and I confirm my suspicion; it's not my calendar, it's the weather that's broken. I write a quick neomail and I've got a paying job courtesy of Jimmy the weatherman at our local weather bureau. Jimmy and I go way back and he's my inside mootix whenever there's breaking news.

     The walk from my office to the bureau is littered with snow petpetpets and frozen ice crystal sculptures; it seems the kids are really loving this extended winter break from school and I have to dodge a few snowballs on my way down the street. I get to the weather bureau office just as everyone is wrapping up the mid-day forecast. I give Jimmy a nod and points me to his office.

      "All snow all the time is bad for sales, nobody even has to read the forecast in the Neopian Times anymore."

     He shows me the logs from the last two years of his daily weather reports and it looks like this snow had been on the ground since Halloween back in Year 11, it was almost 600 days since we had a sunny day. Jimmy says they're thinking about closing his weather department and I can't let that happen, Jimmy has two eggs on the way and needs his job if he's going to upgrade his house to make room for two new baby mootixes. I don't want to see Jimmy out working a harvesting job so I need to crack this case. I drop some copies of Jimmy's reports into my oversized coat pocket just as Jimmy asks me why I never noticed the snow until now.

      "No time for small talk, Jimmy, I need to hit the road if I'm going to gather some cold hard facts about this case."

     I let Jimmy get back to work but I don't. I need to take a side trip to Mom's house. She told me yesterday to come over and help with something about a big purple crystal in her yard so I figure I can check that out and say thanks for the alleged sweater all in one stop. It was a crystal in Mom's backyard, alright. It's very big and very purple. I gave a try at shoving it out of the yard and it's definitely not going to fit in a trash can. I told Mom I would talk to someone from the trash department to come move it or come back with some help on the weekends to take care of it:

      "Why aren't you wearing your sweater?"

     I told Mom that when people hire a detective they expect a certain look. Brown overcoat, cool hat, and a scrunched face; the sweater would have to wait until I was off the clock. We said our good-byes and I headed back to the office. I should have noticed that the snow petpetpets were missing, but it didn't seem important at the time. Once I realized my entire office building was missing too it suddenly became relevant. An endless winter, snow everywhere, missing snow petpetpets, giant purple crystals and did they really repo my entire office building because I was late with the rent check? I don't have time for this I'll try to find my office later when I need to send Jimmy his bill.

     I take a walk to organize my thoughts when I walk face first into another purple crystal, someone needs to clean these up; this one was right in the middle of street. Looking around I can spot seven of them on this block alone, whoever is in charge of these crystals has obviously been on vacation for a while. I wonder if the person in charge of making Spring has taken a break as well but that's a silly thought, I shake out of my daydreaming and see my office. It's on the wrong side of town but that's definitely my office building. I head in to check my messages hoping that my rent won't go up now that my office is on a nicer side of town. There's a message from Mom thanking me for getting rid of the purple crystal. I look out the window and the other purple crystals are gone as well. I guess I can cross that off my list.

     I'm starting to like this new office location. I have a nice view of downtown and can see a new lovely gazebo that's just been built in the park. It must have been a couple of hours later when I wake up and check my neomail, well, it was less of a nap and more of a deep concentration about the facts of the case but it was Jimmy on the line with news:

      "Thanks for bringing back Spring! We really owe you this time; I'll make sure you get all the credit on tomorrow's weather report."

     I look out the window and in addition to a rather nice gazebo there is a beautiful rainbow in the sky.

      "No problem, Jimmy, but the rainbow is free, I'll leave that off the bill."

     No more crystals. No more snow. No more sweater weather. I see some very unhappy young larnikins heading off to school for the first time in over a year and it seems like everything is back in order. Well, except that my office building is still in its new location and it looks like someone has given it a fresh coat of blue paint while I was sleeping, I'm going to like this side of town.

     I file away the Case of the 600 Days of Winter and my new sweater into the cabinet, prop my feet up on the desk, and start working on Jimmy's bill. That was a lot of work for one day one just to not have to wear a sweater. Case Closed.

     HARRY MOOTIKOLOWSKI—PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Faerie Bottling, Avatar Hunting, or Other Entertainment.

The End

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