Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 96,313,980 Issue: 190 | 13th day of Hunting, Y7
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The Missing Mint Kyrii Ice Cream: Part Two


by shadowcristal

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"Well, I check my stand every fifth minute," Mr. Chipper said in his normal voice. I noticed that he didn't sound so desperate anymore, though he looked a little bit so.

     "Wow," I said, impressed. "Is that to prevent thefts?"

     "Yes, though it is not that common. But as you can see, it happens occasionally."

     "Hmm..." I said, trying to do a good detective imitation, "the information points to the fact that the missing Mint Kyrii Ice Cream was stolen about fifteen to ten minutes ago." We looked at the clock. "About ten minutes ago," I continued, "you were crying 'Oh woe, my Mint Kyrii Ice Cream is gone!' and I ran into your stand."

     "Yes, that is correct." Mr. Chipper poked his head into the cart and checked his precious ice creams since five minutes (or rather, ten) had passed.

     "And then we tried to put everything together, which took five minutes and conversed in another five minutes. Right now you're checking your stand." I looked at the pet that had emerged from the cart and suppressed a giggle due to the fact of a big frosty snowflake on his nose.

     Mr. Chipper nodded. To my disappointment, the snowflake fell down and disappeared into the bed of white snow lying on the ground.

     "Hmm..." I thought of what to ask next. Then it came to me. "What happened around that time? Do you have any suspects in mind?"

     "Well, there was a certain dignified blue Bruce that had traded a coupon for a Chocolate Ice Cream right about fifteen minutes ago. Also, there was this assistant that is helping me for a week. His name is Pratar, and he told me that he would be on a thirty-minute snack break."

     "That's it?" I asked.

     "That's it," Mr. Chipper said.

     "What was the name of the Bruce?"

     "Umm..." my poor interviewee mumbled, "it was a weird name."

     "Weird?" I narrowed my eyes. To my surprise, Mr. Chipper gently took one of my big left ears and whispered.

     "She gets insulted easily... Her name is Nidelbawr."

     "Needleball?" I repeated and giggled mentally. What a funny name! Could someone really be named like that, Needelball?

     "It's N-I-D-E-L-B-A-W-R," Mr. Chipper said. "At least that was what she told me when she got her ice cream."

     "Hmm..." I tried to remain serious, but couldn't. "Missy Needleball's motive might've been to trade an unsatisfactory ice cream. Since Chocolate Ice Cream is a very common ice cream in Neopia, she might've wanted a rare one instead."

     "That's plausible," Mr. Chipper said. I noted that his good nature did not let him suspect others so easily without good evidence and reason.

     "And then there is your assistant... what was his name again?" I asked, creating a list of suspects on my tattered notebook.

     "Pratar. He is a little bit lazy and talks too much for his own good, but he's a nice boy." Mr. Chipper looked at me. "The thief is not going to be dragged off screaming by the Chia Police and put into prison for the rest of his life, right?"

     "It might be her life," I commented. Seeing Mr. Chipper's horrified look, I quickly continued, "I don't think they do that."

     He looked relieved. I tried to think of more questions to ask, but couldn't. Now that I had gotten a list (a small one, mind you), the next obvious thing that I should do was to interview the suspects.

     "Thank you for your cooperation," I said, trying on my sister's upper-class voice. Mr. Chipper looked a little bit worried, and I smiled to reassure him. "Well, I'm off to interview Missy Needleball and talkative Pratar."

     With confident steps and an awed Mr. Chipper behind me, I left Happy Valley. The first thing I thought of was of visiting Summer at the Kadoatery. I hoped that she had fed a Kad now and added another trophy to our ever-growing cabinet.

     "I get nervous, and after five seconds they're gone..." Summer muttered when I greeted her, stepping into the room. Rows of Kadoaties cried, and I quickly put on a pair of pink earmuffs to protect my large, sensitive ears.

     "Oh... Sandra, good timing!" my owner waved at me as all the crazy Kadoatie feeders ran past her. "No, I'm afraid that I haven't fed one..."

     "It's okay," I said, patting Summer. "I'm sure it's just bad luck or something. If you keep at it long enough, you'll definitely manage to feed a Kad!"

     "Thanks," my owner said. "By the way, where is Ana?"

     "Anatolia?" I was surprised. "You don't know? I thought she had visited you..."

     Summer shook her head, checking the cages nervously every five seconds. I sighed. My owner had too much on her hands to converse with me, and it was best if I left as soon as possible.

     "Good luck," I said and hugged her gently. "Don't worry Summer, you'll be sure to get one!"

     "I hope so," she said and waved me good-bye as I walked out of the Kadoatery and into the sunny Neopia Central.

     And then I saw her. She stood beside the pretty bush with the blue flowers. Actually, the flowers paled in comparison to her extreme blueness.

     "Miss Needleball?" I asked the blue Bruce who was carrying a very expensive-looking purse.

     "It's NidelbawRRR," she said with her big mouth open and pronounced the R for at least five seconds.

     "Excuse me," I quickly said, already making assumptions. I know, I know. Mommy says you're not supposed to assume things about people, but this was a special case. I mentally rolled my eyes at Nidelbawr. It wasn't hard to figure out what type of pet she was.

     "Well, what do you want?" the Bruce said with an irritated voice. "If you don't have anything to say, then please leave. You know, I'm pretty busy..."

     "I'm sorry," I said as meekly as I could. To be honest, I wasn't really sorry but this was probably the best way to get her to cooperate. "You see, I'm Sandra the detective and I have a few questions to you."

     "Be quick about it, won't you?" she said snootily.

     "Sure. Okay, first question: What did you do at the Ice Cream Stand?"

     "Are you an imbecile?" Nidelbawr asked, looking at me as if she was superior. Perhaps she was in one way, but I certainly disliked that attitude of hers. "I was buying ice cream, of course. I got a stupid common Chocolate Ice Cream, and that's it."

     "Thank you," I said, adding a nervous shake to my voice. It was best to make her think that she was superior, if she wanted to believe that. "Question number two: Did you notice anything unusual around the Ice Cream Stand?"

     "Not really," she said, taking out a fan and fanned as if she was a Royal pet. "All those usual screaming little kids playing around, that was it."

     "Um... Okay... Question number three: What did you do after visiting the Ice Cream Stand?" I would've loved to ask Missy Needleball if she did anything suspicious, but from experience and reading books I knew it was a bad idea. I would definitely have to talk to Mr. Chipper later.

     "Shopping," she said. "After I ate that half-melted Chocolate Ice Cream, I went down here to get a toothbrush to get the sticky feel out of my teeth." She fished up a dull Pink Toothbrush from her ugly purse. She paused, glaring at me and daring me to criticize her.

     I knew better. "Thank you for your cooperation, Miss Needleball," I said. Despite the fact that Missy Needleball didn't like to answer questions, she certainly didn't seem the type that would lie. But I had to check with Mr. Chipper, and I still had his assistant to interview.

     "It's N-I-D-E-L-B-A-W-R," the Bruce said haughtily. She quickly turned around and walked away while putting the Pink Toothbrush into her purse again. For a fleet second I wondered how a toothbrush could fit in that purse, but there were more important things to attend to.

     A suspicious noise behind me made me turn around. I saw a blue flower glare at me, and after a minute of observing I noticed that the bush was moving. Being the hothead and curious pet that I was, I couldn't help but to do something.

     Yes, I do try to be cool, mysterious and good at questioning people like Kojak, but it doesn't always work out. The Neoscopes say that I am supposed to be outgoing, not thoughtful, cheerful, but not too clever... you get it. But I feel that I do have this other, cooler person that I am sometimes. Perhaps this case would draw out that person?

     Anyway, I told myself to stop thinking and do something. I had two options. I could either grab the bush, in which it may run away (not that bushes normally do, but there are some really mysterious bushes in Meridell that actually do run away) or jump into the bush, and perhaps get all stuck with thorns. I decided on the latter, because the blue flowers on the bush signified that it was probably harmless.

     I took a deep breath and landed into the bush with my powerful Cybunny jump. A few thorns cut me as I landed on something soft. The soft thing crashed on the ground and all I saw were... shopping bags?

To be continued...

 
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