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The Case of the Lying Letter: Part Seven


by playmobil_is_my_life

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Also by tambourine_chimp

TigerWing sighed as she at Cali sat together on the cold stone floor. It felt like hours since Wiseguy, Kojak and the maniacal Kougra left to find the Quotzknowitall Gem… if that even existed.

"I hope Wiseguy and Kojak are okay," Cali mumbled, obviously thinking the same as TigerWing.

TigerWing nodded but didn't say anything. Waiting in the near darkness with a feeling of dread was not good. There must be some way to help. She felt useless just sitting around, hoping that her brother and Kojak were okay. TigerWing wanted to yell and cry. But that wouldn't do any good. Screaming wouldn't bring back Wiseguy or Kojak any faster.

"I just want to get out of here…" TigerWing said aloud and Cali looked over at her.

"I know," the fire Wocky pat her sister on the shoulder, "and it's going to be okay. I just know it will… but what if there really is a Quotzknowitall Gem?"

TigerWing remained silent; she just shrugged her shoulders. She had only been with her brother a few hours before Kojak and Cali had found them. TigerWing had only seen Wiseguy for a short time before he had been dragged off again.

TigerWing stood up and hovered a few feet in the air, searching for an opening in the Mountain. The musty air was becoming unbearable. She glanced down at Cali, only to see her sister's eyes wide with fear and her paws trembling.

"Cali, don't be scared," TigerWing tried to sound consoling. "It's like you said, everything will be okay."

Cali's paws continued to tremble; she looked down at her feet, "I'm not scared… TigerWing, the ground's shaking." No sooner than Cali had uttered the statement, a low rumble shook the walls and the floor. The rumble was so loud that it sounded like the roar of a thousand monsters, closing in on them.

"What's happening?" Cali yelled over the roar.

"I…I don't know!"

Kojak and Wiseguy hurried in, dust on their faces and paws.

"We have to get out of here," Kojak said, "this place is going to cave in!"

"But where's the Kougra?" TigerWing asked in a shaky voice.

"It doesn't matter!" The Lupe yelled, "I think I know a way out… just follow me!"

TigerWing and her siblings took off, following Kojak's every twist and turn up the cold steps. They passed the room with the giant stone Techo, but there was certainly no time to stop and enjoy the view. An enormous stalactite crashed to the ground, missing TigerWing by a few inches. She screamed and dodged another. Starting to think that there was no way out, TigerWing began to panic. But one glance at Kojak reassured her; he seemed to know where he was going.

"Oh no!" TigerWing yelled as she felt a wave of heat wash over her. "The lava in the center! It's coming through!"

Wiseguy whimpered and Cali left out a sob of fear. Ever so slowly, the crevices on the walls started spreading like Spyders. Bright red lava started to ooze through. They needed to move quick, or the lava would burn through them. The room became so dusty and steamy that it was hard to see.

"Come on!" Kojak's voice echoed through the large room. The dust was so thick that it was getting hard to see. TigerWing coughed and struggled to follow the group.

When they skidded to a halt, they were facing a hole in the wall, with daylight and clean air emitting from it. A ray of sun hit TigerWing in the face. Kojak pushed Cali and Wiseguy through the large crevice and they scrambled aside to make room for the others. TigerWing slipped out and Kojak squeezed through right behind her. Just as he did that a large piece of rock closed in on them, sealing their entrance.

TigerWing was ready to stop for a breath, but Kojak ushered them down the Mountain. They hurried down the winding path of Techo Mountain and stumbled to the ground. Once everyone had stopped running, TigerWing took a deep breath of salty air and smiled. They were all safe.

"Where's the Kougra?" Wiseguy panted. "He's… he's not still in there, is he?"

"He must have gotten trapped inside," said Cali, "but what are we going to do about him?"

"I'll find someone to take care of him," Kojak volunteered, "you three check when the next ferry leaves for home. I'm just ready to get off this island."

Home. That was a word TigerWing longed to hear. After all this, they were finally going back home. For TigerWing, Cali and Wiseguy, back to their owner, and for Kojak, back to solving more mysteries.

TigerWing was thinking about home and her owner and how they were finally leaving Mystery Island when Cali called, "TigerWing, come on. You heard Kojak."

TigerWing shook the thoughts away, knowing that she would see her owner in an hour.

~**~

As we took seats, the ferry departed from Mystery Island. The trio of siblings was sitting across from me, looking as fatigued yet triumphant as ever. I had told the natives of Mystery Island about the Kougra in Techo Mountain and the promised to take care of him. Or at least get him some help. A nut like that could really use it. The Mystery Island Natives found him hanging onto a stalactite, cowering in fear of the lava that was rapidly rising. I smiled at that. Even the insane were frightened at times.

Since the ferry was near empty, Cali asked why the mountain started to cave-in. I explained about the invisible force of the Quotzknowitall Gem, how it had caused the stalactites to fall and the ground to tremble.

"What happened to the gem?" TigerWing asked.

"It slipped from the Kougra's paws and was buried in the mountain. I can't promise we'll see it again. But there's one thing for sure: the maniacal Kougra will never see it again."

After talk had died down, we all just kept quiet the rest of the way home. Since this case was finally solved, I leaned back and sighed. It was a triumphant, victorious 'wow-you-really-showed-him' feeling. The only minor injury was a small scratch on my left front paw. Besides that, all four of us had escaped unscathed. As they should have: they were my clients and my responsibility. Yet, with all of the chaos and danger-prone Wiseguy with us, how did we escape unharmed?

Luck, perhaps?

I think not.

Skill.

~**~

After the narrow escape, TigerWing started to calm down. The fact that they had almost been scorched by lava and knocked out with chunks of stone left an uneasy, yet exciting feeling in her stomach. Both Cali and Wiseguy had fallen asleep, Cali's head resting against Wiseguy.

Kojak, meanwhile, sat erect. A smirk crept on his face every now and then, thinking about the Kougra and their narrow escape.

TigerWing quietly got up and sat next to him. He looked sideways at her, then back out to the sea.

"Kojak?" TigerWing whispered.

The Lupe turned his head again.

"I just…" TigerWing looked down at the floor, "wanted to say sorry: For my behavior. I suppose I was frightened for Wiseguy, and that made me snap at you all the time. I know it would have been best to be helpful, but instead I just yelled at everyone, and it was my own vanity that got me kidnapped.

"And it was nice of you to help Cali find Wiseguy, and myself." TigerWing slowly raised her eyes so they were level with Kojak. "Even though you weren't getting anything for it."

"Yeah, well it's okay," Kojak squirmed with embarrassment, losing his serious-detective look for a moment. When it returned, he said, "I accept your apology."

"Good. I don't know how we would have found Wiseguy without you," said the Pteri, and she glided back over to where Cali and Wiseguy were sitting.

A few minutes later, the familiar sight of Neopia Central came into view and a wave of relief washed over TigerWing. Thank goodness we're home! Cali and Wiseguy woke with a start as the ferry hit the sandbar and they hurried off.

TigerWing wanted to drop to all fours and kiss the ground, but instead she just hugged her siblings, thankful that they had all returned safe.

"Now that this mystery has been solved, I suppose we can all go home now." TigerWing nearly forgot that Kojak was behind them. She looked up at him with a new perspective: respect.

"Thanks, Kojak," she said, giving him a quick hug. "If we ever need you…"

"I'm sure we'll meet again," Kojak replied. "I'll be in the Deep Catacombs. Coffee Shop, to be precise." He winked.

After exchanging goodbyes, TigerWing, Cali and Wiseguy left. TigerWing flew above her siblings and grinned down at them. It was Wiseguy's cleverness that had led them to Mystery Island. And Kojak's keen senses that had led them to Wiseguy.

TigerWing was grateful for both.

The End

Hey everyone! Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed our collaborated mystery series as much as we enjoyed writing it. If you have any comments/feedback, please send them to both of us. ~Playmobil

Whoa, TC here...guess it just goes to show that you should never take an event at face value...especially when it's a kidnapping on Neopia! So until the next Kojak Case, see ya around!

 
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Other Episodes


» The Case of the Lying Letter: Part One
» The Case of the Lying Letter: Part Two
» The Case of the Lying Letter: Part Three
» The Case of the Lying Letter: Part Four
» The Case of the Lying Letter: Part Five
» The Case of the Lying Letter: Part Six



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