￼THE WINCHESTER-NABU DETECTIVE AGENCY
YEAR TWO: CASE FILE NO. 30-82
￼AMBER LOVE 03-DEC-2018 Catch up on Year One and previous Year Two cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. This work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new PayPal.me.
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Where we left off:
We observed the bewitching of local wild turkeys. The phasiamancing suspect is unknown at this time and still at large.
The Pied Piper
The nights fall early at this point of the season. It’s dark by six. Do nefarious creatures and people come out specifically in the dark? If so, why can’t they just go to their respective domiciles and get warm, hunker down for the night? I’m in pajamas by lunch time.
The cook came home after a trip to the store. She parked in her usual spot next to me in the lot. She was dismayed when she looked down at the cement and found a body right between our cars! This is not something she has gotten used to despite crime dramas being her favorite form of entertainment. She didn’t know what to do other than report it Oliver and Gus at the agency. Due to the time and my immobility predicament (the two-hour adventure in the woods left my body in a painful state), we decided to leave the victim where he was and wait for daylight.
We had a rough morning. I get a type of hangover after taking my medication so I was not up and ready to face the day (nor Gus’ walk) at my usual time. Every movement I made was like moving through Jell-o. I tried to reach for my charger cord; dropped it. Reached for my phone; dropped it. Gus cried all around the house including in my face. “I hurt too much right now,” is not something the boy understands. I managed to not give in to his demands, Ferber style. Usually I cave.
I managed to get out of bed carefully and hobble down the stairs to make some coffee. Gus continued to press on about demands for his walk. After a bit of waking up, I started to feel better except for my legs, especially my knees. Nonetheless, the cook and I went off to the yoga studio for our gentle yoga class.
When we returned, I saw the victim’s body still in the parking lot. The cook explained to me how the large leaf was covering it originally; the overnight wind must have blown it off. No obvious markings could be found, but I didn’t want to assess it further without Gus.
Gus was not happy that I put him into his new bright orange safety harness. He hates it even though he could do all the same things he’s used to. I intentionally put him in it, because of that hatred and how much it slows him down. I was actually able to keep up with him. He tried to get out of it a few times and only made the situation more difficult for himself by having his arms in the wrong way.
We made it to the crime scene and noted some more observations. Besides no visible injuries, it was a field mouse of substantial size with a long tail. No, not a rat, for sure. Positively ID’d as a field mouse. Brown with white belly.
What Gus and I found that the cook and I originally missed, was a weapon. A hatchet near the victim’s hands leads us to believe he was the one wielding it, fending off an attacker, just like in Mouse Guard.
Gus spent a lot of time with the Super Smeller activated, but not at the body itself. He checked all around the rock wall. He returned to the body as the crime scene was mostly being cleaned up. We left the body just in case it lures the murderer back to the scene.
That fluffy black cat was here only a few days ago. She and the boys do not have a particularly good relationship. In fact, her presence causes disaster to strike over here. Oliver and Gus end up in brawling fisticuffs with chunks of fur flying and loud, angry hissing. Not even the “fair warning” kind of hissing. The “Immacutabitch” kind of hissing. If she killed the mouse, why didn’t she eat it? She supposedly does get fed two houses down the road; maybe it’s her predator instinct coming out. Yet, we reviewed the facts. There were no puncture wounds from teeth or claws on the victim.
That means, the murderer could have been non-corporeal. A ghost. A spirit. A vengeful elemental. Or even someone’s astral self. Gus agreed with me so we took our theory and the evidence back to Oliver Winchester. First, Gus demanded more time outside so we went to the junkyard and then the woods. Then, we finally went back to the office where we talked to Oliver. They may not agree on everything, but in this case? They did.
Prof. Winchester said as long as the necropsy could prove there was no poison involved, then it had to be a spectral case. “But who?” I asked. Oliver titled his head and I swear was about to roll his eyes, but instead he mewed at me.
In his professional opinion, there’s a powerful sorcerer in our midst. This being toyed around with the turkeys and tried going after this field mouse. He didn’t expect a fight from a such a little creature, but this mouse was extraordinary.
Case No. 30-82 Findings:
Status: Evidentiary process is closed. Catching the killer is still open.
Suspect: At large.