Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 16-172

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AMBER LOVE 31-AUG-2020 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One, Year Two, and Year Three cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. Thank you for all your financial and social support! Oliver and Gus are looking forward to bringing you more fascinating discoveries and investigations into the chipmunk mafia, the blue jay gang, the neighborhood critters, and cryptid sightings.

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.


Where We Left Off:

When it comes to snake monsters and lore, we’ve mostly had evidence of Gorgons; but recently we found a connection to the ancient Ouroboros.


Street of Chance:

It was early June and the country was being torn apart internally between factions who want people to stay home or wear masks and those who only cared about partying on beaches. It was and still is, a horrifically bizarre time to exist in the world. As I’ve hypothesized, the wildlife population has been behaving differently this year too and it’s possibly because they feel this is the one opportunity they’ll have to rise up against humans. I do not blame them at all. We suck as life forms.

There were a lot more chipmunks coming over to the estate grounds to feed and make new burrows. The squirrels came along with them as did the wolpertingers and eastern cottontails. It’s a beautiful and fun thing to watch.

squirrel

We’ve been worried about the chipmunks and squirrels though because they are crossing the busy street to come here. They even continue to find residential space at the construction site where a new house is going up, but that’s dangerous as hell. The dirt and asphalt are being crushed, lifted, moved, and dumped then moved around again. They could get trapped in a scoop of dirt and land somewhere — maybe alive but maybe not. They should just come here and go into the woods off on the northern border or way up the hill behind our lot.

Beeps and Peeps:

The fairies have been enjoying all the critter company. Since Joey Bag O’Peanuts went into Witness Protection, the fairies didn’t have visitors except birds and small life forms. They get slugs every morning before sunrise. This summer, there has been one small rabbit creature and two chipmunks in the greenery of the fairy garden. I keep scaring the bunny because I don’t even know it’s in all those tall weeds and ferns. Gus knows when the chipmunks are there and he leads me over to the garden wall.

The magick around might not be noticeable to the naked human eye, but it’s certainly there. I think these are new chipmunks, offspring of Joey Bag O’Peanuts. I believe Pipi Lansbury is the daughter of Joey and Tami Sneakers. It’s really impossible to tell. I can only judge by their sizes to guess age and then observe where they spend the most time. That being said, I think Pipi’s siblings are the ones living in the fairy garden, Charlie “Beeps” and Frankie “Peeps,” but we don’t know much about them other than their residence. Their only known associate besides the fairies is that one loner rabbit creature, a young wolpertinger.

While Beeps and Peeps were still rambunctious youths, Gus did more than scare them. He ran over to the fairy garden, crouched on the wall — and this when I caught up and saw that there were two chipmunks — then Gus charged ahead in keen panther style. I don’t know which is which, but one chipmunk went left and the other went right. Gus caught one and ran back home with it. To the best of my recollection, that critter was released successfully.

chipmunk mafia org chart


Unsub:

As mentioned, some chipmunks, squirrels, deer, and bears have been crossing the road from the space owned by the county. It’s almost like the infamous Parks & Recreation story arc about Lot 48 aka The Pawnee Commons.

Leslie Knope cosplay

This is a lot that is wooded and no one seemed to care much about it. The Grumpy Old Man takes it upon himself to cut the grass along the roadside. It’s also where some of us toss our branches, weeds, and clippings. It’s inviting for the wildlife, but it’s not a particularly large plot of land. It would take a ton of expensive work to make it into a decent park because of the slope to it. At the bottom is a small pond which is owned privately. The county’s portion of this area is an awkward “F” shape. It looks like a gerrymandering map, but the wildlife don’t get to vote. The pond is also split between different owners. I don’t know what city planner thought this was wise. It’s not like a huge lake where every house around it has lakefront piers. Anyway, it is unlikely this will ever be made into something easier for humans to traverse.

chipmunk on curb

A brave young chipmunk successfully crossed the road, made a pit stop at the neighbors’ front curb, and then crossed over to the area around Sgt. Burrows’ bunker. That’s a spot where I sometimes leave peanuts either at the bunker or at the drainage pipes nearby; the pipes aren’t doing anything but wasting space and looking messy. The pipes only serve for Sgt. Burrows to have safe passage when Gus is around (more on that in a future case file). This young unknown subject opted not to head directly to the bunker. Instead, he began to make his way up to Cheeks Moretti’s rock fortress. Ballsy move. Cheeks will chase away unauthorized visitors when he isn’t in the mood to be hospitable.

gus and oliver

Along the hedges where the catbirds nest, the unsub caught the attention of Guster Nabu. Gus and I were in a place where he can be unhooked from his leash with less worry than other places. Gus spotted the critter and ran for it. This chipmunk must have been either inexperienced or way too confident. It was barely a scuffle when Gus snatched the unsub into his jaws.

 

Gus ran around my Moretti’s place while I tried to catch up. He turned around and started heading back towards home. It’s helpful when Gus wants to deliver his prey to the back door because then he pauses at the steps and it gives me time to hold his harness and dislodge the critter. Such was the case with this unsub. We ended up at the back door where Gus continued to growl (video has sound).

 

It’s easier to get a critter out of Gus’ mouth than it is to take a tennis ball from a dog. Playing with our beach area freelancer, Rocco, is a sloppy activity.

weimeraner hound Rocco

Depending on the vitality left in the critter, once it’s in my hand it can be more challenging. The baby wolpertinger was a squirmy one. Some chipmunks have been too. This unsub was pretty happy to be in my hand and out of those jaws. Unfortunately, I saw blood on the saliva-covered fur. I examined him and noted an injury to his left side. It appeared to be superficial though which gave me some confidence that he would be able to heal with only a scar to show for his battle with Gus. Then I saw the blood spatter to use the technical phrase of crime scene investigators. It was a large droplet of blood showing that it had fallen directly downward with gravity.

Cheeks Moretti hasn’t been interested in meetings with us for a couple weeks. The last time we had any significant interaction with him was socially distanced with us on the observation deck and Cheeks down on the fortress wall before the limelights grew too tall. We are wondering what the deal with this unsub was. Was he an authorized visitor? Was he going for a job interview to be part of Sgt. Burrows’ crew? Was he up to something sneaky like trying to sneak into the Moretti fortress and steal peanuts?

Oliver was insistent that we need more information. On one his patrols, he chatted with a loquacious blue jay (aren’t they all?). The bird told Oliver that he was told by Johnny “Stool Pigeon” the local gossip, that Cheeks had been more aggressively defending his turf. Oliver surmised that the neighborhood construction has Moretti more terrified than worried. The chipmunk don isn’t sure that his fortress or turf won’t be demolished too. Oliver relayed back to the bird that at this time, there are no plans to tear down the rock wall. There are other plans that The Grumpy Old Man seems to have in the works, but contractors aren’t good about returning calls for small jobs.

At this point, Oliver became suspicious of Gus! He thought Gus took an order from Moretti to go after trespassers that may be trying to oust him.

Case Findings:

After Gus captured the unsub, I had a talk with him. Although he would be open to chasing as many chipmunks as possible, he swears he was acting on his own and had not betrayed us by taking a mercenary assignment from Cheeks Moretti. He saw a suspicious stranger from yonder county land and made the decision to capture the unsub. The suspect was release with injuries, but the prognosis is good.

Case Status: Closed

Oliver in stroller

 

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