Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 44-200

cat logo brown

AMBER LOVE 15-MAR-2021 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One, Year Two, Year Three, and Year Four 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.



Where We Left Off:

Devil-Deer enjoyed the snacks of corn cobs, peanuts, and seeds during the harsh winter weather.

HOLY CRAP! IT’S OUR 200TH CASE!

King of the Underworld:

I thought I could churn out something quick between back spasms, but then I realized this entry was the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency’s 200th casefile on record and all kinds of emotions whirled through me. Happiness. Anxiety. Dread. Panic. Yes, all these at once. I’m beyond happy at what the cats, the “staff”, and I have accomplished through four years of adventures and exploring. I’m astonished generous folks have support the Patreon which helps pay bills. And I’m nervous about whether or not this milestone marker case will be compelling for readers. Did Dr. Watson have this kind of emotional upheaval? Can someone get us a vegan cake to celebrate this momentous occasion?

schitt's creek Moira

A Return to the Adventures:

As the twenty-whatever inches of snow began to melt, Gus got more excited because he was finally able to reach parts of the estate that had been covered. We did so many patrols that consisted of going up and down the private road and thoroughly inspecting the Grumpy Old Man’s workshop. I, too, was ready to get back to our usual explorations in the trees and trails.

The Predator

The problem was that my sciatica nerve on the left side had been causing a seven-day revolt that felt like my spine was trying to escape my body. I might have actually welcomed that for at least an hour to be rid of the pain.

amber using cane to walk

It was time for The Cane of Destiny! I mean, if I have to use it, it may as well have a badass name like Glamdring, Orcrist, Andúril, Gúthwinë, and the Flaming Sword of Fire!

Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire cast photo

The Power of Symbols Compels You:

Back to the case. Gus and I navigated to across the soggy fields until we reached Fort Winchester and the Pit beyond. He explored about a quarter of the Fire Trail which great interest in the aromas being uncovered as the snow melted. He went no further once he reached where the snow still lay trodden with wildlife tracks. Back to the fields he went.

Evil CBS

I kept looking down because the grass was a minefield of poo (see previous casefile). Not even exaggerating. Not even a little. There is so much scat. Pile after pile of devil-deer raisinette poops. That’s when I noticed the crevasse. Crevasse might be an exaggeration, but I guess that depends on how big you are. To a vole, mole, or mouse, what I discovered would be a series of crevasses. If you’d like go off on that tangent, Merriam-Webster has a fine page on crevice and crevasse usage.

lines in the soil

My eyes followed the strange cracks in the earth. I decided to take a step back and get a more distant view from above. There were three intersecting channels that reminded me of the Celtic symbol, triskelion or triskele. This meant that Gus and I had to take the photographic evidence back to the Winchester-Nabu offices to show Oliver who has only resumed outside observations on the balcony and has not been able to get buggy rides all winter. Oliver wasn’t going to have the opportunity to see the discovery for himself anytime soon.

Any icon with “tri” geometry is associated with spiritual trinities and there are many of those besides the Christian’s Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Anyone with half a brain should recognize that holy trinities go back further than Christ. There’s the pagan Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mother, Crone), the Furies, the Morrigan (aka Mórrígan or Morrígu), Goddess-God-All, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, the three bodies of the Buddha (Law, Enjoyment, Magical Creation), the three Gunas (Tamas, Rajas, Sattva), and western alchemical concepts of Salt-Mercury-Sulfur. A simple triangle can also represent male or female; and when seen together it’s the six-pointed Star of David. Three is a big deal, symbolically speaking.

Euripides was the first to speak of them as three in number. Later writers named them Allecto (“Unceasing in Anger”), Tisiphone (“Avenger of Murder”), and Megaera (“Jealous”). — britannica.com

Goddesses have many variations in classical conceptualizations. Time to revisit the renowned works of feminist witch icon, Barbara Walker. In Walker’s text The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, she identified the triskelion with the Fates:

The triskelion is simply the triple-triangle form of Fate (or the Fates) with one side of each of the three triangles removed, so that a swastikalike figure results. It is one of the lively symbols, giving a distinct impression of movement. This is a basic pattern for the tryfuss, the three-armed design, and similar variants.

You can see how simplified Walker’s interpretation is compared to Celtic art seen commonly in jewelry and other decorative designs. But, the question remains, is that what these earthly lines are forming? Could it be something else or something random? Due to the location and size, these questions would be best posed to our rodentia community. The problem with that is that only squirrels are above ground right now. Everyone else is still hibernating. The squirrels haven’t been coming out much either. The only solution I could see was that we pose our questions to a third party and hope the communication is not compromised. We had no choice. We had to talk to a blue jay.

The Blue Jay Gang has not been the easiest organization to work with. All we needed was one squawker though. I think our recent peanut deliveries will work to our favor. Johnny “Stool Pigeon” has been a somewhat reliable frenemy in the past. I had the coffee can of seeds and peanuts. The only thing for Gus and I do was venture over to Gnome Grove.

It didn’t take long after our arrival in the arboreal circle for the first blue jay to show up. The screech was unmistakable. Johnny “Stool Pigeon” was in one of the pine trees and he was ready for more peanuts. This time, he would have to work for them. Gus walked under the draping boughs until he had a clear view of Johnny. I stood back so they could conduct business. When Gus was finished, I threw the peanuts and seeds around the pine needle carpet and slate stepping stones.

We had to skip adventures for a couple days due to the unbearable wind. In lieu of exploring the great outdoors, a platter of seeds was put on top of an ornamental column on the front porch. The birds and a squirrel friend appreciated it. Oliver and Gus sat inside chattering and howling loud enough for the birds to hear. Johnny was not going to show up without peanuts. Talking to the smaller birds through windows was not going to get us results. Once the weather allowed Gus and I to get back outside, we took advantage of it. The patrol was short so we kept focused on the mission.

Johnny flew down to sit just out of reach of Gus (a wise move) at the fairy garden. We were right to be concerned about the crevasses. Johnny said he talked to one of the wingless Jersey devil-deer who had heard from a vulture who experienced a psychic episode while eating the remains of a whitetail doe that the Underworld was invaded by reptilian beast. Folks, we had a basilisk under our feet.

(Pause for dramatic Dammmmnnnn)

Roddy Piper They Live

Even though The Grumpy Old Man was fond of poisons, glue, and other inhumane ways to get rid of unwanted pests, he did introduce a non-lethal deterrent recently. An ultrasonic plug-in device now occupies one of the kitchen outlets. Oliver agreed that a sound deterrent would work with an underground basilisk, but there were no underground electrical outlets. He drafted up plans and handed them over to the Grumpy Old Man and the Butler. They wired up an ultrasonic device to a small solar panel from an old set of fairy lights. Digging a hole in the frozen ground was not going to happen without large machinery. And this is when I learned something about the estate that had been kept a family secret.

The Grumpy Old Man told me where to find a secret tunnel from the well’s pump house to the hangar and workshop. It was unpleasant and terrifying. I could not bring myself to crawl through the dank tunnel. Instead, I put the device on Gus’ harness and he carried it as far as the wire would allow. He used his back feet to slide the device out of his harness. He emerged with cobwebs covering his head. All we had to was wait for the device to charge and follow up with the critter community to see if the beast left the area.

As more snow melted, Gus and Oliver discovered many locations of these pretty spiral designs. It only upset the Grumpy Old Man even more. Here’s a gallery of the mini carved trenches we’ve found:

Case Findings:

We discovered miniature ditches in a three-branch design in the field behind Fort Winchester near the Fire Trail. We had to work with the Blue Jay Gang to get more information and learned that the crevasses were the result of a basilisk under the ground. The monster was repelled successfully with an ultrasonic device.

Case Status: Closed

Gus stealing cake

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