AMBER LOVE 09-OCT-2017 My work is supported by the generous backers who tolerate my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. Also, buy my books.
ADVENTURES WITH GUS CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: THE MOLETIVERSE
Detective Inspector Guster Nabu encountered the fox spirit or kitsune of a young Japanese woman possessing the mystical crystal artifact discovered on the mountain.
THE WINCHESTER-NABU ESTATE. EXTERIOR. SUNNY LATE MORNING.
The summer’s stanky humidity could’ve been worse this year so the feline detectives and the humans have been grateful for the amount of outdoor time — except for me, Amber the biographer and administrative assistant.
I’m not keen on the outdoors but I enjoy all the investigating I get to help Gus with. The bugs can go to hell — as can the stinging nettles. Digging Gus out of a patch of that evil shit happened during one of his tree climbing training sessions.
There’s been an uprising in trespassers lately. Mostly the rodent variety. We don’t mind them so much if they keep to themselves. Sometimes they break into the buildings. The most common havoc is how they tunnel through the yards warping the landscape to look like waves immobile in a painted seascape. You know when you’re walking over them because suddenly your foot will sink two to three inches. It’s an easy way to trip and sprain an ankle.
Case File 2017-22A: Lord Fancyface
In a one week span of September, Gus had three separate mole encounters. The first was typical Gus — he saw it as playtime. We were on the incline of the paved driveway heading up towards trails when he backtracked over the grass.
I couldn’t tell what Gus was after. His nose stayed down. He tracked a scent as well as any bloodhound (*Ed. Note: PS I want one of those). When he started to routinely pounce and hold his front paws pressed into the ground, I figured it had to be a rodent, but wasn’t sure since he’s also been doing that to crickets and cicadas.
Squeals! Oh jeez, when the squeals began. It’s sad to hear. I never read Silence of the Lambs but I remember the narration of the movie had something about the lambs crying out. That’s what it reminded me of. But this is Guster Nabu…he turned it into playtime.
The mole was even coming up over the grass or the pavement right out into the open before tunneling back into the ground-covering foliage. It became a display of agility and wit. From Silence of the Lambs to The Secret of NIMH, the mole found his courage against Gus as the two of them recreated scenes of the super-intelligent rats on the farm tangling with Dragon the giant, bloodthirty farmer’s cat.
This is when I decided to stand by and see how long Gus and Lord Fancyface could alternately parry and riposte with only a one-person audience (unless you count all of our Instagram followers). They traveled twenty feet down the grass and back then back again. It took some time, but eventually Gus chased Lord Fancyface into the hedges. Gus could not follow. The curtain call ended the show.
Case File 2017-22B: Moledevort
In the same spot as before, Gus detected another mole. I thought, “Poor, Lord Fancyface! He’s probably commuting to his office and wants to be left the fuck alone.” This was not Lord Fancyface though. It was a smaller mole by comparison. Quick. Sharp. Not taking any shit. Much bolder than Fancyface.
This mole came into the open and dared Gus to try and catch him. This surprising tactic had Gus flummoxed. He was astounded that this tiny rodent would stand up to him. Gus’ reactions were too delayed from being perplexed.
Gus wouldn’t pounce until Moledevort had lowered himself back into the greens.Â It happened repeatedly. Moledevort sauntered across a wide rock then dove head first into the ground cover. Then Gus would snap out of his fugue state and jump.
Gus could not believe the audacity of this rodent. Coming on his estate? Taunting him from a rock? You’ve got to be joking. Alas, ’twas true. Moledevort had some balls. Next thing I know, Gus is channeling Deniro (Taxi Driver or Raging Bull, doesn’t really matter).
The paw goes up for the momentum and comes down with an arcing swing. BAMMO! Moledevort takes air and lands on the pavement.
It didn’t slow him down one bit! Moledevort goes back into the greens and was ready for more. This damn little mole could take a beating. He wouldn’t stay down. He wouldn’t run away. He just kept coming back.
Gus got another strong hit in. Again, the mole hit pavement and ran back over the grass. In and out of sight, the grey blur danced around. Gus couldn’t keep up. The fatigue of battle was coming on. Both of them slowed down.
Eventually Gus got so tired from the fight, he began to halfass it. He laid down. He’d reach out with one arm and planted it on top of where he thought Moledevort was. Once Gus started sniffing around, pacing back and forth, and couldn’t find Moledevort again, I said we had to move on. We hit the trails and searched for clues in other cases.
Case File 2017-22C: Eutheria Allen
There’s a little known fact that the Speed Force is prevalent in simpler beings. It enters them easier and quite frankly, they’re more responsible with it.
From atop his perch on the second floor balcony and looking down at the ground, Professor Oliver Winchester tried to convince me that there was something in the shrubbery. Gus had already checked out that area about an hour prior. He sniffed A LOT but there was nothing tangible present. I noted that it was probably the lingering scent of a stray cat trespassing again.
Gus sniffed around the greenery again under Ollie’s supervision. This time he found the culprit. Yet another mole. Eutheria Allen was up against the main house near Ollie’s patio. That meant there was a good chance she was looking for a way inside if she hadn’t already found it.
There were webs on the corner of the house where the patio wall begins. Gus reached through. I didn’t see her jump down to the slate tiles. Gus peered over the edge. He hesitated, but then hopped down after her. By now, I had already anticipated his descent and was trying to calculate the ways in which I could get down since the leash wasn’t long enough for me to reach the staircase. I had no other choice really: it was either let go of the leash or follow in the path of pursuit.
It had to be less than a second for Eutheria Allen to hit the slate, dart along the wall barrier, and hide behind upright slate slabs. At first I told Gus I couldn’t move the slabs. He stuck his head right through more dense spiderwebs (Ewwww). I tested out moving the first slab and rested it against my hip. It wasn’t too bad, but if Gus decided to move quickly, we’d be in jeopardy. I pulled the second slab and looked down. No sign of Eutheria Allen. Third slab. Same result.
She had already phased herself through the rocks of the wall. Gus sniffed and said she had to be deep into the dirt. I suggested he climb up the stairs and see if she could be found through the herb garden. He amused me for about two seconds then gave up.
Since these encounters there is some new information. On one of our hikes, Gus discovered the body of a mole in the middle of his favorite trail. It wasn’t near the activity sites of the histories noted above. Suspected to be the body of Moldevort.
No necropsy performed. ID cannot be verified.
On the morning of 25-September-2017, D.I. Guster Nabu detected the scent of a mole on the grassy patch at the trail entrances. This is the location of two previous mole encounters. There was a pursuit, but the rodent was captured and quickly vanquished. Our inspection of the trails continued. Gus circled back to the location and confirmed that the corpse was still there. After the opossum case, we had to be sure. Suspected to be Lord Fancyface.
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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of AmberUnmasked.com and Vodka O'Clock Podcast. Author of The Farrah Wethers Mysteries, comic book short stories, prose, and non-fiction. Cosplayer and figure model.