Cats photoshopped as noir detectives

AMBER LOVE 16-APR-2018 My work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. Also, I’m an Amazon Influencer so you can shop through my personal recommendations and buy my books with these handy links below:

[amazon_link asins=’1976417228,B07255N3VW,0998061506,B01AV44VR2,1517165806′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’amberunmasked-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f1e7490e-a2e0-11e7-b05a-4d0009f1e1ae’]


Expand for Adventures with Gus Table of Contents

Where we left off…

March seemed to fly by faster than February. I have no clue why it felt that way considering we had four snow storms. February was mild by comparison. With March and “spring” arriving, Gus and I were hoping to discover some new artifacts under the snow and we were mightily surprised. I should really start carrying a compass.


Case 049-032718

Date of Discovery:

March 27, 2018

Description of Artifacts:

  • skeletal remains, bone, scapula
  • a green ball of softer texture and two smaller balls, hard and dimpled
balls and bone

Investigation Report:

Detective Inspector Guster Nabu led the team of two. The landscape had recently changed considerably due to winter storms felling trees of all sizes and ages. All existing trails had blockages from the felled trees. We navigated off-trail for half a mile. The detours caused some confusion about our location. It’s likely we were in foreign territory as most property markers from the 1970s have been obscured by growth or debris.


The terrain was rocky, covered in unkempt gnarled masses of thorny bushes. We came to an interesting break in the dark forest. There was an entrance to someone else’s backyard and a man-made rock wall approximately three to four feet high.

Near this strange gateway, Gus spotted a section of the fallen trees. One of them was enormous and covered in lush emerald moss. There were so many trees toppled over. Thorn bushes snaked their way through any crevasse.


Gus didn’t even pause for me to unlatch his leash. He jumped up on the biggest tree and started to trot along it. I was caught in the thorns and the tree was too massive for me to easily jump on top, not to mention slippery. I let the boy go to the end where the mountain started another steep incline. I struggled to get through, but as I got near Gus, he was ready to leap to another one of the trees. This sort of thing went on for a while.



It was only a matter of time before he got his leash tangled and I had to sacrifice myself into the thorns to get him out. I had my feet on a lower tree and my hands on the massive mossy one. I side-stepped along until I got to a growth of thorn branches between the trees. The two logs eventually got close enough that I was able to hurl myself up to the top side of the massive mossy trunk. I rolled over it and busted my way through the thorns to reach Gus. I unhooked him, hoping he wouldn’t take off for more investigating while I detangled the leash. Eventually I was able to catch up and hook the clasp again. He wasn’t happy about that.

I dropped my phone and it fell under the big tree trunk. As I bent down to grab it, I saw some white offset from the shades of brown from the wet leaves. Gus told me to bag the item and keep moving. It only took me seconds to identify it as a bone, but at the time, I mistakenly thought it was an ilium because of the ball joint socket.


That wasn’t all. Underneath bushes there were strange spots of green and yellow. Snowdrops are white and they’re the only flowers out at the moment. Gus was busy investigating a bizarre brick pit that he found so I crawled and retrieved three balls.

It seemed to take forever to find our way back to familiar terrain. It was damn near 90° vertical but we climbed up and found the clear part of the neighbor’s front yard. We finished getting up the hill and found the private road. We raced back to the Winchester-Nabu estate to show Oliver and the rest of the staff what we discovered.


Oliver immediately took interest in the skeletal artifact. He corrected me. It’s not an ilium. It’s a scapula. I was ordered to clean up all the objects and then get the bone fragment into a solution of water, degreasing dish soap, and peroxide.

bone cleaning

As for the balls, Oliver has a rather spectacular idea about how they tie together with the scapula.



While some humans are familiar with the British sport of Quidditch, an overly complicated event with flying brooms and different size flying balls, here in the region of New Jersey there are some different sporting pastimes.

According to Professor Oliver Winchester’s thesis on the creatures known as the Jersey Devils, they not only had a vast industrial empire, but they also enjoyed leisure activities. They weren’t aggressively competitive as humans are in sports. Their sporting activities are more likely used as a healthy way to blow off steam, have some laughs, and exercise.

Oliver identified the three different balls as evidence of Crooked Wings Chase. This sporting activity had a league and Oliver posited that the flag was something like the image below based on his research of fabrics and dyed designs recovered from the Skylands region.

flag design

Oliver identified the scapula as Jersey demon skeletal remains and estimates the age of the creature to have been around twelve years old at the time of death. Since it was found in the vicinity of the sporting balls and another bone (to be discussed in the next chapter), it seems something went terribly wrong during a Crooked Wings Chase tournament. One of the demons flew out of bounds, was hit was a vehicle speeding way too fast on this curvy road, and the demon flopped its way back to the gaming grounds. Injuries were far too substantial for the animal to be healed. It died on site and was left for the scavengers as is the demons’ way to contribute to the natural order.

It’s possible that this was the reason no other Crooked Wings Chase was ever held in the Skylands region again. The Jersey demons simply worry that their space is too far overtaken by humans and the game requires the need for the ground and flying through the air. If any events are still taking place, it’s probable that they are further north in the Sussex county, Pennsylvania and New York State areas.

Stay tuned! We found even more artifacts to examine!


Thanks to Roll For Fantasy tool generators.

Subscribe to my newsletter

Avoid those algorithms! Get news delivered to your inbox. You'll also receive a free short story when you subscribe!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.