Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Five:
Case File No. 35-243
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Where We Left Off:
Our last entry into the casebook culminated a few investigations that ended up being connected.
I See You:
We rang in the new year quietly, sandwiching the old and new with wildly different movies: Red Notice one day then Don’t Look Up! the next. It was gloomy with that fog I refer to as “horror movie fog” for days. The lyrics to Ariana Grande’s song in Don’t Look Up! are brutally real and the last scene is so funny it almost makes the 2.5 hours worth it (should have been a lot shorter).
Now we move on to a befuddling investigation. The Butler’s new-ish car was a crime scene! It was unbelievable. The humans were driving to South Jersey to have a rare in-person meeting with the canine detective who freelances for us and his humans. For some reason, I needed to go into the glove compartment, probably for napkins. I wasn’t surprised to find a stash of protein bars. However, I was confused when I found one opened.
Before I jumped to any conclusions, a few thoughts crossed my mind. Protein bar wrappers sometimes get mangled in a stuffed space much like the snacks I’ve kept in my purses and bags. I’ve had plenty of snack bars turn into pouches of crumbs because of my former schedule quickly trying to get from one yoga class to another on time during my peak hungry hours. The Butler eats high-protein weird stuff and a lot of salads. He even makes desserts every single night that look and smell incredible but have scoops of protein powder in them.
His other job — yeah he has another job besides working for Gus and Oliver — is a long drive away. That office tried to reopen in December which was absurd. People were immediately exposed to COVID and had to quarantine going back to work-for-home anyway. The big bosses wisely told everyone else that could extend their WFH for a while longer.
One of the perks that The Butler began to enjoy during WFH months was that he could fix his food whenever he was actually hungry and eat better meals. Who knows how long those protein bars had been in his glove compartment? I don’t know. I do know that my snack bars have lingered in various bags for an embarrassing amount of months buried under papers, hygiene bags, pouches of chargers, and other stuff. I even keep my vegan cookie stash conveniently located in the top nightstand drawer as easy to reach as medicine and remote controls. I love cookies. Yet, with all of the mice Gus and Ollie have “interviewed” in this bedroom, no evidence of a nightstand B&E has ever been discovered.
I reached into the glove box to get the opened protein bar. That’s when I realized that the shriveled shiny stuff I thought looked like confetti (why would confetti be there?) was actually the wrapper torn into shreds. It was like the aftermath of a Pride parade in there only with more paperwork. I should have photographed the evidence before turning it into The Butler. I felt he had the right to decide what to do with it since it was his car and his snack. Before I handed over, I did notice the marks in the bar that clued me into identifying the species of the subject. There were clear teeth marks consistent with M. musculus aka. a mouse.
When we got back to our HQ and resumed normal routines, Gus and Oliver inspected the crime scene. Though in his official carriage, Ollie could smell through the body of the car and immediately picked up the scent of the intruder. I opened the door for Gus who went into the passenger seat and activated his SuperSmeller. All that was left of the evidence was the shredded bits of the wrapper. Gus confirmed my suspicions and Ollie’s immediate input as well. The perp was a mouse, but it was not in the car while we were there. It’s entirely possible that it filled up and left while the car was parked in some other town. That mouse could have been accidentally transported away from its home.
The criminal critter wasn’t necessarily from the HQ backyard, but it is the most likely scenario since my good ol’ car had a mouse nest inside the air filter. That poor resident made a fatal mistake. It had gotten its home all set up and then was probably suffocated by fumes.
Case Status: Closed