The Inspectre: Part Two
It wasn’t long before the Defenders packed up and left Ceyra’s house. Gerry came over to me with a big smirk on his face.
“Well, the results are in,” he said, “and there is absolutely no trace of residue anywhere in the path of the spectre.”
“Wow,” I replied. “In that case, why did the spectre go through the doors?”
“And not only that,” he continued, obviously getting happier by the second that my case seemed to be failing. He had made it clear he didn’t like me that much. “There has been another theft. Almost exactly the same; it was done by a spectre that seemed to be using a lot of power because it travelled through doors only, and it even stole the same book.”
“In what way is that almost exactly the same?”
“Simple,” replied Gerry. “This time, the spectre was a Xweetok.”
At that point, one thought crossed my mind. Ouch.
* * *
At the second crime scene, I couldn’t help but notice that Wegy seemed to be thinking pretty hard about something. I asked if she had any ideas, but she didn’t react; she just kept on thinking.
“What do you reckon?” asked Gerry. “Should we get in the residometer?”
“I wouldn’t be sarcastic if I were you; I seem to remember you suggesting it first.”
“Whatever,” he replied. He turned to the owner of the house we were in, which was also expensive, something which emphasised how important the case was to me as well as how expensive the book was. “Do you happen to know of any other people with the same book?”
“Only Ceyra, who I believe has already been stolen from,” replied Horgus, a white Moehog.
“Pity,” replied Gerry. “It would have been nice to know where will be stolen from next.”
“Who says there will be another one?” I asked. “For all we know it could have been a copy of the night before. It wouldn’t surprise me.”
“No,” said Wegy. “This is the same spectre. A transforming one, obviously. I have heard of it before, but only in stories. It was supposedly the image of a rich person who just happened to like drinking morphing potions. Then one day, a long time ago, the spectre was trapped. Nobody really knows what it was trapped in, but most stories say it was an everyday object, or objects.”
“I suppose it is possible for someone to release it,” I said. “Can the transforming spectre be tracked?”
“Not in a way I know. I suppose we shall just have to check through the item register to see who is going to be stolen from, and try to catch it before it can get all of the books. Of course we shall also have to try and find out how to capture it.”
“I’ll go get the list,” said Gerry. “You two work on finding out how to get it.”
“I suppose,” I said to Wegy, “that being a transforming spectre explains the power usage?”
“No. The only thing that could explain it would be if it had to use its power to get out of the object or objects it was trapped in.”
“Which means it wants to escape by some sort of spell?”
“Correct. I would guess this involves having the books at the same place, but I’m not too sure.”
“In that case, why don’t we just do the job for it?”
Wegy thought for a moment. “I guess that would depend on why it was trapped in the first place. Besides, we would need Ceyra and Horgus’ books.”
* * *
I was walking back to my house when I heard a noise behind me. I looked around, but there was nothing there.
“Hello?” I asked. It wasn’t uncommon for there to be something dangerous close by when you were in the Haunted Woods, but if it was hiding from you it was a bad sign.
I heard a few ruffles, followed by a loud roar that nearly blew me off of my feet. I ran as fast as I could from the bushes, and a Yurble suddenly materialised in front of me. I stopped myself and ran the other way. I knew where I was going now.
Dashing through the streets of the Haunted Woods as fast as I could, I was dodging through the magic blasts of the Yurble, which I assumed was the spectre’s new disguise. It wasn’t long before I realised that I had made a wrong turning, and was heading to a dead end. Stopping before I got to the end, I turned around to see the Yurble nearly in my face. Knowing that if I touched the spectre I would instantly become unconscious, I backed away from it, into the wall behind me.
The Yurble roared loudly, and I made up my mind. I ran, attempting to just dodge out of its way. Unfortunately, it didn’t work like that, and I ended up just touching its side.
I was surprised to find my self still awake. I recovered from the shock quickly and kept running, my mind going around in circles trying to figure out why I was not unconscious. I didn’t have time for that, however, because I was still running from the Yurble. I made a sharp turn at the end of the alleyway, and a quick look around told me that the Yurble didn’t seem to be following. I quickly ran up a nearby footpath and knocked on the door at the end of it. “Wegy, hurry!” I screamed.
Wegy opened the door with a small look of surprise. “What is it?”
“The spectre’s following me,” I said. “I’m not sure where it is, but since this is a spectre we are talking about, it could be right behind me.”
Wegy looked at me and thought for a short time. “Follow me,” she said. She led me back down the way I had come a little, and I found myself standing outside the door of a mansion I knew all too well. Eliv Thade’s mansion. I noticed new writing on the door, which now said ‘oD tNo etrEn. Hcte shfal saw eher.’ I smirked at the writing, before Wegy tapped me on the shoulder.
“What is it?”
Wegy pointed to the road. It was the spectre, sniffing the air. It hadn’t seen us. “Let’s go inside. I have an idea.”
I nervously followed Wegy into Eliv Thade’s mansion. I had never been in before, as I feared the great haunter. I have always been good at puzzles and riddles, but for some reason the thought of coming in gave me the chills. But I had no choice. I trusted Wegy, and she had a plan. So I went in.
If I were asked to describe the mansion, I wouldn’t be able to. I was focusing so much on the Yurble and the fact that I was in Eliv Thade’s house that I didn’t pay any attention to my surroundings.
“Okay,” said Wegy. “Here’s the plan. We attract Eliv’s attention, and when the Yurble finds us and comes in, we solve the puzzle he gives us. He will then go ask the Spectre, which will be stuck, because it can’t speak.”
“Nice idea. What happens if we can’t solve the puzzle?”
“Well, I would guess we find out why it’s after us. I have a feeling we both know that already. Either way it’s up to you, I’ve never been good at anagrams.” Wegy picked up a nearby vase.
“Up to me?” I asked. This wasn’t good. I was panicking; I wasn’t exactly in a state to solve a puzzle. But Wegy went ahead and dropped the vase, making a very loud noise. Eliv Thade appeared instantly.
“Who are you that enters my domain? You have no right to be here! You should be punished, but I shall give you a chance. Answer me this puzzle and I shall allow you to leave. Fail and you shall stay here forever. Unscramble these letters to give me a word; Risuevne.”
Well, there it was. The puzzle. My mind drew a blank. Suvineer? No, wrong spelling. Vesinure? No, that’s not a word either.
“Simon, the Yurble is in the building!”
Unservie? No, that wasn’t it. I could see the Yurble approaching, sniffing every few seconds as if to ensure it had the right target. Wegy and Eliv must have been confusing it.
Then it hit me. “Universe!”
“Correct. Leave now, or else!” Eliv disappeared, and for a moment I was worried that he wouldn’t stop the Yurble, but a few moments later, I heard the warning that Eliv Thade had given me moments before.
“I’m sure you enjoy cutting things close,” muttered Wegy as we left the mansion. “I mean, Eliv Thade was almost touching both us and the Yurble when he quizzed that thing.”
“It’s not my fault he gave me a hard 8-letter word!” I sighed and turned to Wegy. “Anyway, thanks. You got me out of an ugly situation then. I’d better get home. I’ll tell Gerry to pick up the Yurble in the morning.”
We said our goodnights and I went back towards the street I lived on. Tonight had been interesting, that was for sure. I discovered how unfit I was too. I would have to get some running done. That was the trouble with having no cases.
Even this hadn’t been much of a case. Sure, we had worked a few things out, but they had just been, well, obvious. Not that I couldn’t get some good money out of Ceyra, of course.
“Hey Simon! Where have you been?” asked a voice, which led to the cries of “Keep your voice down” from people living in the nearby houses.
It’s funny how you can forget yourself, isn’t it? I never noticed I was walking down my own street, as I was too lost in thought. But there I was, and funnily enough Gerry was at my door. “I’ve been for a bit of a run. What are you doing here so late?” I whispered to him.
“There’s been another theft. The spectre was a Yurble this time, and it stole from Edna the Witch.”
Of course, I thought. The first customer I get that can afford to pay me more than five thousand Neopoints, and I thought it would be easy. Well, it seems that ‘wrong’ was an understatement.
To be continued...