The Case of the Invisible Incident: Part Six
From the Case-Files of Kojak_Hommes, Private Eye Lupe…
Okay, so maybe you all already guessed the perpetrator
of the crimes. But have you all figured out how and why…?
Didn't think so, so read on to have everything
Okay, so where were we last…? Oh, yes! Cal had
finally called down all of his pets (or at least I presumed they were all there,
since I couldn't see Tony the invisible Shoyru), who stood in a line before
me, awaiting my words of wisdom with eager ears.
Okay, so maybe they were less eager, more a bunch
of fidgeting, bored and confused pets waiting to have the criminal named and
shamed so we could all go home and enjoy a nice cup of cocoa.
"Tony, are you here?" I asked out-loud to the
"Yes," his voice replied, another Red Bean Bag
Chair rustling and crunching as he made a show of moving around in his seat.
"Good, good, you might want to hear all this…in
fact, there's really only three people here that might really want to hear this,
but I thought it best to call everyone down so as not to alarm the actual criminal,"
I announced with the smile of a predator luring it's simple-minded prey onto
a platter full of fries.
There was no reply, as Cal was too eager to hear
who it was, and have the entire sad business ended, whereas Tony…well, I couldn't
really tell what Tony was hoping to hear, but I could pretty much guess. The
other pets, including the actual criminal, looked bored out of their skulls,
wishing desperately that I'd get a flaming move on so they could all go back
to their rooms and proceed with their normal humdrum lives.
Well, I wasn't one to keep everyone waiting was
I? No, I wasn't…but I was one to draw out an explanation dramatically,
just to watch the guilty one squirm out of the corner of my eye.
"Let's all just remind ourselves of the crimes
at hand, here: your owner Cal repeatedly had things stolen from him under his
nose, the perpetrator never leaving any footprints and never being seen. An
invisible flying pet is the first thing that springs to mind, correct? Well,
it was the first thing that your owner thought of, and he seemed more than happy
to jump on that idea and blame your brother Tony…"
"Now I never said," Cal began in alarm, taking
a step forward in self-defense. But I silenced his with a raised paw.
"Please don't interrupt me while I'm unmasking
the criminal, it puts me off," I muttered quickly, trying not to lose my train
of thought. "Where was I…? Oh, yes, so Tony was the quickest and most obvious
seeming reason, which was exactly what the real criminal was hoping for.
"But let us not forget that there are more then
one way to become invisible and fly, most of these ways considerably cheaper
then becoming an actual flying pet and getting painted invisible every time
you wanted to steal something. There are things like Invisihats, Camouflage
Potions and the like for the invisible-side of things, and certain boots that
can give the wearer flight.
"Now these consist of Sky Boots, Usul Winged
Boots and Meerca Boots of Flight. There are also Chia Leaping Boots, but these
would leave large footprints, so Nebular is excused from the suspect list…you
can go if you want, Neb."
"I wanna stay and see who is trying to frame
my brother!" the Chia snapped indignantly.
"But can't you tell already?" I asked slyly,
as I turned to face him. Luckily he happened to be standing right next to the
criminal, who was now looking extremely nervous, a fact I was very happy about.
"There are no Wocky flying items, so it can't have been Gloom, either…so I wonder
who that could leave?"
"No," whimpered Cruella, the red punk Usul, as
she tried to back away, only to be stopped by a furious Cal who was blocking
her escape route. Cal had obviously realized that it was her before she realized
I knew and had moved behind her with alarming speed.
"You!" he hissed with seething anger, arms shaking
uncontrollably as he clutched her shoulders. "I thought it might have been anyone…but
you! I thought you didn't care about my attention."
"No, that's what you want to think about me,"
Cruella snapped darkly, squirming in her owner's grip. "True, I was fed-up of
Tony getting more attention then me, but that wasn't the reason I stole from
"Liar!" Cal hissed, increasing his grip from
what I could tell by the shade of red his hands were turning. "Even when you're
caught you try and lie your way out!"
Things were hurriedly getting out of hand, and
I knew I had to intervene.
"Er, she's not lying on that account, Cal," I
told him softly, a trace of worry for Cruella's safety in my voice. "It's true
that she didn't steal because she thought Tony got all the attention…no, let
her go and I'll tell you why I think she did it."
Slowly, reluctantly, the young boy let go of
his pet, causing the Usul to fall to her knees sobbing, rubbing her shoulder
piteously. She looked into my eye with sad wonder on how I knew her motives,
and when I revealed it, I did so softly, and with a sense of understanding.
"You told me the truth when I first questioned
you, Cru," I began, gaining her attention and acceptance by using her preferred
nickname, "you didn't steal because you wanted to frame Tony for grabbing all
the attention…but you did frame him for another, similar reason. This reason
is the same way you're constantly dressing yourself up to look unique, isn't
Glumly, the red Usul nodded, breathing heavily
through her receding sobs. Cal and the other two pets (maybe Tony if he was
still around) looked at me curiously, so I decided not to keep them waiting.
"You see, what have the other three pets got
that Cruella hasn't?" I asked Cal carefully, so as not to sound as if I was
blaming him for everything that had happened .
The young boy looked at his little red Usul,
to his two other visible pets and back to Cruella, a look of realization dawning
on his face, replaced almost immediately by a look of pity and forgiveness.
"Oh…oh, no," was all he could manage at first
as he walked round to the front of the lined-up pets, kneeling down in front
of the Usul and taking her paws in his hands. "Oh…oh, Cruella, I never realized…I
never thought about it…I didn't think you wanted to be painted!"
"Well," she sniffed softly, wiping her nose against
the side of her furry mane, "you don't seem to think a lot of things about me…"
"Oh, now don't be like that!" the boy pleaded
desperately as he realized that, in the long run, he was to blame for everything
that had happened. "I forgive you, Cruella…I forgive you…Cru."
"You…you've never called me that before."
"It's a lot of things I haven't done with you
before," Cal whispered sadly as he pulled the Usul into a hug, but all that
will change, I promise…"
Blinking back the tears, Cruella looked up at
me from over her owner's shoulder, and sniffled. "Would you…would you tell Cal
the rest, please?" she asked softly, "I want him to know everything."
"Okay, then," I answered regretfully, as I thought
back to where I had stopped. "Cruella wanted you to notice her plain red color,
even if it meant framing each and every one of your colored pets first. She
thought she might as well start with Tony as, being invisible, he would be the
easiest to frame. The fact that he was the one you paid the most attention to
was just an extra bonus at the time.
"How she flew I've already told you; she has
a pair of Usul Winged Boots…but how did she become invisible, now that's what
I've still to tell you. Remember the breaking glass we heard? Well, that was
a nearly empty bottle of Camouflage Potion, a fact I discovered the hard way
when an invisible shard got stuck in my paw.
"I don't know how many she used, but I'd imagine
that each bottle would hold enough to make her invisible twice. I'm now guessing
that the bottle she dropped out the window when she panicked at my return had
still one lot of potion left over, so that when it hit the grass, the magic
liquid splashed onto the glass shards.
"As for where she keeps her stolen items, I doubt
she got rid of them…no, they're still in the house. Under the loose floorboards
of her bedroom, to be exact, covered by a torn-up Invisihat - hence the material
I could feel that I assumed was insulating. If you go upstairs no doubt you'll
"No," Cal replied evenly, rising to his feet,
Cruella's paw in his hand, "we're not going upstairs…we're going out."
"To abandon her?" Nebular the starry Chia asked
in confusion. "But I thought you forgave her!"
"I will be abandoning her," Cal muttered, his
face set in a grim determination, "in a sense."
And as owner and pet left the house, I stayed
behind to look after the worried brothers. I must've been the only one that
knew what Cal had in mind, and my thoughts were confirmed when he returned a
quarter of an hour later…a gold Usul following happily close behind him.
I was thanked and paid my fees (plus the bonus
I had been promised, which was having my fee trebled), and, as I left the family
to rework their relationships, my mind turned to wonder at just how desperate
Cruella had been to be noticed.
Feeling neglected is a terrible feeling, and
I wasn't surprised anymore at the steps the Usul had taken…in fact, I found
I couldn't really blame her.
After all, we all need to be loved, right…?
Author's Notes: You all asked for another mystery, so you all got one, hope
it had everything you expected of a Kojak_Hommes mystery!
Comments are always welcome, and if you want another one, I'm ready to do
it all again!