Submitting this to the #tuesdayserial to see what happens and in the hope it forces me to finish the story . I’m leaving all the comments from the original submission waaay back in October of last year (god, has it really been that long).
Wife edited and approved. Hope you have as much fun reading as I did writing. Comments (even critical) encouraged!
Timothy lay curled up in the big bay window, his orange and white tail hanging casually off the edge, swishing lazily back and forth while he ignored the seagull circling overhead.
When the gull landed on the railing outside the window he gave a big sigh but refused to otherwise move.
“Hey youse guys,” shouted the gull.
‘Seriously? A Boston accent?” replied Tim lifting his head.
“Hey, I’m a gull from Bawston, whadda want?”
“Charlie, you live down the street, eat out of our trash and have visited Boston once.”
Tim put his head back down, hoping the gull would take the hint.
“Believes what youse want cat. Anyways, I gotta case for youse guys.”
Tim heaved another sigh, gave up on napping, stood up and stretched.
“Okay fine. Whats the case?”
“This mook down the street was telling me his roommate got cat snatched yesterday. He’s afraid it might be part of that there theft ring that’s going around. He asked me for help and of course I suggest he hire the Pack.”
Tim sat and started at the gull. He squinted his eyes. He swished his tail.
“Yea, there’s been a bunch of these animal thefts in da neighborhood lately. Dogs, cats, even a couple rabbits.”
Tim swished his tail some more.
“I assume you mentioned our rates?”
“Forgetaboutit. He can’t cover, I will. You know I’m good forit.”
“Right, ” Tim stared some more, “Bring your mook by this afternoon, I’ll let Sam know to expect you.”
“And Charlie? Lose the accent.”
Sam sat on the blanket on the floor facing the others with a small grey cat sitting nervously beside him. In front sat 3 other dogs and 3 cats including Tim. Sam had his black and grey tail curled up against his back while he waited for the others to settle down.
“Let me introduce everyone. The black and white cat is Maggie, the two orange tabbies are Timothy and Sebastian, the white Schnoodle dog is Zena, the black and tan Terrier that can’t stay still is Harley, and the black and grey Schnoodle is Watson. Everyone, this is Chester. He was brought to us by Charlie.”
The little grey cat nodded to each animal as they were introduce. Each dog bowed their head when their name was called, the cats merely swished their tail.
“According to Chester here, there have been several cats and dogs taken from their homes in the area over the last few days. Yesterday his housemate Peri, who is a small grey Burmese like himself disappeared. Chester is afraid Peri was taken by the thieves. All he knows is that Peri jumped into a window late in the afternoon, a window with a locked screen, and when Chester return from the litter box Peri was gone and the screen was missing.”
“Any information on this supposed rash of thefts?” asked Watson.
“It’s not ‘supposed’ replied Chester, I heard from Lula next door that the dog across the street was taken!”
“Relax Chester, I’m not doubting you. We take everything as conditional until proven. ” Watson shifted slightly on the floor, “It helps if we don’t go into things with our minds already set on catnapping. Might miss something.”
Chester nodded. He was still nervous being surrounded by so many dogs. Charlie hadn’t mentioned there would be so many. He licked his paw to help calm himself and tried to relax a bit. It didn’t work.
“Bastion, can you escort Chester and make sure he gets home safely?”
“Certaintly.” Sebastian replied as he stood up and stretched, “Come on kid.”
Sam nuzzled Chester with his nose gently to encourage him along.
“You’ll be safe with Sebastian, he might not look like much but he can be tough when he needs to.”
Sebastian glanced at Sam, flicked his tail twice and headed out the door, Chester followed gingerly behind. After they had left the room Sam stood up and began to pace.
“Something bothering you?” asked Zena
“Yes. I’ve heard rumors about the rash of kidnappings recently, but this doesn’t feel like one and it’s bugging me as to why.”
Zena stretched out on the floor as Harley twitched around in a circle.
“You thinking this wasn’t a catnapping but a run away?” asked Harley
“It had occurred to me, but there is still too much we don’t know. You and Watson investigate Chesters house, focus on the outside for now. See if you can find any evidence or clues that will give us a direction. Zena, you canvas the neighborhood. Talk to any dogs or cats or anything else that will talk to you about the thefts and see what you can find.”
“What shall Timothy and I do?” asked Maggie.
“I need you two to go talk to Malcom. See if he can arrange some aerial surveillance of the area. Maybe they can spot Peri or some kind of trail”
“And what are you going to do?”
“I’m going to try to talk to Gustav. If there is kind of animal trafficking going on he will at least have heard about it.”