The Flub Files
Case 1: The Case of the Disappearing Eyes
The full moon rolled beneath the storm clouds passing over top. A sleek black cat crossed the street and darted into the shadows. A ladder hung above the sidewalk, a raven perched on the top rung.
Detective Sheryl gave the raven a wry glance and skirted the ladder, her smart heels clicking on the pavement. She wasn’t put off by the portents of doom. She had a case to solve. She had eyes to find.
There had been only one thing left at the scene of the crime. A severed page from a book – its edges torn and frayed, as if a harried author had wrenched it from its binding in frustration.
She glanced at the page again, at the one sentence that leapt forth.
Thirteen pairs of eyes shifted to Christian – ten guests, two bodyguards, a valet, a maid, and twelve employees from the inn.
Any way it was diced, those numbers didn’t add up. 10 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 12 = 26. Ten guests plus twelve employees? Twenty-two. Two bodyguards plus twelve employees? Fourteen. Ten guests plus two bodyguards plus the valet – that was thirteen. But then the maid and twelve employees were left – and they made another thirteen. Which thirteen was it? And where had all the other eyes gone? Was she dealing with crossed eyes? Rolling eyes? Shapeshifter eyes? “Ar, matey!” eyes? She had read this book. It wasn’t a paranormal. It wasn’t a pirate romance. It contained a mystery. But the mystery in no way involved eyes. And the characters had all seemed to possess two fully functioning ones throughout the rest of the book.
A bright red door gleamed ahead. She checked the address. Yup, this was it. Sheryl knocked.
A disheveled lady opened the door. Her hair flew in all directions, two cats curled around her ankles, and she wore loose pants and an oversized sweatshirt.
“May I help you?”
Sheryl held out the page. “Is this yours, ma’am?”
The woman took the page and studied it. “Yes…yes, this is mine. But, I know I counted those numbers a thousand times.” She started muttering to herself and shuffled her feet. Obviously the woman was a little batty. Sheryl eyed the cats.
“Ah! I think the problem is the interpretation of pairs. Thirteen times two is twenty-six. I don’t know where the change was made, but that has to be the explanation!”
The woman beamed.
“Be that as it may, it’s an error,” Sheryl said, peeling off the stray cat hair that had landed on her lip. “What would you like to do about it, ma’am?”
The woman gave one of the cats a scratch behind the ears and then hopped on both feet. “We know where the error is. We know the page number.” She pointed. “I have two pens. Do you like bookstores? How’s your handwriting? What say you we go on a little road trip?”
The door to the cottage closed behind Sheryl. The sounds of a frantic shout, followed by the revving of an engine, echoed through the village.
Case status: solved, pending correction
Detective status: last seen clutching a car door handle in San Francisco