Story Go Round 09/26/2010 #2

Something's Fishy

(post-titled by Terry)

The Blackstreet Detectives met in the sooty brick shelter every Saturday. They were Ralph, Fred, and Jackson Hewing, the only one with fluorescent shoelaces.

Fred's mom sent cookies, but the detectives felt they were too 'noir' to consume home-made baked goods. It was booze and sardines for them.

"But sardines are gross!" Ralph complained.

"Exactly," said Fred. "If you want to prove how serious you are about this, you have to overcome obstacles, and eat at least three. Then have some booze." He passed over some homemade wine from covert jam preserves taken from his mother.

Ralph sniffed the wine, looked dubious, but when the others began to chant Chug! Chug! Chug! he slapped a sardine in his mouth, worked it into position with his tongue and then took a slug of wine to wash it down with.

Fred held his hair later when he puked back up all 3 sardines, the wine, and a wad of gum he'd accidentally swallowed.

Jackson, never a talkative one, merely smiled at the whole affair. He knew what the other two did not, which was that the case they had been working on 2 weeks was getting seriously held up by their working class lifestyle. Being the only 13 year old there, he had read all the books, seen all the movies and had bought all the equipment he could out of catalogs and from websites, including the parabolic antenna he'd seen PIs on TV use. But he hadn't been able to get either of the other two to read a single manual or guidebook.

Time for a new approach. "Hey, guys, let's go down to the scene of the 'accident' and dust for fingerprints," he suggested timidly.

Ralph stopped mid-sardine, trying to make up for the 3 he had just ralphed up. He glowered at Jackson, but mostly because Jackson said it while sucking easily on a frozen sardine. They were like popsicles to him, he could go through five or six on a hot day.

But Fred thought, sure why not, and then said as much a minute later after phoning his wife to make sure it was okay. "Sure. Why not?" So they trudged down to the cinder-strewn, burnt-out duplex and found the discarded suitcases outside. There, they used adhesive strips and got 3 perfect and 2 partial prints. Then Fred checked the wiring near the electric furnace. "Hey, this has been tampered with. Something's really fishy."

"Hard to tell what though with all the sardines you guys keep going through," Ralph complained, he could still taste his own vomit, but vomit flavored with sardines and homemade red wine and a tic tac and two breath mints and some bubble gum he'd tried to use to wash away the other flavors with.

"SARDINES. That's it." Jackson suddenly looked v. smart, intelligent beyond his years. Fred and Ralph gathered around him, with hope. "You said it yourself, sardines are gross. So why--"

Something fell in the other room. A board creaked. All three of them froze. They peeked around the edge of the burnt door jamb and beheld a seal, shambling towards them on both rear flippers -- with electric wires in its flippers!