The Maltese Sparrow
By Douglas E. Gogerty
I left Daniel's workplace and grabbed another wingtip to my office's tube. I had a bit to digest. This case started like so many -- lots of unanswered questions and leads that led nowhere. Thus, it was not new territory.
What was new was the shape of my office when I returned. It looked like two enormous birds fought over a sandwich in it. Was this case nothing but a wild sparrow chase to get me out of my office? There was plenty Maxine did not tell me. She never mentioned that her and Daniel Butler were in a relationship. What would she want out of my office?
I began straightening the place up. I had it mostly presentable when I noticed something out of the ordinary. There was a body in my office. I would say it was a dead body, but that seems redundant to me. Nevertheless, it was a body, it was dead, and it was in my office. I guess it is cold to keep referring to the body as it. It was a Larsentient male. His eyes were closed -- wait his eyes were down there -- they were closed now.
I had to decide what to do. I had a pretty good alibi -- if Daniel Butler would back up my story. That could be a big if after I thought about it. Perhaps I should not call the police. What if that is what the perpetrators wanted? Maybe they were counting on me to dispose of the body. There were lots of unanswered questions; such as, who was this guy?
Thus, I called the police. They sent over a detective. Detective Weston D'Cheuer was the type of guy who, in a tough situation, would back you up by running away. You would have to face the bikers by yourself. At least, that was the impression I got.
"How do you know the deceased?" asked Detective D'Cheuer.
"I don't," I replied.
"Do you often let strangers into your office?"
"It is a place of business. Strangers come in all the time."
"Do they come in and die on a regular basis too?"
"It is a rare occasion."
"The place looks awfully tidy for any type of struggle."
"I cleaned up the place before I noticed him."
"For a detective, you're not very observant."
"It is not everyday someone leaves a dead body in my office."
"Let me get this straight. Your statement is that two people entered your office, fought, and the alive one left and the dead one stayed behind. When you returned, you straightened up and eventually noticed the body. At that point you called the police."
"That sums it up nicely."
"It is rather hard to believe."
"So is your ability to rise to the rank of detective."
"Oh! So, you're a smart guy. I should take you in for that."
"But, you do not have any evidence that I committed a crime, so you're kind of stuck."
"Listen, I know how to do my job. I don't need any guff from some wingtip."
"You'll take the guff and like it!"
"Okay, I'll take it, but I won't like it."
"Now, are you going to get this guy out of here?"
"The coroner will be along shortly. Is there anything you would like to add to your fantastic story?"
"I hope I get enough evidence to stick this one on you."
"Good luck with that. Let me know if you find out anything."
"Don't hold your breath."
"You're right! What was I thinking? You couldn't find your own shadow -- let alone a murderer."
"Funny man! I should get your license revoked."
That was the usual type of conversation between private and public detectives. It was just a lot of friendly banter. Now we could both get down to business. I had to go see Maxine to fill in some holes, and the detective had to follow his own leads for his case. Most likely, our paths would intersect again.
However, before I find Maxine, it was time to find another sandwich or some other type of food. Dealing with the police is time consuming work, and it had been hours since I last ate.
Fortunately for me, Manny, a staff member at Maxine's hotel, had not spoken to anyone else. Thus, the kitchen was willing to give me a sandwich before going to Maxine's room. I made my way up to her room and knocked. I waited for several minutes with no answer.
I tried the door and it let me in. Was there no security at all in this place? Did she not even enable her security? It is no wonder that things went missing.
I briefly pondered this when I noticed that her place looked like two enormous birds fought over a sandwich in it. I then remember Manny remarking how sloppy she was. That is when I spotted the enormous Maltese blue tits looking greedily at me.
For being on planet illegally, that pair got around pretty good. Their piercing tweets could only mean one thing. They wanted to eat me -- or my sandwich. I thought for a couple of seconds. I reluctantly threw them my sandwich as I ran from the room. Fortunately for me and everyone else on the planet, I remembered to close the door behind me.
This case was getting stranger by the moment. With enormous blue tits attacking people for sandwiches and missing sentient sparrows, what could happen next? It's time like those that I regret thoughts like that. After all, that is when things go from bad to worse. Worse being, in this case, Detective D'Cheuer walking down the hallway.
"What are you doing here?" I asked nonchalantly.
"What are you doing here?" he replied with a bit more emphasis.
"I asked you first."
"Well if you must know, I'm here on that murder case involving you. I cannot discuss it. Now you."
"Ditto," I replied but tried to side track him. "Would you like to go get a sandwich? I'm so hungry I could eat a 6 foot killer bird."
"Were you not listening? I am on a case."
"I just thought you might want to talk about it."
"With you? Wait. What are you hiding?"
"Hiding? Me? Why would I hide anything?"
"Is there a dead body involved?"
"No! No. Of course not. No. Never."
"Oh, just giant killer birds?"
"Yes -- I mean no -- I mean -- where did the topic of giant birds come from?"
"In Maxine's room?"
"Yes -- I mean no -- I mean -- who is Maxine?"
"I will check it out."
"I don't know where they got that sandwich," I said as he walked down the hall.
The detective opened the door, and the room was empty. It still looked like two enormous birds fought over a sandwich in it, but other than that it was empty.
"Where is Maxine?" asked the police detective.
"Your guess is good as mine. Can we get that sandwich now?"
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