The Maltese Sparrow

Chapter Six

By Douglas E. Gogerty

I had some leads in which I would need to follow up. I had a few Larsentient names. It should be easy to find out if either name belonged to the dead man in my office. I could do that in the comfort of my office. I paid for my food, and headed across town to my office -- it was a relatively short walk.

When I arrived, I half expected it to look like two giant birds had fought over a sandwich in it. However, it was close to the same state as I had left it. The dead Larsentient was removed, and my office was back to normal. At least, it looked back to normal.

I sat at my desk and put my feet up. It was nice to have some income. I reveled in that fact for a while before getting to work. I turned on my super-video-detecto-set, which most people call a computer.

After a little bit of internet browsing, it was down to business. It was all over the news that a Larsentient male was killed. His name was on my list that Manny had given me. Thus, there may be something behind this suitor business. At the very least, Maxine knew the person who died in my office.

However, then I continued to read. The cause of death was Avian Influenza. He was not murdered at all; the guy died from the flu. How did this happen? How did a Larsentient get an infectious disease that supposedly only infected humans? Oh, and earth birds....

I decided to dig into the man's background some more. After a brief search, I found out that he was an exotic animal handler who specialized in earth birds. With his regular exposure to earth birds, he could theoretically catch this disease. However, he would have to have a great deal of exposure to an infected bird. Perhaps, even exposure to the insides of an infected bird -- the blood.

Would this be an indicator that Mable was dead? If Maltese sparrows were prone to bird flu, then perhaps this would explain how such an infection could spread from a bird to a Larsentient.

Continuing in my research I discovered that this disease was fairly rare. There had not been a reported case since the abandonment of earth. Furthermore, this particular strain could only be found in the large birds of earth. Thus, he would have to have regular exposure to a large bird -- like a Maltese blue tit.

Birds seemed to be the common thread through this entire case. Funny how a missing bird case would end up involving birds. The pair of blue tits were definitely tied up in the Larsentient death somehow, but did this case tie into the missing Maltese sparrow case?

I knew that the dead man may have been involved in the importation of the missing bird, but did it go deeper? What was he doing in my office? Was he left in my office for some purpose? Was he a clue or a distraction? Perhaps it was a threat.

I continued my research on the dead man. He was a Sagittarius. He enjoyed bowling, cycling, and kriffling on the kamblitz. His favorite movie was "Kriffling, I've Never Kriffled." His favorite band was "The Beatles." Oh, and the dead man was survived by a brother. The brother's name was the other name on my list.

The brother was a Libra who enjoyed meeting people, skateboarding, and zamploshuns. He worked at a fancy bistro on the other side of town. A bistro frequented by Maxine. Perhaps the pair had a quarrel over Maxine. However, that would not explain the bird flu. How would someone catch a deadly avian flu? There were lots of questions to be answered.

It seemed best to me that I should revisit Daniel Butler. However, it was late -- really late. Holy cow! look how late it is. It had been quite a day! I should get some sleep, but my living quarters would be quite a hike. I should not have asked to have my living quarters so close to my office.

My place was not much. It was just a comfortable bed crammed into the largest place I could afford. Thus, it was tiny. There was not much room for anything else beside the bed, but I had shelves suspended from the ceiling. It was not much, but I called it home. At least it was away from my office.

I contemplated sleeping on the couch in my office, but a dead man was lying there just a few hours ago. He had deadly bird flu. I felt I had spent too much time in the office anyway. Thus, I would make the long trek home.

There were no wingtips to catch at this time of night. Hence, it was an old fashioned walk. I took about an hour to make it to my place. My eyes could barely stay open when I reached my door.

To my surprise, my door was open. How did that happen? I am sure I closed it. I pushed the door open more. I would say that it looked like two birds had fought in there, but it was pretty much as I left it. There was nothing to throw about and scatter. Thus, if someone broke in, there was nothing to find.

I did find a sticker note on my mirror. I do not know where the note writer learned to write. It looked like a bunch of chicken scratches. With my tiredness, it seemed pointless to attempt to decipher it until morning.

I fell like a heap on the bed and was instantly asleep. I slept soundly for a majority of the night. However, towards the morning, the vivid dreams of giant birds began negatively impacting my sleep.

I dreamt that I was on old earth. I was sleeping in an open field next to a giant tree. In the tree was a sparrow flanked by two enormous birds. They were perched in the tree and were chirping, tweeting, squawking, and making all kinds of racket. How could the inhabitants of earth enjoy the sounds of birds chirping?

I could almost feel their hot breath on my neck. It seemed like they were right on top of me while I relaxed on the grass trying to sleep. Suddenly, one of them began whistling Stars and Striped Forever, and that is when I realized my phone was ringing. It was a new day, and time to get to work.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on December 14, 2008 5:02 PM.

More holiday cheer. was the previous entry in this blog.

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