Previously on Sherlock Herms… In-Between Cases 1 & 2…
When we last left our hero, Herman TattleCat – the dashing hardboiled detective with grit in his blood – he had just sent a fan letter business correspondence to his hero, Sherlock Holmes, asking for tips on solving cases (and maybe an autographed photo if Holmes wasn’t too busy) when his sisfur/assistant, the beautiful but trash-basket-rooting Adorapurr aka Dori, showed him a book about the basics of ghost hunting. There were rules to be followed…like getting purrmission to investigate a haunted house instead of barging in and just doing it. Also, there were rules about wearing the proper clothing, like scarves and shoes. However, as neither Herman or Dori wear scarves, and they can’t zoom in shoes, they decide to wing it like they did on their first case.
Then the phone rings, and they are hired for their second case!
And now…In-Between Cases – Part 2
No sooner did Dori say, “Concatulations. Yoo got another case.” than the door to my office burst open and my tabby brofurs, Jack and Opie, walked in. Jack is a brown tabby and a nice guy. Opie is my ginger-furred arch-nemesis. He’s also an ass.
“Heard you got another case,” Jack said as he side-stepped the talcum powder I had sprinkled in front of my door to trap suspicious paw prints. Opie walked right through it, dragging his tail. Grrrr.
“A rich lady is missing her jewels,” Dori told him (and me since she had not had time to tell me about my next case). “She’s accusing everyone of stealing them, including ghosts. I’m chawging three huge quawters for this case.”
Unable to fathom such riches, I gasped. Three quarters amounted to… Hm.
25₵ + 25₵ + 25₵ = ?
(Cats don’t do math)
“I’ve been researching ghost hunting equipment,” Jack told her. “Thought I’d go over the list with you.”
My ears flattened. Why did Jack want to go over his list with Dori? I’m the hardboiled detective with grit in my blood. Dori is my assistant!
Dori gestured to the corner where I’d arranged a couch and chair with a lamp and table spread with much-read copies of my favorite magazines, like American Trucker. “Let’s have a meeting.” The three of them pounced onto the sofa.
“That’s where I interrogate suspects,” I told them. “It’s not for meetings.”
The three of them looked at me with blank expressions.
Jack and Dori remained on my sofa, while Opie moved to my chair, leaving me to either stand, sit on the floor, or drag my office chair over. I dragged over my chair.
Jack pulled out a list. “Okay, from what I’ve read…”
“Wait!” Dori looked at me. “Aren’t yoo gonna offer us wefweshments?”
The fur on my neck bristled. “This is a business meeting. Not a pawty.”
Again the three of them looked at me with blank expressions. “I bet your he-row, Sherlock Holmes, offers tea and biscuit noms to Watson during business meetings,” Opie snarled.
“No he doesn’t!” I snarled back.
“Are yoo sure?” Dori asked.
No. I wasn’t. I got up to rummage in my desk for refreshments. “I don’t have any tea or dog biscuits.”
While Opie and Dori snickered behind their paws, Jack told me, “Biscuits is what hoomons in England call cookies, Herms. Not dog biscuits. That’s okay. Come sit down. You don’t have much time before you gotta zoom.”
Dori had left the couch to sit in my chair, and was making it twirl in circles, so I sat beside Jack. “What kind of ghost hunting equipment do we need?”
Jack read from his list:
- “35mm camera
- Audacity software – also needs a computer
- Audio cassette recorder analog
- Digital audio recorder
- Digital camera
- Digital EMF Meter (Electro Magnetic Field)
- Digital Electro Static Meter
- Digital Geiger Counter/Microwave Detector
- Digital Thermometer
- Flash lights
- Spirit box.”
“Jack! I only have two huge quarters, and one of them belongs to Dori. I can’t even afford to buy a flash light.”
“Maybe yoo can borrow one of Daddy’s,” Dori said, twirling my chair to the right until it was high off the floor.
“Jack, why do I need all that stuff? I did okay on my first case without cameras and microwaves.”
“Don’t twist your tail in a knot, Herms. I got it handled.” Jack went to where my tricked out Ride—a mint chip Gen7Pets Regal stroller—was cowering in the corner. “Just gotta make a few adjustments and then you’ll be ready to zoom.”
“Hwermie!” Dori lay on my chair with her ears flat. “I up too high. I skeered!”
I twirled my chair to the left, lowering it until I could help her down. “If this case involves a ghost, be sure to bring the CritterZone Air Naturalizer.”
“We won’t need it this time.” She went to Mom’s research library in the corner where she hunkered down in front of the section marked ‘Characters.’
With Jack busy futzing with my Ride and Dori busy pawing books, that left me and Opie just standing around with our paws in our pockets…metapurricaly speaking. Cats don’t actually have pockets. We’ve been brofurs since Mom spotted Opie in our yard, eating dog kibble with the raccoons, possums…and fox. He was a baby at the time, and she thought he was feral. She used a live trap to capture him. Unfortunately—for me—he wasn’t feral and joined our family. I wasn’t happy about that from the start. I had our house running pretty efficiently and I was The Boss. But Opie didn’t see it that way. Even though he was just a baby, he tried to boss me around…and he’s been doing that ever since.
“You better give Dori two of your three quarters,” Opie said to me. “You won’t be able to solve this case without her. She’s the real detective. You’re just her side kick.”
I so wanted to smack the smirk off his puss, but Mom had rules about us fighting. She was always telling me to take the high road. I had yet to find this high road she was talking about, but until I found it, I’d keep ignoring Opie’s taunts.
I went to see what Jack was doing to my Ride. I could hear it whimpering like a puppy all the way across the attic… I mean, my office.
Jack sat inside my stroller, working on the control panel with the scary array of buttons. “Don’t let Opie get under your fur, Herms. He’s just jealous of you.”
“You’re his bestest furend. Why are you telling me this?”
“You know how Opie gets when he’s upset about stuff. I want peace in our house. No more hissy fits or piss wars. Just take the high road, like Mom says.”
“Do you know where the high road is located, Jack?”
“No idea.” He pointed at the second control panel he had added beneath the one with the scary buttons. “I’ve added a motion detector, and a thermometer.”
I recognized the motion detector as a FroliCat BOLT interactive laser toy.
“Oh wow! I’ve always wanted to play with one of those!” I reached for it. Jack swatted my paw.
“This pawticular BOLT isn’t a toy, Herms. I’ve reconfigured it to sense movements by unseen forces, like ghosts or demons. And—”
“Wait! I’m not a demon investigator.”
Jack shrugged. “You’re a purranormal investigator. They might pop up.”
I wrung my floofy tail with nervous paws. “How would I know a ghost from a demon?”
He typed the question into the control panel and a list scrolled onto the screen. “Ghost-like entities with missing features – no face or no eyes is common,” he read out loud. “An unnaturally deep voice, very fast and angry. Pets will growl at something people cannot see. Animals can see into spectrums of light or energy that human eyes cannot, such as the infrared spectrum.” Jack pointed to the last one. “Good to know. Keep an eye out for anything that looks like an infrared spectrum.”
Opie snickered. “Better explain that one, Jack. Sherlock Herms doesn’t know what that is.”
“I do so!” I growled. I didn’t, but I’d kiss Opie’s plump patootie before I’d admit it. Instead I pointed to the thermometer. I’d seen those before…or at least felt them before…in the vet’s office. “What’s that for?” My sphincter tightened just looking at it.
“Rapid temperature drop of ten degrees or more indicates the presence of a ghost. This thermometer can react instantly to a temperature drop. Don’t worry, Herms. You don’t have to stick it inside anything for it to work.”
Opie whispurred in my ear, “Oooo! Spooky! Better stay close to Dori. She can protect you.”
As I elbowed him in the stomach, Jack climbed out of my Ride, revealing two tiny black boxes. “Those are digital voice recorders. You can use them for intermewing your clients, for recording your case notes… But most importantly, you can record EVPs.”
“That’s Electronic Voice Phenomenon for purranormal detective assistants,” Opie snickered.
I turned on him with a hiss. Dori stepped between us. “Yoo need to widdle before we leave? If not, let’s roll.” She climbed into my Ride with a book under her arm.
As I joined her, Jack removed a nylon ring from my stroller’s storage compartment. He pulled a string and it popped open into a tunnel. It wasn’t a toy. It was a trans-portal. An Energy Gate.
Then it hit me. “Wait! We aren’t time-traveling again, are we?” I looked at Dori, busy reading her book.
“Gotta go where the business is,” she said.
As I touched the H charm on my collar to the control panel, the buttons lit up. Pale at first, then gradually stronger with dazzling brightness. So dazzling, I knew if I didn’t cover my eyes, I wouldn’t be able to stop staring. The control panel hated to be stared at, so I covered my eyes.
Meanwhile, Dori meowed the address and pawed a yellow button. I quickly moved her away from the control panel so she wouldn’t keep pawing the pink button, and delay us from arriving for another year…like what happened on my first case. My Ride began to shiver, then quiver. When it started to shake like a wet dog, we pulled the mesh hood over our heads and zipped it closed.
I said to Dori, “Are you sure we don’t need my CritterZone Air Naturalizer?” She had figured out the CritterZone could not only eliminate odor contaminants like Dad’s garden shoes, and litter boxes after our brofur Frank used them, but it could also eliminate ghosts.
“Not needed this time.” We were now bouncing around like a couple of LOTTO balls, so hard we fell back into the stroller. I saw my office now looked blurry, and the nylon tunnel glowed in the attic’s shadowy darkness. In fact, it looked like it was growing bigger…or maybe we were shrinking. Either way, my Ride was rolling toward it, as though being sucked inside.
I saw Jack wave as we passed him, and Opie stuck out his tongue. And they were gone. So was my desk, my interrogation corner, my piggy bank and collection of trucker magazines.
Everything was gone!
Stay Tuned for Sherlock Herms in
To read In-Between Cases, Part 1, click here.