Previously on Sherlock Herms in Intimations
I pawed the computer mouse awake. I wanted to know whether other ghost hunters ever had a problem with ghosts not knowing they’re dead. I needed to know how a pawfessional explained it to the ghost.
“Whatcha looking for, Hwermie?” Dottie appeared next to me, her bright blue eyes alive with joy, despite her being dead.
I clicked off the Ghost Hunter Q&A site. “Just doing some research.”
“Ohhh! I love history.” Dottie pointed to a photo of Abraham Lincoln on the page beneath the one I’d just deleted; a page dedicated to all things paranormal about U.S. Presidents. “My grandmother, Violet, was a history buff and was especially fascinated with Lincoln. Did you know Mr. Lincoln visited Michigan only once, but left a long-lasting impression as he is attributed with the first known use of calling a Michigan resident, a ‘Michigander?’”
A memory exploded inside my head of Dori telling me about something she had read in her ghost book. “There’s some old hoomon named Lincoln who died and according to the legend, every April 29th, the phantom twain carries his body through the town of Urbana, Ohio, following the route it took back in 1865 when it carried his body back to Springfield, Illinois.”
I had an idea. I didn’t know if it was possible, but if it was, Dottie would be joining Violet and Isobel on the roof for tea by this time next week.
I sat with Opie and Jack on my new office furniture in my new office. It was so new, it still had a new office smell. “So, do you think it’s possible?”
My tabby brothers exchanged looks, then nodded in unison. “But how are you going to explain it to her?” Jack asked.
“See, that’s the idea. I don’t explain it. I let her figure it out for herself.”
Opie and Jack again exchanged looks. “What if she freaks out?” Opie wondered.
“I wouldn’t want a ghost freaking out on me,” Jack added.
“Hopefully no one,” I said as I hurried to take the box. (There was no chance in Hades of Dori sharing her treats.) I’d been asked to help promote the manufacturing of the Catipilla climbing frame using a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter. “You know how Violet and Isobel hired us to help their granddaughter, Dottie, understand she’s dead?”
“But they can’t tell us anything about her being dead cuz they’re gagged by the G.A.G. order,” Dori added.
“Why can’t you just tell her she’s dead?” Opie asked.
“Because that would upset her,” Candy explained.
“So, I got an idea,” I told them. “What if we took Dottie on a trip in Mosey? Back to some historical event, before she was even born?”
Dori and Candy exchanged glances. “That would fweak her out,” they said in unison.
“No offense,” Candy added for Mosey’s benefit.“What if she freaks out?” Opie wondered. “I wouldn’t want a ghost freaking out on me,” Jack added. Click To Tweet
“No, it wouldn’t!” (I hoped.) “She might think at first it’s a historical reenactment. But maybe the more she thinks about it, the more questions she will have about how she was able to see it.”
With doubt firmly settled on the pusses of my investigative team, I went to my desk where I jumped on top to look at the portrait of me, Dori and Charley Feeble, taken right before he went to heaven to become my Guardian Angel. “Hi Charley! What do you think? Will my idea freak out Dottie?”
Charley’s smiling eyes squinted from behind his glasses. “Your sincere concern for Dottie’s well-being is greatly appreciated by the G.A.G. Council. So much so, they are now meeting with her grandmother, Violet, and great-grandmother, Isobel, to discuss their participation in your plan.”
As I’d just thought of my plan, I was surprised that the Higher-Ups already knew about it. Things sure moved fast in Heaven. (It was also unnerving to know they could read my mind.)
“However, I have to agree,” Charley told me. “Asking Dottie to go for a ride in Mosey might freak her out. Best come up with a new method of transportation. In the meantime, you will find Dottie by the pool.”
I blinked. “We have a pool?”
While Dottie sipped a glass of iced tea (I know, I didn’t realize ghosts could drink stuff either) I said casually, “I was thinking about how you love history, and was wondering where you would go if you could go anywhere, any place, at any time in history?”
Dottie squealed, “Wouldn’t that be fun? Go any place in history! Let’s see…”
“You mentioned you liked Abraham Lincoln.”
“He was my grandmother’s idol.” She giggled. “Grandma Violet was a President groupie.”
As I had no idea what that meant, I said, “Would you be interested in traveling to Urbana, Ohio to see the route Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train took in 1865?”
Dottie’s blue eyes sparkled. “My goodness! That sounds like fun. How many days should I pack for?”
“No need for luggage. We’ll be gone just the one day.”
I watched her eyes narrow as she mentally calculated the distance to the small Ohio town from Welcome Home—five hours one way. But then a butterfly floated around our heads, and thus distracted, she agreed to go. “We can take my car.”
“Actually, I have another way of getting there,” I told her. I just didn’t know right then what it was.
Awhile later, I entered my office, and my whiskers instantly tingled with feline intuition. Something had changed. But what?
Then I noticed the heavy drape to the left of my sunny turret had been disturbed. With flattened ears I crept close to investigate. As my keen eyesight zeroed in on a single orange hair clinging to the drape, I heard voices. Definitely not Violet and Isobel.
I pawed the drape aside. The door behind it was open. I stepped into the room where heavenly white marble stairs with gold veins spiraled up to a roof-top terrace.
“More to the right. Not your right, Dopey Opie. My right.”
“Your right is my right, Jackass.”
They had mounted sticks onto the wall at the top of the stairs with treads positioned at alternate angles. I abruptly recognized the Catipilla climbing frame. “What are you doing?”
“Charley said to find another means of transportation for Dottie,” Jack told me. “We decided to use your Catipilla.”
With paws on my hips, I asked, “That’s built to hold cats. Not hoomons.”
“She’s a ghost, Herms. It will hold her.”
“She can take the stairs to the roof, Jack.”
“Not the roof. We found an Energy Gate. A Trans Portal.” He pointed up the spiraling stairs. “See that window? Not the outside window. The inside window. Looks like a doggy door.”
I gazed to where Opie was attaching the Catipilla to the wall. “It’s kinda small. How will Dottie—”
“Again. Ghost. All you gotta do is convince her to climb and crawl through the window.”
“She’s coming!” Dori stood in the doorway, her eyes filled with excitement. “Can I come, too?”
“Of course! You’re my partner.”
As Opie secured the final tread plate in place, Jack turned to me. “I thought you should know, Mosey is feeling bad because he can’t go on this trip.”
Just then I heard a low growl accompanied by a startled shriek. I scampered into my office in time to see Dottie leap onto my desk while my pet stroller snarled and tried to bite her ankles.
“Mosey!” I yowled. “Down! Heel!” Mosey looked like he wanted to ignore me, but then his hood sagged with shame, and he rolled to my side, whimpering. As I stroked his hood, I said to Dottie, “I’m sorry. He’s upset that he can’t go on our trip. He didn’t hurt you, did he?”
Her eyes wide with confusion, she carefully stepped down from my desk. “No. He just startled me. Is he… Alive?”
I mulled over a few answers before I said, “Dottie, I’m a purranormal detective. I investigate supernatural stuff.”
Dori pawed aside the drape over the hidden door. “Like ghosts! Are yoo weady to go?”We found a Trans Portal. See that window? Looks like a doggy door. Click To Tweet
I saw hesitation in Dottie’s eyes. Before she could change her mind I said, “You sure look pretty today.” She wore a perky hat with her favorite pink polka dotted dress. “This is going to be fun, Dottie. I just want you to know you’re the first hoomon I’ve ever invited to go on a special trip.”
“It’s a honor,” Dori added, instinctively assessing the situation.
After a moment, Dottie nodded. “I thought we could take my car.”
“It’s too big,” Dori told her. “We got a funner way of getting there. Follow me.” She scampered through the door and up the stairs to where the Catipilla waited at the top.
I watched Dottie’s expression reveal her astonishment. “I’ve been inside this house all my life, and yet I never knew this existed. Where does it go?”
“The roof. You know, the terrace up there?”
She shook her head. “There isn’t a terrace on the roof.”
Ohhh kay! “Well, maybe I’m mistaken. In the meantime, why don’t we join Dori?”
I followed Dottie to the top of the stairs where Opie and Jack waited.
“Hello, kitties!” Dottie squealed. She pet their heads, and tried to scoop Opie into her arms, but he slipped right through them.
Hearing her gasp, I meowed to distract her. “Hey Dottie! Look at Dori.”
My little sister had already climbed to the top of the first Catipilla. “Follow me, Dottie. This is so much fun!”
Dottie put her foot on the first tread, then grasped the tread above them. “Is this a prank?” she asked me. “Did my sister, Patty, put you up to this?” But before I could answer she said, “No. Patty doesn’t play pranks.” She climbed a few treads with me close behind. “Maybe this is a dream,” I heard her murmur. “What did I eat for dinner? Was I watching Doctor Who before I went to bed? Why can I not remember?”
I noticed Dori had reached the top of the final Catipilla. “Come on, slow pokes! We’re burning daylight.” She leaped from the climbing frame to the small window in the stairwell column. Upon seeing what lay beyond the window, she gasped, then gazed down at me with huge eyes. “Yoo gotta hurry! It’s…Wonderpurr!”
Dottie paused to look down at me with worried eyes. I couldn’t imagine what was going through her mind, but I knew she felt uneasy. Help me, Charley, I thought to my Guardian Angel. Help me to comfort her so she doesn’t freak out.
A thought instantly popped into my head. “Hey Dottie! Did you ever read Alice in Wonderland? You know the part where Alice chases the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole?”
“Yes. Grandmother first read it to me as a child. It was one of my favorite stories. In fact, I was re-reading it the morning I— I… Uh. Wh-why do you ask?”
“Well, if you think of the White Rabbit as a metaphor for a new idea or an opportunity, then when Alice chased the rabbit down the rabbit hole, she was actually pursuing an adventure.”
Dottie looked up to where Dori sat at the entrance to the energy gate. “So… I should think of that window as Alice’s rabbit hole?”
“Don’t be scared, Dottie,” Dori called down to her. “We’re gonna have fun!”
Dottie nodded, and resumed climbing. Once she reached the top, she hesitated only a second before she swung herself onto the window sill with Dori. Her gasp echoed down the spiraling stairs into my ears.
“Is there something wrong?” I asked.
“No!” Dottie cried happily. “It’s… It’s beautiful!”
TO BE CONTINUED
Welcome to Season Two of Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries starring me, Herman @TattleCat and my lil sisfur, Dori @Adorapurr on Twitter. If you’re new to us, you’ll find my Season One Case Files located in my Case Note Archives . You can also Subscribe to this Wonderpurr blog by email. See the side column. Go on, I’ll wait while you look.
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