Previously on Sherlock Herms…Heaven Can Wait – Part 1.
“Nooo!” Dori howled. Tears wetted her whiskers.
“What?” I ran to her. “What’s wrong?”
She pointed to the couch. “My tweats are gone. The couch monster eated them—again!”
We stared at the darkness under my couch. Then…
Dori flung herself at the couch. “Yoo gimme back my tweats! I need to review them for Chewy.com.”
I went to pull Dori off the couch. No telling what kind of mood the couch monster was in. He’d been pretty passive, but…
From the corner of my eye I saw something move, and turned just as Evil Paranormal Stuff fell to the floor from the third shelf on my bookcase. Frozen with fear, I forgot Dori and her couch nemesis as I watched the bookcase shake like it was under attack.
Oh My Cod! The demon Loud Lady was trying to escape!
I felt Dori’s claws in my neck as she wrapped herself around me. Together we widdled our floofy britches. That was a mistake. Before our eyes the demon grew scarier and stronger from our reaction. I had to take control.
“Where is Charley?” I yowled. “Give him back!”
Demon Loud Lady howled from behind the bookcase, causing Dori to climb onto my back and sob.
“You give Charley back,” I snarled. “He wants to go to Heaven!”
“Heaven can wait!” Loud Lady screamed. “I have your precious Charley in Hell!”
And then she stuck her arm right out of the bookcase!
And now…Part 2
The rotten egg stench of HELL accompanied the demon trying to escape my bookcase. I would later apologize to the couch monster for blaming the smell on him. Meanwhile I had a demon to battle, plus I was dripping blood from where my little sisfur had sunk her claws into my neck.
I shook Dori loose. “Help me!” I scampered to push the couch in front of the bookcase.
“I can’t move, Hwermie. I’m fweakin’ da fweak out!”
I couldn’t push the heavy leather couch more than an inch. I spotted my Gen7Pets Regal stroller trembling in the corner under its blanket. “Hey!” I shouted. “You!” Crap! I didn’t know its name. Shame on me. When I got out of this mess, I’d do the right thing and name it. “Help!” I yowled. I visualized my ride rolling over to help me…and to my shock it did! But it still wasn’t enough. Why do hoomons have to make their dang couches so heavy? It would take me years to move it in front of the bookcase.
I pushed and head-butted with my Ride giving more support than help. Then I uncovered Dori’s missing treats. I threw them at the door. “Dori, fetch! Get help. Find Opie and Jack.”
Snapping out of her fright paralysis she zoomed from my attic office, grabbing the treats on her way out. I was able to nudge the couch another inch when she returned with…
With the entire Wonderpurr Gang: Opie, Jack, Peaches, Frank, Gidget, Nikolas, Jesse, Noah, Chauncie Marie, and our newest little sisfur, Candy.
Yowling and hissing like a gang of feral alley cats, we shoved the couch to block the bookcase—then collapsed to lick our private parts while we simmered down. Some minutes passed before my heartbeat returned to normal. “Thanks everyone. I owe you.”
“Big time!” Peaches grumbled as she left with most of our fursibs hot on her tail. Only Jack, Opie and Candy stayed behind.
“It stinks in here,” Candy told me, which reminded me…
I patted the couch. “Sorry I blamed the smell on you.”
“S’kay,” a deep voice whispered from beneath it.
I explained what had happened to Jack and Opie. “You should demand the demon give Charley back,” Jack advised.
“I don’t think she’s in the mood to be reasonable.” I saw Candy pawing at something under the couch. I pulled her calico tail. “Leave it. I don’t know what it is.”
“What are we gonna do, Hwermie?” Dori shoved a fistful of treats into her mouth. She eats non-stop when nervous. “We gotta rescue Chawley. His hoomon soul is at risk.”
Suddenly the bookcase began to shake, causing Dori to do a backflip that would have netted a perfect score for an Olympic diver. I leaped onto the couch along with Jack and Opie to stop books from falling. A strong sulfuric odor seeped from between the books accompanied by a menacing growl.
“Dad will go ballistic when he finds out a demon followed you home,” Opie muttered, and Jack added, “I don’t think Mom will handle the news any better than Dad.”
I noticed Candy pawing at a book. “Don’t! You could let it out. Dori, come get your little sisfur.” I didn’t need to deal with kitten mischief on top of possible demonic possession.
Dori jumped onto the couch, but instead of dragging Candy away she listened to what the kitten whispered, then pawed at a book herself. What the Friskies!
“I think you’re right,” Dori said to Candy.
I pushed my head between them. “Care to share?” I shoved the books back into place.
“Candy thinks Loud Lady is all smoke and stink,” Dori said, and Candy told me, “I don’t think she has Charley. I think she wants you to think she has him.”
I blinked. “Why?”
Candy’s huge golden eyes were wise beyond their twelve months. “To find out, you need to put on your big boy panties and provoke her.”
“What! I don’t want to make her mad. No telling what she’ll do.”
“If she gets mad enough, she might slip and reveal what she’s up to. I say let’s do it.”
Before I could yowl ‘No!’ Candy pawed a book from the middle shelf.
The stench of sulfur poured out. As if with a will of its own, my gaze zoomed past the books to where Demon Loud Lady paced inside her demonic realm. The instant she saw me playing Peeping Tom, she flew at me, screaming like a banshee. Ashamed to admit I fell off the couch.
With my heart slamming against my ribs, I fully expected to see the demon climb out of the bookcase. Instead I saw her through the missing book, glaring at me from the other side.
“She can’t get out,” Candy told me. “The couch blocks the woo-woo shelf.”
The bookcase contains my author mom’s research library. The top shelf holds books about authoring mysteries, the second shelf has books about detecting stuff, and on the bottom shelf are books about super bad scary stuff.
I scrambled to my feet. With all eyes on me—Dori, Candy, Opie and Jack, not to mention whatever lurked under the couch—I knew it was my time, my show. If Loud Lady had Charley, I needed to know how to get him back. And if she didn’t, then I needed to know where to find him.
“You don’t have Charley,” I told Loud Lady. “You’re a lousy liar.”
She hissed at me with a red, ribbon-thin tongue flicking snake-like from her mouth, but not beyond the bookcase. My spidey senses told me that if she could escape the bookcase, she would have done so by now. I hopped onto the couch. “Liar. Liar. Pants on fire.”
I kept my puss expressionless while I watched her head spin on her neck. “Impressive,” I said, then yawned. If someone had told me on my first day as a hardboiled detective that I’d be taunting a demon a few months later, I would have thought they’d eaten bad noms that gave them worms. But that’s exactly what I was doing. If only Charley could see me now…
“Prove you have Charley Feeble. Now! Or I’m leaving. I’ve got a hot date with a can of salmon.” My tummy was so twisted with fear, I couldn’t swallow a single Smittens treat much less eat a can of salmon, but Loud Lady didn’t know that. I was a pretty good actor. Maybe I should give up hardboiled detecting and head for Hollywood.
“I have him!” the demon growled. “He’s drowning in molten lava.”
The image she flashed into my head made my sphincter tighten.
“She’s trying to scare yoo,” Dori whispered.
“She’s doing a good job,” I whispered back.
“Smoke ‘n stink, Hwermie. Smoke ‘n stink.”
I directed a convincing laugh at the demon. “Is that the best you can do? It looks like something from a B movie on the late late nobody’s awake show.”
Loud Lady flashed me another image of people drowning in fire, among them Charley.
Steeling myself against reacting, I crossed my arms over my pounding heart. “You’d think somebody would put up a No Swimming sign. Look, Vivian—” I deliberately called her by her human name to reduce her demonic persona in both her mind and my own. “You don’t have Charley. You don’t have evil powers. You’re on the bottom rung of hell with a small ‘H’ trying desperately to climb to a higher rung with your pathetic lies. Nobody’s impressed.”
She shrank before my eyes. Provoking worked! She didn’t have Charley. I knew that now. But if she didn’t have him, who did?
“So what’s the deal, Viv?” I leaned my paw to the side of the missing book, affecting a world-weary attitude designed to punch a hole in the remaining shreds of her confidence. “Why are you here? What do you want?”
“I want YOU,” she shrieked. “I’m here for YOU so Charley will come to your rescue, and then I will GET Charley!”
This was the a-ha! moment I’d been looking for. “Vivian, you need to get over your fixation on Charley. He’s moved on. You should too.”
“I want my house,” she roared in a dark voice that scared my whiskers straight. “He stopped me from coming back inside.” She abruptly shoved her face against her side of the bookcase, causing the upper half of my body to jerk back while my feet remain planted on the couch. “You helped him. If you don’t give me back my house, I will get you my pretty kitty, and your little sister too!”
Dori moaned behind me, but I didn’t dare react. She wanted our house. What would Mom and Dad say? And if Loud Lady didn’t have Charley—who did?
“Vivian. You’re in hell. Century 21 doesn’t sell real estate to bottom rung demons. Get over it. This house belongs to us now.”
The bookcase began to smoke. The room temperature plunged, ice cold. My whiskers sparked with electricity. My fur stood on end.
Jack murmured, “It just got creepy in here.”
I turned to see Opie by the door with Dori in his arms, her claws in his neck. Jack sat on the edge of the couch beside me, staring at a black mist seeping from the floor cracks, swirling around Candy who sat watching it as though in a trance.
“If I can’t have this house,” Loud Lady squealed, “then no one can!”
“Gotta go, Viv.” I slammed the book back into place, cutting off her outrage as the mist swirled around my sister. It didn’t drift or billow, though it moved like smoke. It looked more like a dense dark cloud shifting shape. It hovered around Candy for a few seconds, then disappeared inside her. Before our eyes Candy’s fur turned from autumn calico colors to blackest black.
“Mom’s gonna be really mad when she finds out,” I said after a moment. “Any idea what that was?”
Hey pals! I think I’m getting the hang of this purranormal detecting stuff. What do you think? Or am I fooling myself? What do you think happened to Charley? And what do you think that black stuff is that just soaked my new little sisfur, Candy? Boy, my mom is gonna be mad about that.
Be sure to come back Friday for Part 3 of Heaven Can Wait.
Need to catch up with my Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries? The links to all the Season 1 Case Notes are listed on the Archive Page (see upper tab on far right). If you missed Part 1 of Heaven Can Wait, click here.
Until next Friday…Have a Wonderpurr Week.
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