Previously on Sherlock Herms Meets Evie Pees
“Maybe yoo just need to stop twying so hard to be like Shewlock Homes,” Dori said. “Stop twying to be someone yoo awen’t. And stop being so humorless. We are Finalists for Blogpaws Best Pet Humor Blog. Our furends aren’t stopping by on Fridays to soak in yoor melodwama. They got enough of that at home. They visit us to laugh. Yoo used to be fun before yoo became a detective, Hwermie. Yoo need to be fun again.”
I nodded. “Okay. I guess maybe I’m putting unnecessary pressure on myself.”
“Ya think? I’m pwetty sure Shewlock Homes didn’t sit around on Baker Stweet bending Watson’s ear about his fear of failing or how he feels inadequate.”
“I just don’t want to fail, Dori.”
“Hwermie, failure is a bwuise, not a tattoo.”
“And yoo gotta stop growling at me when I don’t measure up to yoor high expectations. Blowing out my candle doesn’t make yoors shine any bwighter.”
I sat back, stunned by her articulate reprimand.
“Don’t blame me for disappointing yoo, Hwermie. Blame yoorself for expecting too much.”
“Dori, I’m so sorry. I had no idea you felt this way.”
“Don’t apologize yet. I’m not done.” She moved to look beneath her paws. There I saw Mom’s phone with the screen filled with motivational memes. She read, “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our heads of how its supposed to be.”
I pointed to the next meme. “I like that one.”
“Yoo need to go back to being funner, Hwermie. Sewriously, yoo stawting to get fwrown lines.”
“Sounds like the formula to a great detective team, Dori.” I crawled onto the bench and lay with my head on her tail.
As the moon rose high in the night sky, I released the last of my self doubts. Life is too short to live in fear of making mistakes. Or getting frown lines.
You can quote me.
When I awoke the next morning I found Dori snuggled against me, using my floofy tail for her pillow. After spending an hour exploring motivational memes on our mom’s phone, she had fallen into a deep sleep, but I hadn’t closed my eyes for more than what seemed like a minute. I was worried about solving a case.
Two ghost ladies who hung out on our house rooftop had asked me to tell their granddaughter that she was dead cuz she was in Denial. But Violet and Isobel couldn’t give me details about their granddaughter’s death because they were under a G.A.G. Order.
“What does G.A.G. stand for?” I’d asked them.
“Alas, we are gagged by the G.A.G.,” Violet said, “unable to discuss such specifics.”
Dori had then opened her book, Ghost Hunters Do It… and read, “G.A.G. stands for Ghost Authorization Guidelines. Number three prohibits spirits from discussing specific details of another spirit’s life and death.”
Dori had then wanted to play 20 Questions with the ghost ladies to ascertain (my Word of the Day on my Word of the Day calendar) details of their granddaughter’s death, but then I kinda sorta got my floofy tail all knotted up with self-importance and growled at her. And hurt her feelings.
After Dori left the rooftop deck—and locked the door between us—I’d met the ghost of the dead granddaughter. I’d thought her name was Evie Pees, but Dori—of course!—had already discovered her name was Dorothy Kiss, the sister of Patty Kiss, the realtor who had sold us our new home, and also our next door neighbor.
Dorothy—known as Dottie because she liked polka dots—turned out to be a spiritual advisor of sorts. She’d helped me to reveal that I had growled at Dori because I was jealous of her extraordinary ability to find clues that I often missed. Detecting stuff just didn’t come naturally for me. But Dori always came up with the right answer.
Dottie also helped me to understand that I had set my expectations too high. I wanted to be like my hero, Sherlock Holmes. But Dottie explained I could never be him. I was Sherlock Herms. Not the same. Different. My friend Charlie had mentioned I was more like a Spirit Counselor than a ghost hunter, and it was my job to help spirits. Help them do what, I’m not sure. Charlie kinda left the convo open-ended.
“How am I ever going to tell Dottie she’s dead?” I whispered to myself. “She seems nice. I don’t want to upset her.”
The image of an old woman with snow-white hair appeared on the dark screen of my closed eyelids. Violet! “Very honorable of you, Detective Herms. You come highly recommended by your Guardian Angel, and my Spirit Guide is pleased with your sincerity.”
My Guardian Angel is Charlie Feeble. He used to be a 1940’s detective, but then he got dead and became a ghost. Only after he sacrificed himself to rescue me in hell did he graduate from regular angel to my Guardian Angel. We are also good friends.
“My Guide took the matter of my granddaughter not knowing she’s dead to the Higher Council, and they have determined to give me permission to assist you. I cannot reveal the particulars of her death, but I can provide intimations that may lead you to the truth. Or not.”
I was only four months into my Word of the Day calendar. Intimations hadn’t yet come up. “What kind of intimations, Violet?”
Her face faded from the inside of my eyelids, replaced by words.
Looks like Dori and I would be playing 20 Questions after all.
As my tail had developed a cramp, I gently tugged it out from under Dori’s cheek, then rolled off the second floor window bench and scampered around the corner into my author mom’s office. Like in our old house, the room had a dozen African violets and lemony sunlight puddling on the buttery-yellow carpet in front of her desk. I launched into her swivel chair and revolved a few times before I put out a paw to stop in front of her computer. I then pawed the mouse to wake up the modem and went to work, clicking on multiple sights to find what I was looking for.
I wanted to know whether other ghost hunters ever had a problem with ghosts not knowing they’re dead. It would be helpful 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 about…stuff.”
“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. It actually hurt, like someone had jabbed my brain with a fork. “Did yoo know there are ghost ships and phantom vehicles, like cars and twains?” Dori had asked me during the drive from our old home to our new home in Welcome Home, located on the west side of the Mitten State. “I read about some old hoomon named Lincoln who died and according to the legend, every April 29th, the funeral twain carrying his body rumbles through the town of Urbana, Ohio, following the route it took back in 1865 when it carried his body back to Springfield, Illinois.”
My gaze flicked to the date on my Word of the Day calendar beside the computer. April 14th. Today’s word was Perseverance. It meant steady persistence in a course of action or a purpose, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. Other words included Determination, Tenacity and…Grit!
Who was I, but a purranormal detective with Grit in my blood?
As my whiskers twitched with feline intuition, excitement rippled down my spine to the tip of my floofy tail. I had an idea. I didn’t know if it was possible—I’d have to check with Jack and Opie. But if it was possible, then Dottie would be joining Violet and Isobel on the roof for tea by this time next week.
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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