Previously on Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries…Let Me Be Frank.
“This isn’t the surprise, Hwermie. Yoo gotta go upstairs.” Dori pointed to a staircase beyond the chase-ball-with-sticks table. She pushed me to the stairs, and then surprised me by pulling out my deerstalker hat, seemingly from out of nowhere. After plunking it onto my head, she gave me a light push. “Go! Yoo need to see for yourself.”
I glanced back at my fursibs who were watching. Opie nodded encouragement, and Jack gave me a dewclaw up. Staring up the stairs, I wondered where they led. We were already on the third floor. The only place stairs go after the third floor in houses is the attic.
I gazed into Dori’s eyes, searching for anything remotely demonic, but all I saw was her sweet face, excited for whatever lay in wait for me at the top of the stairs. “Okay. I’ll go. Call Mom if I’m not back in two minutes.”
And now … A Room with a Mew
I took the stairs slowly in order to prolong my arrival. While I hadn’t seen anything remotely demonic in Dori’s eyes, I couldn’t help feeling apprehensive about what lay in wait for me at the top of the stairs. When you’ve been to hell and back like I have, you don’t get over the experience all that easy.
As the staircase wound ever-so-slightly to the right, I saw the last few steps were illuminated with bright, sparkly light. In fact, the sparkles seemed to float in the air in front of me, as though beckoning me forward. One step. Two steps. I crept closer, slowly nearing the curve in the wall. Once I rounded that curve I’d see the surprise Dori wanted me to see—the one that required me to wear my deerstalker hat.
I don’t want to sound mellow dramatic, but I’m pretty sure I saw my life flash before my eyes. At least I saw a cute red and white kitten with big gold eyes and a floofy tail snuggled with similar-looking kittens against their momma. Cudda been me. Cudda been a cat food commercial I saw awhile back on teevee.
“Come on, Herms,” I growled under my breath. “You’re a hardboiled detective with grit in your blood. Get your tail up there and find out what Dori wanted you to see. Make Charley proud.”
Charley Feeble was my detective mentor. He’s also my Guardian Angel. He sacrificed himself so me and Dori could believe in ourselves enough to save him. Right before he left for Heaven, he said Dori and I possess the natural instinct to be a phenomenal detectives. I hope he was right. I swallowed hard, and peeked around the corner.
At first I saw nothin’ cuz the sparkly light was so bright. It actually hurt my eyes. But then I got used to it and stopped squinting. The room had a hardwood floor covered by a fancy rug. The heavily-draped windows went all the way up to the ceiling, allowing bright sunlight to flood the otherwise empty room. I noticed a fireplace to one side and a fancy lamp dangling over my head.
Unaware that I had moved, I found myself inside the room. The sunlight puddling on the rug looked inviting. Maybe I could take a little nap before I went back downstairs. I still didn’t see anything that would account for Dori’s big surprise awaiting me here. I stepped into the sun puddle. That’s when I saw it. And my breath caught with shock.
My desk! Charley’s desk! It was in the far corner. For a moment all I could do was stare. How was this possible? I’d left it at our old house because it was huge with lots of nooks and crannies—too big to get through the attic door without chopping to pieces. Mom used to say our home was built around an older house that refused to be torn down. Turns out she was right. Our home had been built around Charley’s house, and his ghost had refused to let it be destroyed while he was still inside it, hiding in the attic from Vivian Shallowford aka Demon Loud Lady. I met Charley during my second case: Mrs. Shallowford’s Ghost.
But how did his desk get here in our new house, a billion miles north from where we used to live? It had been a long trip cooped up in a van with my entire family. That’s enough to exhaust anyone. I had to be hallucinating. Only one way to find out.
I approached the desk, expecting it to vanish with each step, but it didn’t. Not even when I was right in front of it. That’s when I saw the Bakelite telephone, and my smiling piggy bank was on the top hutch right next to the framed photograph of me and Dori and Charley, taken right before he left for Heaven. But how? I’d packed them in boxes, and the boxes were still in the moving van.
I stood in front of my desk for a long time, pawing the polished wood, inspecting each of the nooks and crannies. I even found my supply of purrrple crayons and my pocket watch. I don’t have pockets and I can’t tell time, plus the watch doesn’t work—I’d found it in one of my desk’s drawers and it turned out to belong to Charley—but it adds to my mystique.
“I wonder if the treats I hid from Dori are still here.” I opened one of the drawers in the hutch.
“Are they still there?”
“No. She must have smelled them and—” My heart lodged in my throat. I turned, expecting to see someone standing behind me. But the voice hadn’t come from the door. It had come from above. God? I looked up and saw Charley smiling his squinty smile from the framed photograph.
“Welcome home,” he greeted. And winked.
Then everything went black.
I awoke to feel sunshine warming my floof. It felt so good, I stretched all the way down to the tips of my toes and yawned. As fragments of my dream returned, I flipped over to warm my belly. I would love to have my desk back. But it would be especially wonderpurr if I could talk to Charley again.
“I’m really here, Herman.”
I opened my eyes to see Charley’s smiling face. “It wasn’t a dream?”
“No. It’s all real. I arranged to have your desk brought here. I also unpacked your smiling piggy bank, telephone, and pocket watch.”
I sat up to find myself on a toasty-warm chair inside a tiny round room. “Where am I?”
Charley pointed through the open side of the round room to where I saw my desk. “This is the turret your mom mention, with a view of the lake.”
I looked through the windows to see my new neighborhood. Beyond that, the entire town, a harbor, a beach, and an ocean-size lake.
“I would have loved an office like this when I was alive,” Charley told me. “When I saw it, I thought… This is perfect for Herman. A room with a mew.”
“This place is Wonderpurr!” I yowled. As Charley sat beside me, I crawled into his lap. He felt as solid as Mom or Dad.
“I wanted to welcome you to your new home, Herman. But, I also want to discuss something I overheard you think earlier today.”
“You can overhear me think?” Gosh, that was unnerving! Thoughts should be private.
“Yes, thoughts are private,” Charley said, reading my thoughts. “But not to your Guardian Angel when they involve fear that might stop you from achieving your life’s purpose.”
So much had happened since we left our old house. What had I thought that made Charley concerned?
“You’ve changed your mind about being a detective?”
“No! I want to be a hardboiled detective with grit in my blood. I… I just don’t want to be a ghost hunter. That was Dori’s idea. Not mine.”
“What concerns you about working with spirits that haven’t moved on?”
“Demons. I don’t want to see one ever again.”
“That’s understandable. Do you recall my lesson on Inattentional Blindness? You were having problems focusing on the details necessary to solve cases.”
“I remember. You helped me train my brain to focus on what I couldn’t see.”
Back at our old house, Charley had asked me to meet him in our sun room at twilight. There he told me to look outside at the birdbath in our yard. While focused on the birdbath, he then asked me to tell him what was going on behind me in the room. All I had to do was shift my attention from the birdbath to the window reflection without turning around. There I’d seen Dori talking with Charley, and my little sister Candy was sleeping on the back of the sofa. I’d also seen an angel with huge wings, along with some dood wearing sunglasses that turned out to be Ghost Guy—the ghost hunter responsible for summoning demons that caused us to leave our home.
“When I gave you that lesson, I wasn’t aware that you had the ability to see what had not yet happened,” Charley now said. “I didn’t realize you could see into the future. But you can. That is your true talent, Herman. And with that talent comes the ability to see spirits. I cannot promise that demons will not try to approach you, because Evil is attracted to Good. But I can promise that I will always be there to prevent them from harming you and Dori, and your family.”
I hung my head. “So, I’m a ghost hunter whether I want to be or not?”
“I would call you more a spirit counselor than a ghost hunter. And spirits are not all ghosts. Spirits come in many forms, not all seen by the human eye.”
“But I’m not human, so I can see them?”
“You can see them.”
“What exactly are you talking about?”
“Angels, spirit guides… Shadow beings like your couch monster. Phantom objects like trains and ships. Cryptid creatures such as dragons, Nessie and Bigfoot. Aliens. Elementals connected to earth, wind, fire and air such as fairies and elves.”
“I can see all that?”
“And more, but I don’t want to freak you out.” He smiled his squinty smile, but my heart still felt heavy. “What’s wrong, Herman?”
“How am I supposed to be my mom’s writer mews when I’m busy counseling spirits? She could replace me with Opie. I just know he’s waiting for the chance to take my place.”
“Everything happens for a reason, my friend. You are where you are supposed to be. You are here now…to help someone.”
“The lady in the pink polka dot dress. The one who talks squealy baby talk.”
Charley looked confused. Then he looked concerned. I watched him tilt his head to one side and gaze upward as though he was listening to someone. “I should be going.” He carried me back into the big room with the fancy rug and my desk in the corner.
Now that I was calm I noticed the huge painting over the fireplace of a ship sailing a stormy sea. Charley saw me looking at it and said, “That’s the Mishipeshu. It was on it’s way home when it disappeared, never to be heard from again. This house belonged to it’s captain. In fact, he used this room as his office.” He placed me on top of the desk. “But, now it’s your office.”
“It’s nice. Mom and I will get a lot of books written here.”
“Your mom’s office is in another room. This is all yours.”
I gazed at the huge room, wondering why I needed so much space. But then I saw how the sunlight puddled on the rug, and I thought maybe I could get a big couch to go there, and a desk for Dori. And Mosey, my stroller, would need a spot…
I felt a light touch brush my ears and realized I was alone. I turned to look up the photograph of me, Dori and Charley. There I saw him wink at me. “Everything happens for a reason, my friend. You are where you are supposed to be. Welcome Home, Sherlock Herms. Welcome Home.”
Welcome to Season Two of Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries starring me, Herman @TattleCat and my lil sisfur, Dori @Adorapurr on Twitter. You can also find us on Facebook as Herman.TattleCat. And on Instagram as Wonderpurr_Life.
If you’re new to us, Welcome! You’ll find my Case Files to Season One located 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.
A new episode posts every Friday. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s story, and if you did, let me know in the Comments below. And pleeeeze tell your friends. All of them. Even the ones you don’t like. Until next Friday…
Have a Wonderpurr Week! Herman!!!
Read the next episode: Org Chart Angst, Sherlock Herms