Previously on Sherlock Herms… Rejected!
“Herman,” Charley said. “You live in a world hampered by inattentional blindness. So highly distracted by everything—your ability to focus on any one thing at a time is impossible. To clarify what I mean by inattentional blindness… It’s like scrolling through Bookface and not seeing the advertisements on the side of your page. They’re there. You just had your attention focused on the latest Aaron’s Animals video…”
I smiled with sudden joy. “I wuv Aaron’s Animals videos. Didja see the one called Fast & Furryest where…”
Charley’s gaze drifted over my shoulder. As his squinty eyes widened behind his glasses, I turned to see what had distracted him.
In the corner of my office is a bookcase where my mom keeps her research library. The shelves are crammed with books about authoring mysteries, books about detecting stuff, and books about ghosts. During my last case when I met Charley (read my case notes on Mrs. Shallowford’s Ghost by clicking here) I learned there was a secret staircase hidden behind the bookcase. I’d zoomed down that staircase with Dori to escape being seen by the demon known as Loud Lady. Back in 1945 it led into the garden with a swimmy pool and pool house (where Charley died) that no longer existed.
Brilliant light now seeped from behind the bookcase. With wonder I watched as it slowly creaked open to reveal the secret staircase. As it opened the brilliant light burst into my office, blinding me with its…um…brilliance.
A sudden icy chill stabbed my shoulder, making me turn to see Charley had reached out to touch me. His attention was on the staircase. He couldn’t take his eyes off it. I, however, flicked a desperate look at my Ride, quivering in the corner. Had I left my sunglasses in the pocket? I thought about fetching them when Charley suddenly moaned, “No! Not yet. I’m not ready to go.”
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