Midnight had come and gone. Tired from asking, “Are we there yet?” my fursibs had curled into tight balls to sleep in the back of the van. After driving for most of the day, Dad lay asleep in the passenger seat with Dori in his lap. I sat with Mom behind the wheel, enjoying the night and its dazzling display of lights. I loved seeing the full round moon in the starry sky, and felt exhilarated by the blur of street lights as we zoomed down the highway. But the huge semi-trucks thrilled me the most. They reminded me of gentle giants protecting us from being gobbled up by aliens. Hey! It could happen.
Hi! I’m Sherlock Herms, a hardboiled purranormal detective wif grit in my blood. At least I was until demons infested our home and we had to flee. Felt kinda like I’d let my family down by letting Demongate happen in the first place.
In case you’re new to Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries, you can read about how it all began by checking out my Archive Page.
We were now on our way to a new home in the Mitten State, and while my fursibs were frightened about the move, I was excited. I’d already moved three times with my pawrents so I knew what to expect. The house would be bigger, better, and hopefully demon-free. Everything would be okay because we were still together as a family.
Mom had run out of conversation at about the same time Dad asked her to drive, so I sat quietly in her lap thinking deep thoughts. They hadn’t told me much about our new home other than it was ‘hysterical’ with three flights of stairs and lots of rooms, including a turret with a view of the lake. I had no idea what a hysterical home looked like, nor what a turret was. And as cats aren’t overly fond of water, the lake held no interest for me. However I couldn’t wait to zoom those stairs.
Hearing the soft scrape of a page being turned, I looked over to where Dori sat in Dad’s lap reading Ghost Hunters Do It With the Lights Off. I didn’t want to get her hopes up that the Wonderpurr Detective Agency would again open its doors. Chances were we would go back to being ordinary house cats…except there’s nothing ordinary about me. Or my little sisfur.
Catching my eye, Dori said, “I think we were going about it all wrong. Purranormal detecting is not like on teevee where the ghosts perform like twained monkeys. In real life they’re shy. We were lucky to find them on our first three cases.”
“I wouldn’t call it luck to have knocked heads with a demon. We lost our home because of her.”
Dori shrugged. “Scat happens. Moving on. Dis book says we need a team, Hwermie. Not just Jack and Opie inventing stuff. We need to recruit the whole Wonderpurr Gang.”
Shamed to admit my first thought was, I’d have to pay each of them my hard-earned huge quarters. I didn’t need the money as I’m a well-kept housecat, but I loved how they sounded when I shook my smiling piggy bank. “Recruit them to do what, exactly?”
“I made a pawfessional organizational chawt.” She handed me a page torn from her notebook.
At first glance I steeled my expression not to cringe. Or cry.
Not only was Dori’s org chart pink with flowers, but she had misspelled my name. Also, her title of Purranormal Investigator-slash-Princess came across as self-important, not to mention her box was bigger than mine.
“Yoo don’t like it?” The product of Generation Cuppycake, Dori lives by positive feedback. One wrong word would have her sobbing into her paws. Before I saw tears welling, I heard them in her voice.
“It’s good, honey,” I reassured. “Very pink.”
“Yoo think I should draw more flowers?”
I pretended to assess her artwork. “No. I think you’ve nailed it.”
Visibly pleased, she said, “I gave everyone an impawtent job.”
Important is in the eye of the beholder. Gidget’s position as Beck and Fetch Grrrl would have our sisfur hissin’ and spittin’, not to mention being ordered to bring us refreshments would result in the feisty panfur dumping them in our laps.
I was tired and not prepared to challenge Dori’s org chart, so I asked instead, “What have you learned from your book?”
“The chapter on Basics said we are supposed to record the time, the place and describe the event. Yoor a pawfessional writer mews, so that will be yoor job. Next, we need a tape recorder to meow our notes during the first walk-through. It also comes in handy to record Evie Pees.”
“Who is Evie Pees?”
“No idea, but my book says to have that tape recorder ready in case she talks. Yoo can be in charge of that too. I don’t like tape after it got stuck on my nose while I was helping Mom wrap Christmas pawsents. We also need a camera to take pictures of total darkness. Why we need to take pictures of dark stuff I don’t know, but—”
“I know,” I interrupted. “You don’t have a camera, so I’m in charge of that, too.”
“Actually, Santa Claws brung me one.” She pulled it out and took my picture. The flash blinded both me and Mom, who shrieked and swerved, and swore something that would make a rock star blush.
“I told Santa that camera was a bad idea,” Mom growled under her breath. From my position in her lap, her heartbeat sounded like Tommy Lee pounding out Dr. Feelgood.
I waited for her to settle down before I said to Dori, “We ghost hunted pretty good without tape recorders and cameras. Why do we need them now?”
“We need to up our game, Hwermie. I’m reading about stuff like electrwomagnetic field meters, infrared motion detectors and spirit boxes… All pawfessional stuff.”
“But we don’t have that many huge quarters, Dori. We can’t afford—”
“Herms,” Mom interrupted. “Would you take Dori into the back to continue your conversation? Your meows are keeping me awake.”
“Sure, no problem.” I was half-way off her lap when I heard what she said, and looked back at her to make sure she was kidding. “Are we still your precious cargo?”
She cupped my head with her free hand. “Still are, always will be.”
I followed Dori to the back of the van where our fur sibs lay asleep. We had to crawl over Frank “The Tank” in order to reach Mosey, my Gen7Pets stroller, parked in the rear. Once inside we pulled the hood over us for privacy. Right before we fled our home I’d made a decision that I hoped I would not regret: I’d invited the black mist couch monster to come live with us. The mist had never harmed us, and I’d felt kinda bad about leaving it to the mercy of Ghost Guy, so I told it, “If you want to come with me, you can. But you need to behave yourself.” As I unzipped the compartment beneath Mosey, the mist had shape shifted into a bunny rabbit and hopped inside.
“I’m stawvy.” Unaware her treat-stealing nemesis lay beneath her, Dori pulled out a fresh package of Smittens and dumped half the box into her paw before offering me one heart-shaped piece. “Don’t worry about buying stuff, Hwermie. Mom has an Amazon dot com account and just bought an Echo. We can get anything we want!”
From the corner of my eye I noticed Mosey looked a little smoky behind Dori. Uh oh.
“More impawtent than equipment and putting a team together is doing research on purranormal stuff. Ghosts. Demons. Fairies and Elves. Shadow spirits…”
“No more demons,” I told her. “I’m done with them.”“Don’t worry about buying stuff, Hwermie. Mom has an Amazon dot com account and just bought an Echo.… Click To Tweet
The smoke thickened and elongated. I watched it slither closer to Dori who was saying, “Did yoo know there are ghost ships and phantom vehicles, like cars and twains? 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.”
“Wow! That’s pretty spooky.” I watched the black mist position itself behind the paw holding her treats. “So objects can become haunted too, huh?”
“Yep!” Dori shook out a few more treats into her paw. “Even this here box of Smittens can get haunted.”
I blinked, so I didn’t see the smoke snake grab both the box and the treats from her paw; it happened that fast. But I did hear Dori shriek with surprise, then wail with outrage. So did everyone else asleep in the van, including Mom.
“Herman!” Mom shouted. “What’s going on back there? Why is Dori crying?”
“Nothing, Mom! She…um. Stubbed her toe.” At that moment something outside the van caught my eye: the sign to our new home town.
The name of our new town was Welcome Home. I liked it. Made me feel warm and fuzzy about the new life we were about to begin.
Then my gaze slid past the welcome sign, and my heart did a quick cartwheel; not with joy but with dread.
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 Season One 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 post, 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: NO BIG DEAL, SHERLOCK HERMS