The phone rings.
I pick it up: “Hello?” I ask, annoyed that the caller had interrupted my lunch break.
“We need you again,” a gruff voice says from the other end before hanging up. I let the dial tone ring as my heart dropped. Another day in the life of Joey Kanda, Private Eye.
Setting down the phone, I grabbed my coffee cup. Empty. Wait--
A clue? Was this somehow related to my call to arms?
My instincts are buzzing now. Like… like… bumblebees.
Which are furry… Like teddy bears… Wait--
My hands are shaking now. I frantically clear off my desk, clearing everything off of the surface in one swipe, just like how I had cleared out the Singing Butterfly gang from downtown. Taking out my red detective yarn that all detectives own, I started stringing pictures together on my detective corkboard, which is also owned by every detective. As I ran the string from the picture of the teddy bears to the picture of my coffee cup, it hit me, like…like…
Like a hot snowball, speeding fast, hitting the back of your neck on a blazingly clockwise day of summer. My mother always told me that I wasn’t too great with the adjectives, but here I was proving her wrong.
I had it: the missing link. What do bumblebees have in common with coffee cups? Coffee is hot, and summer is hot, and summer is when flowers bloom.
Flowers. Of course. A third clue.
I almost had it now, the complete picture. I was so close, I just had to think about it the right way. Empty coffee cups, teddy bears, and flowers. What could it mean?
I sat down, concentrating on my corkboard, running the possibilities over in my head. Then, it all clicked. I saw what was happening here. The puzzle pieces fell in, one after the other. The idea found its feet. The prince found his princess; my evidence found its theory. Like an ugly duckling that found its calling, I had found the explanation. Just like a series of overly long, increasingly unrelated metaphors, I had cracked the case.
It was simple: clearly, Donnie Two-Hands from the Baxton Brothers had decided to take on the Hilly Z’s, and it hadn’t gone well. That explains why my coffee was empty, obviously, but only in an elaborately complex kind of way which only makes sense to detectives.
The Hilly Z’s were notorious on their block, especially with their longtime rivals, the Raging Ragers, for buying up all the plush children’s toys and then reselling them at a higher price during the Christmas season. There’s the connection to the teddy bears.
One might say that the Hilly X’s, the other longtime rival to the Hilly Z’s, were their polar opposite. And what, then, is the opposite of the Christmas season? Summer, when the flowers bloom. The third clue. And so, the dominoes fall. The case was cracked.
I took out my detective cigar, which came with the yarn and the corkboard. Taking a long puff, I reclined in my office chair. All in a day’s work for Joey Kanda, Private Eye.
West Northside Uptown Brooklyn Noir
The phone rings.