The Game's Afoot - By Rosy

   Detective Inspector Gee and the Queen of Police, Captain Sassy Fat, were having a secret meeting. Brad Puffup had been spotted in lower Elvenstead; a dismal place called juteland because there used to be a lot of burlap made there. Still is, a little, but mostly it's just suspicious warehouses and dark alleys that are all, pretty much, famous for skulduggery. All of the pirates, land-grubbers, nefarious politicians and sundry other evil doers throughout the land came to juteland to visit the famous speak-easy, Grandma's Puddin' & Pies, featuring amazing brownies and Elvenstead's finest biscuits. At least that was the claim for  this was also home to Elvenstead's scoundrel community. All the worst criminal schemes were hatched at Grandma's.         

   Meanwhile, in the secret meeting, there was a large map of the Juteland District on the wall and DI Gee and Captain Fat were both examining it closely. They'd drawn circles and lines on it, along with a few exes. There was a tapping on the door in their agreed upon secret code, so DI Gee went over and opened it. There stood a decrepit looking bum holding a brown paper bag.   

   “Ah, there you are Sergeant,” she smiled warmly, for it was Sgt. Goat in disguise. “Did you get it?” she asked. 

   “Yes, Ma'am.” He handed her the bag. 

   “Thank you, Sergeant. I'd like for you and Sgt. Rover to stand by, for the game is afoot.” She smiled mysteriously. 

  “Yes, Ma'am,” he said, before turning and leaving. 

   She carried the bag over to the map table and dumped its contents onto a clear spot. It sounded like a rock hitting the table although it could've been mistaken for a lovely biscuit, brown on top, crispy layered sides, and a nicely fried base, just like Elvenstead's finest, in the land that loves biscuits. Yet this one seemed hard as glass. 

   “That's a fresh biscuit from Grandma's,” DI Gee said, gravely. 

   Capt. Fat poked at it and it fell over and began to roll, arcing around and falling off the table quick as a flash. With a sound like shattering glass the biscuit broke into a thousand little pieces when it hit the floor. DI Gee and Capt. Fat looked at each other. 

   “That's not fresh,” Capt. Fat remarked. 

   “No ma'am, it's not. Makes you wonder what they do at Grandma's if it isn't cooking,” DI Gee said, kicking at some of the biscuit pieces. 

   “And why would Brad Puffup, arch-criminal, be interested in Grandma's?” Capt. Fat asked. She looked at DI Gee, “Inspector, take your team and get me some answers.” 

   “Yes, Ma'am.” 

   Soon DI Gee and Sergeants Goat and Rover were sitting in their unmarked police waggal, watching Grandma's Puddin' & Pies from an inconspicuous spot across the street. The place was an old one story house, broad, with an overhanging roof and a big covered front porch. There was an OPEN sign hanging crookedly on the door but none of the lights were on so that, despite it being mid-morning, it was dark and gloomy inside. On the porch a hillbilly dark-elf was stretched out, asleep in a rocking chair, his hillbilly hat covering his face. Just then, Brad Puffup stepped out onto the porch, smiled, and waved at them. Then the dark-elf lifted his hat and stood up, revealing Murgin Growl, arch-accomplice, who also smiled and waved. 

   Sgt. Rover began barking in the back seat as Sgt. Goat jumped up, bumping his head against the waggal top, before scrambling out and running across the street yelling “Stop miscreants! Stop instantly! Stop . . .” He trailed off as he realized the figures, while still smiling and waving, were fading, that he could see through them, that they were becoming invisible before his very eyes, slowly fading, smiling, waving, fading until they were gone. Sgt. Rover came bounding across the street, barking loudly. He leapt onto the porch and scrambled all around where the villains had stood, but there was nothing there. They were gone, if they had ever there at all, DI Gee thought. She stepped onto the porch and began searching for hidden cameras which might have projected a hologram of the arch-criminals. She just hated the thought that they could levitate or disappear.  

   She noticed a shadow form moving inside and looked at Sgt. Goat. “Take Rover and go inside and check the place out, Sergeant, see who all's in there,” she told him as she continued her search for hidden cameras. Sgt. Rover had been sniffing around the porch and followed Sgt. Goat inside.          

   The room was very dark with all the drapes down and the lights off. As their eyes adjusted shadowy figures began to emerge, lurking in the corners. 

   “Hello villains. We're looking for the arch-criminal Brad Puffup and the arch-accomplice Murgin Growl,” Sgt. Goat announced in a loud voice. “Anybody know where they're at?” The room was silent. Sgt. Rover began opening the drapes and several of the shadowy figures fluttered away like bats. “Darn it, Rover! This here's a vampire den! Run!” They both scampered quickly out the door where DI Gee stood watching them with a scowl. 

   “Vampires, huh?” she asked. They both nodded yes with wide eyes. “Good thing it's daylight,” she said, watching someone inside pulling the drapes shut. “I found the hologram projectors, by the way, well-hidden I must say.” With a relieved smile she pointed at a couple dark corners. 

   Just then Brad Puffup drove up in a late model waggal, little sports job, classy, fast with lots of power. He smiled and waved at the Inspector and her intrepid Sergeants standing, gaping, on the porch of Grandma's Puddin' & Pies. Beside Brad sat Murgin Growl who was also smiling and holding a large bag full of gold labeled “Royal Treasury.” They pulled leisurely away, allowing the crowd of palace guards running behind them, clacking their swords against their shields, and yelling things like, “Stop thief!” to catch up before Brad floored it. His waggal zipped away like a speeding bullet. The palace guards were calling insults and shaking their fists at the sky, which is where the nefarious Puffup Gang was last seen, when DI Gee, Sgt. Goat and Sgt. Rover came zipping by in hot pursuit. 

   Brad's taillights were in the far, far distance. “Faster, Sergeant, faster!” DI Gee yelled, as Sgt. Goat pushed his foot harder against the floor. Then he pulled the overdrive lever and with a shudder their specially equipped police waggal shot into space, following Brad Puffup at warp speed. Still, this was not enough. Brad's taillights remained far, far ahead. Curiously it was really loud and windy inside the waggal and DI Gee looked around to see Sgt. Rover had his window down and his head sticking out with his tongue flapping behind, so that his ears snapped and his lips made a blubbery clapping noise. 

   “Close your window, Sergeant!” she yelled. 

   Sgt. Rover pulled his head in and sat up, “Yes, Ma'am!” he barked contritely, rolling the window up. 

   Now they easily caught up with Brad Puffup who did not know about the secret new police much-faster-than-anybody else hypergosh engine. As they zipped by the distraught Brad, Sgt. Rover deployed another new secret device, the hook-end lariat. He was barking and jumping with excitement as he used his hook to snag a hold of Brad's waggal, containing the arch-criminal Brad Puffup, and the arch-accomplice Murgin Growl, who they commenced dragging back to face justice. We hope.           

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