A Small Suitcase In Time - By Rosy

   When Pernickul left the tavern, it was nearly three a.m. Many times he and the boys would greet Father Sun from the tavern's balcony above the huge wooden door, singing joyously with drunken abandon all night long, but today, well, this morning really, he felt like leaving early. He was home by a quarter after and when he entered the house, he tripped over something in the dark and awakened his wife who shrieked and fainted dead away because she thought he was dead away. You see, unbeknownst to Pernickul and his pals, this latest party has mysteriously lasted eight years, so instead of getting home early, he was getting home late. Very late. The late Pernickul, completely befuddled, stared at his wife lying on the floor, also completely befuddled and rendered senseless. 

   When her new husband Goodox came out from the bedroom he shrieked and turned white but did not faint dead away. Having moved in last year when Pernickul was declared legally dead after seven years, he was shocked through and through. Pernickul's death had cleared the way for Goodox and Jasinna Pernickul to fall in love, marry and have two kids. Linear time is not a big player in this story. Anyway, the sight of Pernickul after all this time was disconcerting, enough to cause Goodox to turn and run, leaving Pernickul and his unconscious wife alone. Well, except for the two kids, Windy and Addy, along with six dogs, fifteen cats and two love birds who weren't getting along. 

   The birds, named Eunice and Cuthbert had been arguing all night and the cats were angry. They'd had enough and eyed Pernickul through slitted eyes, their tails swishing back and forth, emitting low growls. Two of the old-timer dogs remembered Pernickul and ran up with tails wagging while the other four, who had no idea who this character was, began barking. Jassina, who had taken her new husband's name of Jones, remained unconscious. Near as anyone could tell anyway.        

   Pernickul, himself experiencing increasing levels of befuddlement, began to notice differences; different furniture, different kids, although in truth he and Jasinna never had kids, and different wall papers. He became even more befuddled. Just then Goodox returned with the police. Pointing dramatically at Pernickul he cried out, “Fie! Fie!”, while making obscure hand gestures. His claim was illegal resurrection or something like that. The police, themselves shocked to be facing the man they'd spent years searching for, who hadn't, in fact, changed one bit, were glad to arrest him. Keep him here if nothing else. 

   With Pernickul locked up and out of the way, the evil wizard Brad Puffup, the perpetrator, angry at Pernickul over an insult that a much, much younger Pernickul had made, decided to release the tavern and Pernickul's drinking buddies from his time/stretch spell. When the buddies began showing up all willy-nilly, the police, now as befuddled as Pernickul, began circling around, like sharks, eyeing everything and each other with suspicion. In fact, every other person on earth was now a suspect, and their circles widened. This was when the tavern, reported missing eight years ago, was discovered. While happy to report another case solved, a rather major success involving real estate, the police were, nonetheless, even more befuddled.     

   Meanwhile the evil Brad Puffup puffed up with pride at his 'justice' having been dealt and laughed maniacally like these guys do. He placed Pernickul's story into a small suitcase and forgot about it. Later, as he flew away, he carelessly tossed it into the sea along with his garbage and whatever else he didn't want to pack out. It wasn't until a year later, when a small suitcase floated onto the rocks, that the case was finally solved. Unfortunately no one knew where Brad Puffup was at, so that part remains unsolved. 

   Goodox took his brood off somewhere, probably far, far away as soon as they were no longer suspects, Pernickul was finally released from jail and, vowing to never insult a wizard again, he and his drinking buddies started new families, none of whom cared much for drinking parties anymore and Brad Puffup ended up falling into a well. 

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