First Place answer to the Cop Shop Mystery set by Bards Hall to mark WDC's 18th birthday.
Case of the Missing Captain O’Leary!
THE PROBLEM SET:
Introduction: It's the Bardstown's 18th decade, Founder’s Birthday Celebration! The whole town is invited to the events. Captain O’Leary left the precinct earlier that day to get some errands done before the festivities.
O’Leary’s to-do list: CLUES! (Places where the Captain may have been last seen)
1)Pick up his suit from the Economy Cleaners to be worn at the event’s evening ball
2)Gather up their three children from the YMCA day camp and deliver them to Granny’s, so she take them to the earlier events geared for children, notably the kids pie-eating, hog calling and and yodeling contests, and then bring them home for a sleep-over.
3) Go to Ernest’s Garage, to pick-up his Mercedes which was left there overnight for its 50,000 mile service, and return the “loaner car” currently being used.
4) Finally, he needs to meet his wife Lucy at Ethel’s, the local seamstress, who is doing alterations on Lucy’s ball gown, and give her a ride back home so they could both get spruced up for the event.
Back at the Cop Shop, The Mystery Unfolds:
Detective Hall, was the “short straw” drawn earlier that week to man the phones in case of emergency. Suddenly his phone rings ...
“Yes, this is Detective Hall. Oh, yes sir! How may I help you, Mayor Writon?”
“We’ve got big trouble Hall, Lucy O’Leary called my wife to ask her if I was delaying Captain O’Leary, because he never showed up to get her at Ethel’s. Well, I didn’t -- hold him up, that is. So, Lucy called her mother to ask if the kids made it there, and they did. I called Ernest’s Garage because Lucy’s mom said he was going there after dropping off the kids, but there was no answer.”
“Well, pardon me if you will, Mayor, before this gets all APB’d and stuff, might O’Leary have had another stop to make and is running behind?”
“Cheese and rice, Hall! Of course I thought about that before bothering to call you! What kind of dimwit do you think I am, anyway? I drove to the garage myself. The place was closed tight, but O’Leary’s Mercedes was sitting there. The other thing really strange is the town plow that was stored there is missing!”
“That does sound suspicious, Mayor. I’ll get retired-reserve, Detective Fife to help me out with the investigation. There’s probably a good explanation for O’Leary’s disappearance, although I am concerned since recent reports of that dangerous patient who escaped Shady Characters Institute for the Criminally Insane. Just sayin’ sir.” Had it not been for that shady character, I’d be going to the events and Fife would be manning the phones and snoozing in between.”
“Stop babbling, Hall, get Fife and get the job done. Bring O’Leary safely back in time for the ball. If not, I’ll never hear the end of it from my wife. Cheese and rice! “
Your Job, Solve this Mystery within 18 Sentences!
What happened to Captain O’Leary?
Solve the mystery of his disappearance!
Eighteen minutes later, crotchety old Detective Fife stumbled into the station looking as wrinkled as a raisin and stinking of whiskey.
“I sure hope you didn't drive here in that intoxicated state, Fife,” said Detective Hall, scratching his bald patch.
“Why, Lordy, no shiree. I done gone got myself a purdy new girlfriend, Jody, and she done drove me here from the Founders’ Birthday Festival.”
Hall rapidly brought his experienced if slightly inebriated colleague up to date, and Fife patted him on the back. “I think I know just where that pesky young whippersnapper O’Leary might be, and Jody can drive us there pronto if you hand her the patrol car keys.”
Hall stepped outside with Fife and was shocked to find a smoking hot, long-haired blonde in her thirties leaning against the patrol car, holding a cigarette in an especially provocative manner, though that bright orange jumpsuit with S.C.I.C.I printed across both the front and back didn't do much to flatter her obviously ample charms.
“Jody here has been kindly volunteering at the Sad Children’s Institute for the Crainially Impaired over in Literaryville,” said Fife.
Well, that explained the poor fitting jumpsuit, though Hall wondered if Jody might not be crainially impaired herself if such an attractive lady was dating Fife.
He passed the keys to a smiling Jody, who proceeded to give Fife a rather thorough and intimate kiss before jumping into the patrol car and, without hesitation, driving them to the fairground, where the hog calling, donkey riding, and agricultural show were all in progress. She parked beside a cordoned off area, where the antique town plow was being pulled by a team of fine looking horses driven by none other than Captain O’Leary.
Hall ran over. “Captain, what in tarnation are you doing here when you're supposed to be meeting up with your wife?”
“Why, I went to collect my car from Earnest, but he was powerful sick with a nasty cold and lamenting how he wouldn't get to show the kids at the fair how our great-great-great-grandpappies used to do things when they first founded Bardstown, such as using his horse team to plow this field. Because I've been obsessed with horses since seeing Rick Grimes ride into Atlanta on one, I jumped at the chance to show the kids what I've learned.”
“What about your own kids?”
O’Leary pointed to the crowd, where his mother stood chatting with Fife, and he and Hall both smiled when they saw the captain’s three adorable children crowded around Fife’s pretty girlfriend, who was laughing and throwing them into the air one-by-one with much giggling all around. “Looks like they're in good hands.”
Written for "The Bard's Hall Contest"
"Mystery Newsletter (December 19, 2018)" "Mystery Newsletter (January 16, 2019)"
Cover photograph taken by and copyright of C Goodwin October 2008