Some people have a knack for finding strange things. Strange things always seem to find Zane Legends.
Very strange things.
Zane never liked taking cases on the fly, but this time, he made an exception. This case sounded particularly... interesting. Especially in the small town of Fruffin.
Susanne Jamisons came into Zane's office at approximately 9:05 PM on Friday. She comes sprinting in with her fiery red hair drenched in water and her mascara running. She's screaming bloody murder.
"Sausages, woman! Calm the heck down!"
"Oh Mr. Legends, you absolutely MUST help me! My daughter, she's been murdered!"
That's how Zane got wrapped up in Jamisons' case.
The drive through the town was quiet. Quieter than usual for a Friday night. There weren't many kids in the neighborhood, so it wasn't much of a surprise. When they came to the street in front of Jamisons' home, it smelled dreadful. The crime scene was a mess, blood all over the sidewalks, newspapers strewn everywhere, bottles all over the place.
Zane popped a truffle and sighed, then turned to Miss Jamisons.
"Alright, first off, where's the body?"
"Oh, I have no clue. I came home, smelled an absolutely horrid smell, and saw all this, oh it was so dreadful! I came running down to your office right away!"
"How do you know she's dead," Miss Jamisons gasped and held back a sob, "If you don't have a body?"
"Oh I just know, mother's intuition! My baby, oh my little baby, she's gone, she'll never come back!" Miss Jamisons practically threw herself on the steps in front of her house and started weeping bowling balls.
Zane was just about done with the antics of Susanne. He had to focus on the case, though. Whatever had happened on this street, it was bad. He scanned the area, looking for clues. The bottles were a big sign, but Miss Jamisons didn't smell like she had any drinks. She also didn't mention anything about a husband. He noticed a few glass shards drenched in blood too.
The newspapers were quite odd. Who would keep so many newspapers? They were all extremely outdated, the latest one Zane could find was from 2004. What was going on, did they plan to do some paper mâché?
Finally, the blood. Zane bent down and sniffed it. Then, he touched it gingerly. Fresh. Couldn't have happened too long ago.
Zane popped another truffle. He was getting closer.
Zane returned to Miss Jamisons' pathetic display. "Alright, Miss Jamisons, I've got a few questions for you."
Miss Jamisons lifted her head slightly. "Oh, you have leads to whoever did... this?
Zane began with the drinks. "What's with all the empty bottles? You didn't mention that anyone else lived here."
"Oh, that is from a house party that I had not too long ago. I put them in recycling with the newspapers, since I had never gotten around to recycling those, but they all blew out! I meant to clean it up, but I was lazy, oh so lazy."
"How old is your daughter? Certainly she would have gotten hurt by all these bottles."
"Oh, my baby is 5 years old. She is such a cutie!"
Zane was baffled. Five years old? With so much glass around! And Miss Jamisons left her alone! No wonder there was so much blood!
"I know what you're thinking, but I didn't leave her alone here." Said Miss Jamisons, breaking Zane's thoughts. "She was with a sitter. Chelsea Liona. No older than 15. She called me and said she heard crashing, and saw this mess. I came home right away, and my baby was no where to be found."
"And you didn't think to tell me this earlier?" Zane almost yelled. Miss Jamisons shrugged sadly.
Zane popped yet another truffle. He was curious about the newspapers and he could figure out why there was so much blood, but something else didn't add up.
"Miss Jamisons, you say you have a daughter, but I have never seen them in Fruffin. You'd think that I would know you had a daughter, it's a small town."
Miss Jamisons chuckled uncomfortably. "Well, you see--" ARF, ARF ARF!
High pitched barks filled the air, followed by a frantic "Shhhh!"
"Who's there?" Zane demanded. Silence.
Before Zane could move a muscle, a Bichon Frise came running down the across the street and pounced on Zane's leg, yipping and licking all over the place. It was drenched in rain and stained with blood.
A teenage girl walked in meekly behind the dog. It didn't take Zane long to figure out that it was Chelsea.
"Oh my baby! I thought I lost you! What happened to your side? Oh oh, your side! It has glass in it! You poor thing, I'll patch you up, I'll get you fixed up right away. I'll call the vet right away!"
"Sausages woman, your baby was a dog?" Zane popped another truffle and chewed furiously before turning to Chelsea. "And you" Chelsea seemed to shrink down into a ball. She was already pretty small, but her thin framed glasses and her pig tails made her seem smaller.
"I'm so, so__ sorry sir! It's, it's just that I knocked over one of the bottles while cleaning them up and I hit the dog and he was running all over the place and he runs into the neighbors' yard and I'm scared and I'm screaming and I'm so sorry, so __so sorry!" Chelsea seemed just about ready to burst into tears.
Zane's anger softened. "Okay, kid, but you'll be responsible for this mess, 'aight?" Chelsea nodded, and Zane smiled, and gave Chelsea a truffle.
In the end, the dog was fine. Susanne Jamisons paid handsomely and Chelsea never got another babysitting job.
Zane got back to his office and popped another truffle. His last truffle. All in a day's work, I suppose. he thought to himself. All in a day's work.