With Easter approaching, I thought it was time for another story featuring our two fearless detectives. So for your enjoyment:
Lollipop Jones & Pecan Sandie
A Scrambled Caper
It was only a few days before Easter. Lollipop Jones and Pecan Sandie found themselves walking down the sidewalk, surrounded by pastel colored clothed people. “I’ve always liked spring.” Lollipop announced to her partner.
Pecan made a non-committal grunt. The detectives were not dressed in the soft colors of the rest of the city. No matter the season, Lollipop could be found with her trench coat and Pecan was wearing jeans and combat boots. “So what do you suspect our mysterious phone call was about?” Lollipop asked around the quickly dissolving sucker in her mouth..
“A case.” Pecan answered, his gravelly voice rumbling. “No idea why they wanted to meet at a diner.”
“I don’t mind, I’m hungry.” Lollipop responded.
Entering into the “Broken Egg Diner”, Lollipop and Pecan saw their prospective client. The farmer was wearing a well-worn ball cap and dusty overalls. Sitting down across from the man, they each gave a curt nod to their client. Looking over his steaming coffee cup, he returned the nod. “You them detectives?” The farmer asked.
“You Billy Collins?” Pecan rumbled.
“I am.” Billy answered. “I sure am hoping that ya’ll can help me.”
“Can you tell us what it is we’re supposed to help you with?” Lollipop asked.
“I’m the head of a small union of egg farmers near the city.” Billy explained. “We’ve all been hit by a thief.”
“What did they take?” Lollipop asked, taking a notepad from her coat pocket.
“Eggs!” Billy exclaimed. “What else do you think we have?”
Pecan chuckled. “Is there a big market for eggs?”
“At Easter?” Billy asked, stunned. “No better time to have a barn full of eggs.”
“Anyone that you can think of that would want to steal these eggs?” Lollipop asked.
“No.” Billy answered. “None of us has any enemies and without those eggs we’ll go bust.”
“Where’s your farm?” Pecan asked.
Billy gave them the address and then left. Lollipop and Pecan stayed to order breakfast, but with the egg shortage that had hit the city, most breakfast foods were gone. Lollipop decided to have a blueberry sucker, Pecan just scowled. Frustrated at the lack of omelets and pancakes, the detectives decided to get to work and pay a visit to the farm.
The multiple acres that stretched before them was filled with chicken coops. Short, white buildings that were temperature controlled, moisture controlled, and filled with rows of the little clucking birds. “Jeez, I feel like we’re in a Space Odyssey.” Lollipop said, referring to the futuristic look of the coops.
“Yeah.” Pecan agreed. The large mountain of man pointed towards a red building that stood taller than the others. “Egg barn.”
“Probably.” Lollipop agreed, as they started to walk between the rows of chicken buildings.
Arriving at the large barn, they saw that while its outside appeared to be red wood, the inside resembled a cooler. The large open door revealed a massive space that was almost completely empty. “Ya’ll made it quick.” Billy commented from the inside of the barn.
“Is this where the eggs were stored?” Lollipop asked.
“Yeah.” Billy confirmed. “Nothing’s been touched since we found it this morning.”
Stepping into the large interior, Lollipop and Pecan separated to inspect the floor of the barn. “Hey!” Pecan called.
Lollipop hurried to her partner. “What’d you find?” She asked.
Pecan held up a few feathers in his hand. Lollipop gave him a inpatient look. “Those are chicken feathers.” She stated. “The eggs come from chickens, so it’s safe to assume that these feathers are from around here.”
“What about these?” Pecan asked, revealing his other hand.
He had several brown and black feathers in it. “What are those?” Lollipop asked.
“Geese feathers,” Billy answered from behind them.
“Do you have any geese on property?” Pecan asked.
“No.” Billy answered.
“What about these?” Pecan asked, showing the chicken feathers.
“Those didn’t come from one of my chickens.” Billy stated.
“Why not?” Lollipop asked.
“All my hens are golden.” Billy explained. “Those are white and clearly have not been tended to. You can tell by the dirt on the tips.”
“So your chickens can’t get dirty.” Lollipop stated, disbelief clear in her voice.
“Each of our coops is hermetically sealed and our workers wear complete hazmat suits to prevent getting any outside bacteria near the eggs.” Billy replied. “We have the cleanest eggs anywhere in the world. It’s what makes them taste so good.”
Lollipop started to look at her partner and scoff, but when she looked at Pecan the big man was no longer standing beside her. Turning around, she found her partner standing at the barn door. He was kneeling down and looking at something. Leaving Billy staring at the vast empty space, Lollipop knelt next to her partner. “What’d you find?” She asked.
“Tracks.” Pecan answered. “Something big, tractor trailer maybe.”
“Getaway vehicle?” She asked.
“Most likely.” Pecan replied. “Also found this.”
Raising a large hand, Pecan opened it to reveal three eggs, each crudely painted. Lollipop took a moment to appreciate that the giant hands of her partner were able to crack open pecans, but were gently cradling the eggs. “So what does this mean?” Lollipop asked. “Someone’s trying to get a head start on their Easter eggs.”
Pecan shrugged. “Maybe nothing.” He answered.
Following the tire tracks, they discovered more of the horribly painted eggs. “I don’t know who did these, but they are terrible.” Lollipop commented.
“Yeah, I’d leave them hidden.” Pecan agreed.
“Although I do like a good hardboiled egg once in a while.”
“Bill Murray only eats Cadbury crème Eggs.” Pecan stated.
The muscular man’s obsession with Bill Murray was almost fanatical. “Does he?” Lollipop asked.
“Yeah, Bill Murray can get them whenever he wants.” Pecan agreed. “He has an agreement with the Cadbury bunny.”
“Right.” Lollipop said, stretching out the word. “And maybe I can get an agreement with the Easter bunny.”
As they headed down the trail, they found another group of amateur painted eggs. These eggs were misshapen and odd looking. Pecan picked them up. “We need to go.” He proclaimed.
“Why?” Lollipop asked.
“Because these are rocks.” Pecan said, clanking two of them together. “We need to follow these tracks.”
“I’ll bring the truck around.” Lollipop said, heading towards the large, four wheel drive beast, which was her truck.
Turning the key, Lollipop smiled, as the engine roared to life. She maneuvered the vehicle over beside her partner. Pecan climbed up into the cab. “Follow the tracks.” He instructed.
“You know, I never learned tracking.” Lollipop admitted.
“Why not?” Pecan asked.
Lollipop just shrugged. The Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist had raised the detective and taught her the greatest hand to hand combat techniques ever known, but she had never taken an interest in their tracking lessons. It just hadn’t seemed as fun.
“What’s that?” She asked pointing at the large thicket of bushes ahead of them.
“It must be the path.” Pecan answered cryptically.
Lollipop eased on her brakes. “Keep going.” Her partner instructed. “We’ll find the thieves on the other side.”
Giving an unsure look to Pecan, Lollipop decided to trust him and eased the truck forward. The large tires rolled towards the thicket, then as they were about to roll into it, the greenery parted around them. A lush paradise of shade trees and green grass stood before them. Still pools, scattered across the distance. “The Enchanted Thicket,” Pecan marveled.
“So the Easter Bunny did it.” Lollipop stated.
“Doubtful.” Pecan replied. “Why would he start stealing eggs now, I think he might have some unwanted guests.”
Shaking her head, Lollipop turned off the truck and exited. Pecan dropped down on the other side a moment later. “Well since you’re the expert here, where do we start looking?” Lollipop asked.
Pecan pointed to a large, pastel pink dome, nearby. The detectives made their way to the structure, seeing a jagged, yellow line, painted across the center of the dome. Reaching the base, the detectives split up and started walking in opposite directions around the dome. Meeting on the other side, they found a small door and two windows. Flowers bloomed in two organized beds underneath the windows. “Let me guess, the Easter Bunny’s house.” Lollipop guessed.
“Yup.” Pecan said, as he pushed open the little door.
They were greeted to signs of a struggle. There were overturned cups of light pastel paints, the small furniture had been shifted around, and a pile of carrots sat on the floor, underneath them were the broken pieces of a plate. Crouching to enter the egg shaped house, Pecan and Lollipop started to search the diminutive structure. After finding a room filled with cans of paint, and another that was a pantry of cabbage, lettuce, and carrots, they found a small bedroom. A small straw mattress sat upon a tiny wooden frame. On the other side was a small brown and white shape, tied up with ropes. Lollipop, able to move easier than her bulky partner, hurried over the bed, to the small shape. As she touched it, two long ears rose up and a perfectly adorable bunny stared at her.
A thin strip of fabric had been wrapped around his cute little bunny mouth and nose. Lollipop quickly removed the gag. “Is that better?” She cooed at the rabbit.
“A great deal, yes, can you please untie my hands and feet?” The rabbit asked in a high-pitched voice, sounding like someone having taken a great gulp of helium.
“You can talk?” Lollipop stammered.
“Of course I can talk. I’m the Easter Bunny.” The rabbit explained. “But you can call me Hopster.”
“Hopster, what happened?” Pecan rumbled from the other side of the bed.
The rabbit let out a little giggle. Lollipop looked at her partner, huge and deadly, crammed into the tiny space and realized just how ridiculous it looked. Not looking him in the eye, for fear that she would laugh as well, she quickly untied the rabbit. “I can’t tell you too much.” Hopster said. “A group of geese came in and tied me up. I’ve been here for the last several days, occasionally they bring me a glass of water and some food.”
“Geese huh?” Pecan asked.
“Yes, they dress funny.” Hopster admitted.
“Well geese are mean.” Lollipop admitted.
“These are the worst geese I’ve ever seen.” Hopster stated. “And they work for someone, someone that’s not a goose. I think it might be a chicken.”
“Why?” Pecan inquired.
“All the clucking.” Hopster explained.
“Any idea where they are?” Lollipop asked.
“If I had to guess, I’d say they’re out by the big painting table.” Hopster said and then pointed the way.
“Stay here.” Pecan instructed. “We’ll come back when its safe.”
Hopster nodded and started straightening out his tiny house. Pecan and Lollipop left the little guy to his work and went in the direction that he had pointed. It did not take them long until they came to a large table, almost as long as an airplane runway. There were a large number of geese standing around, trying to paint the eggs. These geese were dressed funny, even funnier than a normal goose would, wearing clothes. They had loose baggy kid’s pants on and dark colored bandannas and skull caps covering the small heads. “The Loosey Gooseys!” Lollipop gasped.
Pecan turned towards his partner, waiting for an explanation. “This is the worst bird gang in all the inner cities. Worse than the Dove Lords, or even the Pigeon Kingpins, I wonder who brought them into this little venture.”
“I did!” Proclaimed a small chicken behind them. The detectives turned at the sound. “That’s right I did it. I’m tired of that little rodent taking all the credit for eggs. Who lays those eggs? Chickens! After the bad press I received about the sky falling, I wanted to do something to restore my good name and bring the recognition back to chickens for Easter.”
All Pecan and Lollipop heard was a bunch of squawks and clucks, but they knew what it meant. This chicken was a bad egg and needed to be taken out. As the detectives approached the small white fowl, it let out a single “Cockle doodle doo,” which is chicken for “ATTACK!” Before the detectives could capture the chicken, the Loosey Gooseys swarmed around them. One of the gang geese stepped forward. It swaggered up to Lollipop Jones and jumped into the air. It planted a webbed foot on her leg and continued its spin. Flapping its wings, it backed away from the detectives. “Did that goose just round house kick me?” Lollipop asked Pecan.
“Looked like it.” Pecan answered.
“Oh I don’t think so.” She said, throwing the empty sucker stick from her mouth. She dug in her pocket and retrieved a flavor that was perfect for a fight, sour apple, and took a step towards the offending fowl.
A few of the geese pulled switchblades with their wings, but given the lack of fingers they were having too much trouble holding onto them to really pose a threat. Reaching behind him, Pecan took his folded battle axe from its place. With a flick of his wrist, the weapon was fully extended and ready for use. A small group of the geese circled the large man, while the others circled up around Lollipop. It did not take long before they all rushed forward towards the detectives. Little did they know that they faced a full inductee into the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist, the keepers of the Uber-Death Punch, which could vaporize the bones within a human body. It had a very different effect on the geese. The first one that received the Uber-Death Punch, knocked all the feathers from the bird and when it had stopped rolling it looked like it was perfectly ready to go into the oven for dinner.
It had been no chance of fate that the first goose to fall had been the one to round house kick Lollipop. As the fight continued and the feathers flew, Lollipop pulsed through her enemies like Colonel Sanders through chickens, which works as an analogy because you know, geese are tasty birds too. After the last of the attacking geese had been reduced to an oven ready entree, Lollipop turned to find her partner. There was a large mass of geese and feathers. Rising out of it was the largest goose that Lollipop had ever seen. The bird towered over her. It raised up a battle axe and wiped its face with the back of a hand. Lollipop laughed as she saw Pecan Sandie covered in goose feathers. “What happened?” She asked.
“I worked up a sweat, the feathers stuck.” He explained. “What about the chicken?”
“He’s probably going back for Hopster.” Lollipop exclaimed, as the detectives rushed off towards the bunny’s house.
They saw the small pink dome and the door, standing open. Arriving on the scene, they watched the chicken come staggering out, his face an array of pastel colors. Hopster stepped out from the house. He was wearing a leather harness that held different paint brushes and a basket with a few eggs in it. “If you ever try anything like this again, you’ll think that acorn was the best thing to ever happen to you.” Hopster proclaimed.
The chicken ran off, the detectives weren’t sure, but could chickens cry, because they thought this one had been. As Hopster led the detectives back to their truck, he explained the missing eggs. “I’ll have those stolen eggs returned tomorrow. I have a contract with an egg conglomerate in Indiana, they’ll be here in an hour. My “would be” successor did not know that. If there’s anything I can do, let me know.” Hopster offered.
“Can I get the Bill Murray deal?” Pecan asked.
“That’s Cad’s domain. I can’t make any promises, but I’ll ask and see what he can do.” Hopster offered. “How about you, Ms. Jones? Want hard boiled eggs every month?”
“No, I’m fine but thank you.” She replied as she climbed into the truck.
Pecan climbed in beside her. “Well this was definitely a new one.” He stated.
“Yes it was, but tomorrow we should be able to get those omelets.” She said.
“But first, let’s see that Loosey Gooseys do some community service.” Pecan offered. Lollipop raised a questioning eyebrow at him.
The next morning the city’s food kitchen had a delivery. All the Uber-Death Punched geese were dropped off. As Pecan arrived back at his place, there was a small basket sitting on the coffee table. A small note sat on top of it. The basket was filled with Cadbury crème Eggs. Opening the note, Pecan read the message:
Hopster told me what you did. I’ll give you one basket a month, nobody but Bill Murray gets the Bill Murray special.
Pecan smiled as he opened the gold, red, and blue wrapper. It was going to be a good Easter.
The Easter Bunny sculpture is courtesy of my wife, Caralyn. You can find the bunny and her other creations here.
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