With October here and Halloween fast approaching, I thought I’d get my two favorite detectives into the action. Now for the story you’ve been waiting for:
Lollipop Jones & Pecan Sandie vs. Dracula
The air held a good crisp feel to it. Leaves, which had flaunted their healthy green in the previous months, were beginning to change to shades of yellow and red. The grass was yellowing on the lawns and the invasion of pumpkin spice had begun. Not like an INVASION, invasion, but you know it just starts appearing everywhere that you go, like a stalker. This was the way the city normally welcomed fall, and this year was no different. Lollipop Jones pulled her trench coat tight around her and held onto her hat as a cool breeze pulled the few falling leaves along its current. Pecan Sandie was walking behind her, the man, a large mountain of muscle, did not feel the cold. His wardrobe did not change throughout the year. Lollipop always wore her trench coat and hat, and could easily be spotted by the white sucker stick jutting from her mouth.
The two appeared an odd matched couple. A lithe female in a long coat and a juggernaut of a man in a short sleeved shirt. It was daybreak and the sun was filtering in through the skyscrapers. This was not a normal morning for the detecting duo. Jones had received a phone call from the police asking for their help. Ever the good citizen, the detective had called her partner and they were now on their way to meet at the scene of a crime.
The city’s historical museum was one of the highlights for tourists to see when visiting. This morning though, it was marked by yellow police tape and the parking lot was filled with flashing blue lights. “Right this way.” An officer called waving to the detectives.
Pecan stepped over the tape, while Lollipop ducked under it. Her movements were smooth and well controlled, a result of her being raised by the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist. The officer led the two into the museum and past the skeleton of an ancient mummy that greeted the patrons. The plaque above the head read: Aztec Mummy and contained other information. Lollipop and the officer walked past the bandaged bundle in the glass. Pecan studied the dried face when he saw a brightly colored reflection in the glass. Spinning around, he caught sight of a red cape dashing away. “Hey, you coming?” Lollipop called returning to the foyer.
Pecan turned and followed after her. “So what did you see?” She asked her partner.
“Luchador.” The big man replied.
“Okay.” Lollipop said, not sure how else to respond to the information.
Walking through a few exhibits, they saw the bright lights of the forensics’ team. Laying in the middle of the brightly illuminated area was a man. He was dressed in a night watchman’s uniform. Police chief, Alyssandra Mendez, stood up and greeted the detectives. “Jones, Sandie, thanks for coming on such short notice.” She said in a crisp professional manner.
Lollipop thought that was odd, given the informal relationship that they had with the local law enforcement. Scanning the people, Jones spotted a reporter lurking on the fringe with a few other officers. “Want us to get rid of the snoop for you?” Lollipop asked.
“Unfortunately, I can’t.” Alyssandra whispered. “The Mayor is having her follow me for a write up in the local paper.”
“Gotcha.” Lollipop replied. “So what’s the rundown?”
“Well, we’re at a loss.” The chief replied quietly, then raised her voice as she started to give the other details of the scene. “Our people were notified of a break in this morning when the front doors security sensor was tripped. Upon arriving here, we found the museum’s night watchman, Thomas Wilborne, as you see him. So far, we can find no sign of forced entry or cause of death. What we do know is that he’s lost a lot of blood, but not here.”
Pecan scanned the exhibit that they were standing in. “This new?” He asked.
“I’m not sure.” Alyssandra replied. “Doctor Hermis?”
“Yes.” A small pudgy man in a tweed jacket with wire rimmed glasses said as he stepped forward.
Pecan repeated his question. “Oh yes. It is quite recent, I believe we put the final touches on it just yesterday afternoon.” He informed them.
“Anything else?” Alyssandra asked, looking at the detectives.
“Not for right now.” Lollipop answered, as her partner began to wander over to the different articles in the exhibit.
Following beside him, Jones was examining the floor and cases for signs of tampering. “A-ha!” She proclaimed.
Pecan stopped and turned to his partner. Pointing, Lollipop shared her discovery. One of the larger cases had been tampered with. Inside it was a large crate. “What is this?” She whispered to Pecan.
“A big box.” He responded.
“Thank you Doctor Obvious.” She groaned. “But what’s so special about it?”
Bending over, Pecan read the plaque underneath the display. He quickly righted himself and stepped away from the gathered police. Lollipop could tell by the slight tremble in his hands, that the big guy was excited. Stepping over to her partner, Lollipop gave him a strange look. “Okay, I haven’t seen you this excited since that time you thought you saw Bill Murray.” She stated.
“It was Brian Doyle Murray, so honest mistake.” Pecan grumbled. “This is huge. That crate came from a burned down estate in England, Whitby to be exact. And it happens to bear the symbol of an old Transylvanian nobleman.”
“No freaking way.” Jones stated her disbelief.
“It makes sense. Can’t cross the ocean without help, hangs out in a crate of soil and just waits until they unpack him. And the night watchman, it all fits!” Pecan stated.
“I know, but, really?”
“Looks like it.” Pecan swallowed hard. “Dracula is our killer” Pecan replied.
Over hearing their conversation, Chief Mendez approached the duo. “What do you have?” The chief asked.
“You aren’t going to believe this, but we think that the alarm went off because someone left, not because someone broke in. Also, please have the coroner check Thomas for two puncture marks in his throat.” Lollipop pulled the sucker from her mouth and hesitated a moment. “We believe that Count Vlad Tepes, A-K-A Dracula, who is a century old vampire was brought into the museum through the crate in the disturbed case and is now roaming free.”
Jones put the sucker back in her mouth and closed her eyes, expecting to be met with a wave of disbelief by the law officer. It was tough for Lollipop to not be surprised when she heard Alyssandra say: “You guys handle it, I’ll do what I can.”
“Really?” Pecan asked, his confused look mirrored the way Jones felt.
“You guys brought in gold stealing leprechauns, I’m not going to just swallow the entire vampire thing, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.” She explained. “Just don’t make me look bad.”
“Yes ma’am.” Pecan said with a small salute.
As the chief walked away, the detectives showed themselves out of the museum.
Back at their office, Lollipop was writing down possible lairs for the sanguine count. Pecan sat behind his desk with several old leather bound volumes opened in front of him. “According to these books, vampires can’t go out in sunlight. So he’ll be resting right now.” He said.
“Everybody knows that.” Lollipop said, looking up annoyed. “Holy water, garlic, stakes through the heart, and crosses; it’s everywhere, books, movies, anything with a vampire has that stuff.”
“Says they fear holy symbols.” Pecan continued, ignoring his partner.
With a frustrated sound, Jones went back to her task. The list of possible hiding places was extensive. Marking each of the locations on a map, Lollipop pinned the map onto the wall. “Okay, here are the most likely places for Drac to stay.” She stated.
Pecan looked up from his books and studied the map. While the behemoth was looking over it, Jones retrieved a sucker from her pocket and put the bulb in her mouth. “Any questions?” She asked.
“Any of these near blood banks or hospitals?” He asked.
“Several of them.” She responded.
“We should check those first. According to my research, vampires need blood nightly.” Pecan stated.
Jones glared at the man. “Fine. We’ll check those first.” She agreed.
The sun was getting low as they checked the fourth spot on Lollipop’s list. So far they had not found anything in their pursuit of the fiend. This place seemed different though. An abandoned meat packing plant, the place had an aura about it that was slightly unsettling. Nothing like that could bother the stalwart detectives though, their aura of awesomeness was stronger than that of the old building.
Immediately, the detectives noticed the lack of rodents. All the other buildings that they had been in were crawling with the furry creatures, but this one, where they should have been more abundant, was empty. “I think this may be the place.” Lollipop whispered.
Pecan nodded his agreement as he stepped cautiously across the room. The large man had his familiar flip out battle axe strapped to his back, and had supplemented his arsenal with multiple wooden stakes strapped to his legs and arms. A string of garlic hung around his neck and a liter cola bottle of holy water hung on his belt. Jones thought it was a bit too much precaution for one vampire. Even though she was carrying a bulb of garlic in each of her coat’s pockets. “So what’s our plan?” She asked.
“Find him, stake him, and go home.” Pecan answered.
“I’ve always admired how uncomplicated your plans are.” Jones replied, rolling her eyes. “We should probably head down into the basement.”
Searching the building, Pecan and Lollipop could not find a door that led to the lower level of the building. “I know I saw a basement on the blue prints.” She said. “Pecan?”
With a savage grin, the juggernaut of justice raised his massive boot and planted it firmly into the floor. The boards gave way with a sharp crack. Reaching down with his massive hands, Pecan jerked several of the boards up. His hands could crush the nut of his namesake in their grips, the boards did not stand a chance. “Stand back.” Jones said as she dropped off into the darkness below.
The putrid smell of blood was thick down here, it mingled with the sweet taste of the cinnamon apple sucker in her mouth. As her eyes began to adjust, she could make out several shapes standing out against the darkness. “Light.” Sandie said, from above her.
A moment later, several glow sticks were thrown about the room. There eerie green glow added to the growing discomfort that the deadly detective felt. The shapes were clearly boxes, combined with the light of the phosphorescent chemicals, there were still plenty of shadows for some unseen menace to hide in. Lollipop Jones stepped away from the hole above her. She heard the drop as her partner’s considerable bulk fell down behind her. Taking a flashlight from her coat pocket, Lollipop turned on the bright beam to play among the different boxes surrounding them. “Why would boxes still be down here?” She asked.
“Dirt.” Pecan said, pointing towards the floor.
Looking down, Jones saw the fine particles of soil coming from one of the corners of the boxes. “How much longer do we have before suns . . .” she started to ask, when the alarm on Pecan’s watch went off, signaling the setting of the sun.
All around them, the boxes started to creak as lids began to rise. “How did he get so many so fast?” Pecan asked.
From behind them came a regal laugh, it was a rich sound that had a strangely hollow quality. “You are quite a large fellow with much blood for my children.” The voice taunted.
Turning, Lollipop’s flashlight fell on a regal man dressed in a fine suit, his hair coming to a widow’s peak above a creased brow. A medallion of gold with a large red ruby stood just underneath his collar. Lollipop stifled a laugh. “You find this amusing?” The vampire lord demanded.
“Oh jeez, he’s actually wearing the cape.” She said, chuckling.
A rumbling sound came from Pecan Sandie as well, the confused Dracula registered it shortly as a laugh. “Do you know who you face?” He shouted, angered at their insolence.
“Yeah.” Pecan admitted. “He looks just like the costumes.”
“I bet he vants to suck our blood.” Jones joked.
“I don’t talk like that.” Dracula snarled.
Wiping a tear from her eye, Lollipop Jones looked around and noticed that there were at least twenty other vampires surrounding them. Her laughter gradually faded. “Ah, now I see the insolent whelp recognizes the danger.” The vampire count gloated.
“Yeah, yeah.” Lollipop said, brushing aside the menacing comment. “So how did you get all these folks so quick? You’ve only been in the city for a day.”
“My brides came before to prepare the way.” Dracula explained, motioning to three pale women, wearing white burial gowns.
“Right, guess we should’ve thought about that.” Jones commented, nudging Pecan’s arm.
“Mortal fool, do you not know that by coming here you have forfeited your lives?” Dracula asked, he was clearly perplexed by these mortals, who seemed so unaffected by his coven.
“You forfeited your existence when we came here.” Pecan grumbled, pulling the wooden handle from his back.
With a flick of his wrist the battle axe unfolded and proved a formidable site in the hands of the giant. “Feed my children, teach those who would stop the gathering.” Dracula commanded.
His brides and the other lesser vampires rushed the intrepid duo. Standing back to back, Lollipop and Pecan prepared to meet the rushing horde. Stilling herself, Jones prepared. When the first vampire was within reach, she delivered the Uber-Death Punch, the ultimate technique of the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist. Every bone in the vampire’s body atomized and it fell to the floor a boneless heap. With a defiant roar, Pecan lunged forward swinging his axe. Two lesser vampires lost their heads to his attack. As their headless compatriots turned to dust, the others cleared away from the axe wielding behemoth.
From his position atop a box, Dracula applauded. “Very good.” He taunted them. “A shame that you will not be so successful with the others.”
Cautiously, the vampires approached the detectives. They were now more aware of the skill of their opponents. The boneless vampire was once more standing and moving in with his fellow undead flunkies. “Oh come on!” Lollipop said, seeing the man.
“Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. I read that vampires can regenerate from most wounds.” Pecan said over his shoulder.
“Everybody knows that, you aren’t saying anything useful.” Jones said, her frustration clear on her voice.
“Use the garlic.” Pecan offered.
“Okay, that might be useful.” Lollipop apologized.
Taking the bulbs of garlic from her pockets and holding them in her hand, Jones waited as the vampires moved with a stillness that no human could mimic. Even with her warrior nun controlled muscles, Lollipop could not move so deftly. There was a slight change of pressure in the air, and Lollipop waited as the vampires rushed forward. Lashing out with two open handed blows, she met the vampires’ attack. The force of her blow cracked the sternum, inserting the garlic inside their bodies. Seconds later, the ashes of the vampires lay on the ground, the garlic buried under the black powder. “I’m going to borrow this.” Lollipop said as she tugged the string of garlic from around Pecan’s neck.
“I’ll manage.” Pecan responded.
The vampires were not as sure of themselves, having seen Lollipop’s destruction of two of them. Pecan shifted his battle axe into a one handed grip and retrieved one of the wooden stakes strapped onto his leg. “This is ridiculous.” Dracula stated, frustrated. “There are still at least sixteen of you. All of you jump on them. Go on.”
As the lesser vampires obeyed the dark lord of the undead, only the three brides stayed back. Swinging the double sided axe, Pecan kept the bloodsucking fiends at bay, while he used the sharpened end of the stake to pierce a vampire’s heart. As Pecan went about the traditional manner of dispatching vampires, Lollipop Jones was using her newly discovered method. The female detective was slamming garlic into the vampires like an Italian chef, making a pizza, while killing vampires. As she planted the last white bulb into her attackers, she turned and saw three vampires piled on Pecan’s stake. The tip of the wood was just barely visible through the back of the latest skewer.
“Nice vampire kabob.” She commented.
Pecan grunted and tossed the stake aside. Grabbing a fresh one from his leg, Pecan waded back into the pale fiends. Not many of them were left and the brides had yet to attack. Taking the head of one with his axe, Pecan head butted his other attacker. As the fanged ghoul stumbled back, Pecan drove the stake into his chest. The power of the strike planted the vampire on the ground and drove the wooden implement into the concrete foundation of the building.
“I need a drink.” Lollipop commented.
Grabbing the bottle from his belt, Pecan tossed it over his shoulder, keeping his eyes on the three brides. Catching the bottle, Jones spun the cap off and took a giant mouthful. She then sprayed the liquid from her mouth on the last of her attackers. The vampires screamed and ran around, flailing their arms and smoking. “Refreshing.” Pecan commented.
Scanning the room, Lollipop confirmed that only the brides and Dracula remained. The relaxed attitude the vampire king had been displaying, had evaporated. “Get them my brides!” He commanded as he turned and fled towards a nearby door.
“Can you . . .” Lollipop started to ask.
“Go.” Pecan said, a hint of a smile curling his lip. “It’s only three of them. Doesn’t really seem fair.”
“Fair enough.” Lollipop commented as she ran after the Prince of Darkness.
One of the brides stepped in her path. With a quick chop to her throat, Lollipop Jones sent her stumbling away gagging. Pecan folded his axe and slid it across his back. Making a fist, he popped his knuckles. “Ladies,” he greeted the trio.
Two of the brides hissed at him and rushed forward, the third one was still clutching her throat, gagging.
Lollipop ran after Dracula, she could see the red lining of his cape fluttering in the darkness ahead of her. They entered a room, where one of the remaining windows had not been boarded up. The ambient light of the streetlights and other light pollution from the city, filtered in and provided Lollipop enough light to see by. Dracula was leaning against a wall, holding his side. “You aren’t winded are you?” Lollipop asked.
“I don’t even need to breathe.” Dracula commented dismissively.
He turned and made eye contact with Lollipop Jones. His dark eyes seemed to be pools of obsidian, pools that she could drown in. “You do not wish to continue this foolish endeavor.” Dracula whispered. “Your large friend is a threat to me. You will dispatch him for me.”
Unfortunately, Dracula did not know that his eyes were obsidian pools that Lollipop could drown in, but she had learned to swim under the tutelage of warrior nuns. Lashing out, Jones kicked Dracula in the chest. The vampire lord bounced off the wall and fell to the floor. “How?” He asked.
“The Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist.” Lollipop explained. “I’ll admit you’re a pretty powerful hypnotist.”
She sent another kick at Dracula’s brow. In a flurry of movement, the vampire spun away and struck back. He barely grazed Jones’ extended leg, but it was enough to throw her off balance. Concerned more with escaping than anything else, Dracula ran from the room seeking to get away from the fierce warriors that had confronted him. Lollipop pursued once again. As they ran into the room where Pecan was dispatching one of the brides, Dracula leapt towards the hole in the ceiling. The same hole the detectives had descended through. Jones dove and caught the hem of Dracula’s cape. The rich silk fabric fell away in her hands and a small winged form rose into the air and vanished through the ruined ceiling.
Standing up, the cape in her hands, Jones looked around. Two of the brides had been piled onto the stake implanted into the floor. The third and final bride was kneeling on the concrete still clutching her throat. “Wow.” Pecan marveled.
“Yeah.” Lollipop said, joining her partner. “I didn’t really hold back, so I may have done some real damage there.”
“Dracula got away?” Pecan asked in his rumbling voice.
“Yeah. What are we going to tell the chief?”
“We have one culprit.” Pecan Sandie answered, pointing at the bride. “Should be enough to keep Alyssandra from looking bad.”
Pecan Sandie and Lollipop Jones escorted the final remaining bride into the police station and presented her directly to Police Chief Alyssandra Mendez. Sitting in the office was the reporter who began writing down the entire fantastic tale. The detectives did not tell the reporter that Dracula was still at large. Mendez had the bride put into a cell. “I’ve got to get this to print. Just wait until the public reads this.” The reporter said, grabbing her jacket from the back of the chair.
“Good night Ms. Field.” The chief said as the reporter left.
“Field?” Lollipop stated.
“Yeah, Rachael Nicole Field, I’m sure you’ve read some of her articles. She’s been covering the crime report in this city for years.” Alyssandra explained.
With the reporter gone, the detectives told the chief everything, including how Dracula had escaped. As the sun rose, a scream erupted from the holding cells. “Now what?” The chief asked as she hurried towards the sound.
Lollipop and Pecan followed close behind. They found smoke drifting from the cell block. “Open up!” Alyssandra ordered.
The guard opened the door and the two detectives followed the chief into the cell. A pile of ash was sitting on the bunk, the bright rays of the sun shining in through the barred window. “Cell faces east.” Pecan commented.
“Yeah, guess we should have thought of that.” Lollipop admitted. “Sorry.”
Rachael Fields was in the underground parking facility for the police department, when a well-dressed man stepped from the shadows and opened the door to her car. The reporter thought he looked familiar, then got lost in his eyes, they were so dark and contained a mystifying depth. Listening to a small voice in her head, the reporter opened the trunk of her car. As the mysterious stranger climbed in, she closed the trunk and drove away from the parking lot.
Shaking her head, Rachael looked around. Her car was sitting in front of an abandoned old colonial style house. Weird, she thought as she tried to remember why she was here. Looking in the rearview mirror, she saw that her trunk was open. Getting out and closing the trunk, the reporter wondered if there was a story in the house. I’ll have to come back tonight. She thought to herself.