It was the biggest unsolved mystery of the century and I couldn’t work on it because I had to go to a Christmas party. Wouldn’t a ten year old girl rather be at a party than working out a mystery? That would be a no. I’m a detective people, and what do detectives love more than anything? You guessed it. Solving mysteries. Only I couldn’t do what all detectives love most because my mom was making me get into a green dress and white stockings. No matter what my mom says, a party (even a Christmas party) is not more important than an unsolved mystery. Especially this mystery because it involves my sidekick.
In case you didn’t know, all good detectives need a sidekick, and Bobby just so happened to be mine. He’s two years younger than me and had trouble keeping up, but a good detective works with what they’ve got. Besides, he only lived two houses away, so it made it easy to have crime solving meetings. You know what they say; location is everything.
Anyway, the house next to Bobby’s had a new family moving in, but Bobby hadn’t seen them yet. He was dying to know if this family had kids or not (not literally dying, people, it’s just an expression). I told him I would solve this mystery for him, and I wasn’t going back on my word, even if we did have a neighborhood Christmas party to go to.
As soon as I arrived at the party I found Bobby and pulled him to a couch in the corner. It took me a moment to recognize him. He was dressed in green overalls that came to his knees, white long sleeve shirt, and—get this—tights. Bobby was wearing white and red striped tights.
“I’m an elf,” he declared. I wondered why an elf had a Santa hat on, but didn’t question him. My costume wasn’t much better. Mom strung garland around my green dress and put a headband with a star attached by a spring on my head. She wanted to pain my face green too, but that’s where I drew the line. Whose idea was it to make this a costume Christmas party?
I pulled Bobby closer and whispered, “I have a plan. We can sneak out of here and….”
“Why would we want to do that?”
I rolled my eyes. “So we can see the new family.”
“Rawr!” A hairy green thing came from behind the couch. Bobby jumped but, being the calm, cool, collected detective I am, I didn’t get scared. Well, maybe I jumped just a little. But only because Bobby did.
The hairy green thing burst out laughing. It was Daniel, one of the Carsley twins. I looked around for his evil half, but didn’t see Dana.
“You should have seen your faces,” laughed Daniel as he stepped out from behind the couch. He was wearing the same costume he wore for Halloween. Minus the monster mask.
“I’m sure it was hilarious,” I said dryly.
“It was. But what’s even more hilarious is your costumes,” he said. “What are you wearing on your head?” He pinged the spring below the star, making it wobble. “A cat toy?”
“It’s a star,” explained Bobby, “She’s a Christmas tree.”
“And what are you supposed to be?” He turned to Bobby. “Santa,” he flicked the hat, “or a candy cane?”
“I’m an elf,” Bobby said, indignant.
“An elf with candy cane legs.” Daniel snorted.
“And just what are you supposed to be?” I crossed my arms. “Didn’t anyone tell you this is a Christmas party? Not Halloween.”
“It is a Christmas costume. I’m the Grinch.” He held out his arms proudly.
Leave it to the Carsley twins to come dressed as a character that hated Christmas. What was Dana dressed as? Scrooge?
“Hey!” Bobby exclaimed, scowling at the green fur than covered Daniel’s body. “Isn’t that the monster costume you wore for Halloween?”
It took Bobby a while to figure out what my highly observant detective mind deducted right away. This is why he’s not the detective.
“So what if it is? It’s still a more awesome costume than being a candy cane.”
“I’m not a candy cane!”
I’d had enough of this clever banter (or maybe not-so-clever banter). I took Bobby’s arm and lead him away.
“Come on Bobby. No one wants to be around a Grinch,” I said looking at Daniel. It didn’t seem to bother him. He simply crawled back behind the couch to scare the next people who sat there.
I pulled Bobby into a bathroom and shut the door.
“Why are we in here?”
“Because we need somewhere private to discuss our plan.”
“The bathroom?” Bobby wrinkled his nose.
Ok, so I know it isn’t the best place, but suck it up people.
“We have to improvise.” I told him.
Note to self: don’t use big words around Bobby.
“Never mind,” I said, “I know how we can meet your neighbors. All we need to do is bring them some cookies. We’ll tell them we just wanted to welcome them to the neighborhood or wish them Merry Christmas or something.”
“But then we’ll only see the person who answers the door,” said Bobby, “How will we know if they have kids?”
I signed. “Because it’s polite to invite people inside when they are being friendly and bringing you cookies.”
“But we don’t have any cookies L.C.”
“Sure we do. There are a bunch of cookies on that big platter in the kitchen where all the other snacks are.”
“But those aren’t ours.”
“They will be ours, as soon as we grab a plate and put some cookies on it.” I smiled, but Bobby frowned.
“Isn’t that stealing?”
“Detectives don’t steel, and no it isn’t stealing. The cookies are there for people at the party right?”
“And we are people at the party, right?”
“So if they are for us, it isn’t stealing.”
Bobby still didn’t look convinced.
“But the people who moved into that house aren’t at this party, so if we take it to them, then they are stealing.”
“They aren’t stealing it because… because they are… I mean we are….” I’d lost my train of thought. Note to self: find a sidekick that doesn’t think about things so much. Wait, isn’t a sidekick that thinks what I want? Never mind.
“Well just because,” I huffed. “Do you want to find out about your new neighbors or not?”
“Then stop asking silly questions. Let’s get some cookies.”
Bobby and I walked down the sidewalk each holding a Styrofoam plate piled with cookies.
“You do know where their house is don’t you?”
“Of course I do Bobby. It’s right by yours.” Sometimes my sidekick asked the dumbest questions.
“I mean, do you know how to get there from here?”
I looked out the window the whole time while mom and dad drove. I’m sure a detailed detective mind like mine would remember the way.
“Just follow me,” I told Bobby.
“Ok,” Bobby said with a full mouth. I looked over to see Bobby balancing the plate in one hand. In his other hand was a big, round sugar cookie.
“What are you doing!?”
“You’re the detective,” said Bobby taking another bite, “you tell me.”
“You aren’t supposed to eat the cookies. And don’t sass your superiors.”
“But we didn’t even get to try any,” Bobby whined. “There’s still plenty for the neighbors.”
My sidekick had a point which didn’t happen often. But I’m a fair kind of person. I can swallow my pride and listen to my subordinates when they’re right. Besides, those cookies looked really good.
“Just one,” I told Bobby as I helped myself to a cookie with lots of white frosting.
Bobby finished the cookie he was holding and helped himself to another.
“I said one!” I told him.
“I know, and I’m getting one.”
“But you already had one,” I explained.
“Oh, I thought you meant one more.”
Sometimes I don’t think Bobby is as dumb as he acts.
I helped myself to another cookie from my plate. What? I couldn’t let Bobby have more than me.
“Hey! Don’t eat them all before I get some,” yelled someone from behind us.
Bobby and I jumped so high we nearly dropped the plate of cookies.
A green body was standing in the light of a street lamp way behind us. Daniel laughed.
“Scared you again.”
“Come on Bobby,” I said as I turned and kept walking.
“Wait up,” said Daniel. I could hear him running behind us. “I want some cookies.”
“Get your own,” I told him.
“Can’t. Some old lady is guarding them. She said two kids got away with huge platefuls. Now she won’t let any of the kids get more than one.”
Oops. I didn’t know anyone saw us. I would have to work on my sneaking skills.
“I knew it must be you two,” Daniel continued, “because I heard you talking about sneaking out when I was behind the couch.”
“Well you can’t have any,” said Bobby.
“Then I’ll go back to the party and tell your parents that you stole cookies and are wondering around the neighborhood in the dark.”
“We didn’t steal the cookies,” said Bobby at the same time I said, “We aren’t wondering. I know exactly where we are going.”
I looked at Daniel’s smug face and knew he would do exactly what he threatened.
“Fine. You can have a cookie,” I said.
“I want four.”
“Four!?” Bobby and I said together.
“I get four or I’m telling.”
I handed him four cookies. I couldn’t let him ruin my case.
He stuffed one of the cookies into his mouth and started walking with us.
“You can’t come with us,” Bobby told him.
“Sure I can. Unless you want me to tell…”
“He can come with us Bobby,” I said scowling at Daniel.
Bobby shrugged and helped himself to another cookie.
When I made a face at him he said, “Well he got four.”
Again, he had a point. I took a cookie for myself.
We kept walking and eating cookies until Daniel said, “You don’t know where you’re going do you?”
I lifted my chin. “Of course I do.”
“I don’t think you do,” said Bobby.
Remind me to find a sidekick that won’t agree with the opposing side.
I looked around at the dimly lit streets and realized something bad. I didn’t know where we were going.
Bobby saw the look on my face. “We’re lost aren’t we.”
“Some detective you turned out to be,” said Daniel, “You can’t even find the scene of the crime.”
“If you wouldn’t have come along and distracted me with all your talking about cookies and telling on us, I would have paid more attention to where I was going,” I huffed. “And there is no crime, just a mystery to be solved.” Leave it to Daniel to think that there had to be a crime to have a case. Have a little more imagination people.
Daniel shrugged. “Hand me another cookie,” he told Bobby.
“There aren’t anymore.”
Bobby’s plate was empty. Leave it to my sidekick to forget that we were supposed to be saving them for his neighbors. At least one of us was level-headed enough to save some for… My plate was empty too. I guess I ate more than I thought. Oops.
“How are we going to get in their house now?” asked a dejected Bobby.
“We can’t.” I said.
“You really don’t make a good detective L.C.,” said Daniel, “But your plan for stealing cookies was brilliant.”
“Thanks Daniel,” I said dryly. That’s all a detective needed on their resume. Cookie thief.