Today’s the last day of Word Challenge Week! I’m disappointed that it has come to an end.
Today’s last set of words are: inconspicuous, purple, nefarious, lustre and greyhound.
My nose grazes along the ground as I follow the faint scent of corruption. I know that this method is vain and that the trail will abruptly end, but I have to survey all angles. The trees on the nature strip are rustling as the breeze surges through their leaves.
The scent is slightly bitter—like coffee mixed with straw and walnuts. It zigzags across the pavement. Does the parasite even know how to walk in a straight line? A deep growl erupts from my chest and my snuffling becomes more urgent—the trail is fading.
‘Hey, Grover,’ Mr Falthrop calls from his front garden. He’s watering his petunias. I roll my eyes, ‘What are you doing out and about? You look like you’re on a mission.’
You have no idea.
I’ve been following this guy for a few weeks now. At first I thought it was a one off crime—he got to Billy Cooper’s Frisbee. We heard about it for an entire Saturday. Poor Billy couldn’t understand why he couldn’t play Frisbee with his dog, Filmore.
Now, though, I have branded this beast one of the most nefarious criminals currently at large—especially now that Frances Marks’ diamond brooch was literally taken off her hands.
I saw it all.
She was on her way to a funeral—she was wearing a beautiful black blouse with a knee length skirt. She’d had her hair permed the day before and pearl drops were hanging from her ears. She oozed class.
Her daughter had pulled up in the driveway and had sounded her horn, so Mrs Marks made her way out of her front door, brooch in hand. As she walked from the house to the car, he swooped down and took off with the brooch.
I could hear her gasp from my own front yard across the road.
‘You rascal!’ she screeched at him as he made his speedy retreat to his lair. He was untraceable after he passed over the rooftop of my house. He had struck again.
Since then, I have been trying to scope out the neighbourhood. But I always seem to be interrupted.
Last Thursday, I got as far as Mr Norton’s house two blocks away. I was searching for another of The Crow’s trails—anything that could lead me to his lair. But Cleo came cruising by in her Land Rover, and took me back home.
I ignore Mr Falthrop. He is likely to call Cleo if I stay around here. Instead I keeping scoping out the neighbourhood for any sign of The Crow.
I know I’m not exactly the most inconspicuous detective in the world—wearing a purple winter coat that probably has as much lustre as the Mrs Marks’ brooch. Cleo put me in this coat as soon as the weather got even remotely cold.
Filmore never lets me live it down, despite the fact that two Christmases ago I saw him in a Santa costume. As far as I’m concerned, a Santa costume is a lot worse than wearing a purple parka.
Five blocks from home, I suddenly get a whiff of The Crow. Again, a growl rips up my throat—I can taste him.
‘Yoooohoooo!’ a voice warbles above my head, ‘Señor Greyhound! Are you looking for me?’
‘Crow,’ I snarl.
‘Indeed, Señor. It is I. And you are Grover Greyhound, PI, yes?’
He is looking down at me with immeasurable condescension—I just want to keep biting his face until the smirk is gone. Next to him, his nest is sparkling with his loot. I can see Mrs Marks’ brooch sticking out from between two twigs. The Frisbee has formed the base of the nest.
‘Give the brooch to me, Tweety.’
‘Uh, uh, uh, Señor. The sparkly does not belong to you.’
‘It doesn’t belong to you either!’ I’m barking now.
‘But it does, galgo. Now clear out, amigo. I need my beauty sleeps.’
‘GROVER!’ I can hear Cleo calling in the distance. DAMN.
‘Ohhhh, your Mama. She is calling you,’ he taunts, ‘you better run along. Don’t wanna be late for your sponge bath.’
The tyres of Cleo’s car brush against the curb as she comes to a stop, but I can’t hear it through all the ruckus I am making. She jumps out of her car and starts tugging with all her might on my collar. There is no way I am leaving without that brooch.
‘Come on, Grover! What’s got into you? It’s just a dumb bird!’
‘Yeah, Grover. Listen to your mama!’
Cleo glances up at The Crow in his nest.
‘Wait, is that Frances’ brooch?’
‘No, Señorita, it is my sparkly. Find your own!’ He squawks at her.
She narrows her eyes at him and begins to climb the tree.
‘Stay away! I poop on your hound dog. Don’t think I won’t!’
His threats become a lot more desperate as Cleo encroaches on his branch, until she is so close that she merely waves her arm at him and he is off in a flap.
As soon as Cleo’s fingers close over the brooch, I let out a celebratory howl that I am sure echoes throughout the neighbourhood.
‘Jeez, Grove.’ Cleo sighs as she dismounts the tree, ‘Anyone would think you were tracking that buzzard down!’
If you missed out on the rest of the week, Days 1-7 are here: