It was a dark and stormy night, as all nights tend to be right before something happens. Something dark and ghastly that sends shivers all the way down to your toes. Something that changes your whole miserable life around, or at least in my case, my career. I knew it had begun when I heard the scream.
I was sitting in my dingy old office, minding my own business and sorting through some old case files when, from the depths of the kitchens, I heard a noise. It sounded like the cross between a South American howler monkey and a toddler who recently stubbed his toe on a high end GE refrigerator:
Immediately, I knew something was afoot. Grabbing my shockingly stylish Panama Hat, I dashed down to the kitchens. When I got there, a horrific sight greeted my eyes: A small house elf was clutching an absolutely atrocious lavender and burnt orange handkerchief and fanning themselves with a cookie sheet while they stared at the countertop. Like the compassionate person I was, I rushed over to their side and began consoling them.
"Tinky, what's the matter?" I exclaimed.
"Master's counter... it's... it's..."
"What is it Tinky?"
I gasped. How could I have missed it?!?! The usually crumb covered or sticky countertop was now absolutely spotless! What had happened? Suddenly it hit me!
"I know what happened! No wait... don't tell me... Clarissa finally got to cleaning this place!"
Tinky glanced up at me with a look of complete bafflement clearly evident on her face.
"Not exactly mistress..."
"Not Clarissa then... I know... your sticky buns burned! That's horrible Tinky!"
"Um, no. It's much worse. Master Kimil's cake is missing!"
Tinky burst into tears and ran wailing from the room. I took that as an opportunity to investigate a little more. First, I looked in the oven. No cake. Well, at least I knew someone had taken care not to burn it. I also checked the refrigerator. Nothing. No frozen cake either, another good thing. Well, I guess not for the recipient of the cake. I knew for sure that the cake had vacated the kitchen premiss. This was much more serious than I thought! A cake kidnapping had occurred! Dropping to the floor rapidly (I knew all those hours of yoga had done me well), I turned my expertly trained private eye on a splotch of brown on the floor. In the shape of a... paw print?
"Oh no, I think I can see where this is going," I moaned.
The only way to confirm my suspicions was to taste the print. And was I ever surprised. Was that... chocolate? With a hint of almond and coffee and mint all wrapped up in a sticky cocoa glaze? Yes! Yes it was!
"Actually, ma'am, there's some ginger in their as well." Tinky had returned. "Mistress, why are you eating off the floor?"
"Ah, Tinky..." I said, dusting myself off and striking a mysterious pose by the door. "I was looking for clues. You can never be too careful with these things."
With that, I dashed out of the kitchen, knowing exactly where I would find the missing cake. Up one staircase, down the next, around the halls I ran, until, finally, I stopped right outside my office. Peering through the key hole, I could only make out the faint shadow of my mahogany desk. However, I could distinctly hear a quiet crunching noise. Striking a pose not unlike Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid, I slowly began turning the door knob. Suddenly, I yanked it open completely and launched myself into the doorway.
"Aha!" I yelled, pointing an accusing finger at the shadow on the floor "Caught red handed!"
The shadow stared back up at me, innocent hazel eyes shining and exceedingly fuzzy tail wagging.
"Maggie?" I exclaimed.
My amazingly stupid chocolate lab burped in reply. I looked all around my office just to be thorough, but I knew exactly what had happened. The cake was gone, save for a few crumbs on Maggie's muzzle.
"Well this is going to make for an interesting case report," I muttered.