by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
The ever-intrepid investigator Dick Spanner has come to the end of another exciting adventure after tangling with a devious adversary known only as ‘The Dragon’!
Spanner relayed the details of his exploits to our Big Pear correspondent saying, “It was another beautiful day in the Big Pear. I was at my desk checking my mail and looking for bugs. I found two spiders and a large beetle, which just goes to show you can’t be too careful in this line of work.
The last piece of mail was tucked inside a scarlet envelope – right, a red letter day for yours personally. It read ‘Lost property, help wanted, money no obstacle’. Well, I figured if they weren’t going to let money stand in the way of a hiring me, neither would I. I took the case.
The guy I met a few hours later went by the name of Dr. Agon, but putting it together gave me a clue to the scale of the case. See he wasn’t after any lost wallet or keys, he said he was looking for a lavender castle! Jumpin’ Jehoshapher, a pilfered pink palace no less! I asked if he’d had any luck tracking down the missing mansion. He said he’d searched Thrice and found nothing. Boy, if this guy was going to give up after looking three times, no wonder he wasn’t getting anywhere.
I said I’d do some digging and get back to him. He offered me two shovels and told me to take my pick. What a nut.
If I was ever going to find the stolen schloss there was only one place to start, Bearded Bert’s Best Buildings – the Big Pear’s guide to hot property. I’m not kidding, you had to wear oven mitts just to hold the darned thing. Several hours and a few minor burns later, I was no nearer to a lead, so I dodged the heat and hit the beat.
When darkness falls in the Big Pear, you can hear the scream 30 miles away and it was definitely a hundred-and-thirty-decibel kind of night. It was so dark I couldn’t hear myself speak, then I realized that I hadn’t been talking.
A lilac haze in the sky caught my eye and I gazed up to see an eerie glow vanish behind a cloud. Could it be the filched floating fortress? I needed to get up there and take a look and there was only one piece of kit that could do it – my Zippo Long Range Jetpack. Dashing to my office, I found the crazy contraption right where I’d left it – under the build-it-yourself helicopter kit.
I strapped on the jetpack and took to the air, though I should have waited until I was outside to do so, the ceiling ain’t going to be cheap to repair. I rocketed up into the air, through a layer of clouds and that’s when I saw it. It was huge. It was gigantic. It was distinctly lavender. I’d found the Dragon’s castle, now all I had to do was return it to him.
I dropped down onto the castle’s drawbridge and cut my jetpack’s engines. Another dumb move! I’d need to find another way down now. I called out and asked if anyone was home. Nobody answered so I guessed the place was deserted. Something didn’t feel right and it was then I felt an unmistakable sensation that I was being reeled in. I reached around and pulled the fishing line off the back of my jetpack, but it was too late. The Dragon had just finished climbing up after me. He must have hitched a ride, but I was through being strung along and now we were at the end of the line.
He thanked me for leading him to the castle, but said my services were no longer required. If he thought he could ditch me without paying, he could think again. I went for my O’Grady-brand handcuffs, but instead pulled out a toy train! I was definitely on the wrong track. It was heavy, so I threw it at the guy, but missed. I was running out of steam and we’d barely begun. He pointed some sort of weird gun at me and I knew I was about to get it.
As he took a step forward, he trod on the train and slipped, falling right over the castle’s edge into the clouds below. I ran forward to see where he’d got too, but didn’t stop until I followed in his footsteps. I was falling through the air wondering where I’d gone wrong when I saw a familiar sight – the ground rushing up to meet me. I braced myself for the shattering crash of metal on concrete, but it never came.
I was surrounded by a pink glow and was being lowered gently to the ground. I touched down, the glow disappeared, and as I looked up I saw that the castle had gone too. To this day, I still have no idea what happened. I could tell you more and get to the bit about the flying cottage, but that’s another story.”