background brief: Having suffered a terrible defeat, the Intergalactic Force are looking for a more domestic approach to hunting down the mysterious owner to the pseudonym: John Doe. They employ Kormano, a human who’s never been to earth, to deliver the case to Bonnie Bones, a down on her luck detective who is willing to do most anything for a job.
The detective: Bonnie Bones
It was dark outside already, and Bonnie Bones was just about to pack up her suitcase to return home. There wasn’t much to put away anyhow, just two pieces of loose leaf papers detailing her current cases. It was a pitiful day to say the least. Jobs were even harder to come by now that she had moved back to Garrington. Garrington hadn’t grown an inch since she left. In fact it might have even shrunk a little. It was one of those towns that made peanuts look like James’s Giant Peach.
Of the two cases this week, one was a job tailing a cheating wife given to her by a nervous man with a carbuncle. The other was a letter concerning the mysterious escape of a pet rabbit: Carrot Mick. It was from her niece who had offered her a payment of two doughnuts and a back rub. But Bonnie, shrewd business woman that she was, had skillfully declined that for an exchange of laundry duty for a month.
Bonnie was an attractive woman with ugly ears. They stuck out like giraffes in a field of dwarves and vaguely resembled the state of New York. Most people thought that if they made fun of her ears, they could get her to cry. But, Bonnie liked her ears. She thought when combined with the rest of her features they made her look a bit elfish like she might put whip cream in their shoes while they were asleep. Secretly, Bonnie believed her elf ears were her best weapon in the detective field. Not only were they a great distraction to the common criminal, they had an awful knack for eavesdropping.
Bonnie scratched the back of her neck where a tattoo was but no one else knew about because her skin was so richly dark. Tonight, Bonnie had a bad feeling. Something was odd, like she was being followed. She tilted her ears in the four cardinal directions straining to pick up any strange noises. A cat yelped in Mr. Wilson’s house, but nothing she could hear was out of the usual.
It must be the nerves since she knew that she was going to be staying home alone tonight. Mom, Dad, and Madison were out taking Lizzie to a movie. They had planned it for months, saving up carefully so that they could afford the extra expense for Lizzie’s birthday. They’re taking her to the next town over for the movie (Garrington didn’t have a theater) and will be staying the night. Bonnie desperately wanted to go and even promised Lizzie months ago, but the case had to be wrapped up today or else she wouldn’t be paid. And God, do they need that payment. The double bunk bed Madison and she shared in their old room was starting to disintegrate into a single.
Bonnie turned the corner onto her street. Suddenly, she heard it again. It was a muted whirring sound like the world’s tiniest drill. Bonnie whipped her head around checking the directions. North, East, South…West. Bonnie gasped. It was coming from the direction of her house. She threw the strap of the bag around her shoulders and pounded down the street. Her heart vibrated in her ears deafening what she could hear. As she ran past the house that always smelled like fish, a dog barked in the distance, and suddenly the whirring stopped. Bonnie slammed her feet hard against the pavement. She was at her fence behind a bush now. She held her breath and stepped on the pads of her toes toward the entrance. With great trepidation, Bonnie stuck one ear out, then her left eye.
What she saw seemed so strange that she had to bite her fist for fear of making a sound. On her doorstep, hunched over the keyhole, was a bean-stalk looking man in a Greek toga and a baseball cap worn upside down. He seemed to be having quite a bit of trouble fiddling with something in his hands. Bonnie squinted in the dim light. It was hard to see with the man flopping it around but it looked to be a giant ring with about a dozen suction cups in all different sizes, shapes, and colors.
“Ah, Flobbits,” said the man as he dropped the ring of contraptions on the ground. “Why didn’t the Reconnaissance Department sort these before giving them to me?”
Moving as slowly as possible, Bonnie reached across her back and slid her hand into her bag. Her fingers assumed the familiar grip of a handgun, but instead two fingers closed around a flashlight. The other three wrapped around a bottle of pepper spray. She took a breath in through her nose, and then slowly portioned them in a breath out. She dipped lower to the ground so that she would have more purchase when she leaps.
“Ah, here we go. Green and red stripes labeled The Best Universal Air Pressure Key in the Known Universe,” the man said. Bonnie watched him shake his head and mutter. Then he fitted the suction cup around the lock, and the strange material shifted to grip the wooden door. Soon, it began to emit a slow, soft whir.
“Freeze! Put your hands up!” Bonnie boomed as she threw herself out of the bushes pressing the blinding beam onto the intruder. The man squeaked and something spilled out of his arms. A manila folder stuffed to the brim thumped heavily onto the brick floor. As it ripped open, hundreds of pieces of paper bursted out of it in a pop.
“Ah, Flobbits!!!” The man exclaimed. He fell down to scramble the papers together, but Bonnie advanced onto him and he stood up slowly his trembling hands in the air. Bonnie shone the light into his face, at the scattered papers, at the thing on her door, and then back to the man’s face.
Her hand fell upon the small of her back flipping out at badge that wasn’t there. Ah, of course. Bonnie kicked herself mentally.
“Who are you, and why are you trying to break into my house?” Bonnie said. She trained the spray nozzle directly at the man’s eyes.
“Um…” The man eyed the spray nervously “I’m a… er, what are they called again? A post man. I’m a post man!”
Bonnie flicked the light around her porch and then at the fence near the street.
“Do you see that,” she said. “We don’t have a mailbox, and also we don’t get mail. The next thing coming out of your mouth better not be a lie or you’ll be eating a load of pepper spray.”
“P-peppers,” stuttered the man, suddenly very interested in the little red bottle. “Real peppers?! I thought they had been extinct for years!”
Bonnie’s face crumpled up in confusion.
“Can I try some?” Suddenly, the man grabbed Bonnie’s hand with the bottle and years of instinct compelled her to press her finger down.
The response was immediate. The man flung away with an ear-piercing scream. It was so loud and high pitched that the neighborhood dogs all rose up in chorus. The man ripped at his toga and brought fabric up which he dug into his eyes. The white cotton soon soaked through with his tears as he sat on his heels. He then promptly fell over onto the ground with a thump.
“Why does it hurt so bad? I thought you people eat this stuff!” But his protests were muffled by the toga currently stuffed in his face.
She tilted the light so that it lit up the man’s head without shining directly into his eyes. For a long time, Bonnie just stared at the pitiful sight before her.
Finally, she let out a small breath.
“Oh my goodness,” She said. “You are the weirdest person I’ve ever met in my life.”
From the lump of cloth on the ground, an indignant sound eeked out.
“Make it stop please!”
“Okay, okay,” Bonnie said, “Stop rubbing your eyes, and let me see them.”
The man gingerly unwrapped his head as Bonnie found a water bottle in her bag. She guided his hand so that the stream of water hit his eyes. But he was shaking around so much that most of it just leaked into his ears.
“So why are you here?” Bonnie asked, voice firm. She took up the water bottle and made him drink the remaining liquid.
“I wasn’t supposed to be seen. Just drop the package and Pinch back up,” he shook his head. “I really shouldn’t be talking to you at all. That’s the Second Commander’s job.”
“Well you’re here, and you’re not leaving. Let your friends know too, wherever they’re watching from, that if you don’t talk, I know about a million ways to kill you right here with a flashlight.”
The man’s eyes flickered nervously upwards. Up in the sky, huh? Bonnie thought. Military helicopter perhaps.
The man’s eyes blinked as if he was listening to someone talking to him although there was no earpiece Bonnie could see. He nodded, saluted the air, and then spoke crisply.
“Good evening Bonnie Bones. Although it was not in the plan, it has been a pleasure meeting you in person. I am afraid I cannot reveal to you exactly who we are, but we believe that with our conditions, you may not care.”
A pause. The man in the toga tilted his eyes as if thinking and then spoke again.
“I’m sure that you are curious as to why we are here and what we have come for.”
“Simply put, we need your umbrella.”
“what?” Bonnie said.
Ouch! The man clapped his ears and winced.
“Simply put, we need your help,” he said. The man grimaced and muttered something that sounded like old fashioned and just use a Universal Translator will you.
“So,” Bonnie said, hoping her voice didn’t quaver, “Let’s hear it then.”
“Bonnie Bones. Consider yourself the luckiest detective on Earth, because I am here to give you the most exciting case of your life”, he said. And with that, the lock clicked into place, and the door creaked slowly open as if welcoming them all inside into the darkness.