Sir Reginel and the Case of the Secret Admirer
It was a gloomy and snowy day- the kind of day that makes you wish you could stay under the blanket with a warm cup of tea. And that was exactly what I was thinking as I was sitting in my empty office, listening to the clock on the wall tick and staring at the sign on my door. While the lettering on the door was backwards from where I was sitting, to people standing it front of it the words were clear: "Sir Reginel; Private Investigator".
I always liked my name. Most others would think I was stuffy for putting a 'Sir' in front of my name like that, but that didn't bother me. You see, I come from a line of detectives- my great-great-great grandfather was actually the lead detective for Meridell during its time of crisis with Lord Kass. But then, I wouldn't expect most people to appreciate that, since that story is rarely told.
I was just about to start playing back that story in my head when a fumbling at my door suddenly interrupted my thoughts. Alarmed, I quickly jumped up and grabbed the closest thing to me as I slowly snuck towards the door. Throwing it open, I jumped out and shouted.
"Ahhhh!" screamed the intruder as I hit him with my pillow. "Whatever did you do that for?!"
"Oh goodness. My apologies, dear sir," I quickly replied as my cheeks blushed with embarrassment. "I never really get any visitors, so I wasn't sure if you came here with good intentions. One can never be too careful, you know. Especially with rumors of a war brewing..."
My guest nodded solemnly in agreement, after which, I invited him into my office. I directed him to a chair near my desk- a chair which looked rather new despite its purchase over a year ago. As he sat down, I took my place in front of him and looked him over.
A stoutly green Blumaroo, I could tell that this guest was not about to be an intruder at all. Rather than looking intimidating or even slightly aggressive, this fellow was distraught, nervous and rather weak in appearance. His weathered skin and unkempt clothing informed me that he was laborer, probably a turnip farmer judging by the odor wafting through my office.
"How can I help you, sir?" I politely inquired, curious as to what would bring him to my office.
"Well- you see... I- there- I-" he began to stammer nervously. He looked around sheepishly as he dabbed at his sweaty forehead with a dirty handkerchief.
Feeling pity for him, I reached over to my coffee corner and poured him a cup. "Take your time," I reassured him, hoping to calm his nerves.
He nodded as he took a sip of coffee and a deep breath. I sat back down as I waited for him to regain his ground, secretly hoping that it was an epic mission that was making him nervous, and not my previous attack on his person.
Finally, he let out a heavy sigh and set his coffee down, signing that he was ready to speak. I nodded silently and waved him on.
"I woke up this morning and I found something rather peculiar on my door," he stated. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of crumpled paper.
I reached over and grabbed the item, so I could examine it while he continued his story. Unaware of my intentions, though, he just sat silently while I examined it. "Obviously he is not too keen on social cues," I thought to myself when it became apparent that he wouldn't continue on without prodding.
As I opened up the crumpled paper, I began to realize that the "peculiar" item was actually a Valentine card. Not ready to question his sanity yet, I decided to open the Valentine and read the inside. "Perhaps it had a menacing or threatening note- or even better, instructions for a top-secret mission," I thought to myself. I was disappointed to see, though, that this was not the case. Rather, the inside of the card read as follows:
"You opened the door to my heart.
Wishing you a happy Valentines Day!
From, your secret admirer"
Confused, I handed the card back to him and cleared my throat. "I apologize, but I don't quite see the problem here. This is just a Valentine's Day card. Are you sure you need a private detective?" With that I pointed back to the door, as if to prove to my guest that I am- indeed- a private detective.
"Exactly!" he proclaimed loudly, and then immediately looked around in case anyone else was listening. He leaned in closer and began to whisper. "It says 'secret admirer'. I have a secret admirer! I must find out who it is!!"
I stared at him for a second in disbelief, until I realized that I didn't really have room to turn down his request. I was a private detective, after all; particularly a private detective who hasn't had a single client in the past year since re-opening my father's office. A case is a case, even if it's not necessarily the dangerous, exciting one that I had dreamed about.
"Well," I said carefully, "if you are willing to accept my fees, then I will take on this case for you."
Relieved by my apparent kindness, the Blumaroo quickly stood up and shook my hand excitedly. "Thank you- thank you- thank you, dear sir!"
"Please, call me Reginel," I told him. "And your name is?"
"Well, Mr. Blumaroo, shall we begin this investigation?"
- - - - - - - - - - -
It was a quarter to two when I arrived at Mr. Blumaroo's turnip farm. (Surprised that I was right about his profession? Don't be- I am a deductive genius, after all.) His farm was a little outside of Meridell, hidden back behind the woods.
As he directed me to his house, I stopped to examine the door that the note was found on. As I stepped closer to look at the door, I felt a sharp poke under my right foot. I picked it up to check it out, and found a light green shard sticking out my biscuit-colored flesh. I gently removed it and dropped it back onto the muddy ground that it came from.
As I gently wiped the mud off my feet and walked inside, I noticed a rose colored drink sitting on his kitchen table. "That looks delicious," I remarked, as I pointed his attention towards the drink.
"Oh! It is! Illusen gives me those whenever I bring her some of my turnips," he told me. "She absolutely loves those things... she says I grow the best turnips around!"
I nodded in reply as I looked around, slightly disgusted that the Earth Faerie herself would have a taste for turnips. Although- in hindsight- I shouldn't be too shocked. She does love all things earthy, after all.
After giving me a tour of his house, he brought me back to his living room where I sat down on the couch. He offered me a plate of bread- baked with turnips, of course- which I politely declined. As he set the plate down dejectedly, I noticed a slightly pink piece of paper sitting in the corner of the couch, hidden from view behind a pillow.
"What's this?" I asked him as I pulled out the paper and looked it over.
"Oh that? That's the envelope the card came in. Nothing on it besides some gibberish and a common stamp."
"Well, I believe our case is officially closed," I told him as I stood up confidently.
"Why? Did you recognize the stamp? Who is it?"
"I first began to realize who your secret admirer on our way into your house. I stepped on a piece of green glass lying in a puddle of mud. While your Rose Shake wasn't necessarily a clue, it did provide me with a clear sense of the 'motive', per se. And lastly, we have this-" I dramatically walked over to the fireplace and held the envelope up to the mirror. "While the words may have seemed like gibberish to you, to the trained eye- or a person using a mirror- it is obvious to see that it says-"
"-From Illusen!" he shouted excitedly, as he interrupted.
He stopped to think about my discover before excitedly asking, "Does that mean Illusen loves me?"
Patting him on the back, I tried not to dampen him hopes any more. "You're a nice guy, Mr. Blumaroo," I reassured him, "but I think she just appreciates you as a friend- and a wonderful turnip farmer."
Mr. Blumaroo gave me a toothy grin as he realized the humor in his situation. "Thanks for helping me out, Sir Reginel. I know this isn't exactly the kind of case you probably wanted to have."
I reassured him that it was still pleasant to be on his case, and then shook his hand as I went to leave. Right as I was about to turn the knob, though, he called out to me. "By the way, about that war you mentioned..."
My ears perked right up and I excitedly closed the door, eager to hear more about what could lead to a thrilling adventure.