Crimes of the Fay II, Chapter 18

“What is that?” I peered at the bottom of my boot, and I was quite confused by the blue shards that had embedded themselves into my footwear! Aidan gazed at them in perplexity for a second, and then he stooped down to examine it. “Eiww! You’re touching it?”

“Frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails- we’re disgusting creatures!” Aidan kidded. He studied the pieces briefly, and then he concluded, “They’re egg shells!”

I slapped my forehead in comprehension of the circumstances. “Oh duh! We’re by an egg farm- why wouldn’t it be that?”

As I picked the entrails out of the affected outsole, Aidan probed, “Are you sure you’re alert enough to investigate a possible crime scene today?”

“No,” I told him. “But we don’t really have a choice! I’m not getting any sleep ‘til I see that doctor next week, and depending on the results, I still might not get any sleep!”

“If you are pregnant, you should try to find a trick to help you fall asleep,” Aidan advised me. “You know, you’ll have to take care of yourself more than usual so everyone stays healthy…”

I joshed him, “And if I’m not knocked up, can I go back to abusing my body?”

Aidan retorted, “No, that’s my job!” He contemplated that sentence a bit, and then he clarified, “I meant that as a sexual thing, not domestic violence…”

“Yeah, I got that!” I grinned. As we passed by Aracauma Kahuna, I observed a very antiquated and somewhat small wooden fence closed off by chicken wire that surrounded an oddly vibrant field, which prompted me to bring up, “How do they keep their grass so healthy looking? For real, no one is living there, so it’s not like anyone’s trying hard to get this result!”

“I dunno!” Aidan shrugged. Once we went by the rustic, red barn and approached the front entrance where the old-fashioned home rested, we saw a realtor’s sign with a “pending” label on it, Aidan changed his tune, “Yes, I do! Seller’s magic!”

I wistfully commented, “I wish the Hekekias would sell Lani Noni! Then we wouldn’t have to worry about upkeep that stupid farm in this god-forsaken place! Oh, if they sold it, we’d have to move somewhere else!”

Aidan cautioned me, “Be careful what you wish for! We could wind up somewhere worse!”

“How could it be…?” I interrupted myself once something occurred to me, “Nope! Not gonna say it and tempt fate!”

“Yeah, let’s try to manifest Wade’s capture into existence instead!” Aidan suggested. “Since that tip from Oklahoma was a false alarm, he could be anywhere! Man, how can an out of shape, old man on his deathbed remain at large for so long?”

I asserted, “It’s ‘cause they’re not searching in the right area! He obviously went… Well, somewhere they wouldn’t expect him to go!” I almost said that he traveled here and they weren’t searching here due to their steadfast belief that he couldn’t have possibly discovered this random location where Witness Protection moved us, but I didn’t feel like arguing with Aidan right then. We needed to concentrate on examining where Lake Ana Wai once stood so that we could solve the mystery of how it disappeared! If foul play did actually occur and we delivered justice to the innocent citizens affected by this disaster, then this whole misadventure in Hawaii would become at least somewhat worthwhile! I knew I was correct in this debate about the identity and the existence of the elusive silhouette, but I figured that I would have to wait for Aidan and the others to learn that on their own. Once that day finally graced our lives, I would thoroughly enjoy giving them a hearty I-Told-You-So! Until that instance transpired, I would have to bite my tongue when it came to this matter. So, as an alternative to that subject, I decided to refer to something else, “Can you believe that Minna thought Clifton revealed that info to us as an excuse to flirt with her?”

Aidan laughed, “Yes! When she was stalking me, I yelled at her to go away, and she acted like I was coming onto her! God, she really needs to meet a dude who wants a woman to obsess over him like that!”

We headed towards a stone wall at the end of this cul-du-sac, and a wooden sign above the cavern entrance overtly once bore the words “Lake Ana Wai” on it, but someone sprayed over it with paint. “I guess people were slightly bitter by their loss!” I surmised. “Not that I blame them…”

With our wands brandished, we crept into the innermost part of the structure. It was standard protocol for our profession, but for me, this venture had an extra element of potential danger because I anticipated catching Wade in the act during our visit. In the act of what, I had no idea, but still! I wanted to ponder all of the possibilities of his purpose in these parts since it struck me as odd that he wasn’t seeking out immediate revenge against us- seriously, what could he have conceivably been doing that was more important to him than that? However, I tabled that notion for the time being in order to focus on our mission at this juncture. If we did happen to catch him red-handed doing… whatever, I could have certainly grilled him on it later! I didn’t detect anyone’s presence in there, but that didn’t necessarily signify that nobody was there! As we neared a wide expanse, I surprised myself by hoping we would get ambushed! I realize that it sounds insane, but I was more than ready to cease this expedition! If I hadn’t already made that abundantly obvious to you readers…

We each jumped into the center of the rocky room, and in unison, we announced, “Police! Don’t move!” No one moved a muscle due to a lack of anybody other than us being in that facility! The terrain was rather jagged, but we couldn’t spot a single feasibility for remaining clandestine! “Can caves be haunted?” Aidan petitioned me. “This space feels haunted…!”

“Don’t be silly!” I rebuked him. “There’s no such thing as- Aah!” I beheld a mass in a nearby corner that made my eyes grow wide and my skin grow pale!

“I knew it!” Aidan exclaimed. “Where’s the ghost? Where is it?”

I recommended, “Will you calm down? There aren’t any ghosts in here! Probably. But there is something spooky over there…”

Aidan shined his cellphone’s light in the direction that I indicated to, but his expression wasn’t one of shock as mine had been. He stepped closer and furrowed his brows when he glimpsed at the curios that frightened me. “This looks like a bunch of crap! Dried up flowers, bottles of sand, some rocks… Hold on, is that cologne? Ooh, that’s a decent brand!”

“Do you see the bears?” I inquired.

“What about them?” Aidan quizzically replied.

I questioned him, “Don’t they seem familiar to you?” Aidan stared at me blankly, so I clicked my tongue out of annoyance and then refreshed his memory, “It’s from that souvenir shop in Kauhale Maloo!” It still didn’t register for Aidan, so I grouchily filled him in, “Those were the toys that the hooded figure held up when I saw him!”

At last, Aidan showed some mild interest in the significance of this discovery! “Hmm, that is strange! What on earth would compel this individual to stash them here?” He used a jinx to raise some of the items, and as he pored over a hula dancer car ornament and a box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, he scratched his scalp in confusion. “It’s looking like he has a date with an eclectic taste in gifts!”

“There’s gotta be something more meaningful to these objects than that!” I couldn’t accept that Wade had gone through the hassle of procuring these various commodities without having some sort of dark and cynical purpose to them!

“Like what?” Aidan challenged me.

I thought long and hard about this enquiry, but I couldn’t unearth a valid motive for any of it! It did appear as though somebody stored their cheesy, romantic tokens there, but it didn’t make sense to me as to why anyone with a stable brain would do that! “It can’t be random! This isn’t a busy locale! It means something to someone!”

Aidan mulled my reasoning over for a beat, and then he concurred, “You’re right! I can’t picture any person going out of their way to store a bunch of trivial stuff! It must have some kind of value! But what? Some of these shit is too small to hide paraphernalia in it.” 

“Maybe they’re curse conveyers!” I hypothesized as Aidan’s hex held a coin in the air. It forcibly reminded me of the penny I found in the airplane’s lavatory, and I inwardly theorized that Wade planned on enacting a similar slow-release spell on someone to harm us! Though I wasn’t confident anyone would unwittingly transport something as large as a candelabra, and I doubted that any rational adult or even a child would accept candy from a stranger! I couldn’t share my thoughts on our adversary to my boyfriend, but I had one wonderment that I could broadcast to him… “Why would they collect so many different artifacts though? That isn’t easy magic to do! The individual would be too exhausted to give anything to anybody!”

“Unless there’s a group of them all sharing the burden,” Aidan affirmed. “But if that was the case, I suspect Lopaka or the Hekekias would call the police after seeing some shady folks hanging around their neighborhood! And it’s not like there’s any approaches they could take where they could fly under the radar like that!”

As if on cue, the floor beneath Aidan vanished! I peeked into the square hole and asked him, “Are you okay?”

He answered, “I’m fine! Who puts a trap door in a spot like that? If they’re trying to trap an intruder, there’s so many other places a perpetrator would go over prior to… Oh, there’s a ladder!”

“What’s down there?” Since the love of my life was apparently not in any peril, my intrigue piqued! It’s rare to stumble across a secret storage chamber without some sort of sinister intention! Did it shield evidence of the lake’s disappearance? Or was it freshly created in order to shelter our nemesis? The potentialities were endless!

“It’s a long tunnel!” Aidan proclaimed. “You know we gotta follow it, don’t ya?”

I responded, “Uh, yeah!’ I put my cellphone and my wand away, and then I descended into the shadowy chasm…

Once I touched the surface, I shut the seal above us in case… I don’t know! I guess the culprit behind this stunt could return and attempt to ambush us from acquiring… whatever they strove to keep from the world! The tunnel almost seemed natural, but the wooden support beams were a dead giveaway that at least one human being used it for a definitive objective! My hopes were raised high that we would run into a clue pertaining to this conundrum, but when we espied sunshine pouring in from another entryway, I grew a little bummed! My optimism consoled me by convincing me that the sight behind this portal would explain everything…

Nope! It appeared that we arrived in a perfectly ordinary region! Well, not totally ordinary! The houses had a very sophisticated construction, but they still used a very rural style in their lumberwork and thatched roofing! Also, lush plantlife was everywhere that our eyes could reach! Before we could voice any uncertainty to our position, a resident emerged from his dwelling and shouted to us, “Hey! Can’t you two see the sign?”

“What sign?” I glanced around, and I shortly ascertained that we were standing in front of a notice that warned inhabitants that the channel was closed and that trespassers would be prosecuted! I blushed, and once Aidan and I jumped out of range of the shaft, I apologized, “Sorry! We’re new here!”

“Freakin’ howlies!” the man muttered as he stomped back into his abode.

Aidan noted, “I don’t think howlie is as inoffensive as Clifton claimed!”

I conversed, “Probably not! Speaking of him though, perhaps we should call him and get a ride home. Oh, but we don’t even know where we are though…”

“I’ll check my GPS,” Aidan volunteered.

“Hang on!” I requested as I discerned something in the distance that caught my interest. “Before we leave, we gotta dig into something first!”

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