Crimes of the Fay, Chapter 24

In the midst of all of the chaos that the kids were creating, I heard Aidan call out, “Shannon? Shannon? Where are you?”

“She’s probably in her closet,” Minna let him know from upstairs. “I’d hide in there too if my chair would fit!”

“Did you give these monsters something sweet?” Aidan asked in an accusatory manner.

“No! The package said those popsicles were sugar-free!” Minna aggravatedly answered him.

I assumed that Aidan didn’t respond because he was uncertain whether he should believe her or not. He didn’t say anything, and a few seconds later, he unceremoniously burst into the closet with me and rapidly closed the curtain as though that thin veil would protect us from the ravenous running. He joined me on the floor and observed, “Well, I don’t see any barf buckets, so that must mean you’re feeling better!”

Cracking the tiniest of grins, I kidded, ‘Physically, sure.”

“How long has that been going on?” Aidan indicated to the ruckus occurring within feet of us.

“About an hour. Once they finished their homework, Minna gave them permission to get a healthy snack. The label really did say they were sugar-free,” I vouched for Minna’s claim. Aidan stared at the hyper activity both in confusion and exasperation, and then I urged him, “Tell me what you learned from the Hekekias today! You promised me results, and I’m dying to hear them!”

I didn’t sincerely expect all of the facts that Aidan vowed to collect in my absence, although that would have been amazing if he did! I would have loved to have obtained the identity of the person responsible for the taking of the mo’o’s gift, an offense that made  him or her drain Lake Ana Wai, in order for us to confront them  tomorrow instead of another day of drudgery on the farm, but to prevent a monumental disappointment, I kept my expectations low. Aidan didn’t ac as though he had any juicy gossip to spill, but he didn’t behave like he developed a sense of guilt for coming home empty handed either, so I grew quite interested in the wisdom that he intended to impart on me! Aidan relayed to me, “Honestly, Laraleigh started pining for her husband ‘cause she hasn’t been able to speak to him in a week and a half, and then your mom was like, ‘Oh, I don’t miss my husband at all!’ And then she spent ninety percent of the time complaining about Wade! I guess she had a lot of pent up anger about him!”

My eyes went wide upon hearing that. “She talked about Wade?”

“Don’t worry! She didn’t mention any of the murders he committed!” Aidan assured me. “Oddly enough, that was the one thing she didn’t gripe about…”

“It’d have to be her trying to follow the Witness Protection guidelines! Or maybe since she didn’t know he was doing it, it didn’t drive her crazy,” I reasoned. “If It were Kinsey’s husband, maybe I’d worry…”

Aidan shuddered. “Don’t jinx it! Let’s not have history repeat itself!”

I knocked on the wooden wall next to me and expressed, “Let’s hope she’s in killers due to a desire to work in law enforcement like us! I was fascinated by crime solving when I was her age! Not specifically murder, but still! So, you didn’t get anything useful for our little, unofficial case?”

“No, I got a little something! It’s not the groundbreaking clue I was hoping to deliver to you though! Sorry for that!” Aidan apologized.

“Forget about it! Just explain what you did find out,” I recommended.

Aidan took a deep breath, but prior to him uttering out a single word, we got our eardrums rattled by Laraleigh bellowing, “Calm down and be quiet this instance or I swear, I’ll make you all unable to make noise ever again!”

I was positive that the children knew that she was using hyperbole, but the seriousness of her tone motivated them to obey her order. Aidan and I peeked out the curtain to discern whether or not they’d keep this up, and we espied everyone standing around awkwardly. Mom broke the silence by announcing, “We brought home pizza!” The youngsters became pretty excited, but she warned them, “If you misbehave during dinner, your mother says you’re going to bed without supper!”

Harper promised, “We’ll be good!”

They weren’t! Though admittedly, they weren’t as insolent as usual! They were just very voluminous and voluble! And any moment they zipped their lips, my mom opened her mouth up! Apparently, she didn’t get her fill of grievances against Wade during her workshift! Then Mom made the mistake of describing the cashier at the pizza shop as a lookalike to some movie star who peaked in the eighties- Minna found him on social media, and then she decided that they were soulmates! Even if Aidan and I attempted to go in a private corner and discuss the news he learned, we would have hardly been able to hear each other! Nobody got quiet until bedtime, and we were too sleepy to talk about anything, so I laid there wondering what on earth Aidan meant to share with me!

I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and when I returned to our pushed-together cots, I glared at Aidan with a slight envy! Oh sure, it was easy for him to slumber- he already knew what the secret was! As I inwardly grumbled, a twig snapping outside caught my attention! Initially, I thought it might have been a wild animal or that stupid goat from next door again, and I was prepared to ignore it and go back to striving to get a sufficient rest, but then I detected soft murmuring in the near distance! Someone was out there! Was it Samena scoping out our abode, or did Wade discover a method of entering the premises and plotted to strike us down at this late hour when our defenses were down? Whoever it was may have believed they were making a move at a juncture of low opposition, but they would shortly find out how wrong they were! I grabbed my wand and tiptoed down the stairs…

The whispers I perceived didn’t sound aggressive at all- they actually seemed rather ethereal and creepy like a ghost! Or at least how I imagined a ghost to project themselves, I never saw any who weren’t actor portrayals! I felt positive that this individual had a true human form, and even if they had no other purpose there than to enact some strange ritual, they were still trespassing and had to get dealt with! I didn’t see anything different from the norm, but there was a soft glow emanating from around the corner! I opened the door as softly as possible, and I crept towards the perpetrator’s area. They had ceased their mutterings, so I knew they must have sensed my presence! Perhaps I was heading straight into a fierce combat…

“Freeze! Police, don’t move!” I shouted as I jumped into their vicinity.

“Aah!” Minna screamed at my abruptness. When she realized it was me, she grumped, “You know, you’re not a police officer in the Relocation Program!”

I ought to have held gratitude that I did not encounter a violent confrontation, but it annoyed me to have my adrenaline built up like that for whatever nonsense she had just set in motion! I stashed my wand back in my pocket, and then I somewhat vexedly addressed her, “Fair point, but you evoked my cop instincts! What the hell are you doing over here?”

Minna lied, “Uh… I’m sleep-walking!” I ogled her in a fashion that clearly communicated that I didn’t buy her statement whatsoever, so she confessed, “Alright! I was trying to call the Night Marchers over to come get me!”

“Listen, I’m not gonna let you off yourself!” I articulated to her in a serious tone. I recalled that suicidal tendencies were common amongst those with severe mental health issues, but it really stunned me to see this in her! She had always appeared too determined in her missions to even consider this! I didn’t care much for her, but I couldn’t let her go that route! “Thank goodness those beings don’t actually exist!”

“They do exist! But I’m not planning on joining them in the afterlife! I simply… Well, those souls have been wandering the planet for thousands of years, and I feel like at least one of those men would be lonely enough to seek some companionship…” She trailed off as she gazed dreamily at the stars.

I vociferated, “For Heaven’s sake! You’re trying to drum up a romance with a spirit? What about your pizza guy or the hundred other dudes you call romeo?”

Minna unabashedly responded, “The heart is an ever-changing, fickle beast that can’t be tamed!”

“What in the f does that mean?” I read my share of poetry when I was in high school, so I wasn’t incapable of interpreting flowery language, but it was too late and I was too tired to summon the patience to make a bid at understanding this drivel!

“I…” Prior to Minna completing her explanation or even her sentence, she erupted in a shower of electric convulsions!

“Sorry!” Aidan stepped out onto the stoop with a remorseful visage. “If I had any idea the two of you were hanging out together, I would’ve stayed inside! I just never dreamt that this was even a remote possibility!”

Minna rolled herself out of his range, and then she wildly asserted, “Ah, I see my first paramour has engulfed himself in jealousy! If you remove this restraining order spell, we can-.”

Aidan barked, “Will you keep it down? You’re gonna wake up the Hekekias!”

“He’s heartbroken!” Minna cooed.

“She’s trying to date an Ancient Hawaiian apparition,” I briefed him. Aidan seemed perplexed by that, so I advised him, “Don’t try to make sense of it!”

Aidan heeded my word, and then he directed Minna, “Get in the house! We’re not supposed to go outdoors at night!”

Minna pointed out, “I can’t if you’re next to the entryway!”

Aidan gritted his teeth as he begrudgingly budged. He moved a considerable stretch from the building, and Minna forlornly went into the cottage. While she remained in my proximity, she requested, “If anyone shows up, will you come get me?”

“Absolutely!” I swore, and when she got far from my scope, I added, “Not!”

When Aidan reappeared on the porch, I shut the door and beseeched him, “Since it’s finally peaceful and we’re alone, describe the intelligence you gathered earlier! Quickly so we don’t get interrupted again!”

“Anela resurfaced in the garden,” Aidan revealed to me. When he beheld my bewildered expression, he reassured me, “There’s more! As Lopaka retrieved her, he got into an argument with Kaleo and Kalani about property, and then Lopaka yelled that he couldn’t wait to get out of this neighborhood!”

I surmised, “He decided to sell the ranch afterall?”

“Yes, but there’s more!” Aidan disclosed. “He was like, ‘Even if the new owners can bring the lake back, your farm will still probably fail!’ as he stormed off!”

“Ouch! That’s a harsh thing to…!” It suddenly dawned on me what significance that event held! “Hold on, the new owners wanna restore the water?”

Aidan assessed, “I doubt he would’ve said that otherwise.”

My mind reeled from this information! It wouldn’t have surprised me in the least bit if Wade purchased land next to us in order to breach our boundaries! I couldn’t fathom how he would’ve obtained the financing for this feat, but I could picture him roosting by us so he could bypass the security measures and ambush us whenever we left the premises! I didn’t voice this to Aidan though because I was in no mood to argue on whether or not that reprobate was on the island, so instead, I opined, “It sounds like we have to have a conversation with the newest residents of the region…”

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