As Aidan and I walked through the dirt road surrounded by stone houses with thatched roofs, we scanned the crowd to pick out a target. So far, no one in that village was shunning us, but nobody seemed to slow down enough to pay us any mind! Finally, we espied a woman in a green smock sweeping near a row of fruit stands, and we decided to approach her. We had barely moved an inch when Laraleigh jumped in front of our pathway! She excitedly regarded us, “Guess what I found!”
“A certain wanted criminal?” I didn’t really believe that was a feasible possibility, but I couldn’t picture myself getting thrilled by anything else at that juncture!
“Postal coconuts!” Laraleigh gushed.
Aidan noted, “You say that like we’re supposed to know what that means!”
Laraleigh avidly explained, “They’re coconuts that you can send in the mail! Like, without a package! You can write on them like they’re postcards and then put them in the post! Isn’t that wild?”
“You didn’t actually send one, did you?” I pressed her. “We can’t communicate with anyone outside of the island- it would give away our position!”
“I know that! I sent one to Lani Noni just ‘cause I could! I bet Minna’ll get a kick of that!” Laraleigh grinned at the concept.
Aidan differed, “No, she’ll assume it’s a love note from some dude even if you signed it and didn’t put any romantic words there.”
Laraleigh shrugged. “Whatever! I’m having too much fun with a kid-free trip to let anything bother me!” She spun around in circles with her arms open wide until she crashed into a large, rather gruff looking man. “Sorry!”
“Watch it, you dumb, blonde bimbo!” he growled.
“Still not bothered! Whoo!” Laraleigh resumed her festive movements.
I told Aidan, “I’m assuming her husband doesn’t do much babysitting!”
My sentence was said quietly, but Laraleigh still heard me and suddenly grew motionless and despondent. “He works for twelve hours a day sometimes, so I never ask! When he does volunteer, he falls asleep and, well, you can imagine what sort of trouble the children get into under that circumstance! God, I miss that sleepy hunk!”
“Ah, there is something that can spoil your kid-free day!” Aidan pointed out.
“Butthead!” Laraleigh spat.
Aidan shot back, “Don’t call me names!”
Laraleigh countered, “Stop being mean!”
“Quit fighting! For Pete’s sake, you’re both in your forties!” my mom resurfaced and admonished them.
“What is that?” I stared at a cloth bundle that she cradled in her arms.
She uncovered a portion of it, which revealed a black cat! “Isn’t he cute!”
I bellowed, “No! Well, yes! But that doesn’t matter! You have eight cats already! And between our farmwork and cooking and taking care of your already large swarm of cats, you’re exhausted enough! Do you really wanna add to that list of chaos?”
Mom confirmed, “Yeah!” I gave her a reproachful look, and she elaborated, “He’s alone and scared! What am I supposed to do? Just leave him out here?”
“Yes! Especially since he might belong to someone!” I argued.
“He’s too skinny to be owned!” Mom bickered.
Aidan put in, “He doesn’t seem very malnourished to me! I think you got too used to your fat felines!”
Mom remarked, “That’s my ex’s fault! He fed them like they were babies!”
“And yet he had issues with sharing food with me!” I recalled.
“Oh, please let him stay! I’ve already named him Jinx!” Mom beseeched us.
Aidan advised her, “The proper procedure for this sort of dilemma is to take it to the shelter and see if anyone is missing a pet.”
Mom acquiesced, “Alright, that’s fair. My ex and I used to find ours on the side of the road and stuff, and it never occurred to us to do that! Huh, I wonder how many people’s kitties we stole…”
“You talk about your ex a lot,” Aidan observed.
“So do you!” Mom riposted.
Aidan contested that, “It’s not my fault- I got forced to live with her!”
As they squabbled, I decided to be productive and searched for an individual to interrogate about the mo’o. While I did that, my eyes were drawn to a dark corner of the block. The shadowy mass stood upright, and I instantly recognized it as that same silhouette that’s been haunting me during the whole duration of us residing in Hawaii! He held up a bag that he retrieved off of the floor, and it looked as though the vessel held dozens of flies! “What the hell?” I puzzled.
The dim figure overheard my incredulous reaction, and after craning his neck to confirm the source of the sound, he took off! I couldn’t get any of the others’ attention in time, so I shouted, “Somebody get him!” as I followed his movements.
“Thief! Come back!” I commanded as I tailed him. I didn’t have enough knowledge on his previous actions to discern whether or not I had delivered a fib, but I expressed that phrasing to get bypassers to side with me for once! I was hoping that at least one good samaritan would support my effort, and thankfully, a few citizens attempted to capture him also! I normally wouldn’t have involved the community with a perilous feat, but I didn’t esteem that I could do it on my own! Not with a child’s wand! And if I truly was pregnant, I would have had someone precious to protect! He swerved into a dark alley, and I prayed that I hadn’t convinced innocent victims to stumble into a trap!
“We don’t know where he went!” a fellow reported to me as soon as I caught up.
I inquired, “What do you mean? It’s a dead end, and you were right behind him, you had to have seen it!”
He replied, “Well, I didn’t! There was a flash, and he was gone!”
A woman picked an item up and petitioned me, “Is this what he stole from you?”
She had collected the bag of flies from the foot of a cinderblock wall, and I had no choice but to claim, “Yes, I need these! They’re super important!”
“Why?” a little boy pondered.
“Uh…” My thoughts whirled around profusely in an attempt to unearth an excuse, and with my focus on our unofficial case, all I could produce was… “It’s a gift for the mo’o!” Everybody stared at me blankly, so I clarified, “The mo’o from Lake Ana Wai! It left, and I’m trying to get it to come back so my farm can prosper again!”
A little girl stated, “That’s not how you get a mo’o back!”
I implored her, “How do you get a mo’o back?” I spotted Aidan at the edge of the crowd, and I proclaimed, “Kennedy! I got our flies!”
“Oh, wonderful! We need those!” Aidan articulated with as much normalcy in his voice as he could, but hie baffled eyes indicated to me that this scenario made no sense to him whatsoever.
“If someone offends a mo’o, they’ve committed a grave offense. Only a powerful gesture of goodwill could tempt them to return,” an elderly lady sagely educated us.
That made me inwardly snicker- if Wade was striving to persuade the mo’o to reappear, he was probably getting frustrated with a lack of response from a creature turned off by his evil heart! Aidan woefully commented, “But we’re trying to replace the gift that got stolen from it, shouldn’t that be enough?”
An elderly man queried, “You don’t know much about the mo’o, do you?”
“No!” Aidan admitted. “We’d gladly fetch the water guardian its gift, but we have no inkling where someone could have hidden it! Do you know?”
“Uh, sorry guys!” Samena arrived in the alleyway and changed the subject prior to anyone having the ability to illuminate us on our interest. “I hate to interrupt, but-.”
I cut her off, “No, you don’t! You love interfering with our research!” I folded my arms and gazed at her contemptuously. I didn’t bother with any congenial formalities- it was obvious she was trying to meddle with our affairs! I couldn’t fathom her motive for doing so either except it might have benefited some Fay Folks, and that premise irked me even further!
Samena pleasantly ensured me, “No, no! You’ve got me all wrong! First of all, I was notified of a robbery in this vicinity…”
“The prick got away, but we got our belongings back” Aidan held up the bag of flies for her to view, and when she ogled at him peculiarly, he defended against her acumen, “What? We need these for our job!”
“No judgment here!” Samena relayed what I could only assume was a lie based on her visage. “Can I get a description?”
I retorted, “No, you may not!” She seemed startled by my brazenness until I added, “No one saw him. He wore a dark hood that covered his face. All I can say is he’s about six feet tall and a medium build.”
Samena descried, “That could be anyone!”
“Tell me about it!” I got forcibly reminded of when this anonymous villain showed up in my murder case, and I vividly remembered how devastatingly frustrating it became to have so little to go on regarding my lead suspect! I hated to give Samena any amount of sympathy of any kind, but I couldn’t resist the urge to pity her plight a bit!
“The main problem got solved… We got our valuables back!” Aidan pat the bag of flies, which Samean strove to appear understanding on.
I asked Samena, “So, we’re done now, right?”
She answered, “Hold on! Before you take off, I gotta get details of the incident.” I cringed as she pulled out her notebook, and I begged the universe to keep her questions to a minimum!
“How did it start?” Samena posed to us.
“We had the flies, and then we didn’t!” Aidan lamely narrated to her.
Samena surmised, “He snatched it from your possession?”
Aidan teased her, “Isn’t that how robberies work?”
“He didn’t threaten you or anything?” Samena catchized.
“Not today,” I conveyed that like a joke, but in reality, assuming that I was correct about Wade, my reply was accurate!
Samena enquired, “How did he get away?”
I gave her a confused gesture. “There was a flash, and he was gone.” She didn’t initially buy that story, but since the spectators around us vouched for our accuracy, she had no option but to believe us. Their willing cooperation made me feel less guilty about involving them in this potentially perilous process! No one got hurt, and they abetted our credibility! I glanced at my watch, and when I saw the hour, I brought up, “Listen, I have a doctor appointment to get to, so we gotta go!”
“Take this!” Samena shoved a business card into our eyesight preceding our departure. “If you think of any other details, call me!”
“Fine!” I accepted the card in order to expedite our exit, and after I tossed it into my purse, Aidan and I headed out of the scene.
As we grew distant from Samena, she hollered, “If you feel like talking about anything else, contact me anytime!”
We traversed down a couple of blocks, and when we were positive we had gone out of her earshot, Aidan threw the bag of flies in a nearby trashcan while I griped, “Did your sister send her a coconut to announce the plans we made yesterday or something? How does she always know where we are?”
“Let’s not fixate on her,” Aidan suggested. “We have a monumental procedure to prepare for! We might leave the clinic as parents, and…” He beheld the terrified expression on my face, and he grew quite nervous himself, so he altered his tune, “On second thought, let’s just bash Samena some more…”