Crimes of the Fay II, Chapter 27

Aidan rang his hands anxiously as I glanced around the room in order to find something to distract me from my apprehension. That didn’t help because the walls were plastered with posters of women with pregnant bellies and babies! I spotted a bulletin that depicted various different std’s, and while they were hard to look at, it did momentarily make me forget what I was scared of! “Ben almost gave me that one!” I pointed to one of the panals, and Aidan ogled me in suprise. I expounded on that subject, “When he got busted with that prostitute, they gave him a physical exam, and he had it! Thank goodness I wasn’t sleeping with him towards the end of our marriage!

He twitched his mouth as though he wanted to smile, but a smile never fully formed! “I guess the one plus side to him becoming a Fay was that all of the maladies he sustained as a living being vanished!” We chuckled slightly, but neither of us could think of any avenue in which we could have carried on this topic, so we sat in an awkward silence once more. After a minute or two, Aidan conversed, “So, a Hawaiian doctor is gonna examine you? That’s pretty cool!”

“Not really!” I refuted. “He’s a doctor who happens to live in Hawaii- he’s not any different than a mainland doctor! What, do you imagine he’s gonna come in with hula gear on or something?”

“Sorry I’m late!” A tall and extremely stocky man entered wearing a white lab coat, board shorts with a tropical, floral print, and a bare chest! He moved his braided ponytail out of the way of his stethoscope, and his sandals squeaked as he moved across the floor! “Festival practice ran long!”

I retracted my previous statement to Aidan, “Then again, maybe he is uniquely Hawaiian!”

The doctor offered, “I can change into sandals if it this bothers you, but I figured expediency would be a greater priority.”

“This is fine! Let’s get this over with!” My heart started pumping wildly as I wondered about all of the different possibilities of my conditions’ origin, and I didn’t want to wait a second longer than I had to in order to confirm what I suspected!

“Right! Well, I’m Doctor Makalo Iona, nice to meet you!” He shook my hand as well as Aidan’s, and then he sat on a stool and scanned a file. “You must be Mister and Missus Swetinbedde.”

I couldn’t resist getting choked up from this! It was difficult enough acting like a married couple prior to my readiness to say my vows, but now we were these newlyweds with an infant possibly in the works! And we would have to raise him or her in that hayloft with eight other people and eight cats too! Maybe nine if the shelter permitted Mom to keep Jinx! All of the milestones I thought I had a choice on got rushed, and I didn’t even have the comfort of my true home to fall back on! It sort of irritated me that I began crying since I worried that this might slow the process down! I needed to hear the bad news quickly so I could grab a tray of brownies and nurse my emotional wounds immediately!

Aidan rushed to my side and put his arms around my shoulders, and Doctor Iona pat my hand sympathetically. “Hey, hey! It’s going to be okay! ” Doctor Iona reassured me. “Whatever the results are, we’ll take care of it! Alright?” He seemed so confident in obtaining a solution that I ceased my sobbing, and once he saw that, he instructed, “Go ahead and lift up your gown so I can examine your belly.”

“Do you hear anything?” Aidan inquired as Doctor Iona placed his stethoscope on various points of my abdomen.

“I can hear her lunch digesting,” Doctor Iona replied. “You’ll have to do a BM in an hour.”

I was slightly relieved to receive a tiny bit of goodness to look forward to! “Oh, finally! It’s been so long!”

Doctor Iona read my file again and asked me, “You’ve been experiencing frequent urination, avoidance of alcohol, and mood swings. Any pain or abnormal periods?”

“Oh, I can’t remember when I last menstruated! It’s been more than a month!” I bit my lip in fears of the outcome of this only leading in a single direction!

“It’s alright- it’s a doctor exam, not a game show! There’s no wrong response!” Doctor Iona ensured me. He took out his wand and informed me, “Hang tight- I’m going to do an imaging spell.”

I gripped Aidan’s hand tightly- too tightly! He wanted to be supportive, but he couldn’t focus on anything else but his pain! Oops! I was too terrified to apologize right then, and after Doctor Iona’s wand floated over my torso, all I could concentrate on was mentally preparing myself for what was doomed to transpire! The wand emitted a white glow as it slowly hovered over me, and once it traveled from one side to another, it floated back into Doctor Iona’s palm. He walked over to a screen behind Aidan, and we braced ourselves for an emotionally ominous impact! Doctor Iona studied the image that developed on the screen, and he gasped, “Oh no!”

Aidan and I grew positively alarmed at this spectacle! I mean, if a physician ever says something like that upon seeing your results, it can’t be anything good! “What? What is it? Is something wrong?” Aidan pressed him.

“Yeah… I have to use the restroom! Excuse me!” He dashed out of the room.

“Wow! Thanks for giving us both heart attacks!” Aidan bitterly muttered.

I requested to Aidan, “Can you see what’s on the slide?” My pulse skyrocketed as he looked at the screen! At least, it did for a flash. After a considerable stretch, I got impatient and grilled him, “Well? What do you see?”

Aidan reported, “Nothing appears human shaped!”

“You know, it takes a while for a fetus to develop human parts,” I illuminated him. “Mom said if I’m eight weeks along, it’ll look like a blueberry.”

“Oh, in that case, there is something there!” Aidan told me with his skin growing pale as a ghost.

“Holy crap! We’re having a child?” I exclaimed in disbelief. Even though this was the result I expected, my brain still didn’t want to accept it. I was leery about Mom bringing another cat into the house, and I didn’t relish bringing another person into that chaos!

Aidan stammered, “We’re… You… There’s multiple masses in there!”

In that instance, I could have sworn that my eyes grew wider than my head! “Multiple masses? So, we’re having twins? Triplets?”

“There’s five there minimum!” Aidan croaked out.

“Five?” I nearly fainted! Laraleigh struggled immensely with her five kids, and she had them all separately! I couldn’t imagine how intense it would be to have them all at once! We would have to buy five cribs and stuff them into our small apartment! Well, when we finally go to leave Witness Protection anyways! I reckoned we could squeeze them into that stupid barn without a fuss! But I didn’t want to do that! I severely wanted to go back to my old life as a detective by day and a supportive girlfriend at night! That was never going to happen ever again though! I realized my entire lifestyle was about to get altered- again! Nothing would ever return to what made me happiest!
I started bawling again when Doctor Iona re-entered into the vicinity. He espied Aidan’s position, and he jocularly commented, “Ah! You cheated!”

Aidan disputed that, “No, her ex cheated! I never… Oh, you meant the image! Well, now we know we’re about to to parents to… uh, five-tuplets? I don’t know the word for it!”

“It’s quintuplets,” Doctor Iona educated him. “And you’re not having quintuplets. You’re not having a baby at all!”

“So, what is it? Some kind of curse?” I puzzled. I wouldn’t have put it past Wade to pull a stunt like that as a cruel joke and/or to keep me distracted from his activity! I began to wonder if his silhouette showed up in Kai Lawai’a to do more than buy a bag of flies…

Doctor Iona announced, “You have fibroids. They’re basically small tumors. Don’t freak out!” He beheld our horrified faces, and prior to us exhibiting a strong reaction, he explained, “They’re benign, and actually, they’re super common! Up ot eighty percent of women have them and don’t know it! Most of t he time, they show up and just hang out there. Kinda like a wart!”

I asked him, “So, my uterus will simply have to settle for being pop marked like an ugly, old witch?”

“No,” Doctor Iona answered. “You’re one of the cases where they start to grow and cause uncomfortable symptoms. We’re going to have to remove them, but you should count yourself lucky!”

“Uh-huh… This outta be good!” I sardonically remarked.

Doctor Iona asserted, “You’re lucky ’cause you came to ME with this issue! Not to toot my own horn… Well, maybe a little! But many other ob/gyn’s don’t have the surgical skill to remove fibroids! Several will advise their patients to get pregnant fast, and in a few years, it’ll grow enough where they have to take their entire uterus out! You get to keep yours and have a baby when you please! And you’re lucky that they’re fairly small ones, so the surgery won’t be too complicated! Once, I had a lady with a fibroid the size of a watermelon!”

Aidan’s jaw dropped, and I begrudgingly admitted, “Fine, that was pretty good!”

“I have an open spot this Friday,” Doctor Iona let us know. “Or at least I will when I cancel festival practice. Mahina really needs the extra work, but it’ll be solid overall! Ugh, I hope she practices what she can on her own!”

“Maybe you can get someone else to run the practice,” Aidan suggested.

Doctor Iona rubbed his chin contemplatively. “Hmm… Ricky might be able to, but he’s so timid when it comes to taking charge…”

Aidan advocated, “Maybe Ricky would do great as a leader and just needs someone to give him a chance!”

“Perhaps…” Doctor Iona considered this notion.

“Um, hello? Can we get back to me and my ugly uterus?” I vociferated to get their attention.

Doctor Iona shook his focus off of that situation, and then he instructed me, “Come in at noon on Friday. Don’t eat anything for eight hours before that juncture! Do you have any questions?”

Aidan posed to him, “Can you prescribe something for the pain?”

“Sure, how much pain are you in, Missus Swetinbedde?” Doctor Iona opened up his prescription pad and readied himself to write something down.

“I don’t need anything, I’ll feel fantasti in an hour when I have that BM!” I contemplated that sentence for a moment, and then I altered my sentiments, “What am I saying? I’m having surgery in a couple of days! That’s not something I even dreamt up in my nightmares! True, I suffered worse fates than that in my worst dreams, but still! It’s absolutely frightening to have to have my body cut open like that! Yeah, I originally believed I was gonna give birth, so I guess either way, I was doomed to have something extracted from me!”

Doctor Iona consoled me, “It’s only a small incision, and then magic does the rest.”

That didn’t comfort me much. I felt grateful that I didn’t have a bun in the oven when the kitchen was essentially on fire, but this circumstance wasn’t optimal either! I wasn’t ready to become a mommy, but I wasn’t ready for an operation either! “Are we done here?”

“We’re done here,” Doctor Iona confirmed.

“Hold on! We’re not done yet!” Aidan differed. “That pain medicine question was for me!”

Aidan motioned towards the extremity I clutched with too much force, and normally, I would have begged for forgiveness for that, but I was rather preoccupied in that instance! While Doctor Iona acquiesced to his wish, I slipped out into the hallway. It seemed like the receptionist was motioning towards the billing department, but I planned on letting Aidan take care of that. Right then, I needed to be alone and figure out where this procedure fit into the rest of the pandemonium that comprised my existence!

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…”

Crimes of the Fay II, Chapter 15

“You’re free to go!” Samena relayed to us through gritted teeth. “But, just remember, if you’re up to no good, I’ll find out! I’m a detective- we’re trained to detect criminal activity!”

My blood almost curled at this remark, but I recalled that she had no idea who she was talking to! I thought I ought to have simply walked away, but her insinuation piqued my curiosity! “What exactly did you think we were up to?” I asked her.

She curtly answered, “That’s classified! Have a nice day!” Prior to me being able to query her any further, she turned smartly on her heels and walked away.

“Have a nice day!” I aped her in a mocking voice. “Oh, yeah, like it’ll be so easy to do that after getting grilled by law enforcement for no real reason!”

“Let’s go babe!” Aidan recommended as he put his arm around me and led me away from the area.

I complied with his wishes to vacate the vicinity, but I didn’t stop ranting about that interaction! “I bet she didn’t have a true cause to accost us! She was obviously bored, it’s not like there’s a lot to do out here! How many crimes get committed in this tiny town?”

Aidan noted, “Only one that I can think of, and it doesn’t look as though we’ll get any leads on it from this location!”

In my state of animosity over this contentious exchange, I temporarily forget about the disappearing lake! I hadn’t considered what our next steps should be other than getting Aidan to agree with me on what a terrible person Samena was, and now that the decision had come to my feet, I drew a blank on how to proceed in this venture! “Maybe the people on the other side of this street didn’t see that! Or talk to those small business owners who believe we’re monsters ‘cause we work for…” I  eyeballed the passersby and changed the verbiage that I originally wanted to end that sentence with, “… you know who!”

As we strolled down the boulevard, I scoped out every nook and cranny that we passed in order to espy where Wade ran off to after I spotted him. No one else seemed quite as disturbed  by the presence of a shadowy figure staring at us, but it bothered me tremendously! Did they esteem that I made these episodes up? Or perhaps they imagined that I had become delusional! Someone was out there watching us, and I wasn’t going to let that go! Since Samena wasn’t so friendly towards us, I doubted any of her fellow officers at this precinct would take me very seriously, so it was up to us to solve this mystery! I suppose it could have been anyone, like another person with the same personality disorder as Minna for example, but this looks a little too similar to a previous case to be a coincidence! I didn’t recall him ever wearing a hoodie at home, which meant he most likely only wore it when he was doing his criminal activity. Therefore, if he resumed donning the hood once more, then he had to be up to some nefarious actions this time around too…

“They’re talking about us!” Aidan asserted.

“Huh?” I fell out of my torpor and glanced around to see what he was referring to. Soon, I saw a few shopkeepers across the road pointing in our direction and whispering, which made me grimace! “Wow! Word travels fast in these parts apparently!”

Aidan lamented, “It doesn’t seem like we’ll be able to gain any allies out here! So, what resources are available for us now?”

I mulled it over for a second, and then I shrugged. “The internet maybe. Well, that’s assuming the answers will get past the filters that your sister put up to try and prevent ‘Danielle’ from searching for more details on gruesome murders! But I’m willing to bet she knows how to get around those barriers!”

“You can do that?” Kinsey emerged from a shop behind us with her eyes sparkling with interest at this notion.

“No!” I denied my own statement with trepidation. I feared I may have accidentally incited an endeavor where this teen would obtain some knowledge not meant for her age level and rouse the wrath of her mother!

Kinsey didn’t seem fooled by my ploy unfortunately. “Why did I ask? You wouldn’t have mentioned it if it wasn’t! Now, how do you bypass her security spells…?”

Laraleigh exited the store with a paper cone in her hand and a concerned look on her face. “What on earth did you say to her?”

“Nothing!” I truthfully conveyed to her. “I was talking to him! I thought we were alone!”

“Weeeee!” Willow, Harper, and mason cried out as they zoomed to the streets at top speed.

Mom and Jackson went outside, and Mom cautioned the kids, “You shouldn’t play in the road!”

Harper objected, “But we’re pretending it’s the Green Lady’s canyon! She’s gonna snatch us up!”

“Boy, will she be sorry!” Aidan commented.

“Exactly!” Harper grinned mischievously.

Laraleigh shouted, “Get kidnapped on the sidewalk!” A couple passing us gazed over peculiarly, and Laraleigh clarified to them, “Not literally!”

As the youngest kids unwillingly headed away from the avenue, Jackson put the back of his shirt collar over his hair and hollered, “Oooh! I’m the Green Lady, and I’m gonna get you!”

Laraleigh winced as her little ones let out piercing screams, and Mom filled Aidan and me in, “The shave ice owners told us some legends from the island while we ate.”

“I see… Hey, maybe they would-,” I glanced inside of their property, and when I beheld them glaring at the pair of us, I recanted that supposition, “Nevermind!” I couldn’t help but feel a heavy surge of disappointment at this- they seemed very well-informed on local mythology and probably had an insightful account as to what may have occurred between Lake Ana Wai and the Mo’o, whatever that was! I sighed, but then Willow hid behind a trash can and casted a shadow, I got reminded of the other issue I wanted to figure out. I canvassed those who were not reeling from a sugar rush, “Did you guys happen to see anything strange going on around here?”

“Stranger than that?” Mom gestured towards the quirky antics of the juveniles at play.

Laraleigh took a slight offense to that. “Hey, they’re just acting like typical children! Don’t you remember how your kids behaved under the influence of sweets?”

Mom shook her head. “Not really! I only had one child, and she was sorta boring!”

“Excuse me!” I put my arms up in a manner that clearly indicated my offended stance.

“Well, you were!” Mom refused to back down from her allegations. “You mostly read a bunch of books and went searching for villains in the bushes. Of course, I don’t know how you were after I gave up custody of you. You might have became more rowdy for your father…”

I begrudgingly admitted, “Not really. My stepmom was pretty strict, so even if I wanted to misbehave, I wouldn’t have been able to!”

Sensing my depression heightening from the premise that I may have been seen as an uninteresting individual, Aidan piped up, “Don’t worry, babe! You’ve more than made up for your previous lack of a bad side during your time with me!”

“Eiww!’ Kinsey’s visage soured at a raunchy interpretation of his phrasing.

“That’s not what I meant! Although…” Aidan rubbed his chin contemplatively.

Kinsey requested to her mother, “Can we go home? I wanna rinse that picture out of my brain!”

Laraleigh started to decline that, “We haven’t been here that long! We still have a lot to-.” Her younglings frightened a man on crutches, and after blushing profusely, Laraleigh changed her tune, “On second thought, let’s leave quickly!”

Aidan and I sat in the hayloft while the youths played a very rambunctious version of tag and Minna chatted with Mom and Laraleigh in the kitchen. I buried my nose further into my laptop as if that move would drown out all of the noise! It was hard to concentrate on my countless scrolling of news sites, but I did my best to comb through all of these news sites in hopes of finding any sort of sign of Wade’s whereabouts in this jurisdiction! Lake Aopua’a was the closest locale to the farm he had gotten seen at, so I wondered where else he may have wandered to. Thus far, no reports of nearby break-ins or burglaries turned up in the papers, so I concluded that he must have wound up in a stretch where he could blend in, but where a large, smelly jerk possibly blend in around this region absolutely stumped me! 

“Hey, Shannon! I found out what a moe was!” Aidan announced as he caused me to jump while he unexpectedly hovered over my shoulders.

“Who’s Moe?” I puzzled.

He informed me, “I know a crazy cat named Moe in southern Maryland…” A kitty turned up next to him, and he remarked to it, “Not that kinda cat!” The feline insisted that he pet it, so Aidan relented, “Fine! Anyways, I wasn’t talking about Moe the caterer! This is the moe connected to the disappearing pond!”

I corrected him, “It’s pronounced mo’o.”

“Yeah, that’s what I said,” I contended.

“No, you said moe, and it’s mo’o,” I illuminated him.

Aidan scratched his hairline in confusion. “I don’t hear the difference.”

I decided to table that matter temporarily, “Let’s go on. What is this thing?”

He put his screen in front of me and summarized, “It’s some sort of reptile that guards bodies of water.”

“Some say they’re small geckos, and others say they’re huge dragons!” My brows furrowed upon this observation of these conflicting reports. “Wow, this one said it could be a seductive woman! How are we supposed to know what to look for then?”

“I don’t know if it matters,” Aidan reckoned. “Whatever form it comes in, someone must have angered it. Doing so makes it react in terrible ways like summoning adverse weather or other natural phenomena to punish the offenders!”

A lightbulb went off inside of my noggin, and I excitedly inferred, “Someone disturbed the mo’o of Lake Ana Wai! But how? According to this, it could stem from merely swimming in their territory or-.”

At that moment, Willow emitted a high-pitched shriek as Mason bested her in their frivolity! Meanwhile, the three ladies in the kitchen were gabbing away like nothing happened! Minna prattled on, “The cliffs  going down to the beach are gnarly, but it’s worth the magic to get there ‘cause it’s so relaxing! And when the tide is low, a sandbar opens up that leads to this really peaceful mini island! You should try it! It…”

“What have you been reading about here?” Aidan studied my computer, and I admonished myself for letting the banshees on the lower level distract me! I wasn’t ready to justify this particular research to him, especially since we assigned ourselves to work on something else! Aidan conjectured, “You must really miss doing policework!”

“I was trying to find Wade!” I confessed. “He’s in our neighborhood, and-.”

Aidan disagreed with me, “Babe, he’s not here! And if he was, we’d smell him coming like we did before!”

I argued, “But who else would be following us?”

“I…” He contemplated it, and when he came up empty, he countered with, “Well, if he was here, why would he be biding his time in getting his vengeance?”

“Um… Well, he…” I couldn’t decipher a motive for that, but prior to that instance occurring, a loud bang sounded from below! “Ugh! There had better be a damn good explanation for that!” I marched over to the edge full of ire, and when I saw the causation of the disruption, my eyes went wide…

Crimes of the Fay II, Chapter 14

One of the men dramatically revealed, “It disappeared!”

I clicked my tongue out of annoyance. My anticipation had been mounting higher and higher as I awaited this announcement, and his response felt like a huge let down! I feared that they wouldn’t have any answers for us, but my detective experience reminded me that I couldn’t give up on potential witnesses merely because they showed hints of ineptitude, so I addressed them, “We already knew that! What we wanna know is why!”

“It’s the ‘ino’ino make! Another guy bitterly expressed to us. “The Pomaikais just had to spring for cheap labor and invite them to this region! Ever since they started coming around this part, we’ve seen nothing but trouble!” I was itching to ask them how that was even remotely possible, but then…

“You said you live near Lake Ana Wai?” The man who spoke mulled it over and then corrected himself, “Well, where it used to be?”

Each of us sensed a huge catch for confirming this, but Aidan still did it, “Uh-huh. We live in Lani Noni.”

The cashier probed, “Do the Hekekias still haunt that place?”

“Haunt is a little harsh! I mean, I know they’re technically dead, but still!” I defensively opined. They looked unmoved by my pleading, so I moved on, “Yes, we work for them.”

“Get out!” the shopkeeper staunchly pointed to the exit. “Don’t bring that poino over here!”

Initially, I thought he was joking. I’ve had plenty of  criminals and individuals with something to hide try to throw me out of their domain when I was interrogating them, but it didn’t occur to me that they would oust me in a civilian role when all I was doing was seeking information about my surroundings! Their expressions indicated their seriousness though, and since we had no legal cause to remain there, neither Aidan nor I sought to fight this decision. It was hard to do this though since they were showing hints of being able to be quite helpful to us! Plus, I still wanted to know what interest Wade had in this store other than teddy bears! It wasn’t worth it to battle five big dudes with our teeny children’s wands to obtain this knowledge however, so we left without protest.

When we were outside, Aidan inquired to a passerby, “What’s poino?”

“It’s bad luck or misery,” she replied. “Why? Did you remove one of Pele’s rocks?”

“I don’t think so…” Aidan reflected a bit just to make sure, and when he concluded we probably hadn’t, he filled her in, “Actually, it came up when we mentioned that our new bosses are Fay Folks and-.”

The woman’s face soured upon hearing this. “Your bosses are monsters!” She spat at our feet and then wheeled her stroller away from us as fast as she could.

Aidan remarked, “Okay, I guess we should stop telling people that!” I concurred, and then we went next door.

A bell chimed as we went inside, and a female greeted us with, “Did you forget something?”

“Huh?” I puzzled. We had never been in there, so it mystified me as to what prompted her to say that!

“Your clothes!” she simply stated. Aidan and I panicked and swiftly glanced at ourselves out of worry that we got hit with some sort of nudity jinx, and then the female gestured to the rack behind her. “This is a dry cleaner…”

Aidan and I instantly felt dumb, but it was too funny not to join her and her two customers in laughter! An older gentleman queried, “Are you two lost?”

I genially responded, “Kinda. We recently… bought an egg farm, and we’ve been using Lake Aopua’a for a water source, but then we heard that there used to be a pond closer to us that vanished suddenly. No one seems to be able to tell us why either!”

The backstory I concocted was pretty solid, and I genuinely thought I nailed it until the older lady asked, “The realtor didn’t disclose that when you bought the property?”

“Uh…” My spirits deflated at the loss of success that I never really had! I racked my brains to unearth a clever explanation, but all I could drum up was, “They blamed the Fays across the street, but I don’t see how that’s feasible!”

“You don’t?” The dry cleaner eyed me dubiously.

I blushed furiously at getting put on the spot like an unprepared student getting called upon by their teacher! I felt like I ought to have known this, but my mind was a total blank pertaining to the motive for this belief, so Aidan stepped in and commented, “No, we don’t! ‘Cause, yeah, they don’t seem to have any actual powers, so aren’t they pretty harmless?”

That was the wrong viewpoint to put forth evidently! The old couple gasped, and the rage of a pure offense was brewing inside of the dry cleaner! Seeing that this endeavor was a futile venture, I proclaimed, “We’ll show ourselves out!” Preceding any of them uttering a single word about our gaffe, we dashed out of the building!

Back on the sidewalk, Aidan observed, “Wow, they really hate Fays out here!”

I agreed, “Totally! From now on, we’ll have to pretend we want nothing to do with them!”

From behind us, the old man from the dry cleaner facility emitted a noise of disgust! Aidan and I jumped slightly at their unexpected appearance, and our innermost instincts had us clam up until they got out of sight… until… “Imagine that!” the elderly lady huffed. “They dare to associate with the wretches that had the audacity to offend the mo’o!”

“The what?” I had no clue what a mo’o was, but my gut convinced me that whatever it might have been, it possessed a major factor towards the reservoir evaporating! I caught up with the pair and pressed them, “What’s a mo’o?”

“You two have phones, go look it up yourself!” she snapped.

I ignored that directive and petitioned them, “Did the mo’o drain the lake?”

The old gentleman barked, “Go bug your Fay friends!”

“They’re not our friends, we just work for them!” I immediately recognized that I had erred once more, so I amended my sentence, “It’s not like we wanted to- we didn’t have a choice in the matter!”

“We’re obviously very ignorant about this stuff, you could educate us so that we quit hanging around them!” Aidan strove to tempt them into a discussion with us, but they disregarded our communication attempts and walked with a little more briskness in their steps! We would’ve taken one last stab at it, but then…

A woman with long, black hair, Sandy toned skin, small, umber eyes, and a well-fitted suit blocked our pathway! Her stance appeared rather confrontational, and I truly wasn’t in the mood for another clash, so I wanted to bypass her. I couldn’t though- she opened a leather cover and revealed a badge for the Kalahale Police Department! Aidan and I froze in our tracks! This was exactly what we were hoping to avoid! We knew it would be a complete hassle to have to sort this out with Agent Hearne or Deputy Clifton, especially if they got wind of us doing an off-the-books investigation! Additionally, even if we didn’t get legal punishment for this incident, we each dreaded having a blemish on our records! This woman spared us no pity for our plight and coldly introduced herself, “Detective Samena Tajana, HPD.”

Aidan reached into his pocket out of habit, but when he realized he wasn’t carrying his shield (for a reason!), he acted as if he meant to do that for a casual pose. “I’m Kennedy Swetinbedde, and this is my wife, Sophia. We’re farmers in the area.”

“Sir, keep your hands where I can see them!” Samena commanded.

“Okay!” Aidan promptly pulled his palms out and kept them where she could plainly view them.

She contemplated the info we provided her for a second, and then she vocalized, “Local farmers, huh? You sure ask a lot of questions for farmers…”

I retorted, “What? Are we not supposed to ever learn anything beyond the fields?” I startled myself by behaving so pertly with a fellow officer, but I got somewhat offended by her insinuation! Furthermore, it irked me that a cop was accosting us and not Wade! If he had any vision of our locale at that moment, I knew he was cackling super joyfully at this scenario!

“What exactly are you trying to learn from these townsfolk?” Samena challenged us.

“We’re trying to learn about the land from the people who know it best!” Aidan asserted fairly rapidly. He most likely sensed some more snarkiness ready to burst out of my mouth, and ultimately, I found that he did the correct action because he doubtlessly prevented an already dicey situation from getting worse, but at the time, I wasn’t too pleased with getting cut off since she was treating us with unjust antagonism! He more calmly elaborated, “We’re new here, but they’re not! They’d know better than anyone what went on out there- you can’t really trust the internet for accuracy!”

Samena stared at him like she was scanning for any mistruths to slip off of his tongue, and she seemed a tad skeptical when she detected no deception! “Why were you guys so insistent on hearing about the mo’o?”

Aidan’s cordiality didn’t prevail in this instance due to his lack of readiness to have a justification for this, and while I disliked this woman for her malicious attitude, I hardly wanted to get on Aidan’s bad side by starting strife with her, so, with as much politeness as I could muster, I commented, “You know how it is when you hear a cliffhanger ending- we simply gotta know the rest!” I chuckled, but Samena’s frigid visage didn’t budge an inch! All of a sudden, it occurred to me that this frosty rival could prove useful to us after all! “Surely, you must know what a mo’o is! What is it? A fish? A tree?”

“I do know what it is, but I don’t have a minute to spare to explain it!” She pulled out a notebook, and as she flicked her pen open, I produced a sound of derision that thankfully went unnoticed! “You told me you’re Kennedy and Sophia Swetinbedde. Is there a middle name to go with either of those?”

“Uh… No! No, there isn’t,” Aidan reported to her a smidgen too late. We could tell that his hesitation roused her suspicion, so he added, “Sorry! Police make me nervous!”

I sputtered in amusement at the irony of his quip, but when that move garnered me a peculiar ogling from Samena, I hastily summoned up an excuse for this blunder. “Did you see those bears in that souvenir shop? They’re wearing hats! And Hawaiian shirts!” I faked some hearty guffawing at that image, and she definitely thought I was an idiot at this juncture! Whatever, as long as she didn’t believe I was hiding anything pertinent from her!

Samena quizzed us, “What are your social security numbers?”

“Um, we don’t have it memorized, so can we dig out our cards and show it to you?” Aidan requested.

“I suppose…” Samena consented with an eyebrow raised. Clearly, she didn’t find our stories to be too credible, and privately, I didn’t blame her! While I was contemplating the best replies to any other inquiries she may have had for us, she took our identification and advised us, “You know, you shouldn’t carry these around with you. If someone stole your purse or wallet, they could easily use it to steal your identity!”

Slightly too tickled by the concept of a thief pilfering fraudulent ID’s, I articulated, “Oh darn, that’d be a shame!”

She furrowed her brows at my crack, but prior to her responding to it, dispatch delivered us clean results, which seemed to shock her. “Really? Alright, thank you!”

“Yeah, so we’re done now, correct?” I folded my arms in an agitated manner, and it struck me as odd to show such sass to a sister in the force, but I disliked her for her inefficiency! She wasted her efforts with us when bonafide criminals like Wade were roaming free! She showed signs of reluctance to let us go, which I wanted to sympathize with since I’ve been there before, but I couldn’t under these circumstances! I expounded on my statement, “You have no proof of any wrongdoing, you can’t hold us forever!” Her lips contorted as she displayed sheer avarice, and…