Chapter 10

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Chepter Teen (Chapter Ten)

Jooly Feefe (July 5)

MARTY STU and Elzbeth reunited at the cabin to compare notes.

He sat down and sighed. "Well, I broke into the old man's apartment, but I couldn't find anything incriminating. I did manage to put a hole in his oxygen tanks and light the pilot light, though--"

They heard a loud boom.

He grinned. "That takes care of that. How'd you do, Elzbeth?"

She looked at her notebook. "Well, I interviewed Father Poke. By all indications, he looks like a very good suspect. He was alive when Harried disappeared, and he was the last person to see her. And he's obsessed with scripture. But when I asked him if he remembered the disappearance, he said, and I quote, 'Are you my Mommy? The penguins like bagels.' I have a slight suspicion that he might be senile."

He shrugged. "Even better. If we accuse him, he can't defend himself. Still, I would prefer a suspect who's actually guilty. And we're getting nowhere. I think I'll go jogging through Sniper Park. See if anything interesting happens."

Marty Stu got dressed and set out to go jogging. He jogged down Hoomettoonen, headed up Flerbinharrgin, and turned right onto Reimenastad, and stepped off the sidewalk on Kommavirggin, to head into a wooded area with no street signs. He jogged past a large boulder, turned right at a broken tree stump, and crossed over a stream known as Verggaherg.

As he jogged through the woods, a gunshot rang out.

Marty Stu ducked as a bullet popped into the tree trunk next to him. He broke into a grin. "Finally, something is happening."

He ran through the woods in a zigzag pattern. More gunshots rang out, and he ducked as the trees burst into splinters.

He ran as fast as he could, heart pumping, terrified, knowing the shooter could be right behind him, ready to shoot at any--

He stopped.

He listened.

He looked around.

Marty Stu put his hands on his hips. "Seriously?"

* * *

At the cabin, Marty Stu burst in to find Elzbeth curled up by the fire, reading a copy of a mystery novel way better than this one.

She gasped at the blood running down his face. "What happened?"

He took deep breaths and pressed a cloth to his forehead. "Someone shot at me."

"Finally, some excitement."

"I know, right? It's about time something interesting happened."

She clutched her book to her small breasts. "Then what happened?"

He threw up his hands. "Nothing. Whoever it was shot at me a few times, and disappeared."

She scowled. "That's it? The shooter didn't even chase you?"

"No. What a waste of a good action sequence. The least the shooter could have done was chase me through the woods, maybe I could've fallen a few times, spotted the shooter in the bushes, tried to wrestle the gun out of the shooter's hands. The shooter wasn't even that good a shot. Didn't even hit me in any vital areas. Just grazed my forehead."

Elzbeth slumped. "Great. The one chance we had to put a little excitement into this story, and it's over."

"Yeah, I'm tired of this. I'm going to tell Heartsick that I give up. This case is going nowhere. Let me just check my mail."

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