It had taken Ernie a considerable amount of time to walk to the office of Mark David – Private Detective. It was only once he was in the unkempt office itself that he realised he had absolutely no idea how he was going to communicate with a man he already knew to be inept but oddly frequently successful in solving cases.
Ernie had used Mark’s services several years ago to help locate his wife’s beloved Yorkshire Terrier. Several hundreds of pounds in bizarre expense claims later and the corpse of the animal had been FedEx’d to the family house whilst Mark took leave for a swift holiday in Cornwall.
It had later transpired that Mark had actually ran the dog over with a friend’s car and had kept the animal in a freezer for reasons still known only to him, despite his attempt to explain them in full and graphic detail to Ernie and his wife.
Ernie was quite pleased with the result as it happened, having regained his favourite chair in the living room and no longer stepping in the dog bowl of water in the kitchen each morning. For this reason he had tipped Mark quite considerably and also recommended him to a few of his colleagues over the years.
‘Still,’ he thought, ‘the packing peanuts were probably a bit much.’
Ernie looked around the office trying to decide how to get a message to Mark without actually being able to hold onto anything for any great length of time. He looked at the telephone and considered leaving a voicemail but he could not get the phone out of its cradle.
‘Perhaps,’ he thought, looking down at the scattering of documents across Mark’s desk and knowing from practice that a pen was far too heavy to pick up and use, ‘if I could just somehow tear some letters out of these pages.’ But try as he might he could barely pick the paper up let alone tear it.
He leant away from the desk and sat back on a smaller table in the back corner of the room. As his backside began to sink into the table a little his belt caught something and as he turned he saw a noisy, spattering kettle begin to boil. Its steam warmed the wooden cladding of the back wall but more importantly the frosted window next to the offices main door.
He reached stretched out his finger and began to write.