The fierce BlogBattle day is here! Chapter 6 is my entry. If you’ve missed any of the previous chapters, you can find them all here.
Chapter 6: Under Suspicion
“Ssshhh! I am being careful,” he glowered over a shoulder, then carefully creeped forward. One step at a time towards the glass doors, a fading sunset reflected off the surface dimly. He stepped just close enough for his arm to reach while keeping the rest of him out of sight. He quietly set the satchel filled with jewels down, and as he crouched down low pushed it forward with one hand—pushing it before the glass doors of the local police station; not a soul on the sidewalk but him, at the moment.
Cheshire motioned with a frantic paw for him to hurry back. He kept low and trotted back to the alley. “I don’t like leaving it there. How soon will the police find it?”
Cat shoulders shrugged. “We don’t have an option. There’s no better way to get the jewels back to their numerous owners. And we can’t risk you being seen with them, or they’ll pin the crime on you.”
Madnes waved it off, “Yeah, yeah, I know.” His head peeked around the alley’s corner, watching the lonely satchel with one violet eye. Why was no one coming out of the station yet? He anxiously bit a nail.
A shadow grew long across the pavement. Startled, eyes swiveled and Madnes spotted the source: A man dressed in rags and a worn down hat approached the satchel. “Is he going to…he wouldn’t, would he?” His body tensed. “Just great! I knew I shouldn’t have listened to you.”
Paws tugged at his coat. “Don’t. You can’t risk being caught!”
“But…” he looked back at the beggar. The satchel was lifted up in grimy hands. He had to stop this. He dashed out of hiding despite Cheshire’s yowl. The man saw him and stumbled back, startled. Madnes reached for the satchel. The man growled and turned so that his hand missed. And then the beggar fell into a run, away from the police station.
“No!” Madnes regained his balance and chased after him down the swept sidewalk. He had to get it back—had to! Power surged in his legs, muscles burned as if a fire had been lit, and he found himself running faster. He caught up with the beggar and jumped him from behind, crashing them both to the ground. It was a struggle, but he managed to grab hold of the satchel, and with a heavy yank pull it free of the man’s rope-tight grip.
He stood up, a bit wobbly, and the beggar turned to growl before scuttling away. “Ha! That’s right. Don’t mess with Madnes Hatter!”
“Is that so?”
He turned at a deep voice behind him. The last bits of sunset highlighted a tall, broad man looming over. He nearly jumped out of his skin.
“Who—who are you?”
Thick black eyebrows regarded him above a left baby blue eye, an eyepatch obscuring the right: black leather, with a small silver rose and a pair of white-feather wings as if it might take flight any moment. The man would have been a handsome 20-something, with a sleek face, layered black hair, and clean-shaven jaw, if not for the suspicious frown glued to his lips. He must have worn it frequently through life that it now appeared etched into his tan face.
Madnes noticed a badge decorating his left breast. “I am,” black eyebrows drew near, making Madnes lean back, before the guy snapped back upright and then spun on a heel like a tai chi master; the spin stopped and he posed dramatically, “Inspector Cool—ette. Bringing down crime is what I do best!” He emphasized the “cool” part, flicking a hand and posing like a hot shot.
Was he trying to rhyme? Madnes drew back, a disturbed look painting his face. “Another weird person.”
The inspector gawked, and almost fell over. “You dare insult me?”
“Here.” Ignoring him, he shoved the satchel of jewels into his hands. “It’s your problem now. Bye!”
Coolette blinked down at the mass of jewelry, then exclaimed and turned after Madnes. “Thief! You dare defy the law!”
Feet pounded after him. Madnes thought he could outrun him, but the inspector was suddenly there not far behind, legs moving like an Olympic runner. “Yeek! I didn’t steal anything! If I took it, why would I be giving it back freely?”
“None can comprehend the twisted mind of a criminal. You are under suspicion!”
Madnes sped up his pace, fast as he could. The thrum of running steps behind him slowed, and for a second he thought it had worked. Then something slashed the air not far to his right. Heart rate spiking, he glimpsed back and saw Coolette slashing a rope through the air, aiming for his legs—the rope pulled off a giant, decorative spool before a knitter’s shop.
“You just stole rope!” he stuttered, trying to think up anything he possibly could to distract this fierce inspector.
“What’s the difference? I could say the same thing!”
The rope flew forward and tangled his legs; he stumbled, and the inspector caught him by the elbow. An angry, suspicious face met his. If ominous was a fog, Madnes could see it seeping out of him, chilling the bones of every living thing.
Really, if it weren’t for that intense, suspicious expression, every girl would probably be swooning how charming and well buffed he was. He raised the satchel, single blue eye demanding an answer, “Are you saying you borrowed this?”
“S-someone else did! The bag was in front of the station, and that beggar tried to take it. I stopped him, and now I gave it back to you.”
Dark eyebrows rose suspiciously.
“You don’t have proof that I did anything wrong,” Madnes swallowed down nerves and reasoned. “If anything, you saw me rescue it from that beggar.”
Coolette rubbed his smooth chin in thought, peering down and leaning uncomfortably close. Madnes stood his ground, sweat beading, and waited until the guy finally straightened and nodded. “There is truth behind those words…” A blue eye flashed, “But do not think I don’t still suspect you, Hatter. I’ve got my eye on you…young man.” He turned so his one, good eye faced him directly. Madnes leaned far back, with a distasteful grimace of his own.
“Goodbye, then, and good evening.” Madnes forced himself to act cool, turn, and march away. He could feel the blue eye following him.
“I’ll be watching you, Hatter. Always watching you…” Inspector Coolette stated and posed in what he must have thought was a cool, hot look. Then his foot caught on the “borrowed” rope, and he tumbled over.
“That guy’s a bit dense in the head, isn’t he?” Madnes said, once he was far enough away, to a pair of eyes and cat mouth hovering above his shoulder.
“And a bit of a clutz. Good thing for you.” A paw smacked the back of his head, making his teeth rattle. “I told you to be more careful!”
He huffed and bit the inside of his cheek while Cheshire chided him.
What is your impression of Inspector Coolette? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 😀
If you liked this, please share with friends and help spread the word about Madnes Solver! #MadnesSolver
Thank you for reading, and check back next Wednesday for Chapter 7 and more Madnes! 😀
© copyright 2015 E. Rawls All Rights Reserved
This is my entry for this week’s #BlogBattle challenge by the wonderful Rachael Ritchey, where the challenge is to write a short story based on that week’s chosen word. This week’s word was: “Rope.” Check out the link if you are curious and would like to join in the challenge!
Come back to Okinala next Wednesday for the next chapter in Madnes Solver!
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