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The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Traded Turdle - Part Eight


by playmobil_is_my_life

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It was the exact red cloak that the figure trading the Turdles wore. It was a little wrinkled with the same red hood, red sleeves and the brown boots were sitting on the closet floor. I didn't know what to say. My beak dropped open and I slowly backed up until I hit the wall. Luna and Charlie were pretty shocked, too.

     "Bryce?" I whispered, suddenly afraid to raise my voice.

     "Bryce," Damien stated, swinging the closet door shut.

     Before any of us could speak we heard the faint click of the front door being opened. Speak of the Pant Devil, I thought: Bryce was home. I felt my stomach drop. Luna led the way out of the bedroom knowing that we had to make the confrontation.

     "Bryce?" she called. The Techo jumped and then rolled his eyes.

     "You scared me," and then he got a good look at who we were. "Wait…" he mumbled, eyeing each of us, "you're the detectives, aren't you?"

     "Care to explain the situation before we explain it for you?" Luna asked, crossing her arms.

     Bryce snorted. "I don't think I have anything to explain. If anything you should to try to explain to the Defenders of Neopia why you were in my house snooping around when I wasn't home."

     "We're detectives, remember?" I replied hotly. "Snooping in other's houses is in our job description." I advanced quickly toward the Techo and he took a step back, losing his cool for a moment and displaying a sign of weakness. I grinned. "So Bryce, why are you the one behind the Turdle-switching operation?"

     Bryce didn't say anything. Come on, don't tell me he didn't figure out that we already found the red cloak and boots in his closet. Luna stepped in.

     "Was it for the Neopoints? Were you planning on switching the Turdles at the last moment so Turdle number 5 would throw the race and you could collect the profit?" The Yurble was obviously not taking Bryce's silence for answers.

     "It was for the Neopoints, yes," the Techo finally answered, as if gaining his confidence back. "It was easy… almost fun in fact." His lips formed a tight smile. "I should try it again sometime."

     "I don't think so."

     "Ah, Marlo, but it's too late," said Bryce, his smile tightening. He must have been feigning innocence back there when he didn't know who we were for a minute since he remembered my name. "The races are about to begin and it's all been set up perfectly."

     I quickly looked out the window. Sure enough the stands were jam-packed with anxious Neopians waving their flags and cheering. The first race was about to start.

     "Aren't you supposed to be out there?" asked Luna, pointing towards the window. I agreed: Bryce was the manager of the Turdles; he should have been out there ten minutes ago. I felt the white feathers on my neck stand up. This was odd…

     "What did you do?" I asked, my tone acidic.

     Bryce waved his hand like it was no big deal. "I spoke with Skarl this morning. Told him I wasn't feeling well, that I was going to stay home. He found a replacement for me to take the Turdles out into the arena with no questions asked. That Neopet will take the Turdles out and they will stay out until the end of the races."

     "What?" said Damien, and he pointed a finger at Bryce, "How do you expect to switch the Turdles at the last race if you're not out there?"

     Bryce laughed and it sent a small shiver up my spine, "You fool! I don't need to switch the Turdles. It's all been set up perfectly."

     I pondered what he was saying and then it hit me like a sack of bricks, "You have the regular Turdle number 5 out there… you're not going to use the fast Turdle!"

     "I have a feeling," Bryce began and he bared his teeth venomously, "that Turdle number 5 is going to lose everysinglerace." I felt my stomach sink to my knees. There was no way the betting cards could be changed. Everyone was going to lose a lot of Neopoints--thousands!

     Luna bolted for the door in an attempt to escape but Bryce jumped in front of her, blocking her and pressing his hands against the door. "This is the only way out and I'm not moving!"

     "Psst, Marlo," I heard Charlie whisper. I casually tilted my head to the side so I could hear him. "I know what to do. There's a window that opens in the bedroom. I saw it when we were snooping. Tell Damien… he can go stop the races."

     I turned to Damien. All hope of bringing fairness to the Neopians relied on him. He looked at me and shrugged. I mouthed, "Window" and watched him turn around. He must have remembered where it was because without warning the royal Aisha sprinted through the house and we heard him throw open the back window.

     "Hey!" Bryce screamed and he turned around, flinging open the door to catch him from the front of the house. I moved so quickly after Bryce that Charlie almost fell off my head. Luna and I took off through the front door with Bryce trying to run around and get Damien.

     "There's four of us and one of you!" I yelled at the maniacal Techo, "You can't win!"

     While Luna went after Bryce and Damien I flew to the Turdle Races where the second event was about to begin. Kicking up sand in my oh-so-graceful landing I held up my paws and shouted, "The Turdle Races are called off!"

     Every face in the crowd turned to stare at me. Some booed, a few hissed and some just looked at me as if I were insane. Tavi, at the betting stands, gawked at me, his beak open and eyes looking around at the shocked crowd. Now was the time to practice my public speaking skills.

     I took a deep breath and explained the entire story to the anxious faces in the crowd that were staring at me.

     ***

     I honestly didn't think anyone was upset about not being able to continue the final Turdle Races. After hearing what we went through, the past three days seemed a lot bigger than just a race. I think most Neopians were glad to get their Neopoints redeemed. Luna, Damien, Charlie and I were on the third floor getting ready to leave the luxuries of the Meridell Castle.

     "So what really happened when Bryce came after you?" I asked Damien.

     "Well," the Aisha began, "just as he started to catch up to me, Luna tackled him. A few Neopians from the Turdle Races called the Eyrie guards from the castle and they took him away to the dungeon. The betting Neopoints have been returned and Meridell is peaceful once again." He grinned.

     "I'm ready to go," Charlie said, collapsed on the chair. "I like being in the castle and all, but I'm much more comfortable back on Bracknell Road."

     "Me too," I agreed.

     At that moment, King Skarl appeared outside the door and to his right was Slade. The royal Draik looked a bit irritated. Skarl beamed and said, "We're grateful for your hard work." Slade only forced a smile. "On behalf of myself and the Meridell castle, we'd like to present you with this." Out of Skarl's pocket came a sack full of something that rattled as he handed it to Luna. We all knew what it was.

     "Thank you," I said. "We were happy to help."

     "You'll be pleased to know that Bryce is serving his time in the dungeon. Thank you again for coming to us in our… time of need." He bowed and turned to Slade who merely inclined his head before they exited. When they were halfway down the hall I sighed.

     "Before we go," Luna said, "I'd like to make one last stop."

     Luna's last stop had turned out to be the Kiss-the-Mortog stand. We had already collected our reward from King Skarl, packed the Faerie Back Pack to capacity and said good-bye to everyone, but Luna insisted on saying good-bye to the Mortogs. She played a few rounds and then offered me a turn.

     "No thanks," I replied. "I'm still trying to get some of that slime off my face; it does seem to stick, you know."

     Luna shrugged and the Kacheek Prince appeared a few more times before we prepared to leave. Luna probably would have stayed there all day, but Damien and I dragged her away. As we got to the edge of the street and prepared to take off for Neopia Central I asked, "Why is it that none of those Mortogs exploded in your face? You can't be that lucky."

     "Quite simple, actually." She and Damien climbed onto my back. Luna leaned forward and whispered truthfully, "I listened for the one that wasn't ticking."

     ***

     The Meridell castle was peaceful once again and the Turdle Race arena closed for the first part of summer. King Skarl liked that everything was in wraps and out of the way. It certainly had been a wild past few days. The five Turdles were happily resting in the Turdle Pen where they could eat all the healthy food they wanted and sleep all afternoon.

     After the races had been called off, Skarl went with the detectives to find Turdle number 5. The Turdle was discovered underground, as a matter of fact. He was released into the forest shortly afterwards. He would have made a good racing Turdle but the King thought better of it. The Meridell Races were much calmer when the game was fair.

     King Skarl sauntered towards his office and pushed open the oak doors. Sitting at his desk was none other than Slade. The royal Draik made it an annoying habit to occupy Skarl's private room when the King least expected it. The most peculiar thing was, Slade was skimming through a piece of paper on King Skarl's desk.

     "Slade," began Skarl, "What have you in your hand? Give it to me, now."

     "Just a letter," said Slade casually. "Not too important if you ask me." He shrugged and tossed it like a Frisbee to Skarl. King Skarl caught it in midair and frowned in disapproval. "I thought you wouldn't mind if I opened it."

     The King sighed heavily and said, "I think you've overstayed your visit."

     Slade shrugged and said rather defiantly, "Very well. I'll depart first thing in the morning."

     King Skarl watched him strut out the door and close it behind him. He sat down at his desk and unfolded the piece of paper. It read:

      Your Highness,

     Our stay in Meridell wasn't exactly what we had expected, considering all of the events going on around us. However, we were happy to take the case. Thank you for the reward and your generous hospitality. We hope the Turdle Races run a little smoother from now on and that you continue to make good profit. If you ever need anything in the future please don't hesitate to contact us.

     Sincerely,

     ~T.PP.D.

The End

Author's Note: Thank you, as always, for reading the series. Hopefully more TPPD stories will be on the way. Thanks to beewitched2 for editing and my good friend jockylocky for suggesting a character. Please neomail me with comments, I'd love to know what you thought of it. :) -Playmobil_is_my_life

 
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Other Episodes


» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Traded Turdle - Part One
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Traded Turdle - Part Two
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Traded Turdle - Part Three
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Traded Turdle - Part Four
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Traded Turdle - Part Five
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Traded Turdle - Part Six
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Traded Turdle - Part Seven



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