The Shape-Shifting Detective (Story #34)
Hi, I’m Suki, a shape-shifting detective/crime fighter. Say there was a jewel thief. I would turn into a jewel and he would take me. Then I would turn into a lion and roar. Why don’t I eat him? I’m a vegetarian.
How about a more serious crime, like “Who stole my cookie?” I do that too. First, I find out who has a sweet tooth. Then I turn into a cookie and see if he tries to eat me. I turn back into my normal self and give him a lecture on the evils of eating other people’s cookies. But then I remember that I already ate it.
I’ll tell you about the latest crime, full of magic, mystery, and adventure. (Why, yes, I have the makings of an ad writer…thank you, thank you very much.) See, there seems to be a magic stealer (brother of the magic-sucker, grew up in his shadow and what-not) who has making our magic…pathetic. I’ve been trying to shift into a leopard, and then a box, but end up turning into a lepo-box!
My friends Lynn, a mind reader, and Mira, a levitator, have the same problem. Here they come now! “Hey Suki, it’s gotten worse. Let me demonstrate.”, Lynn says. “Think of a number.” I did. “It’s 72.” she said. “So close. 32. Mira wants to show me. “Oh man, only two inches off the ground!” she gripes. “That’s not half as bad as me.” I moan. I try to turn into a horse, then a cat. I turn into a hat. “Yep, we’ve really got a problem.” I say. Then I see a weird looking guy. I ask him what his name is. “I’m a spy!” he announces to everyone. “I have a feeling about this guy.” I say. “He’s a small, thin guy with a cape and a thin mustache! Look at this picture of the man wanted for magic-stealing.”
“Remember what happened the last time that we turned someone in because of your FBI flashcards?” Mira asks. “Oh yeah, we got detention for turning in a Magic School teacher!” Lynn replies. “Hey, it’s not my fault. If he didn’t want to be turned in, he should have grown a bigger mustache and fattened up a bit! I have a hunch, and I’m going to follow it. Are you chicken?” Then I turn into a chicken. “Well, I do want to help our magic…” Lynn says. “Then you’ll do it! I knew you would! Come on!” We look all over, but we can’t find him. Then it comes to me.
“He must be time travelling! His secret plan involves using every cliched fantasy idea ever created…and demolishing them! We need those cliches back, girls. Without them, our precious sci-fi/fantasy genre will be drained of ideas and people will have to come up with new ones. And those’ll be dark, dark days, girls. Many writers will die due to severe brain damage caused by making up…new ideas. The remaining ones start making soap operas and westerns. And then the human race will become too stupid to live. In one last stupid decision, they’ll broadcast the shows to other planets, spreading the damage. So let’s follow him! ”
The girls are dumbfounded by this epic speech of fourth-wall breaking. (If you’re wondering, it has music by Murray Gold backing it.) So I simplify it a bit. “He must be time travelling. Let’s follow him.” “Hey, I didn’t know that you could time travel.” Mira says, surprised. “I just learned it. Lynn, tune into his thought waves.” “He went…to the past!” “A bit more specific?” “Well…Year 1042, the tenth of September, Saturday, two o’clock, 42 seconds to 2:01, 12 milliseconds to 43 seconds to 2:01…” “Oookay. Here we go. Hang on tight!” Travelling in time is like a psychedelic roller coaster. Quite nauseating, really. How do I do it? Trade secret.
“We’ve arrived!” “23 nanoseconds to 13 milliseconds to 43 seconds…” Lynn teases. “I think that’s him going into that cave! Quick, follow him!” I say. “Hee, hee, I will rule the world…” The Definite Article says to himself, rather loudly. The cave is the entrance-way, so people think that it is deserted – but when you walk in, it’s all fancy like a five-star hotel, but with cave walls. In the cave part, there’s an obstacle course so no one wants to come in even if they figure it out.
Of course, we heroes make it through. We jump into a room where The Definite Article is standing, planning to rule the world. Loudly. I turn into a can of Bad Soda which he drinks. When he goes to wash out the bad taste, I see a helpful potion labelled “Good.” When he comes back out, I turn into my normal self and squirt the whole bottle of good in his mouth. The effects are instant. He says “What am I doing here? I should be working for free as a nurse at a children’s hospital!” So he sets off in his helicopter to a Russian hospital. After he leaves, I check the label of the Good Potion. “Temporary.” it says. “Two months only.”