It was another dark and creepy night in the hometown of Paul the CrimeFigher®. Paul had so far spent his evening engaged in a desperate struggle for victory with Pthabbth, the CrimeFighting® Marmoset.
“Look! I spelled “electroencephalograph” on a triple word score box. That’s gotta be, like, five thousand points!”
“Don’t give me any guff, Pthabbth. You wanna go back in the bag?”
“Didn’t think so.” Paul said with a wink. “Besides, I need you alert. Something in the air feels crimey tonight. What’s your MarmoSense™ telling you?”
“Ook, meep meh. Bwah!”
Paul leapt to his feet, scattering the letter tiles. Pthabbth ate a couple and scrambled up to his post on Paul’s shoulder. “Bweep!” he said, and tugged on Paul’s ear.
“Yeeeesss, doughnuts would hit the spot, wouldn’t they? Good thinking Pthabbth. To the CrimeWagon™!” Paul said, striking a pose. The pose fell over and shattered. “It was time to replace that one anyway,” Paul said, checking his LED keychain flashlight and putting on his cape. Pthabbth agreed by becoming bitey.
The CrimeWagon™ was a brown 1987 Taurus station wagon with a lot of rust and a missing rear window. Most of its decorative trim had fallen off long ago, and one of its fenders was red.
“Crank, crank and awaaaaay!” Paul shouted and turned the key. There was a single weak “wonk” noise from under the hood, and the Wagon fell silent. The dash lights flickered out, and the interior of the car went dark.
“That’s true. We do appear to have been sabotaged. Some bandit has snucked in here and left my dome light on! You keep watch up in the luggage rack while I dust for prints, Pthabbth!”
The little marmoset scrambled to the roof of the CrimeWagon and chewed contentedly on the plastic luggage restraints. “Woop!” he suggested.
“That’s a good idea, Pthabbth. There could be clues on the floor!” Paul thundered. He jerked his head out of the glovebox and hit it on the roof. The sudden noise caused Pthabbth to jump and shriek. Paul removed his LED keychain flashlight from its custom hip holster and squeezed it. Its beam, surprisingly bright for such a small bulb, cast shadows about the interior of the CrimeWagon, and Paul was pleased.
“I’m pleased!” he tittered.
“Meek, ormp?” asked Pthabbth, swinging into the car through the rear window.
“No, that’s just a figure of speech. My name’s still Paul.”
“Yes, and you’re still Pthabbth, Pthabbth. If that were to change, I’d alert you immediately. Don’t you worry, little guy!”
Pthabbth vibrated with glee and banged his tiny fists on the car’s leather seat cushions. Suddenly he froze. Eyes wide and pupils dilated, he bushed up his fur and made low grumbly noises in his throat. His tail thrashed from side to side in an agitated manner.
“Keep your tail out of that manner,” Paul rebuked. “You’ll get it all full of fur, and that’ll ruin it. Stuff’s expensive!” he added with a grin. Pthabbth hooted and squirted out of the tailgate and into the night. “It looks like my assistant has detected the foul stench of evil!” Paul intoned dramatically to the empty glovebox, and re-holstered his squeezy light. He clambered out of the car and peered heroically into the dark parking lot.
A silver sedan had pulled up, and a man was stepping out. Pthabbth was jumping excitedly on the sedan’s hood and throwing twigs about.
“This could only mean one thing,” Paul mumbled into his shirtsleeve, “and I aim to get doughnuts out of it one way or another!”