A Mystery in Christmas Town, Part Three: The Mailman Conspiracy

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Be sure to catch up on Parts 1 and 2 here and here! For those of you who don’t care to click on those links, here’s what you missed: A giant straw - er - giant has been murdered deep in the Wintery Woods. The daring Constable John and his trusted junior deputy/assistant/niece Sarah have been on the trail of the killer. After visiting the Mills family at Oak Creek, John and Sarah have gotten their next lead: Andy, the local know-it-all, and possible ringleader of an insidious gang of hooligans…

“As the cool brightness of the winter morning trails off into the also-cool-but-in-a-different-way brightness of the winter afternoon, I find myself no closer to answers in the increasingly perplexing Case of the Giant Killer. I had hoped to have this wrapped up by lunchtime, but it is apparent that I could be working as late as my afternoon tea - or even later! Who knows how deep the maw of conspiracy goes in this seemingly idyllic Christmas village? Who knows what dark thoughts hide in the hearts of this town’s hooligans? WHO KNOWS what sinister, bone-chilling -“

“Uncle?”

“In a moment, Sarah. You’re uncle’s on a roll!” *Ahem* “Who KNOWS what bone-chilling mysteries lay bubbling just underneath the surface, like the sinister bubbling of cranberry chutney, or its slightly less sinister cousin…“

“Ay, Sarah?”

“Yes, Andy?”


“Why’s yer uncle been monologuing for the last fifteen minutes?”

“Just - give him a second. You get used to it.”

“…the point being, there is no berry more nefarious than that of the Cran variety! Now, where were we, junior deputy?”

“We’ve been standing in front of Andy for almost twenty minutes now.”

“Ah, yes! Andy, the rakish leader of the Hooligans! I must admit, I expected him to be…taller. And I thought he’d have a goatee.”

“I’m sittin' right here, chief.”

“I can see that. But what I can’t see…YET…is this: does this diminutive bespectacled youth have the capacity for COLD BLOODED MURDER?” 

“I think it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t.”

“Enough. Look here, short round, where were you last night? Did you hear anything from the Mills’ chicken coop?! Or were you too busy rallying your insidious band of hooligans to murder an innocent Giant Santa Giant!?!”

*Tense Silence*

“I don’ even know how ta respond ta that.”

“Just say no.”

“No.”

“Okay, I believe you.” 

“Really? Just like that?”

“He doesn’t look evil. I’ve developed a keen sense for these things over the years.”

“Somethin’ killed the Mills’ Giant Santa Giant? Last night?” 

“Yeah. It was huge - it tore the trees right out of the ground, roots and all. I was wondering if you had any idea what could have done that.”

“Perhaps you know of a group of hooligans that could have done it? You aren’t evil enough to join, obviously, but - “

“I don’t know about hooligans, but there is a…local legend tha’ might have somethin’ ta do with all of this. I’m not really sure if I should say…”

“Go on, Andy.”

“Legend has it that, lurkin’ in tha wilderness beyond the Wintry Wood, there’s a humungous cat. A beast from tha time before time, towerin’ over even the tallest citizens of Christmastown.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“That’s BRILLIANT! Of course! A colossal primordial cat-beast murdered the Giant Santa Giant. It makes total sense! Case closed, junior-deputy! Let’s call it a day. I’m in the mood for some Chamomile…”

“Look, Uncle, if you’re honestly suggesting that a giant eldritch cat-monster from the time before time murdered the Mills’ Giant Santa Giant - and I need to let you know right now that said idea is completely ridiculous - then doesn’t that seem like the sort of thing you really should follow up on?” 

“But…but Chamomile! - ah, you’re right, Sarah. Tell me, what else do you know about this apocalyptic cat-monster?”

“Uh…nothin’. But go talk ta da Vincent, da Mailman. Apparently he’s seen the thing with his own two eyes!”

“Excellent! AWAY!” 

“Thanks for your help, Andy.”

“Ay, no problem.”

***

“As we walked back into Christmastown, my mind swirled with questions like melting marshmallows in a cup of hot cocoa. What was this Cat-Monster’s intentions? Why had it targeted Christmastown’s innocent trees and straw-filled Santas? Who, or what, was “The Mailman”? And most importantly, when was I going to get my afternoon tea?”

“I have the answers to at least three of those questions - “

“Sarah! Don’t interrupt your uncle, please. Now, where was I?”

“Tea.”

“Right! I needed some tea. But who could I get tea with? Surely not the lovely Miss Flora? The sight of whom could warm even the coldest winter’s night? Whose lovely, flowing locks blew free in the afternoon air? Who - “

“Uh, excuse me, Constable John?”

“Ahem - yes, Miss Flora?”

“Are you talking to me?”


“Oh! Uh…well…I was just - monologuing, you know, off in my little world. I do that sometimes. Er…well…how are you? Have you - uh - well - have you seen the Mailman around?”

“Vincent? Oh, he’s pulling double shifts, what with Christmas so near and all. He seemed to be in a sour mood the last time I saw him…”

“She smiled bright enough to melt the snow around her. If only I could ask her for a spot of afternoon tea, once I had wrapped up this apocalyptic cat business. If only the words could come out of my mouth!”

“They just did.”

“Constable? Are you sure you’re feeling okay? You’re acting…strange. Very, very strange.”

“Oh, I’m fine, it’s just - “

BWWAAAAAAAAWWWKKK!!!

“Gah! SENORA CLUCKLES! Retreat, junior-deputy! We’re in over our heads!”

“It’s just a - “

“RUN!”

“Okay? Uh…goodbye? See you later, Constable? What a strange man…”

* * *

“And just like that, we were back on the trail of the mysterious Mailman.”

“Isn’t he right over there? Hello, Vincent!”

“Ugh. Another irritating Christmastime adolescent. Why have you come to trouble me? I am EXORBINANTLY busy this dreadful time of year.”

“So you are the “Mailman” I keep hearing about.”

“Uncle? He’s been delivering mail in this town for the last twenty years.”

“Jackanapes and lapdogs, all of you! But I have a plan, oh yes…and you might even say that plan is the…CAT’S pajamas? Muhahaha…Mwahahahaha! Mwa…mwah…ha…
zzzzz…..”

“Excuse me? Mr. Mailman? It appears he fell asleep.”

“He has narcolepsy. Everyone knows that - how on earth did you become Constable, again?”

“It’s a very funny story, but let’s wait until he gets back up.”

“Why? It’s obvious he’s behind the - “

“Sarah! Don’t be rude. Let’s let him wake up. Excuse me? Sir?”

“zzzz-guh - wha?! Bah! You cretins! Leave me be! Can’t you see how many packages I have to deliver during this wretched and accursed season?!”

“So you’re not a fan of Christmas, I take it?”

“Christmas is a rotten holiday for rotten people, and I can hardly stand it!”

“So you hate Christmas enough to…oh, say, unleash an ancient Cat-monster on the town to destroy it on Christmas Eve?”

“What? Don’t be ridiculous, stink-child! Why, I think this Christmas Eve is going to be…PURR-fect? Heh, heh…”

“You’re just making a lot of silly cat-related puns.”

“Sarah, stop leading the man.”

“But he’s obviously the villain behind all this! What ever happened to your ‘keen sense’ for these things?”

“I’ll let you work this out. Farewell, Yule-filth! I hope your evening doesn’t turn out to be a…CAT-astrophe! MWAHAHA!!! Mwah…mwah…ah…zzzzzzzzzz….”



“What a nice fellow.”


Is Vincent the Mailman truly the villainous mastermind behind the upcoming Cat-aclysm? Can there ever be peace between Constable John and Senora Cluckles? Should Sarah be promoted to Constable? Will anyone get to drink any tea before this is all over? Tune in later today for the thrilling conclusion to A Mystery in Christmastown!

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