The Evidence Points To Nurse Lizzy

Teresa’s prompt for today takes us into the realms of detectives, amateur detectives. My detective is a little boy named Kyle. Although, as you will see, his detective work actually proves hazardous.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to find your inner detective and write your take on the Mystery subgenre of Amateur Sleuth and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

https://maplesswanderer.wordpress.com/2020/01/23/daily-writing-prompt-23/

This is a little story about what a little boy finds in the local children’s playground, while he is inspecting the disappearance of the swings.

Detective, Magnifying Glass, Viewing

“What are you doing Kyle?” asked Charlie.

“I a trying to solve a crime!” was the reply.

Charlie was surprised, “A crime? What kind of crime?”

Swing, Children, Play, HolidayKyle put his hands on his hips and declared, “The mystery of the stolen the swings!”

“Did somebody steal the swings?”

“They were here yesterday Charlie. Hayley and me came down here after school and we were swinging on them until it was time for tea. But when we came along after school today, they had vanished. Somebody must have stolen them. I am looking for evidence to see if I can work out who it was.”

“Have you found any evidence yet?”

Kyle pulled out the contents of his pocket and laid them on the ground for Charlie to inspect. Charlie’s eyes opened wide!

evidence“Are you thinking what I am thinking Charlie?”

“Kyle, this is the kind of thing my parents told me not to go near!”

Kyle had a cryptic expression, “That’s because these only belong to Doctors and Nurses. That narrows it down. It was either Doctor Brown from the Sunnyside Medical Practice, or it must have been Lizzy, the school nurse.”

“Nurse Lizzy was off school today. My teacher Mrs Cromwell said that Nurse Lizzy has the flu.”

“A likely story! She probably took the day off school so that she could come down here and steal the swings for herself. Why don’t we go and sneak into her garden to see if she has hid them there!”

Inspector Rufus Investigates

I am going to be at work all day today and then I am dashing home to get ready for the event tonight. I won’t have much time to get ready, but everything is all laid out, so that I don’t waste too much time. It’s my hair that I am worried about. I have not had a trim for ages, and my hair is really long now. So I need to put it up, but that will take time. Anyway…I am starting this post early in the day…and I think I will have to finish it late late tonight.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to go undercover and solve the latest mystery. Write your take on the Mystery subgenre of Furry Sleuth and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you. (Furry Sleuths are stories where a dog or cat solves a crime and is told from their perspective.)

https://maplesswanderer.wordpress.com/2020/01/18/daily-writing-prompt-18/

I don’t think I have ever written anything from the perspective of a dog before. I have chosen Rufus, the dog that belongs to Robin’s parents (in my Annabelle Riley series) as the protagonist in this little story.

***

graingersEarly one morning, Inspector Rufus was patrolling the perimeter of the Inkpen estate, looking out for signs of mischief. It was frustrating at times to have to wait for the two-legged huge pawed creatures who were so much slower than he was. Still, the catering service they provided was second to none, so Inspector Rufus accepted the other challenges that came with an assignment to protect the two-legged creatures.

Inspector Rufus knew every inch of the woods and fields around the house and outbuildings at Inkpen. Not a blade would be out of place without him knowing.

As he was marching along, leading the way for the two-legged huge pawed couple following behind him, Inspector Rufus’ ears pricked at a noise coming from further down the bank. He could see there were creatures down there and he was keen to race down the hill towards them.

“Stephen, let’s take the other path this morning. We don’t want to disturb their peace.”

Couple, Grass, Green, Hill, Kissing“Oh, is that Nick and Anna down there?”

“Come on Rufus this way!” called Fiona, as Inspector Rufus stood alert, ready to tear down the bank towards the couple who were sitting in the grass with their arms around each other.

Satisfied as he detected the scent of his favourite two-legged creature (Nick, the caretaker/manager of the Inkpen estate, who was with his wife Anna), Inspector Rufus continued his brisk pace, trying to pull the female two-legged along more quickly.

There was another smell in the air. Inspector Rufus found it harder to detect the source of this scent. It was not as familiar. As he tugged harder and harder, the two-legged female finally crouched down and released the catch attached to his collar. As soon as he was released, he raced ahead towards the hedge and began to burrow through a gap.

As soon as he appeared on the other side of the hedge, there was a cry of surprise. “Rufus! What are you doing?”

Couple Lying On The GrassRecognising the two-legged creatures who were lying in the grass, he wagged his tail. These were creatures that had just moved into the newly renovated barn. He remembered that his favourite two-legged (Nick) had moved out all sorts of old furniture and equipment, and had been working on restoring the barn. Inspector Rufus had made it part of his regular inspections to go and check on Nick and make sure that everything was going smoothly. He had found evidence of a tiny furry creature invading the barn and quickly addressed that breach of security.

Chris and Natalia were very friendly to Inspector Rufus and often took him out with them on walks around the local village. They liked long walks so that they could explore the surrounding countryside. Inspector Rufus was delighted to guide them, as these tours of the neighbourhood gave him an opportunity to assert his authority as the most important canine in the hamlet.

When Inspector Rufus heard the two-legged creature he had known the longest, Stephen Grainger calling his name, he scampered back under the hedge and bounded up to him. As they carried on walking, it seemed that they were returning towards the house. The woods were giving way to very neat gardens.

Inspector Rufus was aware of how the female two-legged creature, Fiona, was very protective of her flower beds. Early in the mornings, he often had to chase deer out of the garden. The deer jumped over the fence at night and they had a habit of eating the flowers.

R & A“There must be something in the water!” laughed Stephen as he caught sight of his son and daughter-in-law.

Fiona squeezed Stephen’s hand, “It’s great to see them so happy. It will be five years since they were married next month.”

“Five years! That’s flown by. Did I tell you Robin wants to have a little party on the narrow boat Fi? He says he and Annabelle like to do something to do with boats or sailing for any special celebration. He hasn’t told Annabelle what he’s planning yet, so don’t like the cat out of the bag.”

At mention of the word “cat”, Inspector Rufus let out a loud bark. Robin and Annabelle turned and waved over at Stephen and Fiona who were walking towards them. Meanwhile Inspector Rufus’s attention was diverted elsewhere. For some time now, he had been investigating the mysterious arrival of an unidentifiable creature that didn’t seem like any of the other residents at Inkpen.

sarah1The funny creature was waddling over the yawn making strange noises. Inspector Rufus found this creature quite a mystery at times. It let out the most alarming high pitched squeals on occasion. Then there were the array of smells it produced, some of them quite noxious. At first Inspector had assumed this was a four-legged creature without any fur. But things were changing. The mysterious creature was determined to become a two-legged creature despite repeated falls and more of that high pitched squealing.

As Inspector Rufus went to inspect the small two-legged creature, it held out its redundant paws and said, “doggy”.

“Good girl! Well done Sarah,” called Robin. As his daughter tried to stroke Inspector Rufus, he licked her hand. She let out a giggle of joy.

sarah“Mummy mummy look!” cried the little girl holding out her wet hand covered in slobber from Rufus.

Annabelle grinned, “Come on Sarah, let’s go and wash our hands. Then we can make your cakes pink!” Annabelle walked towards the house with her young daughter, who kept repeating, “Pink cakes, pink cakes!”

“Wow, look at her go! She’s going to have better legs than her mother!” called out Stephen.

Robin turned and raised his eyebrow at his father, “We made fairy cakes this morning. They are cooling in the kitchen. She wants to decorate them before you try one.”

Fiona put her arm around her son, “I love to see you smiling like this.”

Robin lent his head against his mother’s, “I couldn’t be happier.” He bent down and patted Inspector Rufus. Stephen, Fiona and Robin followed behind Inspector Rufus, who was headed back towards the house, eager for some water now that he had completed his morning patrol of the estate.

Anyone For A Milk-Shake?

I expressed my concerns earlier this week about the mystery of our missing milkman and the suspicions that our new milkman is arousing in my mind. I appreciate all the comments from other bloggers – no small matter on my mind this has been! You are all so lovely to have given me feedback with my dubious dairy dilemma.

Well…after receiving yet another overdue payment letter this week, I rang the milk company again on Friday, as last week we used her my landlady’s credit card to make a payment, which we thought had cleared the account.

I ended up speaking to a very chatty adviser and learnt the following:

  • the account is clear so we can ignore the overdue payment letter
  • she has no idea what happened to our old milk-man
  • we currently do not have a regular milk-man
  • milk-man “temps” are standing in and there may be several different milk-men covering the round
  • the adviser had never heard of a milk-caddy with a dial!
  • not all milk-men understand the milk caddy system – they may not realize they should look at the dial to see how many pints of milk the house-hold needs
  • they prefer for customers to ring in the milk company with their requests rather than having direct communication with the milk-man
  • they prefer customers to set up a direct debit for payments (I explained that is not what my landlady prefers)
  • she was shocked when I told her our old milk-man used to deliver the milk around 10 or 11am. She told me milk should be delivered before 7am!
  • a milk-man somewhere in the country did actually die quite suddenly this year only she has no idea where in the country that was, but it was due to illness and nothing suspicious
  • milk-man work horrible hours
  • they are looking to recruit new milk-men
  • it’s a really hard job being a milk-man
  • it’s even harder if you are a milk-man temp and you are having to deliver milk to customers on a round that you are not familiar with

I made her cry telling her how fond everyone was of our old milk-man and how lovely it was to see his cheery face and have a chat with him. We both agreed that it is lovely to see a local milk-man who is friendly and a part of the community.

We both spoke rather nostalgically of the “olden days” when neighbours chatted over the fence and everyone knew the milk-man and the post-man and the coal-man (hold on a minute I am much too young to remember the coal-man – but she remembered him).

I admitted to her that I am afraid that it could have been our lovely milk-man that may have died due to illness. I explained that would rather explain his mysterious disappearance. She said that all she knows is that it was very sudden and unexpected, but she has no idea where his milk-round was.

mysteryPerhaps I have been a bit over-imaginative in my detective work. I am starting to conclude that my theory about a new milk-man with “issues”, who was at war with my landlady over her complaints, is highly improbable – because it turns out we might be having a different milk-man every week! And of course my far-fetched fears about the disappearance of the old milk-man being due to some nefarious act on behalf of the new milk-man is also seeming even more absurd.

I am still faced with at least one of the milk-man “temps” being slightly dodgy, but I think I have to recognize that my suspicions were inordinately large. All I can accuse him of at the moment is not understanding how a milk-caddy works (which apparently is not unusual!), having an unkempt appearance, nearly running me over in his milk-float when he came around the corner too quickly, and lurking down cobble stoned alleys with shady looking photos.

However, I think we can all rest in peace that whatever his misdemeanours may be, they are not on the scale I presumptuously concluded they were.

We can all return to enjoying milk again (well some of us can enjoy the dairy-free alternatives). Is anyone for a milk-shake?

The Mystery Of The Missing Milk-man

When I was growing up, everyone seemed to have their milk delivered in glass bottles, with foil tops, by the milk-man who drove a funny little milk float around.

The milk-man would normally leave your required number of bottles in a milk caddy outside your front door. It was then up to you to bring the milk in before the birds started pecking at the top to see if they could reach the cream.

I remember with great pride that one day the milk-man knocked on our front door and asked if he could borrow me. His milk-float had broken down and he wanted me to sit in the milk-float to make sure nobody tampered with it, while he walked down to the nearest telephone box. I was so excited sitting in the front of the milk-float while all the other children were jealously looking on.

I know what you are thinking – Caramel is old! Well, I am not that old. I was born in the eighties, and back then hardly anyone had a landline telephone in our street, nevermind a mobile device. If you wanted to use the telephone, you would walk down to the nearest little parade of shops with your bag of ten pence coins. The world has just started to move at a super-fast pace. All the developments in technology make me look old, when I start to talk about they way things were when I was a lass.

Many of us have fond memories of the milk-man. However, in the area I grew up in, the milk-float disappeared from our streets at one stage, which I think was around the time that new 24-hour supermarkets and budget supermarkets were appearing. People now had their own car and would go down to the supermarket and spend over £100 on the family shopping and stock up on large plastic containers of milk. I have never had to do a big family shop, but I have seen people in front of me at the supermarket with a full trolley of food for their family spend between £200-£300 at a time.

I was pleased to find that in this little pocket of London, there was a very lovely milk-man when I moved here, driving round in a sweet milk float and delivering foiled topped glass bottles of milk (and even groceries if you put in an order). There is a little milk caddy outside my landlady’s front door and she sets the dial to say if she wants one pint, two pints if she has guests, or nothing if she is going away on holiday. She always has semi-skimmed milk.

I don’t drink milk – I seem to have a bit of a lactose intolerance or something. I buy soya milk, cashew milk, almond milk and occasionally lacto-free milk at the big supermarket instead. But nonetheless, I did love seeing the milk-man in his milk-float! Those who have their milk delivered by the milk-man like to support a much loved traditional part of the community – the local milk-man.

rai hail or shineor shineHe was a chirpy chappy who always had a jolly greeting for you. He was faithful and reliable. The milk was always there, rain, hail, and shine (I don’t think he came when it snowed…I cannot remember to be honest). But you get the point, we all thought he was wonderful!

Then one day the milk stopped coming. No milk for two weeks. Just empty milk bottles sitting outside the front door waiting to be collected. We found the contact details for the milk suppliers and called them. Apparently there was an outstanding amount owed on the account. This seemed strange because normally the milk-man would leave a note to say how much was due and my landlady promptly left a cheque for him.

It turned out, we had a new milk-man. Nobody knows what happened to our old milk-man. We have asked all the neighbours. It appears nobody knows what what happened to him. It is a mystery. The mystery of the missing milk-man.

mysteryNow you may think I should put this mystery out of my mind, however, there is more, much more. I am going to continue this mysterious puzzle in other posts. I have to go out to work now and will not be back at the little nest until midnight.

I have been observing and making deductions and I have several theories to explain the disappearance of our old milk-man. I am eager to share with you my investigative conclusions in another post. The finger of suspicious is pointing straight at…THE NEW MILK-MAN!!!