Detective Hawk Saga - Case 1, Episode 3

Detective Hawk Saga - Case 1, Episode 3

Detective Hawk Saga - Case 1, Episode 3

If you missed any of the previous episodes – catch up on them here.

8:29pm – June 20th 1942 – My Office

I caught myself looking at the clock again. “Get your mind on the job and off her pretty pink feathers, Hawk!” I reprimanded myself. “She’s probably pulled the feathers over your eyes and is in on all of this anyway. You’ll need to keep a sharp eye on her!”

I was waiting on Ms Flamingo to arrive, she was due here any second. She had insisted on going with me to the Aviary Club tonight. Damn hen seemed to be able to get me to do whatever she wanted.

There was a sharp rap at the door, followed by a thump. I jumped despite myself. “Come in!” I squawked.

Nothing.

Very odd hen that one… I walked slowly across the room and opened the door, expecting to see that flamingo standing demurely there waiting to be let in.

Instead, I saw a small package, wrapped in brown paper and string with “Detective Hawk” scrawled untidily on the top. “What’s this?”

As I leant down to retrieve the package, out of the corner of my eye I saw movement in the corridor. My eyes flicked in that direction as the loveliest long pair of legs came into view. I hastily straightened up, “Good Evening, Ms Flamingo” I said stepping back into my office and shoving the package on the table by the door.

“Evening, Detective Hawk. What’s the plan?” Ouch, straight down to business. And here I had been thinking we had moment earlier in the day. I guess I was more tired than I thought…

“We poke our beaks in Bigglesworth’s business and see what we can find in that back room. All being well, we are in and out without anyone even knowing…” I didn’t even want to think about what it would be like if all wasn’t well…

9:01pm – June 20th 1942 – Back Alley, Aviary Club

I had the cab circle the block twice before I got him to drop us off down the block. There was a huge line of birds waiting to get into the Aviary Club. This place had gotten awfully popular in the recent weeks. This theory of Bigglesworth stealing board games to build up his empire was starting to seem more plausible. I guess, without new games the birds of this city didn’t know what to do with their time. And a bird could always show up here, at any time of the day or night, to gamble and drink,

We walked confidently down the block towards the Aviary Club, trying to look like a couple on a night out. When we reached the alley, we quickly ducked round the corner into the shadows. Quietly, we waited out of sight, no one followed and there was no one in the alley. “Come on,” I whispered and we made our way towards the back entrance of the Aviary Club.

We peered into the small, dirty window of the back room. It was empty. Up front we could hear the party going strong.

“Are you ready?” I asked.

“Yes… I’m nervous, what happens if we get caught?” Flamingo looked up at me, looking for reassurance. “Don’t worry. If we get caught, I will blame it all on you!” I grinned. She playfully punched me in the wing and replied “Good thing I’m no stool pigeon!”

“We won’t get caught. I do this kind of thing all the time” I said slipping my lock pick into the lock. A moment later there was a soft click and the door swung open.

“Stay here.” I said to Flamingo as I stepped over the threshold.

The room smelled strongly of cigar smoke and there was something else mixed in. What was that? I sniffed, “It’s burnt plastic” Flamingo whispered from beside me.

“I told you to wait outside!” I whispered harshly. She looked at me and shrugged and started looking around.

I sighed, there was no time to argue. I started to survey the scene.

There was a table in the center with no chairs. Off to the left, there was a door to the hallway that led into the club. On the right was a still smoldering fireplace, that’s where the burnt plastic smell was coming from.

Strewn across the floor was birdseed. Flamingo was pointing to a line where the seed abruptly ended. “This is where the games were” she whispered excitedly. She was right, the line in the seed appeared to show something had been there before the birdseed got all over and then moved. If it was games, there were a lot of them. There were box marks in the seed by the table and fireplace as well.

I moved over to examine the table, same signs, things in place on that table for a while as birdseed was being scattered all over. Then those things hastily removed. Ms Flamingo sidled up beside me “This is where I saw all the papers and maps the other night. It looks like they took everything.” she ended disappointedly.

Ms. Flamingo started to move away from the table following her beak to the fireplace. “Huh? Hawk… this is interesting.”

“What?” I turned to look at her as she bent down beside the fireplace. 

“I think I found some of our missing board games…” She said as she lifted what appeared to a melted piece of plastic that now appeared to be a grossly malformed and melted. It looked like it could have come from a board game. She also held up a corner of a board tile with only a few words on it.

“Seems to me, Bigglesworth is trying to destroy these games.” I said.

Suddenly I turned towards the door, I could hear footsteps coming down the hall. “Ms. Flamingo… we got to go!” I said as I grabbed her feathers 

“Wait!” she said “I see something” peering closer into the fireplace. Just at that the footsteps stopped outside the door and I could hear keys jangling in a pocket. 

“Leave it!” I whispered “We need to go, now!”

Ms. Flamingo’s grabbed something from the back of the fireplace. A grubby corner of paper, half burned in the fire.

“Got it!” she breathed.

We practically flew out of there, wing in wing. Only pausing for a second to close the door behind us as quickly and quietly as we could.

We ran down the alley in the opposite direction from the way we arrived. I spotted a dumpster and pulled Ms Flamingo close to me behind it. I un-holstered my gun and we waited… Did Bigglesworth’s thug see us? Was he following? Was she wrapping her wings around me and resting her head on my chest?

I’m not sure how long we waited, huddled together behind that dumpster… All I know is that we clearly weren’t followed and if we were I would likely have died a happy man trying to protect that damn pink hen.

Eventually, I bent my head towards hers and whispered “Let’s go.”

She shook herself and pulled away from me. Straightening up, “Which way?” I pointed down the alley and away from the Aviary Club.

On the next block we hailed the first cab that cruised by. We rode back to my office in silence.

10:27pm – June 20th 1942 – My Office

“Do you want a drink?” I asked as we walked back into my office. “I’ve only got whiskey and no ice.”

She nodded. I pulled the bottle of the good stuff out of my bottom drawer and hoped that I had two clean glasses somewhere. I found some that were clean-ish and poured two large drinks.

She was sitting on my sofa. I took the drinks and sat beside her. She took her drink and downed a very large swallow. Her face showed that warm whiskey wasn’t her favorite but I think she needed the drink more than she wanted to admit.

“Here” she said, passing me the now crumpled, grubby corner of half burned paper she had liberated from the fireplace, “I think this might help.”

“This is what you nearly got us caught for?” I asked perhaps a little too harshly and took my own large swallow of whiskey. I examined the paper.

It was part of a printed form with handwritten entries. It was torn and burned so it wasn’t totally legible. What I could read clearly said “ll Cargo Manifest”, “Delivery Date: June 22, 194” and “Total Boxes: 100”. The handwritten part of the manifest that was intact was not very useful, just some numbers and partial words, that may or may not have been names and numbers of board games.

“… interesting…” I murmured as I looked at the paper.

After a few moments, I looked up at Flamingo “I think we are going to need some help on this one…”

To Be Continued…