Doesn’t This Look Innocent.
Yeah, I know. What could possibly be wrong with this picture? The only mystery here is why on earth I’m wasting my time playing Bill Nye.
It started when Max and I were in the station, on our way back from a drug bust. Turned out the didn’t really need me, see, the couriers had decided to sample their wares, and their judgment was just the slightest bit impaired. So I was sitting there, in the station, minding my own business, when up comes this rabbit.
Excuse me mister he mumbles Can I talk to you?
“Uh, sure. What’s wrong?”
Nothing is wrong. Everything will be just fine, he mutters, if you come with me. He’s got this sideways half-grin seemingly glued onto his face, and he won’t look me in the eyes. Funny, I almost get the feeling I’ve seen him before.
“Where?” I say, silent alarms blaring in the back of my head.
The baggage room. Oh no, detective work 101, never ever ever leave a well-lit, public area for a small, secluded, empty one. Only an idiot would fall for this.
We have your mouse already.
There’s more of them gathered in the baggage room, in a half circle with Max at the center, his back to this big refrigerated case. Filled with random objects, as if for a scavenger hunt. On the open door, it says ‘VALLEY LODGE, EXPRESS DELIVERY.’
They shepherd me to the center of the circle, beside Max. I shoot him a glare, “Way to go, genius.”
Dey sed dey had candy!
“You had the time table,” I whisper, as they start closing in to force us into the case, “When is this thing gonna be picked up?”
Bout five minutes! Dere ain’t gonna be any time fer-
“I know. It’s perfect.”
“This isn’t going to work,” I say, raising my voice. “You obviously don’t know why your overlords or whatever want me, or else you wouldn’t try putting me in a packing case.”
They blink, and then all say in unison Why Is That Mister?
Damn that’s creepy.
Max yelps and looks at the clock. Four minutes. I maintain my composure. “Because I have special powers. I can make things heavier by touching them. Here, I’ll prove it. Put two glasses of water on that scale.”
Three and a half minutes.
“No no, they have to weigh exactly the same.” They redo it.
“Now watch!” I try to think of those ridiculous stage magicians they used to have at libraries and the like, who’d do ‘magic, that was really just basic chemistry: ooooohhhhh, I can make a Volcano out of Baking Soda and Vinegar, oooooh! Can you say Vol-ca-no kids? Corny, but if I can pull off the atmosphere-
The scales tip. Nobody reacts in any way. Two and a half minutes.
“So you see, if you force myself and my associate into this box, then this finger,” I hold it up, resisting the temptation to show them a different one, “goes to work. In seconds, this case will weigh twice, maybe three times what the label says. Now you may not know this, but they weigh these things before they put them on the train. And what are they going to do when they find a case that doesn’t weigh what it’s supposed to? They’re gonna open it. And what are they gonna do when they find me inside?” One minute, c’mon brain, keep talking! “At the very least they’re gonna let me out. At the worst, they’re gonna come to your little village looking for answers as to why a policeman gets tied up with a bow and mailed there.”
They look disappointed. Good. Creepy little bastards. Why then, begins the rabbit, who seems to be the ringleader, we’ll just have to kill you before you get in.
And as they step forward, the door opens and in comes the porter.
I toldja to get these packages on the car an hour ago! It’ll be yer ass if we get off schedule! I oughta- oh, hello! What’s going on in here?
“Just giving these kids a science lesson,” I say, as I make my exit.