I was halfway through a bottle of Jack Daniels when I heard a knock at the door. I called for my secretary Mary before remembering I had given her the rest of the day off. We hadn’t had a case in months, and today didn’t look any different until SHE walked through my door.
I made a half-hearted attempt to stand up but she let herself in. She had golden hair the color of flax and honey, and a coat so white it was nearly blinding. She had legs that just wouldn’t quit … all four of them.
I gestured at the chair in front of me, but realized it wouldn’t do any good. She was a pony after all.
“That’s okay, I’ll stand. I like standing.”
Her voice cut through the haze of booze and the stale aftertaste of cigarettes. I remembered my manners and offered her a drink.
“Yes, please!” She said bright and cheerful. She licked at the glass with a flash of a small pink tongue, then giggled. “That makes my nose all tingly.”
My nose went to the heart of the matter. “What’s the problem, doll?”
“Princess.” She replied, her eyes bright and glistening.
“Excuse me?” I was confused. A pony walking through my front door was one thing, but a princess?
“Like with a tiara and everything?”
“How did you know?” She asked earnestly.
“Know, know what?” This dame was losing me.
“That I lost my tiara, and I need you to find it.”
“Oh.” I set down my drink and leaned back in my chair, my “relaxed contemplative” look. “Where’d you last see it?”
“Well I know I was wearing it when I was running through the fields with my friend Gossamer.”
“Anything after that?”
“Hmmm.” She took her left front hoof and moved it around in a circle while she thought. As I looked closer I could see she was tracing a heart. “I think I had it when we went to play tennis. Yes. I know I did.”
I wanted to ask how she held the rackets for tennis, but that would lead me off the point. “What happened next?”
“Well … then I took a boat ride with Dewdrop.”
“Went spelunking with Amber.”
“And hang-gliding with Flowerblossom.”
There were just so many questions, but so few answers. “And you had your Tiara with you the whole time?”
“Well Flowerblossom did tie it to my mane when we were about to jump off, so it wouldn’t fall … Wait a minute.” She turned her head and sure enough there was the tiara, hidden in the rich line of hair down her back.
“Well isn’t that silly. I had it all along!”
I was surprised at how happy this made me. I just hated to see an innocent thing like her in trouble.
“What do I owe you?”
I shook my head. “No charge.” I needed the money, but not that badly.
Princess Pony beamed and all of sudden had skipped over my desk and given me a kiss on the cheek. It was over in a flash, and just as suddenly she was at the door, turning to wink before she shut it behind her.
And that’s the day I stopped drinking.
In two weeks we’ll have the next Writer Reader’s Survey Story, M.S. Fowle’s “George Washington – Werewolf Hunter”. What did we think of this week’s story?