Submitted into Contest #12 in response to: Write a story about a character with a sidekick.... view prompt



Candace had been at it for a while, and still there was no sign of old man Walkins. It was as if he up and disappeared overnight.

"We'll find his trail girl, I promise."

A cheerful bark was her response which she interpreted as agreement from her devoted sidekick Burbles the pup. It had been nearly a day and a half since this new mystery dropped on the eight-year-old Candace Smith's lap, and like all new mysteries, it begged to be solved.

"Should we look for clues, before we ask mommy?"

Two barks, meaning the second option. She must be baking and Burbles must be hungry, that explained the salivating.

"We'll get lunch after, I promise," pleaded Candace to her sidekick.

Burbles whined and dropped his head, then barked in agreement- the mystery was back on. Checking for Mr. Walkins through the window was pointless, but Candace remembered that he seldom locked his back door. True to form, she turned the knob and pushed the door in. Sparing a couple of minutes for some reaction if anyone was inside, she matched into the house and started looking for clues.

His army boots were missing, the pair he loved the most, and the house was all kinds of messy. 

"His mommy would punish him for being this messy."

She decided to take a break after checking through the house and finding nothing but a messy bed, clothes on the bed and couch, and dirty dishes on the table. She decided to move the dishes to the sink before giving up and going back home.

The smell of blueberry pie had her running for the door before she remembered to take off her dirty shoes. Burbles had already ran past her and was clawing at the door helplessly.

"Where have you two been?" Her mother asked with feign annoyance.

Candace stood upright and straightened her back confidently, "Solving a mystery."

"Were you now?"

"The mystery of old man Walkins disappearing into thin air," she said as she moved her hands to the air to prove her point.

"Oh, and did you solve the mystery?"

Candace suspected her mother knew where Mr. Walkins was, she always knew everything. She just shook her head in defeat, hoping her mother would help her along.

"Well, do you want to know?"

"Yes, please."

She displayed her best smile, the one that always earned her an extra cookie.

"After you finish your lunch and brush those teeth, young lady."

"But mom..." 

She already knew her plea would land on deaf ears, so she resolved to comply, the blueberry pie was her favorite too. She wanted to take her time with the pie, but she wanted to solve this new mystery like Inca the cat detective would. Inca had many animals working for her and Candace only had Burbles, but Burbles was worth five, he was worth ten cats. 

Mommy would help too, she always knows everything, she reminded herself.

She cleared her plate and looked down to find Burbles had already finished and was waiting for her. She carried her plate to the sink and remembered to say thank you. She tried to hide her excitement, but she found she could not stop her tiny hands from closing into a fist. Her mother just kept smiling trying to wait for her to settle down.

"Since you cleared your plate and even said thank you, I will not tell you where Mr. Walkins is..."

"...but you said, you would!" protested Candace, starting to turn beet red.

"Let me finish, young lady," scolded her mother giving her a reproachful glare.

"Sorry mommy," whispered Candace.

"I won't tell you where Mr. Walkins is, but I will call him so you can ask him yourself. How does that soun..."

Little Candace had already jumped forward to give her mother her fiercest hug before she had finished talking. Burbles wagged her tail excitedly infected by Candace's mood. 

"That sounds like magic," shouted Candace.

She always liked how her mother helped her along her mysteries, but always made sure that Candace was the one to solve them. It made her feel like the leader of her team, just like Inca. All I needed now is a detective hat and to find a chair like daddy's, but in my size.

As promised, her mother walked her by the home phone and dialled some numbers. Candace made sure she memorised the numbers and repeated them in a whisper. The phone rang three times before a deep gravelly Mr. Walkins answered.


Candace composed herself and coughed twice to clear her voice, just like her nanna always told her.

"Hello Mr. Walkins, it's Candace..." a protesting bark came behind her, "...and Burbles."

Her mother was trying not to laugh and Candace could not understand why she would laugh.

"Me and Burbles were wondering where you were off to, and mommy said she'd call you for us so we I could ask."

"Ah, I see. Well, I'm visiting my daughter in Scranton. She is a little ill."

"If she has the chicken pox, you should be careful. Mommy said chicken pox likes to jump onto new people."

Her mother burst out laughing next to her, and she could hear Mr. Walkins laughing too. She looked at Burbles who tilted her head a little and stared back at her, clearly not getting why everyone was laughing.

"What's funny?" she asked.

"Nothing," answered Mr. Walkins at the same moment as her mother said the same thing.

"I promise I will be careful to watch out for chicken pox, Candace. I have to go and see to her now, but I will be back home next week."

"Thank you Mr. Walkins and goodbye."

She made sure to return the phone to her mother who had tears in her eyes from laughing too hard.

Serves her right, thought Candace to herself but she felt guilty for thinking it.

"Thank you, mommy."

"Your welcome, Candy." She smiled brightly at her as she set the phone on the table.

"Now, how about a bath to clean up after your adventuring today?"

Candace was too happy from solving the mystery like Inca the detective cat would, she hardly minded her mother leading her to the bathroom. She however noticed that Burbles had disappeared at the mention of a bath.

October 25, 2019 11:39

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