A few days back, a friend of mine, SL, seemed waay more dejected than he normally becomes. Not that he is always sad. Actually, come to think of it, he never is sad. You know, he is that carefree guy, doesn’t take anything to heart, has a smile for any situation and can lighten anyone’s mood. But no, today, he was visibly sad.
“SL, What’s up? You seem dead!” “Yea doode, I can’t believe someone would do this to me! Why did they have to steal it!”.
Clearly, I deduced that someone had stolen it from SL. Only that would explain, the sadness.
“Dai, you could have lost it. There’s no proof that someone stole it, right?”, I said, optimistically.
“No. I’m pretty sure it was stolen. I’m going to so lose my Volleyball match, tomorrow.”
The time was 5.17pm. The match was at 9am, the next day. I decided to help him find it. For, I was, his close bosom buddy. “Macha, you don’t have to help and all, I mean, if its stolen, its impossible to find…“, he whined. “SL, what are friends for? Nanbaen da (Friendship, dude)! “, I said, with a grin. The hunt for the elusive, begins.
We first began by scouring his room. As expected, that wasn’t of any use. SL quickly deduced the reason for our less luck. ” Dude, we forgot to use them!” he remarked. I got what he meant. And scam! I scooted to my room and brought, The Dectectives’ Hat.
I asked SL,”When was the last time, you saw it?” “It, as in the hat?” “No da.”, I said with a ‘Duh!’ look. He smiled. That old carefree one. Almost immediately. he became solemn, and replied, “This afternoon, about 3. Right before I slept off.” SL and his sleep. It was the most talked about thing amongst us. “I guess, I guess it was stolen, when I was sleeping. I think my roomie didn’t lock the door.” he continued. “Well, that’s obvious…”, I thought to myself. SL gave the brilliant idea, of enquiring the neighbours.
IG comes along, all smiles. SL and I give him the lowdown. He smiled again. “I’ll tell you all now, You will not find it. You will fail!”, he said, with that teasing grin, followed by a chuckle. We were not disheartened. No, cos this was usual! And it was our lucky charm! Friends, they sure have their own ways to bring luck into the mix!
Vader, a wingmate, told us that a creepy guy, hooded and big, was seen lurking the walkways of wing 10, at around 5. “Must be him!”, Vader concluded. We agreed. Backtracked to SL’s and this time, with the hat, our luck was better. On his cupboard, there was a Pepsi can. This was great. Why? Cos, We drink, coke!
Problem? It was waay to high to reach, even for SL.
In all our previous investigations, like The Case of the Screaming Closet and The Case of the 100-Watt Smile, the hat was an integral part. Now again, it was to be used. Fortunately, our hat was boomerang-able. Gently, yet firmly, I threw it towards the can, and dutifully, it fell down. On further investigation, (ie. opening removing a note that was inside, and licking the remaining drops of pepsi in it :P), the note read as follows:
‘Hello! I’m thinking you would have noticed the loss by now. I’m CR. And yes, I did take it. And I shall tell you where it is…. Na-ah! Not so fast, U gotta solve a riddle first! Here it is.
“Where is it, you ask? Alas, The last of this, is in me, and you, my dear, are the one before. Yet, it wanders, lagging behind the first of the last. But, dear, in the end, who is first? Seems like, it is, the second in our family… I’m there where it flows, where many live and die. I’m there where its not dry, come and find me, can you?”
Best of luck, SL. And you too Peri, I know your helping. 3:) ‘
The time was 7.23pm.
“That was weird. Since when did CR start writting riddles”, asked SL. Valid question. Now onto solving this riddle. “SL, The second part, ‘I’m there where it flows…’, it means, water, right?”, I ask. “Yes, it seems so. And the first one?”, he wonders. A few minutes go by. “YES!”, SL exclaims! “Peri, peri, see! ‘Last is in me’, ‘you are the one before’, ‘first of last’, ‘second in family’…!”, he says, all in one long breath.
It dawned on me, ” ‘E’, ‘U’, ‘L’… second in family ah!?” “Umm, family? maybe…its…” “Alphabets,‘B’ !“, we shrilled! ‘BLUE’. “The note, referred to ‘Blue Water’. “, SL, jubiliantly said. Bracket, who had just taken a bath, passed by and heard this. “Oh man, you people planning to go to Blue Lake now? Nice, I’ll join!”, he said. I shot a look at SL. “Blue lake!”, I whispered. “Yea Brakky, We’re going there now, come!” “Wait wait, let me put on my pants!”, Brakky said as he ran to his room, with a towel around his waist. Time was 8.16pm.
We reached the lake in about 15 mins. On the way, we gave the situation to Brakky, and also, we had to spend some time, searching for the hat, which blew away, while riding. We were greeted by the huge ‘Beware of Crocodiles’ sign. Goosebumps.
When we reached there, Brakky lead the way, and we searched the banks. In vain. On our way back, still walking along the banks, SL noticed something different. A particular part of the forest was unusually, lit up. Lit up by LED light, as pointed out by Brakky. Being the smallest in the group, I was made to go into the forest and check it out. Carefully, managing to reach the light, and saw another short note.
‘Congrats. You’ve made it. I didn’t think you would though. Its here, just look around.’
And sure enough, it was there, in a plastic bag under a rock, that looked very much like CR’s face. I picked it up, and ran back to them.(sustaining a scar on my hand… oh well!)
I saw SL, wide-eyed, happy. The SL we all knew. He grabbed the bag, and took out its content. His favourite Orange Underwear. The match would be won, after all! 😀
[This was part of a challenge, taken up by fellow bloggers. Topic: To write a post connecting Friends, Underwear, Hat and Blue. And this was my reply to it! 😉 ]
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