‘Miss Pearce!’ he called out, ‘Kindly send out a revised bill would you to our dear Mrs Sauskind. The new bill reads ‘To saving human race from total extinction – no charge.’
He put on his hat and left for the day.
‘Polly? Where are we going? You weren’t very clear when we left.’
‘You remember I told you about my dream?’
‘Yes, you dreamt about a detective. You two found the answers to all your questions.’
‘Exactly! But I don’t remember the answers. For some reason my dream skipped that part. All I remember is meeting him and saying goodbye. But there were answers somewhere in the middle. I need to find the detective to find the answers. Luckily he’s not very difficult to find.’
‘So where is he?’
‘He’ll be out on the street soon.’ Cedric and I had been walking on Peckender St. looking for number 33a. We had walked past number 37 when I saw the detective coming out of his agency. He closed the red door behind him and I recognized the red hat and the thick metal-rimmed spectacles right away.
‘Mr. Gently!’ I ran after him. He seemed not to hear me and started walking the other way.
‘Mr. Gently, please! I need your help.’ I caught up with him and grabbed the sleeve of his long leather coat.
‘Sorry, Miss. What seems to be the problem?’
‘I need your help Mr. Gently. I need to solve a mystery.’
‘A mystery you say? I’ve just solved one. A big one that is. And I’m a bit tired. I was actually going for some pizza.’
‘We can buy you a pizza. I really need your help.’
Dirk looked around and sighed a bit.
‘Well ok. You two can buy me some pizza.’
So we went to the same pizza place where Richard had met Dirk at the start of the book.
‘Polly, tell me what you want in return for this pizza?’
‘I need you to solve a mystery.’
‘I’m very good at mysteries. The last one was very interesting. Let me tell you about it. There was this ghost involved and a creature that needed a time machine. He would destroy all of humanity, but Richard helped me stop him. Let me tell you the story from the start.’
‘That won’t be necessary, Mr. Gently. I already know the story.’
Cedric looked at me. I knew I shouldn’t have said that.
‘What she means is that we have already heard the entire story from someone else.’
‘But how? It just happened?’
‘We met Richard about an hour ago.’
Dirk seemed to believe us and dropped it.
‘You know my detective agency isn’t just a detective agency right?’ I nodded and Cedric looked confused. I hadn’t told him enough about this book and my plan, I realized.
‘I provide a service that is unique in this world. I run a holistic detective agency. The term holistic refers to my conviction that what we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.’
‘You mean the whole ‘everything happens for a reason’ spiritual stuff?’ Cedric had been reading my copy of The alchemist by Paulo Coelho and didn’t like it one bit. ‘That sounds like exploitation to me. Polly, are you sure you want this guy to help you?’
‘I’m very sure. Just trust me on this. It works.’
‘Cedric was it? Have you heard of Schrödinger and his cat?’ He hadn’t and Dirk was very surprised. I felt like I needed to apologize and explain he came from a book, but off course I couldn’t. Dirk told his story about the experiment. They had tried the reproduce the experiment but found out when they did open the box, the cat wasn’t alive or dead, but missing. Dirk found out nothing spectacular had happened. The cat had just got fed up with sitting in a box and left. By calling out the cat’s name he restored her and the mystery was solved. Cedric didn’t seem convinced at all, but I knew he would be soon enough.
‘Dirk, I need to tell you something you probably won’t believe. Promise me you don’t get angry of freak out.’
‘Come on, Polly. I travelled through time. I think I can handle it’
‘You live in a book.’
Silence followed. Dirk looked baffled and Cedric and I didn’t know what to say. Dirk suddenly blinked twice and said: ‘Please continue.’
‘You live in a book. I come from the real world. I have this ability to go into books. I met Cedric in a Harry Potter book and took him to real world. I need to know how I can do this and why I’m able to do this. Are there others? Who made this happen? Did someone made this happen? Why are there rules to what I can do?’
Dirk was still staring at me. I knew he still had some trouble with my mystery, but he would get over it and help me.
‘Polly. That’s an extraordinary story. I don’t know if it is true. It would mean I’m fake and I have to say, I have a hard time accepting that. But I’ll do it. We’ll solve the mystery.
‘Hollistic style!’ I was so happy I raised my hand for a high five, but no one accepted. Cedric looked at me with a worried face and Dirk was still eating his pizza, already breaking his head over my conundrum. Cedric came a bit closer and whispered something so Dirk wouldn’t hear.
‘I have a bad feeling about this, Polly…’