Detective Larry Moors: Specialty Cases
Large, dark red letters on a black plaque. Not your standard color choices. Not your standard service. The young man stared at that name plate for an interminable ten minutes. Several times had he steeled himself. Deep breaths. Set jaw. Yet he seemed incapable of the task even a child could accomplish. His hand refused to knock. For good reason.
People called him a demon. He was the scary bedtime story told to rebellious children. Mockery followed the mention of his name though. They knew he was real, but no one wanted to admit he could be. He protected the lives of thousands, tens of thousands, perhaps even millions. Behind the scenes of course. If word got out about what he was really doing, life would be in jeopardy. Those of the people coming to confront him, that is. The man’s brow beaded with sweat as these thoughts ran through his mind. Larry Moors had never been asked about a crime. He had a habit of showing up before the Feds and left the perp on their doorstep. Larry Moors. The man would have offered a small smile at that name if his face could cooperate.
He had been sure to run home and replace his everyday suit with one he kept for special occasions. His crisp, fresh white shirt was quite moist under his arms. If he had not slicked his rather long brown hair down before he came, it would have certainly been by now. Ten minutes. His hand seemed to move on its own now, but before he reached the door, the letter of the name plaque glowed and the door creaked opened. As did the youths mouth.
The room that revealed itself was black. Black leather chairs that would have been inviting if not for the sinking sense of doom that emanated from everywhere and nowhere. Massive brown tomes adorned the shelves alongside scrolls that could have come from the glory days of Greece or Rome. The shelves covering the walls to his left looked as though they had been torched. The imposing desk that commanded attention in the center of this office met the same criteria. But the man behind it was, well, a let down.
A librarian. In a trench coat. Had he not been frozen in place the youth would have fallen down laughing. Thin, with long, unkempt black hair and hands with spindly fingers that fluttered across the page in front of his. The long nose went with bushy eyebrows and seemed to wedge his glasses in place. He looked up at the youth. And ,of all things, smiled. Brilliantly.
“About time you found your way in!” expressed the grin that stretched from ear to ear. Large ears, that stuck straight out. “Ward tried to tell me you’d never figure it out, and I’m sorry to say I was beginning to believe him!”
The young man quickly slammed his mouth shut and proceed to pry his tongue off of the roof of his mouth, where it had instantly made its home.
“Figure what out, sir?” What he really wanted to find out was where he could get some water. And then what this bookworm was doing in the chair of the scariest man on this earth. And the one next to it.
The grin was replaced with a rumbling laugh. This scholar had a surprisingly deep voice.
“How to knock. Please, do away with formalities. Call me by my name. You should know it seeing how long you stared at it!”
His mouth fell open again. He just could not help it.
“You’re Larry Moors?!”
“Last time I checked. Which was sometime this morning I believe. And you’re Johnny. Johnny Fusmer, if I’m correct. Which I always am. You’re twenty two, and you just started working for the FBI. Impressive Johnny. And you’ve come to ask for my help on a case. I’ve talked it over with Ward, and we’ve decided to accompany you, though if you really required my expertise, I would have known about it long ago.”
The librarian masquerading as Larry Moors continued to grin at the youth. The youth continued to gape back.
“Ah yes. Quite right, Ward. We really must be off. So much to do, so little time!”
The librarian turned around and waltzed down the hall. But, wait. Were not they just in Moors’ office? Well they were definitely in the hall now. It looked precisely like the hall outside of Moors’ office, with the exception of a door at the end. Which also could not be possible. Moors’ office was on the top floor of a thirty story building. Quite dumbfounded, Johnny took off after the bookish man. He followed the supposed Moors out the door and into an unfamiliar setting. Johnny scanned the area to get his bearings and discovered that he was at the scene of the crime to which he intended to bring Moors. But the scene itself was barren. No crime tape, no investigators, no reporters. And the sky scraper office complex they had exited was a boarded up warehouse.
“Johnny my boy, leave your face like that too long and your mouth will freeze in that position. I’ve seen it happen before. Then you’ll be apt to catch unwary insects in your mouth. Now let’s see. This is the scene of the crime, is it not?”
Johnny nodded absently. Moors looked around critically.
“Are you quite certain? I see no evidence of such.” He pulled out a bizarre pocket watch with what appeared to be a dragon inscribed on it. Black, of course. A frown revealed a number of wrinkles on his rather white skin.
“Fladgerzet! I’ve messed up again, haven’t I? Be quiet Ward. You are not being helpful. Back through the door I’m afraid.”
Johnny’s mind had ceased its usual function and he followed Moors back through the door like a lost dog. Once they had both reentered the office building they turned around and went through the door again. Same place, this time at night. And there was a body on the ground.
“Your confidence in my abilities warms my heart Ward. Now let’s have a look, shall we? This man looks exceedingly dead.”
While Moors knelt to examine the body, Johnny regained some cognitive ability and decided that his best option would be to go with his present circumstances. He had not been completely sure what to expect from Larry Moors and hence could not complain about the strange predicament he found himself in.
Moors’ astute observation was quite true. The man in question was indeed dead. In fact, he had been ripped to shreds. Johnny offered the theories his team had concocted while he had still been with them. Which, judging by the amount of light and lack of human activity, would be about seven hours from now.
“We think he was attacked by some sort of large rabid canine. But witnesses we talked to said there are no dogs in the area, and we’re too far from the forest for it to have been a wolf. Then there’s this.” Johnny walked a little ways, following a blood trail, and stopped after a few yards. “He was obviously dragged, making the killer a large, strong individual. Our corpse isn’t exactly small. I’d say the perp messed up here, if I knew what this was. What do you make of it?” Johnny pointed at a footprint. Or rather, a paw print. One that did not match any animal he knew of.
Moors became grim at the sight of it. “That, my boy, is a bad sign. I’m afraid we’re dealing with a werewolf.”
Johnny frowned. “You want to run that by me again?”
“Oh yes,” replied an increasingly grave Moors,”and a big one, too. You were quite wrong when you assumed it was not from the forest. There is only one gate near here, and that is where it resides. This beast is hungry. And this poor soul was a snack.”
Johnny massaged his temples. “So you’re trying to tell me that a werewolf, a nonexistent mythical creature, prowled around through the whole city without being noticed until it got here? And what is a gate?”
“Shadow creatures are good at prowling. Hence the term Shadow. Don’t act so surprised. You would not have called on me if you had expected an average murder mystery. This is a Specialty case if I ever saw one. But I’m very concerned about the way it avoided my detection. Not only would it take an incredibly powerful creature to get past the seal I placed on the gate, I would have been alerted immediately if it had been broken. We must see it.”
“What is the gate,” Johnny reiterated “and how do you expect to get there?”
“Yes yes Ward. Do as you please. You know what a gate is Johnny. It is a bridge between the worlds. Well, at least two of them. Everyone knows this.”
Johnny did know. “Those gates were destroyed decades ago. The monsters were repelled.”
Moors laughed. “If you really believe that then why am I here? Oh, and speaking of here, we are.”
The forest. Of course they were. Johnny walked over to a tree and punched it just to be sure. Which was not his best idea. He walked back over to Moors, pulling slivers from his knuckles. “How did you do that?”
Moors winked. “I have my ways. Alright fine. It was Ward. Happy now? You’re so demanding. If you aren’t careful I’ll turn you into soup.”
The more he got to know this man the more his brain hurt. And he had never considered the eyes until Moors winked. Black as obsidian and colder than the arctic. Johnny realized that that must be the origin of his reputation. “Who on earth is Ward?”
More chuckling. Quite happy for a reputed demon. “Wrong and wrong. Not who, but what. And most certainly not on earth.”
More confusion. Moors turned and thrust his hand forward violently. The air before him shimmered.
“The seal is still there, and holding strong. Which begs the question. What is the origin of our mysterious wolf? Ward, bring us back. There is more investigating to be done.”
This time Johnny paid attention. And he noticed....nothing. One minute they were in the forest, and the next they were staring at the mutilated body. “That is seriously unnerving.”
“You get used to it after a few centuries. Now. Let’s find our wolf.” Moors fished around in the nearly fresh wounds of the victim. “Oh! What good fortune. Our werewolf must have a horrible dentist, for his teeth are falling out in the middle of his meals!”
It was indeed a tooth. A tooth about three and a half inches long and as pointed as a well sharpened pencil. Johnny immediately decided that he did not want to get familiar with this beast.
Moors bounced it in his palm and muttered something incoherent in a strong voice. Johnny did not understand what he said but he felt its force. The tooth began to spin in Moors’ palm and when it stopped it was pointing down the street.
“I love a good chase!” exclaimed Moors “But to catch our quarry we’ll have to return to the proper time!” Moors hooked his free arm around one of Johnny’s and pulled out his pocket watch. “And off we go!”
It was undoubtedly the worst two minutes of Johnny’s life. His entire body felt as though he were being stretched as far from his center as possible. All the while Moors was laughing away in his ear. His vision was extremely blurry, but at one point he was positive that some dark green shape came by and stuck its finger, or appendage, or something, up his nose. An evil laugh then proceeded from it and it vanished. Something smelled for the rest of Johnny’s day. Suddenly his stomach dropped out, as though he were falling, and he found himself on the pavement of the crime scene.Johnny picked himself up and discovered that he was staring at the feet of a lovely young female reporter. He jumped to his feet and tried to make himself presentable but was grabbed again by the bony of Moors and was practically dragged down the street.
“The hunt is on, my boy! Justice shall be brought today!” Moors was certainly not moving at normal human pace. Each step he took seemed to equal fifteen of a regular man’s. Johnny tried not to throw up.
Off they sped, following the direction of the tooth for at least thirty minutes. Johnny lost focus on everything but breathing until he was returned to the ground Moors had picked him up off of. And he had no idea where they were. It was a dark courtyard, and he felt evil lurking in the shadows.
“Stand up, my boy. Draw your weapon. Maybe if you at least look confident it will be more wary in an assault.”
“Assault?” Johnny scambled to his feet and un-holstered his gun. “Where is it? Did we find it?”
“I am more hoping it finds us. This open space provides me with the advantage I need to deliver it a quick defeat. Try not to get eaten in the process.”
A staff had materialized in Moors hands. Johnny had stopped caring about that sort of thing by this point. If Moors said try not to get eaten, then by George, he would not let himself get eaten.
They stood for several minutes, Johnny jumping at small sounds, Moors muttering something under his breath. His words, if they were words, increased in volume and crescendoed into a loud yell of “Duck!”
So Johnny ducked. He seemed to spend most of his time on the ground anyway. It was a good thing too, else the force of the fireball that exploded just beyond his head would have knocked him down anyway. Moors’ trench coat billowed around him and Johnny realized why this man was so feared. And that the hulking man-dog hybrid that was now illuminated was also to be feared.
Johnny instinctively raised his gun and emptied his clip. With no noticeable effect. The Shadow creature rushed toward them. Moors jerked his staff skyward and a jet of flame filled the air with the foul odor of burning hair. Or, in this case, fur. The beast plowed its way through with a howl and attempted to latch the vice grip that was his mouth onto Moors. Moors intercepted it with his staff and whirled the monster in a circle, throwing against the far building. A feat that should not have been possible for any human, much less an old librarian. Moors produced a large blade, approached the creature and plunged it into its heart. The monster gave a final howl of agony and crumbled to dust.
“Back to the Shadows demon!” exclaimed Moors.
Johnny slowly picked himself up and stumbled over to where the taxidermist’s nightmare should have been. He looked at the ground, and then at the librarian.
“Who, or what, are you?” asked Johnny. Moors turned with a confident smile and gave Johnny a wink.
“Detective Larry Moors. Specialty Cases”