Wednesday, May 03, 2006

DeeDee and Kiki Corner a Thief

Just when I was getting bored with this investigation, the Irregulars have made a real discovery at last! Unfortunately, I had nothing to do with it. I’ll try to faithfully recount the story as I heard it, but I encourage Kiki and DeeDee to correct me if I take too much poetic license with the details.

Early this morning, around two o'clock, DeeDee and Kiki were patrolling the stacks in Butler Library. (One has to admire DeeDee’s perseverance. After countless nights of watching and waiting, most people would have thrown in the towel—particularly given the impact a nocturnal lifestyle can have on a girl’s looks, health, and GPA.) They had just begun to make a round of the sixth floor when they heard a chomping and slurping that made them wonder if a wild beast was prowling the campus, snacking on students. A cone of light rose from between two bookshelves and cast a pale yellow circle on the low ceiling.

After removing their shoes, DeeDee and Kiki tiptoed toward the light and ducked into an aisle next to the beast's. Peeking through a narrow gap, they saw a filthy, disheveled man sitting on the floor, surrounded by old books. A flashlight stood on one end, lighting an unusual picnic. The man was consuming a strawberry covered cheesecake without the benefit of a fork or anything resembling table manners. Once he had licked the box clean, the man-beast drew a pristine handkerchief from a pocket and delicately removed all traces of the dessert from his hands and fingernails. He didn’t bother to wipe his mouth, however, and his shaggy beard remained caked with crumbs.

With his hands finally as clean as a surgeon’s, the man stood up and removed a book from the top of a shelf. Apparently, he was quite tall, (though Kiki’s not always a good judge of such things), and not much older than your average Columbia student. While he sported the facial hair of a middle-aged mountain man, DeeDee was certain he couldn’t be more than twenty-three years old. And with a shave, a shower, and a haircut, he wouldn’t have been bad looking, she said,(though DeeDee’s not always a good judge of such things).

DeeDee must have been entranced by his “pretty eyes,” because she leaned in for a closer look. A book slid out on the other side of the bookcase and fell with a thump near the man’s bare feet. According to Kiki, he stood perfectly still for a moment, scanning his surroundings like a trapped animal. That’s when Kiki decided to take action. She pulled out a spray bottle filled with a phosphorescent substance that DeeDee had spent weeks extracting from a species of glow-in-the-dark jellyfish. She shoved an entire row of books to the floor, took careful aim, and coated the man in fine mist of the liquid. Roaring like a yeti, the man hurled himself at the metal bookcase that separated him from my friends. Fortunately, Kiki had foreseen this turn of events, and by the time hundreds of books crashed to the floor, she and DeeDee were tucked safely under a nearby study desk. From their hiding place, they saw the man sprint for the exit. In the darkness, he glowed like a vat of nuclear waste.

Once the man had vanished, Kiki and DeeDee sorted through the piles of books that had fallen from the shelves. There was no way to know which ones the man had been looking at. But next to a crushed cheesecake box, Kiki discovered our most important piece of evidence to date. A ball of string.

I don’t think any of us knew what to make of Kiki’s “evidence” when she first told us about it at this evening’s meeting. The other Irregulars were sitting in my living room downtown, enjoying the contents of my parents’ well-stocked refrigerator, when Kiki took out the ball of string and asked me for a book—one that I didn’t mind ruining. Using her teeth, Kiki snapped off a length of string, balled it up and placed it in her mouth. A few seconds later, she removed the string, now dripping with spit. She opened my copy of Little Women and placed the wet string between two pages of the book, positioning it as close to the binding as possible. She let the book sit for a minute before opening it again. Taking one of the pages between her fingers, she pulled softly and the paper silently tore away in her hand. The cut was clean and almost undetectable.

“Now we know what the man is the stacks has been up to,” Kiki told us all. “He’s been stealing pages from books.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really getting exciting...which is only to be expected if Kiki is around, of course! Oh my word, I will DIE if there is not a sequel to the book!!

7:15 PM  

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