The Sowing Unravels
By Melinda Szymanik
The door shut behind them with a definitive click. Mote rubbed at his eyes, but now they were all inside the well lit security office there was no mistaking the identity of the person with the pistol.
“You,” he squeaked.
“Is that a polar bear…costume?” Deb gasped.
“Yes it is and it stinks of red herring,” Bizet Finnegan said. “And I’m jolly annoyed that your father shot me with a tranquilizer dart.” She massaged an angry looking puncture wound on her forehead.
“Bizzy?” Mendelssohn said coming up behind Mote and Deb. “What are you doing here? And who’s minding the farm? And what’s that on your forehead?”
“Kate! So good to see you here.” Bizzy waved at Captain Pejalmer who stood just behind Mendelssohn with a very grumpy expression on her face. “And Mendelssohn, in answer to your question - you shot me, darling. Don’t worry. I’ve locked up at the farm. Fred and Trev are down at the cow cockies cottage watching over everything. And I’m here because I had a phone call saying things were getting out of hand and you needed my help...And what’s with these straw guards? That’s terribly dangerous with so many fireworks going off all the time around here. They’re highly flammable you know.”
As if her words were sparks, the smell of smoke began drifting in through the air conditioning ducts.
“It’s a bit warm in here,” Bizzy said, pulling at the neck of the polar bear suit.
“Mum, why have you got a gun?” Deb said.
“What this old thing?” Bizzy waggled the pistol around haphazardly. “I couldn’t find my semi-automatic so I had to bring this instead. Don’t worry. It’s not a real gun.”
“I think we’re on fire,” Mendelssohn shrieked.
“Oh darling, yes we are a great couple,” Bizet Finnegan purred.
“No Bizzy! The building’s on fire. Someone’s trying to burn us alive,” Mendelssohn cried pointing at the window. They could all see long tongues of flame leaping up outside, even one storey up. Mendelssohn yanked on the door handle but it seemed to be locked.
“Well that makes a mockery of the idea of a fire exit, don’t you think?” Bizzy said.
Deb rushed over to the fire alarm and breaking the glass, reached in and flicked the switch. An ominous click was followed by an even more ominous silence. She glanced over at the bracket on the wall where the fire extinguisher should be but the bracket was empty.
“The hose,” Mote called. He ran out into the corridor and walked back in seconds later holding the fire hose nozzle in his hands, the hose itself just a few wisps of shredded rubber hanging off the nozzle. Bizzy started fanning herself with a manila folder she’d grabbed off the top of a filing cabinet.
“Sabotage” Mendelssohn said bleakly. “Kate you were right. I should have used the security company you suggested. You get what you pay for.”
“More like you reap what you sow,” Deb said drily.
“What are we going to do?” Mote said.
“We’re all going to die,” Kate Pejalmer said. “Because you were too cheap to hire proper security guards.”
Mendelssohn hung his head.
“Don’t talk to my dad like that,” Mote said. “You stay away from him.”
“Not to worry,” Bizzy said, extracting a cell phone from the pocket of her bear suit. She flipped it open and stabbed at the keypad.
“Fred, I need you and Trev to scramble the Blue Angels,” Bizzy barked into the phone. “Full payload. Get them good and soaked pronto and let them out over the the north corner of the Main Stadium....”
The flip phone squawked back at Bizzy.
“Yes. All seventy. At the same time,” she replied. “Use the special net parachute.”
Bizzy closed her phone and turned back to her family, and Kate Pejalmer. “Right. They’re on their way.”
“What are the Blue Angels?” Mote asked.
“Just some sheep I bred specially. Their wool is blue. And fire retardant. You’ll see...Anyway, so what’s all this about then?”
Deb pulled the notes out of her pocket. All the clues and red herrings. She checked they were all there and handed them to her mother.
“Someone’s been trying to kill us,” Deb said. “And sabotage the Titanic Games. You know Mum, for a minute when I saw you in the polar bear suit holding a gun, I thought it was you.”
“Me? I’m just a sheep breeder,” Bizzy said.
“And a part time ninja,” Mendelssohn muttered.
“Well yes, true,” Bizzy said smiling. “But it’s the genetic engineering that takes up most of my time.”
“Did you say genetic engineering?” Deb asked.
“Of course honey. But it’s all a bit top secret. And I do it under the name I had before I married your father – Bizet Wolf.”
Deb turned and stared at Mote. “It all makes sense.” She grabbed the scraps of paper back. “What was the first message, shorn into the sheep?”
Mote frowned. “Um ‘To protect the sheep, you um... have to catch the wolf?”
“That’s right,” Mendelssohn gasped.
“Here, look,” Deb held out one of the clues. She read it out. “It takes a wolf to catch a wolf. And then there was the jar of wolf spiders. And then there was this, A sheep for a sheep, A scrambled surprise, Is an egg just an egg, Or GrenadE in disguise. They didn’t mean like a chicken’s egg at all. And the G and E are capitals because it’s all about genetic engineering.”
Without warning Kate Pejalmer lunged at Bizet.
“Oww,” Bizet cried.
“That’s right, little miss clever clogs,” Captain Pejalmer now stood with her back to the fire exit, Bizet Finnegan’s gun in her hand, pointed at the Finnegan family. “Genetic engineering is wrong! These stupid games are wrong. Blindfolded cake-decorating? Belly flopping? Floss flicking? Are you kidding me? Actually, no, I get the floss flicking. That stuff is always getting caught in my teeth...Anyway. I’ve always disapproved of what you do, Bizet. Genetic engineering isn’t natural. And the last straw was when your husband wouldn’t see sense and hire my security company to cover the games. Even the members of my spy team, Le Zard, Byrd and Barker, all victims of Wolf Laboratory engineering, were a huge clue and you couldn’t see it. When I’ve disposed of you lot I’m going to set fire to all those carefully placed scarecrows and these games will be a full-fledged disaster. Games over.” She cocked the gun and aimed at Bizet. “You first,” she hissed.
Suddenly the fire exit flew open and a soaking-wet, blue woolled sheep wearing a crash helmet rolled in the doorway and into the back of Captain Pejalmer like a bowling ball hitting the last skittle in a bowling alley. As Pejalmer fell her finger grasped the trigger and a shot rang out, a trickle of water dribbling from the end of the barrel.
“It’s my water pistol,” Bizzy said, picking it up off the floor as she prodded the unconscious captain with the toe of her shoe. “I did say it wasn’t real. You villains never listen. Well at least the fire’s out. And I’m really surprised you didn’t figure this out sooner Mendelssohn. Something … or someone must have been distracting you.”
Mendelssohn looked a little sheepish.