By Anna Blackwell (October 2020, age 13)

    Hello, my name is Theodore Threshold and I am bout to tell you about one the most creepiest cases I ever had to solve, and it all started on one peaceful Saturday morning.

    I lay there asleep in my bed in my apartment, dreaming about those simply things a man dreams of, when all of the sudden the phone rang. Groggily I picked it up.

    “Theodore Threshold speaking.” 

    “Mr. Threshold, there has been a attempt of murder at the Twin Dragon Dojo.” Came the answer from the other end.

    “I’ll be right there,” I said before quickly hanging up.

    Now, mind you, I wasn’t too big on getting out there and solving this case at first. I had become a police officer not too long ago and I had dealt with all sorts of weird stuff already like the classic over-debt college student who hung herself in her closet, or crazy cults upsetting neighbourhoods, or alcoholics threatening their girlfriends and what not. This case, at first, didn’t seem to be too different.

    I got dressed as quick as I could into my suit, and decided to skip breakfast that morning to get this case over with sooner. I hurried outside to go pickup my friend Elvis Shatris. He lived one story above me and had helped me with most of my cases. Even though he was an elf and I was human, we made a great team. We met a few years ago at a cemetery but that’s a story for another day.

    I knocked on his door and when he answered he was already dressed and shipping a travel mug of triple espresso (he had a strong addiction to caffeine).

    “Hello, Teddy. Another case, or were you just coming to say hello?” He asked. Elvis always seemed to light-hearted for an elf.

    “Ok, seriously Elvis, don’t call me Teddy. “ I said.

    “Sure Ted ... so, really, you just come here to tell me that?” He asked with a smile.

    “There has been a attempted murder at the Twin Dragon Dojo,” I said.

    Now Elvis looked at me earnestly. “Well, then, what are we waiting for!” He tossed me a pair of car keys. “We'll take my car; you can drive.”

    Before long Elvis and I were speeding to the Twin Dragon Dojo. We soon reached our destination.

    “The Double Dragon Dojo: the place were the famous Kothwai arts were said to be born. It is owned by Sensei Ning. The dojo has over 23 students, most races are allowed to attend at this dojo.” I said, reading from Magisteropedia on my cellphone.

    “Interesting.” Elvis murmured.

    As we stepped out of the car a was greeted by a loud voice. “Mr. MeshMould yer late.’

    “Oh boy.” I mumbled as I saw a short, plump, red-haired dwarf march up to me. He had a huge badge on his chest indicating he was Bamur Bristlebelly, chief of police. I was surprised I could even see it do to his humungous lumberjack-like beard.

    “Sorry, sir. I tried to come as soon as I could. And I think you've got it mixed up my name's Threshold not MeshMould.” I said.

    "Well accord’en to you. Seems that soon isn’t very soon, Mr. FreshHold.”

    I sighed there was no way to convince BristleBelly, he always invited on getting my first and last name wrong.

    “So what happened here, sir?” Elvis said, switching the topic.

    Grumbling, BristleBelly motioned us to follow as he explained. "One of the students was attacked last night by some sort of crook I reckon. The students' fellow pupils heard him screaming and found him in the hall way completely messed up.”

    I almost blurted out how disgusted that sounded but I stoped myself, I was trained for this kind of thing, I shouldn’t whine.

    “Any suspects?” Elvis asked.

    BristleBelly scoffed "Well, pointy ears, how about you start doing yer job? And that goes for you, too, Isaac.” He said, waging a finger at me.

    “It’s Theodore.” I said, but BristleBelly was already trudging away.

    I sighed. “All right, Elvis; what first?” I asked.

    “First we go see Sensei Ning.”

    We found the Sensei Ning alone, walking in one of the the gardens. 

    “Can I help you gentleman and elf?” 

    I pulled out my ID. “Theodore Threshold, Police Officer” I said. “And this is Elvis Shatris, my working companion.” Elvis gave a short bow to Sensei Ning who returned the gesture.

    “Would you mind if we ask you a few questions?” I said, pulling out a notebook and pen.

    We spent the next two hours at the dojo talking to Sensei Ning. He explained to us that he used to live in another land called Napam were he trained as a Singlang student until he discovered the Redemptorist religion and converted. However, the master of the dojo was greatly displeased and kicked Ning out of the dojo. Ning later became a student at the Twin Dragon Dojo and later became the new sense many years later.

    The more interesting part was that  Ding said that many times when it was raining at night he thought he could hear something walking or creeping on the roof of the dojo. There was one incident when he thought he heard someone trying to open his door but when he went up to the door he heard the sound of something walking away.

    Both Elvis and I took great interest in this. I asked Ning about the student who was attacked last night, Antantaru, I think his name was. Ning told us that Antanaru came from a modest family, he was a very intelligent student but had the problem of being over-competitive with the other students.

    “Well thank you, Sensei Ning, for the information.” I said.

    “You're most welcome.” I could sense a bit of uneasiness in his voice.

    We left the sensei and began to walk back to the exit, I however didn’t feel like we had accomplished much. We passed an open door; the chanting of prayers came from inside. I noticed a row of students sitting cross-legged facing a statue of a beautiful veiled lady wearing a rose-coloured girdle, with a golden crown on her head.

    “It seems they are praying what is called the Rosary, since they're each holding those strings with beads on them,” I said quietly to Elvis.

    Elvis seemed enchanted, it took a shake to get him to his senses.

    “Really, Elvis!” I said "Why do you do that every time we see Redemptorists?” I asked.  Neither Elvis nor I belong to that obscure religion; I never really looked into it.  But Elvis every time he saw things like a statue of the same lady holding a child in her arms, he seemed completely absorbed. I thought maybe elves were just like that when they saw beautiful things.

    When we got to the car, I was just about to open the door to the car when I heard something.

    “Pssssstt! Over here!” 

    I turned around to see a young girl hiding behind a bush, she had long, curly, blonde hair and a fair face. She beckoned for me and Elvis to come over.

    “Hi, I am Thai. Where you two wondering about Antantaru?” She asked.

    “Yes.” I answered.

    “Yeah, well I just wanted to tell you he was actually kind of suspicious lately he didn’t come to as many training sessions as usual and other stuff, I thought you should know.” She said.

    “Ummm thanks for the information but what is with the secrecy?” I asked puzzled.

    “Oh..uh that, well Sensei Ning might catch me, he wants me to say three rosaries for Antantaru today, ugh! Well I better go!” And with that she rushed off.

    I was caught off guard by her response to what her Sensei told her to do. Once I again went to get into the car. Elvis did the same.

    “So ... what now Ted?” Elvis asked.

    “Now ... we go to White Willow Hospital.” 

* * *

    “We would like to see Antantaru Kyōdai,” I asked one of the nurses.

    She looked at me suspicion. Being a fairy she was calm but I could sense her hesitation.

    “I’m sorry but I can’t just let strangers just walk in like that, the patient is badly injured and --” 

    “Listen madam, this is urgent, we came to ask him about what happened to him last night and --”

    “Interrogate him?” The nurse asked with widened eyes.

    “No, we are going to politely ask him if you don’t mind.” I said forcing myself to remain calm.

    “And who will I tell him wants to speak to him?” She asked with a hint of authority.

    I pulled out my I.D and put it about a foot away from her face. She looked at me and then beckoned us to follow. We went through a couple aisles before we came to a door with the bold number 34. The nurse opened the door.

    “Wait here; I will be back shortly.” She said disappearing behind the door. It was several more minutes before she reappeared.

    “Alright, you may see him, but I suggest being gentle with him.” She said.

    “Thank you madame and don’t worry, we won’t be long.” Elvis said.

    We entered the room and we were greeted by the smell of a strong perfume, it was no surprise, for a SilentOrchid tree was growing in a large pot in the corner of the room, its strong aroma is said to calm patients in a great deal of pain.

    In the other corner of the room I saw the person who was probably Antantaru, his was lying on bed, a nurse was standing beside him. I felt a bit a repulsive when I looked at Antantaru, his head was wrapped in a thickly woven bandages. Even with the coverings around his arms I could till see some still wet blood around the edges. There were still many details I refuse to put to words.

    Elvis walked up to the bed. “Antantaru Kyōdai, can you tell us what happened?” 

    I took by this that Elvis was going to do the talking, so I pulled up myself a chair and took out a pen and notepad.

    “Well ...” He began weakly. "I woke up at night because…I don’t quite remember why but.. I decided to go to the kitchen..I think I was going to get something..then I saw something move..”

    “What was it?” Elvis asked.

    “I don’t … know I didn’t see it well enough, then something hit me in the back, I…I tried to defend myself but I couldn’t see what I was fighting.”

    Antantaru was  taking harder breaths now as if telling us made it difficult to breath.

    “Then after I while I was thrown to the floor..I think I broke something when I hit the floor, then I..I saw four b-blades come down, I couldn’t move..away..they.. they…” he started shaking his head as if trying not to think about it.

    The nurse beside him started to look worried and called for a assistant.

    “It..it had four arms..”I heard Antantaru stamper.

    By this time he was shaking badly, the nurses were already trying to calm him down. One of them looked at me and Elvis with pleading eyes as if asking us to leave.

    Without further ado me and Elvis left.

    “So what do you think?” I asked Elvis.

    “Very peculiar. Four arms; I haven’t heard of many species four arms, I know there are some particular ogres and many different dragon breeds with four arms.”

    “Hmmm and something even more strange.” I said.

    “And what is that?”

    “Elvis can you lip-read?” I asked.


    “Well I can and I noticed something that Antantaru said.”

    “What is that?” Elvis asked already interested.

    “It is that Thai wasn’t in her bed.”

    “Interesting,” Elvis said drifting into deep thought before asking.’ So what do you suggest we do now.”

    I drew a deep breath. "We go get lunch.”

    Elvis sighed in disappointment, but I didn’t care -- I missed breakfast, I wouldn’t last much longer without something to eat. Besides I had a plan already that I needed to discuss with Elvis.

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