"O-Okay m-marm," Rumble answered, a little frightened by Tessa's description of the eagly-bird. He waddled to the hole, glancing back nervously at the captain. Entering it, he began the tedious process of filling up the tunnel he had made; later, he'd have to fill the hole properly.
As Rumble worked, he thought about what Tessa had said about eagly-birds. They sounded really scary, and suddenly, he wasn't sure anymore if he wanted to be searching for them. Even if the eagly-bird that he'd seen hadn't attacked him in front of the adults. Nevertheless, a little part of him insisted that he should still leave Redwall and search for the bird.
This board contains all the threads involved in the current story arc.
As Dominique welcomed the guests to the resuming Party, Grundlink stood by and listened patiently. He exhaled low, hoping that the mystery of whoever was trying to disrupt the party – and by extension, endanger the lives of the partygoers – would be solved soon before any more accidents happened. He put the mic back in its stand and went back to this DJ set.
“Oy, everyone!” The rat spoke into the mic out at the crowd on the dance floor. “May I have everyone’s ‘ttention, please? I’d just like t’ ‘nnounce that I’ll now be takin’ song requests fer th’ remainder o’ the nigh’. So, come on up an’ look at me playlist on my laptop, an’ feel free t’ choose whatever sticks out t’ ya, ‘kay? Thankee, everyone, an’ party on!” He turned his laptop back on and prepared to set the needles on a new duo of turntables.
Azem and Azroel watched their younger sister Starlight as she played basketball on the court on the west end of the enormous yard. Azem sat in a lawn chair munching on a ham and cheese sandwich; Azroel was sitting cross-legged on the grass, scanning the chisel and trowel he’d found earlier with a blacklight, hoping to find pawprints or fingerprints.
Azroel growled in annoyance and shut off the blacklight. “Damn it. No good. Whoever used these must’ve been wearing gloves. Smart that they knew to cover their tracks.” He stood up, holding the chisel and trowel delicately in his latex gloves. “So, we’re back to square one. I guess the only other option is to start asking around.” He looked back up at the center of the lawn, on the dance floor.
“We already know that Grundlink has been in his place the entire time. He’s only ever left to eat or go to the bathroom.” The black fox rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “We’re innocent in this, for sure. You guys arrived at the Party before I did, with Grundlink, of course. No way either of us would’ve had the time to climb up and mess with the stone on the roof.”
Azem swallowed his bite of sandwich and nodded apologetically at his twin brother. “It’s still my fault for not texting you back when you got here. You don’t have to forgive me, bro. That’s on me.”
Azroel snickered and ruffled Azem’s hair. “I’ll let you off the hook this time. It’s just one party. But do it again on any future parties, and I might not be as lenient, and neither will Mom and Dad.”
Azem finished his sandwich and wiped his paws on a napkin. “So, what do we do now?”
Azroel sighed regretfully and shook his head. “I’m going to beat myself up for this for the rest of the night. But…the only choice we have left is to question everyone. Problem is, everyone has an alibi, just as Dominique said.”
Azem passed Azroel a Sprite and opened his own Coke. “‘Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.’”
“F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby,” Azroel nodded and clanked his soda against his brother’s. Both foxes drank deeply, and Azroel began to make his way back up.
“Oh! Azro, wait!” Azem redirected his attention back to the basketball court. “Star’s going for the goal!”
They watched with bated breath as Starlight juked around one lunging beast and spun past another, leaping effortlessly into the air to perform a perfect alley-oop right into the hoop.
Her brothers cheered with admiration from the sidelines. “Yeah!” Azem pumped his fist in the air. “That was the best alley-oop in history!”
“That’s why she’s the school team captain!” Azroel whooped and clapped for his sister. “That’s our baby girl!”
Starlight blew a kiss to them, and they blew theirs back. Azroel patted Azem on the back. “All right, bro. Keep your phone close. I’ll let you know if I learn anything.” He turned and climbed up the stone staircase back to the main party area, sipping his Sprite.
He found Dominique and went up to her. “We’re going be stuck here for the rest of the night questioning everybody. I don’t think we’ve got a choice, though. Where do we even start?”