Jellybean Highfive never saw it coming. It struck him in the face like a punch to the face and he reeled as if hit really hard. Down he went, descending toward the earth like a shuttle’s reentry, surely as a canon ball falls on the forts of the ship’s shore enemies. He landed and looked around, like a landlocked country searching for the sea.
No one was there. Not any single some one.
He looked around again, certain he’d been struck, but flummoxed as to the cause. There were kids throwing a football back and forth about twenty feet away. They were right over there –if they weren’t ghost-wraiths, or spirit-persons.
He thought of Sherlock Holmes and then deduced that it might be the kids who were guilty of the bold-cold face-strike. He wished there was a cabbie he could summon for the twenty foot carriage ride to the investigation. Jellybean longed for a loyal Dr. Watshisname to accompany him and to say dumb things that Jellybean could, with arrogant grace, correct.
“No, no, my dear Dr. Watshisname. I’m afraid you’ve overlooked that I was struck hard in the face area and thrown down to the earth area. Further and more, you have overlooked looking over at them boys throwing things in the bally vicinity.”
Regretful, alone, nostalgic for a fictional Victorian age, face hurting in pain, he began to cross the distance. The boys, corporeal and jolly, were in the midst of their down-set-hutting. They played like little players on a grassy turf that stretched before a section of the long line of identical condos. Each condo was a copy of every other, save for the dissimilar numbers above the sliding-glass doors so clean and clear like transparent glass.
“Boys!” Jellybean said, far louder than he intended. “I wonder,” he whispered, overcorrecting, “if you could help me with an investigation into the cause of a face-crushing strike to my face a few moments back as I attempted to reenter condo 13?”
“No sir,” a boy with hair said. “We didn’t see nothing, except we turned to look after we heard a loud bang and you was on the ground.”
“I’m very interested in how interesting that answer is, son.” Jellybean said, holding an invisible, or rather, non-existent magnifying glass up to a closed eye, while looking at the boy with the other. “Please, carry on with the game.”
As he walked off, he realized that he could have made some kind of “the game’s a foot” comment that would have incorporated his private Sherlock fantasy and the boys’ game. Too late, he thought. “Drat,” he said. Then he said, “Oopsy-daisies.” Then he thought, Bummer.
As he meandered back, he mulled over the possibilities of the case. He loved this case –the case of the face what was striked. If some other detective had butted in at this moment, making inquiries of his own, Jellybean would have asked him to get off his case.
Just before he reached condo 13, an idea came to him in the form of a thought. “Yes!” he said with words. “I was thinking thoughts like this before the attack.” Noticing a cold drink sitting undrinked on his table, the fanning flame of the furious fire of his imagination burned into a burning pile of thoughts. He remembered, nostalgia-like, that this had happened before. He needed more fuel to transform his thoughts into full-blown and irrefutable deductive logic and there was fuel only a few feet away.
Like a thirsty detective, he dashed for the cup. “I have it, Dr. Watshisname!” he said, lunging, “the game’s a-foo…” he was cut off in mid-word as, once again, he was brutally face-smashed to the earth in the second such surprise attack of an invisible enemy.
He’s struck again, Jellybean thought.