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Chapter 4 - Nice to Finally Meet You

As Amy ate her soup she studied Theo, her gut told her that he was a genuinely good person, and if there was one thing she always listened to, it was her intuition. However, his attire didn’t seem to match his personality. The tan suit that he couldn’t stop fidgeting with was worn with small stains that looked like they had been there for ages. His tie was loose around his neck and the top button of his shirt had been undone in a frenzy on their drive.

He was just over six feet tall, barrel chested, and had medium length messy light brown hair, blue-green eyes, and a square jaw covered in rough stubble that surrounded a smile that never seemed to cease. I bet everyone that meets this guy loves him Amy thought as she watched him inhale his soup ecstatically.

“Have you ever eaten before?” Amy asked seemingly unamused,

“Nothing like this!” Theo garbled over his mouth full of soup

Ami was used to these kinds of reactions to her food, however, not nearly as enthusiastically.. “You know, it’s just chicken noodle soup right?” she stared in bewilderment as Theo messily slurped noodles into his mouth.

“Yeah, with crack” he said with a big chicken noodle grin.

After Theo had finished his third bowl of soup, he leaned back in his chair, a took a deep breath, completely satisfied “So are you ready?”

“Yep, I got my bag packed.” Amy pointed to a small bright purple purse sitting on the coffee table in the living room.

Theo looked at the small bag, then at Amy. “That’s your bag?” He was baffled, the tiny bag couldn’t fit a stick of deodorant, much less everything needed for a roadtrip of uncertain duration. Unless she was copying Harr… He looked around at the stacks of books and found her inspiration then brought his attention back to her cocking an eyebrow.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s a knock off. Don’t judge. It was a really good idea, and I won’t apologize for making it real. So are you ready?” Amy asked as she finished putting the dishes in the sink and grabbed the bag with mock attitude.

Theo shrugged. He didn’t fully grasp everything that was going on, but he had faith that he would get it in time. “Yep, let's do this” he said, groaning as he rose from his chair.

As Amy closed the door she pursed her lips and blew as if she was blowing out birthday candles and all the lights and candles went dark. Then she locked her door and walked towards Theo’s jalopy as he stood there slackjaw. The reality and importance of her confession finally striking him like a freight train going approximately 753 mph.

She was a witch. She had magic. She could make alien plants and heal the sick. She had magic. She could light candles with a birthday breath. She was a witch. What else was she capable of?

Theo blinked, realizing that he was still standing on her porch with his mouth open gaping at her as she tapped her fingers on the roof of his locked car.

“Do you get it now?” she yelled across the now illuminated swirling living garden.

Theo allowed his scope of vision to expand to his surroundings. He noticed plants emitting small lights. So small that they could have been mistaken for glitter, if there was any light source for them to reflect off of. He saw flowers swirling like plants illuminated and glorious. He saw small animals that he’d never imagined lounging on leaves and peeking around plant stalks. And his mouth opened wider. Then a lightning bug flew straight up his nose bringing him back to life at the speed of approximately 753 mph.

Theo snorted and coughed and, for some reason, slapped himself in the face until the bug had successfully escaped his nose cavity. He took a few breaths and looked up to see the woman who he’d correctly assumed was as far from frail as her stature would suggest towering over him. She was dressed in black, blending in with the night, however, illuminated by the flowers and strange creatures offering their light.

“Don’t worry dear, I’m a good witch” she said misquoting The Wizard of Oz with a smile and a wink, as she finally offered her hand to shake.

Theo stood to his full height, smiled, then grasped hers. “It’s nice to finally meet you Ms. Amy”


The sun had just started its rise as Amy opened her eyes and looked over to see Theo snoring in the seat next to her. From her reclined seat she saw a giant sign that promoted a live tiger roadside attraction. “Where the fuck are we?” Amy asked loudly, waking Theo with a snort.

She was almost blinded by the bright shirt that he’d changed into while she slept. Some would call it a Hawaiian shirt, but Amy seriously doubted that any one in Hawaii would wear something so alarming. It was bright orange and covered in yellow and blue pineapples. He’d also changed into a pair of beat up khaki cargo shorts. As startling as the garments were, they suited him far better than the wardrobe from the previous day.

Groggily, Theo answered “We’re outside Grosse Tete, I had to wait till the morning to ask Dorris for the address. She gets mad when I wake her up in the middle of the night, so I thought I’d catch a few winks too.”

Blinking repeatedly to wake up, he inclined his seat and started the car again, then pulled out his cell phone and dialed the only number he had listed in his favorites.

“Hello there beautiful, how are you this fine morning!” Theo sang in an overly cheerful voice. Amy heard a scratchy irritated woman's voice on the other end of the phone, but couldn’t make out what she was saying.

“I’m doing great, we are on our way to a lead but I need the address of Mr. Walcott's grandmother, the one who hired us, can you help me with that?”

After waiting a few moments, he wrote something down on the back of an old receipt then thanked the woman and hung up. “Ok, I think it’s about an hour away. You want some food? This place has some great tornadoes.

“What in the hell is a tornado?” Amy asked disgustedly, looking at the rundown gas station, skeptical of what they considered breakfast.

“You’ll love em” Theo replied then went into the gas station to get some. He returned with two coffees and a full bag of the gas stations famous dish.

As Amy bit into one, she couldn’t figure out a single ingredient that went into making the disgusting treat. They looked like a taquito and were filled with something that resembled meat and cheese, but were no where close to actual meat and cheese.

“Is this the famous tiger?” Amy asked pointing to the concoction in her hand.

Theo laughed, “No, that was Tony, he died a few years ago, but I hear they’re about to get a tiger cub to replace him soon. I couldn’t tell you what was in these babies, but they’ve kept me going through the years.”

“No wonder you reacted the way you did when you ate my soup” Amy laughed and took another bite of the mysterious substance, as disgusted as she was, she couldn’t seem to stop herself from eating the entire thing.

About an hour later, the car pulled up to a giant victorian home fit for a film. It had a beautiful yard, albeit nothing compared to the gardens that Amy had shaped. The white mansion had a large front porch with giant white columns holding up the second story and a swing with an elderly lady lazily gliding back and forth. The two got out of the car and headed towards the manor.

“Hello ma’am” Theo said as they approached “I’m Theo, the P.I. you hired to solve the murder of Mr. Walcott.”

The lady, who had seemed startled to have guests, began to smile. “Oh Theo, I was hoping you would come visit me! What happened to Mitch was just a shame” she remarked.

“Yes ma’am, it was. This is Amy” He nodded towards Amy who gave an awkward wave.

“Is she your assistant?” Mrs. Walcott asked

“Oh no ma’am, she was close to your grandson and is helping me solve this case” Theo answered.

“Well in that case, both of your are welcome to come inside and chat” Mrs. Walcott replied.

The three entered the house and went into a front room that looked like it was for entertaining guests, but hadn’t seen any action in a long time. Mrs. Walcott asked if the two would like something to drink then politely asked an aid to get some iced tea.

As they drank their tea, Amy asked, “Were you the person who used to call and check on Mitch?”

“Oh yes, that was me. I would have come and visit him more, but I can’t get around very well these days” Mrs. Walcott replied.

“Oh I understand, I was just happy someone in his family was there for him. It didn’t seem like his immediate family cared at all” Amy responded

Mrs. Walcott’s face abruptly shifted into a scowl, “Those bastards don’t know a thing about how to treat family anymore,” she spat.

“No kidding, how could someone just drop their kid off and never check on him again?” Amy agreed without missing a beat.

“And you know something else,” Mrs. Walcott continued pointing a finger at Amy, “I don’t know if Mitch was all that sick, those people aren’t the children I raised. Who knows who they are with all those computers and Instant Face that takes up their lives now.”

Amy cocked an eyebrow, physically trying to hold down her laughter and judgement, then realized that this old woman could be onto something. Mitch was convinced that his parents were imposters, what if he wasn’t wrong. What if he acted crazy because he’d had it with people not listening to him? Her mouth dropped open as the idea formed in her mind and she looked at Theo, “We have to go see his parents.”

Epiphany Acrylic Painting

“I was thinking the same thing” coming to the same conclusion that she had. His open mindedness was startling to her after so many years in Crescent, but she guessed in order to do this job one would have to be open to all possibilities.

“Are you leaving so soon?” Mrs. Walcott asked, her face saddening,

“No ma’am, we would love to stay and talk for as long as you’d your willing to have us” Theo responded without hesitation. Her face brightened tremendously at this considerate young man. They stayed for a few hours talking about Mitch and how his parents had changed and walked around the garden, Amy and Mrs. Walcott exchanging gardening secrets until the late afternoon, then headed out to the car once again, this time to New Orleans to confront a mental patients’ monsters.

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