Hugh McPearson and the Confounding Riddles Added£0.99
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(A short story of 4280 words)

Hugh McPearson and the Confounding Riddles

Children's Humour

by Steve Way

In his sixth bizarre adventure Hugh (and his brother who is also called Hugh) face their nemesis. This mysterious master villain has already stolen all the gold from The Bank of England and all the paintings from Buckingham Palace and now Hugh (and Hugh) have to prevent the villain from... well, they don't know what to prevent unless they can crack the villain's mysterious coded riddles. According to Hugh (Hugh's brother) a total twit is needed. Confused? Read on...

Hello reader. I guess you've never heard of a Ten of Spades Detective before, or even an ostrich detective. You've probably only heard of Ace Detectives, run by my annoyingly brilliant brother, who confusingly is also called Hugh. I call myself a Ten of Spades Detective because I take on the jobs the Ace Detectives leave behind... or can't be bothered with. Luckily, I’m occasionally helped out by my unofficial side-kick Gary Apparently, and by the use of my brilliant and original disguises… Well I thought I looked like an almond slice that time anyway… The jobs I've had have led me into a few unusual situations. Let me tell you about one of them.

Tuesday 9.23 a.m.

I was sitting at my desk ready for work, appreciating the fact that my desk was sitting at me, also ready for work. I hoped it had enjoyed its evening off the night before, like I had. However, for the desk that meant enjoying being in the same place as it was all day while we were sitting at each other ready for work (or actually working) but without us both sitting at each other being ready for work (or actually working.)

The phone began ringing so I presumed that the desk and I would soon be working rather than being ready for work (or enjoying time off not sitting at each other.)

I answered the phone.

“Hugh McPearson Detective Agency…” I began. “All Mysteries solved for a small few plus exp…”

“Oh, forget all that baloney!” interrupted a voice I recognised. “Particularly your ludicrous claim to be a ‘detective’ – someone should have you up for abuse of trade’s description – your claim’s an insult to we real detectives! You should describe yourself as ‘Hugh McPearson Totally Incompetent Twit’.

After a while I recognised the voice denigrating me. It was my brother the so-called ‘Ace Detective’… Well to be honest the actual Ace Detective.

“Hugh!” I declared when the penny finally dropped. “Why have you called me?” Despite his opinion of my competence – or rather lack of it – as a detective, Hugh had never bothered to call me just for the purpose of insulting me. Normally he saved up a year’s worth of insults for our annual family dinner at Christmas. I think mum and dad were finally getting fed up with it.

“I need a total twit,” replied my brother curtly.

“What?” I responded. Hugh seemed to have graduated to a higher level of brotherly abuse than usual but I still had no idea why he’d really called me.

“I need a total twit,” repeated Hugh. “The villain I’m trying to catch is completely unpredictable – I need someone who might be on the same wavelength as them. So I need a total twit. Obviously I immediately thought of you.”

“Let me get this straight…” I replied, trying to get things clear. “Despite calling me up out of the blue and insulting me, you actually need my help.”

“Yes… you’re the biggest and therefore most completely total twit I know,” replied Hugh. Grudgingly, he continued, “Please will you help me?”

There was a long pause. Hugh had never used the word ‘please’ in any sentence addressed to me… except possibly “please, go away” or “please, get out of the way” … although the word please was generally missing from those sentences in any case...

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