The Kids from C.A.P.E.R.: The Sinister Finster Mystery (celeb asfr nosex)

WARNING: This story contains no erotic or pornographic material, and is suitable for readers of all ages. Sorry about that.

Part I

Hi! I'm P. T., and this is my town - Northeast Southweston. At least it's been my town since I moved here 24 hours ago. But in those 24 hours, a lot of really bizarre things have happened. For me, it all began yesterday morning, when I stepped out onto the daylight streets of Northeast Southweston for the first time after moving in. It looked so much like a typical American small town…but something was wrong. The streets were almost empty of people. And when I did spot anyone, they seemed to be rushing furtively from one corner to the next, glancing around as if they thought something was going to jump out at them at any moment. Right away my nose told me something was up, and I mean that literally. Seymour is my nose, and he recognized the pungent smell of fear. Wondering what was up, I spotted a newspaper box and decided to check the local headlines for a clue. I could see that the box was freshly filled, so I dropped a dime in the slot (don't laugh, this is 1976, remember?) and pulled the door open. But when I reached in to grab a paper -


I bent down and peered inside. I wasn't imagining it. I hadn't imagined seeing all those papers a second ago, either. From somewhere offscreen, I heard what sounded like a weird, cackling laugh.

I looked around suspiciously, but the only person in sight was a guy about my own age walking along the sidewalk. He didn't look like he'd even noticed me. Then again, he didn't look nervous or scared the way everyone else did, either. He was just strolling along with a sunny smile, humming to himself.

"Pardon me," I said, "Did you see a bunch of newspapers run by really fast?"

He stopped and thought for a moment. "I don't think so."

"Aha!" I said. "A pattern is forming. I didn't see them either."

"Don't worry," he said comfortingly. "They'll turn up somewhere. Probably somewhere REALLY STRANGE."

A second later, a flurry of newspapers fluttered down over my head and shoulders, as if some passing bird had dropped them on me. (Better newspapers than, well, something else.) The blonde guy just grinned. "See?"

I looked at him quizically. "How did you know that would happen?"

"It's been happening all over town for weeks. EVERYTHING keeps disappearing - chairs, toasters, people. Even chocolate! And then they'll turn up someplace else in a matter of seconds, sometimes clear across town. People are pretty shaken up," he said cheerfully.

"You don't seem too worried," I observed, ever alert for the significant factoid.

He shrugged. "My life can't get any worse than it is. I'm under a bad-luck curse. That's why I'm called Doomsday." He pointed to the little logo of a weeping man imprinted on his otherwise all-black costume.

"Anotherha!" I excaimed. "This could be meaningful. How do you know you're under a curse?"

"It happened months ago. I was carrying a brand new fudge pizza - fudge is my favorite - and I slipped on a banana peel and ruined it. A Gypsy saw the whole thing, and she said 'Kid, you have the worst luck!' I knew those words were a terrible Gypsy curse!"

"Did it come true?" I asked with interest. "Has a lot of bad stuff really happened?"

"All the time," he said gloomily. "Last week a letter I sent got lost in the mail. On Monday I stubbed my toe. And just yesterday, when I tried to make toast, it was completely burned." He shook his head woefully. "It's horrible having something like this hanging over your head."

"Um…do good things happen, too?" He sighed. "Yeah, lots of them, but it doesn't stop the bad ones. I'm doomed."

I clapped a hand on Doomsday's shoulder. "My friend, I have a humanitarian duty to talk you out of this strange obsession. But I'll do it in another episode. Right now, there are bigger things at stake." I tilted his head toward the audience, the two of us striking a dramatic pose. "Will you join with me in solving the eerie mystery that stalks the streets of Northeast Southweston?"

"Sure," he beamed. "We can go back to my place. I just stopped at Galaxy Pizza and ordered a delivery. It should arrive any time."

As he led the way down Dingleman Street, I asked curiously, "Why did you order a delivery if you were already there at the pizza place?" I stepped around a lamp that suddenly seemed to be right in my path.

"'Cause you get FREE DELIVERY! Only a dummy would pass that up!" He tapped his forehead wisely. A moment later he almost tripped over a large steel safe which hadn't been on the sidewalk a second before. "Darn it! That's the same safe I bumped into yesterday!

Typical of my luck!"

"It's not safe around here," I remarked.

"It is too! It's safe around here, safe over there, safe wherever you least expect it!" We turned the corner and I stubbed my big toe on that same safe, which had somehow gotten in front of us again. "See?" he said.

"Did you just hear something?" I asked, rubbing my sore foot.

"You mean like a strange giggly cackly kind of laugh?"


He shook his head. "Nope."

"Strange." I looked around, narrowing my eyes. "I could have sworn…"

"Mr. Featherstone says swearing is the resort of those with nothing to say." Before I could ask who that was, he pointed proudly ahead. "That's my van - the Blue Baloney."

I scratched my head. It looked like any other van. "I can see that it's blue, but why baloney?"

"Well, when Smilin' Sid was giving me his sales pitch, I wasn't sure I was going to buy it. But then a guy passing by said, `Kid, that's a lot of baloney'. I took that as a recommendation."

I frowned. "We can't keep repeating that joke every episode. Maybe you could just put a twenty-foot hot dog on top or something."

Doomsday's eyes lit up. "Couldn't I just eat it?"

"YOU probably could."

He led the way into the Blue Baloney, calling out, "Mr. Featherstone, I'm home!" In the back seat, a rubbery-looking cross-eyed shark leapt up in a large tank, crying out "Burblewurblebloop!"

"Mr. Featherstone, this is P. T.," said Doomsday happily. "He's going to help us solve the mystery!"

"Dwurblefloob!" said Mr. Featherstone.

I wasn't sure if I was supposed to shake hands - uh, hand-and-flipper - or not.

"Mr. Featherstone has been working on it himself," Doomsday explained. "He keeps sending me to the library to do more research." He shook his head. "The librarians act so weird when he goes in himself. It's like they don't understand a word he's saying."

"Snorfle!" said the shark with disdain.

At that moment, just outside the van, a thin, fidgety man pulled out a tape recorder and began to speak. "Investigation, tape one," he whispered urgently. "This is going to be the big one, folks! This is going to be the scoop that finally gets me that hotshot reporting job! Okay, I struck out in Chicago. I struck out in Metropolis. I struck out in Eerie, Indiana. But here in my home town, with my Mommy to inspire me - hi, Mom! - Kurt Klinsinger is going to make it big!" Darting his eyes left and right, he shut off the tape recorder and knocked on the Big Baloney. "Galaxy Pizza!"

Doomsday opened the door and reached for the box, handing him a bill. "Right on time!"

"Pretty good disguise," I complimented Klinsinger. "You look just like a real pizza boy."

He scowled. "I am a real pizza boy. But not forever!" Pulling his collar up over his chin to look more mysterious, he sidled away. "Mmmmm!" said Doomsday happily, opening up the pizza. "Peaches and chocolate sauce!"

I took a moment to digest that. (The concept, that is. I don't think I could digest the pizza.) Fortunately, before he could offer me a slice, Mr Featherstone said "Wurbleburblegurble."

"What girl?" asked Doomsday blankly.


"Oh, THAT girl!"

Then the rear doors opened, and the Girl came in.

Part II

"Hi!" said the girl. "I'm Felicia Fullthrottle, Girl Trucker. Have you seen a truckload of concrete?"

"Not me," I said, looking at her svelte female figure in leather jacket and tight jeans. "Have you seen a truckload of concrete?"

"Not me," said Doomsday, looking at her big green eyes and cascades of red hair. "Have you seen a truckload of concrete?"

"Nooble bloop," said Mr. Featherstone, looking at both our reactions to Felicia and shaking his head.

"Darn!" She put her hands on her hips, looking frustrated and sexy. "I swear it was right there in my truck when I drove into
Finster Tunnel. But as soon as I came out on this side I could feel the weight difference. Six tons of solid concrete gone in a flash! It's really embarrassing."

"Hmm," I said wisely. "So it vanished in Finster Tunnel! Finster Tunnel - once again the nexus of the bizarre and the unexplained!" I turned to Doomsday. "What is Finster Tunnel?"

"Huh?" he said, tearing his eyes from Felicia with an effort. "Oh, it runs under Mykeldorf Mountain. It's one of the only two routes into Northeast Southweston - that and the Roger T. Fogelman Junior Memorial Bridge."

"This is an important clue," I declared declaratively. "Everything that's been disappearing - or reappearing -
has been within the town limits. And Felicia's cargo vanished as soon as she passed the town limits."

"It'll probably be back," Doomsday told her reassuringly. "In fact, knowing my luck, it'll drop on our heads at any moment."
"That's good to know," she said gratefully.

"Let's not wait around for that to happen," I proposed. "If Finster Tunnel is a clue, we should go there and investigate."

"Cool!" Doomsday got behind the wheel and started up the Blue Baloney's engine. In a moment we were speeding across town, making excellent time in the almost-deserted streets (though we had to swerve several times as an ironing board, an ostrich and a large tray of creampuffs appeared in our path).

"What's that whining noise?" I asked. "Do we have engine trouble?"

"The Blue Baloney?" cried Doomsday indignantly. "Never!" Felicia looked out the window. "I think it's that strange man with the tape recorder who was leaning on the door. He's still leaning on it."

I adjusted the rearview mirror. Sure enough, Klinsinger the pizza reporter was hanging on for dear life, with his tie caught in the door. "Don't mind me!" he screamed. "Just pretend I'm not here!" The four of us looked at each other and said "Okay". (At least, I assume that's what "flurble" means.)

When we arrived at the entrance to Finster Tunnel, we found we were not the only ones there. A tall, dark-haired young man was pacing up and down in the tunnel entrance, examining everything and making observations out loud. Even in a tee-shirt and jeans, there was something strangely precise and formal about him.

"Entrance height, 11 feet 6 inches," he announced to nobody in particular. "Hmm. Width, 20 feet exactly. Composition: probably a mixture of basalt and granite."

Klinsinger, staggering and gasping after dropping off the van's door, looked at him curiously. "Do you have a pocket tape recorder?"

The tall guy looked at him as if he was an interruption. "I don't need one. My precise, computer-like mind records everything."

"Great!" I said with enthusiasm. "That's just what we'll need to help solve this mystery! I'm P. T., and this is Doomsday."

"And I'm Felicia Fullthrottle, Girl Trucker," she added.

Doomsday jerked a thumb at Klinsinger. "And he's some pizza guy."

"I'm called Doc," said our new recruit.

"Because you're a doctor?" Felicia asked, impressed.

"No," he said, sounding as if he was really tired of getting that question. "Because my initials are D. O. C."

"That spells Doc!" exclaimed Doomsday brightly.

Doc looked at him. "Yes," he said. "It does."

"Gosh, I bet you're really smart," said Felicia admiringly. The way she was looking over Doc's face and figure, I had a feeling that wasn't all she was admiring.

"Yes," he smiled. "My mind is brilliant - "

"Oh my goodness!" she gasped. "I could swear I hear church bells ringing!"

" - efficient - " he continued.

"And now I'm hearing a thousand violins!"

" - and totally logical," he finished, shaking her hand formally.

"Do you hear it? The thundering hoofbeats?" She looked around at us in amazement. "That is SO much sexier than anyone I've met in a long time!"

Hey!" said Doomsday resentfully. "I'm standing right here!" Then he spread his arms wide...and started singing and dancing in front of the tunnel:

"Baby, open up your eyes and see
We are something that was meant to be
Won't you reach out to me
I'm standin' right here

"Don't be fooled by what you think you've found
You need someone who won't let you down
Take a look around
I'm standin' right here"

I looked from one of them to the other. First Doc had been talking to an invisible audience, and now Doomsday was singing in the middle of the street.

I was starting to feel at home with these guys already.

Suddenly Doomsday was interrupted by sounds from the tunnel - strange, spooky, scary sounds! We all stared as the ghostly moaning echoed off the tunnel walls.

"Someone should investigate that," Doc said after a moment. He looked at Doomsday.

"Yeah," said Doomsday. "Someone should investigate that." He looked at me.

"Yeah," I said, turning to Klinsinger. "Someone - "

"Get in there and find my concrete!" yelled Felicia.

Cautiously we all ventured in. The eerie groaning came again, and I said boldly, "I'm sure it's nothing to be afraid of."

"I'm not afraid," said Doc, sounding as calm as if he meant it.

"I'm not afraid," said Felicia.

"I'm not afraid," Doomsday agreed. "As long as it isn't... goblins."

"Goblins?" scoffed Klinsinger. "There are no such things as goblins!"

Then he screamed like a girl as a terrifying figure jumped out in front of us - a grotesque creature with huge glaring eyes and snaggle teeth. It waved its arms wildly. We waved our legs wildly in the direction of the exit! The weird and unearthly being chased after us, still moaning and gesticulating. It followed us right out into the daylight!

Then it stopped and said, in a muffled but human voice, "Hey, wait!" Grabbing its own face, it pulled hard - and its mask came off, revealing a short, nerdy guy with thick glasses underneath. "Man! I thought I'd NEVER get that thing off!"

We stared.

"Uh...hi. I'm Bugs," he said sheepishly.

"Obviously," Doc said dryly. "But why were you wearing that mask?"

"I was undercover. I went into the tunnel in disguise because...I saw something in there that really looked like this!"

There was a burst of sinister, scary music as we reacted. "I knew it," said Doomsday ominously. "Goblins!"

"Say," asked Felicia, "while you were in there, did you happen to see a truckload of concrete?"

"Sure," said Bugs sarcastically. "I've got it on me."

"Really?" she asked in surprise. "Let me see!" She grabbed his clothes and started to pull them off.

"No!" shouted Doc, Doomsday, Klinsinger and I.

"Yes!" Bugs protested, but Felicia had already stopped. "It's no use," she sighed. "I'm gonna have to report to the construction site and tell them what happened."

"But we don't KNOW what happened," Doc pointed out.

"Yes!" Bugs repeated plaintively, but nobody was listening.

"What construction site is this, anyway?" I asked.

"Oh, it's that new skyscraper that's going up - the Krelbin Building. We started bringing in the materials two weeks ago."

"Two weeks ago!" exclaimed Doc, Doomsday and Klinsinger together. "Why, that's - " They all exchanged a significant look.

" - the day I had to renew my library card!" Doomsday finished in awe.

" - the day my Mommy bought me my tape recorder!" Klinsinger added.

"Irving R. Feldman's birthday!" Felicia chipped in.

Doc looked at them. "That's all very interesting," he said, "except that most of it isn't. But what's really interesting is that it's the exact time the strange disappearances began!"

I looked directly into the camera. "Then that important!" I turned back to the others. "We'll come with you to the site, Felicia. I have a hunch the answers we're looking for are there!"

"Do we have time for that before the commercial?" Doomsday wondered.

"This is the internet," said Doc. "There is no commercial." Doomsday's eyes widened. "Far out!"

Part III

The Blue Baloney pulled up at the construction site, where a fat, balding man in a police uniform was standing and watching the workmen. "Hi, Sergeant Vinton!" called Doomsday cheerfully.

"Oh, hi, Doomsday," said the policeman. "Come to see the new building going up? It's so interesting I could stand stand here and watch it all day. In fact, I have."

"What about all the mysterious disappearances?" I asked. "Who's working on solving that?"

"You have been, for the last two chapters," replied Sergeant Vinton blandly.

Bugs nodded. "He's got us there."

Felicia strode up to the construction foreman with an unhappy look on her pretty face. "Uh, hi, Stu, I have to talk to you about that latest shipment of concrete..."

"Oh, yeah," the foreman smiled. "It's been a big help, thanks. We've used half of it already."

Felicia stared. "You got here?"

"Yup. Hours ago."

Doomsday beamed. "See? Everything turns up somewhere."

Doc was frowning. "Yes, but this is a special case. If I'm not mistaken - and I never am - this is the first time that anything has disappeared, and then reappeared exactly where it was supposed to be!"

I snapped my fingers. "That's right! Everything else turned up somewhere weird and unpredictable."

"And," Klinsinger added excitedly, "the fact that everything else turned up somewhere weird and unpredictable makes it weird and unpredictable for the concrete to turn up where it belongs!"

We looked at him for a moment, then turned to Stu the foreman. "Excuse me," I said, "but I think this could be important. Could you tell us more about this building?"

He shrugged. "Not a lot to tell. It's gonna be a really tall office building, really good location. This is where the old zeppelin terminal used to be, you know." He pulled out a bundle of blueprints and spread them out on a little worktable. "See for yourselves."

I picked them up and studied them, handing them on to Doc. He handed them on to the others, but Bugs and Doomsday both reached for them at once, and a couple of pages slipped out of their hands. A sheet of blueprint paper blew away into the air, quickly disappearing over the nearby rooftops. "Gee," said Doomsday, "I hope that wasn't anything too important."

"These men are professionals," Doc chided him. "What do you think they're going to do, forget to put the elevator in?"

"It all looks normal," I said, "but I still have a hunch that this site holds the key to the mystery somehow. Can we look around?"

"Sorry," said Stu. "No access to the site without an ID badge. Company rules."

"Isn't there any way we can get ID badges?" demanded Bugs.

"Nope. Can't hand 'em out. And they're sitting out on a desk in my unlocked office, completely unguarded, so there's no way you can get to them."

We exchanged significant glances. "Gosh, that's a shame," I said loudly. "I guess we just can't get onto the site!" I gestured to Doc, Bugs, Doomsday and Felicia to follow me, and headed for Stu's unlocked, unguarded office.

"So if we can't get onto the site, what do we do now?" asked Doomsday worriedly.

Bugs rolled his eyes. "Do you know how silly that question is?" Doomsday thought for a moment. "No, how silly?"

Bugs puffed out his thin chest. "I happen to be the strongest man in the world. I can just tear down the fence and we'll walk right in. Watch." He stopped and took a deep breath, concentrating his karmic energy. Then he unleashed a kung fu kick that smashed right through the corrugated iron barrier. It fell to the ground with a resounding, echoing crash.

"Wow!" said Felicia, impressed.

Doc opened the door to Stu's office. "Or we can just use the door."

"Oh, sure," said Bugs. "Go for the obvious."

I hurried into the office and grabbed up five of the ID badges from the desk. "Here," I said, tossing them to the others, "put these on before that noise attracts attention!"

A moment later Sergeant Vinton came running up. Seeing us wearing badges, he asked, "Have you obviously authorized construction workers seen any trespassers around?"

"Not us!" we chorused.

He relaxed. "Good. Then I can get back to watching the building going up." He turned and walked out.

"That was close!" I exclaimed. "Come on, let's start snooping around. Bugs, Doc, you go that way. Felicia and I can go this way."

"What about Doomsday?" asked Felicia.

"I could go both ways," he suggested brightly.

"Not on a Saturday morning show you can't. Okay, you go with Bugs. Doc, you're with Felicia and me."

We split up, and the three of us headed over toward the front of the uncompleted building. "They're really making progress," I noted. "It looks like it's more than half finished already."

Doc's brow furrowed. "In only two weeks? How is that possible?"

"Yeah," Felicia chipped in. "I was just here with a delivery two days ago, and that whole side hadn't even been started yet!"

I turned a corner, and almost bumped right into Klinsinger, who was skulking behind a concrete mixer with his tape recorder out. "Oops, watch it!" I told him.

Strangely, Klinsinger didn't react. In fact, he didn't move at all - just remained hunched over staring at the tape recorder in his hand. "Um, Klinsinger?" I asked. "Hello?" I waved a hand in front of his face, but he didn't blink.

"Look!" Felicia gasped, pointing up at the sky. Our eyes followed hers, and we gasped too. There was a flock of birds right overhead - but their wings weren't moving. They were frozen in flight, suspended in the air like a still picture.

Doc spun to stare at the street, pointing silently. A car stood in the westbound lane, its wheels still, its driver staring straight ahead toward the intersection. Stopped cold.

Yet the sounds of the construction site continued as usual. We looked and saw that the workmen were still lifting concrete blocks and laying them in place, still operating their high-powered equipment, still calling instructions to each other. What was going on?

"A selective temporal stasis!" exclaimed Doc.

"A what?" asked Felicia blankly.

"Something has stopped time," he explained, "but not for the construction crew. And I believe that that is our answer!" He turned to me. "P. T., I'm going to take my ID badge off. I want you to put it back on me."

I blinked. "Why not just do it yourself?"

"Because I don't think I'll be able to." He braced himself for a second, then reached up, removed his badge and handed it to me. The instant he let go of it he stopped moving, frozen with his arm outstretched.

"Oh no!" cried Felicia. "Not him too!"

I waved a hand in front of Doc's eyes. No response. At that moment Bugs and Doomsday came running up. "Hey guys," gasped Doomsday, "you won't believe what we just saw!"

"Oh wow," added Bugs, taking in the scene. "Docsicle!"

Remembering Doc's last instructions, I suddenly realized what he was getting at. I reached out and pinned the badge back onto his tee-shirt, and immediately he looked around, seeing that the others had joined us. "Yes!" he said triumphantly. "I was, inevitably, right!"

"It's the badges," I nodded. "They're what's keeping us from freezing like everything else! That's why the construction crew isn't affected!"

Just then a voice boomed over a loudspeaker system: "Attention! There are outsiders on the site, wearing stolen ID badges! They must be apprehended at once!"

"Quick!" cried Bugs. "Take off your badges so they won't spot us!"

Instinctively we pulled off our badges and tossed them on the ground -

" - kind of a dumb idea, huh?" Bugs was saying the next thing I knew.

I sat up, realizing that I had been lying on the ground. Doc, Doomsday and Felicia were sitting up too, a bit tangled up in each other's arms and legs. Apparently we had been stacked on the ground like logs! I jumped to my feet and saw Stu the foreman there, along with Bugs, Klinsinger, Sergeant Vinton and a gnarled little man with big goggly eyes and crooked teeth.

"You've got some explaining to do!" I said boldly to the goblin (what else could he be?).

"And some apologizing!" glared Felicia.

The weird little man sighed. "Yes, I'm afraid you've figured out our little secret. But please don't be upset. We were only trying to keep from losing our contract."

"Contract?" questioned Doc.

"Yes. I'm Morris Krelbin, the designer of this building. We have a contract with the town council to have it up and ready for business by the thirteenth of June. It's going to be the biggest thing in Northeast Southweston. But we found that there's no way we could possibly have it finished by then! There just wasn't enough time to get it done! So rather than let everybody down..."

"You stopped time!" we all exclaimed together.

"Allowing your crew to do weeks of work while only a split second passed for everyone else!" I added.

Mr. Krelbin looked pleased with himself. "We didn't break any laws or union rules. Just the laws of probability."

Doc nodded. "And the things and people that disappeared didn't really disappear. You just moved them around while time was frozen."

"But why?" demanded Klinsinger, shoving his tape recorder at the goblin. "Why would you want to move people to some bizarre place?"

"And ostriches?" added Bugs.

"And fudge?" added Doomsday indignantly.

Mr. Krelbin blushed. "Well, it's part of our ethnic heritage, you know. Goblins are famous for pulling mischievous pranks. Ask anybody."

Sergeant Vinton scratched his head. "Well, now, when you put it that way - we wouldn't want to deprive Goblin-Americans of their ethnic heritage."

I nodded. "So all those incidents of people suddenly finding their clothes removed were just part of a quaint cultural tradition!"

"Absolutely!" Bugs agreed quickly, pushing the ID badge further down into his pocket. "I mean, who but goblins would do something like that?"

Krelbin beamed. "Once the good people of this town discover the economic benefits of the Krelbin Building, they'll realize what an asset we can be to the community. This is going to be a landmark, you know. People will come from far and wide to see the view from the roof."

"I wouldn't bet on it," I said, with a knowing wink at the audience.

"Mr. Krelbin," said Klinsinger eagerly, "now that the cat is out of the bag, I'm sure people would be fascinated to hear all about your plans for Northeast Southweston. Would you grant me an interview?"

"Why, certainly. Step up to my office." The two of them strolled off together, Klinsinger's eyes lighting up at the thought of the scoop this would be for him - enough to get him a real reporting job for sure!

"So tell me," he was saying, "what made you decide to become a goblin?"

"Well, Kurt, once I found out about all the career opportunities - "

Felicia smiled happily. "I guess that lets me off the hook for that delivery. I can get back home now." She looked at Doc. "Unless there's someone here who'd like to get to know me better."

"Of course I would," Doc told her. "You've shown considerable intellectual acumen during this investigation. I'm sure we could find many fascinating topics to discuss."

Felicia thought about that for a second. "Well, guess I'll be going."

Then Doomsday stepped in front of her. "Felicia...there's something I've got to say to you.

"Baby, open up your eyes and see
We are something that was meant to be
Won't you reach out to me
I'm standin' right here

"Don't be fooled by what you think you've found
You need someone who won't let you down
Take a look around
I'm standin' right here

"You'll never have to feel that you're all alone
You know you'll always have my love to call your own
I'll come a-runnin' 'fore you even pick up the phone
To call
At all

"Now he's left you feelin' sad and blue
Trust me, baby, I've been there too
But there's still someone who
Is standin' right here

"Dry your eyes now and don't be sad
There's a boy who'll never treat you bad
Honey, ain't you glad
I'm standin' right here?
I'm standin' right here."

Felicia looked into Doomsday's hopeful eyes. Then she leaned forward and kissed him, leaving a huge sunny smile on his face. "I'll be back with more deliveries soon," she promised. "I'll be in touch." With a wink at him, and a friendly wave to the rest of us, she headed back to her truck.

"Wow," sighed Doomsday as we walked back to the Blue Baloney. "I guess even I have some good-luck days!" Mr. Featherstone, leaning out the window, burbled his approval.

Sergeant Vinton followed us. "Boys, you've done an amazing job solving this case," he drawled. "Why, I didn't have to do anything useful even once. I'd be proud to shake your hands." He did just that. After shaking hands with Doc, who was last, he looked around for a second in confusion. "Did you boys hear a horse go by?"

"No!" we chorused.

"Absolutely not," Doc added firmly.

"Well, anyway, I was wondering if you boys would like to help out with some cases in the future. There's an old storage room at the precinct house that we hardly ever use. If you wanted a place to use as your headquarters... "

I exchanged looks with the others, then spoke for us all. "We would be honored!"

"Great. Come on by the station any time." He left, shaking his head slightly. "Horses," I heard him muttering. "Weird..."

"You know, we ought to have a name," I said. "Some kind of unique, catchy name."

"I know!" said Doomsday eagerly. "The Club for the Protection of Everybody!"

"It lacks authority," Doc objected.

"Okay," I said. "The Authority for the Protection of Everybody."

They all just looked at me and said, "A. P. E.? "

"Okay, forget I said that."

"How about the Civilian Authority for the Protection of Everybody?" Bugs suggested. "And we could all wear - "

"I'm saving up for a suit," Doc interrupted in a desert-dry voice, "but I guarantee a cape won't be part of it."

"It still sounds kinda cool," I argued. "Maybe we should go with it, regardless."

And then we all looked at each other. And we all said it at once: "The Civilian Authority for the Protection of Everybody - Regardless!"

"Burbleflurb!" cried Mr. Featherstone.

"Ba baa," I fanfared, and the others joined in: "Ba baa, ba bap baa, babababababa bap bap baaa..." Even Mr. Featherstone joined in, with a sound like a strangling piccolo. We looked into each other's faces, and we all grinned. Even Doc grinned.

Because that was when we knew the adventures were just beginning.