MacDoozle looked down at his notes with considerable frustration. Dart guns or knives? Clearly someone had been lying to him. Or maybe they had just not cared enough to tell the truth. He had to take a full four deep breaths before he got up the courage and patience to pick another person to interview.
He quickly scanned the lines, looking for someone who looked normal and harmless. There—a young man with a thick book under his arm and a well ironed button-up shirt hanging about his boney shoulders. He did have a large backpack on, which was a little odd, but no matter. He had short blonde hair and an open sort of expression so MacDoozle called him over.
“Boy could I use a coffee right now,” MacDoozle said to himself as the young man sat down.
“Yes sir, right away sir,” said the young man, swinging his backpack around onto his lap and opening it.
MacDoozle was very surprised by this behavior and didn’t say anything for a moment. Then he opened his mouth to ask ‘what are you doing?’ but before he said anything the young man had produced a mug of steaming liquid from his bag that smelled for all the world like coffee. The man held it out to him and MacDoozle put out his hand instinctively, only to find the warm mug pressed into it.
“Well, thanks,” said MacDoozle, because there really was nothing else he could think of to say.
“No problem, sir. Anything else I can do for you, sir?”
“Well, yes,” said MacDoozle, determined to get over his surprise and back onto topic. “What is your name?”
“Mark Dafeathers, sir.”
“And did you witness the robbery?”
“Could you tell me what you saw?”
MacDoozle took a sip of coffee while he waited for Mark to continue. But the young man did not go on. “Well,” prompted MacDoozle, “what did you see?”
“A man, sir. A very tall man. He had a bird on his shoulder.” When Mark said the word bird, there was suddenly a small white bird flapping and clinging to his hand. “Not this bird, of course. His was yellow.”
MacDoozle gulped at his coffee in surprise, burning his mouth, throat, and probably his stomach too. “You’re a magician, then?” he said, once he had recovered from his shock, but not his burns.
“No sir,” said Mark and the bird disappeared. “I’m a student sir.”
“Then where did the—the bird come from?” MacDoozle asked, and then tried to tighten his jaw so he didn’t look like the bumbling idiot he felt like at that moment.
“My pocket, sir,” and he pulled the white bird out of his breast pocket. “Her name’s Miss Ing, sir. She keeps me company, sir.”
“What do you mean her name is missing?”
“Miss, like Missus—then Ing, I-N-G.”
“Oh,” said MacDoozle. “What do you study?”
“What did the man with the bird do, Mark?” MacDoozle tried again to get back on subject.
“Well, he pulled something out of his pocket—I could see because I was at the right angle, you know, sir. It was a huge black spider. Then he said something in his deep rumbling voice that sounded like, ‘yes this is a black widow spider, and if you don’t give me all the money I can carry, it will kill you all.’ The teller was clearly terrified of spiders and climbed up a filing cabinet until she was perched on top of it, screaming, sir. Then everything went sort of crazy, sir, and his bird was flapping around, yellow feathers everywhere! Miss Ing got quite upset, sir, and so did I.” Miss Ing had disappeared during the story, and MacDoozle hadn’t seen where to.
“Did you see anything else Mark?”
“No sir, sorry sir.”
“Alright, well, that will be all then. Make sure you give your name and information to the officer by the door.”
“Yes sir. Are you sure there is nothing else I can do for you sir?”
“Heh—unless you can give me a break—no.” He wiped a bit of sweat off his brow.
“Why, of course sir,” Mark reached into his bag and produced a large Kit Kat bar, quickly unwrapped it, broke off a piece and held it out to MacDoozle.
MacDoozle stared at the chocolate for a moment, completely befuddled, and then it slowly dawned on him. “Oh, a break… like the commercial.”
“Yes sir. Don’t you want it, sir?”
MacDoozle shook his head, gave a little laugh and took the offered chocolate. As the young man shouldered his bag and walked away, a feeling of hopelessness settled onto MacDoozle’s shoulders. He popped the chocolate into his mouth and sucked it furiously.