They call themselves “The Barefoot Detectives.” They boast stealth ninja skills, and they can move silently on bare feet. Their best work is completed in tweed pajama bottoms, topped with cigar jackets, and a deerstalker on their heads. The cigar jacket pockets are filled with special tools of the trade: pencil, note pad, flashlight, magnifying glass, tape measure, and clue bags.
Today Pluto is missing. Ayden Ace and Awesome Owen are on the case. They stand back to back, each with their left hands to their left eyes as they scan in opposite directions around the living room. “Maybe he went on a walk,” Ayden Ace announces.
“Maybe a walk,” Awesome Ow parrots.
“I don’t think so,” Mom responds over her coffee cup.
“Well, he could have because he isn’t in the washing-machine.” Ayden Ace states eliminating their first suspect.
“No washing-machine,” Awesome Owen states with a stomp of his foot.
The elusive Pluto, Ayden Ace’s best stuffed friend, has been missing since breakfast.
Report – Missing Stuffie
- Last known location: Ayden Ace’s Pillow
- Activity: Protecting Ayden Ace’s Room
- Witness(s): Ayden Ace & Awesome Owen
- Date: Summer Vacation
- Suspects: Villain
- Case: Open
The boys found no clues in Ayden Ace’s room, and finding no clue became a clue itself. “Clearly our villain is highly skilled in the arts of invisibility and transportation!” Ayden Ace explains to Awesome Owen.
Awesome Owen nods thoughtfully before yelling, “Come on.” He bursts out of the room as if struck by lightning. The boys thunder down the stairs and Ayden Ace runs into the back of Awesome Owen who stops sudden in the middle of the living room to look up at the ceiling.
“Of course Ow. He would have transported directly below my room. Spread out and look for a clue!”
After several hours of searching, which spreads from room to room, and including the backyard, front yard, and an interlude at the park, the boys have recovered several objects and documented them as clues. The list of items reads as follows: 1 puzzle piece, 2 hot wheels cars, 1 dinosaur, 5 pieces of Lego, 1 small stuffed bear, 3 little books, 1 missile, and 1 ninja turtle.
Each item noted represents proof that the invisible villain has been transporting in and out of their rooms and stealing toys for a while. The boys are exhausted by their efforts to find the villain, and time is running out. Pluto has to be found before bedtime. Ayden Ace and Awesome Owen know it is time to use their best tools to bring Pluto home.
They call in Mom, and they call in Dad. Efforts are spread out in a group search over the first floor of the house. Ayden Ace calls out orders and details notes on what is found. When the search is complete the party turns up empty handed, Pluto is still missing!
Large tears roll down Ayden Ace’s cheeks, “Mom how can we let Pluto sleep alone tonight. He will be so scared!”
“You searched everywhere, and you are sure he is not in your bedroom? You checked all your clues?”
“Yes, Awesome Owen and I looked in all the obscure places. We looked high and low! You know how very hard we work to solve a case, we leave no stone unturned. Oh, mom I miss Pluto.” Ayden Ace crawls into bed thinking of all the places they searched today, and there is Pluto sleeping on the other side of his pillow!
By Shari Marshall – 2016
- Related stories in the Ayden Ace Series can be found at: