"Well hello, is this my little cumquat?" It was my malicious boss Riff.
"What can I do for you, Riff?"
"Don't take that attitude with me, jelly belly. I need you to pick up that car in Miami just as soon as you drop off the other one. It has to be in Atlanta by tomorrow night."
"You're already in Atlanta?"
"No, I mean the Miami car has been dropped off and I'm driving the Atlanta car."
He grumbled. "Then get your fat ass to Atlanta, because there is another car there going to Salt Lake City. Do you think you can manage that, my little sunflower seed?"
"I'll call you from Atlanta, Riff." I hung up, then turned the corner to see John standing in front of the building in downtown Miami. He had a briefcase in one hand and pulled along a rolling suitcase, both of which he threw into the back seat. As he sat in the front passenger seat, I could see that he was dressed impeccably as usual.
"Hello old friend," he said, extending his hand to shake. I took his hand and shook, then pulled into traffic and started the journey. "By the by, my secretary Miss Coral sends her best wishes to you. She is quite a fan of your blog, you know."
"She's one sweet and pretty lady."
He wagged a finger at me. "Now don't you go getting any ideas, she is not available for you to date."
I shrugged. "I just think she's very nice."
"Speaking of your blogs, the last one was incredible. This wiseguy tells you that he knew your Dad and that he may be still alive? And you are going to be looking for him, with the possibility of the Russian mob following you? Have I got all of that right?"
"But how do you know this guy--"
"Right, Joey, how do you know he isn't trying to pull some con on you? The whole thing is rather outlandish."
"Dreams often are."
"Dreams? My God Bill, are you telling me that whole story was nothing but a dream?"
"For pity's sake, are your blogs turning into the TV series DALLAS? Where an entire misbegotten season was just Pam's dream? If you were going to write about a dream, you might have ended the blog stating that what had been written all happened while you slept. It was all in your mind."
"OK, noted. Now tell me about this case you are working on up in Orlando. What you emailed to me was intriguing."
"Bill, just how smart do you think dogs are?"
"Pretty smart. More than I think a lot of people often give them credit for."
"This is really a fascinating case. I was retained by a family with an unusual mixed breed dog named Gus. He was a rescue dog, and the family grew to love him very much. They wanted me to help nail down the movie rights or story rights about Gus."
"As I wrote to you, this is a very unique dog. He began arranging children's toys and building blocks into patterns. Sort of odd, sort of cute, very unusual. Then one day, the dog spelled the word 'me'
with the blocks."
"He spelled 'me'?
"He did indeed. This seemed too strange to simply be a coincidence. So they contacted an animal behavior specialist who dismissed it as a hoax."
"How could the dog pull off a hoax like that?"
John shook his head. "I don't believe he could. The dog began to spell more and more words with the blocks, of course always when no one was looking. They set up a video camera one day and actually caught the dog placing the blocks in his mouth and setting them up to spell the words. That's when they called me."
"And you took the case."
"I had to, this was the most intriguing case to come down the pike in quite a while."
"So what happened?"
"Well, nothing." He shrugged. "A week after I was retained and saw the dog in action, he disappeared."
"What? I don't understand, where did he go?"
"No idea, buddy. It doesn't look like he was stolen. All evidence to the contrary. It appears he simply ran off. But he did leave a message in toy blocks in the lawn that said, "He's coming."
I pondered this. "Who's coming? Who is He?"
John let out a long sigh. "I just don't know Bill. But the lawyer in me says it ain't good."
I smiled. "And now you are going to see the family to get some answers?"
"I am going to tie up the movie rights for them. This just became a more valuable movie project than before." He turned to me slowly and squinted his eyes. "Bill, do you suppose this conversation will become one of your blogs?"
"Can you blame me if it does? It's one heck of a tale." John reached over and pinched me hard. I jumped in my seat. "Hey! What was that for?"
"I just wanted you to be sure that this wasn't all a dream."