The Big Frosty
I see you looking at me. A bit larger than life?
Yeah, that’s me.
The name’s Klauss. Nick Klauss. I’m a Shamus, a Dick, a Private Eye.
There’s a .45 in my holster and a Candy Cane in my pocket. I’m on a case. The file says, “Murder.”
I came down to Kansas City from up north. My boys got a report that there was a killing here, and I was going to find out who did it.
The morning looked sparkling. The was a slight fog, the kind that almost always follows snow melt. The sun was brighter than a muzzle-flash at midnight.
My first stop was the Gingerbread Man’s place. It was just above the candy shop. His doll let me in, with a smile that couldn’t have been sweeter if it had been made of jelly beans. The old man sat in his rocking chair, puffing on his pipe and reading the funny papers.
“Hey, there, copper!” he said without looking up, “Haven’t seen you since that robbery by that Thumb kid.”
“He won’t be taking any more plums in this town, that I’ll tell you.”
“It’s about the Snowman, ain’t it?”
“What do you know about him?” I asked, as nice as you please.
“It weren’t murder, no matter what they tell you!” he insisted.
“He’s alive one minute and gone the next,” I countered, “He didn’t have a heart attack, because I know for a fact that he didn’t have one.”
“He…the Heat was on,” I could see he was getting nervous. It might have had something to do with the oven being open and roaring.
“Listen, the reindeer know…” he stammered.
“You think I didn’t talk to them first?” I got up in his face, “We have a real special relationship. But you knew that. Rudy and the boys tell me everything.”
“The kids were with him, maybe they know…” He was grasping at straws, but I knew he didn’t know anything more.
My next stop was the Haberdashery Shop. But they were closed for the holiday. My leads were drying up.
And now it was snowing again.
Then I saw the kids, they were playing a new game. I knew the game, and it wouldn’t help me. So I approached Sally.
She had known him as well as any of them.
But she was laughing. She had lost a friend and still she laughed. A hard one, this kid.
“What about the Snowman kid?”
“Didn’t you hear?” she giggled, “We put the hat back and he’s alive again! He said he’d come back again someday, and he is!”
The kids all ran away laughing and playing with the former corpse.
Another case solved by Nick Klauss, Private Eye.
Now I got to check out some chimneys.
Oh, Yeah, Merry Christmas.
© C. Wayne Owens