Alf not DonaldI'd been working on the case for four years. Papers lounged over every horizontal surface in my office as I tried to piece together the information I had received from the Muffin Man. I saw these papers when I shut my eyes, read them as I tried to sleep. Sleep, that was something that had been evading me for some time now. The obsession with catching Norman Gnome had left me unable to catch even the most meagre amount of shut-eye without a couple of healthy doses of scotch and unicorn milk. So yeah, you could say that I get emotionally entangled in my work. Slumped at my desk, I was about to let another fruitless day splutter out and resign itself to the heap of wasted days I’d thrown out like trash, when the sound of stilettos on the wooden floor in the corridor taps its way to the door to my office. The tapping stops, the door whines as it’s opened and in walks the most beautiful troll I’d ever seen. With bright pink back-combed hair about a foot high, warts the size of quail eggs and legs like two cellophane bags of mashed potatoes; she was perfect. Her cracked grey hide and moustache triggered an aching in my gut that I hadn’t felt since, well, ever. “Can I help you, ma'am?” I lit a cigarette and put my feet up on my desk. She wasn’t going to know the effect she’d had on me. Not if I could help it.
“Laudie yes! Sit yo’ sel’ down boy. I got tales that gonna make yo’ freak out!” I tried to tear myself away from staring into the psychedelic patterns her bloodshot eyes created, but the sweet soothing ghetto tone of her voice was hypnotic. “What yo’ starin’ at boy? Don’t make me have to come up and slap yo’ ass in this joint. I gots me some important details that gonna blow yo’ face off and turn yo’ mind inside outaways!”
Envisaging the state of my head after that sort of revelation made me think twice bout hearing this broad out, but I figured I’d heard things in my time that’d make Lucifer blush.
“Ma’am, I’m a dwarf detective that’s seen a lotta things. In my line of work we have to deal daily with the scum of Tairyfale City. There’s nothing you got, that can shock me. So, go ahead. Tell me what you got to say.”
“Oh my good graciousness me. You ain’t never heard information likes mine! I got words in my head that gonna tear of yo’ ears and slap your mama with ‘em.”
The hypnosis was beginning to fade. It was replaced with a mild mental indigestion. It was uncomfortable, but not so bad that it took away the yearning to see this dame in front of me naked. On the off chance that scenario was on the cards I restrained the urge to use my fairy amulet to vaporise her, and let her continue.
“Yeah I’m listening. Just one thing. What’s your name?”
“Teresa chil’. I’m Teresa.”
“OK Teresa, I’m Donald. Most folks call me Alf.”
“Alf? What kinda mixed up fool calls themselves Alf outta choice?”
“That’s another story; you still got one to tell me yet.”
“Why yes, ha-ha! So I do. Where shall I start? Hmmm … let me see. Oh yeah, I know, the beginning.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Well in that case sweetness, that’s just where I’ll starts mysel’. Once upon a time I licked a gnome. He looked tasty, said his name was Norman…”