The Cliché Chapter 4: THE BRILLIANT PLAN! (flops on its head)

By LMR

Disclaimer (a dialog):

Some Law and Order dude: Come on, detectives, we have a fanfiction writer who doesn't own a series writing about it!

Detective: We better get over there without giving the audience a chance to realize that they lost the story ten doink-doinks ago!

DOINK-DOINK! LMR's house.

LMR: Hey, if I have to be all interrogated and stuff, can I have Goren?

"How can we be sure your little buddy the Haltaparle won't zap us, too?" Nick asked Carl after the gnome had called him up.

"Just don't be rude to him and you'll be fine," Carl assured him.

"Maybe I better talk to him," Kate said.

"Hey, come on, Kate, I am capable of not being rude, you know." The doorbell rang.

Kate looked nervously at her partner and the gnome. "Everybody know their parts?" She went to the door and found a smiling old lady.

"Hello, just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood. My name is Sophie, I live two doors down on your right. No, left. No, right. My left, your right. Well, anyway, I'm your neighbor, and I brought cookies." She said all this before Kate even got the chance to invite her into the house.

"Oh, how lovely of you, Sophie, come on in. I'm Kate, this is my husband, Nick," (Geez that's weird!), "And this is my son, Carl."

"What's for dinner, Mommy?" Carl asked in an unnaturally high voice.

Kate looked a little annoyed at this but Nick took the opportunity to interject. "Carl, your mother's been working hard all day, it's not polite to just demand dinner like that." Kate looked genuinely surprised and happy.

"Thank you."

"What's for dinner, Honey?" he whined, putting his hand on her shoulder.

Kate smiled acidly. She put her hand on his, still smiling and trying for all the world to appear to Sophie to be squeezing it, when in fact, she was squeezing it with about the force a woman uses when squeezing her husband's hand while she is in labor, usually screeching, "You're never touching me again!" What Kate said, however, as Nick grimaced and tried desperately to get his hand away, was "I've been working hard all day, and it's your night to fix dinner, remember?" She smiled sweetly.

"Hot dogs it is."

"You're welcome to stay for dinner," Kate offered, stepping aside so Sophie could enter. "I'm sure Nick wouldn't mind throwing on an extra hot dog or two."

"No problem, Sweetie," Nick called as he headed to the kitchen.

Sophie smiled at Carl, pretending not to notice that he was truly hideous for a little child. "Hello, Carl, nice to meet you."

"Hello, Lady," replied Carl in his unnatural voice.

Kate tried to look as natural as possible. "Carl, sweetie, have you finished those math problems I gave you?"

"Yeah, Mommy, all done."

Kate was surprised at how well this little charade was going. It was weird. "Great, honey, I'll check them right after dinner."

"So nice to see a man cooking dinner, and parents helping with their children's homework. I just know we're going to love having you in the neighborhood."

Dinner was ready soon after that. However it was possible to burn hotdogs to a charcoal crisp in the microwave, Nick had managed to do it. But they tasted okay, and the Sophie was, as Kate had hoped, the neighborhood gossip. Before the end of the meal they had learned the names of the woman whose daughter had had her brains turned to mush by the Literalus, her husband and their three children, where everyone in the neighborhood worked, and who was having an affair with the mailman (Mrs. Furgleshnort). It wasn't Wisteria Lane, but it was interesting enough, and after Sophie left, Kate made a who's who map of the neighborhood, marking off where the two victims of the Literalus had met there sordid ends. It looked like he was headed North, but two pinpoints doesn't make for a very good plotted course, and the detectives knew that there best chance was for the Haltaparle to show up soon.

Fortunately, the Haltaparle has very good timing, unless of course you need him in a tediously boring class, in which case he will never show up. This is what makes him a monster. You know he could visit your three hour political science 400 course, but does he, of course not!

But today, when the detectives needed him, his timing was impeccable.

Questions to ponder before the next installment:

Is there a certain obnoxious pop star whose lyrics can be used by the Literalus to brutalize her? (Please?)