The End of it All

Sharona was driving Disher and Monk back to San Francisco, along the same country highway. Disher's grandmother had paid Stottlemeyer to drive her Buick back. Somehow, she had heard about him letting it run away down killmotor hill.

As they progressed, the country became less animated, the colors more dull, and the cars less generic.

Monk looked satisfied as he watched a Chrysler 300 Touring Car pass them on the left.

"Three and a half million dollars," said Sharona smugly, as they reached an interstate. "Your going to have to give me a raise."

She sped up the onramp.

"How are we going to split it?" asked Disher.

"We?" scoffed Sharona. "I thought you were working for free."

Eventually, by the time they reached San Francisco, they had worked out one and half million for Sharona and Monk each, with the remaining half million going to Disher for his 'assistance.'

Monk hadn't gotten involved in the argument. On one hand, he had solved the case, he realized that. He had needed Sharona's help, he admitted that (although Disher he didn't really need). But what was more important, was that Stottlemeyer had told him he'd testify to the committee that he was ready again for active duty. In six months to a year. A week in Duckburg had prepared him for anything. It was like they said, life was like a hurricane, here in Duckburg.

Monk was undisturbed by thoughts of racecars, lasers, or airplanes as he brushed his teeth and went to bed.

By Morning

It had all been a dream, Monk realized, as he arranged his books. He hadn't yet done it.

"Seven inches, three eights of an inch," he muttered.

Yesterday, he had been at Sharona's. Benji had been watching Gilligan's Island until Monk had irritated Sharona for hours with his complaints about the show's logical inconsistencies. She had made Benji change the program to a Duck Tales marathon that was just starting, part of a satellite channel's salute to the animation of the 1980's.

There was no Duckburg, no Scrooge McDuck, no money bin, no number one dime.

Sharona walked into the room.

"Hi Sharona," Monk muttered.

"Yeah, Adrian," said Sharona, friendly and unperturbed. "Why are you measuring your books again?"

"My books," said Monk, now down to six inches, 7/8. "Benji borrowed History's Greatest Unsolved Crimes. He messed up my order. Now I have to . . . resort them. They have to be sorted by color and by descending size."

He had a distinct sense of Deja Vu.

"You know, most people who do these things, do it by subject."

"I know, I used to volunteer at the university library. But I prefer it this way."

"How come you've got to measure it?"

"It has to be exact."

Sharona rolled her eyes.

"Don't you've got way more important stuff to do," she remarked. "Today's payday."

Monk started. The conversation had gone off on a different track, than what he remembered.

"You know, I really deserve a raise," Sharona went on. "Especially with all the money you got from that big case you solved. Sometimes I swear your as cheap as Scrooge McDuck."

Monk stopped cold.

"Adrian?" she remarked. "ADRIAN?"

It took a half hour, and a call to Doctor Kroger, before Sharona could get Monk back to his old self.

The End