The phone rang, waking me from my dreams. "Nick! Nick!" it was Maya, of course. She seemed to be excited about something.
"What is it, Maya?" I asked, yawning. I was still half-asleep.
"Get up, Nick! I need to get the perfect gift for Pearly!"
"That's the emergency? It's not even Christmas Eve."
"We always open presents on Christmas Eve!"
"You're weird. You should have gone shopping sooner."
"I was too busy working at your office!"
I smiled. "Working? You mean eating, watching TV, sleeping…"
"Whatever. Can't you help me get a gift?"
I sighed. "Fine, Maya. Meet me at the office in a half-hour."
Wright & Co. Law Offices
"I'm not late," I said, running into the office.
"I know…" Maya mumbled.
"Then let's go."
Smile Toy Store
"Do you even know what Pearls wants?" I asked, not expecting much.
"Nope," Maya said. I knew it. "Hey, look at this! I recognize that model." Maya was pointing to a picture of a woman in front of a building.
"Maya, that's not a model. That's Tina Erwood, an actress."
"She performs every year in her own female version of A Christmas Carol."
"Female version? I gotta see it!"
"Oh, boy… Can we get back to the Christmas shopping?"
"Aw, can you get me tickets Nick? It will be so much fun! It can be your gift to me!"
"I already got your gift." I mumbled, "…and it's not at all as expensive as tickets for that show…"
"What was that last part?"
"Hey, what are you doing here?" a familiar voice asked.
"Gumshoe?" I turned.
"What are you doing here?"
"Hey, pal, I asked you first!"
"Alright, calm down. We're getting a Christmas gift for Maya's cousin, Pearl."
"Oh, yeah. This place is great!"
Maya smiled, "Detective, are you getting a gift too?"
Gumshoe smiled. "Nope. I'm here for me!"
"Uh…" I started. "This is a toy store."
"So? It brings out my inner child."
"Perhaps too much…" I mumbled.
"What was that, pal?"
"Nothing… erm, pal…"
"Hey, you guys familiar with Tina Erwood?" Gumshoe obviously spotted the sign behind us.
"Yep! I just asked Nick to get me tickets to her show!" Maya burst out.
"Yeah, after I had to explain who she was," I added. Maya frowned.
"I actually have tickets to see her today…" Gumshoe said. "I… um… was gonna invite Maggey…"
"Aw, that sounds great!" Maya smiled again.
"Do you think she'll go with me?"
"Of course, Gumshoe," I nodded. "She'll love it."
"And I would too," Maya hinted.
"Thanks, pal. Well, I gotta go! See you!" He left.
"Do you think he'll have the courage to ask her?"
"You never know with Gumshoe," I replied. "Now, come on, let's find something for Pearls."
"Your performance days have come to an end.
And happy holidays."
Wright & Co. Law Offices
"I can't believe we were in that store for almost three hours!" I sighed.
"Oh, come on, at least we got an awesome gift for Pearly!" Maya was excited. I supposed that was all that mattered. "By the way… speaking of awesome gifts…"
"I am not getting you a ticket to see that show!"
"Darn!" Maya got back to wrapping Pearl's gift. We ended up getting her a few books, now that she read often. The books came with dolls that represented the main character, I guess. Maya stuck a tag on and wrote Pearl's name. She also signed hers. "There, all done!"
"I don't think so… Considering I paid for most of that gift, I think it should be from both of us!"
"Come on, Nick! You know how Pearly is. She'll think it's from both of us because I'm your 'special someone,' remember?"
"Then let me give her two books, and you get her one!"
"Sorry, I already wrapped them all at once."
"Calm down Nick, just get her something else."
Maya simply smiled innocently.
"Ugh." I get up from my desk. "Fine. Since you got what you wanted, you can go home. I'm going back to the store…" I added, mumbling, "Three hours in that store, and I don't get anything for her…"
"Okay, Nick. See ya!"
"You are under arrest!"
"What? What for?"
"For a writer, you have terrible grammar. Wouldn't it be 'for what'?"
"What do you want from me?"
"You are the prime suspect in a murder investigation, so come quietly!"
"Murder? You have the wrong guy!"
Wright & Co. Law Offices
"Another two hours in that store…" I mumbled as I wrapped Pearl's gift. "And I found nothing! Now I'm wrapping chocolates that Maya probably would steal from Pearl anyway…" I stuck a tag on the package and signed my name. "There. At least I get credit for something… and now my wallet is empty… and I still need gifts for everyone else…"
The phone rang, and I answered. "Hey, pal!" Gumshoe screamed into the phone.
"Gumshoe? I can hear you just fine! What's up?"
"Turn on the news, pal!"
I picked up the remote and flipped the TV on. "Police found early this morning the body of Tina Erwood in her studio at the Holiday Theater. We have the opportunity now to interview one of the officers. This is Henry Houston. Officer Houston, around what time was the victim found?"
"We found her in her studio at about one o'clock today. Time of death is thought to be noon," the officer was explaining.
"Wow, that's pretty close! Did you find the criminal?"
"I think we have. In fact, we caught him just recently, at about four o'clock."
"Are you releasing any of this information to the public?"
"Not yet, but we will soon, or so the chief says."
"Thank you so much, officer. Now back to—" I turned it off.
"Uh… pal!" Gumshoe screamed.
"I'm still here!" I screamed back. "Geez."
"I can't believe this! I already asked Maggey to go with me! What's she gonna think… Aw, I really blew it…"
"Come on, there was no way of knowing this was going to happen, Gumshoe."
"I'm such a loser… Now what?"
"Get her a nice gift."
"Ugh. Gumshoe… just…"
"Come with me, pal! I can't do this alone!"
"Fine, but you owe me… big time!"
After dinner, I met Gumshoe at the Jewelry store. "Oh, yeah, this isn't weird at all…" I mumbled to myself.
"Hey, pal!" Gumshoe smiled.
"Aw, come on, pal!"
"This better not take long."
"It's Phoenix Wright!" a voice exclaimed.
"Hm? Yeah, that's me."
"Go, go ask him." A teenaged boy was gesturing a small girl toward me.
She looked at me shyly. "Can I help you?" I knelt down to her.
She backed up and went back to the young man. "Ask him!"
"You ask him…" the small girl whispered.
"I'm sorry to interrupt you, sir. I was wondering if I could ask you a small… erm… I mean, if I could ask you a… favor."
I wasn't to sure about the fact that he changed his mind about the small-ness. Nevertheless, I said, "Yes?"
"You see, my older brother has recently been accused of murder. Not just any murder, actually… the murder of Tina Erwood!"
What a small world. Who knew I'd run into a case while shopping with Gumshoe? "Sure he would, pal!" he said.
"What?" I turned. "Gumshoe!"
"Will you really?" the boy asked.
"Uh…" I glance down at the small girl. She looked up at me with such hope in her eyes, I couldn't just refuse. "I'll here his side of the story."
The small girl smiled, "Really? You'll listen?"
"I sure will." I smiled back. "Let's go."
"Hey, what about me, pal?" Gumshoe whimpered.
"Good luck, pal. I've got a job to do."
Along the way I learned that the suspects name was Henry Davis, a writer. He wrote many Christmas shows himself, and they say that's why he was accused. There was too much competition from Tina Erwood's show.
I also learned that the two I was traveling with were the siblings of this man. There was Michael and Julie. They told me that their older brother was like a father figure to them since they had no father growing up.
From their story, I could speculate that this man was good at heart. So why would he have it in his heart to kill the competition? I was sure that there was more to this case than what we were aware there was.
"Henry, you okay in there?" Michael asked.
"I'm fine," he replied. "Are you two alright?"
"We're fine, too," Julie chirped.
"We got you a lawyer," Michael told him.
"Yeah, and not just any lawyer! We got Phoenix Wright!"
"The Phoenix Wright?"
"Is there another?" I showed myself.
"Wow! Mr. Wright!"
"Nice to meet you Henry."
"Even nicer to meet you!"
I didn't know I was that well-known. "You'll answer a few questions, won't you?"
"Anything to get out of here, Mr. Wright."
"Call me Phoenix, please."
"So first, do you know why you were accused?"
He bit his lip. For someone so anxious, he stopped pretty quickly.
I was afraid that a Psyche-Lock would appear, but it didn't. "You see… the main motive they accused me of… was… because I was the writer of her show, not her."
"It's true, and they think that since she took credit, I wanted her gone…"
"But you didn't do it, right?"
"Of course not! Sure, I was upset that I got totally no credit for my work, but I figured the public would find out sooner or later!"
"After all those years she's been doing that show, didn't it occur to you that they wouldn't?"
"It doesn't matter now."
"That's true. But still, that is very good motive, so that makes your argument all the weaker."
"Do you think I have a chance?"
"Bro," Michael cut in. "You're talking to Phoenix Wright, the greatest attorney ever! Of course you have a chance!"
"Don't put so much pressure on me…" I mumbled.
Julie looked up at me, and I could tell that she sensed my uneasiness. "Everyone has a chance. You're innocent, so the truth will be shown, right Mr. Phoenix?"
I nodded. "You're right. You have a chance because you're innocent."
"What about the prosecution?" Henry asked. "What if they give false evidence? Isn't that possible?"
"The truth will still be shown. Trust me. I've been through tougher cases than you could imagine."
"I know… but still… you've had a few close calls."
"But I've made it through!"
"What about the one you lost?"
"He was guilty."
"Oh, that's right. So the truth was revealed."
"Exactly. You can count on me!"
"Thank you again."
"Now, I better look around the crime scene and talk to some witnesses."
"Good luck, for my sake."
Holiday Theater Studio
Almost as soon as I get there, my phone rings. "Nick! Where the heck are you?" it was Maya.
"I'm at the Holiday Theater," I answered.
"What?! You won't get me tickets, but you go on your own?!"
"Maya, it's a crime scene. I'm here to investigate, not watch the show."
"You watch TV all day, and you never watch the news?"
"Nevermind. I have to go."
I hung up. "Back to the investigation." The place was a mess. It was apparent that whoever the criminal was broke into the place. There was a bar holding many dresses and a vanity with enough makeup to last a girl a lifetime. "If I want to be prepared for court tomorrow, I have to find something… But there's noth—ouch!" I stepped on something. I lifted my foot and looked down. There's a piece of glass. I picked it up carefully. It's about half the size of my palm. It's pure white, but I knew it would be important somehow. "Hm… where's the outline of the body?" I glanced around the rack of clothes and gasped. "There it is…" I nearly whispered. Blood was spread on that entire side of the clothes and the rope showed that the body was leaned against the wall and in between the rack and the wall. Blood stained the carpet and the wall. This was a violent murder. Never could I remember seeing so much blood! "I'll need to get to the bottom of this… I need to find out how and when she died. I need the autopsy. To do that, I need to go to the police department."
"Hello?" I stepped in the office. "Where is everyone?"
"Hey, pal!" Gumshoe appeared.
"Ack! Don't creep up on me like that!"
"How's the case?"
"I looked around the crime scene and all that… but I needed the autopsy."
"Of course, pal, no problem. I'll be right back."
He left, leaving me standing there alone. "Hm… so, let's see if I can put this all together so far. The writer, the defendant, is the actual writer of the show that Tina Erwood called her own… That would be his motive… but how can the police have found out so late… and at the worst time for the guy? It seems that Ms. Erwood's secret was revealed somehow… but how?"
"Here, pal. Enjoy! Haha!"
"'Tina Erwood… 34'… wow! She looked pretty young for her age. Uh… 'Time of death… 11:50am-12:15pm'… That I've heard already… Ah-ha, let's see… 'Cause of death… shot to head… Additional harm… shot in thigh, shoulder, and chest'… That explains all the blood. … Thanks, Gumshoe. So, where is everyone?"
"Oh. By the way, what did you end up getting Maggey?"
"Uh… well, I can't really…um… afford anything in that store…"
"Of course not…" I mumble. "Well, Gumshoe… good luck, but I have work to do… I need to get a good rest for the trial tomorrow, you know."
"Sorry. Talk to you later, pal."
"Trial's tomorrow, and I think I'm ready…" I said to myself. I closed my eyes. "Let the holidays begin…"