"Shawn!" Henry bellowed from inside the walk-in closet. He reached up to the top shelf and rummaged through the various boxes and bags that had been stuck up there and forgotten about. Toys Shawn was too old to play with anymore, cereal box sculptures he made at school and Maddie refused to throw away, bags of old clothes and various board games and puzzles that they had bought and never used.
"Aha!" He exclaimed, pulling out a box from the shelf. The top was covered in a thick layer of dust and Henry blew hard. The dust flew up into the air and Henry sucked in a breath at the wrong time, forcing a coughing fit.
"Sha- cough "awn!" Henry shouted again as he exited the closet. He took the box to the kitchen table, emptied the content onto it and then dumped the box in a cupboard He rolled his eyes when there was still no response from his nine year old son. He made his way to the stairs and shouted up the stairs, "Shawn Henry Spencer!"
Henry heard a thump and then Shawn's voice, "What?"
"Get your butt down here!"Henry didn't have to hear his son sigh to know what Shawn's reaction was. He heard Shawn's footsteps as he trudged down the stairs and stopped in the kitchen in front of Henry. "Yeah?""Come on Kid." Henry placed a large hand on Shawn's shoulder and led him to the table. "Sit." Shawn slid onto the wooden chair and stared at the puzzle pieces in front of him. "A puzzle?"
"Perfect for a rainy day," Henry answered.
Shawn looked out the window and frowned, "But it's not raining."
"Perfect for grounded nine year olds that aren't allowed to go play with their friends," Henry corrected.
Shawn sighed, "Okay, where's the box?"
Henry shook his head, "No box."
"How am I supposed to do the puzzle without the picture?"
"Using the picture is cheating Shawn," Henry sat down beside Shawn. "You think at work we have a box with a picture on? No, all we have is the puzzle pieces."
"Wait, you sit and play with puzzles all day? When do you catch the bad guys?"
"I'm talking about crimes, crimes are the puzzles. You have the evidence which are like the puzzle pieces, you put 'em all together and voila! You have your criminal."
Shawn sighed again, "Okay then." He looked down at the pile of shapes in front of him and began pushing the pieces around, turning them the right way round. Less than two minutes later he stopped and looked up at his dad, "It's a tiger....in the rainforest."
"The picture," Shawn shrugged. "It's a tiger."
Henry frowned, "You haven't put it together yet, how do you know what it's of?"
"You don't have to put it all together to know what it adds up to be," Shawn slid off the chair.
"But…" Henry looked down at the unfinished puzzle and then back up at Shawn.
"I'm going back upstairs, my army figures are battling aliens from Mars and I think they're losing," Shawn said before disappearing back up the stairs."Damn," he whispered, surprised at being outsmarted by a nine year old. "Shawn, that's cheating! You have to learn to do it right." He sighed as he heard the door to the room slamming. Staring back at the puzzle he grinned, his son was going to be a great detective.