Prompt: Darkwing & Gosalyn Yes, another "good, old fashioned" locked room mystery. Why should Darkwing be excluded from this challenge?
Disclaimer: I don't own Darkwing Duck or any related character. All belongs to Disney.
Notes/Warnings: Written for SmallFandomFest Fest 11 over at Livejournal . This is so close to the deadline. But in between fanfics, I'm an original fiction writer with several deadlines coming up at the same time as this one. So I apologize if this one is not up to par to my usual works. This was Jelsemium's prompt. Hope you like it!
Impossible, You Say?
Quiverwing Quack ducked easily under the crime scene tape that covered the doorway to the spacious bathroom. She flung her green cape back, dramatically, as she rested two gloved hands on her tiny hips. Her masked eyes scanned the room, ready to solve the mystery that the St. Canard Police Department could not.
How did miss Barkingstein die?
The bathroom was large, titled in blues and yellows all over the floor and walls. The tub was of a standard size, white, with a standard shower head some ways above the tub faucet. The room could easily accommodate three people comfortably, with its doubled, marble-top sink. A long mirror with no ornamentation on it, save for a little piece of paper in the upper right-hand corner, stretched the length of the attached sinks, and a darkly stained set of cabinets supported the sinks from underneath. Two electrical outlets bookended the sinks, left in the exact condition they were found in. A set of hot rollers plugged into the one on the far left, with a hairdryer—pink and white designs curly up the handle of the machine—plugged into the other.
Quiverwing took another step into the bathroom, moving closer to the window at the other end of the room. It was easily tall and wide enough to allow someone in, save for the fact that Miss Barkingstein was a security nut. Iron bars locked the outside of the window, and they were made so closely together that even Quiverwing in her small stature could not fit in between.
The sound of gas escaping caused Quiverwing to turn back to the door of the room. She rolled her eyes as a cloud of blue smoke now blocked the view of the door.
"I am the terror that flaps in the night!" a deep voice announced from nowhere.
"Dad," Quiverwing groaned. "It's just me."
The newcomer flapped his purple cape, clearing the smoke away faster. Before long, the full figure of St. Canard's original masked mallard, Darkwing Duck, stood in the doorway just past the crime scene tape. He crossed his arms over his chest, arching a brow at Quiverwing.
"Gosalyn, it is past your bedtime, young lady! How did you even get out of the house without me noticing?" he asked.
Quiverwing brought her cape around to mask the smile on her beak. "I have my ways. And it's Quiverwing, Dad. And, also, crime has no bedtime!"
Darkwing dragged a hand down his face, ending on an eye roll to rival his daughter's. He shook his head.
"Gos, you know I love you, but… this is Daddy's level of crime—" Darkwing held a hand up to measure his height, "—not your level—" he lowered the hand to show where she stood, "—now run along. I've got a crime to solve!"
"Oh, please!" Quiverwing said, marching up to her father. "You have no idea how Miss Barkingstein was strangled behind a locked door in a room with bars on the only window!"
"And you do?"
Darkwing harrumphed in triumph. "That's what I thought."
"Well, that's why I'm here! Now, here's what I'm thinking… a zombie alien bug monster from Mars slithered in through the gap in the bars and wrapped its slimy body around Miss Barkingstein's neck. And the rest is history."
"No," Darkwing drawled. "I would say the rest is fiction, because that is most certainly not what happened!"
Quiverwing was visibly crestfallen. Crossing her arms, she huffed.
"Then what did happen?"
Darkwing sputtered for a few moments, his eyes scanning the room. Finally, he scoffed and said, "I don't know because a certain someone hasn't given me the proper time to examine the scene!"
Quiverwing made a sweeping bow, motioning to the room. "Be my guest, Darkwing."
The Mighty Masked Mallard pulled out an overly large magnifying glass from within the folds of his cape and held it up to his right eye. Bending, he stood close to the ground, almost like a dog trying to catch a scent, and began to make his way around the room. He began with the tub, going over every inch of it. He even examined the wave-decorated shower curtain. From there, he moved on to the large white wicker cabinet that stood beside the tub, going throw all the towels and washrags within. He paused the longest at the barred window, opening it to tug on the bars, and to give them a closer examination. From there, the toilet, and then the sink and its cabinets underneath. Moving back toward the door, and putting away his magnifying glass, he threw a hand with a single finger extended up into the air.
"Upon closer inspection of the room, I conclude that Miss Barkingstein meet her end by the means of… I have no idea," he said, visibly deflating.
Quiverwing shook her head. "Nice try, though."
"Well, it just doesn't make any sense! There's no sign of forced entry on the door, the bars are in perfect working order, and there's not even signs of a struggle."
"Why would anyone want this lady dead, anyhow? I mean, what was so important about her?"
Darkwing shrugged. "She was an engineer of some kind. Overall, she was a kind, upstanding citizen. The neighbors spoke of her very fondly."
Quiverwing cupped a hand under her beak. "Well, Negaduck hates all things kind and upstanding. Maybe he did it."
Darkwing shook his head. "Not a chance. If Negaduck had been here, we would have known. For one thing, this room wouldn't still be standing."
Darkwing's fellow hero nodded, conceding. She made a small circle about the room, re-examining all the items in the room that she and Darkwing both had already gone over. This time, she got to her knees, digging into the cabinets under the sinks. She found nothing out of the ordinary.
"There's something we're missing," Darkwing noted.
Quiverwing sat back on her knees, turning to face her father. "But what? I mean, look at all of this junk. Shampoo, conditioner, facial cleansers… there's nothing in here that could be used to strangle someone… let alone to get in and out of a room without leaving a mark. There's not even a vent in here!"
She pointed wildly about the room. Darkwing arched a brow. "That is odd. Okay, since you are not going to listen to your father about being a good little daughter and going home to bed, then we'll both walk through this. Step by step. Where do you think we ought to start?"
"The victim? Miss Barkingstein. You said she was an engineer."
"Yeah," Darkwing said, tapping his foot. "She was described as kind and upstanding by her neighbors and coworkers."
"But she made someone mad enough to kill her."
"Too true. But what?"
Quiverwing stood up, facing the mirror over the sink. The two heroes for silent for a moment, both lost in thought. Finally, Quiverwing turned.
"Dad… what kind of engineer was she?"
Darkwing turned toward his daughter. "An electrical engineer."
"Was she going to be in charge of anything special? Like, say, that Parade of Lights that St. Canard is doing next weekend?"
Darkwing nodded. "She was. How did you know that?"
"That paper up there!" Quiverwing motioned to the piece of paper in the right-hand corner of the mirror. "It says 'bulbs for parade.' And the parade was mentioned at school yesterday."
"Huh. And she was strangled, wasn't she?" Darkwing asked, his eyes now searching the same wall Quiverwing stood in front of.
She nodded. "By something that left a deep indention but no cut."
"Like a rubber wrapped wire?" Darkwing said, pointing to the two items plugged into the sockets.
Quiverwing's eyes widened. "Megavolt!"
Darkwing grinned. "Exactly. You know he's always trying to liberate lightbulbs. But Miss Barkingstein was looking to imprison more than ever before. So, knowing he could not reach her due to her security measures—bars on every window, an alarm on every door, standard locks on ever room—he let his powers do the work. He tapped into the power line, and manipulated the hair dryer to wrap around its owners neck."
Quiverwing arched a brow. "Why the dryer? Why not the rollers?"
"Look at the cords. The one for the rollers is flat and coarse. It would have cut. But the dryer's cord is round and smooth. I believe we have our villain!"
"Dad, he's probably trying to get to those light bulbs right now! Let's go!"
Quiverwing made to run out of the room, but Darkwing caught her by the cape.
"As much as I appreciate your help, it is still past your bedtime. I'll get Megavolt. You go home. Night, Gos."
Darkwing launched a single pellet of smoke. Quiverwing hacked and coughed, waving her hands to clear the smoke. When it did finally disperse, her father was long gone. She stamped her foot down, growling.
She turned, ducking under the tape in the doorway, and ran out of the house. If her dad thought she was just gonna quit now, then he had another thing coming!