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Grimoire was seated at his desk going over some files. A knock sounded at the door.

“Come in,” the detective said.

The door opened and Sally Spears stepped into the office wearing a smile. “Hello again.”

Grimoire’s face lit up. He stood up and walked over to her.

“Sally. What a pleasant surprise. What brings you here?”

The green-haired woman gave a light chuckle.

“Just trying to find my way after what happened with Richard Remington. Boggy’s Bog is closed for good so I’m planning my next steps. Thought I’d stop by to say hi.”

Sally looked around the office. She saw Grimoire’s hat hanging on a rack. She looked back at him and smirked playfully.

“I told you, you look better without it.”

Grimoire chuckled. He prepared some coffee for them. They sat down, Grimoire behind his desk and Sally in a chair opposite.

“So what have you been doing since the swamp?” said Sally.

Grimoire sipped his coffee. “Oh, you know, the usual stuff when I’m not conducting investigations. Paperwork. Lots of it.”

“That can be a load.” Sally drank her coffee. “I read about your exploits, and I’ve been thinking I want to get into the detective life myself. It sounds very exciting.”

Grimoire nodded. “From what I remember, you seem to have a keen eye for spotting details. That is one of the hallmarks of a detective. If you’re wondering, your black leggings were in fact used by Remington’s killer.”

Sally frowned. “I know. It was in the papers. So Echo murdered Remington as an extreme form of protesting against his tourist attraction? Why am I not surprised?”

Grimoire thought back to Echo’s confession, learning about an order of hunters, and seeing the real swamp creature before his eyes. Knowing these mythical specimens existed gave him chills.

“Say Sally, by any chance, do you know a Jerry Spears? He worked at a fairground where a murder took place a few years back. I spoke to him during my investigation.”

“Yes. He’s my cousin. Funny how you run into people who just happen to be related. Guess it really is a small world after all.”

They shared a laugh before Sally continued.

“You know, another funny thing happened when I arrived at this building. There was someone outside who said, ‘Good, you’re here. I’ve been expecting you.’”

Grimoire had a feeling who it was. “Let me guess, a little girl in a green dress with red hair?”  

“You’ve seen her before?”

Grimoire drank his coffee. “I try to forget I did.”

“I tried to question her, but she disappeared. It’s pretty strange.”

“You get that with her.” Grimoire sighed as he returned his focus to the present. “All right, Sally. If you’re up for it, I will take you on as my trusty sidekick slash partner. You will learn the ins and outs of being a detective.”

Sally grinned.

“I must warn you: this will not be a walk in the park. It requires logic and critical thinking. You must be quick and able to connect the dots.”

“I gotcha, Grimoire. I will not falter.”

Grimoire smiled. He raised his cup to Sally and she did the same.

“Welcome aboard, partner.”