Welcome to The Great Chocolate Conspiracy! Chocolate Digestive biscuits have disappeared from the shelves right across the eastern seaboard of the USA, and now the shortage has spread to London. Detective Chief Inspector Sam Adamson and his international team of investigators from the Metropolitan Police’s Confectionery Crimes Unit (CCU) have been tasked to solve the mystery.
This is the seventh installment of this multi-part flash fiction story that originated during a chat between the authors on Twitter. You can read how it all began here (links to all the installments will be added to the author list as they are posted).
The next installment will appear on Friday, October 22nd at Danielle La Paglia . You can keep up with developments in the meantime by following the#GtChocCo hashtag on Twitter.
“What is he saying?” Marier strained towards the seats where Agent Bronyaur was slumped, fast asleep.
“Something like ‘doompadee doo,’ and… he’s singing?” Juniper giggled.
“I’m not a bad egg! Let go of me!” Bronyaur ripped the pink blankets off the seats. “Get back you Oompa Loompas!”
Bronyaur stood up quickly, bumped his head on the overhead compartment, then slumped to the floor as a stewardess ran over.
“Are you alright?”
“I was thrown down the garbage shoot!” Bronyaur yelled as he opened his eyes. He shook his head and realized he was still on the plane to Texas.
La Paglia had turned and was leaning against the back of her seat watching the entire episode. “Hey there, Bonyaur. Bad dream?”
“Ah… really bad.” He looked up to see the perfectly coiffed La Paglia smirking at him. He wiped the drool and gobs of hot pink fuzz off his mouth.
Marier and Juniper laughed out loud. They felt freed of their embarrassment regarding the recent thong incident.
The team was anxiously awaiting to hear about the latest incident of chocolate explosives at the sheriff’s office.
“Hi you all, I’m the sheriff in these parts, and I would like to welcome you to Tumbleweed Junction,” he said in a flat monotone voice with absolutely no Southern accent.
Marier and Juniper looked at each other and frowned with suspicion.
“I have a note I would like you all to take a look at …”
OOMPA LOOMPA DOOMPADEE DOO
I’VE GOT A PERFECT PUZZLE FOR YOU
OOMPA LOOMPA, DOOMPADAH DEE
IF YOU ARE WISE YOU’LL LISTEN ME
WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU GUZZLE DOWN SWEETS
OOMPA LOOMPA DOOMPADEE DAH
IF YOU’RE NOT GREEDY YOU WILL GO FAR
“Does this mean anything to you?” said the sheriff to the team.
“Yes, I…” The sheriff yanked Bronyaur by the arm and pulled him through a heavy door.
“Cranky…” Adamson limped toward the door and tried to open it, but it was locked.
Twenty minutes later, the sheriff returned and asked Adamson and Marier to join them. Hesitantly, they followed.
“Geez, I don’t know whether to be mad because we’re left out, or grateful that we don’t have to go behind that door,” La Paglia huffed.
Henderson herded everyone into a large freight elevator.
Adamson looked at the elevator buttons. “How could there be 52 levels below ground?”
The Sheriff did not respond. He pushed a button and the elevator lurched quickly to sub-floor 5.
“Go down the hallway and through the door at the end, I’ll meet you there.” The sherrif quickly disappeared behind a door nearby.
As they walked passed several doors, it was silent. The hallway grew strangely smaller as they approached the final door, which was three and a half feet high. They squeezed through the door to find a normal sized meeting room. They sat down at the large conference table at the same moment the sheriff entered through a back door, now in a suit and tie.
Adamson and Marier looked at each other with raised eyebrows.
“I am actually Bureau Chief Mark Henderson, the head of all U.S. Government Research and Development. We are in charge of the investigation regarding the chocolate disappearances and explosives. This is your real briefing. We had to get you out of D.C. and into a safe location.”
Adamson moaned and shifted.
“Oh, sorry…” Henderson snapped his fingers and three people entered the room with trays full of chocolate, coffee, and the elusive chocolate digestive biscuits. They all grabbed at the treats like ravenous beasts.
“Don’t worry, we make our own supply,” Henderson smiled for the first time.
“We don’t know why, but the three of you have been chosen to be recipients of secret communication regarding these events.”
“Adamson and Marier, you were given secret messages eight months ago when you heard the song, “We Built This City,” by,
Jefferson- we think this refers to Jefferson Monument in D.C.,
Airplane-your plane trip to Texas, and
StarShip- We don’t know what part that plays yet. And, we are still working on the messages in the lyrics.”
“Adamson, you were sent a poem. It seems there may be a personal connection to these crimes and the Crumblies.”
“And Bronyaur, you had that dream about the Chocolate Factory. We think there are numerous secret messages encoded in your dream, or, the enemy has a twisted sense of humor.”
“Everything I’m about to tell you is Top Secret.”
Adamson, Marier and Bronyaur did not look up, the chocolate and coffee still dominated their attention.
“We have identified the following departments as possibly involved with these crimes.” The lights dimmed and Henderson pointed to the projected presentation on the wall.
U.S. Confectioners Department, Secret Recipes division
Counter Terrorism & Terrorism Departments, Biological Weapons division
Super Powers Department, Mind Control and Teleportation divisions
Intelligence Communication Department, Encoding division for Music, Poems, Movies and Dreams
Brewed Advantage Department, Foreign Coffee Research division
Alien Relations Department, World Domination division.”
Everyone suddenly stopped eating chocolate and drinking coffee.
“You mean that…” Adamson began.
Henderson continued. “We have developed secret biological weapons that are similar to those being used in these crimes. They include, ChocoBoom – exploding cocoa powder and ChocoPoof – disappearing cocoa powder. And, it sounds like someone is developing something equivalent to our CafePoof, which isn’t perfected yet, still too many side effects. These three biological weapons, when in the wrong hands, could bring down the entire world.”
Henderson turned on the lights with his remote. “We need you to look through this book of suspects from our secret projects.”
Adamson grabbed the book and Marier and Bronyaur hovered around him to look through the profiles. Among the numerous faces, were, Stephen Spielberg, William Shatner, Simon Cowell, Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, Camilla Parker Bowles, Elton John, Johnny Depp, Jimmy Carter and Sarah Palin.
“Really? All these people work for secret U.S. government projects?” Adamson snorted.
“Just keep looking, see if you have any association with the suspects.” Henderson scowled.
What is that?…aliens?” Adamson pointed at inhuman creatures.
“We won’t worry about them right now,” Henderson ripped out several pages.
Then, they turned to the last page of the suspect book, and Adamson, Marier and Bronyaur gasp simultaneously…