Jay marches into the hotel suite and throws a hat onto the table with a sulk. The hat looks like the one Sherlock Holmes has in stories despite being bright yellow: I don’t ask where he got it, or from who.
“Kiddo. Something wrong?”
“Solving crimes is really hard, Charlie!”
I resist the urge to turn on the TV. We’re on the eighth floor, so the odds are good any sirens I hear might not involve Jay. It’s at least possible that none of them do, but he has been on his own for over two hours so I wouldn’t bet money on it. I set the book I was reading aside. “Jay. You can do bindings like nothing else in the universe. How is it hard to solve crimes?”
“Lots of them don’t want to be solved at all,” he wails.
I pause. Mentally back up a few steps. “You – ask the crimes if they want to be solved?”
“It would be really rude to solve them otherwise,” he explains.
“People normally solve crimes by finding and following clues.”
“Oh! I don’t do that. Clues are just traps to throw you off guard,” he says.
“Clues are traps?”
“Like in Clue, because you end up thinking wrong-things even if they make sense cuz clues lead you away from stuff you should be really seeing and a smart criminal would leave lots of clues so they never get found at all!” He beams proudly at that logic.
“So instead you ignore clues and talk to the crime itself.” I can’t help myself. “What if it doesn’t want to talk to you?”
“Who wouldn’t want to talk to a Jay?” he asks, honestly baffled.
“What kind of crime did you try and solve today?” I ask slowly.
“I found a dead end street and I asked why it was dead and! helped make it not dead, but that wasn’t a crime so I found a wall that didn’t want to have graffiti and the graffiti didn’t want to tell me who wrote it and that was all kinds of rude-face.” He thumps down in the chair beside me.
“Ah. You might want to talk to Honcho about this?”
“But then he might solve crimes for me and – ooh! I just sensed another one,” and Jay vanishes a moment later.
I text the wandering magician. The text includes several rude and urgent words. And then I turn on the tv. The news anchor is explaining that the station can’t field any more calls or tweets at this time regarding the state of Cloverside Road. If nothing else, Jay has probably solve the crime of people not watching the local news. I send a text to the number the fae gave me over a year ago, with just the word ‘Adventures.’ They’ll pinpoint the city we’re in and send someone to cover up Jay’s enthusiasm with glamour. Hopefully.
All I can do is hope Jay doesn’t try and solve a true crime, or run into one.