Lollipop Jones & Pecan Sandie in:
Chili Dogs for Christmas
Lollipop Jones and her ever present assistant, Pecan Sandie, were shutting down their detective agency. They had just successfully stopped a snowman revolution, and it was time for them to enjoy their favorite Christmas tradition: chili dogs at the Big Red V. Jones pulled the lollipop, her trademark, from her mouth. The red coloring and strong aroma let Sandie know it was cherry flavored. “What do you say Pecan?” She asked. “You ready?”
“Always.” Sandie’s gravelly voice responded.
Most people did not expect the large hulking gorilla of a man when they heard the name Pecan Sandie. In a cruel twist of fate, Sandie’s dad had been a Johnny Cash fan and felt that Sandie would make his son have to be tough to survive. If there was one thing that Sandie was, it was tough. The name Pecan had come from Sandie’s ability to crack the aforementioned nuts by closing his large knuckled hand.
The snow was beginning to fall harder outside of their office windows. “If we’re going to get there in time, we need to be moving.” Lollipop stated.
Agreeing with her, Sandie started down the steps. By the time they reached the street, both of the detectives realized that something was wrong. The city seemed to be holding its breath, waiting in anticipation of something. “You feel that?” Jones asked. “What do you think?”
“Chili dogs.” Pecan answered.
“Right. Chili dogs and then we may want to keep our eyes peeled for any trouble.” Lollipop agreed.
The sucker stick protruding from her mouth, blended in with the falling flakes of white. Their dark coats made them little more than silhouettes in the snow with the dark of night overhead. Street lights did their best to dispel the winter darkness, holding out against the night. Lollipop made the observation that street lights were the real guardians of civilization. She started to share this epiphany but felt that Pecan was more concerned with his stomach’s need for chili dogs than her philosophical ramblings. Something darted from the alley ahead of them. It was a quick movement but both of the detectives spotted it.
“Bigfoot?” Lollipop asked, wondering if the hairy nuisance had wondered back into the city.
“Ninja.” Pecan answered. “Gone now.”
Lollipop did not like ninjas. As a baby, she had been left on the doorstep of a convent of warrior nuns: the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist. The Fighting Sisters had been her family. They had taught her everything a nun would need to know, and the deadliest secrets of martial arts, known only to Fighting Sisters. Lollipop had left at the age of eighteen before taking any vows. Her awesomeness was too great to be withheld within the convent. But one thing that Lollipop knew: the nuns did not abide ninjas. If Lollipop caught one, she would perform the Uber-Death Punch on them. As the sisters used to say: “the only good ninja is an Uber-Death Punched ninja.”
“Lets’ get to the Big Red V.” She told her partner.
With a nod, Sandie led the way into the dark, toward the shining beacon in the night. The large neon V stood out brightly against the black sky, beckoning them towards the tasty treasure found within. Once in the parking lot, Sandie stopped in his tracks. Lollipop was stunned, nothing had ever stopped the behemoth before. “What is it Pecan?” She asked.
He pointed and she saw his face twitch. A sign that he was going to go berserk if the problem was not solved. Following his large index finger, Lollipop saw the problem. The Big Red V was filled with black clothed ninjas. Noticing the duo, the swarm of ninjas opened the doors and three ninjas dressed in white, stepped from the restaurant. Tension hung in the air, the snowflakes stopped falling and stayed suspended, anticipating something so awesome that only Hong Kong action cinema has attempted to dream about it. “I wish Bill Murray was here.” Sandie said.
Lollipop rolled her eyes. Her partner, the murder machine, had a strange affection towards the actor and always found some way to reference him. “Why?” Lollipop asked, knowing she was not going to be that amused by the answer.
“He can diffuse any tense situation, with four words.” Pecan answered.
“What four words?”
“Only Murray knows.” Pecan responded, almost solemnly.
The white ninjas had moved stealthily through the snow and were within speaking distance. “We have no business with you.” One said in the harsh staccato of those whose native language is not English. “You may leave.”
“No can do.” Lollipop answered. “My pal and I have a Christmas tradition as it were. Every Christmas Eve we come here and enjoy two chili dogs, fries and a nice frozen orange beverage. So why don’t you move on out?”
“Honor demands that we avenge ourselves.” The ninja stated.
“Honor?” Pecan asked, almost snarling.
“Yes!” The ninja explained. “Our brethren had all their white uniforms ruined by this places red chili. Now they cannot blend into the snow. They shall never serve such treacherous food again. If you wish to have chili dog, you must go elsewhere.”
A growl started low in Pecan’s throat. “Now you’ve done it.” Lollipop informed the ninja, who still stood calmly watching the angry brute before him. “By the way, the Fighting Sisters send their regards.”
With one swift movement, Lollipop performed the most sacred technique of the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist: the Uber-Death Punch. As the punch atomized his skeleton, the white ninja collapsed boneless into the snow. His body stayed there for a moment, then flashed and vanished leaving a shuriken in its place. Everyone knows ninjas live by video game rules, once deceased they remain for a moment, flash, disappear, and drop supplies.
The other two white ninjas reached for their katanas. “CHILI DOGS!” Pecan bellowed as he took a white ninja in each fist.
Bashing them together, he dropped them onto the snow. A moment later, he had three gold coins and a bag of rice. The Big Red V’s doors opened and black ninjas flooded into the street. Each of them brandishing weapons. “You still want those chili dogs?” She asked Pecan.
A maniacal smile creased his rigid face. Reaching behind his back, Sandie lifted a three foot long wooden handle. A double sided axe head hung in the middle, until Sandie flicked his wrist and unfolded the collapsed handle. The five foot long battleaxe was the only answer Lollipop received. Those ninjas closest to Pecan looked at each other, unsure of their chances against the menacing giant in their midst. Never one for patience, Pecan waded into the black clad menace weaving a vicious path as he swung his axe in great sweeping arcs.
Lollipop knew not to worry about the mountain of a man, she had her own ninjas to deal with. These ninjas were not as concerned with dealing with a woman, as their comrades had been about tangoing with Pecan. “Fools.” She muttered under her breath.
Four of the ninjas rushed her at once, coming in with their swords, playing at different cuts. It was a quick dance of flashing blades. A blink of the eye and the moment had passed. The ninjas all stood, their strokes flawless. Yet not one had managed to touch the detective. As she took one of the katanas from the ninjas, they collapsed to the ground. The others looked on in shock as those four flashed and disappeared, leaving supplies. Twirling the katana nonchalantly, Lollipop stood in the midst of the nervous ninjas. “Well?” She asked.
It was shameful to be taunted by a woman so blatantly. Rushing forward, the ninjas attacked. Pecan and Lollipop fought through the parking lot. Their techniques could not have been more different. Pecan a bull in a china shop, tossing ninjas about like wheat before the thresher. Lollipop moved fluidly, like a ballerina . . . if the ballet was pain. Twenty minutes later, no ninjas were left. The parking lot was filled with rice, gold coins, and shurikens.
“Grab the coins.” Lollipop said.
“Let them pay for my chili dogs.” Pecan stated.
“Exactly.” Lollipop said grinning.
Stepping through the doors of the Big Red V, Frank, the owner, greeted them. “Merry Christmas you two.” He said a big smile on his face. “Thanks. Those guys in their pajamas were weird.”
“Yeah.” Lollipop said.
“Chili dogs?” Pecan asked, licking his lips.
“Guys I’m sorry.” Frank started. “These are all I got left.”
Lifting a tray from beneath the counter, Frank revealed two chili dogs and a large fry. Pecan looked confused. “We’ll take it.” He said reaching for the tray. “Let’s split it.”
“Okay.” Lollipop said, smiling at her partner.
“Ho, Ho, Ho.” A laughter bellowed from behind them.
Turning, they both saw Santa Claus. “Frank, you got my order?” He asked.
“Sorry Santa, these guys got it first.” Frank explained.
“Oh, it’s all right.” Santa said, turning away to leave.
Pecan laid a large hand on the man’s red coat. Santa glanced over his shoulder. “Only two men I’ll give up chili dogs for: Santa Claus and Bill Murray.” Pecan answered, stepping aside to let the jolly man take the tray.
“You know you’ll be on the nice list for a long time for this.” Santa told him.
A smile creased Pecan’s face. Lollipop couldn’t help but laugh, she caught a glimpse of the boy Pecan had been. “Order up.” Someone called from the back.
“What?” Frank asked stepping over to the pick up window. “Nobody’s here but me.”
Stepping to the pick up window, Frank found two trays. Each with two chili dogs, large fries, and a frozen orange beverage. He shook his head, smiled and picked up the tray. “Looks like I spoke to soon.”
“CHILI DOGS!” Pecan shouted raising his arms in triumph.
Both Lollipop and Pecan looked to where Santa had sat down. The seat was empty and from the parking lot came the sound of jingling bells. Sitting across from each other the partners ate their traditional Christmas Eve dinner. “Merry Christmas Pecan.”
“Merry Christmas Lollipop.”
His hunger satiated, Pecan became his usual conversational self. The two friends sat for several hours talking as old friends are known to do. Before each retired to their home.
In the morning, with light streaming through the blinds. Pecan went and found a strange shape in his stocking. Reaching in, he withdrew Bill Murray’s Christmas portraits. It was the best Christmas present Pecan ever received.