Who killed Peter Pan?
And where's Tinkerbell?
Nancy glanced up from the corpse she was studying and gave the medical examiner a quick nod, signaling an end to her own cursory examination of the body lying on the table.
"Why would anyone want to kill Peter Pan?" The M.E. asked as she covered the body with a sheet. "And why in such a horrid manner?"
Nancy Drew scribbled some more notes into her ubiquitous little, black book and then shut it soundly and put it away.
"From what I understand," Nancy said. "Peter Pan had no shortage of enemies. He was described to me by what was left of Captain Hook's men, the Lost Boys, and everyone else as an arrogant narcissist, a bully, a serial cheater, a compulsive liar, and... a killer."
The M.E. nodded her head as she removed her gloves and dropped them into a trashcan. "Yes, I'm sure that he was all of those things," she said. "But everyone already knew that about him. Why kill him now?"
"Well," Nancy said. "That does appear to be one of the questions that I'll be working on answering... along with who or what has the capability to so utterly destroy the most powerful magical being in Neverland. I also got the impression that although he seemed to be universally disliked, no one really had the nerve to make a serious move against him... no one alive anyway."
"Did you speak with Tinkerbell?" the M.E. asked. "She was quite powerful as well, and so jealous of Peter's, uh, dalliances. I have to admit that she was the first person that came to mind when I found out about Peter Pan's demise."
Nancy Drew nodded. "I thought the same thing, but I haven't been able to question her yet."
The M.E.'s eyes widened. "Oh dear," she said. "If I'm not overstepping my boundaries detective, why haven't you spoken with her?"
"Because Tinkerbell is missing."
Later that evening, Nancy Drew entered her apartment and sighed in pleasure as she kicked off her shoes at the door. She was about to toss her bag and keys on the small table near the door when she noticed that another bag was already taking up that space. She quickly reached into her purse and pulled out her pistol. After another glance at the strange bag sitting on her table, she placed her pistol in a two-handed grip, and then proceeded to search and clear her apartment. She found no one and nothing else amiss in her domicile, and so she returned to the unknown bag on her table and peeked inside. There was a note. When she picked up the note to read it, she saw that the bag was full of jewels, silver coins, and pieces of eight. Pirates loot.
"No wonder Captain Hook's men seemed so jittery when she had spoken to them," Nancy whispered to herself. Then she read the note.
'Drop the case unless you wish to share Peter Pan's and the Red Queen's fate.'
"The Red Queen?" Nancy gasped. The case was getting hotter, and the answer Nancy was looking for seemed to tickle at the back of her mind as she shoved the note back into the bag and tossed the bag into the nearby hall closet. She nearly twisted an ankle getting her shoes back on while putting her gun away, and then she was running down the stairs and calling for an Uber.
The car got her to Wonderland's entrance in almost no time. However, this time when she went through the doorway, there was no white rabbit to greet her. Wonderland itself seemed different somehow; muted, almost apprehensive. Ever since she'd found and rescued Alice from Wonderland, she'd become well-known to Wonderland's mad denizens. And mad they were, for it was the March Hare himself that had pointed out that all of Wonderland's inhabitants were indeed mad.
The deeper into Wonderland Nancy wandered, the more she was shocked by the devastation she saw. Hundreds of Playing Card soldiers lay strewn about; burned, singed, or cut into pieces. All dead. At the top of a hill, near their favorite picnic table, were the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Dormouse, and the poor White Rabbit. All dead.
As Nancy turned away and began to trudge away in the direction of the Queen's castle, the Cheshire Cat made its appearance.
"Welcome back Nancy," the cat coughed. "I'm afraid you missed all of the fun."
The Cheshire Cat still retained it's famous smile, but the rest of it was barely recognizable. In fact, some of its fur still smoked in spots.
"The Queen?" Nancy asked.
"Dead." The Cheshire Cat wheezed. "They're all dead up there. The king and the Dutchess out at the coast too. They're all gone."
"Who did this?" Nancy demanded, pulling out her little black book and pen. "You have to tell me!"
The Cheshire Cat coughed out a laugh. "Now, now Nancy," it said. "You know that's not how things work in Wonderland!"
The Cat's smile started to fade, slowly followed by the rest of its body. "No!" Nancy screamed as she rushed towards the low branch where the Cheshire Cat had draped itself. "You have to tell me!"
"She did smell nice though," the smile added before completely fading away. "Like warm muffinssss....." And then he was gone.
The next day the Nancy received a call from the M.E. "I found Tinkerbell," she said.
Nancy arrived at the Medical Examiner's office and was quickly shuttled into the same lab where she'd earlier looked at Peter Pan's dead body.
"I think you'll be able to cross Tinkerbell off your list of suspects," the M.E. said as she removed a sheet from whatever it was that lay on the table.
It was a mass of fur. Or more correctly, a dead monkey. Or even more correctly, half of a dead monkey.
"I don't get it," Nancy admitted. "So where's Tinkerbell?"
The M.E. pointed at a beaker sitting atop a nearby table. The beaker contained a bit of bloody pulp, with tiny limbs and a tiny head barely able to be made out.
Nancy almost gagged. "What happened?"
"From what I can tell, this monkey ate her, but she had enough strength at the end to almost blast her way out. As it is, it seems that she was able to blow the upper half of the monkey away, but by then it was too late for her. I assume it was one of the pirate's monkeys, since they seem to enjoy keeping those things as pets..."
Nancy was scribbling away in her little black book, the mystery coalescing in her mind and finally dropping away, leaving her with a clear vision of who the killer was.
The Uber Nancy called dropped her off in Oz the next day. Physically tired, Nancy nevertheless felt the familiar rush of excitement she always felt when she was about to solve a case. She walked the familiar path of yellow bricks, a little unnerved by the lack of Munchkins, Lollipop Kids, or other weird beings that called Oz home. Then, just as she expected, a brilliant golden globe came floating to where she was. Nancy stopped and waited for the globe to come to a stop and fade gently away, revealing the beautiful form of Glinda the Good Witch.
"Well, hello Nancy," Glinda greeted her in her famously sweet sing-song voice.
Hi Glinda," Nancy replied.
"So what brings you to the Merry Ol' Land of Oz?" Glinda asked sweetly.
"I'm actually here to arrest you on several counts of murder," Nancy answered her just as sweetly.
Glinda laughed, a sound like silver bells coaxed on by a fresh morning breeze. "What makes you think...?"
Nancy pulled out her black book, opened it up, and began referring through its pages. "It all began with you orchestrating the deaths of your sisters, the witches of the east and west and pinning the blame on Dorothy, whom I wound up having to rescue from the Land of Oz before you could kill her too. Shortly thereafter you also did away with your sister, the Good Witch of the South, before banishing the phony sorcerer Oz, and taking over the Emerald City. But that wasn't good enough, you then set your sights on other magical realms like Neverland and Wonderland. Knowing that once you had gotten rid of their most powerful denizens, the power and magicks of these lands would be yours for the taking."
"You have quite a vivid imagination Nancy Drew," Glinda said quietly.
"What really clinched it for me was the pirate's loot and the monkey that ate poor Tinkerbell. Only someone as powerful as Peter Pan could have gotten away with that loot, and as for the monkey... yes, several of the pirates keep monkeys as pets, but those are all, by and large, Capuchin monkeys, which are small bi-colored monkeys that would have been incapable of overpowering Tinkerbell. Whereas the remains of the monkey that I saw yesterday, were covered in thick, coarse, brown fur, and while there was only half of the monkey left, the half that I saw would have made that monkey about the size of an average five or six-year-old human. So even though its upper extremities had been destroyed, I could plainly see that it was of a species of monkey indigenous only to Oz. It had been, in fact, a Flying Monkey!"
Suddenly, without warning, Glinda was directly in front of Nancy, Her face only an inch or so away from hers. A mist seemingly infused with glitter and tiny lights emanated from the corners of her eyes and from between her teeth. The cloying smell of freshly baked muffins filled the little bit of air that separated them.
"You should have just taken the money and dropped the case Nancy Drew," Glinda said. "Now you're going to have to die!"
Glinda raised her hand as if to strike Nancy with some sort of spell or other lethal magic, and Nancy leapt back and pulled her pistol from her bag.
Glinda laughed again. "You silly girl," she said. "I would have thought that you knew better than to threaten me with something as mundane as a gun. Bullets are useless against a witch of Oz!"
"Yeah, joke's on you," Nancy said as she leveled her gun at the witch. "I do know that."
Nancy squeezed the trigger.
The first stream of water struck the witch with a hiss, the pain and effect freezing the witch in place. The ensuing fusillade of water from Nancy's water pistol caused the witch to cry out and writhe in pain as she literally melted away. Nancy took out her cellphone and took several pictures of the smoking mass that had once been Glinda the Good Witch, then called for an Uber to take her back home.