Cellos and saxophones beat each other up against the wall of rustling created by hundreds of unsettled guests. The light from the opened door glared into their eyes, the writhing dancers slithered into their minds, and the flashing screen announcements told them to:
Then the light shut off. The music silenced mid-note. The dancers pirouetted into vapor. The screens stopped flashing and instead proclaimed a steady:
A mechanical whir began, and as the darkness began softening around people’s eyes, the outline of Cadbury Fife appeared on the ramp circling the Guest Table.
Cadbury: I am Cadbury Fife, Detective-At-Large. This is my Detection Party.
As he spoke, he both orbited the center of the room and and rotated on his own axis. This was achieved through the simultaneous motion of the walkway and his legs, with which he conducted an elegant tango to the rhythm of his speech.
Cadbury: Let me explain the quantum math of detecthievery. It is all about Subjects, Objects and Characters. I will now tell you about some of the Characters.
As eyes further adapted to the darkness of the light, the dancing could be seen to have resumed on all stages – a painfully slow contortion of wriggles.
Cadbury: There was a lady that lost her man, lost her mind, and become unspooled in the soul.
At the main table Selia could be seen sitting on a bucket to the right of the empty head bucket.
Cadbury: There was a man that vaporized, vanished, blinked out like a white light in the black hole of the day. Mark von Cola had a promising career… perhaps too promising… perhaps, indeed, he did too much promising…
A moment of silence ensued as people looked around with a twittery inquisitiveness. Perhaps Mark von Cola was amongst them?
Cadbury: But we don’t know what happened to Mark von Cola, because I haven’t committed the crime yet. Indeed, I only recently solved this case, and after a lot of dancing have finally deduced my motive. Now we have some shaking to do.
The screens started shaking with color. A series of squares shifting through the spectrum – Red, Yellow, Green, Blue – with accompanying electronic beats. At a certain point the sound and vision stopped suddenly.
Cadbury: Yellow [referring to the color the screens stopped on]. Anyone with a yellow canister, and a fork with a heart on it, please stand.
Cadbury: Those standing, empty your pockets. Put the contents of your pockets on your plate. Pass your plate to the left. Pick up one of your forks. Put your forks in your pockets. Sit down.
Cadbury did a full loop of the room for effect.
Cadbury: Check your plates. Would the person with a red fish key chain with the initials M.V.C. on it, please stand.
Nervously, a rotund, haggard looking man stood and held up a key chain in the shape of red fish. As the man arose, Elfonso Coconautica moved in and began ushering him towards Cadbury, while also taking the chain and inspecting it.
When they reached Cadbury, some small conversation ensued, before the man was guided to the main table and seated on the bucket to the left of the empty head bucket.
Cadbury: [Turning back to room] Welcome our friend, Ted Fudd. I hear he is a Fisherman.
Ted Fudd was squirming awkwardly on a bucket that wasn’t entirely built to sustain his girth. In fact, there was a lot of squirming in the room, perhaps due to a lot of people having forks in their pockets.
Cadbury: Stop squirming!
His words resonated as he stared gravely at each and every guest while continuing to rotate around the room. He was now on one leg, but still spinning, rotating and glaring with a grandiose authority.
The screen now began pulsing white, and the dancers began furiously waving their arms in time, yet with a newly monstrous randomness.
Cadbury: Start shaking!