Starlequin watched the others from his seat at the outdoor cafe, absently sipping his medium-fat low-foam hi-caf triple shot machiatto vente grande fro-yo frappe caramel double espresso apple cinnamon latte with pumpkin spice and peppermint sprinkles. Once again, the kid behind the counter had totally forgotten the almond milk, but unfortunately it appeared there were even worse crimes afoot, difficult as the idea was to believe. Star tore off a hunk of his glazed wildberry eclair and tossed it onto the table, an offering to the small pigeon that sat unruffled across from him.
"Do you ever get the feeling that someone is playing games with you?" Star asked the bird, watching as it carefully pecked around the syrupy coating of its treat. "I mean, as though there were some strange, cosmic force toying with the direction of your life? Like a sick puppet master is calling a tune and forcing you to dance to it, or perhaps some impossibly handsome yet utterly sadistic narrator is mocking your feeble efforts to decide your own fate?"
The pigeon cocked one eye and loosed a small stream of pasty white excrement onto the sidewalk from the table's edge.
"You make a compelling argument indeed, my friend. But I'm afraid I just can't accept that things are so simple," Star said, leaning back to take another sip of metabolic mayhem. The rest of the citizenry continued to crowd around the corpse lying in Town Square. Gods, but this was a gruesome town, yet for the life of him Starlequin couldn't recall why he continued to return to it. He'd tested his luck against White Court once, long ago, and yet again recently (though somehow that episode felt like an odd dream, or perhaps an unfinished story acted out by a band of players, for instance on some peculiar joint story-telling forum), and still something in him insisted he remain.
"Well, in any case. Enough wild speculation. It's time to get down to brass tacks." Star leaned forward and pounded one fist on the table, scattered a small pile of sugar packets but otherwise failing to attract the pigeon's attention. "I know you're hiding something, my feathery amigo! Where were you when the Sheriff was murdered?! Come clean now, or it will be harder on you later!"
The pigeon trilled softly and stared at a weed that had managed to burst through the sidewalk below the table.
"A likely story," Starlequin muttered around another mouthful of his pancreatic piledriver. "But alright. You're a tough customer. I can respect that. We'll consider this avenue of investigation closed... for now. But don't go leaving town, get me?"
The bird flew away and Starlequin finished his drink, silently wondering why he'd just attempted to interrogate a pigeon. A thought crossed his mind that the entire incident just might have given credence to his ridiculous narrator theory until he conveniently forgot what he was thinking about and left the cafe. Up ahead he heard his name being bandied about yet again, and with a sigh of frustration he waded into the crowd.
"Look, I already told the police, I had nothing to do with -- wait. What?" He started, his protestations of innocence cut short as he realized that for once he was being nominated for a job rather than a noose. "You.. want.. me? To be...?" Star pointed down at the body on the pavement, one eyebrow cocked in disbelief, the other cocked slightly higher in more disbelief. "I... dunno about this, guys. Don't you think maybe, er... um... let's see, oh! Phaia! Yeah, that's it, Phaia, don't you think she'd be a much better targ--uh, Sheriff than me? Sure, she would. Phaia for Sheriff, there you go. Well, glad we got that settled."
Starlequin turned to leave, suddenly craving another very large medium-fat low-foam hi-caf triple shot machiatto vente grande fro-yo frappe caramel double espresso apple cinnamon latte with pumpkin spice and peppermint sprinkles, perhaps to be enjoyed in a nice, quiet, exceedingly secure panic room somewhere...