Murder, she typed

"I come from the International Time Travellers Association," she said proudly, but seeing my blank expression she added, "Well, all right, the International Time Travellers and Jaffa-cake Association, but that is hopefully getting changed soon."

I blinked as she removed her furs and a wig, revealing straw coloured hair and a simple dress of blue cotton.

"The ITTJA? We fix paradoxes, have a laff-a and eat boxes of that wonderful Jaffa? Our slogan? Helloooo?"

Somehow, I still felt dubious.

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3. Sports centre of Doom

 

As she opened the file, I felt oddly nervous, as if I was on some talent show. Cassandra smiled at me slyly and joked, "And the winner is... Karen!" Making a hissing noise, she clapped and shouted my name before eventually trailling off. I coughed.

'Moving on..." after sweeping to her desk, she placed the folder on the desk and pulled out a slip of paper with large writing printed on, "Your list of achievements."

A little bit hurt, I asked if that was it.

"Oh no, no, no, no! This is my shopping list, wound its way in here!" She burst out laughing and quickly showed me it: briefly, I noticed SUGAR!! :)  was at the top. I wasn't really surprised.

"Let's see... when you were... five, you saved your little brother from getting blamed for stealing your mother's cupcakes? Impressive. At seven, you investigated into the disappeared cat from down the road and realised it had been locked in your neighbours potting shed. At 12, you entered a detective story writing contest and won second place, even though anyone from 12  up to 18 could enter? You are a born detective writer, Karen. And you would be perfect here!"

"Excuse me, but how do you know all of that? And even if I could write, why would you need me here?" I replied, confused. Cassandra popped the folder back and scampered back down.

"Of course you wouldn't be based here! But you would be a working for us. Now you must be asking: Why would the ITTJA need a detective writer, but," she grasped my hands and beamed at me, "It is us who solve many of the world's biggest mysteries. However, we never get to share these dangerous, exciting, intriguing stories to the very people we save. So we employ people who have an honest, just mind, who are curious and brave and, most of all, fabulous at writing! Understand? Oh and we got all of that other information from your mother's blog, Raising my Darling Children, the Plague of my Life, she starts next year. By the way, it is quite clear that you didn't really inherit your writing genes from her! Anyway, we weren't planning to hire you for another year but Fred got a little befuddled with the details and mixed you up with another Private named Katie! Can you believe it?!"

"Not really." My mind was reeling from the overload of information. I felt extremely tired and it seemed like years since Mr Macelldo had confused me for his landlord.

"I can see your thinking it over. Shall I put a little music on to let you decide? I am afraid it's a tiny bit out of date, but only by a few years," Casually, she turned on a dusty little speaker on the desk and Italian opera blared through the room, a woman with a very scratchy voice, "Perhaps a few centuries old..."

As I sat there, trying to contemplate all the woman had told me over the screeching opera singer (note to self: don't agree to Cassandra putting on music again) , my main thought was: My mother always over shares on the internet.

"Look," Cassandra finally broke the reverie I had been in for the past 10 minutes, "Can you just take the job? Our last writer... didn't work out so well and we need a replacement. Pronto! Read this, if you don't believe me."

She handed me a thin paperback in fuchsia with embossed gold lettering. It was titled: the sports centre of doom!!! By Chantelle xxx. Intrigued, I opened it and read this:

 

So I was like in this office when the phone rang RING RING oh my god who was that?? i picked up the phone and ma friend Sadie (who is a ledge btw) is like yo peep, hows ur new office and i say oh it is small and dark and boring do ya have any mysteries for me?? she said no but i kno someone who has!!! :):D She gives me this phone number, +44 4444 444444 and i wring it and a dude says yeah hey i have a mystery for you babes it is called THE SPORTS CENTRE OF DOOM and loadsa people have been saying they go there & train for like hours and practically days but they stay the same size! SO i said ok hun these poor fat people are like needin ma help and ill be write over kay? And he says yeah ur so nice wanna go out on a date sometime ;) So I saud yeses!!! wich was fun

THE END

"Don't you have an editor or something...?" I tried but she merely shook her head and smiled sadly.

"That is edited," she shuddered, "It used to be worse."

That was it. This poor woman needed help. This mad, strange company needed help.

"I'll take the job!" I beamed.

That was when it all started.

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