~The Original Girl Detective~

"The thief," says the girl with sandy pigtails, "is her." Unbelievably she points her little Munchkin finger at me. I just stand there completely aghast. Mostly because how dare she blame me for this heinous crime? Plus, I'm a little shocked that she figured it out. I had honestly thought I had covered by tracks better than that.

"That's absurd," I say, trying my very best to sound insulted. Which is easy to do when one considers the consequences of being caught.

"Is it?" asks Gill, who just happens to be the world's youngest (and cutest!) detective.

"It is," I reply. I'm Eliza, the world's former youngest (and cutest!) detective. That is, until Gill happened. And they wonder why I turned to a life of crime. "Besides, where's your proof?" Gill's face blossoms into a brilliant pink. Ha!- I knew it- there is no proof. I'm better than that.

"Yes, but there's motive."

I raise my eyebrows and tilt my head. Motive? My very countenance screams innocence. "Oh?"

"Envy, jealousy, revenge," says Gill.

"And what exactly would I hope to accomplish?"

"You hope to discredit me." Gill is biting her bottom lip. She is nervous and unsure- which is just where I want her.

"It sounds like you have it all figured out; it's too bad that Mr. Davis confessed to everything before you got here. Other than that, I'm sure your theory had plenty of merit."

"But," Gill says, her mouth agape, "that's impossible. You did it, I know you did." A middle aged woman, who I assume is Gill's mother, starts to drag her out of the room. I'm not sure, but it looks as if Gill is crying. I feel a quick dart of something that might be guilt. That gives me pause: Gill is clearly a better detective than I gave her credit for. I mean, she saw through my entire plot. Well, with the notable exception of where I convinced Mr. Davis that he's actually guilty…

A reporter, after seeing this exchange, snaps a quick photo of me. I give the man a quick smile as I duck under the crime scene tape. Outside night is falling and the stars are peeking out. As the sky blackens, they shine more strongly. I stop walking and stare up at them. Eventually the night recedes to the back of my mind. The stars are my spotlight, I think, and all I had to do to see them was to embrace the darkness.

A/N: Short little ficlet that I actually wrote forever ago and just recently found. This story actually preceded Mystery of the Missing Fashion Sense, so Eliza is the original girl detective in more ways than one.