,. The white building stood like a snowflake in a desert. It was so out of place, that it was always the first thing noticed about the city. Not that the city was known for anything else. It was unlikely the city would have ever been on the map, if not for the church of the Water Lily. It was still within memory, if you were older, a time that the city was only a town, and nothing more.
The white building was a symbol of growth. It was also the case for the most expensive religious artifact ever known; the Water Lily. The Water Lily was best known for being the last piece of God’s gift. Which was supposedly a necklace given to his only lover? It was quite sad that the necklace remained, and was given a name, but the woman was never known.
It was this building that Sanec Barker stood in front of now. Looking into the high glass paned windows, sure that the shapes were supposed to be images, but unable to make them out. He glanced up the stairs and put his paw forward.
Barker was a detective and the only of his kind on the squad. Not quite the only dog, but most surely the only Doberman. This fact made him even more noticeable around the precinct, which settled just right with him. Better to stick out, lest you be lost in the shuffle of things.
Barker stopped a brief moment and fixed his collar. It was nothing fancy, but he had spent his first full paycheck on the suit. This act had been years ago, but it still fit him quite nicely.
He looked over the outside of the building again. He was sure he wasn’t missing anything. He had viewed the building a hundred times, if not more. He was just being careful, it was better to leave nothing behind.
He started to move up the white stairs again. He wondered at the effort it must take to keep this building clean. He had played a part in that cleaning once before, but he didn’t bother to think about that now. Instead, he continued to the two white doors.
At the top of the stairs, he could hear the voices of other detectives in his squad. He picked out Psitticus quite easily. His voiced squawked, which made sense, with him being a parrot and all. Barker put his paw on the handle of the door but stopped hearing a new voice.
“The room has no windows. It also has no real door.” Barker held his pause. The voice was not one of the detectives. “What do you mean it has no door?” That voice was Lucky. “Well, it has another type of entrance,” The other voice replied.
“I am not sure we are following,” that was Psitticus again. “Well, come on it is easier if I just show you.” Barker took the cue. He wasn’t going into the room yet. He turned and plopped down on the top step.
It wasn’t his style to go into the room with the other detectives. He liked to see things alone. To get a feel for the situation on his terms, plus the room wasn’t that big of a secret.
Every year, thousands of people lined the street out in front of the church. They did so with hopes of being part of the chosen few. Every year for the past three hundred years the day of the Water Lily was celebrated by the church. And every year hundreds of families were chosen to be blessed by the Water Lily.
In a ceremony that would last most of the day, the gem was placed in a bath of water. It was then removed quickly, and placed back into the supposed impenetrable room. The water was transported into the main section of the church. The blessed families who had the fortune to have pew seats were then blessed. The word fortune here not meaning luck, but quite literally the funds to buy the pews, Barker wondered how holy this could really be.
Barker checked his watch. The families would be arriving with the sun. It was four in the morning. The police had less than two hours to figure this out.
“Nothing in there, we could stay here for hours, but there is nothing there.” Psitticus was saying. Barker stood dusting the back of his pants. The doors to the church opened and Barker started to move up the stairs. “Morning gentlemen,” he said to the two men.
Lucky looked down at his feet. The man had trouble making eye contact with anyone; especially Barker, who always held his head up high. “Well, you have missed the grunt work, Barker.” Psitticus was never one for a greeting. His attitude matched his feathers; loud! “Good to see you too,” Barker said while fixing his collar.
“There is nothing in there,” Lucky said to his shoes. “Well, that would seemingly be the case. Which is why the church has called us in the first place,” Barker said. Lucky kicked at something imaginary with the tip of his loafer.
Barker turned back towards the parrot. “Quit being cute, did you not get the call? Were you doing something more important than your job, Barker?” Psitticus had a gleam of anger in his eye, but that was always there.
Barker shrugged, “Just figured I could clean up what you guys messed up.” Barker didn’t stand on the pier any longer. He brushed passed Lucky, even though there was plenty of room. He then pushed open the white church doors. It was now his turn to evaluate.
The Canes Files