Nancy sat on the ground, hacking at the old clock with a screwdriver.
“There’s a mystery in here somewhere,” she said. “I know it.”
Ned Nickerson, her affable yet forgettable boyfriend, said, “Nancy there is no mystery in that clock. Why are you doing that?”
“IT STOPPED TICKING,” she replied in all capital letters.
“Maybe you should change the batteries.”
“BUT IT NEEDS TRIPLE A’S,” she said, using capitals as if there were worth no more than dirty tissues. “WHAT SORT OF CLOCK RUNS ON TRIPLE A BATTERIES, I ASK YOU.”
“We can just take them out of the remote,” Ned replied weakly. “This is worse than the time you went to Germany.”
“Germany can suck it,” Nancy agreed.
The time Nancy went to Germany had been totally messed up. Some Burgermeister Meisterburger had said there was like a monster attacking his castle and kidnapping young women who were all wearing the same necklace. Which didn’t even make sense when you think about it, if the chickadees were disappearing shouldn’t the necklace have disappeared too? Germany was totally stupid.
She spent most of the time on the plane arguing with Ned on the phone.
“Nancy you should come home; Germany is totally messed up.”
“Don’t hold me back, Ned, you don’t know me.”
“You don’t even speak German.”
“Who needs German anyway?”
“You do because you’re going to Germany.”
“It’s cool I will use sign language.”
“You also don’t know sign language Nancy.”
They mystery was some total Scooby Doo type stuff; just some guy in a scary outfit. Nancy had to give props to the old school Hannah-Barbera callback, though. It was seriously meta. Frank Hardy called her while she was trying to figure out the case because he was a real dick and liked to taunt her when she was stuck trying to solve something.
“Frank what the hell, man, shouldn’t you be smoking pot with your dumbass brother in some alleyway while you blow off your book reports on Lady Chatterly’s Lover?”
“Nancy Drew, drew meeee a picture,” Frank replied.
“Are you high right now?”
“What’s up, plucky girl detective? Got nothing to pluck?”
“God dammit, Frank.”
The good part about that was she got to keep the necklace.
“Why did you do that?” asked Ned.
“Do what?” she replied, slamming her screwdriver into the clock again.
“Have a flashback like that?”
“It’s a legit storytelling device, Ned.”
“You’re not going to do it again, are you?”
“What’s it to you?”
“Hey what are you guys doing out in this field?” Nancy’s friend Bess walked up, carrying a variety of books.
“We were just talking about Germany,” said Nancy.
“No we were not,” said Ned.
“I’m still pissed you didn’t take me,” said Bess.
“I took you to Japan, right?”
“Oh please don’t flashback again,” said Ned.
Japan had been totally weaksauce. Bess and Nancy did not know any Japanese and they had to figure out the Kyoto subways system which was more tangled up than a girl’s hair after she goes swimming in a man-made lake. Gross.
“I don’t know why we are in Japan, Nancy,” said Bess as they sat in a subway car that was crammed tighter than a box full of packing peanuts that had been stuffed by someone who goes really overboard with the packing peanuts. “We don’t even speak Japanese.”
“It’s okay, I will use sign language.”
“You don’t know sign language, Nancy.”
“I’m sure they will understand my meaning.”
“It’s also different from country to country.”
Nancy was wildly gesturing at a thirteen year old girl who was trying to text on her cell phone and ignore the crazy American lady.
“Unless you know international sign language which you do not, Nancy, seriously, stop that.”
“You don’t know me,” Nancy replied indignantly.
“Yes, I do, we’ve been friends for like seventy years,” replied Bess.
“What,” Nancy suddenly stopped what she was doing. “But I only look like I’m sixteen, or twenty one, depending on the story.”
“I know, Nancy.”
“Seriously, I don’t even understand the point of these stories,” said Ned.
Bess had crouched on the ground next to Nancy, having dropped her books unceremoniously onto the ground. She was now pointing at various points on the clock and Nancy would slam her screwdriver against it in a desperate attempt to do something.
“Hey guys, you all are in this field too?” George, Nancy’s only other friend besides Bess, walked up to where the small group was gathered. He was carrying a skillet in his right hand and what looked like a beebee gun in the other. He had a black eye and his shirt was ripped, as if torn by a monstrous creation from the third dimension who had then summoned a demon that fed itself on lemon meringue and pecan pies, and only lemon meringue and pecan pies. A large smile was on George’s face, and he happily plopped down on the ground to join Bess’s and Nancy’s endeavor.
“Yeah,” said Bess answering George’s question from the last paragraph. “We were just reminiscing about our old adventures.”
“No we were not,” said Ned.
“Oh, like the time Nancy tried to fight a tornado?”
This flashback was not as good as the others. It was just Nancy wearing a pair of boxing gloves and standing diagonally across from a seven foot fall tornado.
“I can take ‘em,” Nancy said, bouncing on her toes. Her weathered old coach Jerry massaged her shoulders. Jerry had been through a lot in his life. He had lost his wife to a locust attack and his chickens had learned how to talk, but mostly they talked about sex and it really creeped him out.
Nancy gestured at herself, getting pumped up for the fight. “He’s got nothing on thisssssssssssss.”
She nearly died.
“Can we stop this now,” said Ned.
“Oh wait, oh wait, if we’re talking about stories, we have to talk about that time Nancy stole a wedding veil,” said George. “And that blond guy in the ugly plaid shirt tried to stop her.”
“He rolled up the cuffs of his jeans,” said Bess.
“Ewwwwwwwwwww,” the three friends squealed in unison.
“It’s only ‘cause Ned would not get his shit together and propose,” said Nancy.
“Why would I propose to you?” said Ned. “You are a weird girl who is sitting in the middle of a field using a screwdriver as a hammer on an old clock that isn’t even broken.”
“You have a collection of skulls.”
Ned hesitated. After a moment, he said, “Fair enough.”
Nancy stood up, throwing the clock on the ground and wiping her hands on her dress. “Screw this. Let’s go to 7-11.”
“Aww yissss,” said George. “You know they have Sprite Slurpees now?”
“They’ve had Sprite Slurpees, dipwad,” said Bess. “Where have you been?”
“In your mom’s bed,” snapped back George.
“Inappropriate,” said Ned. “But I bet we can get batteries for the clock.”
Nancy gave him a curious look. “What clock?”
“Forget it, Nancy,” said Ned. “Just forget it.”