by captain america on 07/11/14 at 7:57 pm
The big oak door opened silently on it’s well oiled 6” brass hinges, the only sound within the richly appointed study being a crackling fire in the massive stone fireplace soaring to the beamed oaken ceiling.
There was the smell of seasoned wood, well oiled leather, a pungent cigar and more than a whiff of jasmine.
In the shadow of the well tended fire a man was seen facing the flame, a silk smoking jacket draped causally around his shoulders, his arms clasped behind his back, a Monte Cristo obscenely protruding from his lips as he watched intently as the flames leaped and consumed balled up paper, flaring occasionally as it found aged photographs that instantly curled inward upon themselves and turned to ashes.
Suddenly the man became tense and pivoted, perhaps alerted by the breeze created from the open door. There was the shock of recognition on his face; his lips opened in surprise reflecting raw fear and dread. The cigar dropped unheedingly to the fine oriental rug.
“You! I thought you were dead?”
The man raised his hands in supplication, or maybe to ward off the blow he knew was coming.
To no avail. The 51 grain .22 caliber bullet put a red dot on his botoxed forehead causing only the mildest look of surprise as it entered his brain and went round and round and round until he slumped to the floor n a jumble of silk and pampered flesh, his glazed eyes only showing bemused wonderment as if he knew what was to come.
“I thought he was dead!”
Detective First Grade Joey Garcia shook his head while his eyes took in the whole scene, the way he had been trained to do it for the past 27 years on the job.
“Well, kid, he obviously thought he had fooled everybody, at least until tonight.”
Garcia’s partner, Ana Hightower, promoted to detective after putting in time checking parking meters, working in vice, and finally making a name for herself when she took out 3 armed gang bangers in the midst of a violent car jacking and getting wounded in the process, shook our her long auburn mane and could only muster a quizzical look.
“The bigger question is, who was that charred ember they pulled out of that Escalade that his 3 wives and 4 ex girlfriends identified as Fat Ritchie Perrone, aka the dearly re deceased,’ as Joey pointed to the floor where the North face sports bag laid open exposing it’s contents.
“It’s a big arse mess, is all I can say,” said Ana, wrinkling her nose due to the pungent odor of coagulating blood mixed with recently discharged bodily fluids. “At least he had the decency to wrap himself up to contain the collateral damage!”
Inside the canvas bag with the waterproof lining, the victim was curled in a fetal position, clad only in a black lacy push up bra, a red thong stretched up into the crack of his ass, with a silken cord wrapped snuggly around his neck.
A .22 derringer lay at the bottom of the bag, only one of the two bullets expended.
“Well that’s a break.’ Said Garcia.
“For a minute there I thought we might have a conundrum on our hands.”
“Yeah. Like he shot himself twice. In the head.”
“Oh, I get it. Like that Vince Foster guy you always talk about when you bring up famous cold cases.”
“Yup….a fucking conundrum if there ever was one. This one either did himself, or someone from across the pond sorted him.”
“Spooks over there have an MO. A nice body tucked in a bag, a hint of the gay life style, maybe a little wanking on the side for extra effect…throws everybody off track. Makes them feel uncomfortable, that lot, and then a few inconvenient questions go unanswered or more likely never get asked. It’ s a limey thing. Don’t ask.”
“What a mess!”
“It is what it is.”
“You mean he is what he was.”
“Dead as a fucking Hake!”
Forensics soon arrived on the scene and the detectives watched as they dusted, plucked, scraped
and probed the victim.
Each nail scraping , nose booger, loose hair, pubic and otherwise, was fastidiously placed in a plastic bag and labeled.
The gun was dusted. No prints. No surprise. “Fucking Brits,” Joey thought!
“Smelled like there was a fire here when we arrived.”
Ana looked at the fireplace.
“Strikes me as strange.”
“Wonder what he was cookin’….”
“Not Italian food.”
“How do you know that?”
“No garlic…just Jasmine. Odd that.”
“It was his after shave lotion….smells like he poured it all over himself including his balls.”
Joey looked at the shrink wrapped techie that spoke through his hazmat mask.
“Know the brand? Smells more like a woman’s scent”
“Take a look at his outfit…that give you a hint?”
“Big ass mess,” said Ana. Redundantly.
“Brits,” said Joey. “Boring Bastards…always the same MO, no fucking imagination.”
“We’re finished here,” said the techie, “bag ‘em and tag ‘em and we’ve off like a herd of turtles.”
“Easy that, eh,” said Ana , “seems like he’s already been packaged for you…neat and tidy
if you don’t mind the smell of a bit of shite from the bog pit!”
“Taking the piss again…what is it with you Brits…always with the toilet humour?”
“Can’t help me self. Took my A levels in Cambridge before coming to the states to study
law at Columbia. Before deciding to become a copper and make an honest living and be on the right side of the law.”
“I’m gobsmacked. A lawyer who’s seen the light and declares herself for austerity, chastity, and poverty!”
“As usual, you’re 33% right. Where are we going for lunch by the way, and don’t say Italian!”
“Might as well do Chink…maybe the fortune cookies will give us a fucking clue on this one. We’re going to need all the help we can get and the feds, the CIA and the Brits aren’t going to raise a finger to help us unless it’s the one finger salute.”
“Two if you’re the Queen.”
“It’s a two finger salute if you’re part of royalty or an MP…much more civilized, don’t you know.
Now, boyo, lets be off for that afternoon tea and fortune cookie thing.”
The two detectives took table 5, a corner table . Joey kept his back to the wall from force of habit.
“What’s 1.5 miles?”
“The range of that .22 caliber Blazer long rifle bullet.”
“Looked like he was shot point blank to me….powder burns”
“No….1.5 miles is a long ride…wonder how many turns it took around inside his head.
Must look like an egg beater was busy in there…all guacamole dip…hey, Ana, pass the hot sauce, this egg drop soup could use a little spicing up.”
“Hot Sauce! Enough of that stuff…try a bit of Worcestershire…even though it has an anchovy base it doesn’t give you bad breath or make your pass nasty gas…I might have to start calling you Jalapeno Man…and keep the windows open in the unmarked after lunch!”
Just then a big molk in a green polyester suit with a yellow food stained shirt and an orange tie approached the table.
“How ya’ hangin’ Joey. Getting much lately?” as he glanced toward Ana.
“More than you Schultz. Sorry that carpal tunnel operation has cut down on your sex life.”
“Har, Har! Good one.”
“Whadda you want Schultz…we’re in the middle of an investigation here and time is a wastin’…you know, 48 hours to catch the perp and all that TV crap.”
“Just wanted to know if you changed your mind about partnering up…so you’ll have someone to cover your back if you get in trouble…someone who won’t be afraid to pull the trigger an all.”
“Well, now that you mention it, I’m more afraid of you pulling the trigger. Saw your qualification score posted in the squad room. Ana here shot a 398 out of 400, and you barely qualified. Think
I’ll stick with someone I know can shoot straight…get my drift?”
“You’ll be sorry some day when the chips are down. Just remember what happened to Serpico when he didn’t play ball.”
“Got it Schultz. Hey, got a fashion tip for you. Switch to Lemon filled Krispy Kremes…that raspberry filling doesn’t go well with that color shirt…doesn’t make a good impression on the hookers.”
For a minute it looked like the beefy cop wanted to lash out, his neck and face flushed, but he turned on his heel and walked out stomping his size 12 wing tips on the linoleum floor, brushing past
a waiter who managed to only get a bit of Colonel Tzu’s Chicken on his sleeve.
“Nice guy. Friend of yours?”
“Not really. Another Irish mick cop with a German name. Been hiding in the men’s room or sleeping in his unmarked for the past 5 years trying to come up with a million dollar disability.
Don’t ever turn you back on him, or depend on him to back you up in a jam.”
“Who does he partner with?”
“Not a damn soul. No respecting cop would get any where near him. He’s beat 4 IA investigations for copping free food, humping hookers, and exposing himself in public. Has something to do with the Commissioner…son of a friend of a friend….that kind of an Irish tribal thing…when they’re not out throwing bombs they’re organizing a trade union and promoting anarchy.”
“Sounds like he should go into politics…he’s wasting his time with the cops.”
“Yeah, well, hear he’s up for union rep this next election. He’ll be hitting you up for his vote.
Like I said, if he gets elected we’ll be done with him. He’ll make himself scarce, important meeting with hiz honor all day long you know, watching our back!”
Joey and Ana finished their meal in silence. Each with their own thoughts on where this investigation was going to take them.
If they only knew.