Konan and Janko made their way to the evidence that was housed in a room not much larger than a trailer closet. The room was dimly lit, shelves ran parallel along the wall. Overflow boxes were stacked on the floor. Loose paper was scattered here and there. Konan’s case evidence sat crossways on top of another box, the lid was slightly ajar.
Konan took the lid off and shuffled through the various objects in the box until he came across the letter. He pulled it out and headed back to his desk. Tomas and Wiggins had divided the list among themselves and were trying to make contact with people.
He laid the note next to the list. Both had been written on the same paper as far as he could tell. His thoughts turned to Ashley. If he had her run test to see if the paper and handwriting matched it could compromise the chain of evidence. If he sought an outside source, she would feel slighted. Konan took the note and the list and walked into Janko’s office.
Janko had just arrived to his office and pulled out his chair when Konan walked in.
“What’s on your mind, Konan?”
“To me, it appears to be the same paper. I am going to send it off to be verified, but I don’t want Ashley to do it.”
“It could implicate her grandfather, and she may feel like she has to protect him.”
Janko took the note and list and studied them. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and looked at Konan.
“You doubt her professionalism?”
“No sir, I only want to protect the chain of evidence. Whoever the killer is needs to be caught, and I would hate for them to walk because the evidence is considered tampered with.”
“Do you think her grandfather is the killer?”
“I don’t know, sir. At this point it could be a group of knife-wielding bandits or one single killer. This may point us in the right direction.”
“Alright, Konan. I have a friend at the FBI who could run it and tells us whether or not it’s the same paper. However, if Ashley has any questions, you are going to tell her.”
“Figures. I will tell her if she has any questions.”
Konan took the evidence and walked to the post office. It sat directly across from the town square. As he walked across the square he thought of Ashley. “She deserves to know that we went around her, but we need everything about this case to be on the up and up.”
He packaged the evidence into a manila envelope and sent it off the FBI. Konan pulled out his phone to call Ashley, but his phone buzzed. It was Mayor Smith.
You are to report to my office immediately.
Konan put his phone back in his pocket and made his way to the Mayor’s Office. The clerk did not get up to let him in, she pressed a button and the door swung open. Konan walked through. Mayor Smith stood in front of the large window in his office and looked out over the city.
“Are you trying to ruin my reputation, Detective?”
Smith turned from the window and glared at Konan. The veins in his neck and forehead were taut, his mouth a hard line. “He has the eyes of a snake,” Konan thought silently.
“I told you to find someone and make them pay,” Smith rasped. His voice was low but there was an edge to it. Konan stood unmovable as Smith drew closer. He jabbed Konan in the chest with his finger.
“Find someone that fits this crime, and throw their butt in jail. Or you will pay.”
Konan jabbed Smith in the chest with his finger and stepped close to him. He lowered his voice so only Smith could hear him.
“I told you that I don’t work that way. Apparently, you didn’t get the memo. I could find the killer if I didn’t have to babysit a ‘grown man’ who is only concerned with his ego. Do not call or text me anymore. Good day.”
Without another word, Konan walked out of the office. Smith threw a lamp against the wall. Tiny pieces of plaster flew in every direction. He shoved his computer off his desk and screamed like a madman.
Then it was over.
Konan stormed across the square. “God, I can’t stand that idiot…” Being paged to the Mayor’s Office was time wasted. Why would he hinder the investigation to be ‘updated.’ No, he didn’t want an update, he wanted to accuse Konan of not doing his job. Worse, he wanted him to pick someone so they could slam the lid down on this case.
As he neared the police department, Janko waited for him on the steps. Konan cringed inwardly. Janko waved him over.
“What’s up, Chief?”
“Give me your badge.”
Konan handed his badge to Janko. He shook his head, but Janko wasn’t finished. He scratched at his right eyebrow and looked at Konan. He sighed with exasperation.
“You’re fired, Konan. Smith wants you gone.” Konan nodded and muttered ‘okay.’ He walked to his desk and took the few items he had left there in hand and turned to walk out. Wiggins stood behind him.
“What’s going on?”
“I have been terminated. Smith wants me out of here.”
“Dude, I’m sorry.”
“Ah, it was going to happen sooner or later. I sent off the evidence to the FBI. Expect it back soon.”
“Okay,” Wiggins said as he extended his hand. Konan gripped it and slapped Wiggins on the shoulder. “Take care of Tomas,. Don’t shortcut it Wiggins just because it’s hard.”
“I won’t.” With a nod, Konan walked out of the building and caught a bus home. He stepped off the bus and walked up the stairs to his home. He walked in, threw his gear on the floor and took a shower.
After drying off, he put on his pajamas and sat in his recliner. The Looney Tunes played while he considered his plight. “All this started because Lilly asked me to consult. Now she’s dead. I am fired, and the case is not solved, again.”
He studied the pictures that hung on his wall. He pored over the notes he had made. Nothing made sense, but he felt as if he was on the brink of some major discovery.
‘It all started with Lilly asking for help…’