The Murder Business…new writing, unedited and incomplete…

Confess,” Lilly said. “Confess what?”

Judge Patty Traylor looked out the window. Her eyes were wet with tears. She shook her head and rummaged through her purse until she found her handkerchief.

“I killed the man that raped my son. Then, I used my power to go after pedophiles.” Lilly looked at Konan. Judge Traylor sobbed and pushed her face into the handkerchief.

“God only knows what they’ve done to Tiffany,” she cried. Lilly patted her back. Tia leaned back against her chair and watched the judge cry.

“They,” Konan asked. “Who are they?”

“What,” Judge Traylor said incredulously. “What are you talking about?”

“You said there’s no telling what ‘They’ve’ done to Tiffany. The word they would imply you know who did this.”

“Of course, I don’t know who did this,” Judge Traylor shouted. “I want my clerk back safe and sound.”

“Unh-huh. Well, we better get on it then,” Konan said as he walked to the door. Tia said nothing. Lilly patted the Judge on the back and followed her partner out into the Murder Room.

“What was that all about,” Lilly asked. Konan shrugged.

“I don’t know man. Judge Traylor seems to know more than what she’s letting on.”

“She is distraught. Her assistant is missing, she’s received photos and a message telling her to confess. Have some freaking compassion, Konan.”

“Where does compassion enter the equation, Lilly?”

Lilly shook her head and headed for the lift. Konan trailed behind her. This wasn’t their case. Not yet. Tiffany Watkins was still alive. Until she expired, there was nothing Konan could do.

That was a fact, and compassion had nothing to do with it.

Lilly headed for the garage and an unmarked sedan. “Sometimes, Konan can be such a prick. Would it kill him to be compassionate?” She took out the keys to the sedan and opened the driver’s door. Konan opened the passenger door. Her anger did not escape Konan.

“What have I done to upset you, Lilly.”


“Come on, man. I know something is off. Just tell me what it is.”

Lilly shook her head no. “If he’s incapable of figuring it out, I’m not telling him.”

Konan shrugged and looked out the passenger window. An awkward silence filled the car. The only sound was the tread of the tires as they propelled them toward an unnamed destination.

Tiffany Watkins had answered her captors’ questions. The brilliant light that had blinded her, was shut off and her blindfold was put back on.

The fear she felt earlier was back. Rats squeaked in the darkness. Earlier, when the prongs had jabbed into her neck, blood had come out of the new wounds. It had dried.

In the dark, the rats made their way to Tiffany’s ankles. The squeaks grew louder. Tiffany screamed.

Judge Traylor wept uncontrollably in front to Tia Mathers. Chief Mathers watched dispassionately from her desk. “It’s hard to believe this woman killed a pedophile.”

“Ma’am, my detectives can’t do anything until there is a body. Why don’t I take you to Missing Persons and you can fill out a report there?”

“Will they even look for her,” Traylor sobbed.

“Yes, they will look for her. It’s been over 80 hours; the trail is cold. However, there is always a chance they could find a break.”

Tia led her to Missing Persons. A desk sergeant sat behind the counter and watched as Tia and Traylor made their way toward him.

“Hiya, Chief. What can I do for you?”

“This is Judge Patty Traylor. She needs to file a missing persons report.” A female police officer came around the desk sergeant’s perch and led Traylor to the back desk.

Tia turned and walked back to her office. A small smile crossed her lips. Everything was coming together.

Tiffany Watkins squirmed in her chair. The rats had climbed the pipes and dropped onto her lap. Their tiny teeth nibbled and bit her flesh. She screamed until her voice was hoarse. No one came to her rescue. There was nothing but silence in the darkness.

Then, the darkness engulfed her.

Lilly drove to the park. It was a favorite of her and Konan. When things seemed to be out of control, they came here to think and talk. The message Judge Traylor received along with the photographs bothered Lilly. She needed to think things through.

“Konan, don’t you think that the message was a little convenient? The photos, the message, it’s like they targeted the judge. They knew exactly where to hit for maximum damage.”

“It does seem that way. However, we warned off her case. Remember?”

“We weren’t ‘warned’ off. We had a different case. Now that it’s solved, we could investigate this one.”

“The last I checked; Tiffany Watkins was not dead. It’s a missing person case until a body surfaces.”

Both detectives sat on top of the table. A barge floated lazily by. They watched as it drifted by.

Then, their phones rang.

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