The Murder Business…the story goes on…unedited and incomplete…

Konan and Lilly walked into City Hall at 0803. The City Annex was located at the end of the hall. An old woman sat behind the counter brushing her hair. She looked up when the pair of detectives entered.

“Good morning,” she said as she checked her appearance in a handheld mirror. She wrinkled her nose and blew a kiss at herself.

“Good morning,” Lilly said.

“How can I help you this morning?”

“We are looking for a bill of sale concerning a bunker at County Road 171,” Konan said.

“Give me just a second, young man.”

The clerk went into the back of the room and opened a filing cabinet. She pulled out a 3” folder and put it on a table. She motioned for them to come behind the counter.

The pair walked to her.

“Here’s everything we have on that bunker,” she said.

Konan and Lilly sat at the table. The Bill of Sale was at the bottom of the first page. The seller was signed Cheyenne Thomas, the buyer was Mayor Tim Smith. Lilly sighed.

“I guess the owner is the City of Fredericksburg.”

“Let’s go talk to the Mayor.”

“Why, Konan? Isn’t it obvious that the mayor bought it for the city, by using taxpayer money?”

“It appears that way, but let’s just double check.”

“Okay. We’re here, let’s go talk to him.”

Mayor Smith’s office was on the second floor of City Hall. Lilly and Konan took the stairs to the second floor. The mayor’s office was located in the center of the hall. Konan walked in and stood before the receptionist.

“Can I help you,” a young man asked.

“Hi. I’m Detective Konan, this is my partner Detective Thompson. We need to have a word with the mayor.”

“Do you have an appointment?”


“The mayor is a very busy man. He doesn’t take walk-ins.”

“He does when it concerns a murder and a piece of property he purchased. Open the door.”

“You can’t…”

Lilly stepped to the glass and leaned close. Her eyes narrowed and nostrils flared, Konan watched his partner struggle to control her temper. She whispered:

“Open this door, or I am going to arrest you for obstruction of justice. Trust me, pretty boy, you won’t do well in prison.”

Mayor Smith’s secretary pushed a button and the door swung open. He walked out from behind the counter and led them to another set of doors.

“He’s in a meeting with Tia Mathers and Khalid Mohammad. Wait here.”

He pushed open the door and disappeared inside. A moment later, he opened the door and beckoned them in. Tia Mathers glared at the two detectives.

“How can I help you,” Mayor Smith asked as they walked in.

“Thanks for meeting with us,” Konan said.

“I didn’t have a choice, detective. You threatened to arrest my assistant.”

“Actually, I threatened him,” Lilly said.

“Well, whoever threatened him is not important. The fact that you did threatened him is important. Now, what do you need.”

“I’d like to ask you about a piece of property that you bought.”

“Which piece?”

“The bunker off County Road 171.”

“I bought that four or five years ago for the city. What about it?”

“My partner recognized signs of remodeling there when we found the body of Tiffany Watkins. What kind of work was done to the bunker? What is it used for?”

“You’re partner is mistaken. We thought it would be a good purchase for a storage area. Or perhaps a storm shelter. We’ve done nothing with it to this point.”

“Who has access to the bunker?”

“I’ve got a key. So does every alderman and supervisor.”

“What about these folks here,” Konan motioned to Tia and Khalid.

“Of course.”

“So, anyone of them could have killed Tiffany Watkins. Including you.”

Mayor Smith frowned at Konan. Tia glared at Konan. She gripped the forearms of her chair until her knuckles turned white. Her lips pulled back into a snarl. Konan winked at her.

“Well, I guess that’s it. Thanks for answering our questions.”

He and Lilly walked out and left City Hall. Lilly let out a small giggle as they walked across the town square.

“You just have to push it with Tia, don’t you?”

“I wouldn’t, but she makes it so easy.”

“What did we learn? My brain is foggy from a lack of sleep.”

“Every political person in Fredericksburg has a key to the bunker. We need to get an unmarked sedan and go back to the bunker.”

“Um, why?”

“Because Mayor Smith said that no remodeling took place. I trust you more than him. We need to verify that work has been done to it.”

“So, let’s go. Maybe we can put this thing to rest once and for all.”

After securing transportation, the detectives drove out to County Road 171. Large plumes of black smoke greeted them.

“Oh no,” Konan said as he floored the accelerator.

“The bunker,” Lilly shouted. “God, no.”

Konan slammed on the brakes and leapt out. He looked up the hill at the bunker. In a matter of moments, all was consumed by the fire.

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