Public Service…new writing, unedited, incomplete…

After eating a nice lunch with Esther and Paddy, Lilly and I walked out to our vehicle. My phone rang again, it was the same number as earlier. My temper flared as I answered the phone.

“This is Detective Konan. Who is this?”

“This is the office of Deputy Chief Scott Walters calling for Detective Thermopolis Konan.”

“You’ve reached him.”

“Deputy Chief Walters requests your presence in his office at 1630 hours.”

“Fine, I’ll make sure to get by there.”

The line disconnected, and I deposited my phone into my pocket. Lilly had received a call and stood behind me. She let out an exasperated sigh. 

“Yeah, Manson. I got it. We’re on our way.”

Lilly walked up to me and gave me a sad smile. “You go first. What was that call about?”

“The Deputy Chief wants me to report to his office. I can’t imagine about what. Your turn. What did Manson want?”

“We’ve got another body. It’s out by the waterway.”

I sighed and wrapped my arm around my wife. She walked next to me and leaned her head on my shoulder. “So, you’re getting fired today?”

“Nah, I’m going to play it cool.”

“Yeah,” Lilly snorted. “I don’t believe that. Of course, they say there’s a first time for everything. Whatever happens, I’ll wait for you at home. Esther volunteered to keep Gareth tonight, and we’ve got things to do. Don’t stay away too long.”

“Well, I wouldn’t want you to overheat, so I promise. I will rush home immediately when we’re done. Now, let’s go see what fresh hell is waiting for us at the waterway.”

My watch read 1245, and it would take approximately fifteen minutes to arrive at the waterway. I put on a brave face for my wife, but inwardly I knew the Deputy Chief would want someone to pay, and why not the person who nailed the former chief of police for corruption?

Lilly wanted to drive, so I climbed into the passenger seat and strapped myself in. I grasped the handle above the door and prepared myself for the ride of my life. Lilly looked both ways and turned on her signal to indicate her intention to merge with oncoming traffic. She eased the car out and drove the speed limit to the crime scene. I kept waiting for the lurch of the vehicle as Lilly floored the accelerator, but that moment never came.

Again, reporters milled about with the camera operator looking for an unobstructed angle of the scene. Tammy Bowen knelt beside the body, and I noticed Sasha Robideux standing to the side. She held a tape recorder to her mouth and spoke into it. Lilly stopped the car short of the ticker tape, and the reporters turned toward us. 

“Do you want to handle the vultures, honey?”

“Sure, wifey. I’ll talk to them, you get the scoop from Tammy.”

Lilly cut her eyes to Sasha and said, “Did you see her?”

“Sasha Robideux? Yeah, I saw her. It might be coincidental.”

“Perhaps, but it might not.”

“Let’s find out.”

We stepped out of the car and pushed our way through the throng of reporters. Lilly stepped under the yellow ticker tape, and I turned to face the reporters. They crowed around and thrust microphones toward me for ‘an update.’

“We just got here. Neither I nor the 117th has a comment at this time. Let us do our job, and once we know something for certain, the appropriate people will reach out to you. Then, you can question them to your heart’s content. Thank you.”

I turned and slid underneath the tape. Lilly and Tammy stood away from the body, their backs facing the reporters, and I could see their hand motions. Tammy seemed agitated, and Lilly listened as Tammy continued to talk.

“What’s going on,” I asked as I walked up. “What’s the diagnosis, Tammy?”

“These reporters, I don’t like them. That talk scarecrow looking blonde over there with the tape recorder, she asked me if I was new on the job. She suggested, in front of all the other jackals, that I was incompetent. My work is top-shelf, Konan. I don’t need this crap.”

“Alright, Tammy. Calm down. Lilly and I both know you’re competent at your job, as does every other cop on the job. Tell me what we’ve got.”

“It’s the same thing as the last one. Except this one rubbed the flower on his face. You can tell by the redness on his right cheek.”

“Okay, good deal. Thank you, Tammy.”

As I turned toward the body, my eyes gazed under the bench. Underneath, weighted down by a pebble, a purple leaf fluttered in the breeze.

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