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It didn’t bother Chris that he wasn’t privy to the homicide reports, but the current serial case had peaked his interest.  Joe’s ramblings last night at Mooney’s had stuck with him.  As he cruised his beat, Chris tried to tie the victims together from the details Joe had drunkenly divulged.

None of the people seemed connected on the surface.  Except that they were all male.  Otherwise, the six were very different.  The current victim was 45.  Two were 30ish. Another one was also in his 40’s.  Two were over 60.  Their career fields varied as did their ethnicity.  Chris could see no reason why the perp would have chosen them as a group.  He would have to get more details.

He had a detective friend at the precinct that may inadvertently clue him in on the case if he asked the right questions.  Chris’s friend was Wayne Norton.  Wayne was an unusual type for a detective.  Fact was that if someone didn’t know the guy was in law enforcement they might have pegged him as a city bus driver.  His smile was quick and easy; however, fastening his belt would have been neither quick, nor easy.  Though  he was a mammoth of a man from where a natural waistline should be to the top of his crown; his bottom half was freakishly slender.

Chris and the other cops had wondered aloud many times how Wayne kept his pants up.  It was a running joke at the precinct that Wayne was passed up for the Bomb Squad because in the tight economy the city couldn’t afford to have the squad’s required shrapnel-proof uniform tailor-made to accommodate Wayne’s unique frame.

Tearing himself away from the image of Wayne attempting to pull on a Bomb Squad overall, Chris checked the clock on his dash and noted that it was almost lunchtime.  He knew just where to find Wayne.  The detectives were predictable.  They invaded the same diner on 3rd Avenue everyday around noon.  Though the food was only semi-delicious, they used it more as a social event to give their minds a breather than for the nutrient supplication of their bodies.  The guys would huddle up and analyze the sporting events of the current week over bacon burgers, chili, onion rings, and cola.  It was winter so the topic of discussion would be  football.  Chris kept up with the local sports as much as any other former athlete on the force.  He would be comfortable interjecting his point-of-view during today’s lunchtime conference on the Bears.

As Chris pulled up to Dana’s Diner, he noticed a line of overdriven rust buckets.  This was a sure sign that the guys were already inside.  The city’s motor vehicle budget was usually blown after replacing wrecked  motorcycles and cruiser patrol cars. Therefore, the detectives, who just had to get from point “A” to point “B”,  were stuck with whatever was salvageable.  It wasn’t a glamorous way to travel but it got the job done so the no-nonsense men of the detective division didn’t often complain.

Chris parked his cruiser next to the worn out Crown Vic that Wayne usually drove.  Peering into the car he noticed wads of paper and a scarred up legal pad,  its yellow surface covered with black ink marks that somewhat resembled handwriting.  As Chris approached the door, Wayne was making a spot for him at the detective table.

“Chrissy, how the heck are ya?”

Chris didn’t mind the play on his name because frankly, it could have been worse.  He knew a few guys on the force saddled with nicknames that couldn’t be uttered in polite company.  The name, “Chrissy”, stemmed from his lengthy hygiene routine.  No other man on the squad took plucking unwanted facial hair to the degree Chris did.  Though the results were well regarded by the ladies, his rugged peers found the practice a bit feminine.  Hence the name, “Chrissy,” was born.

Just as Chris tucked his chair under the table, the waitress slid a hot bowl of chili and iced Coke in front of him.  There hadn’t been the need to place an order.  Anyone who joined that table was getting “The Usual”.

Conjuring up his best Bill Swerkski’s Super Fan imitation, Chris said, “How da bears sposed to git to da Superbowl wit dat Ellis putz shankin every field goal attempt?”

Wayne responded with his best Ditka, “ Da Bears will prevail my friend.  We survived that Shankenstein, Silver, until he decided to hook up with dat supermodel and become a sissy actor.  Da Bears are invincible!”

After a few more minutes of Bears banter, Chris was ready to start drilling Wayne for the details of the serial case.  “So… anything found connecting the victims of the big case?”

Wayne leaned in cupping his hand on his cheek in effort to convey his thoughts to Chris only.  “They say there was some sort of puncture wound on the last guy that was semi-infected.  It was under his scrotum.  The medical examiner said it was only hours old, he’d have to do further analysis to pinpoint when.  If it had been on the sole of his foot, Doc might have dismissed it as an unfortunate accident, like stepping on a tack. But on the scrotum? Now that was just way too strange.  They are thinking about exhuming the other bodies to see if there were any similar marks on them.  Doc said that if that puncture had healed normally, it probably wouldn’t have drawn his attention.” 

“So you’re telling me that either the guy was one sick puppy or that the M.E. thinks the wound was not self-inflicted. Did the guy have a lot of piercings?” 

“No, lots of tats, no piercings.  The one prior had short  hair and a three piece suit.“

Chris wanted Wayne to keep him posted, but since he wasn’t a detective, he couldn’t actually request to be kept abreast of the info.  In order to stay in the loop, Chris would have to ask Wayne over to shoot some pool and drink a few beers after the M.E. had time to recheck the other victims.  That would take at least a couple of days. 

Chris excused himself leaving half his chili uneaten.  He had to save room for the Irish stew this evening when he crashed Audri’s date.


Submitted: November 15, 2020

© Copyright 2022 Son-Ja. All rights reserved.


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