Chapter 1: The Case of the Red Thing

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 35

It was a cool and rainy night in New York City. A slick yellow taxi stopped, breaks squealing, in front of a two-story townhouse cardoned off with crime scene tape. The driver beeped the horn as Detective Frank Cardigan planted his foot on the ground. He was wearing a shiny brown Oxford shoe that was getting more rain droplets on top by the moment.

Frank had short black hair, a solid frame, and an angular jawline, but his eyes were dull. He fixed his jacket, carelessly waved goodbye to the cab driver, and crouched under the tape.
The house door opened and Sergeant Frost walked out.
"How's it going, Cardigan?" he greeted with a gravelly voice.
"Same as ever, Sergeant," replied Frank, lighting his cigarette. He took a few draws but then the rain put it out.
"So what's the situation?" asked the detective.
"Another homicide, up on the second floor. He's been truly mangled. Hope you brought a brown paper bag."
"What, to put the guy in? Why?" asked Frank. Sergeant Frost shook his head slightly but didn't summon up any words.
"Might as well come in," said Sergeant Frost after a pause. They entered the house, where a policeman was writing down information. He looked at them for a second before resuming the report.
The first floor of the house had a tiny kitchen on the left and study area on the right, and further back was a dining area, bathroom on the left, and second-story staircase on the right.
"So it sounds like this guy was a bit of a family breaker. From what we've heard, he was real doll dizzy. Went out with some married broad. Didn't have too many friends. He lived up in this trashy sub apartment up there." Sergeant Frost pointed up as they headed to the staircase.
"Interesting," said Frank Cardigan, looking at the dinner table.
"We questioned one of his friends about the murder but the crumb didn't say barely anythin'. I guess the guy didn't have too much of a life. Well he don't now, that's for sure." Sergeant Frost let out a boisterous laugh and they turned the corner bringing the second floor into view. Detective Cardigan took a quick glance at the body laying in the middle of the floor and took out his magnifying glass.
"Brilliant," said Sergeant Frost. "They're always comin' up with new crime-solving technology."
Detective Cardigan looked at the railing and wall with the glass.
"See anything?" asked Sergeant Frost.
There was a small square table by the stairs, a few bookshelves against the wall on the right, the dead body in the middle, and further back, a bed, dresser, and solitary window looking out into the city.
Frank approached the body. Sergeant Frost stared with increasing nervousness as the detective stepped closer and closer, eventually ending up on one of the body's outstretched hands.
"Oops," said Frank, retreating. He saw the body better now: the head was horribly disfigured and blood pooled all around on the carpet.
"Oh God," said Frank, making a strange noise with his mouth.
"Told ya," replied Sergeant Frost. Frank ran back, feeling incredibly nauseous. He stopped halfway down the staircase and made a disgusting sound as he threw up all over the stairs.

"Oh God," said Frank again, sitting on the top step and feeling dizzy. Slowly, the sergeant came up beside him.
"So, you gonna clean that up or you gonna pass the buck to my bud down there?"
Frank waited a minute before almost tripping on the puke on the way to get cleaning supplies. Five minutes later, he reunited with Sergeant Frost again and they looked at the body.
"Name was Yuri Tomgov," said Sergeant Frost.
"Interesting name," said Frank.
Frank looked at the blood everywhere and the injuries and then surveyed the surrounding area. There was some medium-sized red thing laying on the ground.
"Hmm," said Frank.
"What, ya find somethin'?" asked Sergeant Frost.
"I guess," said Frank. "There's some red thing down there."
"Yeah, that must be the murder weapon," said Sergeant Frost. Frank thought about everything for a while.
"Okay. Here's my theory."
The sergeant looked at Frank as he waited expentantly for the news.
"Judging from this body and that red thing over there, someone hit him in the head with that thing."
"Brilliant, Dick Tracy," said Sergeant Frost, shaking his head vigourously.
"Thank you," said Frank, his face brightening up, happy to see his skills recognized.
"Anything, ANYTHING else in that thick skull a' yours?"
"One minute," said Frank, as he inspected the area around the window. There was an open safe and a few bills littering the ground in the corner. The window was open. There were a few small metal statues laying underneath it, looking out of place.
Frank returned to the sergeant.
"Well, it looks like this guy Yuri had some money."
"Alright," said Sergeant Frost writing it down. "Is that it?"
Sergeant Frost sighed loudly and they went back downstairs. Frank called another cab as the other two finished up their paperwork.

Frank went back to his office and thought about the crime for the rest of the day. He thought about how gross it was and wondered why someone would want to bash someone in the head with a red thing until they died. He drank some cranberry juice, leaving wet rings on his wooden desk. After that, he browsed around his filing cabinet and read the index cards inside. There was a knock on the door.
"Come in!" yelled Frank. The door opened and a woman wearing a provocative mid-length red dress strolled in. She sat down on the other end of the desk.
"Detective Frank Cardigan at your service," said Detective Frank Cardigan.
"Hello," said the woman. "My name is Natasha. I was Yuri Tomgov's partner. Girlfriend, whatever you call."
"Why do you have that accent? Yuri Tomgov?" asked Frank. She stared daggers at him. "Oh yeah, the guy who was murdered. Yeah."
"Yes. Anyway, I think I have a lead on what happened. Yuri happened upon some money from his dead uncle. He stashed it away somewhere. Honestly, he only knew a few people, and the only one I can think of who would have any motive is his friend Bob. Did they already question him?"
"Bob?" asked Frank.
"Yeah I think we did," said Frank, not feeling completely sure.
"Bob lost his job and Yuri wouldn't give any of his money to Bob. Always had such a temper. I have an idea, since your police force seems so..." she tried to restrain herself. "Inefficient. You should go... talk to him. Convince him to tell you the truth."
"Alright," said Frank.
"Goodbye," said Natasha, quickly leaving and not looking back.
"Where can I find Bob?" wondered Frank as he sat there. "I should have asked Natasha. Damn."
He went up to go to the bathroom and walked past his secretary, complaining that he never got the address of the suspect.
"Doesn't the police department have it on record?" she asked.
"Oh yeah, whoops," said Frank, laughing awkwardly. He called up Sergeant Frost, got the address, and called a cab.
Frank watched the buildings pass by as they headed to the poor side of town. They stopped at a creepy shack.
"Wish me luck," Frank told the cab driver. "Oh, and stay here."
He went up the rickety steps and knocked on the door.
"New York Police," he bellowed. There was a pause for a long time and some quiet shuffling. Frank knocked again. The door opened slowly, and a dirty-looking man wearing a tank top peered out.
"Are you Bob?" asked Frank.
"Robert Tierhan," growled the man.
"Hmmm," said Frank, peering at the ground.
"Who are you?" asked Robert.
"Frank Cardigan, detective."
Robert chuckled to himself.
"So..." said Frank. "Did you beat Yuri Govtom to death with something?"
"No," replied Robert.
"Did you want his money?"
"No... well yeah, I wanted his money, but he was my friend. I would never do that to someone I'm close to." Robert looked nervous.
"Well we found some money and this red thing at the scene of the crime. Certainly sounds suspicious."
Robert kept looking to the side.
"One more question. Are you Bob?" asked Frank, using intimidating body language. There was a pause.
"Yeah," said the man. Frank's eyes opened wide. 
"Thank you," said Frank, who turned around and started to leave.

Frank went back to the police headquarters and found Segeant Frost's office.
"I've done my own independant investigation," said Frank.
"So what's the news?" asked Sergeant Frost.
"Well he called himself Robert Tierhan but I intimidated him."
"Great job," said Sergeant Frost, high-fiving him. "You get a confession?"
"Yep. He said at the end that his name WAS Bob," said Frank.

Submitted: November 22, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Azure James. All rights reserved.


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