Fat Kid Pool Party

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic







Tom brings the putty knife to his lips, sticks out his tongue and, yes, blood does have a distinctly metallic taste. He flicks out his tongue again, just to be sure, and, mmmmm, yes, more of the coppery flavor fills his mouth; like sucking on a penny or a dirty finger dipped in brine.

He looks around the pool deck, sun bearing down on him like a giant spotlight, but no one else is around. Lucky Ducky for Tom (though quite unfortunate for Unlucky Ducky Dave), the pool is closed, not just for the evening, but for the season. It’s Labor Day. The pool won’t reopen till spring.

Dave won’t be reopening, either, Tom muses, raising the flattened instrument to his open and parted lips. It’s probably for the better, though, he adds, thinking Dave tastes unusually salty. How many times had he watched Mr. Dave here suck down chili dogs from the concession stands two and three at a time? The medical term myocardial infarctioncomes to mindOdds are he probably would have succumbed to a clogged ticker long before. 

But Tom finds that very hard to believe. Dave probably would have found out how tasty he was and eatenhimself, incredulously, the bastard. Out loud, and to no one in particular, Tom mutters, “Holding out.” The two words float listlessly into the heavy, late-summer-afternoon humidity, almost like a stale puff of smoke, and like the taste on Tom’s tongue, hangs there, and then gives blissful way to the savory flavor of this beautifully bulbous white, middle-class main course dampening the grass by the diving boards. Good old Dave.

Tom stares down at Dave’s body; his bloody bloated body. Almost hard to believe it’s Dave underneath all that goo. It’s everywhere.

No, he probably didn’t need to stab Dave so many times, but doing so, Tom just felt so damn good, and one good turn deserves another.

And, the way Dave tastes? Mmmm.

Tom begins to wonder why he didn’t stab this yummy little morsel to death sooner. A shame; now, he’s been starving for something he never knew he wanted. And yet, here it was, riding the fucking blue water slide every Monday, salted from sweat, muscles loose and engorged from the heat.

As Pool Manager, it’s Tom’s responsibility to document all incidents that happened at Sunny Oaks Community Aquatics Center. Good or ill. There’s an official file that goes into an official folder that needs an official stamp and an official signature, his signature, to be considered active. There’s a file for every type of situation or circumstance imaginable, and they all get circulated in the big, clunky filing cabinet in Tom’s office. Things like unsafe levels of bromine or poop in the water. Insubordination and bodily harm.

“What do you say, Dave?” he says chuckling. “Has your body been harmed?”

Tom has his tongue wrapped all the way around one whole corner of the flat steel tool and is just about finished cleaning the one side. Then he flips the knife over and goes to work there, too.

It’s the blood. Oh, my goodness, the blood.Nothing has made him feel such a certain sort of way as seeing that much blood all at once. Dave-O; he just keeps bleeding. One of the cuts slipped between Dave’s ribcage and punctured a lung. A bubble of blood had burst out of the fileted flap of skin and an acidic smell, like spoiled yogurt, had gassed out with it. At times the blood almost seemed to floodout of Dave, like a fountain, Tom thinks, free hand unconsciously playing with his groin. 

It’s in the middle of this thought, and just as Tom finishes tonguing up the last little bits of Daverino from the putty knife, that Officer Bradley’s cruiser pulls into the parking lot and squeaks to a stop outside the large, gated entrance.

Wow. What a thing.

This just isn’t a good time, you know?

The black and white cruiser idles for a few seconds before Officer Bradley’s voice comes pouring through the vehicle’s warbled PA. 

“Tom Dellinger, this is Officer Bradley of the Stow-Munroe Falls Police Department. There’s nowhere to run. Come out with your hands up.”

Tom groans, thinking now?

The voice continues. 

“Oh, and May wants to know if you’re still coming over for pasta.”

Shielded by the stone gate entrance, and working as quickly as he can, Tom wipes his hands clean on the grass next to the body and drops the putty knife, removing his shirt and cleaning his face and hands as he does.

 “You wait right here,” he whispers to Flavor Dave, and then, in a fatherly reassuring kind of voice, promises they’re “still going to have that pool party.” 

Tom straightens himself as he strides up to the police vehicle, hands furiously trying to make his hair look at least somewhatpresentable, not like that’s going to happen in ten seconds. With a long sigh and a hip leaned against the vehicle’s passenger door, he bends down to greet the officer inside.

“Well?” Officer Bradley asks again, in the kind of incredulous tone friends use when the other suddenly stops talking, mid-sentence, and forgets what they’ve just been saying. “Can you make it or not?” Officer Bradley says the last part through the PA and appears to be having a great time of it.

Tom, on the other hand, is a little more apprehensive.

“So, funny thing,” he replies, tentatively, “We actually need to talk about that.”

Officer Bradley laughs. “You kill someone?”

Tom sighs and raises his hands like he’d just been caught stealing the last cookie.

Officer Bradley’s demeanor changes at once. He grows quiet and stormy. Brooding. At long last, he, too, sighs.


Tom insists that his buddy see the body, so, with the cop car engine idling, Tom leads Officer Bradley through the concrete gates and toward the grassy lawn area by the diving boards.

Sunglasses resting on the tip of his nose, shirt collar unbuttoned, and incessantly thumbing through his increasingly sweaty and overtly thinning hairline, Officer Bradley stands over the severely gored body of David Nelson and feels a bit of heartburn leap into his throat.

“Son of a bitch, Tom. You really cut that mother fucker up good.” He looks down at what used to be one of Sunny Oaks best patrons, and then back at Tom, and groans.


Tom shrugs, as if to say, ah shucks, and, yes, he isblushing, tossing a soft look of grace to the ground.

“You’ll never guess what with,” he says, coyly, further goading his best friend and Sunday golf partner of the last, oh, twenty years.

Knowing Tom’s flair for dramatics, Officer Bradley says, “Ok, ok, I’ll bite.”

Tom blushes. He walks toward Officer Bradley and stops just short of one of those white, plastic chaise lounge deck chairs. He picks up the putty knife and holds it out in front of him like a trophy.

“No!” Officer Bradley says, in total disbelief. “With that?”

Tom blushes even more.

Officer Bradley admires the instrument for a few moments before murmuring, “Impressive,” and then, pausing, takes an even closer look at the murder weapon.

“Where’s the blood?”

Tom smiles, big and bright, his teeth stained a sordid crimson.

“Oh, God, Tom. You didn’t.”

Tod nods, still smiling shyly.

Officer Bradley bends down to give Davey Dave one final consideration and then wipes his hands, despite not touching the body or anything involved in the murder (very intentionally) whatsoever.

“I thought I might have a pool party,” Tom says with a leading tone.

The idea hangs between the two of them like stale crackers. Officer Bradley looks over his shoulder, as if bothered by something. He brings his hands to his hips, presses his lips, touches them thoughtfully with his right index finger, and gently shakes his head.

“You want to have a pool party, huh?”

“That was the idea,” Tom says, just a hint of pleading in his voice.

Officer Bradley lets out a whoosh of air. “May’s not going to like this,” he says, matter- of-factly. “You know how exact she is about deadlines and company.”

“I knewyou were going to say that,” Tom says, stomping the ground. His voice cracks.

“Well, what about Mr. Nelson here? Did he deserve it, at least?” Officer Bradley holds out his arms to keep his good friend from completely derailing. Tom surrenders into his grasp.

“Does anyone ever deserve it?” Tom asks, nestling his head into the officer’s chest with a sigh. Officer Bradley relents.

“Let’s not get hung up on that,” Tom says. “We just tell May this time.” He speaks absently, staring ominously down at Davey Tree.

“Are you serious?” Officer Bradley practically screams, moving out of Tom’s clutches. The pool is closed, but Tom looks around, worried someone might have heard them, anyway.

“You know you’re going to get me fired, right?”

“Fired?Fired?You’reworried about getting fired?” Officer Bradley says with a laugh. “How about you’regoing to getmefired.”

“Nope. You’re going to get me fired.” 

“A pool party,” Officer Bradley says timidly, after a brief pause.

“A pool party,” Tom says declaratively.

Davesaurus says nothing.


Submitted: May 07, 2019

© Copyright 2022 Chad W. Lutz. All rights reserved.

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