This was written for Rory’s new game. Check it out here.
I pulled into Prince Court at 9:45 and the place was still lit up like a Christmas tree with all the police cars lining the street. Kids on bikes and old ladies in nightdresses lined the sidewalk. I hated scenes like this. If it wasn’t the press wanting to get a look, it was the nosy neighbors. Can’t blame them though. I would have done the same thing if a dozen police cars rolled up on my block with lights and sirens going.
“Evening Inspector Wordsmith,” Officer Rory said. He was shaking, even though it was warm night.
“What’s with him?” I asked, nodding to the bobbing ass of a patrol man hurling into the flower bed.
“It’s bad, Inspector. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
I looked at Officer Rory and grunted. He looked like he had never seen a dead body before. I had though. Plenty of them. Thirty years in homicide had made me numb to everything. It was a good thing too.
The house was empty when I walked in through the front door, except for the stiff, my suspects, and two officers – one male and one female. The four female suspects sat on the couch and watched me cross to the kitchen where the body was.
I already knew his name. Kristian. Local businessman who ran a little bar downtown. I wouldn’t call it a dive. It looked up to dive bars. He was laying on the kitchen table. Blood still dripped onto the white tile floor. At least it’s not a carpeted kitchen, those take forever to clean up.
I looked at the body. I don’t know how he could have died with a smile of his face considering it looked like the suspects were playing a game of Operation on him.
According to initial reports, the five of them met at his bar, then walked back here to Britchy’s house for a little nighttime fun. There were empty wine boxes on the counter – cheap stuff. I looked around the room and counted the glasses. Three. Five people, three glasses.
“Officer, how many of the suspects have had a drink since they entered the home?”
I heard him ask and knew one of them were lying before he even answered my question. I continued looking around the kitchen, but didn’t find any other clues. I would have to go old school on this and rely on getting one of them to spill on the others.
Back in the living room, the four women were giggling as if the dead man was the punchline. I pointed to a bleach bottle blonde that reminded me of those old Monroe wannabes, “You, follow me.”
She followed me to a small office just off the living room. “Have a seat, Miss.”
“Anything for you, Officer,” she said, batting her mascara-laden eyes at me.
“Inspector,” I corrected her. “Inspector Wordsmith. Now, you are?” I pulled out my trusty notepad. Old school worked just fine for me.
“I’m KK,” she said with a small giggle. “I’m okay with anything.”
“Sure.” I leaned against the desk and started my notes. “What do you know about man in the kitchen?”
“Oh, Kristian? I’ve known him for two years. We go to school together.”
I looked at her. Didn’t look a day over eighteen, and that man was at least forty. I doubted her story already. “What were you doing just before he was killed?”
She wrapped her hair around her fingers making long curls. “We were just sitting there chatting, then Mel pulled out a knife and starts stabbing him.”
“Why would she do that?” I wrote down KK -> Mel in my notepad.
She shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“Thank you.” I walked her to the door and snapped my fingers toward the officers. “Send in Mel.”
A short woman with spiky red hair stumbled in and straddled the chair. “Yeah?”
I couldn’t help but raise my eyebrow. It’s been a long time since I saw a woman attempt to flash me during an interrogation. She was clearly intoxicated which cleared her already, but I still needed to find my murderer. “How long have you know the victim?”
Mel tapped her head and chuckled. “What time is it?”
“Fine, let’s try this one. What were you doing before he was killed?”
“We were playing strip scrabble, I think. Then Britchy got mad because he played a non-word and she stabbed him.”
I nodded and wrote Mel -> Britchy in my notepad. “Thank you.”
I snapped at the officers again. “Send in Britchy.”
Britchy also stumbled into the office but vomited on the floor before I could get a word in. There was no use talking to her, she obviously was not my murderer. Two glasses down. It was possible that the third belonged to the victim, but I wasn’t sure.
The officers didn’t even wait for me to get their attention. The male officer walked over and helped the woman back to the couch.
“Send in the last one,” I said.
A tall brunette walked in the office and waited for me to motion to the seat. She was older and looked like she walked out of the 1950s. “Thank you, Inspector.”
“Thank you for speaking to me, Ma’am.”
“Melanie, Inspector. You can call me Melanie.”
I nodded and flipped through my notepad. Something about this woman set off my warning sirens. “How long have you known the victim?”
She took a deep breath and looked around the office. “I have known Kristian for more than thirty years now, I guess. We were friends as children.”
Now this woman looked old enough to be his contemporary. There was no smell of alcohol on her breath from what I could tell, which means the third glass might have been the victims. “You all came back from the bar and continued the party here?”
“I thought that’s what we were going to do, but I don’t drink the cheap stuff, Inspector. Britchy, Kristian, and Mel continued the party.”
So, I was right, the victim was the third glass. That also meant that either this one, or the youngster was the murderer, or maybe both…but why? “What were you doing before he was killed?”
Melanie smiled. It made everything in me go off and not in a good way. “Let me save you some time, Inspector. It was me. I killed him and KK helped me.”
Okay, I was not prepared for that. Of course, I never show my hand. “Why?”
“We were supposed to be together. But he didn’t want that. Kristian and KK go to the University together.”
College? Good lord, I’m getting too old for this. I didn’t even think he would be an adult college student. “And you think they were having an affair?”
Melanie laughed. “Good lord, no. He’s old enough to be her father. She helped get me make the dry ice knife. My arthritis won’t let me do that anymore.”
“Why did you kill him if he wasn’t having an affair?”
She tutted and shook her head at me. “He is having an affair, but I killed him because he would never look at me the way he did Ivan, or that scamp Derek that he was having an affair with.”
“But, why here? Why now?”
“Britchy had arranged for us girls to have a fun night out at the bar. I hadn’t really planned it. At least for tonight. I was going to wait till tomorrow when we left together, but then Derek showed up at the bar and that was the first time I had seen him.”
“What does Derek have to do with it?”
“Derek had been dating Mel for over a year. He was cheating on her and we girls really need to stick together, don’t we?”
“Officer Rory,” I called out. It didn’t take him long to run in. “Take this woman downtown and get her confession typed up.”
Murder Weapon: KK
I apologize if anyone is offended by their roles or descriptions.