One think and another thing

  1. I saw Alex yesterday.  He greeted me with ZIZI! and a big smile, and insisted on kissing me goodbye.  I now know where his daycare is and have met his caregiver Miss Stephanie. Prior to that Katie and Paul and I walked the Quay.
  2. Katie and I are getting together on Tuesday to take an online course together and plot our next career move. I’m thinking LPN and she’s thinking trainer, and I dunno about that but whatever.
  3. I learned that my chronically dry eyes have symptomatic support and no cure.  The dryness is starting to damage the surface of my eye.  I have to use hot compresses and drops. I will be getting more data in 10 days’ time. I have a new prescription and of course the glasses I paid 400 bucks a piece for don’t have the progressive part done properly. I don’t know if Keith did them or not but I’m a little choked and I won’t be spending money at that eye care place any more. I was already choked for the replacement cost of the frames.
  4. Due to the historic windstorm anticipated for exactly the same time as the Retirement Party, it has now been re-skedded to November 26, which not very coincidentally will allow Turkey Day celebrating Americans to join us, which would be Macklemore-category awesome.
  5. Still going to take a bit of a break from writing and try to fill my artist cup a bit.

48 There is no day so bad a cop can’t make it worse

“Did you witness the murder?”

“No, but I found the body and the guy who confessed to it is still here.”

“If you have a vehicle please remain in it until the police arrive. What’s your friend’s name?

“Michel Calabria,” Jesse said slowly.  He realized they had big problems; they’d be wanting fingerprints for exclusion. “Shit,” he said. Then, “Sorry.”

“What’s happening?”

“My friend’s no fan of the RCMP,” Jesse said, prevaricating like mad, “So he probably won’t be here when they get here.”

He smelled disgusting smoke. He continued to answer the operator’s questions, confirming that the weapon in the house had been secured. Phone in one hand and flashlight in the other, he slowly circled the house, looking for the source of the smoke.  There was bloody clothing in a burn barrel.  Jesse, looking around, found a hose and, putting the flashlight in its holster, doused the fire to preserve the evidence and told the operator that’s what he was doing. He learned the cops were minutes out and got off the phone, although the operator offered to stay with him if that’s what he wanted.

Doing his best to stay out of the worst of the scene, he went back inside. Michel read his face, and had likely heard the phone call too — he and George seemed to be able to put ears on the ends of their tentacles and then stretch them out a long way. 

Michel gave his now-gagged captive a little squeeze, which nearly popped his eyes out. Michel kept the long white skinny zip ties on his person, and had used them lavishly, binding knees, ankles, elbows and wrists. As he said, “They hurt a lot more,” and he mocked George for using the more comfortable ones.

“Did I ever tell you,” Michel said softly, “that I only killed guys who deserved it?”

“Don’t, Michel, just — don’t,” Jesse said. “It won’t bring her back and this witless, violent, drunken fuckface should stand trial.”

The man’s phone rang and Jesse’s 230 pounds jumped into the air like a startled hare. Michel made a face at his cowardly response, and mimicking his captive’s voice perfectly, picked his pocket and answered, “Yeah.”

“Ignore the truck, I took care of them,” he growled. He hung up.

“He should stand trial along with this waste of skin,” Jesse said. “He’s obviously coming to help dispose of her body.”

Michel stood over their captive and gave him a light, almost affectionate kick.

“You’re gonna be mad at me, seeing as how you’re almost puking, but I’m having a really good time.  Keep an eye on him. See you in a minute!” He bounded off across the lawn and vanished, heading toward the closest intersection to await their visitor.

Jesse righted a chair and sat looking down on his client’s murderer. Her face kept being superimposed over his. He blinked.

“Michel’s going to collect your friend,” Jesse said. “You’ll both be in custody by morning.”

Two squad cars arrived, sirens blaring.  Jesse moved slowly down the front stairs, hands well in the air.

“On your knees,” bellowed a white cop in his thirties, drawing his weapon and pointing it at Jesse.

“I called it in!” Jesse said. It didn’t matter. They put him on the wet ground and frisked him. “Thanks a pantload, Michel,” Jesse said.

“Who’s Michel,” the same cop barked again.

“He’s the poor slob who’s trying to catch the friend of the murderer who is driving toward us right this instant to help the clown inside this house bury his wife,” Jesse said bitterly.  “By showing up, sirens blaring, you probably scared him off. Now you’ll have to actually do some police work to find him and question him.”

“You’d better adjust your tone,” the cop said.

His partner, whose ancestors had likely hailed from some part of India, sighed, and said flatly, “Where is the deceased.”

“Car trunk.  I left it unlocked,” Jesse said, glad to be dealing with a human being. “Can I get up now?”

“What happened here?” said a third cop, calling down from the front door. 

“Shotgun blast,” Jesse yelled back.

They had found the shotgun, an ATA Etro 8 Tactical, and Mr. Rodrigues.

“Who tied him up?”

“Michel,” Jesse said.

“Is he coming back?”

“Not likely. If you point a gun at him, you’ll wish you hadn’t,” Jesse said mutinously.

“Oh yeah? How so?”

“It’s my opinion, based on my observations of my coworker,” Jesse said, with less ire. “Can I get up now?” A hand on his shoulder said no.

“What were you and Michel doing here in the middle of the night?”

“There’s a dead dog with a gunshot wound back here,” Jesse heard the fourth cop yell.

“Christ,” Jesse said, realizing he’d probably walked right past it on his way to the burn barrel.

“You have something to do with it?”

“Nossir, but you, me and a civil suit are gonna have a go if you don’t let me stand up, Sir.” When it became obvious that cop number one was a large diameter douchenozzle, Jesse chose the saner course and answered an earlier question. “My coworker and I were hired to help Melissa with a household move, and to provide material and emotional support if the fucking dirtbag who just murdered her showed up.”

“You stay put until the scene is secure,” said cop number one, in a fine, offhand tone, as if he hadn’t believed a word Jesse had said.

Jesse puked on his shoes. Technically it wasn’t assault and the cop’s partner turned away, shoulders shaking, so Jesse figured it was all good. That burger and shake hadn’t been sitting right since he’d opened the trunk, so he let it go in two mighty heaves. The cop groaned in disgust and jumped back to avoid the second wave.

“I just saw a horribly injured dead body for the first time sir,” Jesse said, and spat, and then made a noise like he might hurl again. “And being yelled at and drawn on kinda finished me off.”

“Ya punk! You could have aimed somewhere else!” — this while shaking his pantlegs.

“Came on real sudden, sir,” Jesse said. 

Michel’s voice whispered in his ear.  “Look down the road and look pleased.”

“Well well,” Jesse said, doing exactly what he was told.

His attention got the cops’ attention.

Michel whispered, “Tell ’em to turn the cop lights off.”

“Turn the emergency lights off, he’s coming,” Jesse said.

They refused.

“Fuck me,” Michel whispered. “I hate it when I have to improvise. I’ll be out of range. Trust me and stay down.”

Jesse gave a strangled little cackle, which nearly triggered his vomit reflex again. “What the hell’s so funny,” said cop number one.

“That’s Michel out there in the dark,” Jesse said. “If I can’t predict what he’s gonna do, you’re pretty much euchred.”

After the longest two minutes of Jesse’s life thus far, Michel appeared out of the gloom walking down the road abreast a glassy-eyed man in his late thirties, whose gait was so unusual that both of the cops standing next to Jesse stood taller and craned their necks. “What the hell is wrong with that guy?” cop number two said.

“Is he walking funny?” Jesse asked. He couldn’t see from where he was kneeling.

“I’d say so,” said cop number one, with bemusement.

Jesse tried really hard not to laugh, since it would only end in him dousing his upper alimentary tract with a fresh coating of bile, an outcome he wanted to avoid. He held it back to one brief muffled noise, reminiscent of an old man coughing up a gob into a wadded handkerchief.

He could only imagine what Michel was doing to the man now, or what he planned when he arrived.

“Look dumb, stay motionless, say nothing,” Michel whispered.

The perfect job has found me! Why can’t it be like this all the time.

The man abruptly stopped walking funny and walked straight up to a cop.  “I’d like to assist the police any way I can,” he said.