The next morning, Chris came walking in and seemed to delight in reciting a poem he had composed.
Red Dog’s dead and in the ground.
His remains will not be found.
Where he went no one will tell.
Let’s just hope he burns in Hell.
After a few raised eyebrows, all the boys ordered their coffee and decided today would be a good day for a big breakfast.
Maude loved that the boys kept her in the loop and was listening intently while they were talking about the bizarre circumstances surrounding the death of Red Dog and how there were absolutely no leads whatsoever.
Chris jokingly said “oh! Well, let’s not forget the phantom…what was it Richie? ‘beautiful, willowy blonde’ that baggie pants John saw?”
Floyd said “you mean saggy britches Jack?” Chris rolled his eyes and said “yeah. He was there and apparently seeing beautiful apparitions, while falling down drunk.”
“That’s enough” Richie said.
Floyd said “you know him, don’t you Richie?” Richie said “yeah, but he didn’t really see anything and I’ll tell you guys something. Every one of us takes an oath to uphold the law, but I’m not going to spend a whole lot of my time trying to find the killer of a killer. All I know is that piece of scum is off the streets and it’s a better world. Now, if something happened to fall onto my desk one day, I might take a look at it. That is, if I don’t have anything better to do…like play a round of golf.”
After a hearty laugh, Richie asked Gary how his case was going. Gary said “ah, you know, nobody knows anything. Nobody sees anything.”
Floyd said “there was one the other night, wasn’t there?” Gary said “yep. She’s the fourth. Throat slashed almost to the point of decapitation. There’s been one every week.”
Chris said “is it one of their Johns?” Gary said “we think it is but we’ve got nothing to go on, except familial modus operandi.” Chris said “whoa. Who are you trying to impress with those big fifty cent-words? Do you think they make you sound like a hot-shot or something?”
Gary was taken a little aback by Chris’ remark but let it go and continued his conversation.
“We get the call when somebody finds them. The last one was thrown into a dumpster. She was only sixteen years old. Nobody really cares about them because they’re just nameless ‘working girls’ and none of them will talk to us because they’re afraid if they do, they will end up in an alley…or in a dumpster.”
“Who’s working the case with you?” Floyd asked. “I’ve been working with McAvoy,” Gary said. Floyd laughed and said “shoot. We call him Drunken Hines McAvoy. Haven’t you ever noticed how many times he ‘needs’ to run back to the cruiser for a little liquid courage?”
Gary said “you mean he likes the sauce?” Floyd said “uh, that’s putting it mildly. You’ve never smelled it on him?” Gary said “no, but he’s always popping those Altoids and now that I think about it, he does tend to hang back and let me take the lead on all of our calls.”
“How is he still around?” Gary asked. Floyd said “he’s short and they didn’t want to fire him. If they did, he would lose his pension, so they’re letting him ride out his last few months. Five years ago, his only son blew himself up in his meth lab and McAvoy was the one who found him…or what was left of him. You don’t really get over something like that.”
“I’ll just tell you this, though. Watch your six, buddy. At this stage in his life, if you got into a gunfight, he’d be the one who showed up with a fork.”
Richie switched gears and surprised Maude when he said “Maude, where has your lonesome dove gotten to? I haven’t seen him today.” Maude said “yeah, he didn’t come in but yesterday, he left a napkin that he had doodled on.”
She still had it in her apron pocket and was taking it out when Chris said “don’t tell me. It said ‘run away with me Maude and be my woman’.” Floyd and Richie looked at him in a way that seemed to be a reprimand.
What Chris said stung Maude but she quickly recovered and said “honey, I’m old enough to be his mother.”
She had noticed a subtle change in Chris, just as Richie had. He had developed a sarcastic attitude. What he just said to her, his remark to Richie about the “phantom, willowy blonde,” and his snide comment to Gary were examples of a side she had never seen before and she didn’t like it.
To be continued__________________________