Natalie sat on a bench just outside the sorority house, checking Lifeboat for updates about the Countess Cucamonga case. Every media outlet was all over the story, and many were applauding Natalie’s crackerjack reporting skills. Unfortunately, these accolades were not directed at “Natalie Brock” but rather, “that Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties on Network News One.” Such was the plight of all female NN1 reporters – no one remembers their names. They just remember the blonde hair and the big titties.
Walter approached with a cardboard tray that contained two styrofoam coffee cups, sugar packets, cream containers, and a couple of swizzle sticks. The cameraman took a seat next to the reporter.
“I didn’t know how you take your coffee,” Walter said. “But I’ve got sugar and cream.”
“Thank you,” Natalie said as she took a cup. “That’s ok. I take it black.”
“Like your men?” Walter asked.
“Like my soul,” Natalie replied. “All my feminist heroes would stab me with a rusty butter knife if they could see me with…with…these things!”
Natalie stared down at her melon stuffed bra and hanged her head in shame.
“Buck up, buttercup,” Walter said. “Anyone who’s anyone in this business walked down a long road of shit before they got anywhere.”
Natalie perked up. “I suppose you’re right.”
“I know I’m right,” Walter said. “You think Kurt Manley got behind that anchor desk without sucking a bunch of dicks?”
Natalie sipped her coffee. “I never thought about it but yeah, I’m sure he had do go through a lot to get to where he is.”
“No,” Walter said. “I’m saying the man literally sucked a bunch of dicks. The board of directors of the NN1’s parent company called the man up to their meeting room and went full bukkake fest on the guy just to make sure they could control him.”
Natalie’s face contorted with disgust. “Ew.”
“You didn’t hear that from me,” Walter said.
Natalie’s phone buzzed. She looked at it. A new text from the unknown number.
“THAT WILL BE ALL FOR NOW.”
“Oh my God,” Natalie said. She showed the phone to Walter. He nodded. Natalie typed a reply.
A few seconds passed before the reply. “I HOPE THERE WILL BE NO FURTHER INCIDENTS.”
Natalie showed the phone to Walter. He nodded again.
The reply came quickly. “I AM NOT IN CONTROL.”
“Wow,” Walter said as he read the text over Natalie’s shoulder.
“What should I do with this?” Natalie asked.
“Yeah,” Walter said. “About that. I’ve been thinking and…that’s got to be the killer.”
“Duh,” Natalie said. “You think?”
“It’s the killer or a friend of the killer or someone who knows something about the killer,” Walter said.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” Natalie said.
“You’ve got to talk to NN1,” Walter said. “Get their legal department involved. And you’ve got to tell Sharon Walker about this.”
“I do?” Natalie asked.
“Yup,” Walter said. “If it gets out that you had information vital to the case and sat on it, NN1 will be dragged through the mud and no reputable network will want to work with you, whether or not you stuff melons down your shirt.”
“This sucks,” Natalie said.
“Not necessarily,” Walter said.
“First thing they teach you in journalism school is to report the story, but don’t be the story,” Natalie said.
“Oh, who cares about journalism school?” Walter asked. “You get ahead of this thing and you’ll be the hero.”
“I will?” Natalie asked.
“Sure,” Walter said. “You’ll be the Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties from Network News One who helped crack a celebrity murder investigation wide open.”
“Yeah,” Natalie said. “But no one will remember my name.”
“Such is the burden of an NN1 Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties,” Walter said.
“Fine,” Natalie said. “Let’s go show my phone to the alleged lesbian.”
“Wait,” Walter said as he handed Natalie his phone. “We have to make a pit stop first.”
Natalie looked at Walter’s phone. Walter had cued up a video featuring Sitwell’s illustrious mayor. The reporter pushed play and the Mayor bursted into action.
“Howdy doo, ladies and germs! I’m Mayor Beaumont Dufresne of Beaumont Dufresne’s Slighty Used Car Emporium. Exit 93 off Route 199. If you pass the titty bar, then you’ve gone too far! Folks, I got trucks. I got cars. I got SUVs. I got big cars. Little cars. Medium sized cars. I got hatchbacks and full backs. Hell, if I look around the place long enough I might even find a quarterback or a running back. Look people, my prices are lower than a snake slithering under a limbo stick and I just want to…”
Natalie pushed the pause button. “Did he just refer to himself as, ‘the Mayor?’”
“He sure did,” Walter said. “Saw a few kids making fun of his commercial on the TV in the cafe.”
“So what?” Natalie asked. “He seems like an asshole.”
“Natalie,” Walter said. “Is the police chief returning your calls?”
“No,” Natalie said.
“And Agent Walker is a by the book Fed with a stick up her ass?” Walter asked.
“Yes,” Natalie said.
“Well,” Walter said as he took back his phone. “You see an asshole, but I see a public official who is prone to say crazy things and loves being on camera.”
Natalie launched up to her feet. “Start the van!”
Walter stood up. “Way ahead of you.”