Tag Archives: Mystery

Buy My Book!

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

It’s late at night. You’re fast asleep. Do you know what your phone is doing behind your back?

Behold! The world’s first automated cell phone. The ACP is a modern miracle of technology, so advanced that it can write your social media posts for you, generate and post CGI photos of you fulfilling your wildest dreams, complete all your busy work, and it can even impersonate your voice as it calls all those obnoxious bores in your life that you absolutely detest talking to.

Ahh, but alas, as one Jay Ferris is about to find out, the ACP can also commit crimes in its owner’s name, and it takes its mandate to fetch whatever the user wants, before they even want it way too seriously.

Fans of mystery/thrillers with a jolt of hard science-fiction will rejoice in this, the first installment of the second volume of BQB’s Twisted Shorts. Did you think “The Twilight Zone” needed more dark humor? If yes, then this series is for you. If not, try it anyway.

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Book Cover – The Phone Did It

Hey 3.5 readers.

Wow, look at this. The cover for my next short, The Phone Did It, which I hope to release later this month.

The plot? Jay Ferris is a salesman for a company that has invented the world’s first automated phone. That’s right. This phone can do all the crap work you hate doing. It can write your reports, analyze your facts and figures, pay your bills, do your shopping, schedule your appointments – why, it can even make all those annoying calls you hate making. It will impersonate your voice and call your co-workers, or that pesky, nagging relative you love but don’t like talking to…and then give you a full report later.

Unbenknonwnst to Jay, this phone can also…dun…dun…dun….commit crimes. The phone is scheduled to get the user whatever it wants, so alas, when Jay starts pining over the social media profile of an ex love from long ago, the phone experiences a flaw in the system that takes the phrase, “get whatever the user wants” a little bit too literally.

Here’s the cover, where Jay’s asleep while his phone is committing crimes in his name. Will he go down for it? You’ll have to read the book. (And buy a few other books, will ya?)

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You Can Still Get a FREE BOOK!

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB here.

Today and tomorrow, you can still get a FREE copy of my book, the second death, a short story/mystery/thriller about a fame obsessed weirdo looking to achieve his 15 minutes of fame at any cost.

Thanks to a Freebooksy promo, I gave away approximately 1500 copies of this fine book this weekend, and there’s still time, so get your FREE COPY!

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Get My New Short!

The Second Death, the sixth installment in BQB’s Twisted Shorts, is now available on Amazon.

“They count as quite forgot;
They are as men who have existed not;
Theirs is a loss past loss of fitful breath;
It is the second death.”

  • Thomas Hardy, “The To-be Forgotten”

A social media starlet’s botched plastic surgery. A bizarre dance routine no one wants to see. A fiery blaze that puts a box full of adorable kitties at risk. A bank robbery gone haywire. A mafia hitman turned state’s evidence. A plot against the President of the United States while the fate of a nuclear arms reduction treaty hangs in the balance.

Determined to obtain his fifteen-minutes of fame at any cost, attention seeking wacko Gary Bryson has mapped out a series of strange schemes, each one more twisted than the next, all designed to attract the mass media coverage that he so desperately craves.

It all adds up to the day from hell for FBI agents Rick Nash and Ramona Cruz. Will they be able to force Bryson to take a bow before the final curtain call?

Inspired by Thomas Hardy’s classic poem, “The To-be Forgotten,” “The Second Death” is the sixth and final installment of the first volume of BQB’s Twisted Shorts. Do you like “The Twilight Zone?” Do you like “The Outer Limits?” Do you like “Black Mirror?” Well, BQB doesn’t have the budget to make shows as awesome as those, but his self-published journey toward creating an episodic anthology has begun.

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GET A FREE BOOK – FOR FREE!

I’m Crazy BQB and my prices are insane! My book “Freefall” is priced to move!

ZERO percent interest! ZERO percent APR! ZERO money down! Just click the link below and GRAB YOUR FREE COPY TODAY! BAH HA HA!

Yes, my price on this book is so low that if it were a limbo stick, a rattle snake wouldn’t be able to limbo under it, that’s how incredibly low my price is! My price is so insane I’d better confirm my reservation at the funny farm! BAH HA HA!

But seriously, 3.5 readers. This is a good, short story about a man who goes skydiving only to find out his parachute has been sabotaged. He’s only left with a few minutes to figure out how to save himself and whodunnit.

So, if you could grab a FREE copy, I’d appreciate it. If you want to read it too, that’s even better and if you want to read it AND leave a review, that’s even more better, better-er? Whatever. Get a FREE COPY FOR FREE BECAUSE IT IS FREE!

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Movie Review – A Simple Favor (2018)

Be careful when a friend asks you for a simple favor, 3.5 readers.  You never know when it might come back to bite you in the ass.

BQB here with a review of “A Simple Favor.”

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=a+simple+favor

Holy crap, 3.5 readers.  Holy freaking crap. This was such a good movie.  It’s so cool when you go into a movie, not having heard much about it and it turns out to be a real nail biter.  I really recommend it.  Go see it now.

Let’s get into it.

Anna Kendrick is Stephanie, a super mom.  She bakes those cupcakes.  She does all those volunteer jobs for her son’s school.  She even has her own mommy vlog where she records videos full of tips to help mothers become the best mothers they can possibly be.

Meanwhile, Blake Lively is Emily, a rich, powerful business woman, an expert at making money but at mothering?  Not so much.

Long story short, the moms meet when their boys have a play date and become unlikely friends.  Stephanie is an awkward goody two shoes.  Emily swears and drinks like a sailor.  Somehow they put their differences aside and compliment each other.

Alas, chaos ensues when Emily asks Stephanie for a simple favor.  She asks Stephanie to pick up her son at school and babysit him for the evening because she is swamped at work…and then she never comes back.

Thus, it’s up to Stephanie to solve the mystery of her friend’s disappearance.

If this is a spoiler, then so be it.  I’ll shout it out now.  SPOILER! Look away.

The cool thing about this movie is for the most part, it is a heart pounding mystery thriller, somewhat in the style of “Gone Girl.”  Where’s the girl?  What happened to her?

Then, at some points, it moves from seriousness and provides laugh out loud humor.  Much of this is at the expense of Anna Kendrick, who is often featured in comedies as the sweet, naïve type and she excels at this here as a fish out of water, a super mom who just wanted to make a friend and now she’s thrust into a world of murder and intrigue.  She engages in a lot of self deprecating humor to get her through.

Meanwhile, we see an evil side of Blake and her evil comes out in scary ways but also in funny ways.

I have no idea how to explain it other than picture a movie that goes from being an edge of your seat mystery to all of a sudden it’s like something you’d see on SNL and then it’s back to being a serious mystery again.

Doesn’t make sense?  You’ll just have to go see it and get back to me.  I’ll give it this.  It’s very original and I give Hollywood kudos for greenlighting a movie that doesn’t make sense on paper but scores points in the execution.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Not gonna lie.  Blake and Anna have both provided me with many a boner over the years, so much so that I’ll probably buy this movie when it comes out on demand just so I can use it as fapping material.  Sorry.  I just ruined my review but hey, it’s scary, it’s mysterious, it’s funny, and you can also fap to it.

FUN SIDE NOTE: While I was in the theater, there’s a part where the Blakester is going full out evil scary mode and at the same time, a woman in the theater roughly the same size and shape as Blake tripped and fell (not really fell but sort of stumbled down the stairs) and it scared the crap out of me and a bunch of other movie watchers as I think we all thought it was some kind of scary interactive shit or something.

 

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Daily Discussion with BQB – My Crazy Dream

I had the weirdest dream last night.  It was weird both in content and also how the brain can make up these weird stories.  I don’t understand how the brain is basically able to write, cast and produce a movie in your head that it plays inside your brain while you are sleeping.

So here’s the dream.  There was a woman in my neighborhood, she was never given a name, but my brain cast Australian rapper Iggy Azalea to play her in my mind.  Keep in mind this wasn’t Iggy playing herself as a cameo or anything.  It was just a nameless woman.

There is a party at my house.  Why? I don’t know.  In reality, I’ve never had enough people who like me enough to all congregate at my house at one time for the purpose of enjoying my company.  Hell, I don’t even want to enjoy my company.

By the way, none of the people at the party I recognized.  My brain just filled the background with randos.

At the party, the woman played by Iggy cries.  She explains she is under a lot of pressure because her husband has gone missing and the media is doing  sensational stories that imply that she whacked him.  The TV is on and talking about how she probably did him in.  Weirdly, the brain fills in gaps…like I can’t remember what the TV said or who on the TV said it, just a general sense that the woman was being accused on TV.

I go to the kitchen and the woman follows me.  She asks if she can see my bed.  Sigh. Even in my dreams I have zero confidence and so I assume that a woman asking to see my bed has an ulterior motive.

I tell her no but the woman starts crying and gets upset.  She tells me she really wants to see my bed.  I keep saying no.

At this point, I’m not sure if my brain is a hack writer, but either everyone at the party has left or they just disappear.  The woman is getting upset.  She really wants to see my bed.

Perplexed, I go to my bed.  She does not come with me. What could she have wanted to see?

I look around the surface of the bed.  Nothing.

I look around the room.  Nothing.

I lift up the bed.  Her husband’s dead body is wrapped up in a sheet under my bed!

I confront the woman and ask her if she killed her husband and put his body under my bed.  She says no.  I don’t believe her.  I am scared of her now.  I tell her I’m calling 911 and she asks me not to.  I grab a frying pan and somehow I am able to keep her at bay with it.  I just hold the frying pan at arm’s length and this keeps her from coming near me.

I tell the 911 operator the whole story, how my neighbor is a woman accused on TV of killing her husband and that she kept asking to see my bed and so I went to the bed and found her dead husband underneath.  As I do so, the woman keeps asking me to stop talking to 911 because she didn’t do it.

The police come and take the body away.  For the rest of the dream, I start defending myself on a TV news show, I never see the host, just myself on the screen, and apparently my brain has made an assumption that people are accusing me of helping the wife hide the body.

The host asks me didn’t I ever smell the body and I say no I never did.  This is probably again my brain being a hack writer.

The host asks why do I think people are accusing me of being in on it and I tell the host well, I’m a really ugly looking person and so people automatically assume that ugly people are bad, but I wasn’t in on the husband murder or the cover up and honestly, if I was, why would I have called the police to tell them about the body under my bed?

Sigh.  Even in my dream I’m aware how ugly I am and the biases people have against me as an ugly person.

At that point I wake up and that’s the end of the dream.  My brain did leave some plot holes, but still, it’s crazy how in a dream, the mind can come up with an elaborate story.  What was the point of all that?  Why did my brain make that story happen?  What series of brain cells start firing to make this little inner brain movie happen?

Also, why couldn’t it have been a happier dream?  Why couldn’t the woman played by Iggy Azalea have just come over to bang me and live happily ever after?  Why did there have to be a dead husband?  Why did I have to be falsely accused?

Clearly, my brain knows my life is shit.  Ergo, if my brain puts a hot chick at my party, she can only be there as part of an elaborate rouse to frame me for murder and not just because like she wants my junk.  My unconscious brain is literally able to do the calculations in my sleep necessary to conclude that the woman would never be there just to like me and shit.

Oh brain.  What little esteem you hold me in.

Feel free to discuss what you think my brain was trying to tell me in the comments.

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Movie Review – Murder On the Orient Express (2017)

God damn.  Hercule Poirot is one bad ass baller.  Kickin’ ass, takin’ names and givin’ free mustache rides.

BQB here with a review of “Murder on the Orient Express.”

New life has been breathed into Agatha Christie’s long lasting tale of murder most foul.

Have you ever been to a murder mystery party?  A series of interesting characters are introduced, someone is murdered, and a wise detective spells out how he cracked the case?

Well, you can thank Ole Aggie for that.  Here, the classic formula is revisited.  In the 1930s, internationally infamous detective/Frenchman/mustache enthusiast Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) boards a train, headed for his next case.

Alas, our mustachioed friend can’t catch a break.  Instead of catching some “Zzz’s” on his trip, he catches a case when of the passengers is murdered.  Yes, murder!  Murder, I say!

Poirot is a cursed genius – a genius because he can focus in on key details that most gloss over, but cursed because this makes life very hard for him.  Most people are able to set aside life’s little flaws whereas Poirot sees disorder and disarray wherever he goes, to the point where it makes him uncomfortable to see a disheveled tie.

Throughout the investigation, he puts the screws to a rogue’s gallery of potential murderers.  It’s a star studded cast with the some pretty big names – Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dame Judy Dench, Willem Dafoe, Josh Gad, just to name a few.

Overall, it’s a fun walk back into time.  There are some social justice twists for the modern viewer.  The film largely takes place on the train so at times it feels like a play unfolding before your eyes.  Poirot is one of the more beloved characters in the mystery genre, perhaps even in literature, so Branagh has a big score in this role.

God, I remember having the hots for Michelle Pfeiffer when I was a kid, watching her play Catwoman in “Batman Returns.”  Now she likes Granny-ish, though honestly, she’s held up pretty good.  I’d still do her.  Call me, Michelle.

It’s fun, at times a bit dark and gloomy.  The story itself is a master class in how mystery stories are crafted so any aspiring writers out there should check it out.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 33.2

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While Maude fielded the freaks, Sharon and Gordon grilled Irving St. John. It was Sharon’s turn to hang back, while Gordon leered over Cole’s desk at the crooked agent. Irving had been allowed to put on a pair of sweat pants and a white T-shirt before the SWAT team hauled him up to Sitwell.

“Anything you want to say before I get started?” Gordon asked.

“I think you should be saying something,” Irving said as he struggled against the handcuffs that bound his wrists around his back. “A lot of things. How about, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. St. John” and “Please do sic all your high priced Jew lawyers on me for being an idiot?’”

“That’s very offensive,” Sharon said.

“And racist,” Gordon added.

“Why do people keep saying that?” Irving asked. “Do you know how long it takes to go to law school?”

“Three years,” Sharon said. “Four if you go at night like I did.”

Irving appeared shocked at that answer. Sharon continued. “We aren’t a couple of rubes that you can bark at until we give one of you no talent clients some air time. You wouldn’t be here without a good reason.”

“A very, very good reason,” Gordon said.

“Well,” Irving said. “I can’t imagine what that reason could possibly be.”

Sharon and Gordon traded knowing looks. Gordon opened up a file folder. “In total, how much money would you say you stole from your client, Miss Sally Ann Dubawitz, better known by her stage name, ‘Countess Cucamonga?’”

Irving laughed. “That’s a good one.”

The agents stared at the suspect long enough for him to realize they weren’t laughing. “You’re serious.”

“Dead serious,” Gordon said.

“I’m not saying another word until I can speak to my attorney,” Irving said.

Gordon looked at Sharon and shook his head. “That’s too bad.”

“Yeah,” Sharon replied. “I really thought he’d want to help himself.”

“Apparently not,” Gordon said as he closed the folder. “OK. We’re done here.”

“Wait,” Irving said. “What’s this about helping myself?”

“You’ve invoked your right to counsel, Mr. St. John,” Sharon explained. “There’s little room left for us to discuss the matter with you now.”

“Discuss!” Irving shouted. “Discuss, discuss!”

“You’d have to wave your right to counsel,” Sharon said.

“Consider it waved!” Irving shouted.

“Mr. St. John,” Sharon said. “At this time, I have to advise you that you have the right to remain silent. If you wave that right, anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. You also have a right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney…”

“Yeah, yeah, lady,” Irving said. “I watch Law and Order. Just tell me how to get out of this nightmare already!”

“Truthfully,” Sharon said. “I’m not sure how much help we can offer given the gravity of the crimes.”

“Best case scenario,” Gordon said. “We’re talking about multiple life sentences.”

“Life sentences?” Irving asked.

“At best,” Sharon said. “We might be able to talk about making the conditions of your lifetime confinement more comfortable.”

“Lifetime confinement?” Irving said. “Just for skimming a little cream off the top?!”

“For the murders of Miss Dubawitz, Mr. Hogan, and Mr. Becker,” Irving said.

“Who the hell are Mr. Hogan and Mr. Becker?” Irving asked.

“Interesting,” Gordon said.

“Yes,” Sharon said. “He’s copping to Dubawitz but wants to keep playing dumb on Hogan and Becker.”

“Playing dumb will get you nowhere,” Gordon said.

“I’m not playing dumb!” Irving shouted. “I am dumb!”

“We’ve got the goods on you, St. John,” Gordon said. “Countless files and bank statements weaving the cheap and tawdry tale of how robbed Countess Cucamonga blind.”

“Impossible,” Irving said. “You’ve got nothing.”

Gordon spread out several documents across Cole’s desk. Irving read them and frowned. “How did you…but…these have to be fakes. I wiped the Countess’ computer after she…”

Sharon’s eyes widened. Gordon pounded his fist down on the desk. “After you killed her!”

“What?” Irving asked. “No!”

“Stop jerking us around, dildo boy,” Gordon said. “The Countess figured you out. You somehow caught wind of that and you put her on ice.”

“And as you just freely admitted,” Sharon said. “You covered your tracks by erasing material evidence.”

“I’m not admitting anything,” Irving said. “I just know for a fact that those printouts cant be real.”

“Unless they represent files printed off of a device that was turned over to us by a concerned citizen,” Gordon said.

“One with a freshly inked immunity in exchange for testimony deal,” Sharon said.

Irving’s mind raced. He sat up. “That nerdy little stalker!”

“We can’t confirm or deny that,” Gordon said.

“I…I…I…” Irving stammered. “I can fight this. Those transactions are debatable. Justifiable, even. A good lawyer will be able to argue that they were owed to me based on a reasonable interpretation of the various contracts held between the Countess and myself. At best, they were legal payments to myself and at worst, they were accidental withdrawals based on a misunderstanding, one I’m truly remorseful for and I’ll gladly reimburse the late Countess’ estate immediately.”

Sharon and Gordon were silent.

“I went to law school at night too,” Irving said.

“The theft beef is the least of your worries,” Gordon said. “We get why you whacked the Countess. We just want to know why you killed Hogan and Becker. Give us the skinny so their families can have some closure.”

Irving looked at the agents with stone faced defiance. “I didn’t kill anyone. I kill with my charm, my good looks, my business savvy but with my hands? No. You’ve got the wrong guy.”

“Do we?” Gordon asked.

“Why would I kill the Countess?” Irving asked. “She was the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg and she laid a ton of ‘em, right out of that big gluteus maximus of hers. You think I ever wanted that gravy train to stop?”

“You strike me as the kind of pussy that would kill a woman because you know you’re too delicate to last five minutes behind bars,” Gordon said.

“What about Hogan and Becker?” Sharon asked.

“What about them?” Irving asked. “Who are they?”

“Your victims,” Gordon said. “If you’re going to go around and around with stupid questions you know the answer to…”

“Wait,” Irving said. “Are you talking about the other two people who died on the can the same night as the Countess?”

Gordon leaned back in Cole’s chair. “For a guy who says he doesn’t know much about it, you seem to know a lot.”

“Everyone knows about it!” Irving said. “It’s been all over Network News One!”

“How do they fit into your twisted little game?” Sharon asked.

“Bullshit!” Gordon shouted.

“I have no idea who they are!” Irving said. “I’ve never met them. But I’ve been glued to the coverage like everyone else. Look idiots, do you really think I could have killed the Countess, even though her guards where with me the entire time, then spoke to you two that night in her dressing room and then, what? I magically transported myself with lightning speed to a nursing home in Boca Raton and then to a college in Sitwell? Only the Flash could move that fast.”

“You’re a wealthy man, Mr. St. John,” Sharon said.

“You’ve got pull,” Gordon said. “Connections. Power. Combine that with money and I’m sure you could have found a way to have others do your dirty work for you.”

“First, a cover up murder,” Sharon said. “Then two random murders committed by hired goons under similar circumstances in order to make the Countess’ death appear as though it was one part of a mysterious serial killer’s bizarre master plan.”

“OK,” Irving said. “You two have gone gonzo. Batshit bonkers. I’m not saying another word until I can speak to my lawyers. I want my Jews.”

“Mr. St. John,” Sharon said. “If you…”

“I want my Jews!” Irving said. “And I shall have my Jews! No more questions.”

Gordon stood up, walked around the desk, and helped Irving to his feet. He then grabbed the perp by the arm and led him out of Cole’s office. Sharon followed.

While Gordon led Irving to a holding cell, Sharon looked around the room, her mouth agape at the sheer number of loonies who had shown up with something to say about the Toilet Killer.

“Wow Maude,” Sharon said. “Looks like your hands are full.”

“Yes,” Maude replied. “Anytime you want to spare some of those agents you’ve got running around, installing this and that and tearing up the place, and put them on nutcase detail, I’d appreciate it.”

Natalie Brock, who had been sitting next to Maude’s desk, stood up. “Agent Walker?”

“Oh, right,” Maude said. “Sharon, this woman claims she’s a Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties from Network News One with some important information for you.”

Sharon squinted at Natalie and moved in for a closer look. “That can’t be right.”

“Why do you say that?” Natalie asked.

Sharon struggled to find the right words. “Because you aren’t…and you don’t have…”presentation01

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 18

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As Sharon entered the lobby of the sorority house, Cole’s heart did backflips. Sharon was walking normally, but it had been so long since Cole had seen his ex-wife that he felt as though he was staring at her while she was walking in slow motion. Every hair flip took forever, every step seemed like it was a thousand years. It was almost as if his mind was slowing the image of his long lost love down on the premise that he better drink in a good view of her now before he never sees her again.

“Hello Cole,” Sharon said as she gave her ex-husband a brief, polite hug. Cole didn’t return it. He was so surprised to see Sharon that he just stood there in a daze. Oddly enough, he could even hear his favorite romantic cowboy song. He thought that was strange, and wondered whether or not he was losing his mind.

“Oh my old lady…done got up and walked out on me.
And now I’m so lonely, I can hardly even see,
What’s the point of not drinkin’ from now until infinity?
Oh drink, yes I’ll drink, till she’s gone right out my mind.
Toss back that whiskey, till the barkeep calls quittin’ time.
But no matter how much damage I do to my liver,
I’ll try my best to forgive her,
But Lord knows I’ll never forget her.”

Rusty’s voice broke Cole out of the trance. “Sorry,” Rusty said as he poked a button on his phone. “I bumped into the wall and my ass turned on my radio app.”

“Rusty,” Sharon said as she gave the red headed a lawman an equally quick hug.

He threw Cole a confused look. “Sharon.”

“How are you?” Sharon asked Cole.

Cole found a little spot on the floor to poke with the toe of his boot, a tactic that he used to stall for time. “Oh, fine, fine.”

Gordon had been standing off to the side for awhile. He coughed to remind his partner he was still there.

“Where are my manners?” Sharon said. “Cole, meet my partner, Gordon Bishop.”

Gordon and Cole locked eyes and traded angry glares. Neither of them knew why, but they instantly did not like one another. Their hands launched out like two angry sharks, consuming one another in a handshake. Gordon squeezed Cole’s hand tightly. Cole returned the gesture with a hard squeeze of their own. The faces of both men turned red. They gritted their teeth, waiting to see who would bow out first until finally they both caved at the exact same time.

“Gordon,” Sharon said. “This is Officer Rusty Yates.”

Before Rusty even knew it, his hand was being crushed by Gordon’s giant hand.

“A pleasure,” Gordon said.

As soon as Rusty’s hand was released, he shook it to and fro until the feeling returned. “Oh shit…likewise, big fella. Likewise.”

Cole scratched the back of his head. “What brings you big time city folk to our little old neck of the woods?”

“Take a wild guess,” Sharon said.

Cole was too busy sniffing the air. It smelled of Eau de Price Town, the cheap perfume that Sharon had always worn. How he missed it. It was as if each nostril full brought him nourishment.

“Countess Cucamonga,” Rusty said.

Sharon tapped the side of her nose with her finger. “You got it.”

“You got any leads?” Rusty asked.

“Just an idiot who’s cooling his heels in lockup,” Sharon said. “But other than that, not a one. Frankly, we were hoping you’d have some.”

Cole kept staring at Sharon. Suddenly, he realized he’d been staring for too long, so he looked around the room, anywhere he could to avoid eye contact.

“Cole?” Sharon asked.

“Huh?” Cole asked as he stared at the ceiling.

“You got anything?” Sharon asked.

“Oh,” Cole said. He half-looked at Sharon. He couldn’t bring himself to look her in the eye, so he focused on the wall just to the right of her. “Not much. Bunch of college kids in the bathroom. The male’s dead. The four females were knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital.”

“Well,” Sharon said. “We’ll have to talk to them as soon as they wake up.”

Cole nodded.

“What about that old timer in the nursing home?” Rusty asked. “Saw one of the Hot Ass Blonde Chicks with Big Titties talking about it on NN1.”

“Yeah,” Sharon said. “And frankly, I was surprised the media found out about that so quickly. Pretty much the same situation. Man sits on the toilet, ends up all over the walls. No one knows how. No one knows a damn thing.”
Rusty cracked his knuckles. “Sounds like we got the case of the century here.”

“Sure does,” Sharon replied.

“Well, as soon as the state crime lab boys grace us with their presence, we might know more,” Rusty said. “We’ve been cooling our heels waiting on them awhile.”

“Oh,” Sharon said. “I probably should have called ahead and filled you two in. I called the state crime lab off.”

Cole was useless. Still looking around the room. Still smelling the perfumed air.

Gordon chimed in. “Because we can’t trust a crime scene of this magnitude to a bunch of backwater hayseeds, Opie.”

Rusty stepped up to Gordon. “Opie? Who are you calling Opie?”

Gordon was at least five inches taller than Rusty and had fifty pounds of extra muscle. He looked down at his challenger. “You, Opie.”

Rusty’s angry face disappeared. A fake smile emerged. “Oh! Because of my red hair! I get it. Hilarious, man.”

Sharon turned to Cole. “Thank you for everything. We’ll take it from here.”

Cole nodded.

Rusty was irate. “What?”

“The FBI will be running with the ball on this investigation,” Sharon said.

“The hell you are!” Rusty said.

“You got a problem with that, Opie?” Gordon asked.

Rusty gulped a big helping of fear down his throat, then looked up at Gordon. “As a matter of fact, I do, Gigantor. Cole and I have been patrolling this town for going on twenty years now and the one time something happens worth investigating and you two hot shots with your fancy suits think you’re going to waltz right in here and take it away from us?”

“Damn right, Ritchie Cunningham,” Gordon said.

“Ah, hell,” Rusty said. “That doesn’t even count.”

“It counts,” Gordon said.

“No it doesn’t,” Rusty said. “Because Ritchie Cunningham and Opie were played by the same person, so it’s not like you thought of a new insult.”

“You know I did, Ron Howard,” Gordon said.

Rusty pointed a finger at Gordon. “Now, see! That doesn’t count either!”

Sharon inserted herself between Gordon and Rusty, largely because she saw Gordon was getting a crazy look in his eye, a look she’d seen before her partner had gone off on people larger than Rusty and crushed them with his pinky finger.

“Boys!” Sharon said. “That’s enough. Rusty, this case is bigger than all of us. We’re not going to shut Sitwell PD out of this. You and Cole will be a very important part of the task force.”

“Task force?” Rusty said.

“I’ve got a team on the way to set up shop in your department HQ,” Sharon said.

Rusty couldn’t believe it. It was like every word out of Sharon’s mouth was worst than the last one.

“You’re taking over our department?” Rusty asked.

“Don’t be silly,” Sharon said. “Just the building. Miami’s become a madhouse with all the media coverage, so we need somewhere quiet to work. But don’t worry, Cole will still run Sitwell PD.”

“Oh,” Rusty said as he folded his arms. “That’s very kind of you, Your Highness.”

“I don’t like your attitude, Rusty,” Sharon said as she looked to Cole. “Are you going to say something to your boy here?”

Rusty also looked to his longtime partner. “Yeah, Cole. Say something to these carpetbagging bottom feeders. Kick their asses outta here.”

It took a few seconds for Cole to realize he was being spoken to. When he saw Sharon and Rusty staring at him and waiting for a response, he started to walk away.

“Sounds good, Sharon,” Cole said as he pushed the lobby door open. “Let me know if you need anything.”

As soon as Cole was out the door, Sharon stuck her tongue out at Rusty.

“Succubus!” Rusty shouted.

“See you later, Ron Howard,” Gordon said.

Rusty flipped out. “I’m not Ron Howard! Ron Howard is bald! I have a thick, luscious mane of hair!”

The redhead stormed out onto the campus and caught up to Cole.
“What are you doing?” Rusty asked.

Cole walked faster than his feet had ever taken him before, putting as much distance between himself and the crime scene as possible.

“Aww, who gives a shit, Rusty?” Cole said. “They want it? Let ‘em have it. I got more important things to do. I don’t need to be marching all over God’s green earth looking for the fat ass pop star killer.”

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