Happy Friday! Here's another chapter of my mystery.
Chapter Four: Death by Wasabi
Doctor Ira Qwacken realized he had a problem. In fact; as he chewed and chewed on the piece of octopus in his mouth he realized that he had two problems to be exact. The first was that he hated sushi. Absolutely despised it. Especially sushi of the variety of the piece of octopus in his mouth at this exact moment.
His other problem was that his cell phone was buzzing, and he was almost positive it was the hospital. He’d promised Gina that he was off tonight and they could enjoy a romantic, if nauseating dinner together. She wouldn’t be happy to find out he’d lied. It was own stupid fault for playing the odds that no one would need a new heart while he enjoyed a bite.
He decided he could take care of both problems in the bathroom and quickly excused himself.
As he walked to the bathroom he thought about Gina and realized he really couldn't blame her. He hadn’t been much of a boyfriend and was hardly ever around. Almost every waking moment was spent at work. Not to mention the moments when he wasn’t awake.
As one of the foremost emergency cardiac surgeons in the country he couldn't count the number of times he’d had to walk out of a movie or a friend’s wedding because he was called in to throw a new pumper in somebody's chest. Gina would look hurt, then angry and ultimately take an emotional stab at him with "Fine, go save the little girl's life. Give her a new Bread Basket or a Charley Horse. See if I care."
Gina never really did understand his work.
Now here he was hiding from her and sitting in a stall in the Men’s Room returning the call from the hospital like some teenager peeking at the bra section in a Sears catalog. Did they still do that, he wondered? These days they probably use the Internet for their visual stimulation. This led to a series of thoughts about the difficulty of fitting one's computer into a bathroom ending with Ira finally understanding the concept of a laptop.
He dialed his answering service with a mixture of dread and resignation.
"This is Chief Surgeon Qwacken. What do you have for me?"
"Dr. Qwacken, your lawyer called," droned the voice on the other end of the line. "He said to let you know he was able to procure the cat and it will in your possession tomorrow."
Ira closed his cell phone, leaned back and smiled.
There were only a couple of things he'd had on his personal bucket list for most of his life. One was to win "American Cardiac Surgeon of the Year." He'd accomplished that. Twice.
The other was win the New York Greater Municipal Cat Fancier's Association Cat of the Year Show just once in his life. The only problem he faced there was that he didn't have a cat but, more importantly, he didn't have time to train a champion.
That's where Snowbell, the reigning champion three years running, came in. He may not be able to train a champion but he could buy one. Hell, it worked for the Yankees. Most of the time.
Unfortunately Ira had been frustrated when Snowbell's odious owner refused all his offers to buy her cat. Neither reason or money would move Charisma Ponderosa into parting with her beloved feline. He'd just about given up when he'd heard the good news this morning that she'd died in some freak accident at a party at her home. Ira felt very, very lucky at the moment.
Ira felt a gurgle in his stomach and quickly tried to remember if he'd actually swallowed any of the sushi Gina had been dangling in his face with her chopsticks.
The gurgle quickly turned to searing pain, Ira doubled over. He crawled off the toilet and spun around expecting to be quickly revisiting his recently eaten dinner shortly. As he hung over the toilet bowl it briefly crossed his mind that he hadn't been in this position since college. It was that happy memory that was the last thought to ever cross Ira Qwacken's mind because first he fainted.
Then he drowned.
Chapter One: Charisma Hits the Dance Floor.
Chapter Two: Death Punches Back on the Clock.
Chapter Three: Usually it's the Usual Suspects.