Happy Friday! Here's the second chapter of my murder mystery--
Chapter Two: Death Punches Back on the Clock
Homicide Detective Sean O’Hallahan was staring at the weirdest crime scene he’d ever seen.
An hour ago he was blissfully asleep. He’d been enjoying a particularly pleasurable dream in which Katherine McPhee was feeding him grapes when his ringing cell phone rudely dragged him into consciousness. The last thing he remembered thinking to himself as he watched McPhee fade out of his vision was “what kind of idiot has a job which would call you at three in the morning?”
He was that idiot.
What made it even worse is that it couldn’t have been the desk sergeant or dispatch but had to be Captain Chancey himself on the other end of the line. Captain Chancey only had one mode of communicating: yelling. He yelled at his boss. He yelled at his subordinates. He yelled at his wife, kids and goldfish. Now he was yelling at O’Hallahan.
“I need you to get your ass out to the Ponderosa estate!” he screamed. “Dead heiress. You're up!”
“Who tagged it homicide?” O’Hallahan asked.
“McGrue,” replied Chancey. “Now get your ass down there now!”
O’Hallahan sighed. Officer Mike McGrue was actually nicknamed “Officer Magoo” by the rest of the cops. He was unquestionably the worst policeman on the force. Magoo was notorious for an off-duty incident in which he completed a personal deposit during an armed bank robbery without noticing anything irregular, least of all the three guys waving Uzis around the place. It was only when he walked out the front door and into a ring of squad cars and shotguns pointed at him that he realized something wasn’t quite right.
Now Magoo was the reason O’Hallahan was standing in an enormous foyer staring at this bizarre death scene and wishing he was still in bed. There was no justice in the world.
By the looks of things Mrs. Ponderosa had taken quite a fall down the bulk of the long stairway and landed squarely on top of the baby grand piano at the foot of the stairs. The impact of her fall had crushed the piano with the piano returning the favor.
O’Hallahan couldn’t help but darkly observe that with her large polka-dotted feet sticking out of the wrecked piano it reminded him of the Wizard of Oz only this time the Wicked Witch of the East fell on Dorothy’s house and not the other way around.
The bespectacled officer Magoo was on the other of the piano standing next to a statue of Venus. O’Hallahan wondered if Magoo didn’t realize it wasn’t real and was trying to chat her up. Might as well get this over with. He shambled over to Magoo.
“Mike,” muttered O’Hallahan. “Whataya got?”
Magoo snapped to attention, startled. “Just a second, baby,” he whispered to the statue. He grabbed O’Hallahan’s arm and led him closer to the body of dumpy heiress.
“Notice anything funny about the belt?” he asked O’Hallahan.
O’Hallahan immediately felt himself turning red. He knew it. He’d been dragged down here in the middle of the night for some bullshit reason. Of course this was lost on Magoo, who continued babbling out his theory.
“The belt. It’s a Sashay but the print is all wrong,” said Magoo. “They don’t do a zebra-skin.”
O’Hallahan realized there was a whole hell of a lot he didn’t know about Magoo and for that he was thankful.
“Not only that, but check out the flange on the buckle. It’s aluminum, which is ridiculous on this style, and it’s been bent.”
O’Hallahan looked closely at the belt. He may not understand fashion as well as Magoo but he did get an "A" in metal shop in high school. Sure enough the buckle was discolored and bent in an unnatural fashion.
“Are you saying somebody tampered with her belt?” O’Hallahan asked.
Magoo was triumphant. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. This woman was murdered.”
It dawned on O’Hallahan as he watched Magoo move back over to the statue of Venus and sheepishly put his arm around it that, for the first time in his career as a police officer, Magoo may actually be right about something.
Charisma Ponderosa, heiress to the Ponderosa Kitty Litter Corporation fortune, had been murdered.
Chapter One: Charisma Hits the Dance Floor.