Tag Archives: Annette

Duck, Duck, Dead Duck; chapter fifteen, part two

I decided to break into the park right now before it got dark out.  I knew it would be better to go after dark, but I didn’t have the nerve.  Besides, the security at the park was nonexistent, so I didn’t worry too much about being caught.  I went upstairs to change into black jeans and a black t-shirt.  I grabbed the thinnest pair of gloves I had for later.  I’d be hot, but I would suffer for my art.  Uh, I mean, the job.  When I was appropriately attired, I grabbed my wallet, my picklocks, my gloves, my cell phone and left.  In the car, I stuffed the wallet into the glove compartment and tucked the cell and picklocks into the pocket of my shirt.  The gloves I placed on the seat besides me.

On the way to the park, I thought about the case some more.  Little pieces were starting to come together, but I wasn’t getting the big picture.  I was pretty certain that I wasn’t the main target, but was I only thinking that because it’s what I wanted to believe?  It would take a load off my mind to know that no one was gunning for me, although the perpetrator might not stop trying if s/he was determined to use me as a scapegoat or a red herring.  Still, I would breathe a little easier if it turned out that no one was really trying to kill me and that most of the noise and thunder was just for show.

The traffic was light, and I made it to the park in record time.  I slipped on the gloves and locked the car door, leaving my purse inside.  I hesitated before entering the green room, but I finally punched in the code.  Jackpot!  I was in the green room.  As for Eddie’s office, well, I’d just have to use the picklocks and see what I came up with.  I wiggled to the best of my abilities, trying to replicate what my friend had shown me.  After five minutes of wiggling, I was going to give up when the door gave with a click.  Yes!  I raised my fist in victory before slipping inside Eddie’s office.  I turned on the light and started rifling through the mounds of paper on the desk.  Nothing of interest.  Next, the drawers.  Way in the back of the front drawer was the fake journal.  I wondered who had moved it to the desk and why that person hadn’t secreted it somewhere outside the park.  I set it down and continued looking.  There was nothing else of interest in the drawers.

Next, I opened his file cabinet and started flipping through his files.  Most of it was boring park business, and I was starting to lose my enthusiasm for the detecting business.  I had a bunch of questions I wanted answered—such as Phillip’s wealth; Antoinette’s information that the park was in the red; both Antoinette and Phillip saying that Eddie had been a gambler and was heavily in debt; the various crim sex assaults floating around the park.  I was desperate to find answers to these questions as well as others, but Eddie’s office wasn’t cooperating.  In frustration, I pounded the file cabinet with my fist.  An manila envelope fell from the top of the filing cabinet—on the inside—looking oh-so-innocuous.  Yes, I thought to myself.  Finally.  I knew that I should just take it and get the hell out of there, but I had to see what was in it.  What if it had nothing to do with the murders, and I left the place with nada?  I sat down at Eddie’s desk and made myself comfortable.

Continue Reading

Duck, Duck, Dead Duck; chapter fourteen, part one

“Welcome back, Bea.  Long time, no see.”  Antoinette greeted me with a smirk on her face, her usual expression.  She fluttered her hand at me so I would notice the rock sitting on her finger.  It was a large garnet and looked like it’d be a bitch to wear.

“Nice ring,” I said offhandedly.

“Oh, this?”  Antoinette touched it, a pleased smile on her face.  “It was a little gift from me to me.  I’ve been so sad, you know, what with the deaths and all.  I thought it would cheer me up.  The garnet is my birthstone.  That’s January, you know.  Anyway….”  She flicked her hair back to show off the matching earrings.  Where the hell did she get that kind of money?  As far as I knew, she’s not a debutante or the inheritor of a trust fund.  I knew there was no way she could afford a ring like that on a salary like ours—unless Eddie was giving her one hell of a perk.

“Where’d you get the money?”  I asked, not able to think of a way to put it delicately.

“Ooooh, Phillip was nice enough to loan it to me.  Eddie left me a little something in his will, which should be probated in the upcoming weeks.  Isn’t Phillip just the sweetest man?”  She fluttered her fingers at me again, looking like the proverbial cat with the canary.  She hadn’t even asked how I was.  Bitch.  “By the way, Phillip would like to see you in his office ASAP.”  It figured that she would wait before giving me the message.  I sighed and got up to see Phillip.  Anything to prolong putting on that damned head.  I noticed that Maisie was back and ready for action, so I assumed that I would be returning to my old identity.

“Antoinette said you wanted to see me?”  I said, poking my head into the office.

“Bea!  Come in!  Sit down!”  Phillip jumped up from his chair and ushered me into the office.  As it was about the size of my bedroom, there wasn’t much room for ushering.  He gently deposited me into the chair across from his desk as if I were eight months pregnant before scurrying back to his side.  I didn’t know him very well, but it seemed to me that he was uneasy about something.  Before he sat down, I noticed that the zipper on his fly wasn’t quite zipped.  I wondered if I should point it out or just wait until he went to the bathroom and discovered it for himself.  I decided on the latter as I had a hunch that it would embarrass him terribly if I were to call attention to it.

“How are you?”  Phillip asked, his eyes blinking rapidly.  Even though he was as good-looking as ever, there was something vaguely ferret-like about him.  It diminished his appeal greatly.  “I mean, how are you really doing?  How’s the shoulder?”

“Fine,” I said briefly, not wanting to talk about my injury.  It was much better and didn’t hurt nearly as much, but I still had to take at least one pain pill a day to survive.

“Are you sure you didn’t catch sight of who did this to you?”  Phillip asked, leaning forward.  He tapped his pen on the desk, drawing attention to the journal sitting the top of the desk, half hidden.  He was unaware of what he was doing as he focused on my face.  I glanced at the papers and glimpsed something that puzzled me.  I didn’t read well upside down, but it looked somewhat familiar.

Continue Reading

Duck, Duck, Dead Duck; chapter two, part two

“Rather strange coincidence, isn’t it?”  Antoinette interjected, cutting her eyes to me.  “The day you two switch costumes, Lydia is murdered.”  Although she was purportedly speaking only to me, her voice carries clearly across the crowd.  I flushed, but didn’t answer.  I figured it was better to save my words for the police than to waste them trying to defend myself.

“What the hell is going on here,” Eddie asked, huffing and puffing.  “What is Trixie doing lying on the ground like that?  Get up, girl.  It’s bad for business.”  Even though I was only a few yards away, Eddie didn’t bother to look my way.  He nudged Lydia’s body with his toe, drawing gasps from the crowd.  “What are you drunk?  I swear to God, Trixie, if you’re playing some kind of trick on me.”

“Eddie, that’s Lydia, and she’s dead,” Antoinette said in hushed tones.  It’s unbelievable to me that Eddie didn’t see the bullet wounds, but he’s not the most observant guy in the world.  “That’s Bea.”  She pointed to me.  It took a minute for it to register with Eddie what Antoinette had said.  When it did, he turned to me, a look of dismay on his face.

“Didn’t I tell you girls not to switch costumes?  Didn’t I, huh?  What did Eddie tell you the first day of work?  No switching costumes.”  Uh oh.  When Eddie started talking about himself in the third person, it meant he was losing his temper.  Granted, it’s a short way to go, but still, I didn’t need the aggravation.  Besides, the man needed to get his priorities straight.  Lydia and me switching costumes was the least of his worries.

“Eddie, Lydia’s dead.”  My voice was fierce as I tried to stem the litany I knew was forthcoming.  “This isn’t the time to worry about costume switches.  Did someone call the police?”

“I did,” Tommy said, flashing his cell phone in his hand.  “They should be here any minute.”

“Police?”  Eddie bellowed, turning white.  “What do we need the police for?”  No one was this stupid—no one.  It seemed as if our Eddie was, though.  Disbelieving looks passed between the members of the crowd.  “Let’s let our security take care of it.  Most of them are cops moonlighting, anyway.”

“It’s not that easy,” I said impatiently, not wanting to deal with this moron.  I was distracted by what he had said, however.  Where was security?  I didn’t see any.  In the distance, there was the sound of sirens roaring.

Continue Reading