Full moon

‘She walked in just like that. My friends and I were having a quiet night at the bar and she walked in. Bruno always keeps watch at the door but somehow she came in and sat there at the bar like nothing was going on.’

‘So far, it doesn’t sound so strange to me.’

‘Well, I’m getting to that part. My friend Gino asked her to leave but he stood there a moment then he left her alone. Me and the boys were surprised, ’cause what could she tell Gino to let her stay?’

‘A girl. A girl came in your bar last night and took a seat. What’s so weird about that?’

‘You don’t understand, detective. The bar ain’t just for anybody. It’s private. We don’t allow strangers. But this girl, she just came, sat at the bar and ordered a whole bottle of scotch and a glass. That’s when I got angry. I went up to her to tell her to get out. The bar is private and no one just walks in like that. That’s when it got weird, detective!’

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‘I am listening.’

‘You see, I only saw the girl from a distance. When I got closer, I saw the girl was not all right. She was bleeding, detective. She was wearing black clothes but there was blood all over her. The girl was barely breathing. She fell off the chair and I panicked, told her I don’t want her to die in my bar! That’s just trouble! She sat on the floor against the bar and looked at me.  And, then, guess what she said, can ya guess?’

‘What?’

‘She said give me ten minutes and I’ll be on my way. Ten minutes? She was bleeding like a pig, dying, all pale, was leaving a pool of blood on my floor and she was telling me she’d be fine in ten minutes?’

‘What did you do?’

‘I didn’t know what to do, just didn’t want her blood on my hands, on my suit. I just bought this suit yesterday morning, you know!’

‘Then what happened?’

‘What could I do? I left her there. She was gonna be dead soon. Told my boys we’ll bury her somewhere then clean up the mess.’

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‘You could have called the hospital?’

‘The hospital? The hospital? I was about to call the loony bin! The girl took her shirt off and we were all looking at her. She had bullets in her chest, all over! Bullets in her arms, neck…I ain’t never seen anything like it. She drank from the bottle of scotch then she looked at the bartender and asked for a knife. Imagine! A damned knife!’

‘What was it for?’

‘Mario gave her the knife. I don’t know why he did it. And then she, get this, I swear on my mother, she cut the wounds and with her hands took out the bullets, one by one. She dropped them in a glass after. We were all watching. What the hell was that? How can she do that? She was bleeding on and on but her face was calm and she was pulling the damned bullets out. When she finished, the glass was full, only blood and bloody bullets in it!’

‘Are you sure it wasn’t fake blood?’

‘I know fake blood when I see it, trust me, detective! It wasn’t no fake blood! I could smell it! And the knife in the wounds…that ain’t fake. Now, tell me, detective, don’t ya get infected if you don’t use clean tools? Now I had my share of bullets but I ain’t never pulled them out using a knife! She pulled not one but like fifty of them and she was still alive, calm and everything, didn’t even scream of pain or did nothing.’

‘Ok, then what?’

‘Then she sat there for maybe two more minutes, drank from the bottle. Then she got up. Just like that!’

‘Just like that?’

‘Yeah, left a damned mess on my floor and the bullets in the glass and all but she was back on her feet. She paid Mario, took the bottle and left.’

‘That’s it?’

‘Yeah, I swear, that’s it!’

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‘You are telling me, a girl walked in half dead, pulled out her own bullets, put them in a glass, stood up, paid then left?’

‘It’s all true.’

‘Just like that?’

‘Just like that. My boys are gonna tell you the exact same thing. And before she got out she even said something like, it’s full moon out there, boys. Better watch out!’

‘Full moon?’

‘Yeah, it was full moon but why would she say that?’

‘Full moon, huh?’

‘Yeah, detective, the damned fool moon…’

Stubborn Murder – Chapter 5

He carefully opened the envelope and unfolded the letter. Then his eyes traced the handwriting. That only made me wonder just how much he was familiar with the King.

I sat there watching his eyes fixed on every word, every sentence and on every page of that letter.

‘Did you do it?’ he finally asked while still holding the letter in his hand.

I was not sure what the King had written but I knew the detective was referring to that terrible night.

‘I don’t know,’ I responded hiding my frustration.

‘You don’t look like you could…’ he said vaguely, ‘at least not with that body.’

The King had not told me about the content of the letter. So, had he mentioned my nature? If he had, then why wasn’t the detective shocked about it?

Mr Grumps dropped the letter on his desk and lit yet another cigarette.

‘I don’t have time for this shit! I have so many cases, I…’ He looked at me and stopped. ‘How can they suspect you? You’re merely a…what happened that night,’ he narrowed his eyes. His reaction confused me. So, did the King mention my nature or not?

‘Do you have any cash?’ he asked.

‘Yes, I have some.’

‘Then you should go at a hotel.’

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Was he insane? How can he send me to a hotel considering the circumstances? Or did he want me dead?

‘Frankly I’m not sure how I can help!’

I bit my lip. Now, I was curious about the information the King had given him. ‘May I take a look at the letter?’

‘No!’

‘Why not?

‘Because it specifically says that you may not.’

‘The King mentions that?’ I grew frustrated. ‘Why, why would he…’

‘Stay at the Candlelight Hotel,’ he said. ‘It will be safe there.’

‘So, will you help me or not?’ I asked.

He didn’t answer.

‘I don’t know what the King mentioned in that letter but perhaps you don’t know all the facts and I need to…’

‘I have all the facts…’ he said while he watched me. ‘I understand.’

His answer startled me.

‘Go to the hotel and I will meet you there later.’

What other choice did I have? I ended up nodding. ‘Thank you!’

‘Don’t thank me just yet.’

Stubborn Murder – Chapter 4

 

I stood there facing a closed door. So, this was the man who was going to help me? This was the man who would understand what I was going through? Perhaps the King was wrong? How could this idiot be my only hope?

One thing was clear, I couldn’t give up now.

I sighed and knocked on the door. But of course, no answer. What a typical jerk! Even so, I slowly opened the door and peeked inside. He was sitting at his desk, tie and shirt stained but he seemed to have forgotten about it. He was looking at some folders while writing down some notes. Mr Grumps…he did have a very grumpy look about him. His eyes were fully concentrated, frowning at every word he wrote. And not to mention his desk, it was a complete mess, all covered in papers, pictures while a cloud of cigarette smoke surrounded it all.

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‘If you want to apologize, get me a new coffee, black!’ he barked.

I said nothing. Instead, I approached his desk, took out the King’s letter and placed it on the corner of his desk. He threw a glance at it then continued with his work.

‘Is that an apology letter?’

I didn’t react.

He looked at me. Sighing, he grabbed the envelope and studied it. He stopped, staring at the King’s wax seal. Then he slowly ran his thump over it. Did they know each other well? The King had said nothing about their relationship.

‘Are you going to stand there while I read it?’ he snapped.

‘I have nowhere else to go,’ I reacted.

He lifted his head up and looked at me. He must have been…around 40, his hair was brown, messy, his eyes were dark brown, his eyebrows thick and messy as well…and he looked tired.

‘I have a chair.’ He blinked then looked at the two chairs before him. ‘You could…sit your ass on one of them…and you can even choose on which one you want to sit’ he mocked.

I sat on one of the chairs feeling like one of his…clients…did he even have any? It took a moment until he pulled his irritated gaze off of me and returned to the letter.

‘I need a smoke for this,’ he barked as though he knew the content of the letter was important. The half burned cigarette in the ashtray was no longer sufficient. He put it out in the pile of other 30 cigarettes and lit a new cigarette.

This was going to be a long day.

Stubborn murder – Chapter 3

I waited for an hour but Mr. Drums did not leave his apartment. And, I had the feeling he wasn’t planning on leaving too soon. I considered slipping the envelope from King under his door but it was too risky. I had to be there when he’d read the letter.

‘Excuse me, madam?’

I turned around and faced a strange looking old man with one white eye. He smiled at me and that made him look even scarier.

I moved out of the way to let the man pass. He slowly passed me by. That’s when I heard the door open.

I turned around and…

‘Damn it!’ someone shouted.

I turned around and…Mr. Drums…was looking at the floor holding a cup of coffee, half its content now spilled on the floor and on his shirt and tie.

‘Watch where you’re heading, idiot!’ he barked at me. He saw the old man looking at us.

‘Great, one white eyed freak OUT and one daydreaming idiot IN.’ He growled more, then passed me by.

I watched him surprised. He was not heading the elevator. Instead, he was heading the other end of the hallway, the same way the white eyed man was going.

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I followed confused.

At the end of the hallway just around the corner…his office.

I walked quickly and caught up with Mr. Drums.

‘I had no idea your office was just a few steps away from your apartment!’

‘Are you just gonna stand there like an idiot and block this way too?’ he roared.

I moved aside.

He unlocked the office door.

‘Are you sure you’re Mr. Drums?’ I didn’t want to know the answer.

‘No, I’m the freaking tooth fairy!’

He entered the room, slammed the door in my face and pulled the blinds down.

 

Stubborn murder – Chapter 2

I said goodbye to the King, the Castle meaning the office and my home which was the only place I felt safe in.

The King’s men were a few colleagues I had never met before but the King trusted them. Perhaps they were a special unit used only in urgent matters…and this was urgent after all.

I packed my bag with only the essentials. After all, I wouldn’t be gone for too long…I think.

The King’s men escorted me to an abandoned parking spot. Well, not entirely abandoned. There was a car waiting for me and it was…not one of our best models but…it was practical and it didn’t stand out. But, it was important to not attract attention. As I needed to solve this matter quickly and without any delays, I drove to…the miracle town called Sunshine.

Sunshine… perhaps they named it when the town looked…different from how it looked now. But, it was just an ordinary town filled with bored people, strange cafés and old buildings. Oh, and it was raining…

The King had told me to go straight to Mr. Drums’s apartment and not to his office as the matter needed all the discretion in the world. I held a piece of paper in my hand as I stood before a four stores apartment building which was nothing more than a grey, depressing building.

The door to the apartment building was open and there was an usher…I don’t know what for…but he was sleeping, snoring, with no care in the world. So, I passed him by and went to the elevator leading to Mr. Drums’s apartment.

I knocked on Mr. Drums’s apartment door. But, nothing happened. Perhaps he was not there…or perhaps he did not want to answer? It was ten o’clock in the morning. Maybe the detective had left to his office?

I knocked again. That’s when I heard noise and someone was approaching the door fast. But, that someone was not very hap..

‘What?’ growled a horrid face as the door had opened in a flash.

‘Mr. Drums?’

He said nothing. Instead, he looked at me. That’s when I noticed he resembled a rabid dog as his hair was in all directions, his eyes half open and his unshaven chin…his clothes..

‘Detective Drums?’ I asked hoping I had knocked on the wrong door.

‘Detective Drums will be in his office in an hour.’

‘I see, but I…’

That’s when the door slammed shut in my face.

This was Mr. Drums? No wonder they called him grumpy…this was going to be a challenge after all.

 

Stubborn murder – Chapter 1

‘I don’t know what to do’, I stated feeling desperate and totally hopeless.

I sat in my boss’s office realizing I was in more trouble than I could have ever imagined. Although we had been talking for hours, it seemed we could not find a solution to what had happened.

The old man, whom I called King, looked at me, his thick grey eyebrows frowning with concern.

‘Someone might be able to help you,’ he finally stated. The King hesitated for a moment, ‘he is a fine detective…’ As he mentioned this, the King opened a drawer and pulled out an envelope. After that, he put the envelope on his desk and looked at it. At that moment I realized he had planned this for a while, but obviously had been having doubts whether to do it or not.

‘Take this letter to him. Make him read it and he might…help you.’

‘You are not sure he will,’ I remarked.

‘He’s a…he can be very angry sometimes. He’s feared in his town and…well…he can also be a true bastard when he wants to.’

‘What’s his name?’

‘They call him Mr. Grumps,’ he said it with a serious face, ‘but his real name is Alexander Drums.’ He looked at me as if awaiting my outburst.

‘Mr. Grumps?’ It sounded stupid just mentioning it. ‘The only man that can help me is a man called Mr. Grumps?’ I stated once more. ‘And where does Mr. Grumps live?’

‘In a small town called Sunshine,’

‘Mr. Grumps from Sunshine? This is not the time to make jokes!’

‘Lidia, he’s your only hope.’

‘Why do you think that?’

‘You two have more in common than you think. That is why he’s the only one who can help you.’

I sighed.

He stared at me and I sensed pity in his eyes. So, what choice did I have?

‘All right. When do I leave?’ I finally said.

‘My men will take you there.’

‘Thank you!’

‘If there is anyone that can save you, my child, then it’s Alexander. Pray he helps you in this matter because if he doesn’t, we are both doomed.’