Courageous twisted his head slightly toward the window. He was reconsidering his decision not to throw himself in a full body slam at the window. If he was sure he’d break the glass and soar into space, he’d do it. Hell couldn’t be worse than what he was experiencing with Gillis and Pickle. Sigmund Freud couldn’t figure these two out if he had three lifetimes, thought Courageous. Then he remembered his good friend, Pete Thissel, who headed the Unsolved Crimes Unit. Six months ago, Pete Thissel, tried leaping through the window from the 45th floor after working with Gillis and Pickle for two weeks. Pete ended up with a fractured skull. He was never the same after that, he’s in an assistant care facility. Gillis and Pickle got a citation for solving the case.
Courageous closed his eyes visualizing how much longer until retirement. Eighteen months, that’s all I have to make before I can retire on a full pension. That’s less than two years. I can do it. I can do it, he repeated to himself. A brief moment later, he opened his eyes and smiled like someone who’d taken one two many anxiety pills. It was a smile of someone who was thinking of dinner at Flipetti’s Trattoria instead of the two lunatics in front of him. He’d have to eat alone, his wife called and said she’d be late, she had a late meeting with the mayor this afternoon she couldn’t break.
Courageous took a deep breath and said “Listen up Gillis and Pickle, the press is going to be all over this case once they hear about it. I’m keeping a lid on it. No leaks. Keep it quiet. I want it solved by the end of the week.”
“Too late for that, Cap,” said Gillis.
“What!” screamed Courageous, his calm demeanor left him faster than a rocket leaving Cape Kennedy for outer space.
Gillis said, “Thought you’d be happy. I took the liberty of calling Elaine Hazel at the Daily News. I owed her one for the great sex we had after I leaked the story about the unsolved case that is no longer unsolved. Don’t tell anyone, I not one to kiss and tell if you know what I mean.
Courageous’s heart momentarily flatlined, then went into Afib before backing off into A flutter turning his face redder than a ripe tomato and his balding head into a Vegas neon sign.
Pickle, ever helpful, offered Courageous his take, “I saw an ad on cable for high blood pressure, Cap. It’s from one of the endangered species that will be extinct in six months. That’s why the company is hunting all of them before hunting them is banned. Question for you, Cap. Is it banned or band? The two words can be easily confused. The ad said you can get your first order free if you subscribe to receive a supplementary order every week for two years. If you order now, they’ll send a bonus gift card good for …”
“Please leave before I throw the two of you at the window.”
“Caio,” said Gillis as he stood and turned toward the door.
Pickle followed Gillis and said, “I think you meant, chow, the two words are easy mistaken and misused.
Gillis and Pickle left Courageous’s office and entered the elevator. Pickle pushed the B button and the elevator began its slow descent toward the basement. He stepped back, “You’d think they’d put the morgue up here with the Cap since he’s in charge of the hormone unit.”
“You mean homicide unit, right?” asked Gillis, then realized his error. He quickly added, “Don’t say it, the two words are easily confused.”
“You are the best, Gills. You can read my mind before the thought hits my lips. How do you do that?” asked Pickle.
“Just a gift I was born with, Dill. You ought to put your idea about moving the morgue in the suggestion box. You might win the weekly prize.”
“Thanks for encouraging me, Gills. I’ve always been creative. I remember when I was in fourth grade, I turned my math test upside down and did the test.”
Gillis turned his toward Pickle, “How’d that work out for you?”
“See, that’s the problem with schools, Gills. They penalize creative kids. They reward the ass kissers who play by the rules. That’s why we’re such a good team. Following the law and the rules are for the other cops. We make it up as we go along.”
“Good point, Dill,” Gills said. Then he added, “Cap’s pretty emotional about this case. I got a feeling he and the deceased were close friends.”
“I noticed that. You see the vein in his right temple doing the Paso Doble? I thought Cap was going to have an anus and it was going to pop any second.”
Gillis wasn’t quite sure where to begin. He couldn’t let it pass. He said, “You mean aneurysm, right? Only helping out in case you ever have to interview a dietician, Dill,” said Gillis.
The elevator sped past the second floor on its descent. Pickles said, “Two easily confused words, Gills. They had this PBS special on television about confusing words. I watched it while Karen and I were having sex.”
“You watched a TV show about confusing words while you were having sex?” Gillis said as the elevator came to a stop at the basement level.
“I call it word porn. It’s a turn on for me.”
“What about Karen?”
“She left me in the morning. I can’t figure out why. I’m sure she liked it, she didn’t say a word during or after sex. I always take that as a good sign.”
“Women are hard to figure, Dill. Speaking of such, back me up with Wendy. No question she’s got the hots for me. I’ve been playing hard to get and it’s driving her nuts. I’m going to torment her until her libido explodes and she can’t control her sexual aggression for me.”
“You understand the female species better than women understand their own species. That’s where you have the edge, Gills. I wish I had your gift for the ladies. Me? Right now I’m on the new dating site, desperate dot com.”
Gillis and Pickle walked down the dimly lit bowels of police headquarters. Steam pipes, covered with dust and cobwebs lined the ceiling, the light barely strong enough to keep them from tripping on a rat scurrying across the floor.
“This place gives me the creeps. You think the city would send an inspector and shut it down. No self respecting corpse wants to be found dead here, said Gillis.
“Rumor has it the Chief has pull with the mayor’s office. He’s pulling strings to keep the food inspectors away,” said Pickle.
Gillis wasn’t sure where to take the food inspector comment. He let it slide and pointed ahead, “There’s the morgue. Wendy was experiencing PMS earlier. It proved one thing to me.”
“What’s that, Gills?” asked Pickle.
“Wendy’s still capable of having my babies. Maybe I need to talk to her about her biological clock.”
“You is always one step ahead of the ladies, Gills. My aunt Louise would say you got chick dust sprinkled on you when you was born. The ladies cannot resist you.”
“I thought that was dandruff,” laughed Gills. “Heads up, Dill. Like Cap always says, we got to show our sensitive side.”
Dill fist bumped Gills and said, “Like my Grams always said, ‘You catch more frogs with bacon.’”
“Got to remember that one. Okay if I use it now and then?” said Gillis.
© Ray Calabrese 2018