Pickle opened the ME’s door and stood aside and said, “Please rise, the man who desire more than any other is about to enter.” Pickle paused for a poignant moment and spoke as if he was announcing a late night TV talk show host, here’s Detective Gills.” Pickle made a sweeping gesture with his right arm and Gillis soon followed.
Gillis paused at the door, waved to the twenty-three people in the room as if he were the Queen of England or the Pope. Unfortunately not counting Pickle and himself, and only one was alive. The other twenty-two were deceased and waiting to be autopsied. The living human being, Doctor Wendy Flox, dressed in blue scrubs and matching latex free gloves stood over the Monkey holding a scalpel in her left hand. She had her dark hair pulled back into a ponytail, the ponytail stuck out from behind her skull cap. Wendy glanced up from the deceased toward Gillis and Pickle.
She pulled the mask off her face, lifted it over her forehead and let it rest on the blue skull cap. She grumbled, “I’m busy. What do you two fools want?”
Gillis walked confidently toward Wendy. He said, “Is that anyway to greet the president and vice president of your fan club?” He fist bumped Pickle and then did a pirouette ending with his right arm extending toward Wendy.
“If you’re looking for applause, it’s not going to happen, tomorrow, or any other time you are within five miles of me. Make it quick. I’ve got two more stiffs to examine.”
Gillis smiled and said, “If I was you, I’d find a different outfit for work. You know one that’s a lot sexier than scrubs. I can help you pick out something more comfortable at Victoria Secrets. Am I right?”
“You’re a jackass. Tell me what you want before I lose whatever is left of my composure,” grumbled Flox.
Gillis mistook Flox’s comment about him being a Jackass as her way of flirting with him, said, “First things first, how are you and your husband getting along? I hear rumors a split is inevitable. The breakup will be tough, but I’m here for you. Let’s have drinks after work and you can tell me what a louse he is. I’ll be understanding and agree to whatever you have to tell me about him. I won’t even make a comment when you tell me you’re faking it with him. After drinks, we can go to my place do our love dance.”
Wendy Flox jammed the scalpel into the deceased’s armpit and placed her latex free gloved hands on her hips. She glared at Gillis, “My personal life is none of your business. For the record, Richard and I are happily married.”
“Stage one, denial. Please make a mental note of my empathy. Are those latex free gloves?” asked Gillis.
“I’ll make sure we stop and pick up latex free condoms on the way to my apartment,” said Gillis feeling proud of his sensitivity in picking up the latex free cue from Flox.
Flox pulled the scalpel out of the monkey and made a threatening gesture toward Gillis.
Pickle came riding in on cue rescuing his partner, “Hey, Wendy. Lighten up. Gills is being friendly. No need for an attitude. Gills is concerned about your marital stress and wants to take you out for drinks when you finish carving up the monkey. Don’t worry, we won’t tell animal rights groups what you’re doing. We’re both here for you when the crap hits the fan. Besides, Gills is worried about your biological clock running out. It’d be a shame if you didn’t have his babies since Richard is apparently infertil.”
Wendy looked at the scalpel in her hand. The possibilities it offered were endless. She was satisfied the scalpel was sharp enough to slit Gillis from his throat to his pelvis. She could do the same job on Gillis the killer did on the monkey. She glanced at the tool tray and eyeballed another scalpel that would easily take off both of Pickle’s ears. Flox had only one decision. She had was to decide if she could kill the two detectives that no one likes, and get away with murder. She could claim justifiable homicide. Not a jury in the world would convict her. Flox decided against it. She’d have to do two more autopsies.
Flox said, “You got two minutes, Gillis.”
“Before we start the clock, I got an easy one, not related to the deceased or us having sex tonight.”
Wendy rolled her eyes, “Okay, what is it and it better not be stupid.”
Gillis flashed what he thought was a smile that melted a frigid woman’s heart. He said, “Everyone on the force has a nickname but you. This creates problems because everyone but Pickle and me thinks you’re stuck up. Since I always have your best interests in mind, I came up with two choices that will catch on like the common cold in January.”
Wendy took her hands off her hips and folded them across her chest. She looked like a diamondback rattlesnake coiled to strike. She snarled, “What?”
Gillis said, “I put together all of your excellent qualities, brains, looks, sex appeal, temper, ran it through my brain, which is faster than IBM’s Watson and came up with the two perfect nicknames. You choose, me and Pickle will accept either one and make sure it gets around.”
“The first nickname comes from the fact that I believe your biological clock is about to run out. What do you think of Hot Flashes?” asked Gillis.
“I like the second one, Gills. You know the one that describes a young cat,” said Pickle.
“You say it and I will march right up to Courageous’s office and put you both on report for sexual harrassment. Your two minutes starts now.”
“Let me time this.” Gillis pulled out his iPhone. He popped in his passcode. “I’m not one to give out my passcode. I set it to the first name of hottest woman in the department. Oh hell, I just gave it it away.”
Pickle said, “Tonya? You were just saying you’d like to spend a night with her.”
Gillis didn’t blink, “You’re mistaken, Dill. That was Cap. I told Cap he better watch it, he could be brought up on sexual harassment charges.”
“Gotcha. Yah, we got to keep an eye on Cap.”
“Fool. You’ve used thirty seconds,” said Wendy, bending over the Monkey.
“I’ll make it quick, what was the cause of death”
Wendy stared at the scalpel. Instead of killing Gillis and Pickle, she could stab herself in the heart or slice her aorta. She’d die a quick death and except for the initial incision, there wouldn’t be a lot of pain. She shook the thought out of her head and said, “Loss of blood.”
“You are busting my balls, Wendy. Give me a break. Pickle and me got a job to do. We head up the Bizarre Crimes Unit. What caused the loss of blood?” said Gillis.
Wendy straightened up, “You look as stupid as you talk. Anybody ever tell you that? Did you know you have mustard in the dishrag you try to pass off as a hair piece? I’ve seen better hair on roadkill. Here’s your answer, it was decapitation or the gutting of his sternum that caused the loss of blood.”
Gillis worked with his piece trying to adjust it. He said, “I wanted to see if you’d notice. Only a woman who is sexually attracted to me, would notice and tell me. Will you marry me?”
Flox started coming around the slab after Gillis when Pickles said, “How do you figure decapitation was the cause of death?”
Flox regained control and returned to her original position keeping the dead monkey between her and Gillis and Pickle. She said, “The head was three feet away from the body. Anyone with a half brain could see that. And, he was opened up as if he were a zipper.”
Gillis put his iPhone in his pant’s pocket, “A couple more questions, that’s all. Then we can talk about where we will dine and drink tonight. Did the monkey suffer?”
Flox wondered if she got caught in a reality TV show. Or, if she was in one of those reoccurring nightmares. She said, “Gillis, how would you feel if someone cut your guts out?”
Pickle butted in, “Is that anyway to talk to man who is going to father your babies?”
Flox swished the scalpel at Pickle. Pickle jumped back even though he wasn’t close enough to get hurt. “Ha, you missed,” he said.
“It was practice. I’m getting the range,” snapped Flox.
Gillis said, “Any fingerprints on the guts?”
Flox responded, “Where did you get these questions? “The killers took the guts.”
Gillis raised his hands, “Hold on. Your bias is coming out. These questions were compiled by the greatest minds in criminology. We’re the messengers. We got to ask what we got to ask.”
Flox reached for a second scalpel, “Leave before I lose it.”
Thanks for the cooperation, Wendy. I know a nice place, Bennie’s Ice House. We can have a few brewski’s, a burger, and play a game of pool to determine where we spend the night.”
Wendy flipped the middle finger of her right hand to Gillis.
Gillis raised his eyebrows, “Thanks for letting me know you didn’t like pool. How about going straight to my place we’ll have take out Chinese, and play strip poker. Pickle will call your husband and tell him you’re on a special assignment.”
“I’m available for a candlelight dinner, if your schedule is too crowded for Gillis,” said Pickle.
Wendy grabbed the other scalpel and started around the slab. Gillis and Pickle headed for the door. Pickle stood aside and let Gillis escape first, then he followed Gillis, slamming the door behind him. A thump was heard on the door.
Gillis turned around and stared at the door, “We’ve got to be a bit more careful. Wendy’s becoming more accurate throwing the scalpel. That’s what attracts me to her. Imagine all that passion focused on me for a night. I tell yah, Pickle, Wendy knows she’s in love with me and this is her way of showing how much she loves me.”
“Want me to talk to Richard and tell him it’s time to move on and tell him Wendy is in love with you?” asked Pickle.
“I want to be more subtle, Dill. When we finish the case, I’ll invite her to go to Vegas with me to get married.”
Pickle pushed the button for the elevator. He said, “You’re always thinking of the other person, Gills. One day, I want to be just like you.
© Ray Calabrese 2018