The Bumbling Detectives Are Back Tomorrow

Enjoy the shenanigans of the Bumbling Detectives when they return on Monday. Gillis and Pickle give Captain Courageous grooming tips.

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Tomorrow, The Bumbling Detectives Cause More Trouble

Tomorrow the Bumbling Detectives Find Themselves In Deep Trouble With Captain Courageous.

Monday ~ The Bumbling Detectives Return

Enjoy the shenanigans of the Bumbling Detectives when they return on Monday. Gillis Makes Pickle Take the Sacred Oath of Manhood. 

13 ~ Pickle Practices Staring Contest With a Mirror

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Gillis and Pickle caught site of each other and broke into boisterous laughter. Pickle gave Gillis a high five and Gillis returned the gesture by offering Pickle a fist bump. 

Pickle said, “Thanks, Dill. I needed something to break the tension.” He turned toward Sampson and said,  “I can think of two-hundred sixteen reasons and anyone who kills you will get The Killer of The Year Humanitarian medal, punk.”

Pickle’s comment struck a raw nerve with Sampson. “I had enough. You come in here an insult me. You destroy a painting. Carelessly toss a rare blown glass image of Tell and your partner is too busy clipping his nails to catch it and Tell shatters into a thousand pieces. To top it off, your partner tore a page out of a first edition for evidence. And, you have the nerve to me a punk?”

Pickle turned toward Gillis, “Gills, do I have the nerve to call Sampson a punk?”

Gillis shook his head yes, then went back to texting Wendy Flox.

“Gills says I have the nerve to call you a punk. Why are you asking me if I had the nerve to call you a punk, punk? Before you speak let me inform you whatever you say is useless and will be twisted to make our case tighter than a . . .” Pickle turned toward Gillis, “Gills, I need a metaphor to complete my sentence tighter than a … can you give me an assist?” asked Pickle

Gillis sent his text off to Wendy, raised his right hand to his chin giving deep thought to come up with an appropriate metaphor. After a long minute, Gillis said, “At first thought the only metaphors I can come up with are offensive to most human beings. Here’s a lame metaphor, I think it will work, ‘It’s tighter than sausage on a stick.’”

Sampson butted in, “That doesn’t make sense. You should sue your English teachers for malpractice.”

 Gillis looked at Sampson, “You know a good lawyer who won’t charge up front money and will only take a ten percent of my winning lawsuit?”

Before Sampson could answer, Pickle butted in, “Can we make this a class action law suit? I want a piece of the action.”

Sampson began pounding his fists against his temples. Gillis put his arm around him, “Calm down. You keep hitting your head we’ll have to charge you with self inflicted assault and battery. Right now, we’re going to look the other way. Sit down and try to relax.”

Sampson turned away from the window and returned to his executive chair. “The mayor will hear about this, believe me. I’m calling my lawyer as soon as you two leave. You can expect a lawsuit.”

Pickle was still sitting on the corner of Sampson’s desk. He placed his right hand on top of Sampson’s head and pressed down, “Don’t take offense. I’m trying to keep you from blowing your top.”

“Dill’s got a point Foolsum,” said Gillis pleased with the text he sent Wendy Flox.

“It’s Folsom, not Foolsum.”

Pickle removed his hand from Sampson’s head. He bent over and spoke into Sampson’s ear, “Where were you between midnight and two? How do you know Till? Why were you jealous of Till? What did you do with his guts? What did Till ever do to you to get you so angry you decapitated him?” 

Pickle straightened up and grabbed Sampson by both shoulders and pulled him toward him, bringing him eyeball to eyeball. Pickle and Sampson engaged in a staring contest. Sampson quit after one minute ninety seconds. Pickle, still not blinking, said, “I practice staring contests with myself at home. Most of the times I come out in a tie with the mirror. More importantly, where’d you get the contacts? They are fantastic. Did you know you can get Lazik surgery and no longer need contacts?”

Sampson’s head looked like it was going to pop. He took a long second and composed himself. He said, “First, thank you for the compliment about my contacts. I checked into Lazik surgery, but decided against it. With contacts I can change the color depending on my mood. ”

Pickle released Sampson’s shoulders and pushed him back into his chair, “Thanks, Sampson. This is the second good lead we’ve had in the case. Before we leave I want your chiropractor’s name. Maybe he’ll give me the same deal on contacts.”

“I don’t got to a chiropractor. I go to an optometrist,” said Sampson looking all around his room for his rare bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey. 

Gillis ignored Pickle and Sampson and went back to the bookcase. He pulled a book out of the case, opened it, thumbed through several pages and said, “Very interesting, very interesting and may I say very incriminating.”

“Put that book back. It’s a rare signed first edition by Hemingway. There are only two copies in the whole world.”

Gillis stuck the rare copy between his shirt and belt, “It’s evidence. My guess is the monkey’s DNA is on every page. The DA will want to see this. What do you think, Dill?”

“Sampson uncooperative, Gills. I’m thinking we should send him to timeout until he learns to play nice.”

“I am not a child. I haven’t been sent to timeout since I was four. And then, it was only because I was upset I spilled milk on my favorite shirt,” said Sampson. 

Sampson stood up, scooted around the desk, and scurried over to Gillis. He reached for the book behind Gillis’ belt. He grabbed hold of it. Gillis twisted and grabbed hold of the opposite end of the book and attempted to pull it away from Sampson. Sampson applied a death grip to the Hemingway book. Gillis crouched into a hammer thrower’s stance and started spinning. Sampson went round and around and around until Gillis let go and sent Sampson and his rare Hemingway flying through the air crashing into a large tropical fish tank. The fish tank toppled releasing twenty gallons of water and a dozen rare tropical fish swishing across the floor. Sampson’s sole victory was that he was still holding the now water soaked and ruined first edition.

Gillis said, “I concede, Sampson. You put up a hell of a fight. I want you on my team next time I’m in a tug of war.” 

Gillis surveyed the catastrophic damage. He said, “A bit of advice. Be more careful who you let touch your valuable items. Not to worry, Pickle and me will track down whoever is responsible for the carnage. As for you Sampson, I advise you not to leave town. We’ve got our eyes on you.”

“Yah, Sampson, we’ve got our eyes on you. I advise you clean up this mess before you get any visitors. Decaying fish leave an awful smell if you know what I mean. BTW, watch for broken glass,” said Pickle.

A half hour later Gillis and Pickle sat outside Captain Courageous’ office. 

 

GILLIS AND PICKLE RETURN MONDAY. WHY DOES CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS WANT TO SEE THEM? WILL THEY TRACK DOWN THE MONKEY’S KILLER?

 

© Ray Calabrese 2018

12 ~ Gillis Claims He Could Breed If He Wanted to Breed

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Gillis said, “Fess up, Sampson! Who’s this London character? I’ll give you ten to one odds, he’s an ex con with a penchant for violence. Is he using Jack London as an alias? What’s his real name? Is he the boss of bosses? Are you afraid to talk because you think London or one of his boys or women as the case may be, will crush you like they’ll crush a bug enjoying a margarita on the sidewalk. They’ll delete you faster than Windows 10 can crash. They’ll make you beg for bullet the same way a homeless man begs for a buck on a street corner. You cooperate with us and I’ll put in a good word with the district attorney about giving you immunity and a new identity.”

“What’s the good word?” asked Pickle.

Gillis thought about it for a minute. He should have used words instead of words, maybe sentences or paragraphs. He understood Pickle’s confusion. Instead of adding to Pickle’s confusion, he said, “I don’t want to say it out loud because if Sampson doesn’t think it’s good enough he won’t cooperate. Then if he thinks it’s good enough, he won’t say it is good enough and he’ll try to negotiate for even more good words.”

“You got a mind better than Einstein. As for you Sampson, you could use a new identity because your current identity is about to expire,” chimed in Pickle. 

“Good one, Dill,” said Gillis immediately regretting he gave Pickle any encouragement.

Pickle liked Gillis’s attention, so he continued, “Give us a description of this London. Does he know the Queen? Does he have a condo in the House of Commons. He must be English because of his name. We’ll put his face on Crime Stoppers, America’s Most Wanted. I’m listening to what Gills was reading and he wrote out a confession. Gills, think we should confiscate the entire library as evidence against London, Phlegm, and Sampson? I’m thinking we uncovered a large criminal enterprise and you, Sampson, are the boss of bosses and using London as your cover.”

 “What are you talking about? I am not the boss of bosses of any criminal organization. Neither one of you heard of Jack London the famous author. It only provides clear evidence of your lack of breeding.”

Gillis jumped in, “Stop right there. I could breed if I wanted too. Me, I use condoms. Pickle got a vasectomy. There’s no need to insult us because we are both being responsible about breeding. I could say you were dumb because you didn’t know how to use no double negative. But I won’t. Pickle and me don’t care if Jack London was on the best seller list or not. Killers come in all shapes and sizes. I figure he wants to take over the operation and you’re next on his hit list.”

“You don’t make sense. You can’t confiscate my entire library. I want my first edition and the page you ripped out of it back,” Sampson hollered.

“Don’t go raising your voice at my partner. He’s part of the solution. You are becoming part of the problem. If you’re not the bosses of bosses, who is the boss of bosses,” demanded Pickle.

Sampson pointed his finger gun like at Pickle, “And you, you with the vocabulary of a third grader are a bully, sir.”

“You got an attitude problem. Are you angry with me because I’m Asian, Mexican, Native American, African American and white? If you are, I am going to sue you for attempting to filet my career,” said Pickle.

“What are you talking about? You can’t filet a career,” shouted Sampson.The mayor is a friend of mine. I’ll get to the bottom of this and someone is going to pay.”

Pickle made a threatening gesture toward Sampson with his right arm. Sampson pushed away from his desk, slid off it and ducked under his desk. 

Gillis said, “I can handle this, Dill.” He walked over and stood behind the desk near where Sampson was hiding from Pickle. He bent over a bit and peered under the desk at Sampson. He said, “Sampson get out from under your desk. We don’t have time to play hide and seek. Be a big boy and climb back into your chair and stop acting like a child. We still got a few questions to ask you. The quicker you answer them, the quicker we’re out of here and on the trail of the killer.”

“Not so fast Gills,” said Pickle. Pickle lifted his right arm and smelled his armpit, “it’s not me that smells. Is it you, Gills?”

Gillis raised his left arm, smelled his armpit, then put his arm down. He said, “Not me. I showered this morning. It’s got to be you, Sampson. You know how that makes my partner and me feel. You are disrespecting us by coming to the interview reeking of B.O.”

Sampson crawled out from under the desk, stood up, and straightened out his shirt. He said, “I do not have body odor. I use a very expensive body lotion I imported from Paris,” said Sampson.

“It smells like armadillo crap. If you never smelled armadillo crap, it smells like you. How’d you know Till was dead?” badgered Pickle 

“I reported it to the police, duh! What would you think if Till’s head was sitting next to his feet? I want you two to leave,” said Sampson

“Did you forget something, Sampson,” said Pickle.

“No, I was very explicit. Get out of my house,” demanded Sampson.

 “You forgot to say please. Please is a common courtesy word people who are not murderers use. You can see why we suspect you. I am going to read you your rights,” said Gillis jumping in ahead of Pickle.

Sampson rose to his feet, and turned to face the window.

Pickle said, “My turn, Gills.”

Gillis walked around the desk and stood next to Sampson. He said, “Listen up, dirtbag. I can leave and turn you over to Pickle, there’s no telling what he’ll do. There’s rumors, that’s all I can tell you, there’s rumors.”

“What, what kind of rumors?” asked Sampson. Terror filled his eyes.

“I’m talking the worse kind of rumors,” said Gillis.

“Yah,” chimed in Pickle.

“How did you know Till? You related to the monkey?” asked Gillis playing the good Cop.

“If you know anything about evolution you know we all come from monkeys. I suppose in a distant way we’re related,” said a hopeless Sampson.

Pickle jumped in, “If you was having sex with Till, we’re going arrest you for incest.”

“Hold off on the charge, Dill. We’ll treat it like Vegas. What goes on in Sampson’s house stays in Sampson’s house as long as the murder didn’t happen in the house. I got a new theory on the crime. I don’t think London was the killer. He wasn’t bright enough to write this book. He plagiarized it. We’ll nail him for stealing words. What I’m speculating, Sampson, is the killer was a hit man and you was his target. He mistakenly confused the monkey for you,” said Gillis.

Sampson’s mind couldn’t keep up with nonsensical ramblings of Gillis and Pickle asked, “Why, why would anyone want to kill me?”

© Ray Calabrese 2018

11 ~ A 1st Edition Gives Gillis a Clue to the Killer’s Identity

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Gillis walked to the book case and arbitrarily pulled out a book. He blew the dust off the book and opened it. He looked over his shoulder toward Pickle and said, “Say’s this is a first edition. This could be a clue.” Gillis raised the book up and gestured at Sampson, “I’m a expert on first editions, Sampson. Is this the weapon you used to knock the monkey out before you removed his eyes and gutted him? If you answer yes, you are one sorry son of a bitch. If you answer no, you are one lying son of a bitch. Either way, you’re a son of a bitch.”

Before Sampson could answer, Gillis opened the book the middle and bent the covers back so they pressed against each other. He said, “Dill, Sampson’s got more books than the public library. Guys like him got too much time on their hands. They read books, play tennis and golf, keep a mistress, and play with themselves.”

Sampson screamed, “Don’t bend the book like that, you’ll ruin it. Those are rare books. Please don’t touch them. You are disgusting. I do not play with myself. I hate tennis and golf, and I don’t have a mistress.”

“You have all the signs of being in stage one, denial. Looks like you could use a mistress. You got a lot of pimples. You know what they say causes pimples on males? Till’s not the only monkey you play with,” said Pickle.

The six foot one-inch Pickle bent over stared at the top of Sampson’s head. “You use hair plugs, Sams? If you do, you need to file a lawsuit. I’m looking at some significant erosion over here, if you know what I mean,” said Pickle touching three different spots on Sampson’s skull.

Sampson jerked up, his eyes fixed across the room on the shattered remains of his blown glass monkey strewn across the marble floor. He took a deep breath, and glared at Pickle, “The city is going to hear from my lawyer. I don’t have time to suffer fools.”

“I hope you are not talking about me or my partner. You must be talking about somebody and I don’t see anybody but the three of us. If you are calling my partner or me a fool I want to see evidence to prove we are fools. You can’t count the broken blown glass thing because that happened before you made your accusation,” said Pickle. 

Gillis waved off Pickle from continuing. It was making him drowsy. Gillis said, “The way I figure it you threw your monkey at me. I ducked. It splattered. What I can do for you is sell you the tube of super glue I keep in my glove compartment for just such purposes. It cost me four ninety-five. I’ll discount it fifty percent for you because it’s used. Putting the monkey back together will be a good hobby, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Old people like to do jigsaw puzzles. You’ll fit right in.”

Sampson’s head looked like it was going to explode when Fleming came into the room, ignored Gillis and Pickle, walked around the desk to Sampson and whispered into Sampson’s ear. 

Sampson’s eyes widened as big as moon pies. He said, “What? What? My Starry Night? A pickup truck on my perfectly manicured lawn? Fleming, what kind of hell did these two idiots bring to the Casa del Mono?”

Fleming pointed at Gillis, “It’s his truck. And the other one, he threw his shoe at the Van Gogh.” Fleming turned and walked out of the room.

Gillis pointed a finger toward his chest, “I don’t care for snitches. Narcs. Stool pigeons. Canaries. Finks. The only conclusion I can come to is that Phlegm is covering up for somebody. Is it you, Sampson? What was he whispering in your ear? One of you is the killer and the other is a co-conspirator. All I need is proof. As for Pickle, he did not throw his shoe at the painting. He threw it at Phlegm. Can he help it if Phlegm purposely and willfully ducked. If there is any blame here about the damage to the painting look no further than your overpriced assistant with the bad Botox job.”

“His name is Fleming not Phlegm. We did not kill Till,” snapped Sampson.

Gillis ignored Sampson. He held up the first edition. He said, “My granny told me you decide what you had to do by closing your eyes and opening the Bible and running your finger down the page. Where you stopped your finger, there was the message direct from God. That’s what I’m going to do with this first edition.”

Gillis closed his eyes, arbitrarily opened the first edition near the middle, ran a finger down the left hand page and stopped. Gillis opened his eyes, read the lines his finger touched. He glanced up at Sampson and said, “It appears you had an accomplice helping you to kill the monkey and going to give you proof.” Gillis read the excerpt, “He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.” 

Gillis ripped the page out of the book, folded it and stuck it in his pants pocket. 

“You ruined my first edition of Jack London’s Call of the Wild. It’s worthless. It’s no good to anyone,” howled Sampson.

10 ~ Pickle Takes A Stand Against Vaping

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The door to the oversized, architectural fiasco mansion opened. A silver haired, six foot two inch man wearing a tux with red cummerbund stretching over a forty-four inch waist said, “I assume you are the detectives?”

“When you go through puberty, your voice is going to change. No offense intended, are you going through a sex change?” asked Pickles.

 “I’m Mr. Sampson’s administrative assistant, Fleming. Please leave your firearms in your beat up truck. Mr. Sampson doesn’t allow firearms or curse words in his home,” said Fleming clearing his throat attempting to bring it down into the soprano range.

Gillis ignored Fleming. He tapped Pickle on the arm, “Ask him if he has more than one name. I think he’s taking steroids. Steroid takers can react violently, I’m giving you a head’s up. Another thing, you take too many steroids they shrink your package, know what I mean, Dill?”

Pickles stared at Fleming, then looked at Gillis, “Hold on, Gills. I’m supposed to be the bad cop. I won the coin toss.”

“I had a mind burp, Dill. Excuse me. I’m the good cop, you’re the bad cop,” said a contrite Gillis.

Pickle nodded and fist bumped Gillis. He said, “He’s not doing steroids. If he was he’d have pimples. One thing I’ll say for Phlegm, he has good skin but the comb over leaves a lot to be desired. Hey, Phlegm, you do Botox? Do you have another name to go with Phlegm?”

Fleming turned a shade of yellow and green, and said, “I have one name, like Madonna. The name is Fleming. Mr. Sampson is very generous and I’m covered for free Botox injections whenever I need them.”

Pickles turned his back to Fleming, closed his eyes and concentrated on his bad cop role. When he was emotionally ready, he screwed up his face, twisted his lips into a snarl, turned back toward Fleming and barked, “Guns or cussing not allowed? Is that so? How about I shove my gun up your tight ass? That is, unless you’re Folsom Sampson, which you already admitted you’re not. If you’re lying, and you are Sampson, I’m going to bust you for exploding an investigation. You want to cop a plea deal and rat out your boss, maybe I’ll put in a good word for you with the B.O.”

Fleming’s color was changing so rapidly, Gillis couldn’t get a good read on it. He took note of Pickle’s use of the word exploding instead of impeding. For a brief moment Gillis felt overwhelmed. He had so much work to do to get Pickle ready for the detective first grade exam and only two years to do it.

Fleming jabbed a finger at Pickle and said, “You. You are an …”

“Don’t say something you’re going to regret, Phlegm. Why were you called Phlegm? That brings up disgusting images in my mind. If anybody named me Phlegm I’d a changed it faster than a whore turns a trick,” said Gillis.

“I’m going to report the both of you to whoever takes reports. You’ve not heard the end of this,” squeaked Fleming.

Pickles said, “I didn’t hear anything bad, did you Gills?”

Gillis still wasn’t sure what Pickle meant by B. O. It couldn’t have been body odor. He decided to let it slide. He said, “Not me.”

“The only thing I heard was Phlegm insulting my mixed racial identity. You hear that, Gills?” asked Pickles.

Gillis slipping into his good cop role, said, “It embarrassed me the way he was talking about your ancestors. What if your four or five fathers showed up? How would they feel? I don’t think Phlegm knew about your four or five fathers. Let’s cut him a bit of slack and hold off on reporting the pervert, Dill. The man’s only doing his job. Besides, you don’t want to get your gun dirty by sticking it up his ass. We’re not carrying pistol condoms.” 

Gillis turned to face Fleming. He said, “We’ll hold on to our guns, Phlegm. If you’re not Folsom Sampson, we don’t care who you are. You might be Liza Filtz for all I know. We’re here to see Dipthong”

“You mean Mr. Sampson?” said Fleming reassuming a snooty attitude.

“Gills, I think I heard you say Ping Pong. Maybe we should arrest this guy for making fun of the way you talk. We’ll shove him the same cell with Benny Melendez, the street mariachi player.  You want some of that, huh, Phlegm? You want to hear mariachi music twenty-four seven. It’s enough to drive someone from here to Saskatchewan. You’ll need a passport if you want to take that trip. If you try to sneak over the border, it’s okay, it’s a problem for the Canadian security. My guess is you don’t have a passport on you. You know what I’m talking about?” said Pickles.

Fleming, who majored in logic at the university, couldn’t follow the conversation. He was trying to wrap his head around an enigma and found it more difficult than solving a Rubric’s Cube. His tongue wouldn’t move. He gestured, it didn’t help. He turned and walked inside the mansion, Gillis and Pickle followed. 

Fleming stopped five feet into the entrance way. He was back on familiar turf. He took a deep breath and turned to face Gillis and Pickle, “I’ll ask you to remove those, those, rubber soled, lower blue collar, black work shoes.”

Fleming, unwittingly played into the bad cop character that Pickle won honorable mention with at the Police Christmas party. Pickle stopped. He untied his right shoe. He glanced at the smirking Fleming who held blue disposable booties for both Pickle and Gillis. Later, Pickle would tell Gillis it was the smirk that brought out the award nominating performance for his bad cop routine.

Pickles scaled his shoe at Fleming’s head. Fleming easily stepped aside and watched the black, steel toed, blue collar worker shoe sail past him and smash into Van Gogh’s Starry Night on loan to Folsom Sampson for safe keeping while the Museum of Modern Art updated its security systems. Pickle’s black shoe put a three inch tear into the canvas and a distinct black smudge making the starry night darker. 

Pickles walked over to the painting, gave it ten seconds of his attention, picked up his shoe and asked, “This one of the paint by numbers paintings? Whose Vin Goff?”

Gillis thought Pickles was overplaying the bad cop role.

Fleming, who fainted, opened his eyes staring up into the ceiling and not a starry night, gurgled, “It’s Van Gogh, not Vin Goff, dolt. Do you know what you did?”

“I can answer that question with a question,” said Pickle. “Where can we find Sampson?”

Fleming wiped the tears out of his eyes, and pointed, “He’s…He’s in his office over there.”

Gillis and Pickle stepped over the prone Fleming and walked to Sampson’s office. They didn’t bother knocking. Gillis twisted the nob and flung the door open letting the door nob whack the wall leaving a small indentation. The two detectives walked into Sampson’s office. Sampson sat on an executive chair behind a large polished cherry desk. A golden, life sized sculpture of the deceased sat on the floor on next to the desk. A smaller golden replica sat on the corner of Sampson’s desk. Four commissioned paintings of the deceased hung on walls. 

“What was that racquet in the hall? Where is Fleming? Why didn’t you knock? I hope you didn’t damage the wall. All my walls were painted by the obscure but rising Latino artist Don Won. Do you know who I am?” said Sampson.

Gillis flashed his shield and Pickle chucked Sampson the bird. Gillis said, “I’m Gillis, the good cop. This here is my partner, Pickle, the bad cop. We’re here to talk to you about the murder of a monkey. We don’t want any monkey business from you neither.” 

“Do you know you used a double negative?” said the Ivy educated Sampson.

“Let’s get something straight, I’m an optimist. I don’t allow no negative thinking into my mind, so quit the crap about double negatives,” said Gillis.

“Nice one, Gills,” said Pickle.

Sampson gave a disgusted look, opened a drawer and said, “Mind if I vape?”

Pickle was standing in front of the desk, said, “You vape and I will twist the two mushrooms that kinda look like ears on the sides of your head until they fall off your head. I’m okay with this, if you agree.”

Sampson closed the desk drawer. Then he glared at Pickle now sitting on the edge of his desk holding a one of a kind commissioned blown glass work by Lo Ming of the deceased monkey. “What do you think you’re doing?” he demanded.

Pickle looked at Gillis and tossed him the blown glass monkey. Sampson gasped, “No. No. It’s a rare commissioned piece. It’s one of kind. It’s a replica of my beloved Till.”

Gillis didn’t track the blown glass. He was preoccupied clipping his nails. Till floated happily toward Gillis. On Till’s descent, he performed a half twist, and made a perfect head first dive onto the Italian marble floor shattering into a thousand pieces.”

“Ye gads. That was priceless. “Where is justice?” bellowed Sampson

Before Sampson could say another word, Gillis smiled, playing good cop, and said, “Sam Justice is working vice. He’s on the night shift. Being priceless is a good thing. It means whatever this thing is supposed to be, it’s not worth anything. If you go eBay, you probably can find an upgrade for about five fifty.”

  Sampson began crying. He laid his head down on his desk and beat the desk with both fists sobbing loudly.

“When you’re finished with your tantrum, we’ll get on with our interview,” said Gillis.

“Yah. We can do it the hard way or we can do it the Pickle way, which makes the hard way look like the easy way. The third way is to write out your confession and tell us how you had your cook prepare the monkey’s guts.”

© Ray Calabrese 2018