Case File Fragments 002 – The Gunman
By Christopher Green
SOURCE: POLICE INCIDENT REPORT FILED BY CADET MATT DELANEY.
TIMELINE: ANALYSTS BELIEVE THIS TO HAVE TAKEN PLACE SHORTLY AFTER SEASON 1.
“Drop the gun.” I ordered, assertively. I had intended to make an order today, but this was not it. When I rolled into the parking lot of the O’Donald’s Burger Hut, I only had a craving for a double bacon burger and some excessively salty fries. Now I was faced with an excessively salty citizen, with a gun.
“Where did you procure a firearm, sir?” I asked, attempting to disarm the perp mentally before I did so physically.
“How’s that the most important question right now, copper?” He spit back at me.
I wiped said spit off my badge. Can’t have a dirty uniform, even if the badge isn’t official, yet. I scanned the room for people in direct danger of the gunman, and exits the gunman could use to escape. Fortunately the poor construction of the Burger Hut, which I sincerely doubt is up to the New Dublin fire code, meant there was only one door in or out of the building, at least from the dining room. The gunman would have to go through three kitchen staff to get through the kitchen exit. And despite the rather laxed standards of the staff, I don’t think he would be able to get through them before I could tackle him. Of course, I knew that wouldn’t be ideal, I skipped arm day at the gym for the last… ever. I need to start working towards my peak physical form if I want to swap this badge for a real one.
“Sir, there is no need to threaten the staff here. I know their burgers are subpar—”
“Seriously man?” a staffer rudely interrupted, before I could finish.
“—but there are better ways to deal with your feedback for the establishment.” I finished, ignoring the staffer.
“You think this is about burgers, man? Man who even are you?” The gunman asked, his gun moving between me and the kitchen staff regularly.
“Matt Delaney, cadet.” I proudly stated.
“Cadet? You’re not even a real cop? I can’t wait to tell my boys what a joke this town is.” He laughed, apparently unimpressed with my status.
“Your boys in West Orlington won’t escape the long arm of the law anymore than you will ne’er-do-well!” I asserted, as calmly as I could.
“What makes you think I’m from the big W?” He asked, his neanderthal mind barely able to keep up with my skills of observation.
“Your West Orlington Fitness Club tank top! How are their rates by the way? I’m in the market for a new gym.”
BANG! Suddenly his gun fired off in my direction, and the gunman fell to the floor, clutching his right hand, which was bathed in red. “I’ve been shot!” He yelled.
“You shot the gunman!? I didn’t even know you had a gun man!” One staffer exclaimed. I smirked to myself at his use of ‘gunman’ and ‘gun man’ in the same sentence, but kept it to myself. Well, myself and you, evidently.
“No gun needed, citizen.” I replied. “I could tell he was getting agitated, so I threw that ketchup bottle at his gun hand just in time. That bullet did your menu board no favours though. Phone the NDPD for me.”
I stooped down to check on the perp, and see to it that he wasn’t too badly injured. His hand was fine. The ketchup bottle, however, was irredeemable. For the best. I prefer Burger Hut’s plum sauce myself.
“Who even are you, man?” He asked, as if my earlier answer had not sufficiently covered the question.
I puffed out my chest, proud of our local policing initiatives. “I’m Matt, Matt Delaney and you’re coming with me to the station. Now,” I continued, “Tell me more about the rates at your gym.”
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Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay
Written by Christopher Green.
SOURCE: THE CASE FILE ARCHIVE OF WINTER O'BRIEN.
TIMELINE: ANALYSTS BELIEVE THIS TO HAVE TAKEN PLACE SHORTLY AFTER SEASON 1.
“What do we have here?” I asked, of no one in particular, as I began to squat down in the alleyway.
“Not sure how you can focus on anything when you’re on your seventh cup of coffee.” Leigh replied, eyeing my Timbucks coffee cup. “You know you’ll never be able to sleep.”
“Crime never sleeps either, Leigh.” I replied, as I squatted down over the chalk drawing, the edges of my trench coat now dusting the pavement.
Leigh rolled her eyes, “Why are you so fascinated with this chalk? You know kids draw chalk on the sidewalk all the time, right?”
“I know.” I replied. In fact, I knew a lot more than I let on, detectives often do. “These weren’t drawn by children.”
“How do you know that? They just look like nonsense.”
I pointed towards an ornate drawing of what looked like an interpretive version of the sun. “This drawing isn’t nonsensical, it’s abstract. Can you hold this?” I handed her my coffee cup, only a quarter of it left, I’ll finish that off later.
“Sure,” she grabbed the cup, “Abstract is nonsense Winter. Give me that old fashion realism. None of this Picasso gibberish.”
“Actually,” I slipped on a latex glove I had retrieved from my pocket, “Picasso started out in a much more realist style. It wasn’t until later on that he started to do his more abstract work.” I stretched the last bit of the glove on with a satisfying snap.
“Since when were you an art fan?” Leigh queried, starting to hug her own elbows. There was an uncommon chill to the air. Perhaps more nefarious forces were afoot than mere expressionist painters at work.
“I respect the arts, but I’m more of a reader. Read a book on great painters a while back. You never know what information about any number of disciplines will come in handy. And while I may not be an art expert, I know children aren’t known for the most tidy drawings. This sun is shockingly symmetrical.” I said, pointing to it again.
“Oh no! It’s the geometry gang! Look out folks!” Leigh responded sarcastically.
I shook my head with and laughed lightly. “The symmetry is shocking because none of the other pieces of chalk art are even remotely symmetrical. These,” I pointed to the rest of the chalk drawings, “were drawn by children,” I pointed back to the sun, “but this was not.”
“So someone’s dad joined in the fun. Hardly a crime wave.”
“I never said it was, Leigh. But clues to mysteries are everywhere. You never know when, or if, what you observe may come in handy. A detective is well read. But not just in books. A detective must be an observer. A reader of everything. Faces. The weather.”
“Chalk drawings?” Leigh asked, one eyebrow raised.
“Chalk drawings.” I affirmed. I stood to my feet and brushed the edges of my trench coat, which had picked up some chalk dust of their own. “Come on, you’re freezing. It’s seven degrees and you’re not dressed for this.”
“You don’t have to ask me twice. Where to?” She asked, rubbing the goosebumps on her arms up and down.
“Let’s get over to Timbucks, they have free refills if you still have your cup.” I said, snatching my cup back from Leigh.
“You need an intervention.”
“Only if that comes with espresso.”
As we started to walk away rain began lightly falling. The chalk began to run. As we turned the corner, something caught my eye in the sun drawing. I rummaged through my pocket for my phone, and snapped a picture. After pinching my screen to zoom in, there I saw the numbers eight, one, and five.
“What’s that?” Leigh asked.
“We may never know.” I replied, as I moved the photo to an album on my phone, labelled ‘case file fragments’.
“Then why keep a photo of it?”
“It’s part of being well read.”
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Read wonderful short stories in the S&D world, in these "Case File Fragments."