Tina was pissed and feeling put upon as she stared at the ‘911’ computer. The Rockland police captain had recently asked her to take over the desk and she accepted begrudgingly. Tina dearly wanted the freedom of a patrol and to ultimately use her degree in Criminology as a detective. She was bored to death with all the little tacky details she was being assigned to. Time and again she tried to use her feminine wiles to get what she wanted but to no avail. Her curvaceous body and stunning blonde hair always got her what she wanted from men but Captain Neely’s stoic nature was non responsive.
Tina toyed with all the silly small town requests that came over the call desk. There were very few that piqued her interest. Domestic violence calls were quite common as were the accident reports. Having been raised in Rockland it tickled her to know who the callers were, though she never let on. To make matters worse, she had been assigned to the afternoon shift.
A lonely Saturday evening call bought her full attention.
“This is 911, what is your emergency?”
A muffled voice announced, “Someone is dead, and I killed her.”
Tina’s mind raced with a sudden shot of adrenaline, as her eyes scanned the computers phone number Identification; it was a local pay phone. Her training immediately kicked in.
“Can you tell me your name and location sir?” She waited anxiously through the long deliberate pause.
The cold calm voice answered. “Don’t be ridiculous. I just wanted to tell you about the death in case it means anything to you.”
Tina’s arm waved frantically for the duty officer as he laughed out loud from his nearby desk. “Come on Tina, what the fuck! Is it the trailer park asshole beating up on one of his latest sleepovers?”
She immediately muted the microphone and frantically screamed. “We got a murder and he’s confessing to it.”
The duty officer Jay, had been trying to get in Tina’s pants from the day she had been assigned but like any good cop, he knew she wasn’t screwing around. He flew out of his chair and flipped on the mike. Tina pushed him aside and spoke. “Sir, if you would give me your location, we can help you and the woman.”
“Don’t ask again bitch. She’s dead as yesterday’s news. I just wanted to let you know.”
Tina heard the responding the click and the line went dead. Her sweat filled face and pounding heart whirled her chair around to face Jay. “Oh my God, oh my God! Do you think this is real? Is he telling the truth?”
“Easy Tina; I got the location from the phone company and I have a car dispatched to the location.”
Her anxious voice screamed back. “They don’t know what the fuck they’re looking for.”
Jay patted her shoulder and answered; “Come on. Settle down. I told them to check out any male in the area; especially the younger ones. There can’t be too many in the area this late. Cool it, so we can back track and get as many details off the recorder as we can.”
Tina’s heart fluttered with relief.
The next evening, when the call came through, Tina instantly recognized the man’s voice.
“Did you find the body yet, because you won’t? You are the epitome of the dumb blonde joke lady.”
Tina’s eyes scanned the caller I.D. and it was a cell phone. Jay dialed up the cell phone company to triangulate the signal. He knew it would take a few minutes.
The quirky angry voice bit hard into her mind. How did he know she was blonde or was he guessing? “If you want to find the body, why don’t you meet me and I’ll show you.”
Tina wanted to accept his challenge but she felt that Captain Neely would never allow it. Her mind raced with the possibilities of a promotion. This was her chance to prove herself.
Her calming sexy voice responded. “Sure, I can meet you in a public place. Just tell me where.”
“I never thought you would have the guts lady but if you want to find the body, meet me at Angelo’s on Main Street, tomorrow night at ten. Is that public enough for you?”
Out of the corner of her eye, she caught Jay shaking his head negatively but Tina defiantly agreed. To make matters worse, Jay informed her that the cell phone the caller used was stolen.
The next morning’s meeting in Captain Neely’s office there was a rush of conversational emotion. The detective sergeant wanted to use Tina as a decoy, as long as she was packing. Captain Neely reluctantly agreed as long as the entire building was staked out. Tina just knew this could be her ticket to the detective squad.
The next evening’s walk to Angelo’s was slow and deliberate as she peered suspiciously into every doorway she passed but the bulge of a 38 caliber in her pocket gave her comfort. She smiled with ease at the dispersed plain clothes officers she recognized.
Her heart beat rapidly as she entered Angelo’s restaurant; her eyes eerily searched the tables. She had no idea who she was looking for, only that he would find her. The voice had asked her to carry a single red rose.
A waiter approached her and sat her at the window table. Tina felt more at ease, assuming the waiter to be a state police plant that was seating her in a very conspicuous spot. The waiter nodded his head to a smallish round man sitting at the counter. He immediately raced to Tina’s table and sheepishly smiled. Tina wasted no time in questioning him but the portly man raised his hand.
“Thank you for meeting me Tina, I’ve been dying to meet you. You are much more beautiful than I was told. Can I buy you a drink? I sure need one, I’m so nervous”
“I’ll just have a Coke if you don’t mind.” With that she signaled the waiter over to take their order. The dark swarthy waiter responded quickly, approaching the table with his tray and napkin draped smartly over his arm; he spoke.
“Hi Tina, it’s been a lotta years since I’ve seen your bitchy face. You haven’t changed much.”
Her questioning eyes flew up into his face as he leaned down toward her.
She stuttered profusely. “Who…who... are you? Do I know you?”
He leaned ever so close to quietly whisper into her ear. Tina’s heart jumped. She recognized the voice as the one on the 911 calls. Her confused eyes flashed to the little portly man sitting across from her.
She asked the waiter, “Who is he?”
The waiter grinned through his deception. “He’s a lame asshole that just wants a date and I fixed him up with you Tina. You remember; in school, just like me. You remember how you treated Rob like a piece of shit because you were too popular and pretty to be seen with the likes of me? You tore me apart when you said you wouldn’t be caught dead with someone like me?”
Tina’s mind raced back to her college years and remembered Rob. She had used him to help her with many of her classes and laughed when he asked her out on dates. Her eyes glanced up in horror at Rob.
“Listen Rob, it was just a silly thing. I thought you would get over it. Did you really kill a woman Rob or is this some kind of practical joke outta your weird mind, because it’s not funny.”
“Oh no Tina, it’s no joke. I never forgot; I never forgave! And to use your words, you could be caught dead with the likes of me. There definitely is a dead body involved Tina and it’s yours!”
Her panic ridden face swung around as she fumbled in her pocket for the .38 snub nose. Rob’s towel draped hand quickly rose to her temple. A silencer muffled the report of his gun as he quickly placed two bullets into her head. The window was painted red with her splattered brain. Tina slumped to the table. Rob simply dropped the gun under the table and casually strode back to the kitchen, where the back door would allow him easy access into the alley.
The café was suddenly filled with six plain clothes officers pinning the poor confused portly man to the floor and screaming for someone to call 911.
*With inspiration and thanks to Rob Crisman’s 6S.
Edward Dean's book, The Wine Thief is a fantastic read and can be found on Amazon.com. Ed is also busy working on getting his latest and greatest novel published. You can find more about him and his work HERE.