The First Rose
It was 6:15am on March 20,1887 in London,England, and I was just waking up when my door suddenly burst open revealing my very irritated partner, Tyger Walkins. Rubbing my eyes I slowly turn to look at her, who was standing in my door frame looking as if she wanted me to answer an unasked question. And so I said the first thing that came to my (still half asleep) mind. “What”,which was apparently the wrong answer since she looked like she wanted to strangle me as soon as the word left my mouth. I was about to try again when she cut me off . “I’ve been calling your name for 5 minutes. Why the hell didn’t you answer” she said trying to conceal the anger I could clearly see in her eyes. At that point I was fully awake, staring at her like she grew an extra head since she knows that I can barely hear anything from downstairs.
Though that didn’t help my situation from the look on her face. “You’re hopeless...” she said while stopping to take a deep breath before she continued. “Anyway I was calling you to tell you that we have a case”. While looking at her as if she was crazy, I got up and walked over to my robe putting it on. “This early in the morning? Are you serious?” I asked while following her downstairs to the kitchen and sitting on one of the stools at the kitchen counter.
“I know it’s early but it just came in. Apparently some rich guy was murdered last night and left on the side of Stuberg St“she said while hopping up to sit on top of the counter. “Some rich guy?” I said looking at her slightly confused as to why she didn’t give the guys name. And as if reading my mind she said”Station didn’t give a name since they haven’t identified the victim yet” making my confusion go away. I sighed, getting off my stool looking over at the clock to see that it was now 6:20am . “So how far are we from Stuberg St anyway?” I asked as I headed back upstairs to my room . ” Not far just a couple of minutes on foot but much faster if we take the auto mobile” she said going into the living room to get her coat and mine as I was coming back downstairs. On my way to the living room, I heard Tyger talking on the telephone.
“Yes ..this is she...yes we’re on our way” she said in an agitated tone”...well it’s not my fault that’s she’s not a morning person!” I heard her yell as soon as I got into the living room. After spending some time arguing with the person on the other end she hung up and grabbed her coat putting it on. ” That was the station they said that we need to meet Barton at the crime scene” she said as I put on my coat.” Are we walking or taking the automobile” I said as I saw her heading for the door. “We should walk” she said as she was exiting the house. I, thinking that that was a good idea, agreed since she looked livid and could use this walk to cool down. And if you haven’t noticed she has quite the temper.
As we were making our way down Clinton Blvd, passing the Cool Mint Chocolate Shop, while Tyger was venting out her anger, I heard someone say something that caught my interest, causing me to stop and turn. “Can you please repeat that?” I asked politely, looking at the two slender women sitting at one of the tables outside of the chocolate shop.
Walking over to them, while dragging a protesting Tyger, I noticed they were giving us looks wondering who we were. Answering there the unasked question I said, and in a very polite tone, ” hello my name is Detective Steel and this is my partner Detective Walkins” I say pointing over to Tyger. ” and we were wondering if one of you can repeat what you said about the murder on Stuberg St. ”
The women to the left looked hesitant before looking at the women next to her, who I assume is her sister since they look so much alike, before saying “Well we were talking about a man, who bumped into us as we were coming to the chocolate shop, and he looked...“she stopped looking like she was trying to find the right thing to say. “he looked like he’d seen a ghost, like he saw something he wasn’t supposed to.”“It wasn’t until we heard other people,walking by the shop, saying something about someone being killed on Stuberg St that my sister and I noticed the man pace quicken,fear-filled” The woman to the right said finishing her sister’s sentence.“We need to take this information to Barton”said a cooled down Tyger.” It could be useful to finding suspects.”
“The body is over here” says Barton, while pointing at the now revealed victim. Getting a closer looking at him, I gasp not expecting to see one of the richest men in London. “Holy...is that....is that Anderson Preston” said a shocked Tyger.“Yup I guess someone finally went through with one of the death threats” said Parker. ‘I guess so’ I think to myself while examining Anderson’s body. The bullets in his skin spoke of rage and hate. After the second shot to the head, he was already dead. The other 13 had been pointless. The body had been abandoned on the side of the road, now stained with red, for all of London to see.
‘I wonder what the hell did Anderson do to deserve this’ I say to myself still staring at the holes in his body. There were so many questions running through my head that I don’t even know where to start. “We still haven’t found any suspects or witnesses” Barton says with a frustrated look on his face. “Wait that’s not true we have a potential witness” Tyger said as she went on explaining what the sisters told us while I blocked them out. My mind keep going back to that figure I saw in the crowd and how the only thing I saw was it’s pearly white teeth curled into a sadistic smirk.
I was so caught up in my own thoughts that I didn’t notice Barton calling my name. “The hell Steel? Did you not hear me calling you?” Said an irritated Barton. “Sorry what were you saying”. Barton sighed before repeating the information. “I said we took a closer look at the body and found a note taped to the inside the victim’s jacket”.
“Well? What did it say” he looked a little pale looking at the note like it was poison. “Barton” I said getting worried when he didn’t answer. There was a slight glint in his eye, but it went away before I could catch it. “Um it’s in code, so I’ll have to send it to the tech squad” he said while rushing over to talk to one of the other officers. ‘He’s hiding something’ was what I immediately thought after he rushed away.
It was at that moment that Tyger came rushing to me (and also that I had no idea that she even left) looking excited. “I found out who our mystery eyewitness is”. She exclaimed slightly out of breath. She inhaled deeply trying to catch her breath.
“How did you do that? All those women told us was how scared he look.” I say looking slightly suspicious.
“Exactly, which was why I scoped out the area looking for anyone who may have seen our eye witness. And that guy” she said pausing to point at a man,who looks like he’s in his late thirty’s, talking to one of the officers by the caution tape. “Told me everything he knew about or witness, since he saw his face.”
She continued telling me how the man told her that the witness name is Giovanni and how he owns a Bakery called “Chek This”on Mayland Ave.
Mayland Ave. That’s where Giovanni’s bakery is located.That’s where we need to go to find our witness or at least a clue to this case’ I thought to myself. “Have you told Barton about this?” I asked glancing over in his direction.
“Yeah, I told him before I came over here”. She paused for second, taking a look at Barton. “What’s with him anyway? He’s been acting weird ever since he found that note in Anderson’s jacket.” she said while still looking at Barton. ‘So she noticed it to huh’.
“Uh I don’t know, he hasn’t said anything about it”, I said, not really wanting to state my thoughts about it until I get more information.
“Hey Steel, Walkins detective Barton wanted me to inform you that he and some of the squad are about to head over to where the witness bakery is located.” said officer Roland.
I nod towards Roland before facing Tyger. “Well don’t just stand there, let’s go.” she said in an annoyed tone. I sigh, having a not so pleasant feeling in my gut, telling me that I’m not going to like what we find. ‘It’s just a gut feeling.’ I whisper to myself, trying to make it go away, as I follow along with the rest of the squadron.
Catching up with the team, I heard something that caught my attention, or more like heard someone.
“He’s hiding something from you. And if he doesn’t tell you soon you won’t live to find out”
‘What...who ...where did it come from’ I think to myself frantically turning trying to pinpoint its location.
It wasn’t until I felt a tap on my shoulder, indicating that someone was trying to get my attention, that I was pulled out of my thoughts about the unfamiliar voice. “You okay Steel everyone is waiting for you.” said a concerned officer Roland. Shaking my head and momentarily pushing aside the voice and focusing on the case I nodded at Roland, following the rest of the crew to the bakery.
Inside the bakery was warm. It smelt like yeast, cinnamon, frying fat, and coffee. There was a small bit of morning light slants through the windows. The bell on the door rang as soon as we enter . There were bagels in shiny layered rows, topped with seeds and onions. In the glass case, sugar sparkles like snow on the cinnamon twists, jelly donuts gleam in their translucent icing. Brown bread, in big round loaves, puts forth its aroma of wholesome goodness. The barrel in the corner holds the slim baguettes, each with it’s crinkly, brown paper coat.
The employees immediately looked up when they noticed a group of officers walked into the building. There was one in particular, stand near the baguettes, who looked frighten out of his mind before inhaling a deep breath and pranced his way over to us, well more specifically me and Walkins.
“How may we hel...” Tyger started to say before she was caught off by the timid employee when he held up a gorgeous white rose with a note, similar to the one that was in our victim’s coat, taped to it. Officer Pat was about to take the items when the employee shyly an a slightly quiet voice ” T-the ro-ose is for t-them” he stuttered out pointing to Tyger and me.I was gonna to question him when he rushed away, going into the kitchen. Officer pat was about to go after him when Tyger stopped him saying that we could question him later.
Tyger and I glanced at each other before nodding in synch, with her taking the rose and me taking the note. I was about to open the note and read when the voice from earlier came back.
‘You open that note and you walk right into my playground’
Choosing to ignore the voice, I open the note instantly wishing I hadn’t when that gut feeling came crashing back twice as powerful than before as I started reading the content neatly written in the note.
Dear my fabulous detectives
I see you’ve been quiet inspective
But enough about you. Let’s get to yours true
I wanna play a game. That’ll grant me my fame
It’s all really simple. Just like busting a pimple
I’ve hidden clues that’ll give you the blues
The first is a curse while second is the worse
The next toy on my list shall float into bliss
Unless you get there first before the victim burst
I’ll lend you a hand to start you a band
The key to this puzzle involves a nuzzle
That’s all I shall tell. I hope you do well
But remember I’ve started my binge
So let the games begin
The voice was right....I did walk right into its playground.