Cledus sits in a lounger and soaks in the overwhelmingly exotic acoustics of Bora Bora. He is worried the guy he sent to steal the bible hasn’t called him. Something in the plan has gone awry. My blatant instruction was for the thief to call and let me know he secured the old family bible. Even if the man rats me out, who is gonna’ believe him? Sammy Moore sent me in to steal a lady’s bible? Ha…Ha.
Cledus smiles in the basking glow of a spring sun. Palm trees come to fascinate him; ironically, he would have had few chances to ever see one in the late 1800’s, when travel was either by boat, train, or horseback. Recently, Cledus had his first introduction to multi-million dollar boats; he also discovered Sammy owned one.
Belinda walks in front of him in a dental floss bikini, with exceptionally small hips gleaming of aromatic cocoa butter. She sits down in a sun lounger beside him and removes her bi-fold top. It amazes the man when most of the natives feign to look at her nip stunners. He also notices her puckers are full and pouty, as if a great deal of green has gone into them.
“Thanks for bringing me,” Belinda says, before clasping her beau’s rugged hand.
“You’re my girlfriend.”
An exotic woman walks across the wood planks before them, and Cledus sees other possibilities presented to him.
The British woman is self-absorbed when she asks. “Can I go wind surfing?”
“When wuld yu care tu?”
Good—yu’ll be out of my hair and I can poke the g’hal in store clothes.
He chooses to answer his harlot, selectively, though. “That’s fine, dear.”
Cledus is on a good buzz. He starts singing aloud. It sounds like a country song about horses and sagebrush, and cattle rustling. The woman thinks he sounds like a masculine Trisha Yearwood. Belinda places small headphones over her ears, turns up a small MP3, and cranks up Nickelback. She prays she is impregnated with the great Sammy Moore’s baby. Reality has started settling in, that she cannot model forever—and her lucrative days are numbered.
A small plane drones overhead. Two parachutists plunge out of the plane at twelve thousand five hundred feet and become dots descending upon the earth at one hundred twenty m.p.h. This act completes a two-page contract where the participant signs away his or her rights for a family lawsuit for any human splat with the earth. Cledus watches the parachutes with intense fascination as the two dots plunge towards the earth at one hundred seventy feet per second. He takes a couple of hits from a plastic Carafe. And the man belches.
“Oh, that was appealing,” Belinda comments, as if she heard it between songs.
Cledus ignores her, scratches his itchy crotch, and admires the colorful display, as blue and orange parachutes gradually carry two thrill-seekers down the last twenty percent of the way to earth.
While Belinda jumps on a board, unfurls a sail, and lets the wind move her, Cledus finds his happy feet. The woman he saw walk in front of him, earlier, enjoys a Margarita at The Happy Hut. Cledus knows fate finds him, when the wildly exotic looking woman recognizes him.
Humbug Sammy sits down on a stool, one away from the woman.
“Aren’t you that singer?”
Cledus turns to the alluring woman and winks, “I get that all the time!”
The woman reveals her contrasting white teeth.
“Just kidding,” Cledus returns a smile, and says, “Sammy Moore—in the flesh.”
He uses his newfound opportunity to move in closer and shake the woman’s olive-skinned hand. Cledus falls under a glamorous trance, upon swimming in the woman’s almond eyes.
His eyes drop to her long, unadorned fingers, and continue down to perfectly sculptured fingernails.
“What brings you to this exotic spot?”
“A much needed vacation, sweet thing.”
The hombre from another world catches a quick glance of the sexy woman’s mysterious eyes, and he asks, “Can I toss you a drink?”
“Why…I’d be flattered, Mr. Moore.”
“Pretty Darling, yu canst call me Sammy.”
No man has ever called me darling! The woman blushes and blossoms.
“Sammy it is.”
The woman offers up a smile that often turns ordinary men to mush. Her bony elbows give a false sense of fragility, because the woman is as strong as she is feisty.
“I bet you meet quite a few ladies.”
“None tar as rip-snortin as you!”
Cledus whistles approval.
The odd come on means more coming from a rock legend.
“Where you from, g’hal?”
“Born in Hawaii. I live in Tennessee, now.”
“Anywhere near Nashville?”
“Not really. You have some sort of accent. Where are you from?”
Cledus knows it’s a loaded question. He is awfully glad he did some research on his victim.
“West Texas. Originally, Great Britain.”
The woman fires up a fresh cigarette, and plunges the white object into her full, sumptuous lips, as if it is a sweet candy imitation or she knows how to real in a fat fish.
She blows a smoke cloud to the side, then turns her head in an alluring fashion.
“You like playing for Street Posse?”
“I could leave whenever I aim to.”
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
“There is gall darn power I feel up on dat stage.”
“So…It is more a need to feel powerful?”
The woman turns her body the entertainer’s way on the stool by rotating her torso a good forty degrees.
“Sammy…You think you could take me?”
The bartender grins, as if he overheard the proposal. What a lucky guy! He cannot help but think, as the two patrons walk away from the serving counter.
Cledus grabs the woman’s arm, and she playfully spins his way.
“By the way, beautiful lady, what’s your name?”
The woman winks.
“You got to catch me to find out!”
The nameless flirt kicks off her sandals and uses her bare feet to swiftly propel her body away from the interesting man. Cledus stands there for a few thought-provoking seconds, before he rushes after her, following his conquest through tourist huts, dense foliage, and sand. The woman giggles, in a wild fashion, unaware she lures a murder into more remote areas of the island. Like Ulysses, Cledus enjoys the adventure and the plunder, unearthing hidden treasure, and setting sail with another again. In the back of his well-traveled mind, Cledus wonders, Will I ever reach my homeland?
Larry stands outside the barricaded and Caution Crime Scene taped apartment door. The victim’s body fluid remains where it fell and stretches out across the expanse of the hall in several distinct patterns.
Larry walks into the apartment and over to a bedroom. He analyzes the broken shelf inside the closet, and the bed resting outside. At first, he misses the step stool. As his mind makes a third pass, he is drawn to the stool—which allows access to some hidden object up above. He pulls on some latex gloves.
Earlier in the morning, he had spoken with the tenant, she had told him she and her daughter were out to a movie when this all went down.
Larry returns to the footstool. He climbs up in order to hold the object that could have been the target. “Did he want this large old bible? If so…Why?”
He returns the good book. He climbs back down the stool, before removing his gloves.
Larry leaves the apartment and approaches a door across the hall.
“Hello, I’m officer Quintana.”
“You the one who called this in?’
“I am. The guy that did this got his due!”
“His eye looked grotesque and sunk back in his skull, like the shell of a rotten gourd.”
Larry is told the inhabitant’s little dog was a little shaken up. And he had barked quite a bit. This fit a K-9 that found his space invaded by an uninvited stranger. The cop surmises the dog may have been a victim of a stun gun. What caused the man to fall off the stool so violently? Could the gun have malfunctioned? Larry wonders.
The apartment looks like a typical crime scene. The colors on the walls, pictures, child-like drawings, and other nick-knacks reflect an absent male in the inhabitants’ lives.
A partner in crime approaches Larry. “Larry, take a look at this!” Larry follows the man over to a dresser and he feels guilty snooping through the woman’s personal belongings. Although it isn’t the first vibrator he has seen, it does get the crew laughing and helps lighten up their sullen moods. Larry is drawn in by the fact there are so many unanswered questions.
I will pull in the man who broke into here and interrogate him. I’m sure he had to seek some sort of professional medical help. Something about this whole thing just doesn’t add up.
At least the crime scene gets his mind off Marla. Or thinking about why his love affairs always seemed to fly south? His personal life could never be pieced together to make any sense, while his professional life involved sorting out highly complicated crimes. Forensic evidence could be gathered and analyzed, which could help bring law violators justice and victims peace. Larry learns to be happy through others joy, and to shelve his own pain in some unused ghost room of his brain. Early in his career, it was too large a burden to carry around. He had been conditioned to reach for a bottle, as many young officers before him; but the lawman never offered an excuse for this destructive behavior, outside of human failings to cope with external stress. Larry often puts in sixty hours a week to help make the world a safer place. Ironically, he knows when he dies no one on the face of the earth will remember his name, his dedication or his compassion. And Larry Quintana doesn’t wish it any other way.