The Missing Dreidel

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Chapter 3

Marco was seated at Blevins station again, trying to ignore the looks being sent his way by the Superintendent. Apparently it was Mr. Roger Wernen who had been declared dead. Well allegedly, since all they have to go on was a typed note saying he was dead and a severed hand. Pretty gruesome stuff. His wife was distraught, and with good reason since she was the one who got the letter. The hand was Mr Roger's but they couldn't trace any fibers or foreign DNA and nothing on the letter either.

"Your client has been interrogated and she has a pretty solid alibi." Robin informed Marco as he sipped his coffee. "So," Marco asked.

"So, you're gonna help us crack the case." said Robin.

"But I'm not a police officer."

"Fine. You're gonna consult and help us crack the case." Marco rolled his eyes. "Ah yes. Just let me go get my deerstalker and magnifying glass and work on the absolutely zero clues I have." Marco snarked and stood up to leave. Instead of doing that, he went to the Werner residence.

As expected, Mrs. Werner was a mess but had made a conscious effort to hide it. She obviously hadn't slept well judging by the tiredness of her features and the slight puffiness under her eyes but still flashed him a small smile. "I wouldn't think I would need your help so soon." She said sadly.

"Neither did I, ma'am." Marco replied, managing to sound a little contrite. No offense to the lady but he didn't have much motivation to care about Roger, but death was a bit extreme, even for a person that grouchy.

They sat down in the living room again and Marco felt very disconcerted with the rush of deja vu, except now there's no scowling well dressed man there. Mrs Werner looked like she was internally debating whether she should say something. He tried to focus on Mrs. Werner . She was a grieving widow, whatever she was about to say had to be really important. "He may have been a real headache but I loved him." She said.

"Oh. Okay." Marco replied and sipped his tea. She went on with no signs of showing offense. Maybe it's learned patience. "He went to work in the office soon after you came here. He didn't come home last night. I just assumed that he probably went to visit friends or maybe head off for a drink. And then I woke up today and it was in the mail and.." She trailed off and drew in a shaky breath. Marco hoped she wouldn't begin to cry.

She took another breath and said in a wavering voice, "I'm sorry I haven't found Elise's dreidel." And now tears were beginning to fall. Marco spotted a tissue box on top of a drawer and passed it to her. "Your husband just died, I think that's more important right now."

She took a tissue and dabbed at her eyes. "You're right. I just thought that, well-" "This is a courtesy call. Well mostly, because I believed you called me earlier. On the phone." She looked confused. "I don't believe I have." She replied. Marco frowned and pulled out his phone and went to his call logs. "This isn't your number?" He asked. She shook her head. "Weird. I think I have to go." Marco said and even he thought he was becoming a bit too callous.

"Oh it's alright. I'm glad you came to check on me." She smiled sadly. Marco frowned. "Hasn't anyone else come to see you? Family? Elise?" She shook her head. "Elise did call me early to offer condolences before being taken for questioning but she hasn't come over yet. But she will."

Marco nodded. "Well, uh, okay then. Just call me if you need me to check up on you." He awkwardly offered. She smiled warmly. "You're such a nice young man. I will." And like the previous day, she walked him to the door but all they exchanged was polite goodbyes before Marco headed back to his office.

He tried the unknown number but all he got was an automated message saying the number was busy. He tried to call Mrs Elise but all he got was her voicemail. He then decided to send a message asking if she wouldn't mind if he helped out with investigating her brother's disappearance and possible murder but would go back to searching for her dreidel the moment he could. He felt ridiculous even sending it but courtesy costs nothing after all. He sat down in his swivel chair and called Robin.

"So have you boys found anything?" He asked. "If you're talking about Mr Wernen, we've got nothing concrete yet." Robin replied, though there was something about his tone.

"But there's something, right?" Marco asked. Robin huffed out a laugh. "Yeah, uh, you get any calls on your phone last night?" "Yes I did. Who was it, Robin?" He asked. "Well he was right about that one." Robin muttered but Marco managed to hear him.

"Who's he?" Marco pressed. Robin laughed without humor. "You wouldn't believe it if I told you here. Just come over to the precinct." Marco didn't appreciate how vague Robin was and told him as such but Robin wasn't budging.

Even though it's sort of a requirement in his line of work, he doesn't like being curious or having to know what's going on. Because once that niggling need to know starts, it won't stop until he knows. Useful for being an investigator but he hated being thought of as nosy. So now he just huffed angrily and got over to the precinct.

Robin spotted him and steered in to the rooms used for questioning on the other side of the two way mirror with the other investigators. Marco looked at the mirror to see a middle aged officer interrogating a young man. He seemed in his late twenties like Marco and Robin and was hunched low on the table. He was wearing a shirt and jeans with an overcoat that had seen better days.

But the one thing that Marco focused on was his scarlet red curly hair. Scarlet red hair that seemed to unlock a latent memory. Of snowy grounds and shouting in a playground. "He isn't." Marco muttered. Robin just sighed.

"And you can confirm that you weren't anywhere near his place of work?" The investigator asked. "Yes. I've got customers who can vouch for me. " The man replied calmly. "Why did you call the customer's desk instead of dialing 911?" The man shook his head. "I couldn't, okay? But I'll keep that in mind for next time."

The investigator didn't seem to find that last remark funny but stood up all the same. "Don't skip town, alright Mr Stockmann?" Marco froze. "I sure hope not. Just got here last week." He replied as he stood up as well and was escorted out of the room. Marco vaguely registered Robin leading him out of the room and there they were. Stockmann looked at them and smiled sheepishly.

"So, you became cops? That's strangely fitting I guess-"

"I punched you in the face in sixth grade." Marco blurted. Stockmann seemed taken aback by that. "Yes. And I punched you back. Because it was a fight." Robin clapped his hands loudly.

"Well! What a blast from the past, right Marco?" Robin had never been good with dealing with awkward situations. He held out his hand to shake. "Hey Alex. Nice to have you back."

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