Chapter Eighteen: Tolly, I’m Back
John woke up at the station with a paramedic tending to him. Milner stood over him.
“Anezka said you were knocked out from a stun gun, and I decided you’d just wake up later, but this EMT thought to avoid a lawsuit, he should monitor you. Captain Roark insisted.”
He began to focus, and looked around. He was on a table in the forensics exam room. It had that cold, alcohol smell in the room.
“What happened? Where’s Predjin” Is Anezka okay?”
“So you did miss all the fireworks. Anezka’s shaken, but fine, and Predjin’s dead.”
“I didn’t shoot him, Remy. I followed procedure,” John said.
“I know you didn’t shoot him. Anezka told me what happened. You were in la la land when Marvin bought it. This big… thing slammed him to the ground, and choked him with liquid silver. Something about manifesting his worst fears,” Milner said.
Anezka had done it. He knew he was literally second fiddle to her mystical guardians. He was just happy to be able to be with his betrothed instead of spinning his wheels just waiting for another evil art sculpture.
Bellagio came into the room. He walked over to John with a report.
“I bet you’re wondering how he died. He asphyxiated on a silver alloy.”
Larry came in as Bellagio explained.
“There was no silver in the vicinity, Bellagio. Nothing in his system, or even a locket containing silver so he couldn’t asphyxiate on an alloy that wasn’t present.”
Bellagio gave Larry the report, and said, “Anezka said he choked on silver, and my report confirms that event happening. I didn’t go to a technical college like Ken. I went to a prestigious college. I don’t make mistakes. Read this, and tell me I’m wrong.”
“Don’t challenge him, Lar,” John spoke up. “If Anezka said it happened, it happened.”
Larry looked at the report, and saw the effects of silver asphyxiation.
“But this is impossible.”
“No, Lar, that impossibility is Anezka.” John said. “Where is she?”
“She’s pulling out her hair waiting for you to wake up. She’s pacing in the cafeteria. I’ll go get her.” Bellagio left to get Anezka.
The paramedic grabbed his wrist, and timed his pulse with his watch.
“Your pulse is still elevated from the shock you received, so don’t get up yet. You’re still kind of shaky.”
“Look, I appreciate your concern, but I’ve been through worse, and I’m still kickin’. Don’t worry about a lawsuit. I’m not gonna sue my family over not sending me to a hospital,” John assured him.
“I don’t care if you were attacked by wolves before. You’re my responsibility now, and I say stay laying on this table with no excitement.”
Just then, Anezka came through the door followed by Bellagio.
“John!” she yelled, and went to him, but the paramedic blocked her approach.
“Detective Chandless needs his rest, and you’re exciting him too aggressively. Don’t come any closer.”
Roark came through the other door as he stopped Anezka. He started talking in his old western sheriff’s voice.
“Well obviously, you aint from around here, son. Let the lil’ lady kiss her beau.”
John kept up the western thing. “And I’ve been attacked by a mob of wise guys wit’ zip guns, and I betcha they’re more dangerous than wolves.”
They all looked at the paramedic, and nodded. With the unanimous agreement, the paramedic acquiesced, and let Anezka continue.
Anezka joined in on the western motif.
“Well I do declare, Mister Medicine Man, John’s an ornery cuss. He ain’t nowhere near yeller or scairt ‘o nuthin’.”
She walked over to him, and smiled.
“I heard Marvin got dealt with by a tall piece of nature,” he said.
“After he tried to choke me to knock me out, uQamata intervened,” she explained. “Don’t worry about me. Sergeant Milner took care of my neck, and Mister Predjin’s fears took care of him.”
She gave him a deep kiss.
“Thank you for not being a bad cop.”
“Thank you for nagging me into being a good cop because I wanted to shoot Marvin in the throat,” John said, and kissed her again.
“You think I nag?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, that’s that New York speech emerging. I guess I can’t shake the hard line even in Kansas. You don’t nag, you healthily persuade.”
She smiled again.
“At least you’re trying to shake the hard line. If we stay together, it’ll be noodle like in no time.” She kissed him again. “I called Detective Khouri to tell her this case is finished, and she won’t have to testify. Nature already gave the ultimate sentence.”
“I guess you were right about Simin being out for the rest of this. What did she say?”
“She was just happy you didn’t shoot Mister Predjin because she’ll be mobile in about a month, and didn’t want to break in a new partner. She knew you were a good detective, and administrative leave over killing a crazy serial killer because he angered you was her main concern.”
John smiled. “My partner, always thinking about herself.”
Anezka grinned, and touched his forehead. She closed her eyes, and read him once more.
“Your soul is still pure, and we are finally done with this case.”
“We’re almost done. After we investigate everything, I have a promise to keep,” John said.
It took about a week, but everything was revealed. Marvin’s torture chamber basement with multiple exits, the macabre paintings, the books on medieval interrogations, the tools, paralyzing spray, a Penelope Prissy Halloween mask with a voice box in it, and eccentric contraptions littered about his makeshift dungeon.
John hit the motherlode of a sociopath’s evil intentions. They even found a collection of detective magazines, and the Anarchist’s Cookbook on shelves in the dank pf the basement.
Marvin sealed the entrance to his basement by creating a cement floor covered with linoleum that covered half the kitchen. No wonder the entire team found nothing in the surprise raid that evening. John knew he was meticulous, but he spent a lot of money to avoid suspicion. Even the basement was soundproofed. John’s investigation was over, so he went to Rubina’s apartment to see Tolliver. He rang her doorbell with Anezka in tow.
She answered the intercom.
“Who is it?”
“It’s Detective Chandless, Ruby. I have an Anezka Kranz with me. She aided me in catching that murderer. Is Tolliver home?”
“So you did remember. Tolly’s in his room, Come on up.” She pushed the buzzer to give them access.
John opened the door, and they both went up the stairs. Rubina opened her door, and greeted them both.
“Thanks for remembering, Detective Chandless, and hello, Misses Kranz is it?”
“Yes, Ruby, but call me Anezka.”
“Anybody that could calm my boy can be called anything they want. Can I hug you?”
Anezka walked to her, and gave her a strong hug. Her gift wasn’t particular in its power so she felt Rubina’s aura as well.
“Don’t worry about Tolly’s insomnia, Ruby. Once John tells him everything’s fine, and he won’t be hunted by the killer, he’ll sleep fine.”
Ruby had a peculiar look on her face.
“How you know Tolly wasn’t sleeping well?”
“Anezka’s a psychic that reads with touch. She’s not evil. She caught the killer.”
Rubina remembered her from the news.
“I know you. You’re the lady who defended herself with those cheerleading pom-poms! Don’t worry about the news. They just hungry for the next story, and don’t care who they effect. I kinda like you showin’ that fool he shouldn’t mess with a lady. I wish I could kick my landlord’s ass with some pom-poms.”
Anezka was surprised at what Rubina said. Most people were frightened she would curse them, and would never touch her. Rubina actually liked her.
“Is Tolly watching cartoons in his room? I have a gift for him.” John showed Rubina a Ferris Flatfoot action figure. “He’ll patrol for any Penelope Prissy bad guys.”
“He was watching the Flower Power Krew the last time I looked, but he’s a fan of Ferris Flatfoot so he’ll be happy.”
“I guessed right then. I might be psychic.” He smiled.
“No, John,” Aneka interrupted him. “You’re just a detective that has been here before. I’m the psychic, remember?”
“I better listen to my sidekick, Ruby. She could really mess up my day.” He began to walk to Tolliver’s room.
He opened the door, and knocked on the door frame. Tolliver turned to see Detective Chandless, and smiled.
“Hi, Tolly, you busy?”
“I’m just watchin’ Snugrog get beat up. You got him, Detective Chandless.”
“I was knocked out by Penelope. My sidekick got him.” He pulled in Anezka. Tolly, this is Anezka Kranz, she got him.”
Anezka greeted Tolliver. “Hello, Tolly, I’m Anezka. Pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
“I saw you on the news! Did you beat that bad guy?” Tolliver was watching the news along with his mother that night.
“Yes, Tolly, I beat him.”
“You gotta superhero for a sidekick, Detective Chandless, She beat that bad guy, and she beat Penelope. I bet she could beat Snugrog too!”
John began to smile at Anezka.
“If you were part of the Krew, they’d only have one episode.”
Anezka wasn’t used to the complements so she changed the subject.
“Don’t you have something to give Tolly, John?”
“Oh yeah.” John took out the Ferris Flatfoot action figure. ’I heard I wasn’t the only detective you knew.”
Tolly’s eyes lit up.
“Ferris Flatfoot! I love him!”
John gave him the action figure, and shook his hand.
“This is for all your help. You gave me my first clue.”
Tolly took the figure, and shook John’s hand. He didn’t let go, and closed his eyes in a trance-like state.
“You are a lucky detective pairing with Anezka Kranz. She will always protect you. Make your pairing permanent.”
John was shocked at how strong his grip was, and his odd prediction. Anezka just looked and smiled.
“You’re a detective, John, he’s psychic.”
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