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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chapter Sixteen

            The first few phone calls from the viewing audience were the usual: a man convinced that he himself had killed Darcy Tucker, another who thought that it was a conspiracy from a company that mass-produced baby food, and a woman who was very adamant that Darcy Tucker was killed by a group of alien raiders sent here to steal human ova.

            David hung up the phone for the fourth time and ran a hand over his eyes. Billy zoomed in closer, and the long-suffering cop could hear Carly the makeup artist clicking her tongue angrily as he smeared his foundation. He looked over the emails that had flooded in, and cleared his throat for the camera, “I want to reiterate to our viewing audience that it is not alright to petition our morgue staff for sexual favors via email. Please, keep your participation pertinent to the crime being investigated.”

            The phone rang again and David picked it up with the same trepidation with which he would look into a tissue left in a public restroom, “Detective Armstrong speaking.”

            “Detective, this is Phyllis Clairmont from Clovis, New Mexico,” a middle-aged woman’s voice grunted from the phone.

David looked at the camera and managed a wry smile, “Hello, Ms. Clairmont. You are on the air.”

“Yes, I’m watching you from my television right now. Seriously, just a heads up, your makeup artist needs to apply a more neutral base to you, you are coming out orange on our screen.”

David’s face flushed a bright red, and he cleared his throat, “Uh…thank you.”

“No problem, honey.”

“Do you…uh…have anything about the case you would like to contribute?”

“Yes. We’ve looked over the case notes and we noticed that Darcy’s parents mentioned a boyfriend, but he was never identified or interviewed.”

David’s heart skipped a beat and he quickly seized up the case notes on his desk, “Wow, you are right.”

“You sound surprised, Detective Armstrong.”

“I’m surprised that we overlooked that point. Thank you very much.” David cleared his throat; “We will identify him as soon as humanly possible.”

There was a smug chuckle on the phone, “You’ll want to talk to one ____________. He and Darcy had been dating for eleven months.”

“How did you find that out?”

“Oh, we have our ways, Detective.”

He swallowed hard, “Are you working alone? Whom can we credit this to?”

“I’m head orderly at the Shady Willows Assisted Living Center. Me and the weekend Bingo group picked that up.”

David couldn’t help but chuckle, “Thank you very much.”

“Not at all. Goodbye.” there was a click, and the line went dead.

There was a sudden gesture from Billy, and David heard a voice in his earpiece buzz out, “We’ve cut back to the studio, Detective.”

David let out his breath and let the practiced grin slide off his face. Carly rushed over, grumbling, “That bitch. The foundation is NOT too orange!”

Billy walked over as well and quirked a smile, “Wow. Showed up by little old Bingo ladies.”

“Shut up.” David grumbled halfheartedly as Carly roughly wiped his face with a wet wipe, “What’s next then?”

“Well, Reindt wants you to…well, he wants you to narrate the reenactment.”

“What?” David snapped, his eyes huge, “Are you kidding? Please tell me you are kidding!”

Billy opened his mouth to respond, but instead a tall red headed woman with sensual curves and full lips approached him and gave him a wide smile, “Detective Armstrong? I’m Avery Linden, I’m the actress for the reenactment.”

Billy grinned so broadly that his face looked like it couldn’t quite handle the strain, and David tried not to scowl. The reenactment section of the show was where Avery and an ex-porn star named Rocco Magnum acted out the crime scene based off of Dr. Lauren Jamison’s forensic analysis and Dr. Kreigel’s enthusiastic conjectures, including the sexual elements of the scenes.

“You guys are filming here today?”

Avery shrugged, “Yeah, they set up a soundstage downstairs. Reindt said it would be easier to do on short notice instead of redoing the studio.”

“Where is Dr. Bahr?” David asked, a note of panic in his voice.

“Right here.” a four-pack-a-day voice echoed from behind Billy, and the camera man quickly stepped aside, revealing a short woman in a large house coat with her hair coiled into two Heidi-esque braids. Her mouth was curved downwards into two permanent jowls, and even though audience response to her segment of the show was overwhelmingly positive, David was surprised that anyone could even think of intercourse with Dr. Blythe Bahr present. Bahr was a sexologist from an incredibly prestigious school overseas, and had been the anchor on a late-night program called “Behr Naked,” which was a sex-therapy talk show beloved by aging housewives.

“Apparently, Reindt wants us to narrate the reenactment in tangent, Mr. Armstrong.”

“Detective Armstrong, and I object.”

“As do I. I’m a well respected Coitiologist, I deserve my own segment!” Behr growled, her single eyebrow knitting.

“You are a Sexologist. ‘Coitiologist’ isn’t a word.” Billy interjected.

Behr turned on him and growled, “And I suppose you are an expert? I study coital interactions, and therefore should be a ‘Coitiologist.’ ‘Sexologist’ sounds like something off of a frat boy’s t-shirt.”

“I can’t argue with that.” Billy shrugged.
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