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AND THIS HAS BEEN ONE OF THEM...
20 July, 2010
Billy D'Boner didn't care if the tornado destroyed the drive-in again or if the truck fell into the service station as the movie played out on the huge-ass home theater next to him. He lay dead as a doornail. Even in death, his moneymaking, medically-enhanced boner pointed to Polaris, the North Star. Detective O'Shaughnessy, hidden in the darkened colonnade that served as the front door, grimaced at the ludicrous display.
On the other side of the great room, Jack Parmenides former husband of Lacey Flaman-Giella keyed the alarm pad at the veranda doors. He wore a blackberry cellphone, Speedo swimsuit and bike shoes. At least he's not hiding the murder weapon, O'Shaughnessy thought, holding up a cellphone camera to record Parmenides actions.
"Ding Dong the dick is dead." Parmenides sang softly, flipped the dead body the bird and stepped around the vinyl sofa to put two fingers to the victim's neck. "Dead at last. Dead at last. Thank God Almighty. He's dead at..." The TV went silent.
"Don't touch the body until Laboulaye the Medical Examiner gets here," the detective said. Parmenides scowled, his eyes narrow in anger, his neck twisting side to side in search of the reason for the silence. O'Shaughnessy stepped out of hiding. "But don't stop the song and dance. I enjoy listening to fascinating sentiments for the record," the detective added. His last sentence gave Parmenides a moment to regain his composure and step away, smiling innocently.
"For the record, I didn't kill him. I was cycling around the lake. My ex-wife, the unfaithful bitch, twittered from her bedroom in tears. She said she'd heard a shot and when Billy didn't answer, she was afraid to leave the bedroom." He held his Blackberry out and let O'Shaughnessy bump-transfer the messages. Back at the office, an assistant detective added the texts to the case file.
"You're not denying you're happy he's dead."
"He's ex-hubby number five and I'm number three. Big eff..." Parmenides' body jerked suddenly, both hands pulled against his chest and face and he sneezed. O'Shaughnessy wondered if this was an act or just a reaction to the air conditioner. Parmenides continued with a different thought. "There's that dowager he said had cankles. She's on the warpath. Richard Destry who you might know as his wrestling partner Dick the Destroyer hates him beyond all reason. Then there's that studio executive he said smelled like a plumber's crack after servicing port-a-potties on the bayou or that casino owner he named as water-sports king of Las Vegas..."
O'Shaughnessy stopped listening. That man talks too much, he thought and then stepped back to let a technician press the deceased man's fingers to an electronic print collector. The machine verified the prints. This was, without a doubt, William Wesley Duboniery AKA Billy D'Boner, current king of video porn. The three men looked at each other, basking in the testosterone-like splendor of technical devices. The technician turned the device off and its magic left the room.
"So, you comforted your ex-wife for all of what, ten seconds before you ran down here to gloat over her latest husband's dead body.
"Not really. I did spend eight soul-sucking, time-wasting minutes with her tears then your patrolmen shooed me away. You better watch those boys. She just loves men in uniform and there's no telling how naked she'll get while they're trying to take her statement. Lacey's got tear ducts like Niagara Falls and she turns the water on and off at will. I came down to see if her doughy pant-load of a fourth husband was really dead and found you. You know that he's a porn star, don't you? He's not just a drug dealer."
"You think your ex-wife did it?" O'Shaughnessy asked.
"Lacey? Nah! It's a case of the grief stricken houseboy blows his brains out because he can't satisfy his rich mistress. Suicide is such a cowardly way out especially when it's due to inadequacy of an enhanced penis. Look at that thing. It's like a third arm sticking out of his crotch. Willy Boy needed a shitload of Viagra to keep that monster up and hard. He used to brag his orgasms could kill. Well maybe he tried auto-fellation and blew his brains out." Parmenides put his hands on his hips and stood like the Colossus of Rhodes astride the Dardanelles, all muscle, pure stud, a bold and masculine figure. O'Shaughnessy pointed his cellphone toward the nearest wall and projected a still image of Parmenides being interviewed by a sleazy, all-internet video website. O'Shaughnessy saw Parmenides pupil's dilate and his eyes shift down and to the left.
"But you've said that your ex-wife's snatch is the only thing that goes bang in this house and that she'd never let a gun in the house because they frightened her." He played the video as proof. Parmenides blushed and crumped. He clearly didn't have an answer to his own words. O'Shaughnessy changed the subject. He pointed the red dot of his laser pointer at the chaise lounge and traced a blood and gore spattered black object.
"What's that?" the detective asked. Parmenides smirked.
"A toupee," Parmenides said, raising his eyebrows and suppressing a giggle-laden smirk.
"I've seen better carpets on Shih-Tzu's." O'Shaughnessy leaned over and stared at what remained intact of Billy the Boner's head. His hand came up, stroked his chin and spoke into his bluetooth. "Now that's a puzzle, HQ. As I remember his publicity shots, he shaved his head. Why was he wearing a toupee... at night... in his house?" He placed a finger on his earpiece. "Repeat that." He flushed red and grimaced. "...and you say it vibrates? No, don't send me the details. It'll keep till I get back to the office." He turned his attention back to Parmenides. "Did you know if your ex-wife kept a gun in the house?" Parmenides chuckled.
"I didn't know women went bald down but our business must turn to guns."
"Her guards did and from what I heard, big, bad Billy hated guns. They scared him. She wrote all sorts of mayhem and death in those novels of hers but her big, brave stud ran from spiders, never walked into a dark room and peed his pants when anyone popped a paper bag or yelled BOO -- big bad scaredy-cat." Parmenides ended the revelation with both hands held palms facing out on either side of his head. He looked like a giant sunflower gone wrong. O'Shaughnessy studied him silently for a moment. Here was a man, more fit and muscular than the dead lover who's physique consisted of muscle on muscle and could be a professional bodybuilder, casting aspersions on the dead lover of his ex-wife.
"Doughy pant-load, scaredy-cat, unfaithful bitch. Too many insults. Jealousy doesn't become you."
"Not hardly. Willy Babbit was a professional stud, a dick for hire -- body by steroids, erection by Viagra and testicles by Amalgamated Silicone. I had him as a single side attraction two years before my wife and I divorced. I introduced her to Willy. She knew we were lovers when she paid for his steroids and penile augmentation. Check it out. Ask the servants. We had a very open relationship that ended in divorce. Since then, Willy's been her muse and later her stud. He bragged that she wrote her last two novels while riding his pole to endless orgasms. I had to laugh but it was a great publicity gimmick. My wife still pays me lots of alimony to keep quiet. I'm not stupid enough to kill the golden goose. I do know that this crime scene video is not public record."
O'Shaughnessy found his detective voice. "I see you're familiar with police procedure."
"I played a cop in a detective movie a few years back and learned me all dat hard-core procedural talk. The perps feared my fierceness and trembled before my street smarts. Course, they were all stunt men acting out a script but I learned all that good guy bad guy tactics and how to beat up criminals."
"Why was there so few staff on duty last night?"
"Lacey doesn't like the staff around for her more intimate sex romps. Sex is big drama for the unfaithful bitch. She says that staff sucks the life out of her fantasies. Don't forget, this house is Lacey this, Lacey that, Lacey needs, Lacey wants and the staff ends up creeping around like shadows of Lacey. That's why I left her and why Willy stayed to service the botch queen. Besides, Lacey paid for his silicone penile implant, his fake testicles and the hormone shots that kept him at the peak of masculinity. I didn't need to do that to my body to feel good about being sexy me. " Parmenides did one of those extravagant muscle shows usually reserved for BB tournaments. His arms, shoulders and chest expanded to huge size and moved with muscle-bound splendor showing off his arms, a massive chest and shoulders, twisting around for a well-defined back down to a narrow waist and buttocks and then back around to face O'Shaughnessy to display his thighs and calves. O'Shaughnessy answered the display with disdain.
"That's quite an improvement from our first meeting over your gambling debts and your friends who snorted cocaine like Hoover Vacuum cleaners. It must have taken lots of dedication between you, your trainer and a good druggist to get that ripped and buff." Smugness nearly consumed O'Shaughnessy's demeanor. Parmenides slumped and ceased being a muscleman spectacle. A deflated ego and body, my work here is done, thought O'Shaughnessy.
"You're a cruel man detective. That was two decades ago. I've changed. Marriage to Lacey did that. I guess that's why I got the call rather than Regis the Butler or Maria the parlor maid. She knew I'd come running and stay with her. To much risk that the servants would go yakking to the paparazzi and the tabloids. She's not generous with salaries, you know. My guess is Lacey finally took a steel-toed boot to Billy's taint and cracked his manhood on e to many times and when he cried and threatened to return to Moron McDum-Dum's Home for the Barely Functioning, she shot him. That's what she gets for trolling in the shallow gene pools of the world."
"Where were you when she called?"
"In my carriage house. I sleep naked. So I grabbed my cycling outfit and biked over. I'm training for the Octoberfest Triathlon in two weeks. The veranda door has a combo lock that was never changed. I could hear her screams through the glass and dashed upstairs. I didn't even see the body until after the police arrived and then you saw me, what can I say, gloating."
"Indeed. At home with the loving divorcee..." Parmenides cut off his thought with a clenched fist and a threatening step forward, flexing his muscles. O'Shaughnessy put up both fists and crouched in a amateurish boxing pose. Parmenides snarled at him. They looked a little David and Goliath.
"Look Dick Tracy, I don't care how much you think I'm still in love with my ex-wife, I can assure you that I'm not. As I said, we parted ways and never looked back. I am not the man you are looking for so quit screwing with me."
O'Shaughnessy's Blackberry buzzed loud enough to distract the two men. The message contained the results of the police interview of Parmenides' ex-wife. O'Shaughnessy took time to key in several questions while Parmenides watched.
A flurry of activity at the door drew their attention. Expedition Medical Examiner arrived. Six technicians with a gurney, several cameras and plastic evidence bags pushed O'Shaughnessy aside as a short man with thick, quivering thighs and tiny hands, a near-midget of a man with a famous name and exalted ego, swooped into the room in a grand pirouette and took command of the scene. This was Sir Chauncey Laboulaye, MD, ME, GBE, M.E. -- all five foot even and ninety-seven pounds of him. He snapped his fingers in the detective's face, eliciting a smile. O'Shaughnessy wondered if a cape might be suitable for the M.E. and he wondered if the nickname of mongoose was appropriate and he wondered how started the rumor that the M.E.'s tiny hands and feet really did indicate tiny man-parts.
Chauncey didn't just speak as much as he declaimed. "Tell us Detective O'Shaughnessy, me boy. Why is there a man in tighty-whities exposing his love muscles to the body? Is this perhaps a new detective thing, let semi-clothed men stumble and tumble near the body to confound the evidence and dim the true angels of wisdom that speak to us through drops of blood, fingerprints and dead vagina toupees? Or is he your latest lover here on spec?"
O'Shaughnessy took a moment before clearing his throat and facing Chauncey the martinet. He pointed at Parmenides. "Mister Parmenides believes this is the suicidal death of a despondent lover but I think he's lying out every orifice in his body. "
"Now just hold your horses you pious little pissant." Parmenides took a step forward and screamed so loud that he splattered O'Shaughnessy with tiny droplets of spittle. "I thought we settled this," he roared. The two patrolmen restrained him.
"You think? There's a dead body on the floor in front of us and I think that you're responsible. It's up to the M.E. to prove me right," O'Shaughnessy said. The M.E looked up at Parmenides and flourished both hands up and down in front of his face in preparation of one of his trademark incomprehensible affronts. Parmenides barked and snarled like a dog and lunged against the two policemen holding him back. The M.E. tiptoed back on point, ballerina style.
"Consider yourself under arrest and Mirandized, Mister Parmenides. Anything you say can and will be held against you," O'Shaughnessy snapped back.
"Consider my lawsuit against you, tinkerbell and the entire city government. By the time I'm done with you, you won't even be able to walk dogs for a living." Parmenides moved back from the policemen restraining him and squared his shoulders. He stood a head and a half taller than the M.E.
Chauncey clapped his hands. Two still cameras and a movie camera recorded the dead man, his toupee, the sofa, the carpet, the room and the men present. Then the assistants turned the body over and found the weapon, no finger on the trigger, held in the wrong hand, not tucked under the chin, Billy's jaw vice tight with rigor. As fast as a Brahma bull with flatulence, the technicians sampled everything near the body while Chauncey stuck a temperature probe into man's torso. Without words, the technicians loaded Billy D'Boner onto a gurney. Chauncey turned dramatically and faced O'Shaughnessy.
"I read your timeline before I got here and it's wrong." Chauncey looked away as if he said nothing out of the ordinary and waved one hand in a circular motion indicating he wanted an answer. O'Shaughnessy's shoulders visibly moved up in a deep breath. The policemen in the room snickered. They all knew Chauncey too well.
"It's wrong?" O'Shaughnessy answered. Chauncey folded his arms and confronted everyone in the room.
"On several counts. First, the gun was under his back. Most gun eaters drop the gun next to their body. Second, someone cow-tipped him off the couch. Suicides usually fall left or right or forward but not and five feet backward after the bullet rips their head apart. Third, his liver is cold. The time of death was three hours before you got here not the ten or twenty minutes you've been here..."
"I'm never wrong after you have you have your consultations with dead," O'Shaughnessy grinned at the little man and reached out toward the top of his head. Faster than anyone saw, Chauncey's hand shot up and pulled O'Shaughnessy's head next to his face. It looked like the hunchback of Notre Dame conferring with his midget buddy.
"Why are we still single? Why do women never fall over at my feet, my love?" Chauncey stage whispered.
"Ah, mon petite gerbil, we catch killers and jail bad guys. We are so . . . underappreciated," They split apart in a grand pirroute. Every pair of eyes in the room rolled up to the ceiling. Parmenides looked to the ceiling and harrumphed his disproval.
"You two done playing the fools?"
"You anxious to get to jail?"
"What are you two, mall cops? I didn't kill Billy," Parmenides folded his arms and stood legs spread like the Colossus. In reply, O'Shaughnessy snapped his fingers in Parmenides' face. Two policemen took places on either side.
"You entered the house more than once today, didn't you? The first time, you helped your ex-wife kill Billy and place his body in this room. Then you left came back for us to catch you coming in the house."
"I was in my bed when he shot himself," he insisted. Chauncey punctuated the denial by pulling the temperature probe from Bobby's liver with a loud squelch. He handed the probe to a technician.
"The time of death is less than two hours," Chauncey said. He picked up the gun by the barrel and examined it.
"That's not possible. He was alive when I left. I didn't know he was dead until Lacey called in hysterics." Parmenides move towards the M.E. between the two patrolmen causing them to grab his arms. He shrugged them off and took a step back.
"Livers do not lie." Chauncey answered.
"But any lily-livered little prevaricator can misinterpret a thermometer."
"Not in this case," O'Shaughnessy answered. "Brinks Security Central records every time the back door opens. They recorded each of your entries by your own personal code. One matches the time of death." He watched Parmenides' face for a hint of guilt. "You killed him out of jealousy. Willy was twice the man you are. Admit it. He replaced you as stud-muse in Lacey's life. Whether you came over tonight by design or accident, you found them together. Her screams of pleasure drove you wild with jealousy. He's got the musculature of a god. The body you dreamed about, lusted after. He's stronger than you and by the looks of it factor, got several inches more manhood. Wouldn't be the first time Mister Inadequate killed the stud screwing his wife." Chauncey weaved, dodged and gestured, first like a mime and then a clown and finally, a priest presiding over a funeral, stern-faced and solemn. Parmenides scoffed. He looked from the ME to the patrolmen to O'Shaughnessy and laughed.
"You don't know shit, asshole. You got your head firmly up the crack of your ass." Spit flew out ofParmenides' mouth. O'Shaughnessy's face turned red. He clenched his hands to his chin. The Medical Examiner pushed him aside. All eyes looked to Chauncey.
"He may not. However, I, Chauncey Laboulaye do know the truth. I, too, thought suicide, suicide, suicide but then I remembered the tabloids and the incandescent story of Lacey Flaman-Giella, her lover William Wesley Duboniery and her former husband, Jack Parmenides. The gossip columns and blog speculation ran on for weeks. It was the talk of the cognoscenti, a cri de coeur. A man jilted for his former male lover. They wrote poems, essays, calling it a scandal for the ages. Yes even limericks. Would you like me to recite one?"
"Not in this lifetime or the next. Is Parmenides the killer?" O'Shaughnessy answered.
"Along with his ex-wife. I discovered from hospital records that Lacey is pregnant and a moment ago, I learned that the gun not only fires backward but is also remotely controlled. Billy didn't have to pull the trigger on that gadget." Chauncey placed the gun in an evidence bag with a flourish. Parmenides' face turned desperate and hollow.
"It wasn't me. It was Lacey. It was her game. Take a man, build him up, knock him down, mess with his brain. She had Willy's sperm in a testube and his testicles in a jar. That was the price he paid for fame and fortume, for becoming her lover. Last night she started his estrogen injections so he could be her she-male BFF and lesbian lover. Willy couldn't accept complete emasculation. She sent him down here and triggered the gun. Then she set me up to take the fall."
"Except, we found the remote control for the gun in your house and her new will with Willy as her sole heir. Next time, destroy the evidence before you talk to the police. You're under arrest for murder." O'Shaughnessy signaled the patrolmen. They handcuffed Parmenides and took him away. O'Shaughnessy and Chauncey stood alone in the living room.
"Good acting Chauncey. He didn't stand a chance."
"All in a day's work. You know what they say; there are eight million stories in the naked city..."
"And this has been one."
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