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The Feeling Afterwards (pt 2)
“Where are those blasted cops?” Mr. Knuckle shouted angrily.
“Um, sir, I’m right here.” Officer Sheckley replied, doing a little wave
Mr. Knuckle looked over at the officer with annoyance.
“Yes I understand that you’re here, but where are the more, uh, qualified cops?”
Now, If Officer Sheckley had been a veteran cop, then he would have been extremely insulted. He was actually only 23, with light brown hair, kind brown eyes and a handsome firm chin. This was only his third month as an official cop, so he was used to questionings about his crime solving skills.
“They’ll be here soon. I believe Detective Robinson will be taking over the case.”
“Male or chick?” Mr. Knuckle asked with a snort.
“Does it really matter?” A harsh voice said from behind.
It was Tess White, the schools guidance counsellor. She had short light brown hair and light blue eyes. She had a young face, but her expression made her look older, more worried. In her left hand, a young girl who was blatantly Tess’s daughter, Jenny, with the same colour hair but long and in braids. They looked very similar the only real difference being in the eyes. Jenny had bright green eyes that were disturbing to look into.
Mr. Knuckle’s face turned red, making his double chin more noticeable “Uh, well I suppose not Ms. White.”
“Well, good. If you are not a male chauvinist pig, you will please refer to us “chicks” as either women or females, because being called a “chick” is an insult.” Tess stated angrily.
There was an awkward silence until a car screeching tires were heard in the distance.
“That’d be Detective Robinson. A…um, female detective.” Officer Sheckley said nervously.
Most of the lights had been turned on around the field, but no one went near the playground, except for the few crime investigators examining the body. From the other side of the field you could spot out a slim figure moving towards the group of people on the other side.
“ Is she an honourable detective?” Tess asked, a worried expression on her face.
“Oh, she’s the best on the force.” Officer Sheckley answered confidently.
As the figure moved closer, you could see that she was pretty. Extremely pretty. She looked young, with short black hair that was very straight and silky. She had big light blue eyes, and very pale, snow-white skin. She was dressed in all black, with a button down blouse, jeans and a brief case. The most unusual part of her outfit was the shoes that appeared much too big.
“Hello everyone.” I said in a business type of voice. “My name is Karen Robinson. I’ll be in charge on this case.”
Mr. Knuckle was the first to introduce himself.
“Hello Detective.” Knuckle stated, extending a sweaty hand. “I’m Mr. Bruce Knuckle. I’m the principal of this...”
Ignoring the hand, I interrupted. “I know who you are. I never come to a case unprepared.” I pulled a file out of my black brief case.
“Let’s see… you sir” I said, pointing at Mr. Knuckle. “Are Bruce Will Knuckle Principle of this school and... well. That’s interesting,”
Mr. Knuckle eyes widened. “What? What does it say about me?”
I looked up, my eyes curious.
“Yes. Bruce Knuckle.”
“Well Mr. Knuckle.” I said with a smirk. “I’d like you to come with me.”
Mr. Knuckle was behind me, and I could sense the panic coming off of him. He was a middle-aged man with thinning hair, and a hefty pot belly, and the air surrounding him had the distinct smell of tobacco. We were walking towards the benches on the side of the school. I couldn’t allow anyone in the school, because valuable clues may be found there, and no one wanted to go near the playground, where the corpse still lay. So the benches were really my only option for questioning.
“You may sit down here Mr. Knuckle.”
He gulped. I knew he was trying to hide his fear, but he was doing a horrible job of it.
His voice was surprisingly calm for a man that was this nervous.
“May I call you Karen?” His lips were held in a smirk pose, but his eyes shined with fright.
I turned my head towards him and gave him the evilest glare I could. “Mr. Knuckle, I am here to investigate the brutal murder of a 9 year old named Jesse Timbers. A murder that happened on your watch. If you so much as want to get clever and cute with me I will make sure that you do not get off this case innocent or otherwise.”
The mischievous glint left Bruce’s smile and seriousness took over. “Yes Detective”
Feeling content with myself I sat down on the wooden bench, and scooted as far away from Knuckle as I could get.
“Now Mr. Knuckle, do you know what time it is?”
Bruce looked startled by this question, but peered down at his Tag Heuer watch.
“That’s quite an expensive watch you have there Mr. Knuckle.”
Knuckle blushed, and he covered his watch with his hand. “Um, its 8:15 PM Detective.”
I looked down at my own watch, a black Velcro watch that I’d found at my sister’s house.
“You’re actually 3 minutes off Mr. Knuckle. It's actually 8:12pm, according to satellite time.”
“Pardon me for asking Detective, but how does the time have anything to do with the case at hand?”
I looked at him curiously. “Why, everything of course.”
Bruce frowned, a confused look still on his face.
“Mr. Knuckle, My crime scene investigators have informed me that Jesse Timbers has only been dead for 20 minutes now, and was murdered on the spot she was found, which means that when Tess and Jenny White found her body at 8:05pm, she had only been dead for 13 minutes. So who ever killed Jesse, had to have been at this school of yours between 7:50pm and 8:05pm. So my question to you is who was at the school during this time period?”
Bruce frowned, obviously thinking hard. “If teachers or cleaning staff stay late, they have to be logged in.”
“And what is “late” according to school rules?”
“Any time passed 6:30pm”
“And what teachers logged in?” I leaned in, getting interested.
“Well, Mrs. Ruth Grunther tutors one of her students every night from 6:30pm-7:30pm.”
“What is the name of the student she tutors?”
Bruce cocked his head to the side in thought. “Lauren Samuels.”
“You, Lauren Samuels, Tess and Jenny White and Ruth Gruther. Anyone else we don’t know of?” I asked patiently.
“Well, no. But there is something you should know about Tess White.”
I opened my mouth to say something, but Knuckle just continued talking.
“She doesn’t usually stay this late. She is the guidance counsellor, so she always leaves when her daughter gets out of school.”
I nodded my head in understanding. “Thank you Mr. Knuckle.”
“It’s my pleasure Karen.”
I glared at him.