Just Wok Away

May 23, 2012
“You up for Chinese?” I asked, with a nudge.

“Not if the situation’s as bad as they say.” Answered Jamie, my partner, as we turned the corner on our way to the local Chinese restaurant, China Wok. We’d gotten the call a half an hour before, but this was unusual. Theft didn’t seem like the kind of case one would send a detective on. That’s why we figured we weren’t being told everything yet. As we pulled up in the parking lot, I saw it packed to capacity with police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, etc. There was literally nowhere to park, we had to go to the Wal-Mart across the street. When we finally got to the doors, we showed our badges, they checked and double checked us before letting us in. The local Police Chief met us once we got inside.

“Agent Ying” he nodded to me, “Agent O’Hara” he shook my partner’s hand. “I’m so glad you were able to get here so quickly. I’m Chief Clark, and I’m sure you were already briefed on the situation.”

Jamie and I looked at each other and I replied “Not really, the call was pretty vague, something about a theft?”

“Oh...” the Chief said, raising one eyebrow. “Well there was no theft, but two hours ago a man was murdered here in this restaurant. No one saw the murderer, no one knows how it happened, and there is nothing left behind that gives us any answers.”

My partner calmly looked at him and asked “So you called in Agent Ying, the best murder detective in the United States to solve an everyday civilian case, granted a strange and difficult one, but still.”

The Chief turned to Jamie and, in just as calm of a voice, replied “This case isn’t just difficult, it’s impossible, and the ‘everyday civilian’ you mentioned, happens to be, or was until two hours ago, the President.”

All three of us were silent, there wasn’t much to be said. “Well...” I started to say, but decided it would be better if I just got started. Walking over to the area where the body was, I took in my surroundings. There were at least five security camera’s visible, all of them active. Turning back to Chief Clark, I asked him “Did anyone think to check the security cameras?”

“What security cameras?” he asked, spinning around. I pointed them out, realizing that they probably weren’t so easily spotted by the untrained eye. He called over one of his officers and told him to go to the manager and asked where the security camera tapes were. While we waited I put gloves on and examined the evidence. I beheld the dead body of the President of the United States.

Admittedly I hadn’t voted for him, but the election was a year ago, surly the killer couldn’t be blind to all of the good he had done since then. It was a simple kill, just a slit throat, but it was also a very small cut. This killer really knew what he was doing! “This is so awful, who could...what’s this?” There was a fortune cookie in his hand. Picking it up, I read out loud “Don’t forget to swallow.” My eyes darted over to his throat, the cut was along his Adam’s Apple...so the act of swallowing would have killed him! “That’s just creepy!”

By then the officer had come back with the tapes. As the Chief put on one of them, the most recent, I dreaded what I would see. The Portable TV’s screen crackled on, showing the President at his booth surrounded by ten secret service men. More than likely there were thirty or more posted around, and throughout, the building.

While we watched, he finished the last of his meal. Bringing him his check, the server stammered something like “Will that be all Mr. President?”

He smiled wide and replied “Yes, thank you very much.” I watched as the President of the United States was handed the check, and almost gasped as I saw him open the fortune cookie. He read his fortune, smiled...and swallowed.

“That’s it!” The Chief jumped up. “The fortune cookie must have been poisoned.” The cookie itself? Not a chance!

“But he didn’t even eat it!” I stated as we saw the life being sucked out of the President’s eyes.

“Well it could have taken effect from him touching it!” he retaliated.

“That doesn’t explain his slit throat!”

“It isn’t that big of a cut, and you didn’t see any knife wielding assassin any more than I did.”

My partner, who had been silent up to this point, looked at me and said “I’d know that look anywhere, Alice, you’re on to something aren’t you?”

“Check out what his fortune says.”

Jamie walked over to the body, picked up the fortune and read “You are a strong leader...what’s so weird about that?” I was speechless. That was impossible! Fortune Cookies don’t just change their fortune. “I need some air!” I almost yelled, trying desperately to control my voice, and keep my composure. Hastily shuffling out the doors, my mind ran through the possibilities. “There has to be a logical explanation for this!” I screamed into the sky. Had to think, had to reason, had to look at this objectively. I walked back inside...then back out...then back in. There were a bunch of extra fortune cookies at the counter, so I took one to try and calm myself down. By the time I got the wrapping off, I was already pacing around the building. “Am I the only one who can see how bizarre this is?” I whispered to myself as I opened the cookie. I pulled out the fortune, and read it. A voice behind me read it withe me in unison. It said “Yes”.

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