The murder call had dawned right on the 5th hour of a brand new day. Detective Howard had been watching the sun, a great ball of bright sherbert orange rise up around the towering metal beasts of building that hunkered down in the skyline when the call had erupted his quiet peaceful evening. It had also spoiled his perfectly new cup of dark roast vanilla coffee. By the time detective Howard had put it in his his thermo cup it was cold and blane. Practically undrinkable, which was why Detective Howard was tired and cranky.
“Couldn’t people just stay alive for one week,” he grumbled.
This was already his second call in. What luck! He grabbed his coat and badge, stepped out into the cold brisk air, and fastened the door tightly behind him. He lived in the great bustling city of Manhattan, New York which in most circumstances would be full of activity. Heck even the nearest Walmart wasn’t open at this hour.
“These murderers are killing just to spite me,” the detective thought darkly. “I knew I should have become a lawyer instead, more pay and less early hours.” “I could even sleep till noon if I wanted to!” Exclaimed the detective as he scanned the surrounding area.
He would think that the setting was almost peaceful if he wasn’t in as much of a foul mood. The sky was silver tinted with not a fluffy nor gray cloud in sight, and the meowing and barking of flea bitten cats and dogs could be heard from all angles of New York. Detective Howard shuddered at the thought. He despised animals. His grandmother had had two small, fluffy poodles when he was younger that she absolutely adored. Yet, his grandmother had to be the only person to ever adore those scrawny animals. They’re fur was gross and matted, with breaths of days old garbage, and mean evils snarls that had to be as bad as they’re bite, not that he had ever gotten close enough to them to find out. To make matters worse he swore that his grandmother liked the dogs more than him! What nasty and mean creatures they were! Besides the animals the only open motion was the unlucky workers driving to work at this unruly time of day. That and two ladies exiting the nearby hardware store there truck loaded down with rolls of shaggy carpet. One thing he had learned in the five years he had lived there was that Manhattan was a weird city. Last week he had seen a man with a pig on a leash. A pig for crying out loud! He had had to call in a report for the man since he probably didn’t have a warrant. Was it that different to just get a cat. They both poop, they both eat, they both scratch, heck why not just not get an animal at all. They were just extra work in Detective Howard's opinion. The cop glanced down at the crumpled piece of paper, but right before he could approach the house a shrill screamed echoed out from the house next door. The house was dark and silent, abandoned. He knocked… and waited. Knocked… and waited. Nobody answered, but the detective swore he saw someone moving around inside the dark shadows of the house. The detective walked back to where the house of the alleged problem had come from. As we was walking back he heard doors slamming between the houses when all of a sudden he heard a click. And then the sound of a lock sliding out of place. The door to which the supposed foul play had come from was opened by a woman with a warm and polite smile. She reminded Mr. Howard of his grandmother and for a moment it brought him back to when he was younger and the door would open revealing his rosy cheeked, endearing grandmother.
“Oh come in, come in, thank you for coming under such short notice. I’m afraid my husband can’t be here.”
“Of course it’s no problem. Speaking of which what is the problem.” The cop replied.
The woman paused, looked the detective straight in the eye and said, “ there’s no problem. It was just just a false alarm.” “A false alarm? Are you sure? I got a call just 30 minutes ago from one of your neighbors saying they heard suspicious activity. That and I just heard a very loud scream.”
“well.... The timid lady paused her eyes shifting to a small corner closet and back again, “last night when I woke up my husband wasn’t in the room with me. I assumed that he had just got up to go to the bathroom so I wasn’t very worried but later when I got up around 5 I found his body out in the yard. I think he's been attacked by an animal.”
“well good god!” The cop exclaimed “ why didn’t you just tell me that.” “Will you show me the way to the body?” the cop then asked.
“Of course sir, my name is Lily if you would like to address me as that.”
The detective grunted then replied “of course Lily, and is anyone else home at the moment.”
“No it's just lonely old me,” said Lily as she led the detective to the deck where the body lay.
The deck consisted of a 10 by 10 deck of cherrywood which led up to short cut grass. The body was laid square down in the center of the deck. Rigor mortis had already set in and he could see obvious signs of animal attack. Several cut like scratches covered his body. One particular scratch was the worst. It was deep long and smoothly cut as though a knife had done it. The cop knew that there was no mystery to be solved, the man had obviously been attacked by wild animals.
“Probably poodles,” detective Howard whispered to himself in his head.
The body was perfectly arranged, arms spread out delicately like a dancer's. “Did you move or rearrange the body?” Detective Howard questioned. The detective also noticed something else.
“Weird,” detective Howard thought,” there's not much blood on the deck.”
The detective knew that if he had died out here then the blood would have seeped out and then soaked into the lightly colored wood.
The detective scrutinized himself, “ no, this lady is much too sweet there's no way that she could have moved the body, Nor could she ,” for the man was rather heavy.
All of the sudden a bang was heard from across the yard and the gate of a large shed swung open with a woosh. Two middle aged woman exited dressed in ruffles gray maids uniforms with aprons through over.
“I thought you said no one else was home?” questioned the cop.
“ I... I… I guess they just returned from walmart.” Lily said with a studer “Morning,” the maids trilled together as they unlocked the yard gate and left before the detective could question them.
The cop thought through this and then said,“Do you think you would mind if I took a look in the bedroom just to see your view of the yard from the windows.”
He just had to check all the parameters that he could so he could tally off that he gave a thorough search.
” I don’t see why not, but I don’t see a point in it either.” Lilly replied rather gruffly. “It’s just this way.”
The cop was led to a small bedroom with a four poster bed set up with an accompanying nightstand and a lamp on either side. The carpet was thick and shaggy and smelled like new car.
“ Does anyone else come around this way?” the cop questioned.
Lily seemed to think about the answer then replied, “ just the two maids that you just met “
“The maids,” Detective Howard said to himself then replied,” do they own any animals?
“Yes they own two sweet little poodles, they bring them every day.” said the woman with a smile.
“Have the maids stop by today before now?”
“No they would have arrived earlier but they stopped at Walmart around 5.”
“Oh they did didn’t they?” The cop replied cooly.
“yes, yes they did,” said Lily with a smile, “ such fine girls they are, but for some reason my husband had different opinions. He didn’t like the maids as much as I did.”
Detective Howard consulted his facts. They definitely seemed strange, and their dogs were even stranger. Something seemed to tinker at the edge of the detective’s mind but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
“Wait are you sure that they went to Walmart and not the hardware store?” the detective said as he consulted his mind, he was almost positive that he had seen two woman carrying heavy loads of bulk out of the store.
Was it wooden planks, or shower curtains? Rubber mats? No, no it wasn’t that. “Excuse me sir i'm just going to head to the bathroom for a minute i’ll be right back,” Lilly said excusing herself.
The detective was rather puzzled. Through the window he could see that the yard was surrounded by a metal and wood fence which no animals could possible get through. Yet the maids had obviously been at the house fore they were probably what he had heard in the yard when he arrived. There was no further evidence of murder as the detective’s case concluded.
The detective found that this would be a good time to snoop,” no warrant, no problem,” he thought smirking to himself.
He started in the kitchen opening drawers and checking under the quilt covered table. He then circle around to the livingroom reaching in between the couch cushions and under the colorful African print carpet. It had been five minutes and Lily still hadn’t returned so the detective took this time to check the closet. He had remembered that the sweet little old lady had seemed slightly off put by this closet. He turned the brass doorknob and pulled the door open with a dramatic flourish. Coats, shoes, hats, nothing but ordinary closet things. The detective closed the door sorry for his horrible luck but was surprised to find that something was keeping it open. The corner of something rough and think. Carpets. Lots of shaggy covered carpets. He thrust them out of the closet onto the hardwood floor watching the waves of shaggy stuff tumble out. They were covered in blood. This would mean that the dogs had killed Lily’s wife in the bedroom. So Lily must have let the maids and their dogs in and the dogs attacked him. But if Lily was supposedly in the bedroom at that time then she could have helped her husband. Then like a latch clicking into place or the detective's life flashing before his eyes it all made sense. The one deep knife like cut in the man's chest much to smooth to be caused by an animal. The detective spun around his back to the front door.
“I see you’ve found the carpet.” Lily said with a smile.
“If only the darn neighbors hadn’t called in so fast, but don’t worry the maids already took care of them, just like there going to take care of you. You see I let them take care of my handywork” “Oh and if you had thought that they had left, they only went to get there dogs. And if you're wondering where they are now, “Lily paused as if for dramatic flourish as the front door behind Detective Howard swung open,” their right behind you.”