The Clown, the Drug Ring, and the Wardrobe
Chapter IIIThey entered the study a few minutes later. He may have only been a landlord, but where he was killed could only be described as regal. The walls were covered with lovely oil paintings that rested on a gorgeous deep blue wall paper. Even the shelves, that held what seemed like thousands of books were particularly elegant. The horrible sight that ruined the room was spread before them.
The plump Mr. Leonard Gaffen sat on his desk chair with his head knocked back and a single bullet hole between his now soulless eyes. John was almost too wrapped up in the sight to see his sister swallow, “Oh my, Flo, I didn’t even think. Let me get someone to take you-“
“It’s fine.” She answered half-heartedly, “I worked for cybercrimes and sometimes helped the local police with their crimes back in New York. I’ve seen enough.” She did not mean for her voice to carry a sad tone. Flo had not even met the man face to face but she could not help but feel sorry for him. Sherlock began to analyze the body with her brother and decided that she would better go into work mode.
“Now tell me, Ms. Watson.” Sherlock’s voice came from behind the chair, “What can you tell me about this crime?” He was still slightly impressed with the skills she had revealed downstairs and wanted to know if she could also apply it to scenes rather than people.
She walked further into the room and looked at the fatal gunshot wound, “The bullet hole is clean and precise…”
“Implying?” Sherlock asked. Flo knew that the man was trying to lead her. Being the girl she was, she was not going to let him treat her like he was all knowing.
“I don’t need you to lead me Mr. Holmes.” She stated firmly.
“Fine, then continue.”
“The attacker knew what they were doing. There aren’t any sights that the hand holding the gun was shaking…”
“and the gunman shot from a relatively short distance from the victim and didn’t flinch…”
“The attacker was a professional or had done this before,” she looked at the door that she and John had walked in, “There aren’t any sights of forced entry from what I saw so Mr. Gaffen obviously let whoever it was in with his own free will.”
Sherlock nodded satisfied with her answer until she commented. “I didn’t know he was a clown, though.”
John sighed, “Flo, respect for the dead please!”
“No, no see his face paler than the rest of his body, possibly after years of putting on the make-up. And around the nose, there are these little marks formed by the constant wearing of what could be a clown nose.”
The consulting detective’s eyes widened a bit as he scanned room and came to same conclusion as Flo. “Did you find anything peculiar in is wardrobe?” she asked.
“If you’re talking about a rainbow afro or size 25 clown shoes…NO!.” Lestrade answered sarcastically.
Without warning Sherlock walked up to the bookcase behind the body and began pushing it to the side, “That’s… because… you’re… looking… in the wrong place.” John and Flo ran to help Sherlock with the large bookcase and after a brief effort it was moved to reveal a rather zany wardrobe.
“Well, that’s… odd.” John said slowly still processing the contrast between the regal study room and the awfully tacky array of clothing behind the bookcase.
His sister and Sherlock were the first to enter. They grabbed the outfits and checked the tags only to see a neon smiley face. “All printed with the same symbol.” Flo remarked.
“Clown fetish and a professional assassin.” Sherlock muttered on his way out. Flo was the only one who expected the man to come back, “Did he just leave us?”
John sighed, “You’ll get used to it, now come on.”
When the Watson siblings left the crime scene, Sherlock was long gone. John assumed that the madman had gone back to their flat so he struggled to hail cab. It was not as hard as it normally was, though, since his sister was the one doing it.
They sat in the cab awkwardly facing each other. “So thank you for the jumper, again.” John began giving her a sad smile. It had just occurred to both of them that Flo had been thrown into John and Sherlock’s mystery solving world without as much as a proper reunion.
She grinned, “No problem, Johnny.”
“Although I would’ve preferred if the exchange didn’t occur at a crime scene, though.”
They laughed, filling what had once been an awkward silence.
“Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be able to get my luggage back so you can’t actually wear it until they process it.” Flo chuckled.
As soon as the conversation ended, the awkward silence returned. No normal pair of siblings would ever find themselves meeting at a crime scene.
“So,” the younger Watson attempted to keep the conversation going, “You two solve crimes together then? I never took you as a Scooby Doo detective type.”
John sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, “Yes, well neither did I but I needed to take my mind off…” He did not have to finish. Flo knew what the war did to soldiers and their families, cracked and broke them both physically and emotionally. The suspense she felt as she waited for some news on her brother’s wellbeing nagged at her for quite some time. She buried herself in her studies and work. It scared her to think that John would come back, a shell of his former self.
Now that she saw him, though, she was thankful for his luck. He looked somewhat normal, well except for the slight psychosomatic limp that she had noticed and decided not to point out when he walked into the crime scene.
“It’s been good for me. Solving cases and all.” John said. Flo saw the he looked to her for some sort of approval so she pats his back reassuringly, “I’m glad.”