holidazed

                                                                                              Chapter 1

 

            I pushed the remnants of my meal toward the center of the table and sighed, “I’m telling you, big guy, that was one heck of a feed. Thank you.”

            The big guy in question was my housemate and partner in my two man Private Investigator operation, Franklin Amadeus Jackson. Frankie, as he preferred to be called was also an ex-drag queen, a raging pop culture sponge and a master in the kitchen. He was also a black man the size of your top NFL lines who wore a size 16 pump when he could find them.

            We were in the final stages of a tremendous Thanksgiving feast and entering that wonderful tryptophan doziness the holiday is known for when someone started hammering on my front door.

            “Don’t get up,” I said to my guests. Paul Verona and his highly significant other, Ursula Ignatova were still busy picking away what little remained of the bird and the side dishes, so I wasn’t even sure they heard me. My delightfully significant other Alcina, the botanical garden’s Doctor of all things leafy, patted her belly and said, “Don’t worry, I won’t.”

            Frankie waved me along, “Go get the door Tony, I’ll man the kitchen. Tell whoever it is there’s still pie.”

            I thought as I headed down the hallway, “Not if Paul and Ursula have anything to say about it”. Both of them together were still smaller than I was, much less Frankie and they could pack it away like an entire team of competitive eaters. I think the food burnt up on reentry into their stomach.

            The hammering continued. “I’m coming, I’m coming!” I shouted. “Give it a rest, will ya?”

            The stained glass inset in my front door is colorful, but it only allows you to see silhouettes, not whoever is on the porch. So I was rather surprised to see Pat Monahan, Metro Police Captain standing there when I opened the door.

            “Pat,” I said.

            He looked at me with an expression every writer would have called haunted. “Mandolin,” he rasped, “You gotta come to the station… now.”

            I glanced back at the kitchen and then said to Pat, “I’ve got guests Pat. For God’s sake, it’s Thanksgiving. Why are you with your family right now?”

            He pushed past me, saying, “Right. Who’s here, is it Bain? God, we could really use a wizard on this deal.”

            “Wait. Pat?  What the hell is going on? Are you all right?” I followed him to the kitchen, not one of my questions even making a dent.

            I arrived in the kitchen right on his heels, but he was already disappointed. He ran his hand through his white and ginger hair, muttering, “Damn. Just Jackson and the squints. No help at all.”

            “What’s going on? What’s wrong?” Frankie, Paul, Ursula and Alcina all asked at once.

            “I’ll tell you what’s going on,” Monahan grated, “The damned police station’s haunted and whatever it is, it’s tearing the place to shreds.”

                                                                                      ♦          ♦          ♦