The rope was tight, but then it had been tied by a metal gargoyle who, I guessed, didn’t have internal organs to worry about.
“You ok there, doc?” Shal asked.
“As long as I don’t try anything foolish like breathing,” I replied with my stomach quite literally in my mouth in the way that ‘literally’ meant I was making it up for dramatic effect.
“Ah,” he smiled, “you’ll be fine doc. Better to be safe than digested, eh?” He had a point. “First sign of trouble, I’ll yank you back, ok?”
I looked at the size of his chest and arms, “Just don’t yank too hard, I’m rather attached to my legs.”
He grinned a knife drawer grin and I began my cautious approach of the squiddy thing and its gruesome contents. If it detected my presence, it showed no sign whatsoever. I passed a large blood stain on the cobbles and by the time I was next to the tower of green goo and dead guy, I could see another two, one of which was on a ramp leading down to a small dock below.
I walked around the site softly, but it was soon clear that wee squiddy posed little danger anymore – it seemed to have gone into a state of shock. I called Shal over and breathed a sigh of relief as he removed the rope noose threatening to cut me in half.
I looked round at the blood in the yard, “I think there was some sort of struggle here, or the body was moved here at least. I won’t be sure until I can get him out and I have no idea how to do that, I was never top in my squiddy things classes, y’see.”
“Heh, well the sheriff said he was going to speak to Dr Alter about its removal, I guess she’s best placed to administer a giant enema to her pet. You got plans until then?”
Plans? Did I have plans? Do I ever have plans? “Yeah, rounds to do for a start. Patients seem incapable of not getting ill no matter how many times I tell them not to, but what you gonna do, huh?”
He slipped me a grin like a new moon, “A doctor’s gotta do what a doctor’s gotta do, I guess. And you seem to have things in hand so I’ll take my leave and head off in to the wild blue yonder.”
I nodded, “Well thanks for the help. I’ll se you around no doubt.”
He smiled me a smile that could floor a rhino walked off around the corner whistling a crazy tune. There was a sound like someone sawing a double bass in half and wandered off after him to see what it was. He was gone. Just like that. Gone. I scratched my whiskers and muttered “Well I’ll be damned…”
“Indeed, as will we all,” a voice hissed behind me. I spun round but the yard was emptier than a pawn broker’s Christmas stocking. “Ahem” came an annoyed cough near my ankles. I looked down into the into the green eyes and mouse-munching mouth of a tiny evil-looking kitty.
“Dr Alter, I pres…” there as a sharp snick as she flicked a quivering claw at my face. “If you are thinking of saying what I think you are thinking of saying, I would advise you to think again. Now if you don’t mind, I believe I’m needed here to once again prove my own innocence.”
To be continued…
All the “Goodunnit? Murder in Steelhead!” posts can be read here.
Links to other blogs and stories:
1) Sheriif Ortega’s intial desk report is here and here
2) Dr Alter notices the body here and here.
3) Elle reports that the issue was raised at the town hall meeting here.
4) The murder is discussed at the weekly town hall meeting here.