Posts Tagged ‘Cactus Heights’



September 8th, 2010 Posted 8:48 am

“Who’s your client?” said Lt. Stine. He was in a bad  mood.

“You know I can’t tell you that,” Bernie said. He was in a bad mood, too.

But not me. I was in a great mood, pretty close to tip-top. A big fat sun was shining down from a blue sky, but it wasn’t as hot as it had been and I got the feeling the real hot heat was over for another year. That made me hungry for some reason. No food in sight, but I was happy to wait. And if not happy, at least willing. For a while. Not a long one.

“We got a dead body here, and another one up in Vegas,” Lt. Stine said. “Did you report that one or did it somehow slip through the cracks?”

“I called it in,” Bernie said. “There was no time to stick around.”

Lt. Stine gave him a long look. “This is a two way street.”

I glanced at the street. No traffic at all. This was Cactus Heights, abandoned. My mood changed on me, dropping down from almost tip-top. I wanted to be somewhere else.


A Friendly Encounter


September 2nd, 2010 Posted 10:36 am

Some humans don’t have happy faces. Lt. Stine was one of them. Others do have happy faces. Take Bernie, for example, most of the time. Or at least some of the time. Charlie has a real happy face. So does Suzie. If humans had tails, hers would be … But forget all that. What was happening now, inside the stripped-down house in Cactus Heights, was Lt. Stine turning his unhappy face on Bernie and saying, “I hate when this happens.”

“Murder?” said Bernie.

“Not so much that. What I hate is being kept in the dark.”

“I hate that, too,” Bernie said.

“The difference,” said Lt. Stine, “is that I’m the law and you aren’t.”

That was the only difference between Bernie and Lt. Stine, whatever it was they were talking about? Whoa! There were big differences between them, starting with their smells, Bernie’s being the best human smell ever, and Lt. Stine’s being just so-so, a little too much like potatoes, if you want my opinion. And then there was the happy face thing, and how about their voices? The next thing I knew I’d sidled over to Lt. Stine and was giving his leg a kind of nudge.

“Chet?” Bernie said.

“It’s all right,” said Lt. Stine, giving me a pat. “I’ve got no issue with Chet.”

My tail started wagging. Had to like Lt. Stine, unhappy face, potato smell and all.


Pop Pop Pop (Revised)


August 31st, 2010 Posted 9:25 am

“I don’t like this,” Bernie said. “Not one bit.” He opened the closet door.

It was a deep closet, with space for this long bubble-wrapped package lying on the floor. Once I walked across some bubble wrap and pop-pop-popping sounds happened. I don’t like bubble wrap. Inside this particular bubble wrap there was a human body, not alive – the smell proved that. The face was all pressed out of shape by the bubble wrap.

“Damn it,” Bernie said. “It’s Astrid for sure.”

He bent down, started unwrapping around the face part. I’d never seen Astrid, but this wasn’t her, because it wasn’t even a woman. It was a pointy-nosed man I’d seen before. My memory of perps’ faces, especially the faces of perps who’d tried a little knife play on us, was pretty good.

“Ratko,” Bernie said.

Decatur Book Festival this weekend. PA at the Old Courthouse, Saturday 12-12:45; Spence at Ballroom B in the Conference Center, Saturday 5:30-6:15.


Getting Started


August 30th, 2010 Posted 9:06 am

We moved through the abandoned house in Cactus Heights, side by side, which is how Bernie and I do these things even though deep down I prefer to be first. There was nothing inside except bare walls and bare floors with big holes here and there. “That’s where thieves took the wiring and the copper pipes,” Bernie said. “Like we’re living in some third world … ” His voice trailed off. Were we looking for wiring and copper thieves? We’d had a copper case once before, involving a mine and some gunplay, the rest of it pretty dim in my mind.

But meanwhile I was just following the smell. It led through a big room, down a hall, into a small room and to a closet. Bernie sniffed the air. I love when he does that! “You smell anything, Chet?” That Bernie! Who wouldn’t love him? I stood by the closet door. Open it up, Bernie, let’s get started.


The Books

powered by wordpress | site by michael baker digital