Posts Tagged ‘Ratko Savic’



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.


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.


Plundering On


August 26th, 2010 Posted 9:25 am

“I’ve got a few questions for Ratko Savic,” Bernie said. We were back in that abandoned housing development, Cactus Heights. Bernie went over the questions, kind of hard to follow, something about Astrid knowing Ratko, maybe, or possibly Foster knowing Ratko. And did Albie come up? Tulip? No sense worrying about all that.

Bernie glanced around. “There are so many of these godforsaken places these days. How’s the economy ever going to turn around with all this emptiness?” The economy – was that like our finances? They were a mess. If I haven’t mentioned the Hawaiian pants episode, I’ll do it now. And who could forget the tin futures?

We got out of the car, started walking from house to house. Lots of scraps blew around and weeds grew through the cracked pavements of the driveways. “Ratko’s not doing much of a job when it comes to caretaking,” Bernie said. Then he added something else. I missed whatever it was, on account of a smell I picked up, coming from the next house. Hadn’t I smelled this before, in pretty much this same spot?

“Chet? Where’re you going, big guy?”

Great ID badge yesterday.

And today our thoughts are with Dan and family.


A Little Snack


August 16th, 2010 Posted 8:31 am

“Okay for Chet to have a little snack?” said Uncle Rio. We were back in the Valley, inside Uncle Rio’s bar. Okay for me to have a little snack? There was only one answer to that.

“Well,” Bernie said, “he just had a chew strip and – Chet! Paws off the bar!”


Uncle Rio laughed. “I think he’s hungry. Happen to have half a steak sandwich I can’t finish.”

“Why not?”

“Cholesterol,” Uncle Rio said. “The doc’s giving me a hard time.”

Cholesterol? A new one on me. It zipped through my mind and disappeared. The truth was there was really only one thing on my mind at the moment.

“All right,” Bernie said.

Uncle Rio reached behind the bar, tossed me half a steak sandwich. I caught it – not the first steak sandwich I’d snagged, amigo – and took it under the nearest table. Sometimes it’s nice to snack with a roof over your head.

“Ratko Savic been around?” Bernie said.

“Not lately,” said Uncle Rio. “He got himself a job.”

“What kind of job?”

“Caretaker at Cactus Heights.”

“What’s that?”

“One of those abandoned housing developments,” Uncle Rio said.

“Chet?” said Bernie. “Let’s go, big guy.”

I scarfed up the last morsels and was on my feet, set to go.


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