Blood on Valentine’s Day
The rain poured out unceasingly, thunders filled the atmosphere and lightning lit up the skies. The street looked empty, few passing cars broke the silent darkness. On the distance, traffic lights blinked dimly unable to cope with the falling rain. Water splashed over the sidewalk each time tires ran over the traffic lights; none of the drivers obeyed the red ray. In a bad weather like that, all lights meant the same “Drive through”. No rules, just common sense.
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The small town looked like a death pond, filled with engulfing and raging water, which sooner or later sunk to its bottom. Lights were off by the bad weather; a giant tree collapsed and befell electric cables. Darkness covered the place as if the buildings started to fade away.
Inside a small apartment room, agent Bryan was staring at his glass windows. He watched the sliding water on his windows with great interest. “Water goes to the lower places, that is a natural law” said He “however, nowadays technology makes water able to refute its law.” He wondered how man could change natural laws, and even violated rules for their own purposes. I started to like the idea “Rules are made to be violated.” He talked to himself.
“Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, unluckily the weather is bad, we hope you all enjoy the time with your loved ones despite the weather. Keep safe.” Agent Bryan turned off the radio. He forgot that day was Valentine’s Day. It was a long time ago he enjoyed that kind of love day, this time no more. His job made him busy, and almost for five years he had not dated any women. “I just had not found the right woman” said he assuring himself whenever a friend asked him about his love life.
He was a busy police officer; working even on holidays. That was the main reason his girlfriend left him, on the Valentine’s Day. She needed attention while he could not afford giving it. He just had no time for love. The bad weather, somehow was a relief; he had a total resting hours. He thought of going to bed early. He washed his feet and arms, then brushed his teeth and climbed on his bed. He hugged his pillows “I miss you all.” His work had kept him of having enough sleep and most of the time he spent his resting hours in his office.
He was close to his cup of coffee than his pillows, but he loved the later more. He was about to close his eyes when his personal phone rang. With halfheartedly he peeked at his phone screen. “Oh no, come on” said he “Can’t I even rest?” His fellow called him. No choice but answering the call. “Bryan, sorry to disturb you, we have a case.” Said the man on the line. “Meet me at the office, see ya.” He ended the conversation with a pale smile and uninterested tone. “Who in the hell is doing crime on day full of love?’ said he “Unbelievable!!”
Mr. Abon was holding a large picture depicting the crime scene. On the picture, a lifeless woman leaned forward with head down against the round table. Her right arm held tight a cup as if trying to tell something about her strange death while her left fingers grabbed her Samsung. Black liquid flew out of her mouth, flooded the table. “This is it” said Mr. Abon. From distance, steps were approaching. Mr. Abon was still analyzing the picture he just received a moment ago. He decided to call his partner, though the weather was unfriendly he knew they had to solve the case or someone would force them to. Someone opened the office door.
“What’s it Abon?” ask the man “are we going to chase some under-age lovers in this stormy night?” The man took a seat and sat down lazily. He did not like his resting hours disturbed. “Love kills Bryan, you know it” said Mr. Abon joking. “not a day for murder.” He handed the picture to his partner.
“O my God” said Bryan “She is the governor’s daughter.” Mr Bryan took the picture closer to his eyes. “The governor must be very upset hearing the news.” Mr. Abon shook his head “We had not informed him, we still kept it secret.” Bryan rubbed his own head, and scratched his thick black hair. “It is a must?” said he staring directly into Mr. Abon’s eyes. “No choice, we won’t ruin the night.” Bryan closed his eyes unable to believe what was happening. The night has been ruined before the crime. Damn weather.
Bryan and Mr. Abon drove through the raging rain. The thick falling water hindered their drive view, few times Bryan went off the road riding over the cemented parts of the sidewalks. Mr Abon looked worried. They might not have chance solving their case because they died before arriving at the scene. Mr. Abon thought more about their safety than their case.
On the scene, police were securing the place with yellow police line. It actually was not necessary for few people were around; the restaurant owner, his staffs, few lovers and the police officers themselves. Police wandered over the space like rats looking for invisible food that they smelled. They found nothing but still searched the crime scene. “Where are our detectives?” said an officer “Hope not disturb their date.” Laughter broke the rigid feeling. “Maybe they use Umbrella to romanticize the night” said another officer. They laughed over someone funeral.
Bryan and Mr. Abon arrived at the restaurant with a strange feeling. They felt like hungry than solving the at- hand -problem. “Star Restaurant, the same place, the same celebration” said Bryan “the memory is still fresh.” Mr. Abon gave a pale smile and padded his friend’s shoulder. He knew what happened to Bryan. Star Restaurant, was the place where Bryan’s perception of love changed for once, for a lifetime. “Glad to see you detectives” said an officer who threw a joke before. Bryan and Mr. Abon gave an indifferent gesture; a detective behavior. They walked closer to the scene. There, over the table a rigid human body leaning over the table. “Just like the picture” said Mr. Abon “They haven’t touched anything.” They examined the body.
The lifeless body leaned over the table. The lady’s right arm held a cup and the left arm grabbed a Samsung. Then black liquid flew out of her wide-open mouth, apparently looked like the drink inside the cup she held. “Take the sample” said Mr. Abon pointing at the spilled drink. A officer took the sample using a small tube, sucking the fluid. “Do an immediate lab check” said Mr. Abon.
Bryan examined the body. Her opened mouth, and spilled drink indicated she had been poisoned. It’s hard to believe a man poisoned a lady on Valentine’s Day. Bryan inspected the restaurant owner, Mr. Brandon a man in his thirty. He narrated the story “she arrived at the restaurant around 5 pm. She order drink and sat waiting for someone. She called someone with high tone, they seemed to have fight and threw her phone to the floor, you can see her phone, it’s broken.” Bryan listened to the man attentively. The man continued “Then, few minutes later, a man, apparently her lover, came in. They had mouth fight; not like to worsen the atmosphere, the man left this place. later we found out she leaned over the table, dead. He must poisoned her” Bryan nodded “Thank You.”
He extended his arm reaching toward the Samsung. The phone was broken, scratches on its surface, but it was still on. He turned on the key pod, unlocked the screen. He checked the calls, she had called someone name James. There was a new message on the inbox. He opened and read the text.
*Sorry, coming late, Quicksilver is coming* Mr. Abon came close and peeked at the screen. “Silver Queen on Valentine is common, it is just like two sides of a coin.” Said Mr. Abon “Teenagers consider it sweet, to sweet to destroy their teeth.” Bryan rose his right hand “Spectacles please, Quicksilver is not a chocolate.” Mr. Abon looked at him with strange and curious look and set his eyeglasses. Then he realized his mistake. “But what is wrong with Quicksilver? It is a brand for shoes and sandals, her boyfriend might bring gifts, you know, women loves shoes and sandals.”
Bryan had something else in his mind. “Abon, Quicksilver is another name for mercury.” Mr. Abon was surprised by the term. “Mercury?” said he “But mercury could not kill someone in little amount, it took a pool of mercury to kill human.” Bryan nodded, Mr. Abon was right, mercury could not kill her. He reexamined the scene. The lady vomited, she had to be poisoned. Bryan knelt down and examine under the table. He examined the floor and found something. “Someone poisoned her” said he to his partner. Mr. Abon holding a piece of food. Mr. Abon looked at it. “It is a mushroom, and this is a mushroom restaurant, what is special about it?”
Bryan took a long breath, gathered power to proclaim what he had in mine. “This is Dead Cap or known to scientist as Amanita Phalloides, a number 1 killer mushroom, this plant looks similar to Amalita Velosa and Amalita Calyptroderma, edible mushroom. It can kill immediately, especially in huge-amount-intake.” Mr. Abon covered his opened mouth, unable to believe what he heard.
“Is there such a killing mushroom?” Bryan winked his eyebrow. “Wanna try?” Bryan approached the restaurant owner. “You’ve lied to us Mr. Brandon, she ordered both drink and foods. I found this.” The man looked scared by the piece of mushroom on Bryan’s palm. “You have planned all of this. You asked your chef to cook Death Cap and served it to Catrin.” He looked directly to the ma’s eyes. He was guilty.
Bryan asked the chef who cooked that night to come over. He told Bryan that Mr. Brandon gave him personally the mushrooms to cook. He did not know if the mushroom was Death Cap for they looked like the edible ones. One thing he was curious about was Mr. Brandon told him to serve it only to Catrin. He just followed the order.
Bryan pulled Mr. Brandon closer to the frozen body. He looked sweaty, and trembled. “After consuming the Death Cap you knew she would vomit, and you tried to cleanse the table and poured the drink over the table as if it flew out of her mouth. One mistake, a fatal mistake, a piece of mushroom felt down and was not on your sight.” Mr. Brandon remained silent.
“How about the phone?” said an officer. Mr. Abon made a small cough. “Mr. Brandon smashed the phone to the floor, but unfortunately it doesn’t broke at once. He lied saying that Catrin threw the phone to the floor. He was making a story.” He looked at Bryan with wide smile. He felt proud of his explanation.
“Arrest him” said Mr. Abon. “Wait!” said a man, a restaurant staff. “If he smashed and poured the drink why none of our customers saw him.” All of the diners claimed not seeing Mr. Brandon. “None could see him when the light was off. Looked over there, at the half burnt candles. They were using candles to light up the restaurant.” Said Bryan.“Don’t they have emergency lights or generator?” said an officer. “The machine is not working.” Said one of the staff. Mr. Brandon did not say anything, he might claim the right to remain silence during inspection.
“If they couldn’t see him, at least the diners could her the sound of Samsung when he smashed the phone to the floor.” Said a staff. “Mr. Brandon did not tell us the whole story” said Bryan “ he escaped to the his personal office over there with the mushroom left over. An officer took two bowls and showed it to everybody. “We found it on Mr. Brandon personal office trash can.” Bryan looked at everybody’ eyes trying to convince them. “He smashed the phone inside his office, and threw the two bowls into the trash can. He said that Catrine threw her phone against the floor, a cover-up story. Smart, but not enough.”
Bryan moved closer to the body, lifted up the weak right arm and pressed his index finger against her joint. Everyone stared at him with disbelief, the detective checked a dead human pulse. Then he examined her body with curiosity. Mr. Abon had let Bryan spoke most of the time, it was the time for him to take turn. “Mr. Brandon, explain it in my office” said he. Police officer grabbed Mr. Brandon and dragged him away. “Should I inform the governor about this?” said Mr. Abon. Bryan shook. “No, Catrin is not dead, but unconscious” The whole company got shock by the news.
“Lab examination shows that the liquid was a liquor; Catrin ordered drink from time to time while waiting for her lover. When he got here she was already drank. They had a mouth fight for that, later she got unconscious because of the alcohol.” Said Bryan confidently “About her big tummy, she is pregnant.” Everyone was put into awe. One diner lower his nose to the cup and smell the content. “It is coke, how come you said she had drunk alcohol?” Mr. Abon showed up. “We found this on Mr. Brandon trash can along with the bowls. The cup smelled alcohol. “She ordered it” said a waiter “ many times.”
“But she looked like dead?” said the same diner. “Actually if you see closer, you’ll find out that her nose is up and down. A sleeping beauty.” the officers laughed, except the civilians, felt tricked and fooled.
“Mr. Brandon is still guilty of murder.” Said Bryan “He just missed his target and hit another person.” The listeners was stricken with surprise again. “Jonatan, Catrin’s Boyfriend is found dead on his car. Just 1 miles away. Laboratory confirms that he was poisoned, Dead Cap.”
“Impossible” said the crowd at once. Bryan was about to speak when Mr. Abon interrupted “ Catrin was too drunk to dine, so Jonatan consumed the two bowls, he seemed to enjoy the mushroom. Greed kills, but at least he saved his lover’s and his baby’s life.” “During his dine, they had mouth fight, that was the time Jonatan threw a piece of mushroom toward his lover, the piece that gave an answer to this case.” Said Bryan “The reason for this murder, Catrin rejected Mr. Brandon on last Valentine’s night. In this same place. Truly love kills.” How do you know the story” said an officer. “I was here at the same night and the same time.” The officer was not satisfied by the answer. “Why does Catrin come again to this restaurant?” Bryan stared at the officer “a future detective, Catrin loves mushroom very much and this is the only restaurant that serves mushroom.” No more question risen.
Later Bryan instructed some officers to wait for Catrin to get up. “Let’s go Mr. Brandon.” He, Mr. Abon, and two police officers went out dragging Mr. Brandon. “The diners may go home, just don’t forget to pay, Mr. Brandon needs it to pay his workers” said an officer joking. The diners went out following the officers after paying their meal.
Bryan went out the place with ease. “The same place, the same celebration.” said he “Last time I went out head down, but today I walked head up.” Mr. Abon tapped his friend shoulder. “I love you man” said Mr. Abon. “What is that supposed to be?” said Bryan. Everybody laughed.
Thank you for taking the time
( Tiopanus )