Jesus Christ, Boy Detective: Doing That Little Thing
by J. Bradley
"Chief, you gotta come see this," Officer Williams yells from the makeshift backstage area.
"When you've seen one coke overdose, you've seen them all," Chief Donaldson yells back. "Let me know when the CSI shows up."
"Sir..." Officer Williams pushes past the blue velvet curtain separating the backstage from the catwalk. "You really need to come see this." Officer Williams parts the curtain. Chief Donaldson sees over Williams' shoulder toned legs on the floor, the calves and knees spattered in blood. He walks through the curtain, looks down.
Chief Donaldson looks at his watch. "It's not too late to give him a call."
"Who?" Chief Donaldson turns, walks away from the body and Officer Williams. "No, really?"
"Everyone always says whenever a case like this comes up that it's too much for him and every time, he proves them wrong."
"Officer Williams, the fastest way to direct traffic for the rest of your career is to finish that sentence. Is that understood?" Officer Williams nods tentatively. "Finish setting up the perimeter. Now." Officer Williams disappears behind the curtain. Chief Donaldson looks up. "Williams is right. This one might be a bit much. Are you sure you want him to solve it?" A lightning bolt strikes through the giant white tent covering the catwalk, landing at Chief Donaldson's feet. The scorched earth spells "YES".
"You really had to pull me out of class for this?" Timmy Hightower sat in Chief Donaldson's office, holding a closed manilla folder.
"Ever heard of Rayne LeBlanc?"
"I know you've been down here long enough to actually soak in some of the local culture."
"The teen supermodel, Rayne LeBlanc, the one pretty much every boy in the world has a crush on, Rayne LeBlanc?"
"Open the folder."
Timmy opens the manilla folder, stares at the crime scene photos. "...her upper torso was found...flayed..." Timmy looks up at Chief Donaldson. "And the skin?"
"Nowhere to be found."
Timmy closes the folder. "Any leads?"
"She's one of the most famous models on the planet. Her frenemies list could populate our town twelve times over. I don't even know where to begin."
"How's the crime scene?"
"Take me there."
Timmy steps around the neon green tape outline of Rayne LeBlanc's body, noticing how the police took extra care to ensure the tape's legs were as shapely as hers. Officer Williams watches Timmy look around the crime scene.
"Was anything moved other than the body, Officer Williams?"
"No. I did my best to make this place look like all time stopped."
"Find any clues?"
"Didn't you read the file, Timmy?" Timmy stops and stares into Officer Williams.
"The file never tells the whole story, Officer. You of all people should know that."
"I'm not going to have a 12-year-old tell me how to do my job." Officer Williams storms past Timmy. "I'll be waiting out here. Just peek your head out when you're done."
Timmy takes a pair of latex gloves out of his back pocket. He opens the drawer in front of where Rayne sat to have her make up done. He lifts a jewel case out of the top drawer. The words on the insert beneath say "I'm Too Sexy" printed on lipstick, with the letters "R - S - F" below.
"Have you heard of this song, Leopold?"
Leopold Franz stops throwing knives across Timmy's crime lab, listens. "I'm...not into...modern music."
"It's catchy. And egotistical. I thought for a moment that Rayne might have been into throwbacks when she walked the catwalk but based on all the video I've watched online, she only walks to upbeat German or French techno."
"You said...it was egotistical. Why?"
Timmy presses a couple of buttons on his keyboard. "The lyrics. 'I'm too sexy for my shirt. Too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it hurts.' No one is that sexy."
"How...was her body found?"
"She was..." Timmy pushes his office chair back, swivels it toward Leopold. "Her upper torso...the skin was missing."
"Do you think...?"
Timmy turns back to the computer, maximizes the browser with the lyrics. "That this is a blueprint?" Timmy's cellphone vibrates on his desk. He picks it up, presses it to his ear.
"I'm sending a squad car to your house. There's something you need to see."
Timmy and Chief Donaldson stand over a tan, muscular man's body, his feet tied to his neck, the flashes from the paparazzi's camera splashing against their back.
"Get those parasites out of here, now!" Chief Donaldson yells. "These animals..."
"Chief, what happened?"
"A couple stepped out of the club to make out and they stumbled onto him."
"Who was he?"
"Sergio Condaana, third sexiest man alive."
"Did you just say 'sexiest'?"
Timmy reaches into his pocket and pulls out a piece of paper. "This club...what music does it play?"
"It's a Donna Summer tribute tonight."
Timmy shoves the paper into Chief Donaldson's hands. "Apparently he was too sexy for this party. There was no way he was disco dancing."
"What's...Timmy, what's going on?"
"When I took a look around at the scene where Rayne was found, I found a CD titled "I'm Too Sexy".
"So...Rayne was too sexy for her shirt?"
"And Sergio was too sexy for this party."
"But if these lyrics establish a pattern, then there would have to have been more deaths than these two."
"Chief, who knows how to track the movements of any famous person the best?" Chief Donaldson looks over his shoulder at the wall of flashing lights and questions.
"I'm going to call Interpol to see what leads I can get. Based on..." An explosion cuts off Donaldson. The paparizzi stop and run toward the chaos.
"Chief, what kind of car did Sergio drive?"
"A hand polished silver Bentley."
"Would you give the lyrics back please?" Chief Donaldson hands the page back to Timmy. "It looks like that most likely, someone is going to be too sexy for their hat. My best guess is that the next victim will be scalped or beheaded, probably a prominent hair model."
"I'll get back to the station right away. It's morning in Europe right now. I'll call you as soon as I find out what's going on."
"Johan...are you ready with my goat milk conditioner? You know how I must have it to ensure my hair looks its very best."
"Oh, don't worry," the shadow whispers before placing a gloved hand on the shoulder of the person sitting in the barber's chair. "You'll look your..." The chair turns, revealing a boy wearing a New York Mets cap, holding a digital recorder.
"Hello, Mr. Towns," Timmy says. The man takes a step back.
"How did you..."
"Your girlfriend left you three years ago because of your career as a paparazzi. You were deported out of Italy last year for your behavior at Fashion Week, charged with possession with intent to sell in Manhattan three months ago, skipped out on bail. My theory is that you are killing all of these models to get your girlfriend back in your arms."
"Who...you won't stop me, you little..."
Timmy jumps on top of the barber's chair and then at Mr. Towns, spinning in mid air. The instep of Timmy's right foot connects with Mr. Towns' jaw, his head and neck twisting to the right. Timmy sweeps Mr. Towns' legs from beneath him, stomps his crotch for good measure. Leopold jumps out of the closet, two throwing knives in hand.
"You got him," Leopold asks.
"Yeah, Uncle Leo, I got him." Timmy pants, takes off his hat to wipe his brow. "Where he's going, he'll have plenty of time to shake that little tush on the catwalk."
J. Bradley is the author of the upcoming novella Bodies Made of Smoke (Housefire 2012). He lives at iheartfailure.net.