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Baby’s First Noir Part Two

Baby’s First Noir
Part 2

Billy the Badger had been on the force longer than he cared to remember. He had seen some horrible things in his time, even worse than the site that was before him now. That hadn’t made it any better, remembering the things that were worse than this. The smell was the worst part, particularly when it was a furred animal like this. If one of those stupid toads smashed their cars and got burned to death, that was bad, but at least there wasn’t the stench of burning fur.

“You I.D. him yet?” Billy asked one of the officers, a small bird of some variety.

“It’s Chirpy the Chipmunk sir.” The bird chirped. “We found his wallet, but the M.E. wants to make a full examination of teeth before making a formal say.”

“Yeah.” Billy said, stroking his long snout. “He should.”

Someone had called it in, to complain about the screaming. That was disgusted Billy the most. The screams had to be pretty terrifying, the sound of an animal being burned to death, but they had only called to get someone to tell him to shut up. It was one of the things Billy hated about this forest. He was counting the days until his retirement, when he could move to the city and live like a sensible animal. He hated this forest, and its rotten heart.

“We have a motive yet?”

“Well, it’s Chirpy sir.” The bird said. “What sort of motive do you want? He was going to end up dead at some point.”

“Enlighten me.” Billy said. “I’ve worked homicide my whole life.”

“Right sir.” The bird nodded.

Billy realized as the bird told him a story about petty crime and repeated visits to several pens that he had no idea who this officer was. Billy was going to have to check the marking to even know what kind of bird this was and the hat prevented that. He couldn’t even tell if it was a male or female officer. He knew he was too old, and he shouldn’t think like this, but all these little birds looked more or less the same to him.

“So you see sir,” The bird, who probably has a name like ‘Nibbles the Nitwark’ or something wrapped up the tale, “Someone probably got mad at him for something.”

“Burning an animal alive is pretty nasty though.” Billy said.

“He’s dealt with some pretty nasty animals, sir.” The bird shrugged.

“Evening Billy.” Capt. Stout the Stoat said as he approached. “Hello Farley. What have we got?”

He was an old stoat, no longer able to wriggle down narrow holes because of his current waistline, but a thoroughly sensible animal. Billy liked him because he had served on the force for as long as Billy had, and they had seen some things together during the war. He also liked that Stout had a cup of coffee in each hand and that he handed one over to Billy. The fact that it was one cream and on sugar was simply icing on the cake of friendship.

“Black one sugar, right Farley?” Stout asked as he handed the other cup the bird.

“Right.” Farley said. “Thank you sir.”

“Farely?” Billy asked.

“Farley Finch sir.” The bird saluted. “Sorry I didn’t introduce myself before.”

“It’s fine.” Billy said. “I’m just relieved it wasn’t Foamy or Fluffy or something.”

“No problem sir.” Farley said.

“Anything stolen from the victim’s home?” Stout asked.

“Hard to say Captain Stout.” Farley answered quickly. “His place was a hell of a mess to begin with, his parole officer is up there looking around now.”

“It seems that there is a lot of nuts in his place that didn’t belong to him.” Billy added. “The chipmunks have been active most the autumn as I understand it.”

“Yeah, but they’re rarely your problem.” Stout said lighting a cigarette. “Someone must have disliked him a hell of a lot.”

“You think it’s Big Tony?” Billy asked, looking at his captain with a sidelong glance.

“Nothing big happened recently.” Stout said. “Or is that the point?”

“I’m just thinking out loud.” Billy said. “But the last time we almost got a hold of him because we got that ferret just as the job was done. Maybe he’s trying to clear up the workers before the job’s been pulled.”

“Or Chirpy screwed Big Tony on a job? Maybe he didn’t pay him off enough.”

“What about that sir?” Farley asked, looking at something near the toadstool. “Someone left an acorn. Might be a sign for someone.”

“Or it could have just dropped.” Stout suggested.

“No good to think like that.” Billy said picking up the acorn and having a look at it. “Just a normal acorn though.”

“Might be a clue.” Farley said.

“Maybe.” Billy said, more to himself. “You say it looks like nothing was taken from Chirpy’s place?”

“I said it looks like nothing was taken, but it’s hard to tell.” Farley said, sipping at his coffee.

“What are you thinking Billy?” Stout asked.

“Not sure sir.” Billy said absently as he slipped the acorn into his pocket. “Just have a feeling, that’s all. Let’s run any active case where Chirpy was suspected, maybe we can turn up someone with a serious grudge.”

“That could take all week sir.” Farley said. “And I’ve got to be on my way south soon.”

“Yeah?” Billy asked. “Oh, right, winter. Well, you didn’t become a cop for the money or the sex, you became a cop so you could wade through piles of paper work. So let’s do that.”

“Right sir.” Farley saluted and flew away towards police headquarters.

“This is going end up being nasty.” Billy said to Stout. “Mark my words.”

“You’re sure?” Stout asked.

“If there’s anything I know about this dirty old forest, it’s that a crime is always about to happen, and that things can always get worse.”

“That’s why I like you Billy.” Stout commented. “You’re like a shaft of sunlight that breaks through clouds of despair.”

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March 28, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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