Miss Nose is attending An Evening Affair with Today’s Top Journalist. It is a black tie fund-raising event for the local Autism Awareness Chapter 256. They honor journalist with awards for their help in bringing light to autism. The chapter helps local autistic spectrum citizens with any special need allowing them to work or go to school in a normal capacity. Tonight’s dinner is roast beef, chicken, and all the sides you can think of. Miss Nose’s favorite is salad with ranch dressing. `
Miss Nose helped to create a yearly fashion show with local fashion designers judging autistic children’s designs. All schools were given the requirements for what the judges would base their criteria on. Several of the designs get made at the local clothing factory and then sold at the mall. The money goes straight to the chapter and a portion to the one who designs the article of clothing. Miss Nose loves this show so much, it fills her with pride whenever she discusses it. You can always see the sparkle in her eyes whenever this show is given any attention at all. The past five years of doing the show, has given inspiration to three of the finalists to make their own clothing line and one has gone international.
This year Miss Nose was in line for an award with another person. It was down to the two of them in the final judging for the award naming the Autistic Supporter of the Year. The other person in line is a high school acquaintance. They used to hang around together once in a while and often attended the same functions. Miss Nose knows him well, even though they didn’t associate much anymore. His name is Samuel Livingstone. He created a special magazine for the local autistic community called, Illusion. It covers everything the community is involved in along with health, fitness, fashion, and other articles. He even has a section in the magazine for caregivers of autistic people. Miss Nose has written articles for his magazine before usually about the fashion show and those who have won.
The night is filled with stars shining brightly and the smell of food waffles through the night around the House of Ludington. Miss Nose is nervous and excited about this night. She wants to win but feels bad at the same time. She likes Samuel and his magazine. His charity is a great one. She is enjoying dancing with George. They are having a great time and Miss Nose is giggling most likely from the bubbly.
Miss Nose has a wonderful conversation with an Ambassador about clothing.
“They really make the women wear that atrocity?” She asks him with eye brows raised as in doubt.
“They sure do and they stone any woman not wearing it.” he adds to the information.
“I just can’t believe any woman would even allow that?” she says surprised. “I sure wouldn’t want that on me! That is horrible looking and looks like it could be horribly uncomfortable and hot.”
“You sound like all the women at the embassy.” the ambassador laughs heartily.
The party winds down for the awards ceremony. After this, everyone goes home either a winner or a loser. Music, food, dancing, fun, great fashion, and now the award she has been waiting for. Miss Nose and Samuel are both called to the stage and the podium. Both give an amazing speech about their charity and what it does for the Autistic community. This is the cat’s meow for any one volunteering for this endowment. Miss Nose is hoping she is a winner this year. The last award of the night is the Autistic Supporter of the Year! Miss Nose is holding her breath. She hears her name and Samuel Livingstone. Then she hears:
“And the award goes to!” There is a drum roll as Amanda Steele opens the envelope. “SAMUEL LIVINGSTONE!” she announces excitedly. Miss Nose is disappointed but happy that Sam got the award. Sam made an excellent speech and it was time to leave.
“Congratulations Sam.” Miss Nose smiled at him as she is leaving.
“Thank you Emerald. I am sorry it wasn’t you.”
“So am I but I am very happy you won! You so deserve it. That magazine of yours is the best.”
“Thank you. I know your fashion articles help me. Every time I have one of your articles, the magazine sells every copy. You are amazing.”
“Yes I am!” Miss Nose smiled hugely. She knows she is definitely the cat’s meow in town.
Miss Emerald Nose watches as Samuel Michael Livingstone drives away. She has a huge smile on her face and is shaking hands with State officials, local news, local celebrities, and then finds herself giving a deep sigh. She turns to look over the Bay of Lake Michigan and sees the Northern Lights dancing in a beautiful shade of green with yellow, blue, and violet stripes. She is always amazed when she sees the Northern Lights this far South. Usually they are only over Lake Superior but it seems like tonight they are dancing just for Miss Nose!
Sam Livingstone got in his 2016 Cadillac Ciel convertible and thanked the valet. The convertible is black with gold trim. He loves this color and the olive wood placed inside. The car reminded him of a 1950’s style vehicle with a bit of space age design. The whole car gave him an ego boost like no other. It makes him feel like a King with the best steed. He put his award gently on the passenger seat and smiled. This is the best day of his life and he can’t wait to put the award on his desk. He starts his can and turns it in the direction of his home. The drive isn’t long. He hit his road in 10 minutes and made his way down the darkened street behind the high school. He bought one of those brand new big houses they just built. They looked like mansions. It wasn’t on Lake Shore Drive where the old money was, but this, this was better than those homes plus his taxes weren’t as high.
Sam slid his Ciel into his driveway and hit the button to open his garage. The car slowly moved into the garage. Sam hit the button once more and the door closed behind him. Sam got out of his car and grabbed his new award. He smiled at it once more as he walked up to the door and opened it. The garage door doesn’t have a lock on it so it is easy to open from the garage. It leads into the most elegant kitchen one has ever seen. Stainless steel appliances with a black (or charcoal gray as some call it) floor, and the walls are the perfect shade of red with white trim.
From the kitchen one walks into the dining room and then into the living room. The house is like a complete circle since the living room leads to a bathroom that connects to the kitchen.
Sam goes to the bar he created in his living room, then sets his award upon it. He pours himself a brandy and sits in his comfy recliner. He put his trophy down on the end table so he could admire it. He looks a moment at his nicely colored green wall and then to his very white ceiling and lets out a long breath. He closes his eyes for just a brief minute when he hears the door bell ringing.
Sam gets up slowly and sets down his brandy. He walks to the front door which is in the dining room area, and opens the door. To his surprise, he sees someone standing there he knows.
“What are you doing here?” he says to the person at the door. “I guess you can come in.” Sam opens the door wide and lets the person in. They walked to the living room. Sam heads to his brandy and recliner. As he goes to sit down, the person grabs Sam’s award and hits him upon the head with it knocking Sam straight to the floor.
The person grabs Sam by his feet and drags him to the garage. Sam is dragged right to the trunk of his beloved Ciel. He is placed inside his trunk. The trunk door slams shut, the Ciel starts up, and backs out of the garage. The Ciel drives to Highway 41 and then down Ludington Street to Sam’s office. The Ciel is parked in the garage and Sam is dragged from his trunk up to the fourth floor of the office building. The person then goes back to the car and retrieves the award, places it in the perfect spot. The person then sets up the scene.
Molly MacKentzi parks her car for a full day working at Sam Livingstone’s, Illusion. She loves meeting everyone coming into the office. Today, a handful of local high school teens with autism are scheduled to tour Sam’s office. Molly grabs the cupcakes and pop from the car. Carrying it to the parking garage elevator, she smiles. She can’t wait for Sam to see the design the hens made. Kondictoria is the rage throughout all of Escanaba. Everyone just loves their food. As Molly walks toward the elevator, she takes a peek at Sam’s parking space. “Oh good. He is here.” she thinks.
Molly stops at the elevator, pushes the button, and is amazed the doors slide right open. “That is a first”, she thinks. She moves into the space, pushes the four button, watches the doors close, then braces herself for the jolt of upward movement. This elevator always needs to be fixed it seems. Sometimes you have to jump up and down to make it move. It jolts everyone hard when it does start sliding up or down. It finally starts moving, Molly is relieved. She really didn’t want to jump with the cupcake cake the hens made for her. She could have dropped it. The elevator stops hard making Molly almost drop the cupcakes. “Good god”, she says quietly out loud as her heart sinks back into her chest. The doors open, Molly walks out into the hallway and down to Illusion.
Once in the office door, Molly walks around her desk. Behind her desk is a door leading to a conference room. She sets down the cake and pop. Walking over to the sink area grabbing cups, she places them by the pop. Molly walks out of the conference room, past her desk, turning left to go down the long hall to Sam’s office.
As she approaches, she says out loud, “Sam. Sam. You need to come to the conference room. You are going to love what the hens did.” As she rounds the corner through Sam’s door, Molly stops, she screams, running over to Sam. “Sam! SAM!” She shakes Sam but there is no response. Sam doesn’t look right. Molly stands up, grabs Sam’s phone, dials 911, and as the dispatcher answers Molly starts screaming about Sam being dead!
Miss Nose is shocked as she parks her car in the garage for the newspaper employees. She sees nothing but police surrounding the building. Miss Nose maneuvers her vehicle through the parking garage to the employees level. It is higher up and each employee is given their own spot. Miss Nose parks right next to Sam Livingstone. She notices Sam’s car isn’t parked in its usual perfect manner. Sam was always fussing about making sure his car was exactly within the lines. 3 inches on each side. She would watch him actually measure it to make sure. She shook her head and thought it must be the award. Maybe Sam was still giddy from last night or had a hangover from all the alcohol. She walks in and is immediately asked for her ID. Lieutenant Bonnie Chihound is there and says to the officer, “This is Miss Nose. She works on the fifth floor. Let her through.”
“Thank you Bonnie.” says Miss Nose.
“Not a problem. How have you been?”
“I have been good. I lost the award last night to Sam but I am grateful he won.” Miss Nose says to Bonnie as she watches the officer go through her stuff. As Miss Nose is having a wand ran up and down her looking for weapons, Bonnie says,“Sam? As in Samuel Livingstone?”
“Yes! He is the owner of the magazine for autism on the fourth floor. I write for him once in a while.” The officer hands Miss Nose her belongings and she looks in her bag to make sure it is all there and sees what a mess he left it.
“I need you to come with me Miss Nose and this isn’t going to be pretty. Please, follow me to the fourth floor. I need your help again.” Emerald looks at Bonnie like she is crazy, but shakes it off completely.
Miss Nose walks blindly behind Bonnie to the elevator and they step on. Bonnie pushes the button to the fourth floor.
Bonnie won’t give her any details of why she needs to be on the fourth floor. They step off the elevator and Miss Nose sees that many police officers are around Sam’s office. Miss Nose’s hairs stand on end and she gets that gut feeling that something isn’t right. She sees several of the forensic officers around the office. One was drawing, one was measuring and shouting the measurements to the one drawing. Another was taking pictures of everything and with Miss Nose’s experience being a journalist she knew he was getting close-ups, mid range, and long-range photos of everything in the office. She watched him take pictures and then add markers and take another picture again. As she looked around, Miss Nose knew something is off with this crime scene.
As Miss Nose walks behind Bonnie, she pulls out her cell phone and starts taking pictures. If nothing else, she will have something juicy for Tillie. She takes a photo of the rug on the way to Sam’s office. It appears as if something was dragged down it but she wasn’t sure. She bends down and takes a close up the carpet fibers and how they are bent. She knows she can talk to others who know about carpet and will know for sure if her gut is correct. Miss Nose takes stock of everything she sees. She senses a good story here and does what she is trained to do, research. She is going to get all the information she can on this scene even if it means stealing it. She knows the police don’t always look or know that something is out-of-place or wrong, but a journalist can look up what they need since they are allowed into places where the police never get to go.
Miss Nose stood up and for a few seconds watched the chaos, then said to Bonnie Chihound, “Why are so many officers in and out of Sam’s office?”
“You know that is his office.” Bonnie seemed genuinely surprised.
“Why, yes. I have delivered many articles to that office. He loves it. It faces the lake and has a beautiful view of the sunset and sunrise.”
Miss Nose looks quizzically at Bonnie. Bonnie starts walking toward the office without saying another word. Miss Nose rolls her eyes, sighs, and follows Bonnie to Sam’s office slowly while taking as many pictures as she can. As Miss Nose got closer to Sam’s office she starts to see some things that don’t jive with her. There is a bloody hand print on the wall. Miss Nose takes a close up photo of the fingers for prints and takes a long-range one of it which includes the file cabinet. She could see that a drawer is open slightly with a file lifted up. There is blood on the walls in stripes like someone was creating abstract art. It didn’t look like normal blood spatter. Miss Nose has seen Tillie mulling over crime scene photos and talking to the forensics people getting the report of their analysis showing directions where the blood landed during the course of the crime. The way this blood looked, it didn’t appear right. It is smeared like someone painting a picture or forcing the scene to look like a struggle occurred.
Emmy takes photos of Sam’s office. She doesn’t miss a beat and gets whatever she can. Emmy will show these to Tillie soon enough. Then Miss Nose sees what she really didn’t want to. Sam’s feet are still sticking out from behind his desk. He is in an awfully weird position. His left arm was over his chest and his right arm was slightly above his shoulder. It looks like he has rug burns on his skin. Emmy is in shock but still taking pictures like a robot. Miss Nose feels like she is going to vomit right there on Sam. She starts to feel a bit dizzy and hazy. She starts to feel empty. She knew he was dead but her mind can’t wrap itself around this.
“It’s Sam!” she stammered.
She took a few more photos but knew she couldn’t go on. This is one of Miss Nose’s friends. This is a colleague. This is someone Emmy has spent hours, days, weeks, months, and years with. She has been to his house. She has been to his office. She knows him like family.
Miss Nose bent upwards drawing in a deep breath and took a shot of the desk. Sam’s desk. His whole office is in shambles. Miss Nose knows that Sam would freak out. He is always such a clean freak. Her head is swirling. Bonnie reached out and grabbed her, then said, “Let’s get you upstairs. I will talk to you in a little while. Jerry will you take Emmy upstairs, please.” A young pure black, long-haired officer came over to them, “Of course Lieutenant Chihound.” He looked at Emmy. She is surprised. He has one blue and one green eye and the blue is Siamese blue.
Jerry takes Emerald out of Sam’s office and back down the hall.
Miss Nose takes some more photos as her head is reeling from seeing Sam on the floor. He walks her right up to the elevator and pushes the button for up. They wait only a minute or less, then the elevator dings sliding open the doors.
Jerry has his arm around Emmy’s waist and pushes her slightly into the elevator. Miss Nose isn’t really where she needs to be. Seeing Sam like she did put her in a state of shock she never knew could exist. How could someone you just saw less than 24 hours ago be gone! Just like a flash of light, Sam left.
She couldn’t see straight. Emmy has no idea what is going on. She is dazed and confused. Jerry pushes the button to the fifth floor. Emmy stands there and then takes a deep breath. The feelings that are rushing through her are overwhelming. Tears start down her face. Emmy nearly drops but Jerry grabs her, holding on tight so she won’t hit the floor.
As the doors slide open, Jerry picks Emmy right up and carries her out of the elevator.
“Where is her desk? He asks Vera the newspaper’s receptionist.
Vera is shocked looking at Miss Nose, seeing her in this state, all she can do is point. Jerry looks in that general direction. Carmen points. His desk is right next to Miss Nose’s.
Jerry walks her over to the desk and places her gently down into her chair. Miss Nose just can’t get her breath.
Jerry holds her in her chair and lets her sink into his arm as she cries uncontrollably.
Leaving the office of Sam Livingstone to the cities forensic investigators, Bonnie and Clyde get into their company car to start the investigation of why Sam has been murdered. The body of Sam Livingstone is on his way to the morgue. First step is to get to know the victim. Sam must have an enemy somewhere wanting to harm him. Standard operating procedure of any crime is victimology giving an insight to why someone has a crime committed against him/herself. Why is Sam dead? Who killed him? What is the motive? Someone, somewhere, has the answers these detectives need. The next step is to search Sam’s home. His office is already being swept clean of evidence. Time to see what can be found inside Sam’s most personal bubble.
Lieutenants Bonnie Chihound and Clyde Barker pull up to Sam Livingstone’s home.
“He bought a really nice one.” Bonnie says to Clyde.
“He sure did. I wish I could afford something like this.”
“Don’t we all.” Bonnie replied.
The two seasoned detectives with Escanaba Police Department open their car doors sliding out at the same time. They have been partners for over fifteen years. Both seem like an old married couple knowing exactly what the other is thinking or doing. Like Siamese twins, they move at the exact same time, speak the same way, and can solve any crime Escanaba throws at them. They walk up to the front door.
“This door is locked.” Clyde turned around to Bonnie saying it as he walks down the steps.
“Going to try the garage, I see.” Bonnie doesn’t move. “I will wait for you here to open the door like a good gentleman.”
“Come on, Bonnie. You need to come with me. You know the rules.”
“Screw the rules. I really don’t feel like breaking into the garage. I am in heat.”
“TMI. TMI. I really don’t need to know this Bon!”
Clyde walks to the garage and pulls out a pair of gloves from his pocket. Always prepared, he throws a pair to Bonnie. Bonnie follows even though she wants to stay at the door. Clyde is surprised when he can open the side door next to the garage doors.
“Bonnie take note that this door is unlocked.”
Clyde pushes it open with his foot while grabbing his pistol from the holster concealed under his jacket and kept near his heart. Bonnie grabs her own pistol. They enter into the garage slowly. Carefully looking everywhere. Then, proceeding up the step to the next door, they open it. Peering into the kitchen, they split. Clyde goes right while Bonnie goes left. Bonnie checks the whole dinning area while Clyde checks the bathroom. They end up with pistols pointed at each other when they meet in the living room. They lower the pistols.
Finding no one in the house, Bonnie and Clyde begin their investigation by looking around starting with the living room. Bonnie walks over to the chair Sam was sitting in and looks down. There she sees something that catches her eyes. She sniffs a bit at the carpet and notices a different odor than Sam’s. She turns around to Clyde.
“Get the camera and watch where you step.”
Clyde walks out of the room. Bonnie really looks at the glass on the table with booze in it. She checks out the carpet. She takes stock of the chair. She grabs her notebook from her pocket and starts writing what she is observing.
When Clyde returns, he says to Bonnie, “What do you want me to photograph?”
Bonnie peers at Clyde her eyes fogged with thought, she shakes her head a bit, then states, “This chair, the table, and most importantly, the drag marks in the carpet. I think someone dragged Sam from his house.”
“Oh, it does!” Clyde bent down to sniff the carpet and see the marks better. “Are you formulating a theory?”
“You bet your hush puppies I am! I have the scent. I know the gender and breed. I am getting it all down in my notes as we are talking. I see some blood here on the chair. Get a picture of that as well. We are going to need this.”
“You know what else we are going to need.”
“Yes. We need to interview everyone in Sam’s life.” Bonnie sighs. “Do you want to have some patrol officers help?”
“I am not sure. I want to see their faces. I want to read their body language. I think we should just do it ourselves.”
“Clyde? Look at this! We have someone we are really gonna have to talk to. How can this be? I sure hope…please don’t be involved” Bonnie’s voice was filled with desperation as Clyde walked over to the desk to see what Bonnie found. He gasped. Bonnie could see the same thoughts flying through his head.
“Time to call in the science guys as well.” Bonnie gave Clyde that you better do it look.
“Barker to dispatch.”
“Go for dispatch.”
“Call out for the lab. Send them to 2011 Grant Avenue.”
“10-4. Dispatch to crime lab. 2011 Grant Avenue. Meet with Detective Barker.”
Calming down while taking in a deep breath, Miss Nose realizes she has photos for Tillie. Grabbing her bag, she empties it out on her desk. Once she finds her phone, she takes a quick glance to make sure she isn’t dreaming and the pictures are actually there. Miss Nose is horror-struck as she flips through the photos. Miss Nose gets up then practically runs to Tillie’s desk.
“Tillie!” The name comes out quite loud causing the whole office to turn and look at Miss Nose as she reaches Tillie’s desk.
“Tillie!” Miss Nose is out of breath, she sits at the interview chair by Tillie’s desk. Her paw on her chest, she tries to slow down her breathing.
“What is it Miss Nose?” Tillie is obviously annoyed.
“I have pictures of the crime scene.”
“WHAT!?” Tillie appears to be in a panic attack by the way her face is contorted with the realization that Miss Nose could shock her.
“How were you able to get those?”
“Bonnie invited me to Sam’s office and being the most awesome reporter on the planet, I did what any reporter would do; I took photos of the crime scene as she led me through it.”
“Let me see them.”
Miss Nose gave Tillie her phone to view the grotesque photos. Then Tillie replied, “Email these to me. I want to take a closer look at each one.”
“I figured you would.” Miss Nose replied back to Tillie knowing how much she loved a good mystery. If anyone could solve a crime, Tillie is the one to do it. She has solved other crimes for the cops.
Molly is sitting at her desk, Bonnie and Clyde are trying to get her to come down to the office to make an official statement of events for their report. Since she is being stubborn, they are questioning her to make a witness statement.
“Everyone needs to give us a statement!” Bonnie is arguing with Molly.
“I can’t believe you would even think I would kill Sam! I worked with him for over ten years. He was more than a boss, he was my friend. He came to all my parties. I made every appointment for him. His life was all about making sure that magazine got out on time with all the correct information.”
“What was his day like starting at the beginning of the week?” Clyde asked Molly.
“Let me see.” Molly started leafing through the appointment calendar on her desk. It contained every moment of Sam’s life. Every detail was there from who he met to what places he went.
“Well, nothing really happened until Wednesday really.”
“What do you mean?” Bonnie looked up at her. She was reading the calendar upside down.
“A man came in that day with a subpoena. He asked for Sam. I had to get him from his meeting with the printer. The guy gave it to Sam and made him sign for it. Sam told him he would be there. He gave me the paper and told me to add it. Hold a sec. I filed it and can get you that date.”
“That sounds wonderful.” Bonnie looked relieved to hear Molly had the paper work.
Molly walked over to her filing cabinet, went through some files, then walked back to her desk with the document.
“Here it is.” she said gloomily to Bonnie.
Bonnie took one look at it and smile. She showed Clyde. Clyde’ face beamed exuberantly.
“Gotcha!” Bonnie wagged her tail in excitement.
Miss Nose is sitting at her favorite seat in Konditoria. The hens have a new recipe for apple crisp. It is totally the best with a side of ice cream. They are talking to her about investing in their new endeavor with some local cows. The idea is for homemade ice cream from the cows while the hens make their deserts. Some local bulls are hoping to get into the act as well. They want to join the hens creating barbecue dishes. They want to give it all a new name. “We just are not sure of what to call it, Miss Nose.” said One. (The hens names are all numbers from One to Nineteen. Their parents had too many to give proper names to so numbers it was.)
Miss Nose got herself another cup of coffee and added in some French Vanilla creamer to it. She likes being a secret investor in this adventure but wasn’t so sure about the cow with their bull husbands. This is one of those days where Miss Nose wishes she could just eat her desert in peace while drinking her coffee. Meetings suck! Miss Nose heads back to her chair with a full cup of coffee. As she walks, it spills some from the top. Ten is behind her with a mop cleaning the coffee from the floor.
“Let me get this straight,” Miss Nose starts to say to all at the table. “You want me to invest $100,000 into a new type of shop selling barbecued meats, ice cream, and deserts?”
“Yes!” Rodney looked a bit perturbed.
“And we need a name for this shop?” Miss Nose continued ignoring Rodney.
“That Is true.” Nineteen chimed in.
Miss Nose stopped a moment to think and then replied, “We need a very unique name. I think we should all write down some names and then put them to a vote.”
As Miss Nose goes to sit down in her favorite chair, her phone rings. Looking at the caller ID, she sees the number is Clyde Barker. “I wonder what he wants?” she thinks to herself. Answering the call, she hears Clyde and answers, “Can we meet at the station? I am in the middle of an interview for my column. Ok. I will see you at two then.” She hangs up, looks at the hens, and says, “We have to hurry this meeting along.”
Bonnie and Clyde are in the records and research department of the police department. They are talking to Sam’s girlfriend, Sarafina Claire Baulding. They didn’t know Sara was dating Sam until they found some pictures at his house. She was listed in his appointment book which stays at Molly’s desk. Molly really did have his whole day scheduled in that book. She knows his every move, every day. As Molly informed them, she needed to know where he was at all times in case he was needed by an informant for an article.
Bonnie has her notebook out and is recording everything Sarafina says. “Look,” she tells Sara,”I am not trying to be mean here but I need to get everyone’s statement. You need to stop crying. I need documentation of where you were and what your relationship was like with Sam!”
“You are mean!” Sara snapped. “How could you even think I could hurt Sam? I wanted him. He wasn’t sure and he wanted a break after I…I…well, I went after Tiger-Lily if you must know!”
“Why did you do that?” Clyde whacked a paw on his mouth as soon as it came out.
“What?! How can you be this insensitive? I was…was…well, my mum says I was jealous. I guess I was. I was angry seeing him with her. He said it was just business. He was interviewing her about some show or ceremony or whatever it was she was doing. She told me the same thing. I just didn’t believe him. He figured we needed a break after that. He said I needed to work on my trust issues if I wanted to continue being with him.” Sarafina sighs and starts bawling again. Tears ruining her makeup.
Miss Nose is sitting at her desk. She is writing about the recent Child Abuse Banquet that The Evil Mastermind presented for the woman’s shelter. The Banquet had the best meats and side dishes. It cost each person $100 a plate. If you chose a second plate, you were charged an additional $50. All the money raised went straight to the shelter. They earned $500,000 that night for expenses. The shelter personnel were all oozing over The Evil Mastermind.
Miss Nose is still a bit shaken from her meeting with Bonnie and Clyde yesterday. Her tummy was turning. She is having a hard time focusing on her article. She takes in a deep breath, walks to the coffee pot, puts in cream, but forgets her coffee. She walks back to her seat. She brings the cup up to her lips and sees Carmen shaking his head back and forth. She brings down her cup and sees she has forgotten the coffee. Her smile thanks Carmen for catching it.
Rain is beating upon the windows. The downpour makes Miss Nose so uneasy. The wind howling like the universe is plotting against all that is real or imaginary. Anxiety running high in Miss Nose’s body and she is feeling the nausea rise with each heart beat. Miss Nose sits at her desk with anticipation brewing like a bad storm of negative ions.
Miss Nose takes in a deep breath, brings the coffee cup to her lips, takes a quaint sip, and then sees the elevator doors slide open. She could swear they were going slow but knows this is just a perception of anxiety filled panic. Off the elevator comes Bonnie and Clyde. They walk right up to Miss Nose’s desk!
Bonnie peers deeply at Miss Nose and says with commanding force, “Miss Nose, we are here to arrest you on the charge of murder. You are being charged with murdering Samuel Livingstone in his office. Please stand up and place your paws behind your back. You have every right to remain totally silent. You have a right to consult an attorney. Do you understand these rights as I have educated you upon?”
“Absolutely.” Miss Nose quietly said as she stands up and feels the cuffs around her wrist.
Bonnie and Clyde lead Miss Nose to the elevator. The ride is silent. Tension fills the air. As the doors slide open, A hoard of reporters rush to it like vultures on a dead carcass.
Miss Nose found herself in a sea of reporters. Questions blaring from all sides. Miss Nose can feel the acid in her stomach turn round and round as she is led to the police car. A hand goes on Miss Nose’s head as she is pushed into the backseat. The door closes. Miss Nose turns to look out the window. Clyde and Bonnie are looking at her. Flashes are going off in Miss Nose’s face. Pictures are being taken, reporters are reporting the arrest live on the air, and now Miss Nose feels like her life is ruined. How will she ever rid herself of this stain?
As the squad car pulls into the booking area of the county jail, Miss Nose starts to really feel the pain of what is happening. She wants this all to end fast. Fear wells up inside her. She doesn’t want to be in a cell with criminals.
Once in the garage area, the car stops, the officer gets out of the car and opens the door for Miss Nose. Miss Nose gets out of the car and the officer leads her through double doors. She finds herself in an area of the jail she never thought she would see.
The booking area is painted a bright orange with a blue wall on one side. There is a camera pointed at the blue wall. As you walk into the door, the left side is picture-taking the right has fingerprints. Miss Nose is brought over to a computer and asked a ton of questions. This is all entered into the computer. Her picture is taken, her prints given, her clothing replaced, her body is check, vitals are taken, and then she is led into an area where cells are. She is placed in a large area with windows all around and other women sitting on the benches.
Miss Nose isn’t sitting there long when a guard comes to the cell area.
“Miss Nose.” he says, “Your attorney is here.”
“My attorney?” Miss Nose is completely shocked. She stood up and walked to the door. As it swung open, the guard stood in a way so only Miss Nose could walk out. She heard the slamming of the door behind her and cringed.
The guard led Miss Nose to a room, opens the door, and Miss Nose sees it is painted a gray color. In the middle of the room is a table with a yellow cockatiel setting in a chair. Across the table is another chair and he beckons Miss Nose to sit upon it She walks to the chair and jumps as she hears the door slam behind her. Miss Nose sits in the chair across from her attorney which she never called.
“My name is Nippy Cockatrice. I was hired by Joe Macaw to represent you.”
Miss Nose could feel her eyes widen. The thoughts running through her head at this moment. The questions of why the evil mastermind would send her an attorney. She wondered if he knows who murdered Sam or if he had Sam taken out?
“The Ev, I mean Joe Macaw sent you to help me?” Miss Nose put her right paw to her chest Questions still rolling around in her mind.
“Yes, he did. We all deserve the best representation, Miss Nose. You bring him great joy. He never hears anything bad about him come from your column.”
Miss Nose is so surprised her mouth opens and closes but not a word emits from her lips.
“I am going to leave here and discuss bail with the judge. Mr. Macaw wants you out quickly. He is going to put your bail up. I just need you to tell me what happened.”
Miss Nose stammers to find words, she then reaches down deep, takes a breath, and says, “I never killed Sam. I have no idea why they arrested me. I could never hurt him. I have known Sam since we were children. We went all through school together. I was proud to be his friend.”
At that Nippy looked up from his paper that he was writing and gazed upon Miss Nose’s face. His one eye leering at her as if he could never believe she didn’t do it. “Well, alright then Miss Nose. I shall tell the judge of your innocence. We will mount a defense from there. Of course, I have to get all the paperwork from the detectives but if they can’t produce much evidence then…..” Nippy seemed to leave it there as if he were lost in thought.
Getting up from his chair, he places the notepad into his briefcase, shuts it, looks at Miss Nose, and then starts to walk to the door. As he reaches for the handle, he stops for a moment and says, “You should be out of here in an hour or so. Keep in mind you have a battle to prepare for. We need character witnesses. You will need to provide those.” and with that he turned the handle walking out of the room leaving Miss Nose sitting there puzzled.
Nippy leaves and the guard peers at Miss Nose, he wiggles his finger at her to follow him. She slowly stands from the seated position. She feels violated and unsure. She feels as though trusting anyone will get her killed like Sam. This is the most unusual predicament she has ever faced. Now she needs to find out if The Evil Mastermind is going to put up the bail and if he does, what is he going to want from Miss Nose in return.
LATER THAT DAY!
MISS NOSE ARRESTED FOR MURDER
By Tillie Treater
Escanaba, Michigan– Miss Nose, a report for the Escanaba Morning Express, was arrested today on the allegation of murder. Sam Livingstone was murdered recently found in his office. Sam was the creator and editor of Illusion. Illusion is a magazine dedicated to the autistic community.
Having just won the award not even 12 hours before his death, Sam Livingstone was found dead earlier this week in his office located on the fourth floor. His office overlooked Lake Michigan. Sam loved watching the sun set and rise upon the lake.
Miss Emerald Nose is known for her advice and fashion columns. Always on the cutting edge, mixing with people of clout, Miss Nose has kept her readers hunger satisfied. Her articles on crime were littered with fashion faux pas. Never focusing on crime except if it was criminally wrong to wear white after Labor Day, Miss Nose has her own idea of what is criminal.
In keeping with Miss Nose’s ideals, she is wearing a Meow black skirt with his new fall coat in a light powder blue. The coat has huge buttons. Both items are in his new fall collection. A very beautiful white blouse with black flowers by someone I have no idea who created, was the shirt she choose today. Knee high black, high-heeled boots adorned her feet.
Miss Nose and Sam Livingstone were both in the running for the Autistic Supporter of the Year. Miss Nose lost to Mr. Livingstone. Sam Livingstone won for his magazine highlighting the Autistic community. Monthly events were always listed in the magazine with articles for lifestyle, clothing, and behavioral assistance. Sam brought awareness for a whole culture of individuals living with this disability.
When asked for comments, Lieutenant Chihound gave her usual “no comment”. Lieutenant Barker decided to give some details as to why Miss Emerald Nose is in custody. “We will prove with the evidence we collected that Miss Emerald Nose was filled with rage for not receiving the trophy. This is the main motive for her killing Mr. Sam Livingstone. We feel jealousy was the reason for her taking his life at his desk. This now will go to the prosecutor after we fully interrogate Miss Emerald Nose.”
Miss Nose’s face is filled with shock as Lieutenant Bonnie Chihound placed cuffs upon her paws. When asked for a comment Lieutenant Chihound told her not to say a word. Miss Nose walked out of the office and into a flood of reporters on the sidewalk below. Tears streaming from her eyes, shock on her face, and muttering under her breath that she is innocent, the detectives placed her in the back of the squad car.
We all watched as Miss Nose was driven away from the scene. Everyone at Escanaba Morning Express pray for the best.
Bonnie sits staring at her computer screen. Drumming her fingers on the desktop, she is staring at something on the screen. Clyde walks up behind her with an aroma that snaps Bonnie back to reality. She breathes in the aroma and closes her eyes. She leans back in her chair, eyes closed, and then feels the heat of steam on her face as Clyde brings the cup down to place in her paw.
“MMMMM. Just what I needed. I am stumped. Staring at this screen all day with no idea what I am doing. This coffee is bringing me such happiness. I could wag my tail all night.”
“I’m glad. Do you at least have the evidenced logged for court? We are being summoned by the DA and he has to give the reports to The Evil Mastermind’s attorney, Nippy Cockatrice!”
“WHAT!” Bonnie’s eyes widened as she came forward on her chair. The chair snapped a bit and spilled coffee on Bonnie staining several files on her desk in the process. “You can’t be serious. The Evil Mastermind gave Miss Nose an attorney to fight this!”
“Yes he did. His best attorney and you are going to love the next piece of information I have for you.” Clyde placed his paws behind his head and rocked back in his chair with a huge smile on his face waiting for Bonnie’s response.
“What? What is the next piece of information I am just gonna love.”
“He is making her bail.” Clyde really widened his smile with this piece. Bonnie’s face fell into her coffee cup with the shock of the whole situation.
Meanwhile at the Escanaba Morning Express
Tillie Treater is looking at her article when she remembers that Miss Nose gave her the photos she took of the crime scene. Miss Nose emailed her every photo she took with her phone. Tillie just knew in her heart that Miss Nose never killed Sam and she is determined to prove it.
Tillie is looking through every photo when she sees something and enlarges it. There in one photo are not only hand prints on the wall but foot prints with the drag marks. Tillie knows enough about forensics to know this is important.
She uses her software on her laptop to get a rough estimate on shoe size. She zooms into all the blood stains on the wall and gets ridge detail. Some are really elongated but she can resize them. Once she has them resized, she can call her friend and have him run them through AFIS. Tillie is getting all her evidence together for a follow-up article when the phone rings.
Sargent Hands often calls Tillie with news that can give her an edge in the news. Today, he has something really juicy for Tillie. This is news about Miss Nose. This is something Tillie will long for. No one knows this yet and Tillie can break it first.
As Tillie picks up her phone, she is still engrossed with the photos looking for anything of importance. She kinda says hello but no one is sure if it came out that way, but the voice on the other end and what was being said snapped Tillie to attention.
“Tillie, you will never believe what I have for you!” Hands started excitedly. “Oh myyyy gadddd, you are never going to believe it!”
“Slow down Hands. Take a breath! Tell it to me slowly.”
“The Evil Mastermind sent over his best attorney and will be making bail for Miss Nose!”
“You have got to be kidding!” Tillie excitedly exclaimed. “No way. He is helping Miss Nose? I wonder why?”
“No idea but I thought of you first. Maybe you can call him and get the scoop.”
“Oh Hands. You are so getting a box of your favorite doughnuts from Mr.DoughNUTS! I will call Mary and have Hank deliver them to you!”
“It is my pleasure, Tillie. And I thank you in advance for my treat.”
Sargent Hands hangs up with Tillie, a huge smile on his face as he dreams of those gorgeous doughnuts from Mr. DoughNUTS. Mr. DoughNUTS is the original doughnut shop of Escanaba. They have the best muffins and doughnuts made fresh daily by Mary.
Tillie hung up her receiver and started to think. Her first impulse is to call The Evil Mastermind and start talking but the reporter in her knows better. You need a plan. She grabs her notebook, starts brainstorming possible questions, and thinking impulsively. She had to shake her head several times to keep her thoughts direct.
Since having the puppies, Tillie drinks tea or cocoa now, but as she was walking up to the coffee pot she grabbed it and poured herself a cup. The caffeine hits her head like a lightening bolt. Questions started running in her head so fast she couldn’t keep up. She ran back to her desk unaware the whole office is watching her every move.
Tillie grabs her notebook and with warp drive speed writes a million questions upon the tablet. She will have to sort this all out later after she gets the majority of this out of her head. Having a head spinning like a top is what any reporter is used to and Tillie knows how to sniff out the best stories.
The whole while Miss Nose had to sit on that hard bench, she just couldn’t keep her mind from traveling into the most horrible situations. This was never how she pictured her life and once her parents see the news, well, Miss Nose just knows there will be tongues wagging at her in stern tones.
Her mother will be the first one to call her. She will have plenty to say about the whole situation and how Emmy has disgraced everyone. Oh how her mother loved to use those hawk eyes and that tone. THAT TONE! Emmy hated it growing up. Now she must face the music. Whatever was she thinking. This is the nuttiest thing she has ever done in her life. This is how careers are ruined.
Nippy was accurate on the time Miss Nose would have to sit. She was out of there in one hours time. That Nippy is something else. He must be the best attorney in town to get Miss Nose out that fast. But what could The Evil Mastermind have in store for her. This is what really bothers Miss Nose. The fact she is now indebted to The Evil Mastermind. How do you explain this to your boss?
Miss Nose goes through a procedure much like the booking process. She gets dressed in her own clothes and walks out into the sunshine. Thankfully on this side of the jail no reporters are allowed to hang out. Miss Nose gets into a limo supplied by The Evil Mastermind. She is surprised that the chauffeur takes her straight home.
“Thank you.” She says to the chauffeur as she opens the door to get out. She half expects him to lock the door and wheel her away to The Evil Mastermind’s dungeon. “You’re welcome.” is all he says and Miss Nose exits the car. She stands on the sidewalk watching the limo drive away. She turns and walks up her pathway to her front door.
Grateful to be inside her sanctuary, Miss Nose takes off her coat and goes into her kitchen. There is makes a pot of Michigan Cherry coffee which she purchased when she went to visit the Pictured Rocks in Munising. They have a nice coffee-house there where they sell all kinds of special coffee.
As it brews, Miss Nose turns out of the kitchen, up the stairs, and straight to her bathroom. There she strips, turns on her shower, gets into it, and starts to cry. She still feels violated and filthy from that cell she was in. This is the worse she has ever felt. This tops all others, at least for this present day. All Miss Nose wants to do is climb into her bed and never leave.
Bonnie looks at Clyde, “Whatever could that bird want with Miss Nose? How can he just bail her out of here like that? Now what are we going to do?”
“We are going to build our case against Miss Nose, Bonnie.” Clyde barked back at her. “We are professionals with a job to do. Get the evidence and let’s get these reports flowing. We don’t have much time. The DA needs them, immediately.” Clyde gives Bonnie that look. That look she knows all too well. After fifteen years, you know those looks.
Bonnie sighs, “Alright, but you are asking me to do something which takes me weeks to do. I can’t do this spontaneously. It will look like a work of fiction if I don’t do it correctly. Why would they need something this fast?”
“Because Nippy always wants them this fast. It is how he gets people off the hook. He knows we need at least a week or mistakes are made in the reports.”
“Oh good. Maybe I will make a huge mistake and put one of my suspects as his boss!” Bonnie is not a happy camper. She is frustrated and perturbed by the whole fact of The Evil Mastermind getting involved. This puts her radar up. She can’t stop wondering if he is involved somehow.
“Well we need to hurry. They just brought in C.W. Cliffton for us to interview.”
“Great. How do they think we are supposed to write reports and interview at the same time? Sometimes I hate this job. Let’s do the interview first. Then we will do these reports. I am thinking this won’t last very long.”
With that Bonnie arose from her desk and Clyde followed suit. They walked to Interview Room 2 to have a discussion with one C.W. Cliffton.
Miss Nose is sitting in Nippy Cockatrice’s office with The Evil Mastermind present. Nippy is working on her defense for court. Miss Nose is secretly hoping Nippy really can get her out of this mess.
As Nippy is working on several court documents while reading police reports, The Evil Mastermind says to Miss Nose, “I don’t want to burden you with anything right now, but to me you are the best reporter in Escanaba. I realize you don’t like to stray outside your fashion and advice columns, but you have in the past. You are the person I most need to help me with a very serious, dare I say, crime or position. But alas, we are not going to discuss this until I know you are free from all these allegations.”
“Not even a hint?” Miss Nose smiles at him but she thinks to herself, “I knew it. I knew something was needed.”
“Not even a hint. But when this is over, do come to the coffee shop at the Delta Plaza Mall. I will talk to you there and have your favorite latte ready. Hmm. It will be good. I promise.” Joe pinned and unpinned his eyes at Miss Nose. He seemed so friendly for a bad guy. His wings are stroking Miss Nose’s arms as he talks to her.
Nippy looks up from the police report he is reading, “Miss Nose, I have a few things we need to discuss. First, I have documents you are to sign before our Monday court appearance. Second, we need to discuss having your colleague Tillie Treater help us with a news conference.”
“A news conference will allow us to focus on your innocence of this crime. We can present details to the reporters influencing future jurors.”
“How does a news conference help me at all?”
“You’re a reporter and you can’t figure that one out!” she heard The Evil Mastermind behind her. She turns and sees him standing in the doorway. “It is easy as pie, Miss Nose. You are being tried in the court of public opinion infused by the media outlets. The news reporters will all take a side. Each exclaiming their reason to your guilt or innocence. This influences every person selected for the jury pool.”
Miss Nose dropped her jaw. She wasn’t thinking properly but apparently The Evil Mastermind is. Of course he is correct. The media will have her guilty of killing Sam or totally innocent of all charges in a matter of three news reports.
Miss Nose picks up her phone and calls Tillie.
“Tillie I need to ask you to assist me in my trial. My attorney believes you can be an excellent character witness for me.”
“Miss Nose, I have something to tell you. I have been looking at those photos you emailed me. I blew them up. I did some measurements. I then went to talk to Molly. She showed me somethings on Sam’s schedule. Miss Nose I believe I can prove you are innocent of this crime.”
Miss Nose gasps. That taking in of her breath from being caught off guard then Tillie continues talking to her.
“Are you ok? Listen there is a trial coming up on Monday that Sam is a part of. It is to start at 9:30 a.m. in the civil court room. Judge Shepard is conducting it. Miss Nose, EMMY! Are you hearing me?”
“My trial is Monday,” Miss Nose exclaimed to Tillie.
“That is great. I can be there. I am planning on going to this court date that Sam has. I am interested in what it is about. I am certain this guy is the killer. I can feel it in my bones. I can give all my research to your attorney and you can walk out of the court-house free.”
Miss Nose took in a breath of air and tried not to choke on it. “Tillie,” she is thinking hard about what to say next “I think you should wait until we have you on the stand as a character witness. I don’t think the police will find your results credible just yet.”
At the court-house
Monday morning 9 a.m.
Miss Nose spent all her time pacing in front of the court room doors. Nippy is looking over his paperwork before the trial starts. This of course isn’t the actual trial but Nippy is always prepared. He has his list of witnesses and all the paperwork together to give to the DA.
Miss Nose says to Nippy, “ I’m heading over to the vending machine to get some coffee. Would you like me to get you a cup.”
“Oh, yes, please, Miss Nose” Nippy hands her a cup he has been carrying around with him.
Miss Nose heads to the vending machine. It is located right next to the civil courtroom of the Delta County Court House. She sees Tillie sitting on the bench there and waves. Tillie waves back at her but turns to talk to another person.
Miss Nose walks over to the vending machine. She places Nippy’s cup under the nozzle and pushes for the coffee. Then she feels someone breathing on her neck. She stiffens, turns slightly to see a massive dog behind her. He looks part German Shepard. He looks like the kind of guy who can take out any cat on the street. He smiles wryly at Miss Nose. It appears his brown eyes are sparkling with enjoyment.
“I need to thank you Miss Nose.” he says like some stalker out of a noir movie.
“Really? Why?” Miss Nose bats her eyes all innocent like.
“For being the one they caught for the murder of Sam Livingstone.”
“Why are you thanking me for that?”
“Because, without you, I would be here for that trial instead of winning this one.”
“Oh I see.”
“Do you? Do you really see, Miss Nose?”
“I see you must be the murderer of Sam!” Miss Nose thinks she said that a bit too loudly.
C.W. smiles his wry smile and says,”Oh I see. You know. Well, do you know why I killed him? I bet you don’t. I bet you have no idea why I took his life, do you?” His face is pushed right up to Miss Nose’s face. Emmy backs up a bit.
“To be honest, I don’t give a shit.” Emmy tells him. “All I know is you’re a loser and you killed my friend.”
“Ohhh, you think he was a friend do you? Well he wasn’t. You see I know. He was as fake as any one could be. He tried to ruin me with the whole autistic society. You see, I wrote a book which he claimed was fraud. He said my research was flawed. My publisher is suing me today for the money back from my advance. But now, he won’t win. Sam didn’t know shit. Sam didn’t know Autism like I know Autism.”
Everyone around Miss Nose was looking at them. They could see his body language and how he was in Emmy’s face. They can all see the hatred in his eyes.
Just then, Bonnie and Clyde walk up to Miss Nose and C.W., Bonnie says, “C.W. Cliffton you are under arrest for the murder of Sam Livingstone. You have the right to remain quiet but since you are screaming loudly in Miss Nose’s face and right into the wire we placed upon her, I doubt you will need this right. You do have the right to representation of an attorney of your choice. If you are unable to afford one, we can fill out paperwork for a court appointed attorney.”
Clyde handcuffs C.W. Cliffton. He walks him toward the front door of the court-house. Emmy and Bonnie face each other as he is being led out by Clyde. They didn’t even notice little Nippy Cockatrice in between them until, “Ahmm. Hello! Down here.” They both look down. “Ah yes, nice. Don’t notice the little guy. Is my client free from all charges?”
“Yes.” Bonnie stammered. “I will go talk to the judge with you Mr. Cockatrice. I will let him know for you.”
Bonnie winked at Miss Nose and smiled. “I will be back here soon. Until then, Jerry, get the wire off of Emmy.”
“Gladly.” Jerry smiled as he walked over to Emmy.
With coffee in hand, Miss Nose sits down in her favorite chair with her favorite deserts in front of her from the hens. The hens are all waiting anxiously for Miss Nose to tell them how this mystery was solved. Anxiety high with clucking sounds bouncing through her ears, Miss Nose sits, takes a bite of her favorite butterscotch pie, swallows, sighs, and then opens her mouth. Sitting on the edge of their seats the hens await her story.
“Emmy,” Starts Three, “Tell us, how did Bonnie recruit you to set this guy up?”
“Well,” Emmy started and then paused for a moments thought, “it started on the day we had the meeting about opening the new shop. As you recall Clyde called me. I had a secret meeting with Bonnie, Clyde, chief of police Robert Rooster, and Judge Clementine. It was all about having me arrested and getting this guy to confess.”
“But how did Bonnie know?” asked Thirteen.
“All the clues in her investigation brought her to one conclusion especially after she spoke with Molly. She had the scent when she went to Sam’s house. Then when she saw the court papers, she knew. C.W. Cliffton is a famous author and Bonnie has read some of his books. Therefore, she knew what he looked like. She knew he was her most viable suspect. Then when they interviewed him about the court hearing, she knew it was the same scent as that in Sam’s house.”
Miss Nose and the hens clucked about the story for the rest of the day. Not once getting to their meeting about what to name the new establishment they were going to open with the cows.