But did I answer Fingers’ questions. I did. ·
“Someone’s been copying the graffiti on 24th Street,” I suggested. Unfortunately it wasn’t far of the mark..
He looked at me, twisted his lips.
“Captain though it’s a bit more than that. We’re bringing in an expert,” he told me, “He asked me to call in whoever interviewed the tenant. What can you tell me about the man? Billingsly wasn’t it? West end ‘artistic’ type?”
Apparently Fingers wasn’t so impressed by this kind of occult. Maybe dream catchers and peace pipes were more his style.
It had been a month since I’d talked with him last , I didn’t remember Billingsly that well. I offered what I remembered.
“What can I say?” I started. “The guy was quiet, dressed neat, his references worked out fine, had a job downtown working for some investment firm. Preston and Galloway, I think. After the application, I think I saw him once, a month ago, about upgrading the bathroom. That big tax right-off thing the government just announced, remember?”
I didn’t even remember his name before looking it up again on the computer. Come on, there are twenty five floors here and twenty apartments a floor. You do the math. I either remember the ones who cause trouble, squeaky wheels, or the good looking under thirty single women.
I was aware Fingers was watching me closely as I replied, with his ‘detective stare’. I shrugged, there wasn’t a whole lot else I knew. Not offhand. I hadn’t really made an effort, to look things up.
“Every time an apartment opens up we get a couple hundred applicants,” I told him. “This part of town is in demand you know. Half of them look the same. Twenty something hipsters looking to hang around the west end and spend Friday and Saturday night trolling the party district. And, yeah, a lot of them work downtown. There wasn’t anything special about the guy.
“I’ll get Teresa to give you all the paperwork.,” I added. “But really, beyond five years of gainful employment and a less than memorable interview, I can’t really tell you much about him. Didn’t seem to be this kind of an artist, though. But then, who would?”
He nodded, but I could tell there was a glint in his eye, and something working behind it. Ever since he invited his ancient grandfather up to my place he’d been a little suspicious of me.
“Any complaints made by the neighbors before?” He asked
I shook my head, the guy’d been practically invisible. Then we fell into a bit of silence, and I looked around listening to comments by the other police workers.
“This is quite a bit,” I commented. “It’s all-”
“Blood,” he nodded again, “and in every room.”
“Every room?” Did the guy completely empty himself out?
He nodded again.
“Looks to be that way told me, then added out of the blue,” you want to see the pictures of the body?”
I looked at the man, aghast.
“No, no, no!” I told him to make things clear. “What the hell are you thinking?”
He grinned at me.
“Jesus, Johnny,” he told me. “Relax. I was just kidding. It’s not like nobody ever died in this building before.”
“I didn’t like it then, either.” I replied. “Yeah, Fingers, we can chat about your cases in the comfort of the pub while they don’t happen a few floors from where I live. This is a way too close to home.”
“Sorry.” He told me patted me on the back. “We’ll be through here soon.”
He might be. I’d have to handle therenovation. Well, Arturo would have to handle that. And the whole thing would probably take weeks.
“We’re going to want, if you don’t mind,” he started, “copies of all the tapes from the lobby and the elevators from the last day or so. Just to be complete.”
I nodded, we’d been through the routine before, yeah, the Gallo murder in ‘09. That, actually, was the where I first met Fingers. He was a rookie detective then.
“You think someone else was involved. Here?”
“There’s no sign of forced entry,” Fingers noted. “And the wounds appeared self inflicted. No sign of struggle either, but still, you look at this and you think, could anyone really do this all on his own?”
I studious avoided looking at ‘all this.’
“Maybe he just snapped,” I offered. “Or had a stressful life. He did work in the finance industry after all.”
But I couldn’t help shake the feeling fate was metaphysically pointing is very pointy finger at me.
And by this point, again, I was really starting to feel caged. I wanted to get it out of the room, as soon as I could.
“Sure,” I told him, half turning away. “I’ll get a copy made and put on disc.”
“Great,” he told me, “I’ll send up a uniform to grab it in an hour or so.”
“Does that mean I can I go now?” I asked.
He offered me a appraising look.
“Just hang on another couple minutes,” he told me. “We’ve got someone coming, I think you probably want to meet him, and hear what he thinks might have gone down here. He told me he also wanted to speak to you, since you actually interacted with Billingsly, before…
“What do you say?”.
No, I wanted to reply. Hell no. But I didn’t. I stayed. I actually stayed.
I really shouldn’t have.