Monday, August 5, 2013

Jack Tracer Mysteries: The Case of the Calling Card Victims

Investigate along with the hard-boiled detective, Jack Tracer, as he unravels the mysteries of the body.  Can you guess the disease?  The conclusion and answer to the mystery will be posted on Thursday.  Leave your guesses in the comment section below!

Get this and get it straight, disease is a sucker’s road, and those who succumb to it end up in the gutter, the hospital, or the grave.  It happened like this…

             Walking up to my office, I paused at the sight of a small slip of paper poking out from underneath my door.  Not your normal way of recruiting a private investigator’s services, but I’ve had stranger.  Retrieving the note from its place of concealment, I opened it to find a plea for help scrawled across the page in a rushed hand.  Normally, I wouldn’t respond to such a mysterious invite without having a face to put to the request, but the couple of bright pink lipstick marks on the side intrigued me just enough to throw caution to the wind.  Perhaps this “Rendezvous at the East Lympatic Building” would prove one of the more pleasant cases I’d ever taken on…

Wasting no time, I made it to the prearranged location and decided to have a little look around.  It was a quiet sort of place… too quiet.  The sound of every floorboard that creaked reverberated throughout the abandoned building.  I cautiously crept forward into the darkness.  Then suddenly, I heard a heavy step behind me and as I turned around, whack!  I was knocked out cold by a 2x4 to the head.  The next thing I knew, I was lying in an alleyway with a gun in my hand, a nasty headache and someone screaming bloody murder.

Everything was a bit hazy at first and my head ached like a kidney stone from the blow I’d sustained earlier.  The scene that lay around me was completely different than I had remembered from just a few hours before, but it was hard to focus with the persistent pounding in my head.  As the cops arrived on scene and began interrogating me, I quickly realized that I’d been framed.  But by who or what, I didn’t have the slightest idea.  Unfortunately, the target pistol in my hand and the lifeless body of an epithelial employee lying next to me was enough to earn me a night of room and board down at the station.  With the circumstantial evidence piling against me, it was clear that I had a case on my hands that I couldn’t refuse; only this time, instead of looking forward to a nice payday at the end, I’d be investigating to save my own hide from a 25 to life stint in an adipose prison cell. 

Spending the night in the joint is not exactly what I’d call a 5-star vacation, but it does have its advantages when you want to keep up on the evidence trail.  Thankfully, I had a friend on the inside who kept me informed of the progress on the case. “You know Jackey boy,” he said when he first came down for a quiet chat, “I really shouldn’t be doing this, but it isn’t right for you to be all locked up when you’re one of the good guys.  I’ll do my best to pass along the information I can just in case you have any insights that you want to share.  Hopefully we’ll get this whole thing cleared up as quick as ATP in a skeletal muscle.”

From what I could gather, the woman who’d happened on the scene, and effectively revived me with her shrill screams, was a dead end.  The cops were at a loss trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together because as soon as they got close to a theory, something else turned up that shot that theory so full of lead, you could collect it for the war efffort.  Apparently, the lymphatic buildings surrounding the scene of the crime were swelling with people, but it was hard to figure out the cause.  They’d also found traces of joint pain and flu-like symptoms all throughout the city: achiness, fatigue, fever and chills… but nothing quite fit any of the criminal gangs I knew.  Sure, it sounded like some of the antics of better known gangs, but nothing quite fit them either.  Looked to me like they’d been framed, just like I had, while the real culprit was still out there causing havoc in the city. 

Then it happened… “Ok Jackey Boy, someone got you a get out of jail free card which you’re going to capitalize on right now.  I had to convince the higher ups to let you out, but it’s hard to say that you’re the felon we’re after when there are murders still happening while you’re down here all locked up!”  my friend announced as he opened the cell door.

“Thanks Mikey, you’re a real pal.”

“Now Jack, according to the big boss, you’re to go nowhere near the investigation… but if you happen to turn up any clues, you’ll let me know right?”

“Are you encouraging me to do a little digging around of my own Mike?”

“Officially?  Of course not!  But, if I was you, I’d leave no stone unturned if there was even the smallest chance of being locked up for a crime I didn’t commit… Just saying Jack.”  Then in a softer voce, “You know, there was the funniest thing about all the murders… the killer, whoever he is, left a calling card on all his victims and you know what it said?  Nothing… absolutely nothing… all it had on it was a bright red Bull’s-eye…. See ya around Jackey Boy!  And don’t even think about skipping town, you’re still a suspect you know.”

“Got it Mike, thanks for everything.”

Hmm… a calling card with a Bull’s-eye left on each of the victims… if that’s the case, then there could only be one criminal behind this series of murders and it was time to pay them a little visit…

…To be continued…

Think you know what or who is targeting the Calling Card Victims?  Care to speculate about who framed Jack?  Leave your conjectures in the comment section below, then tune in Thursday to find out what happens next in The Case of the Calling Card Victims.

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