the u-town murder case (part nine)

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After a moment, Freddy continued. "I went back to my guitar, and I smoked a joint. I thought that might help, but it didn't."

"Did you hear anything from the bedroom?"

He shook his head. "Nothing at all, not after she closed the door."

"Can you hear through the door? How thick is it?"

"If they're talking low, I can't hear anything. When they have a fight or something, you can hear it." He rolled his eyes. "More than you want to."

"So, what happened next?"

"Someone knocked again, a little later, and I went to answer it. It was Ace, a friend of mine. He came in and we talked a bit. Smoked a joint. I was just as glad he came over, the song wasn't working out, and I kept expecting Leo and Charlotte to start fighting. I was sure that as soon as I decided to try to sleep, they'd start yelling and so on."

"What's her brother's name?"


"What gang is he in?"

"The Dragons, I think. Leo says they're no good."

She nodded as if she knew all about the Dragons.

"Anyway, a couple of hours later, someone else knocked on the door. I made a joke to Ace that this was a very busy night for this place. It was a runner, with a message for Leo and Charlotte."

"The message was for both of them?" He nodded. "Do you know what the message was?"

He shook his head. "No, she was only going to tell it to them." He looked at my employer as if she had just dropped in from another planet, the only person who didn't know how runners worked. "I went to Leo's door and knocked."

"Did the runner come in?"

"Yes, she was standing behind me."

"Where was Ace?"

"He didn't get up. He was in the chair, where you're sitting. I think he was rolling another joint."

"You knocked, and then what happened?"

"I had to knock a couple of times."

"Did you try the door?"

He shook his head. "I just knocked. Finally I heard a couple of thumps from inside, like someone had fallen over, then Leo opened the door."

"How did he look. How was he dressed?"

"He was wearing a pair of sweatpants. He looked like shit, and not too happy about me waking him up, so I quickly pointed at the runner and said, 'You got a message, man,' or something like that."

Freddy's voice got quieter, and he was starting to look upset. "Leo nodded and lifted his hand to rub his face, like he was still not awake. That's when I saw the blood on his hand. I think he saw my face, and he held out his hand and looked at it himself." He mimed Leo holding out his hand and looking at it.

"Had the bedroom door been locked?"

He started to answer, then he stopped and frowned. "I think it was," he said thoughtfully. "I'm pretty sure I heard him tug on it a few times and then unlock it."

"Was it usually locked?"

"No, never."

"Was it locked when Charlotte came home?"

"Oh, no, she just went right in."

It was obvious that this question was bothering Freddy. And it had taken his mind off of the discovery of the body, which might have been her intention, though I didn't know why.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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