|Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
things in ditches:
a murder mystery
by jimmy olsen
[Ok, ignore the comic book pic, I just had to slide a reference in at least once!]
Another weekend with Jimmy Olsen, this time with many more chuckles! The characters drive the story and I promise you will not be able to guess whodunit! That's because there are so many possibilities, and, besides, we already have a confession! But the action just keeps going even with that confession!
While Dutch Cleland is considering suicide, running away, or just giving himself up, the local police and the sheriff are gearing up for a manhunt. Then there is a small twist, the deceased's husband shows up, and goes after Dutch since he knows that Vicki was once involved with him. Only Dutch gets the best of him and leaves him, thinking he's dead! Two murders--what can he do?!
There's a small town Barney Fife flavor to this story, with someone like Aunt Bee as the town's dispatcher--or, rather, she seems to be the most logical of the group trying to solve the murder... first one they had in years! Vicky had been found in a ditch. As the killer was telling his wife the next morning--he'd not committed adultery this time, this time it was murder... Yes, he really said that... Then they went on to discuss other issues in their lives. Jean was a schoolteacher while Dutch was the town butcher...
They later named him the Butcher of Willow River...said he'd chopped up the body and made hamburgers out of it...You never know what the gossips are going to say--after all there's money in advertising they had a killer in town...
Vicky had been found by Walleye... He had been working the ditches since he was small and sometimes had help from children whose parents had not made them afraid of Walleye. His mother had died and now he lived alone and really didn't have anybody to explain what was right and wrong to his slow mind. He didn't think he was so slow--it was just that everybody else seemed to think and act too fast. So when they took the body that he had found in his ditch to the morgue, Walleye thought about it for a very long time and decided that that body was his. After all, one time a stranger was in town and he'd been taking bottles and cans from his ditch and the Sheriff had told that man that everything in that ditch belonged to Walleye. He would always remember that!
But he didn't tell anybody that he was going to take Vicky back!
"Walleye stepped around the lame tricycle and looked into the woods. He didn't like woods. Trees tangled around
in odd shapes, all mixed up and dark, hiding stuff. But ditches weren't so bad. There were things to be found in
ditches, especially these, cut wide to keep the trees back from the road and make snow removal easier.
"He scanned the ditch carefully. Gold mine. Plenty of cans, even a few glass bottles. Further in, just beyond
where the tree began, he spotted something white. Maybe a usable piece of plastic.
"If it was plastic and he dared go in there and get it, he'd use it to wrap up the cans and bottles, fix the tricycle
some how and haul the whole works back home. He looked again into the woods. The trees were wet,
dripping. The wind slid through their naked branches, and he didn't care much for the noise it made.
"He crabbed sideways down the incline, keeping an eye on the plastic until he reached the bottom and lost
sight of it. Glancing back, the road seemed far. Dead, soaking grass wetted his filthy trousers, numbing his
skinny legs. He responded with big exaggerated steps across the ditch to the trees, then halted. The trees, dark
dripping hulks flooded by fog made his nostrils tingle with smells of rotting leaves, mushy wood, and damp earth.
He wanted to go back.
"Walleye couldn't explain what happened next. It was a feeling and he wasn't good with feelings, like how he felt
that time Larry his black lab got run down on the highway and he watched blood bubble from his nose and refused
to turn away. Some things were too terrifying to miss...
"There in the leaves a white ghost had arisen from some abandoned grave to eat him. Naked and wide-eyed, she
stared right into him. Wet leaves clung in her yellow hair and she smiled at him with a hungry mouth and he
thought she shrieked his name.
"Walleye's own screams stuck in his throat as he lay panting beside her, fighting for breath, incapable of
"It was a pretty lady. Not perfect pretty, like soap ladies on TV. An oval face long in the chin. Not too feminine
nose and eyebrows--thick, bushy, darker than her golden hair. He wanted to concentrate on these things,
and the eyes, because this was the first time he'd seen a naked lady. Though he'd seen his mother's saggy breasts
when he surprised her and she called him naughty.
"The blue eyes held him too. They weren't yet dull and flat like doll eyes and it seemed to Walleye they could
still see. He stared into them and some of his fright drained away.
It was Charlie's dispatcher that pointed out that there had to be real evidence to prove Dutch had murdered Vicky. So, he did go and interview Jean, Dutch's wife...but she was "standing by her man" even if he had confessed to her... In the meantime, Dutch leaves town to hide out and his best friend, Len Davis, a corporation lawyer, decides he needs to help, so he visits Jean as well...
Well, if you remember the keystone cops, you can imagine how everybody was running around, with both the police, and friends and enemies all out looking for Dutch...
There's one flashback scene that was outrageously funny when Vicky calls Dutch, her first husband, and her present lover, and his wife, all together to amicably discuss Vicky's being in love with the third guy!
And all I got to say is that this book isn't over until the very last page and these twists and turns are solid U-Turns instead of the usual either/or situations...I told you, you'll never really guess how this book is going to end! This is just 99 cents for the Kindle copy right now...Get it! You deserve to laugh today!
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