Written for The Writer's Cramp. Two detectives have a puzzling question with no answer.
| “The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind.”
“What? You’re telling me that’s what the perp said after he took this guy’s head off?”
“Yeah, that’s what he said. I was hiding behind that pile of crates over there,” the small, balding man said, his voice still shaking. “I was afraid he was going to see or hear me so I stayed quiet. After I didn’t hear anything for a while I peeked over the top of that crate.”
“You saw the guy do it, right?”
“Yeah,” the man answered. “He went at him like he was trying to hack a log in half."
“Can you describe this guy?”
“He was big.”
“What do you mean by big? Was he tall, fat, broad shouldered, mascot like? You’ve got to be more specific.”
“What do you mean by mascot like?”
“Did he have a big head?”
“Yeah and he was tall, around 8 feet,” the man said. His voice began to quiver, “His shoulders had to be half as wide as he was tall. He was packed full of muscles. And I can tell you that wasn’t the first time he held a machete. I believe he could just as easily have pulled the guy in half with his bare hands.”
“Did you notice any distinguishing marks on him? Maybe he had a scar or a mole. Were his ears unusually big or did you notice if he had all his fingers?”
“His nose was turned up and he was really hairy.”
Dirk shook his head, “This is one for the books. If you think of anything else call me.” Dirk handed the man his card.
The man looked at Dirk for a moment then turned away. He watched him as he slowly shuffled toward what he said was his office. The man couldn’t be the perp. He was too small to do the kind of damage that was done to the victim. The perp had to be tall but 8 feet? This eyewitness had to have a broken measuring tape or something.
“Do you believe this?” Dirk asked his partner after the man was out of ear shot.
“I’ve heard stranger things, Dirk. Who knows what’s going on?”
“It’s not often our perp is Big Foot.”
“What do you mean?”
“Seriously, did you hear that description?”
“Come on, Perry. Why would a guy quote a Bob Dylan song and then use a machete to hack some poor dock worker’s head off? It doesn’t make sense.”
“I know. I could understand someone wanting to take their own head off after learning Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize in Literature. Blow that in the wind.”
Dirk knew Perry wrote in his spare time. What he didn’t know was how bad he took the news of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize, “Come on, Perry. It’s not like you were up for the same award.”
“That’s not the point. They awarded a stoned out hippy the same award that went to the likes of Camus, Faulkner, Elliot, and Kipling. I’ll bet these guys are crapping a brick in their graves.”
“Come on, didn’t Winston Churchill win one of those things? He wasn’t even a writer, was he?”
“He won it because he wrote biographies or something. That’s not a good example.”
“Perry, what’s the big deal? I’ll bet you can’t tell me who won this thing last year.”
“Svetlana something or other, she’s a Russian journalists.”
“Something or other doesn’t sound Russian,” Dirk shot back.
Perry gave him a halfhearted smile, “Listen, I’m not arguing Bob Dylan isn’t a great artist. Just tell me the last time an author won a Grammy? I can tell you, never. I can also tell you that Mark Twain, Henry James nor John Updike ever won a Nobel Prize in Literature. It really cheapens the award.”
“Kind of like Obama winning the peace prize back in ’09, right?”
“You just don’t get it, Dirk. This isn’t funny”
“No, I don’t, Perry but that was funny. You need to get your knickers unstuck and get your mind on your job and that’s not picking a Nobel Prize winner. We have a murder to solve.”
“I know,” Perry said, hanging his head. “It just irks me.”
“You need to follow the stiff to the morgue. When we get a positive ID then you can talk to any family members he might have. I’m going to snoop around this crime scene a while longer to see if I can turn up any more leads. As far as this Nobel Prize thing goes, I guess the answer is somewhere in the wind.”