Thursday, January 18, 2007

'C' IS FOR CROSS-STITCH

By Carolyn Krebbs

Police Detective Jack Flanagan was no stranger to the recreation room of the Sea Breeze Retirement Village. Again and again, he had counted on the wit and wisdom of the Sea Breeze Knitting Club to help him crack his toughest cases. Now Flanagan was hot on the trail of a cold-blooded psychopath, and he needed this plucky group of senior citizens more than ever.

“They call him the Cross-Stitch Killer,” the hardboiled cop growled, “because after he mutilates his victims, he likes to leave a little embroidered memento.” Flanagan then passed around a needlepoint pillow from the most recent murder scene. With gruesome precision, the killer had cross-stitched the image of a decapitated man prostrate in a pool of blood. Beneath him was the message “Home Sweet Home,” rendered in big, curlicue lettering.

Flanagan munched on his cigar as the members of the knitting club carefully inspected the pillow. “Yeah, he's a real sicko, ladies,” the grizzled lawman said.

Something about the pillow looked familiar. Very familiar. “Look at that lazy-daisy knot,” Gladys whispered. “Only one person I know can make a lazy-daisy like that!”

They all turned their heads slowly toward the back of the room, but Edna Nussbaum, the club's newest member, was gone! It didn't take long, however, for the eagle-eyed Flanagan to spy a set of bloody tire tracks leading out the door.

That's when the horrible truth hit him, like a brass-knuckled punch to the gut. Sure enough, from down the hallway Flanagan could hear the faint but unmistakably furious hum of an electric wheelchair being pushed to its limits. Nussbaum was making a break for it! The detective unholstered his revolver, spat out his cigar and screamed into his radio for backup. Then he turned to the roomful of stunned retirees.

“Stay right here until we find her!” he barked.

“Oh, you can’t miss Edna,” Doris said. “She never goes anywhere without her straw hat and that great, big necklace of human ears!”

(Loyal readers may recall that crime writer Carolyn Krebbs is fond of Pomeranians and Finnish death-metal.)

2 comments:

Hugh Jorgan said...

Why were the tire tracks leading from the recreation room bloody? If Edna was covered with and dripping blood ~ assuming it wasn't her own colostomy bag orifice acting up again ~ wouldn't somebody have noticed and alerted an authority figure within the retirement village? What kind of a "detective" is Jack Flanagan, anyway??!

Carolyn Krebbs said...

Jack Flanagan is highly decorated officer. He has served his city with honor, integrity and compassion, and he doesn't need his skills questioned by the likes of you. Also, he may have been drunk at the time.