Smoke: The Cannabis Detective: Fresh Prints (part two)

STCD Fresh Prints part two!
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

Read part one Here!

Read the Smoke: The Cannabis Detective Book!

02-2 smoke 5I stood up Preston was looked shocked that I could see him. He tried to speak but the connection was never the best, I got video but no audio. I looked at him as spoke. “Are you Preston?” I asked.

He mouthed the word “yes,” and shook his head.

“It’s him,” I said to Victora and Gwen.

“Is it always this awkward?” asked Victora.

“No, sometimes it’s worse,” Said Gwen.

Preston seemed to have his attention drawn to someone who was invisible to us. No doubt our silent partner, Sarah. She was a ghost as well. She was our first case and now she just stuck around to help us. She was going over the rules with Preston.

Preston looked at me confused but I decided to press on. “Preston, we are here with your wife Victora.”

He looked at Victora and waved. “Preston says ‘s hi,” I said.

“I love you.” Said Victora uncharacteristically teary-eyed.

Preston mounted the words, “I love you too.”

“He loves you too,” I said.

“Preston,” I said. “Do you know who killed you?”

02-2 smoke 6Preston looked confused. He looked to Sarah. He seemed to be talking to her. Then a look of shock came over his face. Followed by despair. He dropped to his knees weeping.

The room had been silent for too long. Gwen got up and whispered to me “what’s wrong?”

“I don’t think he’s aware of the fact that he’s dead,” I said under my voice.

“Did you tell him?” Asked Gwen.

“Sarah did,” I said.

“So what’s going on now?” She asked.

“He’s processing,” I said.

“What’s wrong?” Asked Victora. Her voice caused Preston to look up at her.

“Sometimes the newly…” Gwen hesitated. “Dead…” The word sent Preston into a fresh round of crying. “Have some trouble with the transition.” That was as tactful as she could make it.

“What’s he doing?” Asked Victora.

“He’s… Crying. He just found out,” I said.

“Can he hear me?” asked Victora.

“Yes,” I said.

“Preston!” Said Victora with force. The tone of her voice seemed to snap him out of it. He looked worried. “I know this is hard for you but we really need your help. I need you to be strong for me. I need you to answer this mans question. Can you do that?”

Preston nodded and mouthed the word “yes.”

“He said yes,” I said.

Preston stood up and looked at me intently. “Do you remember the night you were… murdered?” I asked.

He looked like he was about to cry, but he gave a quick glance to Victora and that seemed to steel his resolve. He nodded yes.

“Did you get a look at your attacker?”

He nodded again.

“Do you know who it was?” I asked.

He didn’t nod instead he moved himself to the fireplace. He pointed at one of the pictures on the mantel. It was not good. It was a picture of Dill.

I was frozen I didn’t know how to react. “What is it?” asked Victora.

“You’re not going to like it,” I said.

“What did he say?” she asked.

02-2 smoke 7I pointed at the picture. “He said it was Dill…” I wanted to give her the answer she was looking for, but it was not the truth. I even believed it myself for a moment.

“Victora… I’m so…” Gwen began to say.

“Get out!” Cried Victora.

“Look I know this is hard,” I said. “We’ll leave, but do you want to say something to Preston…”

“You’re probably a couple of con artist anyway….” Said Victora. We started to leave. “Wait!” She said, and we turned around. “Tell him…” She hesitated. “Tell him I’ll always love him and I miss him so damn much it hurts.”

Preston began to speak, his mouth moved so fast I couldn’t follow, but I got the gist of it. “He says he’ll always love you too,” I said too her.

“I’ll make sure you are paid for your time,” she said. “Right now I just need to be alone.”

“Okay,” I said and we left. That was a hard case. I wish there was more we could do.

Charles came and got us from Victoras mansion. We told him what happen. “That’s a shame. I guess they can’t always turn out the way we want.”

“I know, something about this one bugs me. I looked into Dill’s eyes. I didn’t see the eyes of a killer,” I said.

“If there’s one thing being a cop has taught me,” Said Charles. “Sometimes the most stone cold killers have the eye’s of an angel.”

I didn’t reply. I couldn’t get the case out of my mind. I kept thinking about it. We had the camera footage, and the murder weapon, even the victim himself identified Dill as the killer. Why couldn’t I let this go? Did Victora’s need to prove Dill innocent infect me? Maybe, I just hated telling people bad news.

There was only one way to console myself at a time like this. Old video games. When we got home Gwen knew I was having a hard time and she let me break out my old system, and I began to play my favorite adventure R.P.G. The old school kind with dungeons and puzzles and items that helped you solve the dungeon puzzles.

Gwen sat next to me and we took turns, I’d play for a bit and then she would play. We would switch when we wanted to take a hit. “Poor Victora,” said Gwen as took the controller. “She really wanted Dill to be innocent.”

“I really thought he was,” I said taking a drag on my pipe.

“Me too,” said Gwen handing me the controller. “Makes me sad.”

“I never played this game high before,” I said. “Makes it kind of fun. Like a whole new experience.”

I was just about to enter the boss chamber when Gwen said “Hunny, did you know you’ve been smoking out of Casper.” Casper was my ‘special’ bowl. The one I packed with Ghost-19. I had another pipe for regular smoking. I called that one The Gate Keeper. Don’t judge.

The screen on the TV went white. “Ho no!” I said.

“What is it?” Asked Gwen.

“I never told anyone this before, but I always hated this dungeon because if it’s boss.”

“Really?” asked Gwen. “I always thought he was kind of goofy looking.”

A ghostly hand crawled out of the TV. “It’s the Phantom,” I said. “Something about his weird vacant polygon eyes…” He popped his head out of the TV and began to crawl out. “Fuck you!” I yelled at the pixilated blocky monster.

02-2 smoke 8He kept coming. “Sarah!” I said. “You can stop now!” Gwen was laughing uncontrollably. “Sarah!” The monster got all the way to my feet. When it vanished. “Goddammit Sarah!”

The phantom was back in the screen where he belonged, and Sarah was standing there laughing at me.

“Really?” Said Gwen. “You’re afraid of that thing?” She said pointing at the screen. Where a cartoony monster was dancing on the screen. Maybe it did seem kind of silly now.

“Don’t judge me I was just a kid…” I started to say.

“A kid?” asked Gwen. “You were like twenty when this came out.”

“A very young twenty years old,” I said defensively.

“Whatever,” said Gwen. “What does Sarah want?”

Now Sarah looked upset. “She looks upset,” I said.

“Is she mad we didn’t consult her?” Asked Gwen.

“Look, Sarah, we’re sorry, the case was over before it even got started there wasn’t time to contact you,” I said.

Sarah looked at me and shook her head.

“That’s not it?” I asked.

“Do you think the case isn’t closed?” Asked Gwen.

Sarah nodded and pointed at her.

“Did Preston tell you something he didn’t tell us?” I asked.

Sarah shook her head. “No,” I said.

“Then what is it?” Gwen asked.

Sarah shrugged.

“She doesn’t know,” I said. “Maybe she has a feeling about it.”

Sarah nodded.

“Preston was pretty confused,” I said.

“Not about Dill,” Said Gwen.

“Well we still have the tape Victora gave us,” I said. “Would it hurt to have Hymie look at it? I mean Sarah has never steered us wrong before…”

“I guess not,” Said Gwen.

Smoke The Cannabis Detective: Fresh Prints Main

This is more a re-release but it didn’t feel right publishing the second part with pictures and stuff and not draw some for the first part. So we are starting over again. Part two will be ready soon!

Smoke The Cannabis Detective: Fresh Prints part one!
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

Read the Smoke: The Cannabis Detective Book!

smoke1

Fresh Prints.

While Gwen was done selling honey with Lars, she still had an endorsement gig with the people who provided them, honey. She was known as the Honey lady. So she still had some kind of income, and she still got some of the money from her partnership. It was just that getting up early and going to the farmer’s markets weren’t working for her. Especially when we were working a case.

Between my reputation for being the guy who smokes Pot and sees ghosts, her reputation as the Honey lady we had become a couple of local celebrities. Suddenly we were getting invited to a lot more events. Like going to see the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. I didn’t even know we had one.

We were invited and Gwen wanted to see them. So we went. I highly recommend it. What I don’t recommend is that you start chewing gum before the concert, and then right before you go in you pop one of the little donut things they had in the lobby…

Now I have a talent to keep a piece of gum, stuck on one side of my teeth while chewing food on the other side of my mouth, and nobody is the wiser. Or at least nobody said anything. Point being that we were at relatively normal levels of Peter Kurtz uncouthness. That was about to change.

As the lights lowered and the music began to play I finished my donut thing and began chewing my gum once more. Something about the oil or some kind of ingredient had a strange effect on my gum. It began to feel weird inside my mouth. So I decided to remove the gum and place it on a napkin and throw it away later. No. I was not going to stick it to the bottom of the seat. I’m not that guy, I hate that guy.

Whatever had made my gum feel weird, altered its consistency to a paste that stuck to anything it touched. Like my lip. I pulled the gum from my mouth a long stand of gum stretched between my lip and my fingers.

Naturally, my instinct was to grab the end stuck to my lip with my free hand. This was on instinct. Now I had gum stuck to both hands and my lip and I could see a strand dropping down and it was going to get stuck to my chin. I tried to catch it with my palm. This was also a bad instinct. For catching the gum with my palm, brought my fingers close to the tip of my nose sticking the gum between my fingers to my nose.

It was at this time Gwen noticed me. “What are you… Oh my god!”

The music had stopped everyone was looking at me. All I could do is look at Gwen with a please-help-me-look and say. “Do you maybe have a napkin?”

“No. I don’t have a napkin.” What did Gwen mean by that, she always had a napkin in her purse this was an essential part of the plan. “There’s not one in your purse?”

Gwen trying not to laugh held up a tiny shiny sequined bag. “No tonight I guess I thought you could keep out of trouble for one night.”

I sat there covered in gum. “This is me we are talking about.”

“Here.” Said the woman next to me holding out what looked like a very expensive embroidered handkerchief with the letters VC on them. She looked like a socialite a woman of class and refinement in her late forties. A woman with strong features a beautiful ebony hew. Quite horrified to be sitting next to me.

It seemed a shame to ruin such a nice piece of cloth, but I had no choice. I carefully seized upon the cloth and used it to cover my face as I made a run for the bathroom.

It took a little while to clean myself up in the bathroom. When I got back the seat next to mine opposite of Gwen was empty. “I hope I didn’t scare her off,” I said in earnest.

“It wasn’t you.” Said Gwen giving me a kiss. “She had a family emergency.”

“Are you sure that wasn’t just her excuse?” I asked. We were keeping our voices low so no one could hear us.

“She said it was nothing compared to some of the fiascos her husband Preston has had.” Smiled Gwen. “It seems you’re not the only goofball she’s had to lone that handkerchief too.”

I forgot about that. It was still in my pocket covered in gum. “I forgot about that, I still have it.”

“She said for you to keep it.” Said Gwen. “Her name is Victora by the way.”

In the time it took me to clean myself up it seemed Gwen and Victoria were able to form a fast friendship. It seemed I had some stiff competition for the most embarrassing husband.

Victoria even invited us to brunch to discuss war stories, but it looked like we might not make it. Bruch was a little early in the morning too for Gwen, and her nausea was acting up. The harder she tried to get out of the house the worse it was. She needed her medicine she needed to smoke marijuana, but she couldn’t.

We just decided it was better if I didn’t drive. It happened after I almost ran us off the road because I saw a ghost. See I have cancer in order to treat it I use an experimental cannabis strain called Ghost 19. It has the little side effect of letting me see dead people. Seeing dead people while driving is less than conducive to positive driving habits.

Now, of course, Gwen and I don’t smoke and drive, but, the ghost that almost caused the accident appeared when we thought I was sober enough to drive. So now I just don’t drive, but that’s a problem for Gwen.

The hardest thing in the world was watching the person that you love puke their guts out into a garbage can knowing you can do nothing about it. She wasn’t sick, the doctors could find nothing wrong with her. All any of them wanted to do was throw pills at the problem. Cannabis helped. “Maybe we should tell Victora we can’t make it…” I suggested desperately to see my wife suffering end.

“We can’t!” The vomiting had stopped for a moment but she was not ready, the harder she pushed the worse it got. “I don’t want her thinking that we don’t like her.” She was so stubborn sometimes.

There was a knock on the door. I answered it and it was a friend we hadn’t seen a bit. A middle-aged black man in his early fifties, he was tall but thin, with a little bit of meat on him. He definitely worked out. He had a couple of braces on his arms. He had gotten into a car accident along with Gwen and I a while back. While we got minor injuries, his arms were broken. Seems the old rule of having your arms at ten and two didn’t play well with airbags. “Charles,” I called giving him a hug.

Charles and I got done with our hug. “Hey, Charles!” Said Gwen. Stil sitting on a chair in front of a trash can.

Stepping inside Charles took one look at Gwen and said. “Nausea again?” He got familiar with the problem because he was one of the cops assigned to protect us when they thought Sarah’s killer might be targeting us. Guess they were right.

Sara if you didn’t know is a ghost that helps us solve crimes. A sort of silent partner if you will. She was also our first case.

I looked at Gwen and said. “Yeah were already late which only makes things worse for her.”

“Hey.” Said Charles. “I don’t have anything to do today, I can give you a lift.”

I looked at the braces on his arms, “Can you drive in those things.”

“Yes, these are 3-D printed casts, the latest thing. The doctor says no heavy lifting and no hitting stuff, but yeah driving okay.” Charles said. He was a lifesaver Gwen was able to smoke and we headed down to the car.

On the way over we had a chance to talk to him about his early retirement. “Yeah,” He said. “They made up some bullshit excuse about me not being able to hold a gun properly.”

“That’s not right, was it because you are gay?” I asked.

“They didn’t say it of course.” Said Charles. “But, the Sargent has never been happy about it. Real old school type.”

“So are you going to fight it?” Asked Gwen.

“Yep.” He said. “My attorney thinks we have a case. In the meantime, I need something to do. Do you guy’s need a bodyguard?”

“A bodyguard…” Gwen said as we looked at each other.

“Don’t worry about money, I have my military retirement and my police retirement. I just want something to keep me busy.” Said Charles.

“Look,” I said. “We’re not sure we need a bodyguard…”

“Are you kidding?!” Asked Charles. “I heard about the guy who held you at gunpoint. Not to mention the attempt on your lives that gave me these casts.”

“Don’t forget Peter getting held at gunpoint by Sarah’s killer.” Said Gwen.

“Well yeah,” I said. “but those were just isolated incidents.”

“How many cases have you worked?” Asked Charles.

“Two,” Gwen said. “That’s three threats to our lives in two cases. I think he might have a point.”

I couldn’t argue. Maybe he was right.

We tabled the idea for a time because we arrived at the restaurant. Charles said he hang out and wait for a call. We invited him but he insisted, said he already had breakfast, and he didn’t go for that whole brunch thing.

We came in and Victora was waiting. “We’re sorry we’re late.”

“It’s okay.” Said Victora she was very stoic. “As is seems this is going to be a business brunch. I want to hire you.”

“Hire us?” I asked.

“I understand you two are private investigators. Gwen gave me a card.”

“We have a card?” I asked surprised by this news.

“Oh, that’s right!” Said Gwen taking a card out of her purse and showing it to me.

 

It Read:

Smoke Paranormal Detective Agency.
Going above and Beyond to solve your case.

 

It had a picture of a joint with smoke wafting off turning into a skull. It had Gwen’s name and number on it. “When did you do this?” I asked.

“Weeks ago.” Said Gwen. “I was going to show you I just forgot.”

“Do I get cards?” I asked.

“Please.” Said Gwen rolling her eye’s. “Like you’d remember to hand out cards.” She had me there.

smoke3We sat down to and Victora told us what was going on. “It’s my husband, Preston, he was murdered last night.”

“Oh my god!” Said Gwen. “Are you okay?”

“I’ll be okay later.” She said, very calm. “Right now I have something else I need to think about.”

“You are allowed to grieve.” Said Gwen. “It’s not healthy to bury your emotions.”

“I appreciate that.” Said Victora. “I will, in time. Right now I have to be strong, my family needs me. There is a bigger problem. It’s my nephew, he’s been arrested for the murder.”

“Do they have any evidence?” I asked.

“His prints were on the murder weapon,” Victora said. “And they have him on security cameras committing the murder.”

“Do you think he did it?” Asked Gwen.

“I don’t know. I saw the footage, my friends at the pricing let me see it. Looked convincing, but…” Victoria’s eyes began to tear up for the first time. “I just spent all night looking him in the eyes, he swears he didn’t do it. God help me… I believe him.”

“I’m sorry,” I said to her. “I’m not sure we can help you.”

“You two have been part of two very high-profile cases in the past year. I just want you to do your best.” Said Victora. “I owe that to my sister.”

Gwen and I looked at each other. “What do you think?” She asked.

I shrugged. “We can try I’ve never contacted a ghost so soon after death. I just don’t know anything I can provide that would contradict the forensic evidence.”

“I think we should.” Said Gwen. “At least Victoria and her sister would know.”

“My sister already knows. She passed on a few years ago.” Said Victoria, “I’ll pay your standard fees plus expenses, and I’ll even give you a signing bonus.”

“We’re not hitting you up for more money I swear,” I said to her.

“I know.” She said. “Do we have a deal?”

I looked a Gwen, she gave a nod. “I guess we do.”

“Good.” Said, Vitoria. “Do you have a standard contract I can look over or should I just draw up a custom one?”

“Um… Contract?” Said, Gwen, as she and I looked at each other.

Victora looked at us. “You don’t have contracts?”

“Not really,” I said. “We’ve just been playing it by ear.”

“I draw up some extras for you.” She said.

“Thanks.” Said Gwen.

“You can thank me by proving my Nephews innocence.” Said Victoria. “So how do you guy’s start? Do you go to the scene of the crime? Or do you want to start by talking to witnesses?”

“We kind of just go with the flow,” I said.

“In that case, I suggest you accompany me to see my Nephew. We can talk to him together and you can get a feel for the case.” Said Victoria.

Just like that, we were on the case. I had a bad feeling about this one. Maybe I just had a bad feeling about all of them. At least we were getting paid for this one.

We didn’t stay long just long enough to get a to-go bag and then Victoria had a limo pick us up. “I hope you don’t mind the limo, it’s a bit flashy but my clients expect it.” She said. “I’ve built an empire based on my reputation, and appearances help. Though I only really use it when I have a top level client or I want to talk while in transit.”

“I’ve never ridden in a limo outside of a funeral that is,” I said.

“It get’s old.” Said Victoria. “I prefer to drive myself most days.”

“We should call Charles.” Said Gwen. “He still thinks we’re at the restaurant.”

“Is Charles your driver?” Asked Victoria.

“He’s a friend,” I said. “A police officer, but he’s had some issues with that. He gave us a ride today and was asking us if he could be our bodyguard between gigs.”

“Is it a possible discrimination case?” Asked Victoria. “Forced retirement? Possibly because he’s openly homosexual?”

“Yes.” Said Gwen. “How did you know?”

“I was looking over that case this morning.” She said. “My firm is handling it. Be a big help if my client could show his ability to protect and serve is not compromised.”

“Wait,” I said. “Was this your idea?” I asked.

“No.” Said Victora. “I had no idea that my client knew you or of his request, but a good lawyer knows how to take advantage of a situation.”

“How do you do it?” Gwen asked. “How do you think about work like a time like this?”

Victoria gave a big sigh. “I know it might not be emotionally healthy but work is the only thing keeping me sane right now.”

That was it. The thing bugging me about this case, this mission to save her nephew was a smoke screen, a barrier keeping her from facing the reality of her husband’s death, and more the death of her sister. If we couldn’t tell her what she wanted to hear this case could go south real fast.

In a way, this case was uniquely Gwen’s. She was always the detective, I’m just the resource, but she’s also an empath if anyone can help Victora though this it was her.

We arrived at the police station. There weren’t many glad to see us. One of my investigations uncovered some problems within the precinct. They didn’t like the black eye, not many people on the force like me. Not that they liked me before, but before, before I was little more than a joke. They were the ones who gave me my moniker, Detective Smoke.

Not everyone hated me, but not many would cross the line to talk to me and Gwen. One who would be our detective friend Dwyane Coldron, he greeted us in the hall. “Hey, guys! What brings you here?” He asked.

“They were hired by me?” Said Victora. “I want them to speak to my Nephew.”

“Um…” Said Dwyane. “That’s not standard procedure.”

“She cleared it with me.” Said the Sargent. He was a tall man with a deep voice. “Though if I’d had known it was this clown and his wife. I’d have said no.” He said looking at me.

“Hey!” Said Gwen. “My husband and I are partners!”

“That’s right! If I’m a clown, then she’s a clown too…” Gwen looked at me in surprise. Though I could tell she was trying hard not to laugh. “That sounded better in my head. Where it should have stayed.” Okay. I knew better than to say it but that was funny.

The Sargent rolled his eyes. “I’m sorry to imply that he was… in charge.” He looked at Gwen. “Do you still sell that honey? My wife wants more, she say’s its the best.”

Gwen took out a card from her purse. “This is Kelly, she runs the stand for Lars, she’s terrific, call her and she’ll get you set up.”

“How many business cards do you have in that purse?” I asked.

“Lot’s.” Said Gwen.

smoke4Finally, we sat in the room with Victora’s Nephew Dillion. Dill for short. He might have been trying to look tuff, but he was barely keeping it together. He was a scared young man. The work killer didn’t come to mind when you looked at him. Or perhaps I was being drawn in by his youthful appearance. “Dillon sweetheart, I told you I’d get someone to help and here they are.”

“You go me the honey lady from the commercial?” He said looking at Gwen. I was a little relieved that he didn’t recognize me first.

“Yeah, the commercial thing is a side gig.” Said Gwen. “My husband and I solve crimes.”

“Hey, your that guy!” Dill said. “The ghost guy!” He looked at his aunt. “Not that I approve of the consumption of Cannabis.”

Victora laughed.

“You know if you get the T.V. deal you can’t say things like that.” Said Victora.

“T.V. Deal?” I asked.

“He was in talks with a producer to become a star of the new show. The Dank Duke.”

“That’s not going to happen now.” Said Dill.

“Isn’t he a little young for a show on cannabis?” I asked.

“The show was going to explore the world of underaged pot smoking in a legal state.” Said Victoria. “The ‘weed’ was going to be fake.”

“You were okay with this?” I asked.

“We encourage our kids to follow their dreams. Dill is a popular D.J. as well. Preston was overjoyed that Dill was going to have his own T.V. show on Netflix.”

“Yeah, they said the show was going to be super popular.” Said Dill. “We’ll never know now.”

Victora looked just a little bit guilty. “The show is still on.”

“They found someone to replace me?!” Dill was shocked.

“It’s you cousin Claton.” Said Victora.

“What?!” Asked Dill.

“The producer said that the show was going to be canceled so Claton volunteered to take your place.” Said Victora.

“But he can’t even act his way out of a paper bag aunt Victora.” Said Dill beside himself.

“Swee Dill, it’s only until we get this whole mess cleaned up.” Said Victoria.

“That is not how it works!” Said Dill. “If Claton starts as the shows star it’ll be all about him. If they use me at all I’ll just be the plucky comic relief.”

“Look,” said Victora. “We’ve got to focus on the problem at hand. Just tell them what you told me.”

“I was in my room… Playing a game.” Said Dill.

“What game?” Gwen asked.

“Call of duty, why?”

“I was just thinking that if you were active and the server reflects that we might have an alibi.” Said Gwen.

“I doubt it would hold up in court.” Said Victora. “I mean he could have left the game running I mean the murder happened in our house.”

“I didn’t do it!” Cried, Dill.

“I know.” Said Victora. “I’m just looking at things objectively.”

“The video game defense might not hold up in court, but I find that I like tugging at the loose threads. If we can establish that Dill was online at the time of the murder that might lead us to the next question. Pretty soon the whole thing comes unraveled.”

“Whats your gamer tag?” I asked.

“Master-rellish2304,” Said Dill. “Because people call me Dill.” He said embarrassed.

Well, we had a place to start at the least. Dill recanted that night as best he could. He was playing his game until late and then he went to bed. He was awakened later by one of the house servants who found Preston. He came to see what happened. The police then reviewed the camera footage and placed him under arrest.

Victora took us to her office next. She wasn’t handling the case but one of her best lawyers was. Victora was working in the background. This way she had access to anything pertaining to the case without asking she showed us a copy of the security camera.

It was pretty damning. Dill walked into the room while Peston kept his back turned, he stabbed his uncle three times. Then he dropped the knife and left. Even if I contacted Preston, and he said it wasn’t Dill, how could Gwen and I prove it in the face of this evidence? The knot in my stomach was growing tighter.

There was only one thing to do. Talk to the man himself. Preston was the one who was murdered, and I was the man who could talk to him. Victora took us to her house, the screen of the crime. It didn’t have to be the scene just somewhere the ghost was familiar with. Sarah was miles away from here crime scene at her dad’s house when I first encountered her.

“It’s strange.” Said Victoria “This is the first time I’ve been in this room since…”

“It’s okay if you don’t want to be here.” Said Gwen.

“No I want to be here I want to know what he say’s. I need this.” Said Victora.

I took out my travel buddy filled with Ghost 19 wax, a vape pen was easier to use than a traditional pipe or bowl as it’s called. I took a few hit’s and felt the high kick in. The next part was the hard part I braced myself for what was about to happen…

There was no guarantee that I would see anything, sometimes ghost doesn’t want to be seen. This was the awkward part of the job, everyone was staring at me, there was no time limit no normal just me waiting to see something.

smoke2As I sat in Preston’s chair I saw nothing. I was wondering if the death was too fresh or if maybe he was one of the people that didn’t come back as a ghost. That’s when Dill walked into the room. The door was closed so he walked though it. He was decked out in the same clothes he was wearing on the security video. I looked up at him confused and unsure.

He didn’t behave the way he did on the video though, in the video, he snuck up behind his uncle, and stabbed him from behind. This time ghost Dill pulled out his kife and came running for me. He came so fast and quick I fell over in Preston’s chair.

Dill came standing over me and stabbed the knife at my face repeatedly. I held up my arms defensively, even though I knew there was no danger. Dill disappeared. Preston was standing over me.

Gwen leaned over to Victora who was shocked by what just happen. “The ghost has made contact.”


 

STCD Fresh Prints part two!
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

Read the Smoke: The Cannabis Detective Book!

02-2 smoke 5I stood up Preston was looked shocked that I could see him. He tried to speak but the connection was never the best, I got video but no audio. I looked at him as spoke. “Are you Preston?” I asked.

He mouthed the word “yes,” and shook his head.

“It’s him,” I said to Victora and Gwen.

“Is it always this awkward?” asked Victora.

“No, sometimes it’s worse,” Said Gwen.

Preston seemed to have his attention drawn to someone who was invisible to us. No doubt our silent partner, Sarah. She was a ghost as well. She was our first case and now she just stuck around to help us. She was going over the rules with Preston.

Preston looked at me confused but I decided to press on. “Preston, we are here with your wife Victora.”

He looked at Victora and waved. “Preston says ‘s hi,” I said.

“I love you.” Said Victora uncharacteristically teary-eyed.

Preston mounted the words, “I love you too.”

“He loves you too,” I said.

“Preston,” I said. “Do you know who killed you?”

02-2 smoke 6Preston looked confused. He looked to Sarah. He seemed to be talking to her. Then a look of shock came over his face. Followed by despair. He dropped to his knees weeping.

The room had been silent for too long. Gwen got up and whispered to me “what’s wrong?”

“I don’t think he’s aware of the fact that he’s dead,” I said under my voice.

“Did you tell him?” Asked Gwen.

“Sarah did,” I said.

“So what’s going on now?” She asked.

“He’s processing,” I said.

“What’s wrong?” Asked Victora. Her voice caused Preston to look up at her.

“Sometimes the newly…” Gwen hesitated. “Dead…” The word sent Preston into a fresh round of crying. “Have some trouble with the transition.” That was as tactful as she could make it.

“What’s he doing?” Asked Victora.

“He’s… Crying. He just found out,” I said.

“Can he hear me?” asked Victora.

“Yes,” I said.

“Preston!” Said Victora with force. The tone of her voice seemed to snap him out of it. He looked worried. “I know this is hard for you but we really need your help. I need you to be strong for me. I need you to answer this mans question. Can you do that?”

Preston nodded and mouthed the word “yes.”

“He said yes,” I said.

Preston stood up and looked at me intently. “Do you remember the night you were… murdered?” I asked.

He looked like he was about to cry, but he gave a quick glance to Victora and that seemed to steel his resolve. He nodded yes.

“Did you get a look at your attacker?”

He nodded again.

“Do you know who it was?” I asked.

He didn’t nod instead he moved himself to the fireplace. He pointed at one of the pictures on the mantel. It was not good. It was a picture of Dill.

I was frozen I didn’t know how to react. “What is it?” asked Victora.

“You’re not going to like it,” I said.

“What did he say?” she asked.

02-2 smoke 7I pointed at the picture. “He said it was Dill…” I wanted to give her the answer she was looking for, but it was not the truth. I even believed it myself for a moment.

“Victora… I’m so…” Gwen began to say.

“Get out!” Cried Victora.

“Look I know this is hard,” I said. “We’ll leave, but do you want to say something to Preston…”

“You’re probably a couple of con artist anyway….” Said Victora. We started to leave. “Wait!” She said, and we turned around. “Tell him…” She hesitated. “Tell him I’ll always love him and I miss him so damn much it hurts.”

Preston began to speak, his mouth moved so fast I couldn’t follow, but I got the gist of it. “He says he’ll always love you too,” I said too her.

“I’ll make sure you are paid for your time,” she said. “Right now I just need to be alone.”

“Okay,” I said and we left. That was a hard case. I wish there was more we could do.

Charles came and got us from Victoras mansion. We told him what happen. “That’s a shame. I guess they can’t always turn out the way we want.”

“I know, something about this one bugs me. I looked into Dill’s eyes. I didn’t see the eyes of a killer,” I said.

“If there’s one thing being a cop has taught me,” Said Charles. “Sometimes the most stone cold killers have the eye’s of an angel.”

I didn’t reply. I couldn’t get the case out of my mind. I kept thinking about it. We had the camera footage, and the murder weapon, even the victim himself identified Dill as the killer. Why couldn’t I let this go? Did Victora’s need to prove Dill innocent infect me? Maybe, I just hated telling people bad news.

There was only one way to console myself at a time like this. Old video games. When we got home Gwen knew I was having a hard time and she let me break out my old system, and I began to play my favorite adventure R.P.G. The old school kind with dungeons and puzzles and items that helped you solve the dungeon puzzles.

Gwen sat next to me and we took turns, I’d play for a bit and then she would play. We would switch when we wanted to take a hit. “Poor Victora,” said Gwen as took the controller. “She really wanted Dill to be innocent.”

“I really thought he was,” I said taking a drag on my pipe.

“Me too,” said Gwen handing me the controller. “Makes me sad.”

“I never played this game high before,” I said. “Makes it kind of fun. Like a whole new experience.”

I was just about to enter the boss chamber when Gwen said “Hunny, did you know you’ve been smoking out of Casper.” Casper was my ‘special’ bowl. The one I packed with Ghost-19. I had another pipe for regular smoking. I called that one The Gate Keeper. Don’t judge.

The screen on the TV went white. “Ho no!” I said.

“What is it?” Asked Gwen.

“I never told anyone this before, but I always hated this dungeon because if it’s boss.”

“Really?” asked Gwen. “I always thought he was kind of goofy looking.”

A ghostly hand crawled out of the TV. “It’s the Phantom,” I said. “Something about his weird vacant polygon eyes…” He popped his head out of the TV and began to crawl out. “Fuck you!” I yelled at the pixilated blocky monster.

02-2 smoke 8He kept coming. “Sarah!” I said. “You can stop now!” Gwen was laughing uncontrollably. “Sarah!” The monster got all the way to my feet. When it vanished. “Goddammit Sarah!”

The phantom was back in the screen where he belonged, and Sarah was standing there laughing at me.

“Really?” Said Gwen. “You’re afraid of that thing?” She said pointing at the screen. Where a cartoony monster was dancing on the screen. Maybe it did seem kind of silly now.

“Don’t judge me I was just a kid…” I started to say.

“A kid?” asked Gwen. “You were like twenty when this came out.”

“A very young twenty years old,” I said defensively.

“Whatever,” said Gwen. “What does Sarah want?”

Now Sarah looked upset. “She looks upset,” I said.

“Is she mad we didn’t consult her?” Asked Gwen.

“Look, Sarah, we’re sorry, the case was over before it even got started there wasn’t time to contact you,” I said.

Sarah looked at me and shook her head.

“That’s not it?” I asked.

“Do you think the case isn’t closed?” Asked Gwen.

Sarah nodded and pointed at her.

“Did Preston tell you something he didn’t tell us?” I asked.

Sarah shook her head. “No,” I said.

“Then what is it?” Gwen asked.

Sarah shrugged.

“She doesn’t know,” I said. “Maybe she has a feeling about it.”

Sarah nodded.

“Preston was pretty confused,” I said.

“Not about Dill,” Said Gwen.

“Well we still have the tape Victora gave us,” I said. “Would it hurt to have Hymie look at it? I mean Sarah has never steered us wrong before…”

“I guess not,” Said Gwen.

Smoke The Cannabis Detective: Fresh Prints

I know it’s been a bit since I’ve posted about this story, I just finished up part two and will be publishing in a few days. I hope. Instead of posting every day which wasn’t working for me. I’d do fine for a while then I’d hit a bad patch and my schedule was thrown off. So instead I’m taking my time and putting out a more polished piece. Including pictures. So if you’re a fan of Smoke, you’ll be getting more content soon.