It was 11:15 P.M. and Detective Isaias and Sheriff Lenkley were tying one on at a local dive bar called The Blue Bull. Lenkley knew the place because he passed it everyday on the way to work but he never went in- Gonzo didn’t know what kind of effect alcohol would have on him. It had quite an effect on Isaias apparently however, as the detective was getting sloppy and loose-tongued. After three shots of tequila and two beers he might as well have been an open book.
“I’m Mexican, I take my tequila like water!” He exclaimed loudly at one inebriated point of the night. His accent was becoming more apparent with every drink and every word. Apparently he stifled it on a regular basis, but it was coming out now. “You know, I don’t mean to offend you, but I really can’t stand this city. I mean, I don’t know how people live here, there’s nothing going on, there’s nothing around, there’s nothing to do!” Isaias sloppily stated.
Lenkley responded, “None taken, doesn’t matter to me what piece of earth you insult. All the same to me, but I kinda like it here.” Gonzo had baby-sat one beer the entire two hours they were at The Blue Bull. It didn’t really do anything for him but he liked how cold it was. As the detective became more uninhibited, so did Gonzo but not because he was drunk. He just knew that the detective was so drunk that he couldn’t make any sense of what was being said to him anyway. Gonzo liked this. He decided that he liked being around drunk people. It seemed to afford both the luxury of not having to be careful with what he said and…opportunity. ‘I’ll have to visit bars more often.’ he thought to himself.
“That’s good. It’s important to be comfortable to be happy in your own skin.” The detective said. He switched topics abruptly, “Do you really think there is something up at the Reynolds’ place?” he asked sternly.
Lenkley downed the last of the beer in his glass unpleasantly- it was warm now- and replied solemnly, looking straight into Isaias’ glazed-over eyes, “I really do.”
Detective leaned back slowly and replied, “To be honest, I didn’t think much of it when you mentioned it at the station, but I’m so goddamn eager to get out of this place that I’m willing to try anything.” Gonzo smirked, he knew the feeling. Isaias continued, “I like you Lenkley, you’re a little on the serious side but there’s a sincerity in you and that’s hard to find in this world.”
“You’re not bad yourself, now. At first I kinda thought you were an uptight dick.” Lenkley replied.
Isaias let out a boisterous laugh at this, pounded his fist on the bar and proclaimed, “Ok goddammit, first thing tomorrow I’m gonna do everything I can to get a search warrant from the judge. Fucking worth a shot right?” Lenkley nodded. Isaias continued in a slurred, choked-out Mexican accent, “Anything to close this fucking case- and if this actually leads to something, I will fucking owe you one.” The detective pointed a finger at Lenkley with his last statement. For some reason, Gonzo detested being pointed at.
Lenkley leaned in a bit closer to Isaias and said in a quiet voice, “Did you really not find anything at the hospital?”
“Not a damn thing. Whoever snuffed that fucker out was a real cat burglar.” Isaias answered.
Gonzo stifled a grin. “C’mon, let me give you a lift to your motel.”
Baby Riley had been crying all night and Thomas George was doing his best to pacify his infant son. He carried him in his arms, bouncing him gently as he paced the tiny living room of his apartment. He wanted more than anything to be at The Blue Bull making face-time with Detective Isaias, but he had a wife and kid to go home to. He bitterly imagined the good time Lenkley and Isaias were having while Riley screamed in his ear. George loved his son but resented the fact that Lenkley had no responsibilities that kept him from drinking all night. He was free. George kept thinking of the possibility that Lenkley was the one who committed that grizzly murder. There was no disputing the fact that Lenkley dished out a savage beating on the suspect, so who was to say that he wasn’t also capable of murdering him? Thomas George spent the rest of the night with his thoughts divided between his fatherly duties and finding a way to prove his theory.
The next morning, Lenkley found himself driving to 2154 Lavender Grove Way yet again. He had been summoned in his fourth hour of city patrol by Detective Isaias. When he pulled up to the residence he saw three police cruisers with lights flashing, blocking the street off. The detectives black Crown Vic was among them. Lenkley parked his car and stepped out. He saw Arthur Reynolds and his wife being shoved into separate squad cars, handcuffed. Lenkley found Isaias standing in the dining room of the Reynolds’ house. “I’m assuming I was right?” Lenkley said.
“Fucking right you were!” Isaias responded. Every cop in Carson City was in or around the house, milling about, trying to look busy doing this or that. “We found the murder weapon. You were right, that dog led us right to it. Reynolds buried it under the doghouse. Of course he claimed he had no idea what it was or how it got there.” Both Isaias and Lenkley laughed derisively at this.
“What was it?” Lenkley asked.
“A fucking wood file. Brutal.” Isaias answered.
“Christ.” Lenkley retorted.
“Anyway, this all seems pretty open and shut now. George has the evidence and he is prepping it for the lab as we speak. We’re gonna confirm the blood sample, I’ll be back at the station to write a report, and I should be out of here by tonight.” Isaias was beaming as he spoke, obviously elated by the turn of events. Great police work Sheriff, and listen, I was drunk last night but not that drunk, don’t think I forgot what I said about owing you one. If ever you get the itch for big-city lights and all the fine bitches you can handle, I’ll make sure there’s a place for you at Reno Sheriffs.” Isaias slapped the side of Lenkley’s arm, smiled and walked off to his cruiser. “See you in a bit!” he called back to Lenkley.
Back at the station George was preparing the murder weapon to be sent to the lab. It was an old file about a foot long. It was caked in blood and dirt. George stared at it through the big, transparent, plastic bag it was in. He couldn’t believe Lenkley cracked the case. He hated it. He hated him. As he stared at the file he noticed a faint etching on its wooden handle. George looked closer. “C-A-F” he said aloud to himself. The initials C.A.F. were etched into the wooden handle of the file as if to signify ownership. It was barely visible with all the blood and dirt however. “C-A-F” he said aloud to himself again, “who can that be?” Arthur Reynolds initials were A.R.R. It didn’t make sense, but Lenkley’s initials obviously didn’t match either. ‘Who does this file belong to?’ he asked himself. At that moment Detective Isaias burst through George’s office door.
“The transport is here, that thing ready to go?” he said, looking at the bagged-up file.
“Yeah but I found something here-”
“Don’t wanna hear about it, send that thing out now now now” Isaias interrupted, grabbing the file himself and taking it outside. George went after him but Isaias was already handing it over to the transporter charged with the task of taking the piece of evidence to the forensic lab two towns over. The van sped off and the two men stood watching it disappear in the distance.
George spoke, “Now that the case is closed, how about a victory drink on me tonight at my house?” He figured his wife would not be able to protest when he told her that he was bringing a detective from Reno home with him.
But the detective refuted, “You did good work in this case Thomas but I gotta get back to Reno. Thanks for the invite but I’m gonna have to decline.The results of the blood work, which will no doubt be a match, should get back here in a couple hours, then I’ll write the report, then I’m a ghost.”
“Then how about now. We’ll knock off for a while, they’ll call us when the results are in.” George rebutted.
“Sorry, no can do.” said Isaias, not even offering an excuse. He was already heading back into the station.
“Opportunity was slipping through George’s fingers once again and he exploded, “But you can have a drink with Lenkley!?”
Isaias turned around with a puzzled look of contempt on his face. “Don’t make this awkward George.” and he walked back into the building leaving Thomas George alone, outside.
Three hours passed before the boys at the forensics lab called the station with the results. They were conclusive, the blood on the murder weapon was that of Omar Daniel Ramos, the late home invasion suspect. “Well that’s that!” declared Isaias as he walked into the briefing room to prepare his report. They were all at the station to await the results. The chief, Lenkley, Isaias, and George. The case was all but closed. The detective had only to complete his report then he’d be off. Thomas George was melancholy. Two more hours passed and Detective Efran Isaias was done with his report. He emerged from the briefing room which was serving as his makeshift office, said his goodbyes, and shook hands with the chief, George, and finally Lenkley. “Remember my offer Lenkley, it’ll stand as long as I’m in Reno.” Isaias said as he shook Lenkley’s hand. Then he was gone. George was furious. He could only imagine what Isaias had offered Lenkley.
As Deputy George drove home that night, the letters C-A-F still haunted him. He thought as hard as he could but he couldn’t remember anyone with those initials and he knew pretty much everyone in Carson City. He passed the avenue that led to Lenkley’s weird little shack. Then it hit him. Charles Aaron Foxborough was the man who sold Lenkley that shack when he came to town. George had known the old craftsman, he hung out at the hardware store all the time. The file must have been his and by proxy, Lenkley’s. George immediately pulled a hard U-turn and headed toward Lenkley’s shack. It was time to pay Terrence Lenkley a visit at his home.