View Full Version : Chapter 10 Murder on the Moon

05-01-2012, 12:38 AM
The painting is the Knight, the serial killer, wearing his favored uniform of the day. Jumpsuit, clown mask, and baseball cap.

Chapter 10
A late night call to Rita brought her agreement to meet Chet for breakfast the next morning. As they were enjoying the coffee and breakfast, Chet said, "Rita, I just wanted to say that I truly appreciate the way you went about handling that press conference. A lot of reporters would have taken the opportunity to totally dump our agreement and make the most of it. You passed up that opportunity in order to try and live up to your word, as much as it was possible under the conditions. I really respect that. Lifting his coffee cup in tribute, he said, "Here's to you. Beauty and integrity in one package."
Lifting her own cup in response, Rita answered. "Thanks Chet. Your reputation is one of not throwing around compliments, so I feel good about what you said. Don't get me wrong. Nobody goes after a story harder than I do, and I'll do just about anything to get it, but when I give my word, I do everything I can to keep it." Glancing at the clock, she continued. "So, have you heard this morning how Brenda Beckman is doing?"
"Called Trey first thing this morning. He said she is still pretty shook up. Probably going to take her some time to get over what happened."
Taking a sip of coffee from the cup that the waitress had just refilled, Rita inquired. "Was she able to provide any kind of description on the 'Knight'?"
"No. Just like with you, he was wearing a jumpsuit of some sort, a baseball cap, and a weird clown mask. The only thing she could give was the same things you noticed. He had blue eyes, and she saw enough of his skin around the throat to verify that he was Caucasian. No identifiable accent or habits."
Looking at the clock again, Rita said. "Well, I've got a meeting to get to. What's on your agenda today, if I might ask?"
"Off the record?," he asked.
Smiling, she responded. "Sure, why not."
"I'm going to go over and do an interview with Officer Riley's widow and daughter. Probably will come to nothing, but, you never know. I'll decide what I'll do next, based on how the interview goes. Hopefully, it will give me at least one lead to investigate."
When he reached for the check, Rita grabbed his hand. "No. This one's on me. Sort of final payment for having to break my agreement with you. Next time you can pay." When Chet smiled and released the check, she fed it into the payment register at the table, then ran her payment card thru the reader, and off they went in separate directions.

Mrs. Riley met Chet at the door and after checking his identification, invited him into the house. His notes said that she was thirty seven years old, but had he not known her true age, he would have guessed her to be several years younger. She was wearing a tee shirt that left her midriff bare, and shorts that were designed to draw attention to her legs. "Excuse my appearance. We got up late this morning, and I didn't have time to dress properly for visitors. I'm sorry about making you show your I.D., but, the way things are going now, I'm suspicious of everybody."
Chet smiled and and said, "Don't feel bad Mrs. Riley. You look fine, and your caution was a sign of good judgement. Will your daughter be here also?"
"It's Alice, not Mrs. Riley, and Misty takes awhile to get ready in the mornings. She should be with us in just a few minutes."
Chet walked slowly around the room, looking at family pictures for a couple of minutes, then returned to his chair. "Alice, your husband's death seems to be out of pattern with the rest of the killings. Do you have any idea at all, as to why the killer picked him?"
She seemed somewhat hesitant to speak, but finally she said. "I told the officer who interviewed me that day, but, I know that sometimes information doesn't always get passed along, so I'll tell you again. A couple of weeks before he was killed, Jim told me that he had spotted some guy following Misty home from school. He said that he picked the guy up and took him off somewhere and beat the hell out of him as a warning. He never said anymore about it, so I assumed that the guy went away. I don't know if this guy is the same one that killed Jim or not, but he's the only one that I know about, that might have a motive. Of course, I don't have to tell you, cops naturally make enemies. It's the nature of their jobs, so there could be others with motivation to kill him. I just don't know about them. Jim tried to keep the ugly part of his job away from our home."
After jotting down a couple of notes, Chet asked, "Did he give you a name or any kind of description on this guy that he told you about? Anything at all?"
"I'm sorry, no," she responded. Like I said, he didn't talk much about stuff like that. It was only because it involved Misty that he mentioned it at all."
"Did I hear my name being mentioned?"
At the sound of the new voice, Chet turned his head and watched the girl who had spoken those words, walk into the room. Her picture had been in the case file, so he recognized her right away as Misty, but, this was clearly a more grown up version of James Riley's daughter, than the picture in the file. She had recently turned eighteen, but just as her mother could pass for beingmuch younger than her true age, Misty's body made gave her the look of being four or five years older than she was. Chet couldn't help but wonder if she would have dared wear that low cut blouse and the short skirt, if her father were still living.
Alice Riley touched Chet's hand. "Mr. Garner, this is my daughter, Misty."
After they exchanged greetings, Misty took a seat on the couch directly in front of Chet. The sight of the very attractive mother and daughter, sitting side by side on the couch, was making concentrating on the interview more difficult than he had expected. Quickly, he decided to shift his approach, and stood and walked slowly around the room as he talked.
"Misty, did your father tell you about the man that he beat up because he was following you?"
She took a sip from the bottle of water she had brought into the room with her. "Yeah. He didn't say much about it. He just wanted me to keep an eye out when I was away from home. I wasn't that concerned about it. Chet, may I call you Chet? As you can probably imagine, I'm used to guys watching me. I figured Dad just over reacted. He was kind of old fashioned when it came to me."
At that point, Alice spoke up. "Boy, was he ever. We argued about that a lot. I'd buy her clothes to make her look good, and he would order her to take them back to the store. He wanted her to look like a little girl. Mr. Garner, does Misty look like a little girl to you?"
Chet answered quickly, then decided to get the interview refocused. "No. Now Misty, did your father describe this man to you?"
"Not really," she answered. Just that he was in his twenties, and creepy looking. Of course, to Dad, all men were creepy when it came to me. Luckily, mother was more realistic, and allowed me more freedom when he was working." Mother and daughter passed a secretive smile from one to the other, then Misty said, "there would have been hell to pay if daddy had every found out. I would have been grounded until I was old and feeble, and he would have beat the hell out of mom."
When he saw Alice nod her head affirmatively at Misty's remark, he asked. "Mrs. Riley, is that true? Did your husband beat you?"
"A few times. She stood up and walked over to where Chet was standing. After stepping close enough that they were almost touching, she spoke in almost a whisper. "I must admit that I sometimes drove him to anger. He worked very long hours, and was too tired to go places when he wasn't working, so I finally started going on my own." She turned, providing Chet with a very nice profile shot. "I'm my daughter's mother after all. I attracted a lot of attention from men, and I responded. He caught me a few times. The first two or three times, he just yelled a lot. After than, I guess he got frustrated, and smacked me around some."
"Did you report him?"
"No," she replied. "It was our business, and while I'm not excusing what he did, I helped create the situation. The thing that ticked me off, was his double standard. Some of the guys I was playing around with, were some of his buddies on the force. They told me a lot of stories about his own little adventures with women. Apparently he was just as guilty as I was." Then she flashed a small smile, "Well, probably not quite as much."
"Which reminds me." Misty was speaking from the couch. "Mother tells me that daddy told her some really interesting stories over the years about your own past." A teasing look came into her eyes, and she asked. "Any truth to those stories Chet?"
"Believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see," he answered. When he said, "Well, I suppose I better be getting back to work, Misty stood and walked over to stand beside her mother. "It was very nice meeting you Chet," she said as she stared into his eyes. "Please come back and see us."
"Yes," spoke up Alice Riley, with her own eyes shining. "Don't be a stranger. Drop by anytime."
After he stepped out the door, Chet turned back to face the two Riley women. "You both should be careful. There is a possibility that the guy your husband and father beat up, might be the serial killer. If so, he has already shown an interest in Misty. He could show up here some night and kill either, or both of you. Stay alert and trust nobody."
"Not even you?," Alice teased.
Looking from one to the other, Chet answered. "Especially not me."

05-01-2012, 03:10 AM
BB... this is good I am getting deeper and deeper into this... the painting of the serial killer is no help !...:eek:....trust no one ..!

05-01-2012, 05:26 AM
BB... this is good I am getting deeper and deeper into this... the painting of the serial killer is no help !...:eek:....trust no one ..!

:) I did this with brighter colors, but he looked too friendly. I thought this worked a lot better. Appreciate the kind thoughts Gary. Thanks. :D:D

05-01-2012, 05:56 AM
Clowns are so creepy and this one is very, very creepy.

05-01-2012, 10:42 AM
Clowns are so creepy and this one is very, very creepy.
That's what I was hoping for! :) Thanks a lot. :):)

05-02-2012, 12:57 AM
I never did like clowns very much and looking at this character I was right:D:D
Nice work as always dear Mike:):)

05-02-2012, 04:16 AM
I never did like clowns very much and looking at this character I was right:D:D
Nice work as always dear Mike:):)

Yep, anybody that has a smile on their face all the time, cannot be trusted! :D
Thanks so much Amanda. Very much appreciate. :):)

05-03-2012, 12:50 AM
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr this is really exciting, well done again Barnburner:)

05-03-2012, 01:32 AM
So, it's getting interesting to realize how fundamental news are either leaking out or getting sealed .... :rolleyes::)
Dear Barn, You really know how to narrate thrillers and the protagonists seem to be people You would like very much if they were real persons or remind You people You appreciate.
The story's really enthralling ..... and a clown is always a less abused guilty than a butler ... :D
This far we may be quite confident the killer or rather the stalker may be a US citizen, since we're on the US colony and he was wearing a baseball cap. :rolleyes::)
I just wonder whether there's also a Circus over there and I would check also the lions tamer's alibi in case ...;)

05-04-2012, 02:22 AM
Katie - Thank you so very much. You are too kind. :D :D

Caesar - Thanks a lot. Your kind comments are appreciated. I'd say the odds are, that the killer is an American citizen, but then, the borders to the moon are pretty much wide open, so, you never know. Some Italian might have slipped thru security... ;) :D :D :D

05-04-2012, 05:30 AM
Mike, another excellent , exciting story, keep them coming :)