All they knew was that their suspect had a double thumb.
August 11, 2013
A VG Serial: Dark Continent Continental
“I see.” Angus said, as he talked into the receiver of the phone on his desk. “Holy crap, Doc! It just gets squirrelier and squirrelier. I really appreciate your keeping me up to speed on this. Something tells me it’s gonna effect all of us eventually. Maybe we can prepare ourselves a bit. Again, keep me posted, when and if it’s convenient.”
“Was that Dr. LeBraun?” Skeeter was foaming at the mouth. “What did he say? Come on!”
Angus began rummaging through his desk drawer again for his pocket atlas. “Watch me!” Angus drew a red circle around Philadelphia. Then he hovered the red marker over San Francisco. He drew two circles there.
“You have got to be kidding. Angus, this thing is big!”
“Yeah, and if it keeps on going, we are gonna be effected eventually. It won’t be long until it’s in our own back yard.”
“What does your gut tell you it is, Angus.
“Well, Dr. LeBraun can’t figure it out, nor can any other MEs. But my own gut tells me it is a crime. All of these brainless bodies are murders—not acts of God, aliens, or rampant medical conditions.”
“Are the victims random, do you think?” Skeeter asked.
“It’s hard to tell. I don’t get the feeling that it is terrorism, but somehow all these spread-out victims had one thing in common, and that one thing in common caused their deaths.”
* * *
It was so spooky that Angus and Skeeter had a hard time concentrating on their work. A cloud the color of rubber-tire smoke seemed to hang over them, and the cloud seemed to carry with it that same weird smell that was just as bad.
Angus offered a re-cap of their current case. “We have guessed that Solis may have been working with Ortega and Guzman on the home invasion murders. I have checked Solis’ records and prints over and over. There is nothing to indicate he had a double thumb—his thumbprints are normal.”
“And I have checked and re-checked your checks and re-checks and arrived at the same conclusion. Solis may have been there and left no prints at all, but there was still another party at the scene—one with a double thumb. So what now, should we call Padilla again?” Skeeter asked.
“No. Not in my opinion. He was very generous with what he gave us, and we might need his help more urgently in the future. I don’t want to irritate him or get on his last nerve at this point. I first think we should contact the border patrols and see if they know of any double-thumb perps. It’s such a unique trait….”
Skeeter didn’t allow him to finish his sentence before she added. “Yeah, it sticks out like a sore thumb!”
“Oh my gosh. Groan, groan, groan, groan, groan! All I’ve got to say.”
“I’m sorry.” Skeeter giggled. “I thought I’d better say it before you did.
Agreed. We should call the border patrols. What about Rosendo? Would he know anyone down there who could help us?”
“Good idea. We’ll ask him if he has any ideas. He has all those cousins. Maybe he could ask them if they have heard any underground rumors or gossip about a double-thumber. What’s the matter Skeeter?”
“I can’t quit thinking about the brainless bodies, the body count, and how it is mounting up.”
“I know, it is warting me to death. And when are we gonna be effected by it? We will be, and something tells me it will be sooner than we think.”
Angus stared at his pocket atlas once again.
Chapters of Dark Continental by Sara Marie Hogg will be published on Saturday and Sunday.