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Detective Gee-Temple: The Tibbs Files

May 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Detective Gee-Temple

In April of 2017, The Lankville Daily News began publishing excerpts from the diary of wanted Craughing mass murderer Tibbs Senior, missing since 1967.

Shortly thereafter, I received a request for assistance from the Craughing Area Police Unit (CAPU) in regards to the possibility that Tibbs could still be alive and living in Almond Beach, a once prosperous oceanside community in Eastern Lankville. We knew, of course, of his son Gump, a noted recidivist and Daily News reporter but efforts to discuss Tibbs, Senior with Tibbs, Junior led nowhere. “He is dead to me,” the normally well-mannered son said of his father. “His spirit is a curse and an abomination upon the firmament.” Tibbs, Junior claimed to have none of his father’s personal effects.

A week after the excerpts began appearing in the News, I connected with the East Lankville Beach Police Precinct and was given an exceedingly small file on an individual named “Ferguson Bunts”. The file consisted of three pages, typed on browning onion-skin paper.

“Who is Ferguson Bunts?” I asked.

Sergeant Service, a gaunt, grey man with prominent brows, scratched his chin reflectively.

“He’s a curious individual who appeared in Almond Beach some time around 1967, 1968– prior whereabouts unknown. He purchased one of them so-called luxury villas out in the Almond Beach Prosperity Village. He’s the only one on our books that fits your man’s description and would be the correct age to be this Tibbs.”

I leafed through the file. Three public drunkenness raps. Little else. But there was one recurring detail which leaped out at me.

Subject wearing a white three-piece suit was repeated in all three accounts.

“I think this could be our man,” I proffered. “Course, he would be about 90 years old now.”

“You think he’s still living?” Sergeant Service asked. “Mother of shit.”

Service glanced at the documents and then consulted his Danny Madison Reckoner. “This Bunts is still listed in the white pages. Says he’s still living out in the Almond Beach Prosperity Village. We can ride out there iff’n you want.”

I thanked him for the offer and we set out in the prowler.

The Almond Beach Prosperity Village is located on a stretch of flat, marshy land, a few miles from the ocean. The houses, save for the paint jobs, are all identical one-story cottages with front bay windows, winding cement sidewalks and modest, tasteful shrubbery. Still, the place had aged poorly. It was of another era.

“What’s the population here?” I asked. Service thought about that for awhile.

“Older, I’d say. Maybe you got some young families but they ain’t much good. It ain’t really a vacation hub lik’n it used to be. Peoples tend to stay now in them luxury hotels and condominiums. You gotta’ put the corn down where the cows can get at it, if’n you know what I mean.”

I didn’t. “What does that mean?” I asked.

“What the hell do you mean, what does that mean? It’s a common expression.”

“No it isn’t,” I argued.

“Well, it is,” he responded.

Home of Ferguson Bunts (file photo).

“Listen,” I said. “I want no part of your made-up folksy aphorism. Just drive me out to this address.”

We pulled up to the curb and, just like that, there he was. He was hammering a stake into the middle of his yard– the purpose of the stake eluded me. He was wearing a white, three-piece suit and did not appear to have aged at all– if anything he looked considerably younger. The only conceivable sign of decline was a pearl-handled cane which he leaned on as he hammered but this accessory could have been merely ornamental.

I got out of the car and approached the individual.

“What is your name, sir?”

He looked up. The grey beard in the 1966 photo was now an unearthly black hue.

“WHY HELLO OFFICER. MY NAME IS FERGUSON BUNTS AND I AM A GREAT PROPONENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT!”

He let out an expansive, booming laugh.

“Mr. Bunts.” I paused. I had to be careful here. “How long have you lived in this house?”

“OH, FOREVER, OFFICER. FOREVER.”

He suddenly let loose with an earth-shaking blow to the stake, driving it completely into the ground.

“MY WORK IN THE FRONT YARD IS NOW COMPLETE,” he announced. He stood up and the pearl-handled cane flashed in the sunlight.

“Mr. Bunts, do you have any sort of identification?”

“INDEED, INDEED I DO OFFICER AND I WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO SHOW IT TO YOU. BUT FIRST, I MUST ASK THE ETERNAL QUESTION– WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?”

I paused again and looked back at the prowler where Service sat with the window rolled up, reading from a lewd pamphlet. I could see that he would be no help whatsoever and I wondered about that.

“Mr. Bunts, you may be aware that a…diary was recently discovered and published in excerpts in The Lankville Daily News. I stopped. His face revealed nothing.

“Anyway, this is simply a routine inquiry into that diary. You see, the man who wrote the diary has been wanted by law enforcement since 1967.”

“WELL, CERTAINLY, HE MUST BE DEAD BY NOW, OFFICER!” he offered in a strangely agreeable and joyous voice.

“He would be of advanced age, yes. But, well, see, the East Lankville Police Precinct returned only one name during our routine inquiry and…well…that name was yours.”

“ISN’T THAT A DELIGHT?” he asked, nearly blinding me with the sunlight caroming off the pearl-handle in a peculiarly strong manner. “BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU, OFFICER, I AM NOT THAT MAN.”

“Did you ever own a hotel, Mr. Bunts?”

Still, his face revealed nothing.

“NO, I’M AFRAID NOT, OFFICER. I FOUNDED AND MAINTAINED A SPORTING GOODS SHOP FOR MANY YEARS. BUT I AM NOW RETIRED.”

I looked again at the meager documents in my hand. I could think of nothing else.

“Thank you for your time, Mr. Bunts. Please stay in the area for the time being.”

“Officer,” he said, in a low, foreboding voice. “I am here. I am always here. As are you. As are all of us.”

I looked back at Service. He had not even bothered to look up.

“Thank you, Mr. Bunts.”

I got back in the prowler.

“Think I can get a warrant on this guy?” I asked.

“Nope,” he said. “Not in a million years.”

“Why?”

He finally looked up and placed the pamphlet on the dashboard. I noticed the title– Lesbian Circus.

“Find out for yerself. Do some digging. See what happens.”

He suddenly slammed the car into drive and we drove away.

Bunts watched us all the way from his porch.

Real Life Cases of the Lankville Police Department

July 1, 2015 Leave a comment
Hugh G. Pickens

Hugh G. Pickens

All the urchins in Herrera’s neighborhood liked to come around in the cool of the evening, hang on the fire escape, and listen to stories of his days as the star first baseman for The Balloons, the local nine. “I hit many,” he would say in his dumb Lankvillian and then the children would watch as he replicated his famous left-handed swing. His arms were now covered with prison tattoos, strange rainbow-colored abrasions, and small squares of burlap, pasted to the skin but this only further intrigued the dissolute youths.

Then they began to disappear.

At first, the authorities were hesitant to get involved. These were the days of mysterious disappearances– bushes, billboards, mailboxes, sometimes even entire buildings would suddenly be gone. “They’re Islanders,” said Detective Gee-Temple and for awhile it was left at that. But then neighbors began reporting strange sounds coming from Herrera’s fourth-floor walk-up, often in the middle of the night. “The sound is telescoping,” explained a gaunt biology student who lived across the hall and came by the Detective’s office one sweltering summer afternoon to make his report. “It starts out sounding like a power tool but then radiates outwards and changes in timbre. It becomes almost gel-like, like the summoning of ooze.” Gee-Temple couldn’t follow any of it. The boy was clearly crazy. Plus, the Cordial Air-Roborant window unit had busted and the heat was terrible. He knew that it was only a matter of time before the streets erupted in chaos.

Gee-Temple:  "I took some of the wings out of the bassinet."

The intrepid Detective Houston Gee-Temple

The student was nattering on. “It’s like someone mixed products into some sort of primordial crawling jelly, emptied the concoction into a mail sack and then just bounced the sack up and down on the floor all night. Yes, that’s exactly what it’s like.” The boy seemed very pleased with himself.

Gee-Temple began to feel murderous. The interview had to be ended.

“Alright, son. I’ll make a visit to Mr…what is it?….Herrera this evening.”

He waited until night. The building sat on its own, between two empty dirt lots. There was an abandoned Pappy’s Chicken House across the street. The drive-thru roof had collapsed on a truck, no one had bothered to remove the detritus. “I remember that case,” Gee-Temple thought. He noticed that the bucket of chicken was still on the dashboard. Some kids sat on the curb smoking. The wave of smoke was that of marijuana. “Pot people,” thought the Detective. But he pressed on.

He found Herrera’s name written idiotically on a mailbox in the litter-filled lobby. There was a machine that dispensed small cartons of milk but someone had tipped it over. He tried the elevator. The “UP” button dinged but nothing further happened. He huffed it up the stairs.

Herrera’s door was the last on the left. Two or three old take-out menus lurked in a dusty corner. There were cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. Someone had eaten half a pizza and then stomped the rest into the carpet. Gee-Temple thought suddenly of the time he had brought his estranged wife a pizza as a peace offering. He had handed her the box in the lobby of what had been their home. She dropped it at his feet and walked away. “No greater insult,” thought Gee-Temple, “than dropping a wonderful pizza at the feet of your lover.” He realized then that he had said it aloud in the forlorn hallway. He heard from somewhere the sound of a sash being thrown, now heavy footfall down a fire escape. He had given Herrera a head start.

He ran down four flights with the service pistol drawn and into an empty dark street. The Pappy’s Chicken House had disappeared, replaced by huge shards of old blacktop. There was nothing more to be done. A crumpled memo blew up against his leg. He picked it up. Someone is posing as a fireman to gain access to the fire station. Several hoses are missing…he read. There was no end to it. He walked all the way back to the station.

“I will endure,” he thought.

OPINION: I Sat Down. And then, Instantly, I Began to Sink into the Cube

January 30, 2015 Leave a comment
By an Unfortunate Man

By an Unfortunate Man

IMPORTANT OPINIONS

It was a white room full of stars, patches and a cube. There was a chair. It looked comfortable so I sat down. And then, instantly, I began to sink into the cube.

It lasted hours. A long transformative period inside the cube. There were great swaths of vermilion interlaced with thick globs of pallid ochre. And then I was reincarnated as a dispossessed god-figure struggling to re-establish my dominion in the far-future.

There was a great orb of a moon. It was very near and filled the night with radiance. And then they said, “stop looking at the moon velex* and step into the challenge polyhedron.”

There it was before me. A hideous, abominable polyhedron. I had no choice but to step inside.

I fought the other dispossessed god figures all night. I was the victor. Slowly, my hegemony would again be recognized.

*The author has informed us that “velex” is a synonym for “asshole” utilized only in the distant future.

Lankville Crime Log

January 13, 2015 Leave a comment
Gee-Temple:  "I took some of the wings out of the bassinet."

By Detective Houston Gee-Temple

ITEMS TAKEN

Lankville police are investigating the theft of power tools, a portable generator, a circular saw, a tubing bender and many balloons from a property in the Eastern Woodlands.

HARASSMENT

Lankville police investigated an incident that occurred last night along Route 26 in the Southern Basin Area. Keera Shawn, 24, allegedly grabbed Alexxis K. Bombers while she was sitting in a booth at Suddenly Mama Pizza!  Ms. Shawn then pulled Ms. Bombers out of the booth by her hair and onto the floor. Ms. Shawn then dropped some piping hot fries on Ms. Bombers’ back. The fries had gravy on them.

Ms. Shawn was taken to the Southern Basin Specific Hospital.

Later in the evening, Ms. Holly Leaf, 26 was accused of punching an unidentified female, 21, in the face and then eliciting a challenge. The challenge was stopped by some local residents. Ms. Leaf is currently in custody.

CHALLENGES

There were 449 other reported challenges in Lankville last night, resulting in 452 deaths.

DEER STRUCK

Ms. Katrina Snyder-Importants was driving northbound on Lankville State Highway 14 when a deer crossed the road. The deer jumped and was struck by the windshield. The deer carcass was immediately shredded in half and the shredded part came through the windshield causing the car to fill up with blood and gore. Ms. Snyder-Importants lost control of the vehicle and drove it into a nearby sportswear shop. The shredded deer carcass was thrown into a display rack of athletic socks.

Damage is estimated at $20,000.

MISCHIEF AND SHENANIGANS

The old man who was "grilled".

The old man who was “grilled”.

Someone dumped syrup on a 2002 Neptune Fulfillment and then covered the vehicle in toilet paper in the Northern Hole Area. A hotline has been opened for anyone with information– call Lankville Police Area, 5-2688.

OLD MAN AND GRILL

It is reported that the old man sitting alone outside by a grill was not engaging in any criminal acts. The incident which occurred yesterday and prompted over 200 calls to police headquarters, was investigated by the author. The man, Mr. Stanley Provider, 72, was watched for over 4 hours from a nearby bush but engaged in nothing criminal. Nevertheless, he was detained and questioned overnight. Frankly, we’re not sure what happened to him. Some officers thought he was let out, others didn’t remember letting him out. So, he’s gone. You can call that number above if you have information.