March 30, 2021

Breakdown

Blood splattered inside the candy apple Ferrari, a stark contrast to its sedate cream coloured interior. Parts of Neil Gates’ innards mingled perversely with shards of broken glass; a severed hand clutched the latest Plácido Domingo CD.

After wrapping his Ferrari ’round a traffic light at Yonge and Queen, most of Gates’ gangly body had been ejected through the front windshield of the two-door coupe and into oncoming traffic. Seconds after hitting the pavement, Gates was unceremoniously run over by a Jetta filled with party girls too drunk to notice him. Eventually, he landed at the feet of Ms. Barbara Weeks, a classy call girl with seawater eyes and breasts that doubled as life preservers.

I mention the hooker since she was the first person I met when I drove up on the scene. Still in shock and talking a mile a minute, she could remember little and was wearing even less. Sitting in the back of my squad car, her skirt riding up on her thighs, Barbara Weeks gave me that unusual opportunity to escape the dreariness of accident reports; what life must be like for those able to afford her charms.

Sergeant Dobbs’ voice crackled over the radio, breaking the moment.

What’s to brief, I thought. Rich guy goes out, night on the town, gets drunk, hops into his flashy ride and ends up tied like a ribbon around a traffic standard

“Allyn?”

I grabbed the radio. “Sarge?”

“The vic?”

“Dead.”

“Damn. Gates was on the A list. There are going to be a lot of people wanting to know what happened. Press there?”

“Haven’t seen ’em yet. Crew just finished loadin’ the Ferrari. Body’s on its way to the morgue. I’m just about done here.”

“They’re going to want a briefing. Figure no more than an hour or two to put this one together. Step it up Jack or we’ll both be in it.”

“No worries,” I said.

What’s to brief, I thought. Rich guy goes out, night on the town, gets drunk, hops into his flashy ride and ends up tied like a ribbon around a traffic standard. The ending was had become so common that the report would practically write itself. Of course, “they” wouldn’t want to hear any of it. Any suggestion that would tarnish the reputation of the great Neil Gates would fall on the deaf ears of the muckety mucks whose job it was to spin an otherwise moronic tale into a Greek tragedy. The real tragedy, in my opinion, was trading a night with the hooker for one with a corpse.

“Thanks for your cooperation Ms. Weeks. Someone will be in touch if we require any more information.” She offered a wane smile, got out of my car, and set off down the street.

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