Day 43, Chapter 43
Lindsay Boxer, at home after another long day of crime solving:
We were on the wide leather couch in the living room, waiting for the eleven o’clock news. My feet were in Joe’s lap, and Martha was snoring on the rug beside me. I was frustrated and beyond exhaustion. I wanted to sleep, but my mind was spinning.
Martha is the dog, by the way. (The “spinning” mind reminded me of Yuki’s “head spinning off her neck”, from Chapter 7 – that was funny.) Lindsay tells Joe (her boyfriend, if you remember) that a woman came into the station today to report that she may have had a brush with the Lipstick Killer just before his latest murders. (She was the lady that the killer said, “Thanks for the fucking time of day!” to. Remember?)
“Jacobi said that she was shaking and had half chewed her lip off.”
Joe considers this good news, as she’s a potential witness – even if she’s prone to chewing her own face off.
“It’s something, but, you know, it could have been anyone wearing a baseball jacket, Joe. WCF, FWC. And now, CWF. You’re a puzzle addict. What do you get out of that?”
“West Coast Freak. Factory Workers’ Coalition. Chief Wacko Freak. Want me to keep going?”
“No, you’re right,” I said. “It’s gooseberries. The shooter is playing with us.”
Man, I think I came up with some better explanations for the acronyms than the author did. (So did some of the readers of this blog, for that matter – like Scott’s “foaming weiner cleaner” for FWC. Classic.) I mean, c’mon, I found better stuff by just Googling “WCF”. It’s pretty sad that Joe has to use the word “freak” twice too – not much of a “puzzle addict” if you ask me. Way to go the extra mile there, JPatt. It’s gooseberries, I say. Gooseberries. (see left)
Lindsay & Joe then watch the news, offering their stunning commentaries. Again, characters jump to the conclusion, based on nothing at all, that the Lipstick Killer is former military. Lindsay mentions that “he uses a suppressor, professional grade.” Joe’s reply:
“Sounds like he’s military. Special Ops. Or he’s a military contractor. Got the suppressor on the black market or overseas.”
What? You have to be military to find a silencer in this town? That’s ridiculous. You want a silencer? I can get you a silencer, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don’t wanna know about it, believe me.
Know what this chapter needs? A little Claire. Here you go, uninterrupted Claire Washburn on the evening news, addressing the media:
Claire turned her back to the cameras and got into her new Prius. She started it up, and I thought that was it – Get lost, you vultures – but she buzzed down the window, rested her elbow on the frame, and looked squarely at the cameras.
“Yes, I have something to tell the people of San Francisco, and I’m not speaking as the chief medical examiner. I’m speaking as a wife and a mother. Are we clear?”
There was a chorus of yeses.
“Moms, keep your eyes open,” Claire said. “Don’t trust anyone. Don’t park in lonely places, and don’t get near your car unless here are other people around. And, no kidding, get a license to carry a handgun. Then carry it.”
Go to Day 44.