June’s Short Story

Title image of Galveston's Fun Pier

It’s 16 June, the third Thursday of the month. That means it’s time for a story.

Today, Finding Mr. Doodles: blurb.

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Finding Mr. Doodles

“So, that’s where he’s been,” said Officer Charles LaRoux. He stood and tugged on his belt to refit it over his bulging middle.

Detective Richard Harris remained squatting next to the body of the young man who’d washed up on the edge of the Seawall. He scratched his chin before standing up to tower over the patrolman the Chief, his new boss, had assigned to drive him around while he “got the feel of the place.” That was two weeks ago, and the patrolman still showed up every day to drive him wherever he needed to go.

Harris sighed and looked over the heads of LaRoux and the forensics as the sun dipped its toes into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. He would have enjoyed just standing and watching the sunset, but the noise of the Pleasure Pier roared in his ears. After a career in the Army as a Master Sergeant, he didn’t need to shout to make himself heard. “Are you going to tell us who he is?”

LaRoux grinned, showing off full white teeth. “Sure.” His dark eyes glinted in the golden sun. “Ronny Dohl, that young arteest who took one of those the new houses over on 25th Street there by Ms. DuMond’s. You know—she’s the one with that damned cat everyone’s always complaining about. I swear, one of these days me and that cat are going to go at it. It’s gonna be me or him. Vicious little shit. Why, just the other night, I got my usual call to go down there—”

Harris interrupted LaRoux without looking up from his phone where he searched city records for a Ronny Dohl. “Does the cat have anything to do with Mr. Dohl here?”

Officer LaRoux lifted his finger to Harris. “You hit it right on the money there, detective.” He giggled a deep almost laugh but not quite snort that made his belly jiggle. “That’s why you’re the detective. Always thinking. My wife, now she’s always on to me for being a patrolman. Says I should be a detective by now, but I got no mind to do that. Nope, there’s nothing like riding round town talking to folks, making them feel safe just by waving out my window and saying hey. Detective shows up, and right away everyone knows something bad’s happened. Don’t want to be known for that. You know, if it hadn’t been for Ms. DuMond and that shit of a cat, we might never’ve been out looking for Ronny Dohl.”

Harris lifted his gaze from his phone. “Warrant out for him. Animal cruelty, and he’s got an eviction order placed two weeks ago. He hasn’t been in the water that long. Where’s he been hiding?”

“He hadn’t left the house. Ms. DuMond, for all her hollerin’, is an old softy when it comes to pretty boys. Then again.” LaRoux stopped, puckered his lips and eyebrows. Harris opened his mouth to ask a question when LaRoux added, “She didn’t take too kindly at all to him kicking her cat. You have to admit, it’s pretty low to kick a cat.”

Harris folded his arms over his chest, let out a long breath, and asked, “When did he kick her cat?”

“Two nights ago. That’s when she made the official complaint.”

Harris looked down at the technicians zipping the body bag closed. The older of the two looked up at him, nodding. “I’d say no more than two days in the water, but that’s unofficial.”

“Well, seems like we’ll have to—”

“Oh, no detective,” moaned LaRoux.

Harris shook his head as LaRoux’s pasty white face grimaced. “You’re supposed to drive me around to meet everyone. Time to meet Ms. DuMond.”

at her neck. “A little good luck charm I picked up somewhere.”

Luna put a finger to her lips. “Looks familiar, but I can’t place it. Too dark to see it well.”

Thunder cracked again, smashing into the house. Danita startled in her seat. “A very big stor

*****

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