Late in the evening, after saying my goodnights to Wyla and Luther, I looked forward to getting back to my comfy apartment. Maybe watch something good from my DVD collection, or curl up with a good book. I unlocked my vehicle and turned my head, hearing my name from a man’s voice.

“It’s been a while, but I knew you would be getting off work.” Amado Rathbone came out of the fog from an all-day drowning of rain.

I jerked back. His sudden appearance gave me a jolted fright. I wasn’t sure how to take him standing in front of me. “My God, Amado! I would have preferred a phone call instead of this late night creep in the department parking lot.”

“I realize this seems impulsive. At work today, I couldn’t stop thinking about you. Could we go somewhere and talk?” he asked, slowly getting closer to me. I stared into those alluring amber eyes of his.

“The only place I know that is open is Unc’s White Corner. You and I ran into each other there once,” I said.

The place was fairly wiped out at 11:30 p.m. We took a booth in a corner of the front dining area. I was not altogether comfortable being with him at such a late hour in a place almost empty. I wanted us to sit where whoever was tending bar could see us. I squirmed when Amado sat in the same side of the booth, eye-to-eye, shoulder to shoulder.

Unc’s oldest son approached our table. “Wow! Late night, Glenda. What can I get for you two?”

“Do you have Chivas?” Amado asked.

“Yes, we do.”

“I’ll take a double with a glass of ice water.”

I ordered, “Get me my usual on draft.”

“Now, why did you show up at this late hour? I didn’t swallow the ‘thinking of me all day’ thing,” I asked.

“These last few days, my father is quite concerned with my sister. Your insisting on suspecting her has forced her to go through dangerous testing of the Divinia drug on herself. The drug is not altogether ready for humans,” Amado told me, his eyes staring so intensely I sat there frozen, not able to look away.

“Well, I thought the drug was ready to be launched from the first meeting we had three months ago.”

Our drinks came. We stopped while Amado threw back his drink in one gulp. I sat there and nursed my beer. I wanted so much to touch him, to kiss him. There was a strong compulsion for me to throw myself at him. I struggled to hold back, so I took another few sips of my mug.

I put my hand on his right arm. “Amado, you seem intensely disturbed. What’s troubling you? For some strange reason, I want to help.”

Amado answered me with an alarming embrace, kissing me over and over. I hadn’t been kissed like that in years. It was a feeling of falling into a deep swoon with my eyes wide open. I wanted more, and I didn’t care how bad it would be if I got totally caught up with him. Wyla didn’t trust him, enough so that she was convinced he was the guilty one who was our special person of interest. I traveled back to the night when he first kissed me, and I wanted him to make love to me in the worst way.

Drinking the rest of my beer in two more gulps, we left a 20 on the table. In what seemed like seconds, Amado and I were groping each other on my front room couch. In between kisses, I threw my clothes all over the couch and carpet. Unable to move, or not wanting to protest, Amado, systematically and in intense sensations, proceeded to pleasure me with his fingers and his mouth.

What I remembered next was opening my eyes to the strong sunlight coming in from the double windows in the dining room nook off of my kitchen. Coming out of my cocoon wrapping of a multi-colored throw Grandpa Pete gave me at Christmas last year, I realized I was naked and left to sleep overnight on my couch.

I managed to gather myself enough to cover up in my purple Turkish bathrobe from the bathroom. My mouth was foul for some strange reason. I got to the kitchen thinking a cup of the strongest coffee could erase the bad taste in my mouth. Not able to make coffee, I heard a loud pounding on my door. I picked up my phone: time, 12:30 p.m., two texts from Luther. The incessant pounding didn’t stop.

I opened the door and saw an annoyed Luther. “You look like shit! I’ve sent two texts.” He sailed past me and made himself at home, making me a pot of coffee. I realized as I closed my door that I had a nasty headache. I took two Tylenols with a glass of water. Standing next to Luther, I thought, Did Amado happen or did I have one huge wet dream after a draft at Unc’s?

I took the time to read Luther’s texts: “Partner, let’s get shaking here!” One message. The next message was more insistent: “We’ve got the road trip to do. Glenda, call me back, ASAP!”

“Sit down, Sleeping Beauty, and drink the coffee I made,” Luther said, leading me to the dining room table. I took three sips and began to feel like I was conscious. Luther waved at me, insistent I look at him. “We’ve got another victim. It was called in while you slept the morning away!”

“My God, here, I’m trying to wrap my head around what the hell happened last night. Seriously, another victim, this is getting ridiculous!” I took my coffee, and pointed at Luther. “I’m getting a shower and will be with you ASAP.”

During the shower and getting my pantsuit on with the usual routine of shoulder holster, checking my gun, and putting my wallet in my left hand pants pocket, my mind was full of jumbled images. Amado kissing me on the couch, then taking off my shirt, bra, then massaging various parts of my body waist-up. The images continued for me as I saw him fully-clothed, walking to my front door. He did happen, but why did I feel so strange and ashamed?

I walked out of my bedroom and asked Luther a question, “What day is it?”

“Partner, what the hell is with you? It’s Tuesday. Looks like you lost a day. I called and texted you yesterday off and on and got nothing.”

“I think I know why I lost a day, but after we find out about this new victim, I don’t think you are going to like me very much when I tell you,” I said, almost ready to confess about Amado.

During the drive to Shadyside Recreation Park, Luther pressed me to spill the beans. “Let’s get this over with. Spill it!”

“All right. Sunday night, I went into the division to go over all the details of the chart we made. I was there until late, about 11:30 p.m. Amado Rathbone met me in the APD parking lot. We had a drink at Unc’s and as far as it seems, we were with each other. I’m not sure when he left. It’s all a blur, because I slept like I have not done before. Like I was drugged.” I sat there as Luther listened. He didn’t look at me, shook his head, and grunted.

He pulled into a driveway on a slight incline from busy Cross Street, very close to one of the park’s entrances. We parked behind a rented 2010 silver Honda Civic. Wyla Stark met us at the front door; she held it open for us. “I hope you two haven’t eaten lunch. She’s hamburger from the waist down.”

I looked at the woman’s face, then my eyes moved down. This job had desensitized me to torn-up bodies and massive spillage of blood, but there was one factor caused me to almost lose it in front of everyone milling around. I knew the victim. Her blonde hair was matted and bloodied and her open dead eyes were a faded color of green. It was Katie Fisher, the waitress from Bobber’s Café.

Examining her lower extremities, I said to myself, He kept me busy while his sister butchered Katie. I began to shake uncontrollably; my arms and lower jaw quivered with every word the coroner was saying to Luther, who was behind us both.

Wyla pulled me away from the gory bathroom scene. “Girl, you’ve got to get yourself together. Seems to me you’re unraveling bit by bit with this case. These navy blues will have a field day crucifying your ass since that chart in the division is the talk of the whole APD building.”

Wyla was right; in 17 years of police work, this was the first time I showed any kind of weakness. I took in some cleansing breaths to calm my nerves. Luther came out to the living room to join us. He suggested all three of us get out of there and take a breather at the Toast.

This type of downtown diner was a throwback to the hamburger joints in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was not too far from our detective division. We ordered all coffees to go around. I thought maybe a bowl of vegetable soup would be good for me. Wyla sat, scratched her head, and ordered the famous Toast double cheeseburger platter.

Luther turned to me in the booth, where all of us had a view to the busy downtown traffic on Main Street. “I told Wyla all that transpired in Algiers with the shaman yesterday.”

“It seems to me this assailant is getting hungry for human flesh, going in for the inner organs. In the beginning of the case, there were only attacks to the pregnant women to get to their babies. There seems to be a change in the assailant’s modus operandi where the dead babies are not enough,” Wyla said.

“You know, if anyone was sitting close to us with you saying all that gore, they would either lose their lunch or get up and leave,” I told her, holding my stomach.

“Glenda, you’re losing your edge,” Wyla surmised by my queasiness.

“She’s having some regrets about how she spent Sunday night,” Luther said.

“All right, you might as well know it, too. I spent some romantic time with Amado. Now, I’m having all the regrets and embarrassment, and seeing Katie really tipped the scales for me,” I confessed.

“That explains your behavior at the scene. Shame on you for sleeping with the enemy,” Wyla said. Her eyes showed that she was furious with me.

“I’ve got to say you guys can crucify me all you want. I think as this day progresses, Amado used some type of magic or hypnosis on me to get me to let down my guard. I know how damaging it is to get too close to someone we might be looking to as a suspect. I’m convinced he kept me busy while his sister did the deed on Katie,” I said, getting louder with each word.

“Calm down, Glenda. Wyla and I came to the conclusion to make the trip up to Downers Grove, which could very well tie what she learned in Milwaukee to Katie’s murder,” Luther said, stopping me from more anger and guilt about Amado.


For all installments from The Islands Tell of It, click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Chapter 1: The First Victim
  2. Chapter 2: Four Months Before October
  3. Chapter 3: Bobber’s Café
  4. Chapter 4: Heat Wave
  5. Chapter 5: Deep-End Dining
  6. Chapter 6: Rathbone Estate
  7. Chapter 7: Althea’s Run
  8. Chapter 8: Emergency Interrupts
  9. Chapter 9: Girls Talk Turkey
  10. Chapter 10: There Came a Lull
  11. Chapter 11: Dangerous Mind
  12. Chapter 12: Luana Barba
  13. Chapter 13: Trip to Milwaukee
  14. Chapter 14: Enough Killing