My next story is well underway. Below is a quote from page 2, after Magda's body is discovered and her sister, Emma, knows that Magda is dead. What's with Zookie? And why doesn't Emma comfort him?
Stay tuned....Cinnamon and Burro are solving mysteries again...
Yellow police tape fluttered in hot wind. Emma seemed to flutter at the same rate, leaning first into Burro and then me. Two police cruisers, blue lights intense against the heated May sky, were parked parallel to each other, facing the crowd. Emma slumped fully against Burro, and we used her condition to carve a path through the crowd to a low wall near the entrance.
“Magda,” she whispered. “My only family.”
A skinny man, about 5’2”, all in black, dropped to the ground and grabbed Emma by the knees. His long black hair fell in front of his face, and he began a desperate monologue.
“You sister was a wonderful woman. Nobody alive was as good as her, as kind, as generous, as giving. She taught me in 9th grade, you know that? She treated me like a son, her own child, a boy she cared for and cared about. Nobody could hurt an angel like her. Nobody, not even that weird Rein. She loved him, too, she did.”
Emma readjusted her body, throwing the fellow off her knees. He fell on the pavement, looking up at her now, his hair off his face. I saw a scar running from his left lip to her ear. His eyes were cat-green, and a sour smell fumed off his clothes.
“Don’t be so dramatic, Zookie.” Emma put her hand up to hold the man away. “You know Magda didn’t like that sort of display. Think of her, for goodness sake. She was an angel – everyone thought so. But maybe someone robbed her or…she caught somebody robbing the lunch room and they whacked her in the head. We don’t know the whole story yet, is all.”
“That doesn’t make any sense, Emma,” Zookie stood up. “There’s no reason for our Magda to be down at the bottom of the caverns at night. She was dragged down there by a cold-blooded killer, I say.”
Zookie’s green eyes were showing red around the edges, and I realized he was drunk or stoned, or both. Emma followed my look, and explained Zookie.
“He was one of Magda’s students, “ Emma flipped a hand in his direction, “when she taught high school here in Carlsbad. Magda helped her students out when they…they had problems.”
Zookie took offense at this. “She saved my life, is what she did. She said so herself, over and over again. I’d be dead without her.”
“Zookie,” Emma stood up now, looking the black clad man in the face. “You can’t save someone’s life over and over again. The truth is you manipulated…”