Previously, we met the true first born child of Johathon Blackwell Senior, Ruby Dancer. We discovered that she knows nothing about this. The Bard and Ruby's mother Diamond are the only two that know anything now that Johnathon Senior is dead. We continue now with Johnny Junior trying to block detective Adrian from her investigation and Detective Adrian pursuing it nonetheless.
Johnny Junior liked toys. He liked ordering people around and he liked ordering objects around, like his hands free phone. "Q & A." He spoke to the waiting ear in the phone that stood at the ready to do his bidding. He listened to the obedient ringtone in his right ear. A week ago, he would have been preparing a message in his mind. He would've been screened and set aside for a more convenient time. Not anymore. Junior had become the man that got an immediate answer now. He had become- the man.
"Q here, how's it going, Johnny? What can I do for you?" Harpster was an ice cube and Junior had taken the reigns. Reality had set in and Q had accepted it.
"Listen, Q, I've just left the Bel Air police station. I'm hoping they got the message about that nosey detective. If not I'm sure you can step in. She's cute actually, maybe I'll give her a ride in the Maserati. Well, to other things. The will. Any setbacks?"
"No, Johnny. Some grumbling, of course. Lilith is pissed and your brothers and sister aren't happy troupers, but the will is gold, nothing they can do legally. It's solid; they can't even hold it up in court. Unless something drops out of the sky, we are good to execute in about twenty days. Don't worry about that detective. I can put enough heat on her to have her begging for a transfer. I don't get her anyway, there isn't anything to investigate. He was my best friend. If I was suspicious, I'd be the first one making noise." Q was one of those men that couldn't be read. It was what made him such a great lawyer. If he thought one of his clients was guilty, you would never read it on his face. He could defend Hitler and make you believe that he thought him innocent.
While Johnny Junior turned up the heat on one side of town, Detective Adrian snuck up on his backyard with the local neighborhood crazy guy.
You wouldn't call these alleys if they were in a normal city. But, in Bel Air, they were considered alleys. The Bard took me down the alley to an open gate. It appeared to be part of the Blackwell estate, though there didn't appear to be anything of interest to them back here. It was overgrown, and what looked to be a children's play area was within a tangle of tree limbs and vines and unusable. Detective Adrian followed the Bard to a door that appeared between two trees. If you didn't know it was there, you never would have found it. It was a clubhouse at one time. A clubhouse for the wealthy makes for a spacious studio apartment for a homeless individual, like the Bard.
The Bard was not so mentally ill that he couldn't sneak electricity and cable T.V. into his domain. The cast off furniture in Bel Air proved to be quite comfortable. The Bard was all smiles as they sat down. Soon, the smell of fresh coffee was in the air. Detective Adrian couldn't help but smile. She removed her hand from a position near her sidearm and relaxed. She seldom relaxed. She found it wise, always being at the ready.
She looked around at the room. There was an actual bathroom of sorts. A toilet and a sink behind a curtain, it would suffice for children at play. The mansion loomed rather far off in the distance. For boys, a handy tree would suffice. For the Blackwell girls, the toilet and sink kept things lady-like.
The Bard had a kitchen of sorts, suitable for a bachelor. A microwave, toaster oven, crock pot, George Forman grill, flat griddle, coffee maker and a few other, plug-into-the-wall and cook-something-quick appliances, were on a table in the corner. He had a nice fridge, but no stove.
He had a gorgeous late Victorian bookcase to hold his spices and dry foodstuffs, rice-a-roni, instant mashed potatoes and items that looked to be from food banks. Much of it looked to have spent a great deal of time sitting there gathering dust. Honestly, it said, "single and poor", more than it said, "insane and destitute".
There was an older computer and a typewriter, along with stacks of papers. There were various musical instruments, as well. A couple guitars, a cheap recorder, a harmonica, an electronic keyboard and some kind of string instrument that I wasn't familiar with.
The dwelling was disheveled, but not overly dirty. Tenaya felt comfortable and the coffee hit the spot. "Do you play all of these instruments?"
"I play at, above, around and sometimes through a few. I'm decent on the guitar. The keyboard is more for composition and recording. It simulates the sounds of other, less criminal, instruments. The clarinet, the clarinet goes doodle, doodle, doodle, doodle det. A poor man's orchestra. I can record into the computer and mix it down onto the cassette player. It is ancient compared to what they do now. I concentrate on writing, but even that has become a waste of time. I mean, who cares what a crazy homeless bum has to say, right? Nobody listens. The Bard of Bel Air, it's a joke to them, a free pass to poverty in a posh cit-teee, for me, tax free…yippee." He followed up with a rock version of "a free pass to poverty" and added a clever poem. He can get pretty damn lucid when it suites him, she noted.
"They thought they saw a prince
they haven't seen him since.
The slippery slimy toad
slipped into their abode."
"They was all a bunch of bullfrogs!" he slapped the side of his leg singing "bump…bump…the Bard was watchin' all the time, bump…bump…never knew I saw them kill that dude, now they're gonna due some time!"
Yep. Joy to the World, indeed! That's gonna go over big at trial. Maybe the judge will kick in with some harmony on the chorus. God, this is my star witness…my only witness. Detective Adrian didn't have a case, yet. She had a mentally ill, homeless man spouting poetry and singing songs. She would have some forensics that would tell her that people were in that study that had every reason to be in that study. It had to be something medically induced. A stab wound or gunshot would leave blood and there wasn't a drop on scene. There was a cup of coffee. But, the killer, if a killer existed wouldn't leave evidence that obvious. Whatever evidence there might be was in a cryogenic chamber frozen and at this point, inaccessible.
"What did you see, Bard? Who else was there?"
The Bard looked back at Tenaya from wherever his mind had wandered off to. He took a moment to focus. "There were people…people who ruin…people… in and out all day. It was grand funk central railroad. But, I didn't see Harpster after three o'clock in the afternoon. Ready for a short people got no reason climb? And…she's…cli…i…i…mbing a sta…air…way…right up this little ladder." The Bard nodded with his head towards the far corner of the room where a steep stairway went right through the roof.
There coming to take me away ah ha… Tenaya had some lyrics of her own in mind, but remained interested.
Upon inspection, it lead to a short bridge leading to a tree house. The tree house remained sturdy though the paint and furnishings had fallen to constant years of exposure to weather. The window in the tree house provided a clear unobstructed view of the study. The study had a huge glass wall facing the backyard and was in full view from anyone out there. It was assumed that no one was ever out there, the study being the only access point.