Mystery and Crime Fiction posted January 12, 2019 Chapters:  ...5 5 -5- 5... 

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Franci calls the police

A chapter in the book Murder and the Angry Avenger

Changes, Part 4

by krprice

Franci is a murder suspect and feels she is being framed.
I set my purse on the table, scrambled to him, and grabbed him, adrenaline rushing through me like a river over rapids. I put him over my left shoulder. I guess he decided my neck and earlobe needed cleaning as he proceeded to lick them. Where was Daisy I wondered? I turned toward the kitchen. All the drawers had been upended, and their contents strewn across the floor.

The back door opened, and Jeremy strode in. He gazed at the kitchen. "What happened?"

"Someone broke in through the dining room window," I explained.

"Are you all right?" He gave me an incredulous stare and started to pick up a knife.

"I'm fine," I said. "But don't move anything. This is a crime scene. Go back out and come in the front." He turned around and went outside.

Then I spotted Daisy having a gay old time hitting one tine of my big fork and watching the handle flip up.

Jangles squirmed as Smokey and Midnight rubbed my ankles. The front door opened, and Jeremy came in.

He rushed over, hugged me, and gave me a peck on the cheek. I appreciated his concern, and my arms tingled.

"Please take him," I handed Jangles to him. "Lure the cats into the boy's room, givn them a treat, and put up the gates."

He accepted the kitten and gave him a kiss which Jangles returned, right on Jeremy's mouth.

I laughed before I opened my purse and fished out my phone. I began taking pictures of the dining room, and then the kitchen before pushing aside a few knives, a spatula, and metal whip, picking my way over to Daisy. I stuffed my phone in my pants pocket. I grabbed her by the ruff of her neck. She wiggled, squirmed, and hissed at me, and then unsheathed her claws and scratched my other hand as I tried to steady her.

I smacked her behind. "Bad girl. You do not scratch me." I turned her face to me. "You hear me?" I scowled.

Daisy bared her teeth and tried to reach around to bite me.

"Don't even think about it." I cautiously stepped through the mess.

Jeremy met me in the dining room.

"You're bleeding." His eyes widened.

I explained what happened.

"I need to call the police and check upstairs." I thrust Daisy at Jeremy. "No treats for her. Take her up. I'll come shortly."

"And we need to doctor your hand." He took her. "No kiss for you, Miss Naughty."

As he strode over to the elevator, I grabbed a tissue from my purse and applied pressure. Then I dialed 9-1-1.

"Arlington Police Department," a female voice said. "What is your emergency?"

"This is Franci Kimball," I said. "Someone broke into my house."

"Are you all right? Do you need medical assistance?"

"I'm fine except one of my kittens scratched me, but I can take care of that."

"I'll send someone out right away."

"Thank you."

We both hung up.

I set my phone on the cherry wood dining room table and sat in a chair. Then I removed the tissue to find the bleeding had stopped.

Aunt Viv plopped onto the table. "I see you had a break-in."

"That's rather obvious," I groused. "Did you see or hear anything?"


A siren blared loud enough to be heard on the other side of the city and then suddenly stopped. I rose and walked over to the front door, opening it moments before Del and Detective King started up the steps.

"What happened?" he asked as they entered.

"Someone smashed a window, sending glass all over part of my dining room," I said and led them down the hall to it.

Del had a camera around her neck and began taking pictures before she walked right over to the sill, carefully stepping around the glass.

Detective King examined my china cabinet which was filled with dolls from around the world. "You have a lot of very valuable dolls in there," he said.

"My great-aunt started the collection when she was a child," I said. "Her grandmother, Klara, made the one with the dark blue dress and black mantilla. Some family friends traveled a lot and brought her those nesting dolls. That one in red is Russian, and there are a number in blue, white, and green kimonos. Of course, the one in blue and white with the wooden shoes is from Holland."

In the background, Del was calling for forensics to come.

When she finished, she asked, "Is anything missing down here?"

Like the detective, my doll collection grabbed Del's attention. "My, you seem to have dolls from all over the world."

"Yes," I said and repeated what I had told Detective King. "Unless there's something gone from the kitchen, everything that should be here is here. I haven't been upstairs yet."

Del noticed my hand. "What happened?"

I told her about my adventure with Daisy. "I'll doctor it when you leave."

The bell rang a few minutes later. I seized my phone as I figured I need to take more pictures upstairs.

"I'll get it," Del said. "I'm sure it's forensics. Take Detective King upstairs."

Del strode to the door, and the detective and I took the elevator up.

"This is convenient," he commented.

"Aunt Viv needed it the last few years to get around," I said.

Jeremy met us when the door opened.

"The cat gates were open. None of the kitties were harmed. Nothing else was disturbed except for your office," he said. "But that has been trashed."

I shuddered. Glad I put that envelope in the safe. Bet that's what they were after, whoever they were. But how could they know I had it. Only Jeremy knows that, and I trust him not to tell anyone about it or its contents.

The elevator arrived then, and Del stepped out.

"This way," I said, motioning for them to follow as we hiked down to the office.

Saying my office was trashed was like saying the ocean was wet. File cabinet drawers and those from my desk had been emptied with folders, papers, pens, index cards, and other assorted items had been strewn around like a bunch of unwanted toys. The perp had stomped on the papers too.
I held up my phone and took pictures. Then I moved out of the doorway so Del could do the same.

"Is that a boot print?" I asked.

After taking her pictures, Del and Detective King crept into the room, moving papers aside and bent down to examine it.

"Sure is," Del said. She plucked a pair of plastic gloves from her pocket and slipped her hands into them before picking up the tip of the right top of the paper. Detective King fished an evidence bag from his pocket, opened it, and she dropped the paper in. The duo surveyed the room for more papers with prints and extracted them, slipping them into more bags.
I gazed around the room, checking to see if anything was missing. However, nothing in particular stood out as not being where it should be, and I told Del so.

Footsteps came down the hallway. We turned to see three men who I figured were the forensic teams.

"We're finished downstairs," a tall lanky man with gray hair said.

"If you have all the pictures, why don't Jeremy and I gather all the papers so the team can dust the cabinets and drawers," I suggested.

"And we'll take these back to the station," Del said.

I nodded, and the two cops left.

Quickly, we collected all the papers, file folders, and everything else scattered on the floor.
"Where do you want to put them?" Jeremy asked.

"On the bed in the spare bedroom," I said, silently adding you never use it any way since you sleep on a pallet in the girl's room.

We strode down there and dumped the objects on the bed.

I went back to my office, took the envelope from the safe, and made copies before sticking it back.

By then, my stomach rumbled like thunder, and kittens mewled. Feeding time.

"Good thing I got the bottles ready before I left," I said as Jeremy left the room with both measuring cups.

I had the bottles lined up when he returned. I stuck one cup in the microwave to heat up and turned it on. Jeremy tossed two puppy pads on one pallet along with towels. He walked over to Rags, picked him up, and sat on a pallet. He grabbed a pad and towel.

The microwave dinged. I removed the cup, set the other one in, and hit the appropriate buttons. Then I slipped a bottle in the water. The second cup was ready, and another bottle went in that. I gave the first bottle to Jeremy. That cup went back in the microwave.

Both cups had bottles in them when I retrieved Piper and fed her.

By the time we had fed all the kittens, the cats upstairs and downstairs, picked up the kitchen, ate our lunch, it was one thirty.

The hardware store also did window replacement and said they'd be right out to measure it. My next call was to the security alarm company. They were busy until Thursday morning and would come out then.

While waiting on the window man, I vacuumed up the glass inside. I had just finished when he arrived. I escorted him to the dining room, and he set to work.

I returned to the kitchen and set the dishwasher going since we had stuck everything that had been on the floor in it.

He finished his measuring, quoted me a price, said he'd be back in an hour with the glass, and left. I washed up the dirty bottles and nipples. With them on a tray, I went back up, put milk in the bottles, and set them in the fridge.

The man returned with the glass, installed the window, and left after being paid.

I started toward the elevator when the doorbell rang. Grumbling, I changed directions and strode to the door, opening it.

Detective King and Del stood on the other side.

"What brings you here again?" I asked.

"MJ was poisoned," the detective said.

"I could have told you that," I sassed, putting my hands on my hips. "Someone put cyanide in the tea."

"How did you know?" Detective King narrowed his eyes. "Unless you did it."

Cast of Characters
Vivian Francine Kimball (Franci)--heiress to great-aunt's estate, mystery author,
Jeremy Jefferson--science fiction author, Jace's twin
Vivian Elizabeth Kimball (Viv)--Franci's ghostly great-aunt, wealthy descendent of Atlantica's founders
Delilah Mayfield (Del)--Sheriff
Ray King--police detective on loan from Virginia

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