After we booked the snot nosed kids, I was thoroughly disgusted with humanity. I just wanted to go home. I had one thing I had to do first. I had to stop off at Mary Ann’s apartment. I needed my Baby Sparrow fix.
I used my key to gain entry to Mary Anne’s apartment. Her car was missing from her assigned space in the lot. I went inside her place to snoop and to make sure Sparrow wasn’t there alone. I admit it was terrible thing to think, but it was a thing we had investigated before. Hell she gave me the key to check on Sparrow and herself.
There was a note on the table.
Sal ... Gone to visit the day care...
It was where she worked before the ninth month. I sat down in a dining chair and broke into tears. I felt relief and guilt about Mary Ann and Sparrow. Also an unbelievable sorrow about the three boys I had just locked up. How did they get so fucking twisted. I asked myself.
I quickly left Mary Ann’s apartment before I burst into uncontrollable tears. Flooding the apartment with tears. Also, being found in her apartment unable to function, would be unforgivable. Dealing with a shit storm was a job requirement. This shit was somehow different.
It wasn’t dealing with a headless corpse, or the murder of a homeless man, it was worrying about a baby that wasn’t even mine. Damn these fucking hormones, I thought as I climbed the stairs. The mood I was in probably had nothing to do with my daily cocktail of feminine hormones. It was easier to blame everything on them.
I entered my cold empty apartment, then just collapsed onto the sofa. I couldn’t stand the mood I was in. I fought my way off the sofa after five minutes of tears. I did it only because I knew I had to lock the Glock away. I did not want easy access to it.
I also had to face the fact that Mary Ann and I had date with a Q & A. I wanted to know what she knew about Darius Khan the Imam. It had kind of a dark ring to it. She had to know that he was involved in something. I wondered if she also involved, if so how.
I sat alone in my apartment and ran possible scenarios through my mind. They all ended with me stand among the ruble saying, “She was such a wonderful quiet girl. I just can’t believe she could do such a thing. It must be that twisted boyfriend.”
When she wasn’t home by seven, I called her phone. It gave me a direct trip to that dreaded voice mail. I knew I had to do something unrelated to Mary Ann and Sparrow or go mad.
“Watson what are you doing?” I asked.
“It’s seven thirty in the evening. What do you think?” he asked me in return.
“Watching Fox News and getting drunk?” I guessed.
“Of course, they have the best looking chicks,” he said with a laugh.
“Lets go to the lake. You can get drunk and I can talk about my feelings,” I said.
“Is there something in that for me,” Watson asked.
“Yeah a more scenic place to get drunk, and a good looking chick to drive you home and put you to bed,” I suggested.
“Alright pick me up a bottle of hooch on the way,” He demanded.
“So what’s the deal,” Watson asked once we were in he camps parking lot.
“You know my neighbor the one I drove to the hospital?” I asked.
“I know of her,” Watson said.
“I just keep imagining her boyfriend is a Jihadist. He could be using her for something or other,” I said.
“Sally, I talked to the SBI guys. They tell me it looks a lot like a fund raising letter the Muslim brotherhood sends to the faithful. About half of them are outright scams and about of them half fund extremists. At the worst looks like her boyfriend is a fund raiser. It’s a long way from sending emails to mailing bombs,” Watson said.
“I just got a bad feeling about all this,” I said.
“Then sit down and ask her,” Watson said taking a drink from the plastic Pepsi bottle. The bottle was about a third Jim Beam bourbon and two thirds Pepsi. “Prove to me he is a terrorist, and the threshold of proof required is small, and we will assassinate his Jihad ass.”
“If I question her, I lose all contact with Sparrow. I don’t know, if I can stand that thought,” I said.
“Then do nothing and hope they do nothing as well,” Watson said. “Hell you will probably lose access to the kid either way. This Mary Ann’s boyfriend isn’t going to want you around. Sometimes it just goes with being a cop.”
“Is that why you drink so much. So that you can cope with the loneliness?” I asked him.
“Nope, it’s because I’m an alcoholic. I’m going to quit one day. The day before I die,” Watson said.
Since he was on the nod I drove him home. I helped him inside and onto the sofa. It had a thermal throw over the back, I figured it was where he slept. I did not take his shoes off, that was a little too personal, I thought.
It was 10PM when I arrived home. Mary Ann’s car was still gone, so I went to my apartment and to bed. I was a little more relaxed after talking to Watson. I slept pretty well, with only one of the horse tranquilizers. I called them that because of the size not their origin.
“How the fuck do you do it,” I asked. “You look like a fucking boyscout.”
“No Sally, I look like a boyscout leader. A man of honor on the outside and rotten on the inside.” Watson said. “Honest I get here a half hour before anyone else and have an Irish coffee, heavy on the Irish.”
“Does your liver work at all,” I asked.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” He replied. He held out a piece of paper to me. “It’s a synopsis of the SBI’s finding from yesterday.”
Watson allowed me to read it. “So they say he is a con man but not a terrorist,” I said.
“Looks that way,” Watson replied. “You still should have that conversation with Mary Ann. You know kind of clear the air. Besides you know you want to trash him.”
“Yes I really do want to trash the prick for not being with her,” I said. Just then one of the plainclothes vice cops came in.
“What is one of you midnight cowboys doing in the office,” Watson asked.
“Even I have to report in once in a while,” he said. “You will find out soon enough I expect. The Lieutenant is going to want you and Sherlock on it I’m sure. We found a Jane Dow over by that trailer park behind the truck stop out by the interstate.”
“Don’t think that is ours,” Watson said.
“Maybe not, but she is a dump. Most of those girls live somewhere else and just work out there. I don’t think this girl was a working girl. She looked too straight.”
“Well we got a day to catch up on the reports from the Granny ADW. I just don’t want it. Let the County Mounties have it,” Watson said.
“Watson you never want a case,” I said.
“That’s right. You tell him Howe,” the vice cop said.
Within minutes the room got a couple of more cops drinking coffee. It was as if the air was stifling with testosterone. Even though I was no longer ruled by it, I could still fit in better than most women. I never tried to resist those feelings, but I did try not to give in to them either. I sure as hell didn’t want, or need to go back to the old me.
While Watson bonded with the vice sergeant, I wrote the granny report. I was to find nothing new for us. I picked up the stack of open cases to look for one I could study. I liked that my mind could fill in the blanks with the most likely missing elements. Most of the other cops did as well. Watson maybe not so much, but he respected me for saving his ass, so things were good between us.
“Come on Sherlock, we are headed for the lab. We have a movie to see, your turn to bring the popcorn,” Watson said.
“You look better than usual,” Maze said to Watson.
“You look beautiful as always,” she said to me.
“Come on Maze enough of the flirting, its time for the walk about,” Watson said.
“The victim was found on the walk up to tailer number lucky seven,” she said.
“Not lucky for her,” I said.
“True, here is the view at 4:35AM,” Maze said.
“Yeah that’s the view from the trailers for sure,” Watson said.
“I’m sure you would know,” I said. “So who’s our victim.”
“Her purse and wallet were missing, and her prints are not on file. It’s going to be up to you two,” Maze said. Maze changed the slide to one of the victim from the front.
I couldn’t stop the tears from coming spontaneously. I didn’t realize that I also screamed. “Son of a bitch,” I shouted.
“What is it Sally,” Watson said place his arm around me.
I was overwhelmed by the smell of tick tacks on his breath. It was that moment that I remember he ate them all the time to cover the smell of alcohol on his breath.
“It’s her. It’s Mary Ann. Watson we have to find Sparrow,” I said. Then I cried again for poor Sparrow.
“Joyce call all the hospitals in the area, and then social services. We are looking for a week old baby. Her mother was the victim of a homicide last night. This is a red ball, understand?” Watson asked.
“We have to find that baby,” I said to Watson.
“We will, I promise,” Watson and Maze said in unison. “Maze look after her,”
Watson called the hospital to recover Mary Ann’s records. She had them transfered to Jolly Joyce’s computer. The information from them could make the positive Identification needed to move forward. Also the information to identify baby Sparrow, when she was found.
“Where are you going,” I asked.
“I’m going to go toss her apartment,” Watson said.
“Then I’m going with you,” I replied.
“No you are too close to this,” Watson replied.
He tried to talk sense to me, but I wasn’t in the mood to be reasonable. He saw the dark look on my face when I said, “I have the key to her place. I also know where you live just in case you call the LT.”
“Okay but you are not going to shoot anyone. Do you understand,” Watson asked.
“Of course,” I said simply. “Have Joyce track Mary Ann’s movements yesterday. She had to leave a trail. Have her start with the day care where she used to work. Also track her phone, and find her car.”