Chapter 11: Mister
It was a cold December day in Pittsburgh, Pa. There was a cold sunshine the morning after the first big snow for the city. The neighborhood side streets in Lawrenceville were still a little slippy. The main roads were fine but the crews didn’t get to those side streets yet, which is, in fact, the common case. Detective Bill Crawford closed the wooden front door with its holiday wreath on it and walked down the three concrete steps of Sara Morehouse’s house on Home Street. It was the home she had bought right around the corner from Harry Dick’s in Eden Way. They were supposed to move into it together after Harry Dick sold his house there behind The Abbey on Butler Street. They had official plans to be married in May 2018.
As Detective Crawford walked up towards Butler Street, he felt a warming sensation up his leg when he witnessed how the sun lit up the unlit Seasons Greetings holiday decoration displayed across the front entrance of the Lawrenceville Activities Center. Looking both ways before crossing the street Detective Crawford admired the old solid architecture of the towers and other fortress like attributes The Allegheny Cemetery possesses. And, while looking over his right shoulder down Butler Street, he was once again stricken with the feeling of communion recognizing the structured organization of the great architecture when witnessing the sun’s reflection in his city gaze.
Once out of the cold the air, Detective Bill Crawford takes a seat at Mister Goods & Grooming right there on Butler. Of course, no other than thee Rhonda Darewyzki is the stylist he sees behind him in the mirror. Rhonda carefully lathers him up for a straight razor shave. Her tasks are methodically performed. It’s as if she’s an artist in the profession of an artisan barber. She sculpted. She cut. She shaved. She wiped away until she rediscovered that silver glint of the blade.
Earlier that morning the local NEWS everyone watches in Pittsburgh, Channel 4 WTAE, reported that the head of a 12 point buck had been cut-off and stolen from Schnur’s Meat Market in Butler after the hunter dropped the majestic buck off for processing. The teenage hunter and her boyfriend were interviewed and apparently pretty bummed out on missing having such a prized trophy to showcase to the world.
On camera she declared that no one could ever take away that feeling she knows from having the perfect shot that killed a red blooded, pulsating, breathing, dashing, virile mammal, such as, this 12 point buck. The teenager ended the interview stating how the greatest feeling, not only in the hunters firmament, but, in her entire life, was known to her while holding the mass in her hands. She repeated how nobody could take that away from her.
“I thought Harry Dick was like all men. Numb in the brain and numb in the heart.” Rhonda stopped frantically. “Oh I’m sorry. I nicked you!” She dabbed a Kleenex in the cut oozing red bubbly blood. “Are there any men out there with a good brain and a good heart?” Rhonda sighed. Bill Crawford was upright staring in mirror. He noticed how red Rhonda’s lips really were. Seductive. Red.
Red as the blood that was his on the Kleenex Rhonda was placing into a mason jar on top of the antique dresser at her station. Detective Crawford didn’t get any connection as his interests were influenced by the lettering tattooed on Rhonda’s hips. She had on denim jeans pegged at the ankles. Her tights were showing through the holes in her naturally faded Levis that rested low on her hips. It was the first day of winter so it was a little cold and recently had snowed. Though not nearly enough to be snowed-in. Rhonda had on a blue hoodie that zipped up and was also wearing a royal blue bra underneath that. The hoodie was small and tight. Detective Crawford read the word on top of her right hip “Put” it read. And then he read the word on top of her right hip “In” it read.
Soon Rhonda’s clean and sterile straight razor blade was back on Detective Crawford’s throat as he eased on back in the barber chair. She kinda had to stratal his right leg to go with the contour of his rough beard. Detective Crawford embarrassingly jerked a bit when he felt the warm inner legs of Rhonda against his bony knee. Detective Crawford was cut again. This time it wasn’t Rhona’s fault and she let him know about it. “Look what you made me do,” she smirked as she dabbed once again at his bloody skin.
Rhonda paused and deliberately asked, “so why can’t the investigators get to that body in the river to identify the body?” She was asking Detective Crawford loud enough so that others in the Goods & Grooming shop could hear. It was on everyone’s minds anyway. Was that body in the river that of Detective Harry Dick “the city chicken cannibal” serial killer? “Officials say it’s too dangerous,” Detective Crawford retorted, “just like the reports on the local news.”
Just as the Bucks up in the hillsides of the way back, once then farmland above the Smoky City learned to share their habitat with residential and commercial suburbanites, naturally learning they’re less likely to be shot and killed in close together confines of backyards, alleys, public parks, and structures of businesses - today’s Bucks in the once “sticks” or “boonies” outside the city limits casually have adapted to sprawling greater metropolitan development.
Even out on old man Benson’s land, where The 10 Point Buck was teaching the white tail and younger bucks to live and flourish among the meadows, beds and thickets of the deep woods in spring, summer, early fall and mid to late winter. However, during those weeks that coincided with riffle season, the 10 point led the others to the commercial development, residential neighborhoods, property of churches, graveyards and nursing homes. Living and eating and sleeping and roaming in the land of big box structures. That’s where Harry Dick’s 10 Point Buck was now with his white tails.
Mother Nature looked favorably upon the clean karma of The 10 Point Buck. It used its senses and psychic energy to prudently live the ways of the wise old bucks staying alive everyday until a natural death - having its flesh picked apart by coyotes and scavenger birds, such as, large turkey vultures and black crows. The cycle of life and death complete. Flesh and bone used to nourish living life. While the hooves, antlers and hide decomposed as bugs, parasites and bacteria eased the gentle giant of sun, moon and stars back-to-the-earth. Feasting as they work.
While the mystery of “The City Chicken Cannibal Serial Killer” goes unsolved, the 10 Point Buck at old man’s Benson’s farm awakes either way. If Harry Dick is dead, the Buck continues keeping on, and, if Harry Dick is alive, the Buck keeps on keeping on with the spirit and wisdom of Mother Nature.
Meanwhile back on Butler Street, in Lawrenceville, at Mister Grooming and Goods, Detcetive Bill Crawford has the vision of those two words on each side of Rhonda Darewyzki’s upper hips seared into his consciousness, “Put” and “In” … There was something plainly obvious about those words together on her soft white skin.
Chapter 11: Mister
_ "Who's Eating Harry Dick" _ a modern day crime caper _ wrapped-up before Christmas
Copyright 2017 John Alan Conte, Jr. mystrawhat.com & TheNewEverydaymedia.com