1st to Die Chapters 4 to 10 – Feelie Weelies

WARNING: Contains scenes depicting a rape crime-scene


We’re back with no-blood-cells Lindsay in the Doctor’s Office where she’s pretty bummed about her fatal condition.

“I want to send you to a hematologist, Lindsay,” Orenthaler went on. “Like a lot of diseases, there are stages. Stage one is when there’s a mild depletion of cells. … Stage two is when there’s a systemic shortage of red cells.

“Stage three would require hospitalization. A bone marrow transplant. Potentially, the removal of your spleen.”

“So where am I?” I asked, sucking in a cramped lungful of air.

threat level midnight

“The cusp,” the doctor said, “between stages two and three.”

There comes a point in everybody’s life when you realize the stakes have suddenly changed. The carefree ride of your life slams into a stone wall; all those years of merely bouncing along, life taking you where you want to go, abruptly end.

I feel ya. Happened to me when they took the The Great Food Truck Race off of Netflix. Now I’ll never know if those frat-boy assholes pushing Philly Cheesesteaks got their comeuppance.

“So what does this mean?” I asked weakly. The room was spinning a little now.

“What it means, Lindsay, is that you’re going to have to undergo a prolonged regimen of intensive treatment.”

I shook my head. “What does it mean for my job?”

jim doesn't know

… That you’ll have to take time off? What kind of question is this? Also, bitch you’re dying, did you miss that?

I’d been in Homicide for six years now, the past two as lead homicide inspector. With any luck, when my lieutenant was up for promotion, I’d be in line for his job. The department needed strong women.

This segment isn’t important now but I’m putting it here for later. You’ll see.

In any case, that’s a real admirable goal Lindsay but you ain’t gonna get very far if you’re DEAD. Unless Homicide is an equal opportunity employer for zombies. But this isn’t Pushing Daisies so, tough luck.

He went on about the doctor’s credentials, but I found myself no longer hearing him. I was thinking, Who am I going to tell? Mom had died ten years before, from breast cancer. Dad had been out of the picture since I was thirteen. I had a sister, Cat, but she was living a nice, neat life down in Newport Beach, and for her, just making a right turn on red brought on a moment of crisis.

Well, I’m glad you’ve decided her reaction for her you giant jerk. I’m sure she’ll really appreciate that when she’s ordering your casket.

Now that Lindsay is done being a bad person, her partner calls her up about some murderings.

“Fun’s over, Boxer,” Jacobi’s gruff voice came on the line. “We got a double one-eight-oh. The Grand Hyatt.”

“And wear something nice,” my partner grunted. “Like you would to a wedding.”

justin stares into your soul

You proud of that one?

Lindsay hops in her murder-mobile and heads on over to the Hyatt.

I kept hearing the doctor’s words sounding over and over in my head. In severe cases, Negli’s can be fatal.

It’s really unfortunate that Negli’s is really fun to say. It sounds like a family pizzeria/gelato joint.

So the police have blocked off everything and Lindsay heads into the hotel. Now that she’s here she’s the one presiding over the crime scene as the highest person in charge.

“In that case, I want all exits to the hotel immediately shut down. And get a list from the manager of all guests and staff. No one goes in or out unless they’re on that list.”

The trail of cops and official personnel led me down the hall to a set of open double doors marked “Mandarin Suite.” I ran into Charlie Clapper, the Crime Scene Unit crew chief….

NOPE. Hold up. We are not moving on from the fact that this man is named Charlie Clapper. Who does he think he is? He just waltzes out of a game of Clue and onto an active crime scene. What the dinkus malinkus.

After that parental tragedy we meet the hilaaaaarious Jacobi.

My partner was forty-seven, but he looked ten years older. His hair was white, and he was beginning to bald. His face always seemed on the verge of a smirk over some tasteless wisecrack.

my favorite

Sounds like we’re gonna have a good time with this fella.

Lindsay steps onto the crime scene and starts to get a good look at the victims.

I knelt down and took a long, hard look at the dead groom. He was handsome, with short, dark, tousled hair and a soft jaw; but the wide apoplectic eyes locked open and the rivulet of dried blood on his chin marred his features.

Oh my god I hate it when a man has apoplectic eyes and dried blood marring his features. Major turn off.

Time for the bride’s corpse to be disrespected by Lindsay’s thoughts.

I’d been to a hundred homicides and could radar in on the body as quick as anyone, but this I wasn’t prepared for. It sent a wave of compassion racing down my spine.

The bride was still in her wedding dress.

I mean…yeah? The groom was still in his tux, did you not assume that? Does it make a difference whether she was in her wedding gown or a bathrobe? She’s dead. Also this is the last sentence of the chapter. Why is the fact that she’s in her wedding dress the big cliff hanger, WE KNEW THAT ALREADY.

But it just keeeeeps getting better. Lindsay is so overcome with emotions about this particular case.

You never see so many murder victims that it stops making you hurt, but this one was especially hard to look at.

She was so young and beautiful: calm, tranquil, and undisturbed except for the three crimson flowers of blood spread on her white chest.

Contrary to popular belief, it is just as creepy when you objectify a lady’s corpse the same way the murderer did.

So Lindsay starts asking questions. Who was working, when were they last seen, family members, etc.

“The groom’s father is some Wall Street big shot from back east. ….”

I read the champagne bottle label. “Krug. Clos du Mesnil, 1989.”

“That tell you something?” Jacobi asked.

“Only that the killer had good taste.”

hermione is bored

You know what’s fun about mysteries and crime procedurals? Figuring things out at the same time as the protagonist. But this crime scene investigation is just so… boring. Because we saw the murder happen. Like, we know every detail of what went down. How could I forget such classics as “For the man who has everything here’s a knifey stab”? There’s no point to us being here.

Oh, except to witness Lindsay’s senseless breakdown.

I had a bad, bad feeling about this one. If it’s not about money…then…sex.

I lifted the fancy tulle lining of her skirt. The coldest, bitterest confirmation sliced through me.

The bride’s panties had been pulled down and were dangling off one foot.

As I stood there, blinking as I stared down at her face, I suddenly realized I was crying.

I knew if I didn’t get out now, I couldn’t hold back the tide any longer. “Now, Warren. Please…now.”

I avoided his eyes as I skirted past him out of the suite.

“What the hell’s wrong with Boxer?” Charlie Clapper asked.

“You know women,” I heard Jacobi reply. “They always cry at weddings.”

Fucking bye

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Sighhhh, what was it you said Lindsay? Six years in homicide? Okay… I’m not going to pretend this isn’t a horrible (if contrived) tragedy that is before her, but you’re telling me that this is the one that makes her leave the room in tears. Has she ever been to a scene with a child death? You can’t tell me that after six years this is something that would get her emotional enough to leave the room.

I’ve seen, well, everyone has been forced to see Law & Order SVU at some point at our mother’s house. There’s a female investigator there that sees stuff that’s even more disgusting than this and she’s somehow able to keep it together, and I’m pretty sure that character is the product of a rape. Most of the time the characters get comically self-justified and pissed off when they see stuff like this, all with Ice T gumming up the works.

ice t no

So, sorry but, NO. I don’t buy this. I want a refund. Especially from a woman who says she wants to climb the ranks of this sausage party. If anything, that would make her more inclined to be steeled and macho. Which begs the question, why her? Why isn’t Jacobi in tears if the scene is so horrible? Well, Patty-man was gracious enough to give us an answer. Women always cry at weddings, am I right? Hyuck hyuck.

Ugh, let’s just leave this chapter in the dust.

Oh good, we’re back in the killer’s perspective for no discernible reason for a page-long chapter. NICE.

The police had actually blockaded the street, and the crowd outside the hotel was growing quickly. The howling screams of police and emergency vehicles filled the air. This was so unlike civilized and respectable San Francisco. He loved it!

5 stars on Tripadvisor.

Campbell almost couldn’t believe he was headed back to the crime scene.

Neither can I. The cliché meter is already nearing full, my dude. Not to mention the risk of one of the hotel staff recognizing you is pretty high right now.

A couple of them [police] were surveying the crowd, looking for him. He wasn’t worried about being discovered, not at all. It just wasn’t going to happen.

“The plot demanded he not be caught.”

A businessman was coming out of the Hyatt, and reporters and other people were asking him questions as if he were a major celebrity. The man was in his early thirties and he smirked knowingly. He had what they all wanted and he knew it. He was lording it over everyone, enjoying his pitiful moment of fame.

“It was a couple–murdered in the  penthouse.” He could overhear the man. “They were on their honeymoon. Sad, huh?”

donkey aint having that

Who the flipping hell put this guy on PR duty?

What a scene!

I disagree.

Cindy Thomas pushed her way through the murmuring crowd, the looky-loos surrounding the Grand Hyatt.

Looks like we have another annoying character literally pushing her way into this story. This is Cindy, the opportunistic journalist from “The Chronicle” who will do anything for a scoop. We’re just piling on the charming character archetypes today.

The street was barricaded. More news crews were pulling up by the second. If she didn’t come up with something now, Fitzpatrick or Stone would soon be handed the story. What she needed was inside. And here she was, out on the curb.

Yeah… that’s how a crime scene works.

She spotted a line of limos and went up to the first one–a big beige stretch. She rapped on the window.

The driver looked up over his paper…

“You waiting for Steadman?” Cindy asked.

“Uh-uh,” the driver replied. “Eddleson.”

“Sorry, sorry.” She waved. But inside she was beaming.

A young patrolman blocked her path. “Excuse me,” Cindy, looking harried. “I’ve got a meeting in the hotel.”

“Name?”

“Eddleson. He’s expecting me.”

Glad these police officers run a tight ship around here. No one goes in or out, huh? Then again, from what I know of police, this could be entirely accurate.

She was inside. …

…Cindy Thomas was first in. Now she only had to figure out what to do.

Go interview hotel staff? I mean, I don’t see what else could possibly be gained. She couldn’t be so stupid as to actually try to get to the crime sce–

“Two murders. On thirty.” He [a bellboy] lowered his voice as if he were letting her in on the secret of her life. “You happen to run into that big wedding last night? It was the bride and groom. Someone broke in on them in the Mandarin Suite.”

She wound through the lobby traffic toward the elevator. She punched the button, and the shiny gold door opened. Thank God, it was empty.

She pressed 30.

The Mandarin Suite.

A double homicide.

Her story.

tumblr_m3k2arewGZ1rrgjmeo1_500

Well, first off, thanks for giving us this charming character, Patty-man. I really care about this douchebag’s story when she’s breaking into a tearjerking crime scene.

Hey Cindy I actually figured out what you should do. Hire a lawyer for when they eventually prosecute your ass for this stupid shit.

She was on 30. She was in. She was really doing this.

The doors had opened to a remote corner of the floor. She thanked God there wasn’t a cop waiting in front of them.

Why ISN’T there a cop there? Oh right, because Cindy has to be in the plot.

So our hero-…our story hijacker makes her way to the scene of the crime. No doubt to try and get a line from the corpses.

Then her heart almost stopped. She thought she might be sick.

The groom, in a bloodstained tuxedo shirt, lay there on the floor.

Cindy’s legs buckled. She had never seen a murder victim before.

Awwww poor baby, did you not think you’d see a horrible tragedy when you broke into this murder investigation?

worlds smallest violin

Then the book remembers that this shouldn’t be happening.

“Who the hell are you?” a brusque voice suddenly demanded. A large, angry cop was staring directly at her face.

The angry cop began leafing through her IDs and credit cards as if they were junk mail.

“Jesus.” The thick-necked patrolman scowled with a face like a slobbering Doberman. “She’s a reporter.”

“Get her the hell out,” Doberman barked to him. “And keep the ID. She won’t get within a mile of a police briefing for the next year.”

“Show this reporter the front door,” he instructed a third cop manning the elevator. He flicked her press ID as if it were a playing card. “Hope losing this was worth the ride up.”

Gonna have to agree with dog-man on this one, Cindy. Hope you can write a 700 word piece on the legs of a dead groom.

Lindsay hops into the elevator with her at the last minute. That way, Patty-man can convince us this scene wasn’t super pointless. Cindy notices how visibly upset Lindsay is, once again illustrating her professionalism. Once they reach the lobby, she’s shoved towards the door but for some reason isn’t escorted. So she just follows Lindsay into the ladies room. Based on previous actions she must have a really great plan.

To Cindy’s amazement, it was clear she had been crying.

“You okay?” Cindy finally inquired in a soft voice.

The detective tensed up when she realized she wasn’t alone. But she had this look on her face, as if she were on the verge of letting it all out.

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The detective pulled out a tissue and dabbed at her eyes. “Well, I’m afraid your luck’s over, if you’re looking for something from me.”

“I didn’t mean that,” Cindy said. “You sure you’re all right?”

The cop turned around. Her eyes shouted, I’ve got nothing to say to you, but they lied. It was as if she needed to do exactly that, talk to someone, more than anything in the world.

Cindy is that guy at the bar who you tell to buzz off and is convinced that if he says “baby” enough times he’ll unlock the magical code to your panties. Except the panties in this case are Lindsay’s stupid feelings.

It was one of those strange moments when Cindy knew there was something under the surface. If the roles just shifted, and she had the chance, the two of them might even become friends.

Cindy reached into her pocked, pulled out a card, and placed it on the sink counter in front of the detective. “If you ever want to talk…”

Soooo, are we supposed to believe that Cindy is sincere here? Because I don’t. At all. And yes we know that Lindsay just wants to vent all her FEELS but I don’t buy for a second that Cindy has the intuition to figure that out. Did we all just miss the part where she broke into a crime scene for two seconds for no reason?

The color came back into the inspector’s pretty face. She hesitated, then gave Cindy the slimmest, faintest edge of a smile.

Cindy smiled in return. “As long as I’m here…” She went up to the sink and took out her makeup kit, catching the policewoman’s eye in the mirror.

“Nice vest,” she said.

And then they made out.

totinos lesbians

No, coz that would actually be awesome.

Thank god next chapter is back with Lindsay. She’s working at her office in the Hall of Justice, where she will no doubt consult with Wonder Woman about all her vagina feelings and eat a tub of ice cream or something.

Her and the rest of the team review what they’ve found out from the day. Which is not much.

Jacobi’s initial talk with the groom’s parents had produced nothing. The father was a big-time Wall Street guy who ran a firm that handled international buyouts. … They didn’t have an enemy in the world.

bullshit

I mean, I know the killer is actually token crazy man, but they don’t. Either the groom’s father is lying or is dense as hell. The latter is highly possible.

Luckily, some guests noticed a suspicious dude hanging around the thirtieth floor with a possible box of liquor in his hands. Too bad a guy like that is probably long gone by now and is totally not revisiting his crime like an idiot.

Without knocking, our lieutenant, Sam Roth… stuck his head into the room. He tossed a copy of the afternoon Chronicle across the table. “You see this?”

The boldface headline read, “WEDDING NIGHT MASSACRE AT HYATT.” I read aloud from the front page. “Under a stunning view of the bay, in a world only the rich would know, the body of the twenty-nine-year-old groom lay curled up near the door.” He knotted his brow.

The byline read Cindy Thomas.

willy-wonka-meme

Shocking.

What’s Cindy’s game plan here? Congrats, you got your one article. But now you’re locked out of future high profile cases, and you just ruined Lindsay as a potential future source by betraying her trust. You do realize a journalist’s career tends to last longer than one story, right?

In any case we have to wrap things up. Lindsay watches as the rest of her colleagues leave the office and she’s left in thought. Time for a classic chapter cliff-hanger from Patty-man.

My head spun with his warning: Fatal Lindsay.

Then I was hit with the crushing realization. It was going on eight o’clock.

I had never called Orenthaler’s specialist.

NOOOOOOOO

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DAMN YOU REASONABLE OFFICE HOURS!

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