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Big Top Monkey Business Part 2 - Did the Chimp Do It? - a Short Story

Timothy is a writer and artist who enjoys writing poetry, stories and articles. Timothy earned his BS in psychology from Albright College

Prologue:

This story is a sequel to Big Top Monkey Business. I wrote the sequel because of several requests to fill in the details of what happened after the first story. I hope the story is a good effort and continuing the Detective Jones saga. I hope you enjoy the story and let me know if you want to read more.

short-story-part-2

Talking To the Staff

Detective Howard lifted the flap to the tent and went back in. “I guess we have our suspect but I think it’s going to be hard to find out why he killed Leo and where he got a gun.”

Detective Howard looked over at his assistant Detective Johnson. He watched as Johnson leafed through some stuff on the victims desk. “We need to talk to some of his associates to find out who trained the chimp to pull the trigger. Do we have any other suspects other than the chimp?”

Johnson looked up from the desk. He pulled out his notebook and scanned through some entries. “Well, no one jumps out at me. Assuming we are looking for someone with animal training experience. I do know half of the people here actually work for the circus. The other half of the workers are only temps who are hired on for this stop.”

“I guess we start with the permanent workers. Maybe one of them will jump out as a suspect or rat out one of their coworkers. Let’s bring them in one at a time.”

“Do you want to interview them here? I mean, the crime scene has not been cleaned up yet.”

Detective Howard smiled, “Yeah, here is fine. Sometimes viewing a crime scene loosens people up. Why don’t you go and arrange for the interviews?”

Detective Johnson left to arrange the interviews. Jones looked at the tent. He wondered how a chimp could be trained to pull a gun’s trigger. He felt a chill run up his spine as he remembered the look of satisfaction in the chimp’s eyes. It was almost as if the chimp had enjoyed himself.

Detective Johnson returned. “Ok, sir. The circus staff will start coming in a few minutes.

“Good.” Detective Howard looked around the tent once more. “ I used to like the circus. Now I’m no longer fond of this place...

Detectives Howard and Johnson spent the next five hours interviewing the rest of circus employees. They’d already talked to Marlene, but none of the rest of them popped out as a suspect.

“So what do you think Johnson? I mean we interviewed the rest of the regular circus employees but none of them works as a suspect because they all seem to have alibis or are lying to us.”

“I know what you mean sir.” Johnson looked around the crime scene. “There has to be some clue here which will lead us to who trained the chimp.”

Visiting The Chimp

“You do what you need to do here. I’m going to go over to animal control and have a heart to heart with the chimp.”

Johnson looked over at his boss. “Sir...I mean...um...do you…”

“Relax Johnson, I’m not going crazy. I just want to see this animal up close and personal.”

“Okay if you say so. Good luck to you.”

Detective Howard pushed back the flap of the tent and left. A few moments later he parked at Animal Control. He thought, “What am I doing here. This is crazy. I’m going to talk to a chimp.” Still there was something odd about this chimp. He shook his head to clear it then continued on the door of the building. Letting out a deep breath he opened the door and stepped inside. He walked up to the counter and flashed his badge.

“I’m Detective Howard from the PPD. I would like to see the chimp that was brought here this morning.”

“Did you kill the clown?”

The chimp nodded yes

The man worked his gum a little harder. He looked at the badge. “You sure you want to see the chimp?”

“Yeah.” Said Howard with a little sarcasm in his voice.

“Suit yourself but he is a weird one. Just sits there and stares at you.” He grabbed the keys off a hook and came around the counter. “Follow me.”

Howard followed the man down a short hallway. At the end was a door with a window.

“We put him in here because he freaks out around the other animals.”

Howard didn’t know what to say. He’d only seen the animal once and it gave him the creeps. The man opened the door. He made sure to stand behind the door so the chimp couldn’t see him.

“He’s all yours . When you’re done just shut the door. I’ll come back and lock it.”

Howard looked into the room. There in the center of the room was a cage. In the cage sat the chimp. He looked up as Howard entered the room. He could have sworn he saw the chimp smile. He made sure to keep his distance.

“Hello.” Said Howard. “I don’t know why I’m here. I guess I just needed to take one more look at you,”

The chimp tilted its head from side to side. Howard got the feeling he was studying him. The chimp got up from where it sat and came over to the edge of the cage. Howard felt the creature's eyes boring into his soul. His skin pricked. It was the first time he’d felt a little fear in a while. He watched the creature to see if it was going to freak out because of his presence but it just stood there and stared.

As a police detective but mostly out of habit Howard did the first thing which came to mind. He started to ask a suspect questions. He didn’t know why because he knew the chimp couldn’t answer him but still he asked.

“Did you kill the clown?”

The chimp nodded yes

Howard looked at Johnson. “The chimp is a little on the weird side.”

Detective Howard had his motive for the murder but surely a chimp wouldn‘t know how to pick up a gun and pull the trigger. Someone must have trained and given the chimp the gun.

He looked at the chimp. The chimp smiled. He had the feeling he was being played but he didn’t know why. He decided to try one more question.

“Did Marlene train you?”

The chimp shook his head no.

“Well then who?” Howard thought.

He looked at the chimp. He was going to have to find out where the chimp had come from. He turned to go. The chimp reacted by grabbing the bars and chattering at him. “Take me, take me.”

Howard stared at the chimp. Had he really heard the chimp speak or was his mind just filling in words? He turned and hurried out of the room. He shut the door and moved quickly down the hallway. He told the man at the desk he could relock the room.

Back To the Office

Then he exited the door, hopped in his car and headed back to the station. Why had the chimp freaked him out so much. Surely the chimp couldn’t talk. He must have misheard. He pulled into the parking lot of the station, parked his car and headed inside. He saw Johnson sitting at his desk.

“How’d you make out at the circus? Anything new to report?”

Johnson looked up. “Nothing from the circus but the captain wanted to see us in his office the moment you got back. So how’d it go at the animal control office?”

Howard did know what to say without sounding crazy.

“Well?”

Howard looked at Johnson. “The chimp is a little on the weird side.”

Johnson wrinkled his brow. “Weird...how so?”

“It’s kind of hard to explain. It was as if the chimp knew what I was saying. I asked it yes or no questions and it responded with a head nod.” Howard decided to leave out the part about the chimp pleading and saying, “Take me.”

At that moment the phone on his desk rang. Howard picked it up. He listened for a few minutes and then set the phone on the receiver. He looked over at Johnson. The cap wants us in his office. They both got up and went to the captain’s office.

The Captain looked up from his desk. “Come in...shut the door behind you.”

They both entered the room and shut the door.

“I’m gonna cut to the chase. I need all your notes on the circus murder.”

Howard looked at the captain. “May I ask why...sir?”

“Well I got a call from Colonel Bowers over at the army base. He claims the chimp in question is theirs. No details given and I got the impression none would be given had I asked. He is sending some men over to take possession of the chimp and all the paperwork. He is also taking control of the crime scene. So you guys are off the case. I sure though you have many more cases to take it’s place.”

Howard looked at the Captain. “I would be remorseful if I did not voice my displeasure with the current turn of events but when it comes to the military I know your hands are tied.”

Johnson looked at them both. “So we are just going to take the military’s big top monkey business and move.”

“Well if you want to take on the military, Johnson, be my guest.”

“No, cap...it's just that...oh never mind.

“Good then I expect you two to start working the convenience store killing.”

“Yes cap.”

They both left the captain’s office. Howard looked over at Johnson. “I don’t like this one bit.”

“Yaeh, me either. I’m puzzled by why the military is so interested in this chimp.”

Howard thought for a moment. “Unless they’re the ones who trained him in the first place.”

“No need to worry about it though. For us the case is closed.”

© 2021 Timothy Whitt