Stuart takes his red-smeared hand from his head. “This is what she has done. Look at it!” His forehead shows a three-inch ragged burn.
Haring says “Did you do that?” Regi says “You just saw it. Better his head than your stomach!’ She tries to kick Stuart. “Behave, sister!”
“That’s no way to act!” Rixey says “Well don’t guess we’ll go wrong pulling the lot of them in.” I move to the center of the room, smiling.
“Don’t be in a hurry, boys. Everything can be explained.” Haring sneers “I bet.” “Regi, you know Detective Sergeant Rixey.” “Sure. Hi Rix.”
“This is Lieutenant Haring.” “Hi Har.” “Ing.” “Lieutenant Ing?” “No! Har-ing!” “Oh.” “Miss Granger is an operative in my employ.” “Uh huh.”
“Operative? Is that what we’re calling it now?” Stuart says “That isn’t so! She” I say “I hired her yesterday. THIS is not Farley Granger.”
Rixey says “I gathered that. Who is he?” “This is Mr. Stuart Granger, a triplicate brother of Farley and Willum Granger.” “Another Granger?”
“He came to my office to hire me to find Regi and stop a paradigm shift. It looked funny the way he put it to me so I wouldn’t touch it.”
“How funny?” “At first I thought I was seeing a ghost. Now it appears Stuart was impersonating his dead brother Willum to make a point.”
Anxiety comes into Stuart’s tomato sauce-stained face. His eyes move up and down, shifting their focus between the floor and my bland face.
“I thought he was concerned for Regi’s safety–well, never mind that unless it comes to the point of laying charges against each other.”
Regi says “What do you mean ‘never mind that’?” “I decided he was a vision brought on by an undigested bit of beef. Then he offered to pay.”
Regi repeats “What do you MEAN ‘never mind that’?” “I took the case after ascertaining that he wasn’t a zombie or a Body Parts R Us clone.”
Rixey smirks “Ascertaining?” “He neglected to tell me he was a triplet or that he was maneuvering me into confronting the Singularity.”
Haring turns to Stuart. “Well, what have you to say to that?” “I don’t know what to say.” “Try the facts.” “The facts?” “Quit stalling!”
Rixey says “All you gotta do is swear a complaint they took a poke at you and we’ll throw them both back into the can.” Regi says “What?”
I say “Go on Granger. Do it. Then we’ll swear a complaint against you and he’ll have the lot of us.” Stuart looks nervously around the room.
Haring says “Get your hats!” I say “Don’t you know when you’re being kidded?” “No, but we’ll let that wait till we get down to the station.”
Regi says “I don’t have a hat.” Stuart says “I never wear them.” I say “I dare you to take us in. We’ll laugh at you in every newspaper.”
Rixey guffaws. I’m confused. He says “Nobody reads newspapers anymore. They go online.” “To newspaper sites.” “Which are behind paywalls.”
“People get news in tweets, not column inches.” “Wake up Rixey. I can tweet with the best of them.” “Yes. You are just shy of a flock.”
The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery