The Curious Kidnapping Case of Who What—A Short Story

Dick Andrews and Shirley Kelly, Miami police detectives, laid sleeping in bed when their cellphones rang. Both stirred and Shirley sat up in bed, pulling up the covers to cover naked body. A glance out the window told her it was still too early for their alarm. She began to frantically search for her cellphone.

Dick rolled over. “Don’t answer that!”

Shirley shook her head. “We have to. We’re on call.”

Dick sat up on his side of the bed. “I thought you said you put your phone on vibrate.”

Shirley gave him a dirty look. “That’s how much you listen. I said I have to turn off my vibrator so I can charge it. Get up and answer your phone – we both have calls.”

Dick rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “Make sure you have your own phone. We don’t want the Captain to know we are dating. What the hell time is it anyway?”

Shirley picked up a cellphone from the nightstand and handed it to Dick. “Here’s yours.” She looked on the floor and found her phone.

Both answered their phones, listened and said, “I’ll be right there.”

Dick quickly dressed as Shirley headed for the shower. “I told you not to answer it.”

Dick and Shirley drove to the location given by their Captain, a large house in an upscale residential suburb of Miami and arrived just as the sun was dawning. On the walk up the long driveway, Shirley spotted a garage door opener and bent over to pick it up.  Dick couldn’t resist from admiring her butt. “Stop looking at my ass!” She pointed the remote at the large double car garage and pushed the button; nothing happened.

Captain Tim Barnaby met them in the spacious hallway as they entered the house. He motioned for them to follow him into the living room. A very distraught couple sat on the couch wearing robes. Tim said, “This is Mr. William Smith and his wife Mary. Their daughter was kidnapped last night or early this morning. Her abductors left a note saying they would call later. I want you two to take point on this case. Dickhead, you handle the ransom demand and pay off from here. Stacy, you try to find the kidnappers.”

“Dick or Richard,” Dick said.

“What?” the Captain asked.

“You called me ‘Dickhead.’ My name is Richard or you can call me Dick for short.”

“Sorry. Freudian slip.”

Shirley interjected, “And my name is Shirley, not Stacy.”

“Since when?” the Captain asked.

“Since I was born.”

“Whatever. Let’s get to work.” Tim turned back toward the couple. “Okay, Mr. Smith, the kidnapers should call any minute with their ransom demands.”

Bill said, “Smyth. The name is Smyth, not Smith. Smyth and please call me Bill.”

“Whatever. Anyway, Jones here is our computer tech.” Tim pointed to a young man seated at the dining room table in front of a computer. “He’s a Greek.”

“James,” the tech said. “You always call me Jones, but my name is Ralph James. And it’s ‘geek’, not ‘Greek.’”

“Whatever. As I was saying before I was interrupted, …James here will trace the call, but you need to keep the kidnappers talking for at least one minute. Are we clear?”

“I think so,” Bill replied.

“Good. Mr. Smyth, I promise we will get Kathleen back.”

“Kaitlin. her name is Kaitlin,” Mary Smyth said.

Tim raised his eyebrows. “That’s what I said.”

Bill tilted his head. “No, you said Kathleen.”

“Give me a break.” Tim turned toward Dick and Shirley. “Any questions?”

Dick took out his smart phone and clicked on the recorder.  “How did the kidnappers get Kaitlin out of the house without making any noise?”

Tim held up a washcloth. “Chloroform.”

Shirley stepped closer for a better look. “Are you sure it’s chloroform?”.

Tim held out the washcloth. “Here, take a sniff and you tell me.”

Shirley held up her hands in surrender and took a step back. “Oh, no. I’m not falling for that trick… again.”

Tim raised his eyebrows but decided not to pursue Shirley’s remark. “I have to get ready for a press conference. Keep me informed.” He turned on his heel and marched out the door.

Shirley looked the Smyths over. Bill Smyth was a short, slender man with glasses. He reminded Shirley of an accountant. Mary reminded her of a trophy wife. Her perfume permeated the air. She wondered how she found the time to put on make-up and do her hair when her daughter was kidnapped. She turned toward a small group of police officers standing in the dining room. “Canvas the neighborhood and see if anyone saw anything. Also, check all the security tapes within a 100-mile radius and see what comes up. Check the ATMs while you’re at it and get me a cup of coffee.” The police officers mocked her by slapping their foreheads as if they had never thought of that.

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