Musical Interlude

  • Crime
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If my niece could see me now, she'd be so jealous, thought Detective McDonnell as she flashed her badge to the bodyguards. Here she was, a mere police detective, about to interview one of the biggest pop stars today, Prizz-Tina. Granted, it wasn't really her type of music, but the kids sure loved her.

"Kids." McDonnell shook her head. I must be getting old.

One of the bodyguards went inside and came out after a few minutes, waving her in. Prizz-Tina had her back to the door, but McDonnell could see her face in the large mirror Prizz-Tina was using to put on her makeup. She noticed another man in the room, but was unsure who he was.

"Hello, officer," said Prizz-Tina. "Sorry I can't get up, but I go on in a few minutes and need to get this makeup right. This is my manager, Darius Womack. He insisted on being here for some reason."

Darius stood up and offered his hand to McDonnell. "Pleased to meet you," he replied. "That 'some reason' is purely for legal reasons, I assure you. What can we help you with?"

"I'm Detective Susan McDonnell, and I'm here purely on an inquiry basis. May I have a seat?"

Darius gestured to an empty chair, and he and McDonnell sat down.

"I know you're busy, so I'll be brief," led McDonnell. "There have been a series of drug busts and/or overdoses across the country of a very specific type of designer heroin. In fact, we just had another O.D. last night here of this particular heroin. I was trying to look for a connection, and when I was going through the various local newspapers, one thing I noticed was that you'd performed in that city within the previous three to five days."

"Prizz-Tina has a very active tour schedule and wants to perform everywhere she can," interrupted Darius. "Are you insinuating she has anything to do with this drug?"

"Not her specifically," replied McDonnell. "Obviously, I doubt anyone at her level would be dealing drugs to supplement what must already be a fairly substantial income. I was more interested if she, or you, had noticed any suspicious or unusual activities with any of the touring staff, such as roadies, sound people, et cetera."

"Nope," answered Prizz-Tina. "I'm busy with all the interview and promotion stuff before the show, and by the time I'm done, I'm too exhausted to even party. That, and Darius is worse than my parents about keeping me out of trouble. Bad press, ya know."

Darius nodded. "We like to keep Prizz-Tina's image in line with her name. If she stays out of trouble, parents will continue to buy her albums and merchandise for their children."

McDonnell nodded. "Well, I knew it was a long shot, but I figured it was worth following up on. I'll get out of your way so you can do your show. My niece is going to be jealous of me meeting you. She's a big fan."

"Oh, really?" beamed Prizz-Tina. "Here..." Prizz-Tina reached over and grabbed a headshot photo off a stack on her makeup counter. "What's her name?" she asked.

"Oh wow..." stuttered McDonnell. "It's Laurie. L-A-U-R-I-E."

Prizz-Tina scribbled a platitude and what passed for her signature on the photo and handed it to McDonnell. "Hey, want to make her even more jealous? Darius, do we have any more V.I.P. seats available?"

Darius smiled. "I'm sure I could find her a prime seat. I'll have Joe and Rick escort her there."

McDonnell was stunned. "I probably shouldn't..."

"Oh, come on," whined Prizz-Tina. "It'll be fun!"

McDonnell shrugged. "I guess this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

"Awesome!" beamed Prizz-Tina, offering a high-five that McDonnell returned.

Darius got up and spoke with the two bodyguards outside the door. Returning to the dressing room, he said, "Rick and Joe will take you to your seat. They will go the back way so you can avoid the crowds. If we do see anything suspicious, we'll be in touch."

McDonnell shook Darius's hand and a bodyguard got on either side of her and led her through the stadium.

After a few minutes, McDonnell noticed they were going deeper into the stadium instead of to the concert area. Alarm bells going off in her head, she slowly began inching her hand up towards her shoulder holster.

Rick, the bodyguard on her right, shot his left hand out and grabbed her wrist. Simultaneously, Joe grabbed her left arm. "Don't do anything stupid," grunted Rick. "I don't want to have to hurt you."

I can't believe I fell for that little princess's innocent act, thought McDonnell. Her "prime seat" turned out to be a wooden chair that she was now tied to down in the boiler room. Joe and Rick had taken away her gun and other police accoutrements, as well as the small knife she kept in a concealed pocket on her suit.

Between the noise of the concert and the roar of the building's machinery the duct tape covering her mouth was probably unnecessary. Even if she could scream for help, no one was likely to find her until the maintenance crew came in her for some reason. Being that it was evening, no one in her department would even know there was a problem until she didn't report in tomorrow.

Again, she tugged at the ropes binding her wrists, but it was still tight. The ends had also been taken through the back slats and tied around her waist, so her hands were practically useless at this point. Likewise, an ankle was tied to each of the chair's front legs, so all she could maybe do was knock the chair over, but that would probably injure her more than free her. She sighed, figuring she'd just have to wait it out.

About an hour or so after the show ended, McDonnell heard the door opening. She grunted through her gag, hoping to get the person's attention. Her heart dropped, however, when it was Rick and Joe again, this time leading a bound and gagged Prizz-Tina. When Darius walked in behind them, all the pieces fell into place.

"Tie the little prima donna to that pole over there. I don't want these two untying each other until our flight leaves."

Joe and Rick backed Prizz-Tina against a support post in the center of the room and began looping rope over her torso and legs.

"I hope you realize what a good thing you ruined here, Detective," chided Darius. "Once the show was over, Tina here started pointing out every time Rick, Joe, or I were conspicuously absent and asking a bunch of questions. Fortunately, we've made enough money between the tours and drug sales that we can conveniently disappear. So, as soon as we're done here, the three of us will be on a plane to a foreign country."

Darius stepped over to the immobilized Prizz-Tina. "You can consider this my resignation. Feel free to keep my last paycheck for yourself." He laughed.

Prizz-Tina was incredulous and cursed him incoherently through the tape.

As the door shut behind the three men, both women looked at each other apologetically.

The following morning, a janitor was shocked to discover one of the biggest pop stars of the day and a police detective where he typically enjoyed a private sip of whiskey.

The End

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