Detective Michael Penelope

By Andy Betz

He understood he wouldn’t make it to the police.  His pace had slowed with every minute that passed.  Normally, he could count on his youthful exuberance to propel him forward.

But that was then and this is now.

The sun dried the blood in his hair, but not that on his forehead.  Stubbornly, this blood remains somewhat viscous, but not enough to prevent a periodic appearance into his right eye.  It was a foregone conclusion he couldn’t prevent each drop’s descent, so he gave into the inevitable.

Giving into the inevitable seemed the best tactic for his situation.  Perhaps the best tactic for anyone in Charles Owen McGuire’s situation.

It was the last thought he ever had on this or any other situation.


The sun remained high in the sky, longer than Detective Michael (don’t call me Penny) Penelope desired.  He watched the doctor finish the autopsy awaiting a preliminary report.  This was the “chomping at the bit” portion of the Monday morning that propelled him into his week.  An early riser, with a propensity for work finished before others achieved work began, the detective speculated as to why the victim had so much blood on him and not a single mark on him.

He didn’t have to wait long for his answer.

The doctor dispensed with formalities.  His report confirmed no cuts, lacerations, contusions, or similar injuries that would indicate bleeding.  The victim’s fingerprints identified the body as Charles McGuire, a former soldier, now commodities broker who disappeared 72 hours ago. 

“And the blood?” The detective was always right to the point. 

“The blood on the exterior of Mr. McGuire is Mr. McGuire’s blood.  I will have the final report for you to see by tomorrow where I will know for sure.  What is unusual, is the blood interior to Mr. McGuire is also Mr. McGuire’s.  Essentially, all 10 pints are where they should be.”

“So how much blood is he wearing?”

The doctor seemed sarcastic with his answer.  “Mr. McGuire is wearing all 10 pints of his blood.”  A pregnant pause ensued to let it sink in.  “According to his file, he never had a brother and his father died over twenty years ago.  I ruled out any marks from recent donations or transfusions, unless of course, he gave and then stored his blood from last year, perhaps earlier.”

“Why would he do this?”

The doctor, displaying a flash of secondary detective skills all physicians acquire with time, simply  replied, “I did my job. Now it is time to do yours.”

Bio: The works of Andy Betz are found everywhere a search engine operates.  Andy has written many great things that have been posted to The Yard: Crime Blog. His works can be found HERE.

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