Just when Lacey and I thought we had it all figured out, Halifax returned from the CSI truck. He brought in tow two young interns from the Medical Examiner's office. Their work would be to take old Santa to his next resting place, the city morgue, once Halifax placed his magic signature on that official sheet that disposes life of its remains.
"George, Lacey figures that he was stabbed with this reindeer antler," i offered as Halifax pulled back the cloth once more.
He didn't give much of a response except, "Really."
Lacey gave me one of those cold stares that tries to shut me up, but again it didn't work.
"Well, Gallagher. It does appear he has a puncture wound he suffered when he fell against that fake reindeer over there with the rather odd one-sided antler arrangement. But that doesn't explain that faint almond smell and the bluing of his fingernails and around his lips. No, my eager colleagues, old Santa was poisoned. Apparently someone left this once Jolly Old Elf some very special Christmas cookies."
With that, Lacey changed her tune. "Alright. Bag everything that looks edible. Look for Santa's lunch box. And for goodness sake, don't eat any cookies."
I could just see the morning headline in the New York Post. SANTA SNUFFED BY MALICIOUS KEEBLER ELF!
As they rolled Santa out on the gurney, you could hear his bells faintly jingle from beneath the sheet, and mothers covered the eyes and ears of their little ones when he rolled by.