Once I got the mouse away from Boo by tempting him with some shrimp, I took care of the deceased by one good toss out the fire-escape window. I listened for a scream from some unsuspecting civilian walking by down below, but none came. I must have caught a dead moment in the traffic. But I did picture some bewildered cab driver wondering why it was raining critters. Now with the mouse out of the way, my night of excess could begin.
Boo and I ate well, as we did most nights that I had made a Chang's run. I had planned on killing off one whole bottle of Comfort that night, but I fell asleep in my chair halfway through my fourth whiskey on the rocks.
The next thing I was aware of was Boo was kneading my chest, the second thing,the old Bell and Western phone ringing and ringing. God, I hate that phone ringing sound. I always get a queasy feeling in my gut, every time it comes and sticks its tongue at me. But it only gets to me when I'm at home for some reason. At work, I'm just fine with it. It must be some sort of protection of my privacy thing going on with me.
"Lord, I'm coming already." It had to be the precinct calling. No one else would endure all those unanswered rings. A glance at the clock told me the bad news. Just after midnight. I sighed. A midnight call is never a good thing. And this one proved once more that truth.
"MacKenzie, here." I still wasn't going full speed. I was either half-asleep or half-drunk, with my brain both conditions display the same symptoms.
It was the night desk telling me that a beat cop had found a stiff in a cab. Shot three times.
"Isn't there anyone else on homicide tonight?"
The voice of the Desk Sargent gave me a straight-forward reason why I got the call.
"The victim is identified as a cabbie named Flanagan and he had a note in his pocket written to you."
"D*mn. Where's it at?"
"In the parking lot of the North Station. Doc's on his way and for some reason, so is Captain Galloway."
"Really. Alright. It'll probably take me at least fifteen to get there."
I took a check of my own breath. "God, Boo. I believe I'm drunk. Let's pray that no rookie cop pulls me over."
And as is the case with Boo, he was too busy lapping up the remains of my last drink. Yes, I am reluctant to admit it, but my cat Boo is a boozer.