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My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Sunday, September 15, 2002


The Honolulu Soap Co.:
Sunday digest

>> 2002 Wilder

HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes aimed the Glock 9mm in his left hand across the kitchen half-wall toward a darkened doorway that led to a guest bathroom and the master bedroom, splashed water in the kitchen sink with the right. He rattled a plate, trying to make it sound as if Dr. Laurie Tang really was home, and not him. The old feminine domestic duty ruse.

Gomes kept the water running, splashing off a pile of silverware, as he stepped silently on bare feet away from the sink. A man of mental acuity, he was also a man of action and would take the offensive against whoever had broken in. They had to be hiding around that dark corner.

Wiping his hand on the towel wrapped around his waist, Gomes had a brain flash -- the Glock was not the only weapon he carried. With his free hand, he started unwrapping the towel. Back at Leilehua High, he'd learned the hard way as a freshman at Leilehua that a towel could be used as a weapon. He'd just showered after wrestling practice and was toweling off when somebody rat-tailed him from around the corner of his locker and got him in the you-know-wheres. He yelped, grabbed himself, looked around the corner, saw several upperclassmen on the basketball team walking away.

Sherlock vowed to learn that wicked maneuver. And he had. Tightly roll up a damp towel at a slight angle so that one corner angles loosely at the end. With a flick of the wrist flip it out, then snap it back. Gomes could make a little P.E. towel crack like a bullwhip and raise a red welt on bare skin. And this was a 5-foot beach towel. A weapon indeed.

Still pointing the pistol toward the open doorway, Gomes quickly spun the towel tight as a cord. It was damp after his swimming lesson at the pool upstairs, perfect for rat-tailing. Silently he moved out of the kitchen, crept along the wall that led to the darkened doorway, where he guessed the intruder awaited.

Four feet from the doorway Gomes paused, drew his rat-tail back. He would aim for debilitating effect, at you-know-wheres, and follow with the Glock.

>> Crouched around the corner, Salvatore Innuendo heard water splashing in the kitchen sink. It was unbelievable that Dr. Laurie Tang was washing dishes even as sirens outside screamed, calling her back to the Queen's ER. How do you explain a woman?

He did not have time to wait. According to what he'd overheard them saying a moment ago, HPD detective Sherlock Gomes would return from retrieving the doctor's cell phone at the pool in a few minutes. Before that happened he had to take her out. Then he would await his real target.

>> Doing exactly as she'd been instructed by Sherlock Gomes, Dr. Laurie Tang waited until she was in the elevator and going down to call the direct number he'd given her for HPD dispatch. But her cell wouldn't work in the elevator. She'd have to wait 15 floors.

Laurie was amazed that Sherlock had noticed the curtains in her condo had been partially closed while they'd been up at the pool. Curtains were not the kind of thing most men paid attention to. Either Sherlock was a closet Martha Stewart freak or he had incredible powers of observation. She was betting -- and hoping -- on the latter.

>> Dangling the 5-foot rat-tail in his left hand, Gomes took a deep breath, drew his hand back, then quickly forward and flicked his wrist. The rat-tail sailed out, disappeared around the corner. Gomes heard the rat-tail crack like a bullwhip, and a man cry out in shock and pain before Gomes saw the barrel of a large pistol pointing from around the corner.

Innuendo literally did not see it coming. The rat-tail hit him in the right eye and ripped through his soft contact lens into his cornea. The rebound hit his left eye, causing no permanent injury but enough to make it tear up so thick he couldn't see. Blinking hard and wiping at the involuntary tears, he pointed the pistol at where it seemed the doctor should have been and fired twice.

>> Makiki Heights

While Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka slept off a three-day binge, Machiavelli Wang finished calling Honolulu's political reporters. All the TV stations and newspapers would be at the Capitol tomorrow for the press conference. Just days before the primary, the Democrats' version of a three-legged race -- the Mazie, Ed and Andy Show -- wouldn't know what hit them.

At the press conference the senator would give details of how he was detained for three days by Native Hawaiian terrorists, but ultimately talked sense into them and gained his release -- proving he was the right man to lead Hawaii in 2002 and beyond. Who else could say they stared down terrorists for three days, endured the physical and mental abuse, and through his intelligence, will and charisma convinced them that terror was not the way, and to trust him to improve the lot of Hawaiians? Wasn't he, himself, part-Hawaiian?

It was a brilliant story, and Machiavelli was rather pleased with himself for concocting it on such short notice. The story not only explained the senator's going AWOL, it put him back in the race for governor.

>> 2002 Wilder

Good suppressor, Gomes thought, barely a sound. Not knowing how much damage his rat-tail attack had done, he drew it back to strike again.

Blinking furiously, wiping at his left eye, Innuendo forced himself toward the kitchen. If he could get to the doc, even blind he could grapple and stab her. But then he saw the shadowy outline of a human form and it was way too big to be the petite doctor. It had to be Gomes. Damn! How had he allowed himself to be so thoroughly fooled? Innuendo aimed the pistol in that direction.

Gomes dived and rolled a heartbeat before the pistol quietly spat a third bullet.




Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at dchapman@midweek.com



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