DISCLAIMERS: Sorry about the skipping lines. I wish I could figure out a good way to indent on my blog, but so far, no luck. Also, I am not making fun of people with Turret's Syndrome. Aquatic Turret's doesn't even exist.
Isaac’s vacation ended the moment his tires crossed the city limits. He hadn’t even breached the suburbs when his cell phone rang.
“I’m fifteen minutes away,” he answered, not bothering to check the caller ID.
“I need you here in five,” Strickland said, “because that’s when I’m leaving.”
Isaac sighed and hung up the phone. His boss’s vacations almost always coincided with homicide investigations. Isaac suspected he had a weak constitution.
Ten minutes later, he walked into the office. The chief was talking to Isaac’s partner, but it was clearly not going well.
“I don’t care how you do it,” Strickland said, shutting his briefcase with a loud click, “just get him to talk.”
Steven shrugged. “That’s not the hard part, sir. The hard part’s getting him to make sense.”
“What? Is he an idiot?”
Steven shook his head.
“Then what’s the problem?”
“It’s complicated,” Steven explained. “He’s got this obsession with--”
“With what?” Strickland was not generally patient, especially when he was trying to leave town.
“With the sea, sir,” Steven said. “Actually, with everything nautical.”
“What the heck?” Isaac blurted out.
Strickland threw up his hands. “Go on,” he said to Isaac, “have a crack at him. I’m out of town starting now, so make sure you have this report finished and on my desk by Monday.”
Strickland walked out the door without looking back, and Isaac turned to his partner.
“What’s with him?” he asked.
“No, the witness.”
“He’s got SIATS,” Steven explained.
“Stress-induced aquatic turrets syndrome.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“I wish I was.” Steven sighed. “It’s got to be the only reason he’s still alive. The killer must have known there was no way this guy could squeal.”
Isaac strode over to the interrogation room and opened the door. A thin, slightly balding man wearing blue jeans and a polo sat on the chair. He looked up when Isaac entered.
“Good morning,” Isaac said. “I’m Detective Kramer. How are you?”
“Fine,” the man said.
“I’m just going to ask you a few questions, alright?”
“First, for the record, what is your full name?”
“And where do you work, Quincy?”
“At the library.”
“Were you working at the library last Friday night?”
“Yes, I was.” Quincy shifted in his chair, but his expression remained undisturbed.
“And did you see or hear anything unusual that night?”
“Spongy, pants-fouling bilge rat!” Quincy yelled, his face growing red and bits of spittle flocking at the corners of his mouth.
“I beg your pardon?” Isaac asked.
“Up the yardarm, you rogue!”
“I see. Well, have you ever seen this woman?” He slid a picture of the victim across the table toward Quincy.
“Walk the plank!”
He decided to try a different tactic. “Have you ever met me before?” he asked.
“Nope.” Quincy said, his face a picture of tranquility once more.
Steven opened the door and stuck his head in. “Isaac?” he asked.
Isaac nodded in Steven’s direction. “What about him?” he asked Quincy.
“Just today,” Quincy answered.
“Chief Strickland wanted--” Steven began, but Quincy interrupted.
Isaac twisted around to stare at Quincy for a moment, then turned back to his partner.
Steven tried again. “Chief Strickland--”
“Your mother was a mayfly and your father smelled of whale blubber!”
“Just gimme a couple a minutes.”
Steven backed out of the room and shut the door. Isaac faced Quincy again.
“Chief?” Isaac said softly.
Isaac closed his eyes. He knew, without ever taking the case to trial, his ship was sunk.