Pumpkin Patch Pervert: The Sequel
Standard Disclaimers: We don’t own them, but if we did? <EG> Nah, ‘Leya was nice enough to let us play with her story after she sent it to us via AIM bright and early one day. We were both laughing so hard that we just *knew* we had to write out what happened the next day. <G> We make no money off this effort, we just write for our enjoyment and that of our Listsibs and others that get a chance to read this.
Note From Suisan: When Mary and I first posted this story, it was for Mary’s Dues at the Sentinel Angst List and mine as well. Now, after going over it with a fine toothed comb, I’ve added a scene or two, fleshed out a few others - all with Mary’s kind permission. Mary, thanks for taking the plunge with me on a co-writing effort. I really enjoyed it! (Not to mention getting tickled.)
Note From Mary: It was a joint effort by the both of us...after we picked ourselves up off the floor. There's an old saying that, "Truth is Stranger Than Fiction". In this case, I'll have to agree<G>.
Rating/Warning: Humor, or at least an honest attempt at it. Foul language? Nope, but there are some “adult” references, but nothing that no one over the age of thirteen couldn’t handle.
And now? On with the story…
Pumpkin Patch Pervert: The Sequel
Mary Shukes & Suisan “Sue” R.
Response to Pumpkin Patch Pervert by Taleya
Jim Ellison, Detective with the Major Crimes Division of Cascade Police Department, was not having a good day. First off, it was Monday and that was always bad, wasn’t it? But this Monday morning? This morning it was far worse.
His erstwhile roommate, Blair Sandburg, was obviously still howling over the arrest incident last night. Jim could actually hear the younger man trying to stifle his laughter while he showered.
Trying to ignore the hysterical giggles, Jim walked down the stairs from his bedroom loft looking for his first cup of coffee. And found something else entirely. For there, on the counter, opened to page two of the Cascade Times:
Cascade Detective Busts Squash Molester
The detective in question groaned as he realized that somehow, someway, the reporter had gotten almost every detail of the incident. It didn’t help that the same reporter had also dug up a photo of him from the Times’ archives: one of him in a tux, receiving the Cop Of The Year award.
Muttering under his breath, Jim shook his head. “I’m never going to live this down…”
“Hey! Jim! Didja see the paper?” Blair asked as he bounced down the hall from the bathroom; loose, damp curls falling over bare shoulders and a huge grin plastered on his youthful face. “I set it to the page with your ‘daring exploits’.” The anthropology student ducked as a potholder flew at him from the kitchen.
“I suppose you think this is funny, don’t you, Chief?” Jim’s voice was a barely audible growl as he stalked past the chuckling man, intent on grabbing his own shower time.
Blair dressed quickly, then, hiding his actions from his growling roomy, grabbed the cordless phone and went out onto the balcony; dialing from memory. Keeping his voice low, living with a man that could hear anything was a pain sometimes, he greeted the person who answered the ringing on the other end of the line.
“Hey, Henri. Blair. Have you seen page two of the Times this morning?”
The laughter that came over the connection was loud. “Oh, hee-hee, Hairboy! Did the two of you really catch that guy ‘in the act’?”
“Yeah, we did. Man, you should’ve been there, H! I thought Jim was going to wreck the truck on the way to the Sheriff’s Office!”
“You do realize that there is no way that his fellow detectives can possibly allow this incident to pass by without giving him some sort of grief over it, don’t you?” The evil grin on detective Henri Brown’s face was quite evident to the young Observer, even over the phone.
“Yeah, so?” Blair dropped his voice into a bare whisper, “Need any help?”
Henri chuckled, “Oh, I think Rafe and I can handle it. Better that you stay well away from this. We just have to work with Ellison, whereas you live with the man, Hairboy. It could get ugly.”
Ducking his head in agreement, Blair checked through the glass doors to see where his friend was. Nowhere in sight. “Okay. I’ve got classes this morning anyway. Think you could get a few photos of the event for me? Or better yet, a videotape?”
The jolly detective thought about the request for all of, maybe, five seconds. “Not a problem. I think Rhonda keeps a camcorder handy - just in case we need to tape an interview. I’ll ask if I can borrow it.”
“Cool! Look, gotta run. Talk to you later.” Blair hung up the phone and carried it back into the apartment, just as Jim was heading back up the stairs to his room.
“Nah, just had to touch base with the TA that’s going to cover my afternoon class.” He put the phone back on the base as he detoured to his room, still talking. “Wanted to make sure he knew the material. We still going to sit surveillance this evening on Commerce?”
Jim sensed that there was something up with his roommate, but shrugged it off as he continued up the stairs to change for work. “That’s the plan, unless someone gets lucky enough to catch a break on the case.”
“Hey, we can always hope, right?” Blair called out from his room, where he was trying to gather up the notebooks he’d graded last night. Jim didn’t respond. Fifteen minutes later, he was being hustled.
“Sandburg! Get a move on or catch the bus! I’m late!”
‘Just like I planned, Jim. All according plan.’ Snatching up his backpack from the floor, he raced out of the door, stopping only long enough to make sure that it locked behind him. “Jim?!? Oh, man! Wait up!” Blair had to literally run down the stairwell to catch up with the much taller man.
The 1969 blue and white Ford pickup pulled to a stop in front of Hargrove Hall on Rainier University’s campus. “You sure your mechanic is going to have the Volvo ready by Noon?” Ellison asked of his passenger, skepticism clearly evident in the tone of voice, if not the ice blue eyes.
Slinging his backpack onto his right shoulder, Blair opened the door and slid out of the truck. “Yeah. Paul said it was just the alternator, this time. Had to completely rebuild it.”
Jim winced as the kid slammed the truck door shut. “Watch it, Junior! This is your only, non-public, mode of transportation until that rattle trap of yours is fixed.”
“Oh, sorry, man!” Glancing at his watch, the student grimaced. “Oh, crap! Late again!” He started to trot towards the large building behind him, calling over his shoulder, “Look, I’ll call if I’m going to be late, okay?”
Before Jim could reply, Blair was gone, lost in the crowd of students on the commons. Putting the classic Ford into gear, he muttered his response anyway. “Yeah, yeah. Either you arrive on your own, or I pick you up, I’d better see you later.”
He waited a few minutes, tracking his partner as Blair Sandburg fairly flew up the long sidewalk; past the now defunct fountain and up the granite steps into ‘The Grove’ as the building was informally known. Pulling away from the curb, Jim subvocalized his thoughts. “Damn kid. If he keeps up the pace he’s been running at for much longer, he’s going to burn out.”
Watching from behind the heavy glass doors as his best friend pulled away from the curb and into the flow of traffic on Rainier Drive, Blair pulled out his cell phone and hitting a speed dial button, made another phone call. “He’s enroute. ETA, fifteen minutes if the traffic holds true to form. You ready?”
“As ready as we’ll ever be. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find gourds like that this time of year?”
Several students warily bypassed the nearly hysterical Grad student as he convulsed on the floor just inside the main entrance of the Social Sciences building. One of the Associate Professors stepped out of her office to investigate, saw who it was, and chose to ignore him. Mostly. Shaking her head, she walked down the hall towards the auditorium, talking to herself. “Great, just what the younger students need to see on a Monday morning; a Grad student, an aspiring Ph.D. candidate, losing his mind in the hallway.”
Meanwhile, back at the Central Precinct of Cascade Pd, detectives Rafe and Brown were busy setting up various kinds of pumpkins on and around the desk of detective James Ellison. There were big ones, little ones; round ones and not so round ones; bright orange ones as well as white and yellow ones. In fact, there were so many that there was absolutely no room left on or around the desk for anything else.
‘Jim’s is going to have kittens when he sees this.’ Henri Brown thought to himself. ‘Maybe I’d better alert the medics, just in case.’ Even so, he continued to help his partner, Rafe, as they strung streamers up, in orange and black crepe, to aid the visual impact.
‘Ellison’s had this coming for a long, long time. At least we’ll get to have some fun with this.’ Rafe looked at his friend, a wicked gleam in his eyes as he extracted a pocketknife from his Sansabelt slacks, then he picked up the largest of the nearby pumpkins and proceeded to gouge out a little round hole in the firm flesh.
Brown, seeing where this was going, grinned in return as he picked up a black marker and after Rafe had finished cutting each, single, hole in the assembled produce, wrote nice neat instructions above them: Insert Here.
Captain Simon Banks looked out of his office window at the shenanigans taking place in the bullpen. He just knew that he was going to have to deal with some bloodshed, hopefully minor, somewhere along the line over this.
‘Ellison is not going to take this lightly,’ he thought. Then grinned hugely as he decided to get into the act himself. ‘Being Captain does have it’s privileges.’ Raising his voice, he called out to one of his detectives, “Rafe! My office. NOW!”
Rafe’s cheerful countenance fell. Being called into the Captain’s office, this early in the shift on a Monday was NOT a good thing. Stopping just inside the door, “Captain?”
“Rafe,” Simon started smoothly, “Do you recall that Halloween bust from October? The one where the perps were using all these candles in some kind of ritual?”
“Good. I want you to go down to Evidence and secure those candles and bring them back here. Think you can handle that, Detective?”
Struggling to keep a grin from his face, “Yes, sir! All of them, sir?”
“No, just the black and orange ones.”
Rafe hurried out of the office, eager to do as the captain had asked, and to get away from the evil glint in the man’s eyes. He shivered as the quiet chuckling reached his ears before the door could close all the way.
When Rafe came back with the candles, only about fourteen of them, they had about five minutes before the arrival of their victim…and they were ready. Almost. Everyone was at his or her desk, with the exception of Rafe and Simon Banks.
Simon had taken the candles from the young detective and shooed him away from the pumpkin festooned desk. Then he got busy. Inserting candles into the holes that had been cut in the larger of the squashes, they fit so conveniently. That done, he used his lighter and went around lighting said candles; after making sure that the flames wouldn’t set anything on fire.
And so, three minutes later, Jim Ellison walked into Major Crimes to find his desk covered in pumpkins of many different sizes and shapes; some even had a burning candle poking rather rudely from them.
He had smelled the distinctive odor of hot wax upon exiting the elevator on the seventh floor, but had thought nothing of it. Until he had stepped into the bullpen to find his desk, and surrounding area, liberally covered in… “Funny, guys. Very funny.”
Over by his own desk, Brown pulled out the small camcorder and was taping everything. From the minute that Jim had stepped into view in the hallway outside of the bullpen, and he was still rolling footage. For once, it seemed to him, the senior detective wasn’t being his normally observant self. ‘Thankfully. Or he’d probably come over here and destroy the camcorder - and I cannot afford to pay for that!’
Jim stalked over to his desk, and found even more friendly insults. There, in a nice black frame, sat the article that had appeared in this morning’s paper. And that wasn’t all. For scattered among the desktop, his eyes widened as he realized what he was looking at. “And just where in Cascade does one find pumpkin pie flavored condoms? Connor?”
The visiting Australian Inspector looked up from her desk, indignant innocence on her rather expressive face. “Me? What make you think that I would know something like that, Jimbo?”
Jim stared at her, puzzled, for she was correct. She couldn’t possibly know about the specialty store near the university campus, unless… ‘Nah, he wouldn’t do that? Would he?’ He changed tactics.
“Okay, so if it wasn’t Connor, I guess that only leaves…” Jim glanced around the now crowded bullpen, looking for a guilty party by scanning the various vital signs: racing heart, rapid or shallow breathing, pupil reactions. “Rafe?”
The dark haired detective shook his head, backing away from his accuser, hands raised in mock surrender. “Wrong, not me. Try someone else.”
Snickering greeted his words. The office was getting even more crowded as more officers and support staff filed in, curious about the event unfolding in their midst.
Looking past the well-dressed man, Jim spotted something else, in the hands of the other possible candidate. “Brown! What are you doing with that video camera!?”
Henri never even flinched. Holding the small camera steady as he grinned and continued to record the event. “Just making sure that we have a solid record on the piece of history. It’s not often that someone,” he stressed the last word, “gets the chance to do something like this to you, and maybe get away with it.”
“Captain!” Jim looked to his boss for help.
Grinning around the cigar clenched in his teeth, Simon shook his head. “Sorry, Ellison, you’re on your own. Put those detective skills of yours to work.” Casually removing the stogie from his mouth, he continued non-chalantly. “By the way, Jim?”
“You’re letting wax drip onto your reports.”
Cursing under his breath in Chopec, the sentinel hurried to blow out the candles and to rescue his paperwork. But as fast as he was, he wasn’t quick enough to save his notes on the Commerce Vandal case.
Deciding to no longer play along with the sick joke being played on him by his coworkers, he started the attempt to dig his desk out. Leaving the crepe paper streamers fluttering in the faint breeze from the air vents.
The soft voice of Rhonda, Simon’s secretary, drifted over his shoulder to grab his attention. “What is it, Rhonda?”
“Can I have a few of those?” She asked, pointing at the tiny, foil wrapped, packages that Jim had so neatly stacked near his computer.
‘Oh, this is too easy…’ Jim’s face lit up with a truly wicked grin, his blue eyes sparkling. “Sure, wouldn’t want you run out.”
The blonde reached out and whapped him on the shoulder, “They’re for my sister.” Taking the small stack that he held out, she smiled serenely, then leaned in closer to him. “I prefer the strawberry ones myself.” Her voice was low and smoky, carrying no further than the edge of Jim’s desk.
But the comment had the desired effect, one that was caught on videotape for all prosperity, for no one had ever seen James Ellison blush quite that hard before.
Jim tried to control the flush of heat rising to his face as he watched Rhonda saunter back towards her desk, her prize clutched in her fist. ‘Comments like that could send a man to an early grave, especially when the lady delivering the lines is married. Happily married. What a flirt!’
“Okay, people. We’ve had our fun, now back to work.” Simon’s commanding voice echoed over the many heads bent in near silent laughter. Before returning to his office, he had to ‘zing’ Jim just one last time… “Ellison, get rid of this trash, will you? The last thing I want is my department ending up smelling like overripe, over used squash.”
The laughter that broke out as Simon entered his office was anything but quiet, nor was it polite. But it had the wondrous effect of making everyone feel less apprehensive about facing the Monday workload. Brown made sure that the video ‘evidence’ was safely secured from Ellison, then he and the rest of the Major Crimes crew pitched in to help Jim clear up the mess on his desk.
By the time Blair Sandburg arrived at Major Crimes at a quarter past Noon, there was no sign that anything untoward had taken place. But the young Police Observer knew better. Several officers, both uniforms and plain clothes, had stopped him on the way up to the seventh floor to regale him with the tale of the great pumpkin caper. He struggled to wipe the smirk from his face as he approached Jim Ellison’s desk.
“Hey, Jim. Made it.”
Twinkling blue eyes looked up at the anthropologist as the student dropped his backpack on the floor. “Glad you’re here, Chief.” Holding up a small sheaf of papers, he asked, “Any chance that I could get you type these up for me?”
“Yeah, sure. No problem.” Taking the papers from his roommate, Blair felt something, well, slick on them. Closer examination proved to him that it was a waxy-like substance. “Uh, Jim? What happened to these?”
“Just a practical joke, Sandburg. Nothing to worry about.”
“Uh, huh.” Dropping into the chair on the other side of Jim’s desk, he pulled the keyboard to where he could reach it. “So why do I have the feeling that I missed something important?”
Leaning over, Jim answered. “Well, Chief, next time you help these guys set me up, make sure that you’re here to see the results.” He produced the videocassette that he’d managed to filch from Simon’s desk when the Captain wasn’t looking, and handed it over to his friend. “You can see the whole thing later. Henri got it all on tape for you, just like you asked.”
Blair took the tape, his hand shaking as he fought to control the laughter welling up in his gut. “Oh, man! You heard didn’t you? Oh, that sucks! Next time, I do all my plotting and planning from my office at Rainier!”
“Good idea, Darwin.” Jim reached out and delivered a friendly cuff to the back of Blair’s curly topped head. “But there had better not be a next time.”
~~*~~*~~ THE END ~~*~~*~~
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