The Big Sketch (part two) (The Cartoonist 2)

Recap: “The Cartoonist months after his first murder case is at the local Comic Con to promote his strip. As he is settling in his booth a dead body is found. His friend David in another friend’s bear suit. His other friend Ralph is now the prime suspect” 

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Oh boy. Dave what happened? What did you and Ralph get into that caused this? I hope to God that Ralph is not involved. But where is he?

The detectives were called to scene. The detective assigned to the case is an old friend. Detective Thomas Rodgers’ old partner. His partner who is now sleeping with Jimmy Hoffa. Although he doesn’t know that. Harry Smith was his name. Kind of a generic name but hey who am I to judge. He comes over to me. “Hey, why do I always find you at crime scenes?” He chuckles but now I am thinking that myself. He asks me the same basic questions. How do you know the victim? Did you see anything suspicious? Did he have any enemies? I say No to all these questions because for one thing I am protecting Ralph and for another he will probably find it out for someone else anyway. As long it’s not from me. 

The convention is postponed for today and hopefully it will start again tomorrow. Not likely. I pack up my things and head home. The day was a crazy one. A friend being accused of murder of another friend. I get home and I take a shower, make dinner and watch the late news. The top story is about the convention murder with Ralph being the number one suspect. There are no leads on where Ralph is. I shut off the tv and decide to go to bed. Sleep doesn’t come easy. Thoughts run a mile a minute and I can’t stop thinking about the murder and Ralph. And maybe a few inappropriate thoughts of Cidra. Hey what can I say, I am hot blooded American male and she’s smoking hot. 

I wake up the next morning and decide to figure things out for myself. It’s the whole Ray Wise thing all over again. I need answers and the only way I will find things out is if I find it myself. I am my father’s son. Since I heard that the convention is still not open for business, I figure I have some time to kill so, to speak. I decide my first stop will be the Mugs Bear Toy Company. Ralph’s employer. It’s in Midtown Manhattan. Near Times Square. I take the train and walk to their offices. It’s pretty decent size operation, three floors on 40th. 

I reach the office building and take the elevator to the 14th. Well technically it’s the 13th but the place was built when people felt the number 13 was unholy. I walk in the waiting area which is pretty basic. A desk, a secretary, some seats and a few pictures on the wall. A Leather couch that squeaks when you sit on it. I tell the secretary that I am to see her boss, James Thomas. I know Jimmy for some time. We had meetings a few years ago to discuss a toy line for some of my characters. Let’s just say it didn’t work out. But me and Jimmy got along great and kept in touch. 

Since its not business per say I wait for him for about an hour. Finally, the secretary announces that I can go in. Jimmy is not really a formal guy. He’s in jeans and a T Shirt. Not really business attire. He greets me warmly and asks me to sit. “So, what’s up? How’s everything?” I tell him that I was there when Dave was found murdered in the Mugs Bear costume. He looks down and shakes his head. “I tell you this has been a PR nightmare for us, don’t get me wrong I feel for Dave’s family, but I have a company to look after” I can understand but I am more worried about Ralph than some Toy Company. I ask him about the problems between Dave and Ralph and how it led to his potential termination. 

He shifts in his seat and starts “Well Dave and Ralph started fighting in all of our major shows and events. It got a little dangerous when the verbal fights turned physical, and the damage became too much for us. Monetary and the PR. I don’t think it was going to lead to this. I am hoping he turns himself in to resolve this as soon as possible” I ask the question that I want you to know ‘What caused this fighting between them?’ He considers the question and starts “Well the fight started over a woman they were both seeing. The craziest thing. I don’t think she was that interested in either of them”

I ask the question I am afraid to ask “Who is this woman?”

He responds “A booth girl. Her name is Cidra. 

To be continued. ..

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