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

Recap: “At Comic Con, A body is found. His friend Dave.  His other friend Ralph, suspect. He comes home, a gun is at his head. Ralph wants to talk. According to Ralph, James Thomas wants him out of the way for control of Mugs Bear. After this encounter the Cartoonist asks out Cidra for a date. After a talk with Jimmy takes makes him believes him and a talk with Gino that gives him a new suspect, the Cartoonist is attacked and ends up in the hospital where he finds out Ralph is arrested. But Gino finds a piece of evidence that may convict or exonerated. Then as he is trying to do some retail therapy, he finds the evidence he needs to solve the case. 

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The solution is in front of my face.

Although I can’t believe it. The rest of the broken keychain is on the counter in front of me and I see the guy who owns, and it is the guy who attacked me. I stare. He approaches and says “Hey how are you. I heard that you were in the hospital” I finch. He notices but if he thinks I suspect him, he does not let on. I stand there, look at him and follow him with my eyes. I walk around looking at the new merchandise while still keeping an eye on him. Why didn’t I see this before? He’s the perfect suspect. The man that was closest to Dave. Why he did it? I don’t know yet, but he definitely had opportunity. He was there at the convention. He had access to the costume while working for the Mugs Bear Toy Company before partnering with Dave. And he has a long hatred for Ralph. He even was the one who told me that Ralph that a motivate. And I am sure he told that to the Police. That man is Dave’s Partner Gary Grant.

After hanging around a little too long so I don’t interact with him, I purchase my comics from one of his employees and leave the store. I have to confront Gary, but I have to play it smart because I don’t want to lose this opportunity and scare him off. Plus, I don’t want him to hurt me again or worst kill me. I go home to drop off my loot and make a few visits for my plan. After seeing the right people and going over what I will do. I go back to the store it’s about an hour before closing but he’s still here. It’s his flagship store so I guess he maintains an office here to conduct business. No one is in the store. Perfect. I approach him carefully without suspicion. 

Surprisingly he opens the conversation first before I open my mouth.  “Hey buddy, you are back again. Can’t get enough comics today?” He chuckles. This guy either a great actor or maybe I am wrong. Either way I need to proceed. I tell him that I was in a rush earlier and just picked up the essentials. Now I want to pick some Tunko Bam figures. “Yeah, we got some new ones in. I’ll show you” He leads me to the display in the back of the store. It’s exactly what I wanted him to do. He points them out to me. “So how are you? Still in any pain?” I tell him that I still hurt. Taking some pain meds. At times dizzy but ok. “Oh, I hope you’re not in a lot of pain. Did they catch the bastard?” Says the Bastard. I tell him No. “Oh that sucks” It didn’t sound too convincing. I tell him that I notice that Funko Pop makes key chains now. He seems taken back by that. “Oh yeah…I guess” I tell him I was told by Harrison that vendors got some Mugs Bear keychains as gift and if he got one. “Oh yeah I did. And he starts to walk toward the counter. 

I follow him to the counter and try to continue what is now a line of questioning. I ask him that the funny thing is the person who attacked me left a clue. He shuttered a little. “O-Oh yeah??” I pulled out and slammed the piece of keychain on top of the counter. I went behind the counter, got in his face and told him that cut the shit that he did it and I will go to cops. “Woah…woah…I’m innocent” I pressed him harder. “Ok..ok…I did it. Please” I knew it. Chicken shit when not taking people by surprised. I told him I know he also killed Dave. He seemed shocked that I said that. Whether it was that he did it and he was scared that he is exposed, or he was hurt by the accusation is anyone’s guess. He doesn’t deny it or confirm which is telling on so many levels. 

I ask him why did it. The business deals. Or that the jealousy of Dave and Ralph’s friendship? Or was it more? Was it Cidra perhaps? When I asked that last one. He shook. So, I pressed on. Seriously you thought she loved you too. I told him that She’s not a one-woman man. This angered him more and more as I pressed on. Finally, he yelled out “YOU’RE WRONG I NEVER LOVED THAT BITCH. I LOVED HIM BUT HE WOULDN’T HAVE ME SO I KILLED THE BASTARD” He then realized what he did. Silence for about 5 minutes. Then He was calm and then said “Well I am sorry he is dead but it’s not much you can do. You can’t prove anything besides that I attacked you. Plus, they have all the evidence to convict Ralph ten times over. Now leave my store and never come back”. I smile. That all I needed. I told him that he busted. I rip open my shirt to reveal a wire. I tell him the cops have listening in. 

A uniformed cop comes in and handcuffs him and starts to read him his rights. Detective Smith comes out and pats me on the back. “You sure you don’t want to be a cop? You would be a good partner” He chuckles. I cringe. Knowing what happened to last partner. six feet under. Earlier in the day I went to the precinct and laid out my investigation. The suspects and then who I believe who did it. Honestly, I didn’t know if he killed Dave for sure, only that he was the one who beat me. I just figured that the two were connected since it seems enough people got on to the fact I was looking into things. Funny thing is that I wouldn’t have figured out if he didn’t assault me. Sigh. 

Now there is one thing I need to resolve and as I was thinking this her name flashes on the screen. A text for her reads “We Need to Meet Up to Talk. Liberty Dinner? 5?” I text “Ok” and leave it at that. 

Cidra.

Oh boy.

To be continued…

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