by Peter Rozovsky
Sally was all right. Sure, she’d cooed over the scented candles and chintz-covered throw pillows. But she drew the line at the teddy bears – five on the overstuffed settee in the parlor, seven tumbling over each other on a second-floor notions table, and one that scared the hell out of her when it fell on her head from the top shelf of an ivory-inlaid cabinet in the breakfast nook.
That’s why I suspected her when I found a bear with its guts ripped out the next morning. She just looked at me funny as we headed out for an iced coffee before hitting the beach.
Diane shook her head as she mopped up the mess, muttering that some guests lack the simple good manners to come forward when they have an accident. But no one can stay grumpy for long and still run a successful bed and breakfast. “I’m no escapee or anything,” she said with a laugh, slapping the puddle with her mop. “I won’t rip their heads off.”
A skinny guy with a faded green baseball cap and a laughing gull tattooed on his left temple stared at the little white clouds as I slapped the powder over my arms.
“It was the bears,” the sergeant’s boss said. “This guy’s been a small-time heister for years. He heard a load of heroin was coming down the Shore in one of them teddies, and somehow he got it into his head that this was the town.” He nudged the perp thoughtfully in the ribs with his boot. “It gets pretty shitty for a guy like him in the winters here, and this was his chance to get away. I don’t know what we can charge him with; B&E and cruelty to animals, maybe.” He bent down and hauled the skinny perp up by the arm pits. “Come on, Grizzly Adams. We don’t have much of a downtown, but we’re taking you there.”
They’d taken him away when Sally came down the stairs. Her mouth made a silent O. “What happened? What is all—” She waved her arm out over the guts of a dozen toy bears.
"It’s nothing, baby, just the stuffing that dreams are made of. Now, let’s go to bed. Your suite or mine?”
© Peter Rozovsky 2011