Chase wistfully looked out on Foggy Bottom from his window. He ruminated how he was just another taking Mayor Humdinger’s pay-outs to look the other way. How they had it all until Ryder grew up, discovered girls.
The revery was interrupted by a tornado of black hair, two dazzling familiar brown eyes. Before Chase pinpointed them he saw the chicken and knew their lineage.
“Chase, Mayor Goodway has been murdered. I’m her niece. I’m scared they’ll come for me or Chickalita next,”
“I wouldn’t worry about the chicken. Been replaced with similar ones for years,” said Chase.
“Oh. I still need your help. I’m Clara.”
Chase headed for Adventure Bay. It wasn’t a trip to the neighbouring town, but to memories he’d rather were buried. The dissolution of Paw Patrol had been a drawn-out affair. They tried to replace Ryder. First, Daring Danny X, who by that time was too far into weed to even coordinate a trip to the 7/11 before Alex, who caused more problems than he solved.
Rubble now a building magnate while Skye had joined the Air Force never to be seen again. Rocky, an advocate for greener living, while Zuma had given up on lifeguard duty to be a beach bum having seen all the fun everybody was having. Marshall the only one still dedicated to the cause. More of a mascot than the hero he’d once been.
“Well, look who’s come to cast his “net” over the case?” Said a cop at the door.
“Fuck off,” said Chase, in no mood to pander to the policeman. “Just show me the scene and I’ll be out of here.”
“Since the girl wants you around.”
The crime scene cleaned up already. Blood spatter denoted by photos and number markers. The tape outlined where the now former mayor had been found.
He sniffed around the office. Nose busy with scents. Every sack of shit had passed through those doors looking for something. Mayor Goodway trying to accommodate every wish and desire. Difficult to imagine why she would’ve been murdered, let alone who would have done it.
The lingering scent was the food they used to eat at the tower. He saw Marshall in his mind’s eye chowing down. Still a pup at heart despite the years gone by. All of them old and greying these days.
The tower had seen better days. The wind coming off the sea accelerated the disrepair. The only thing not rusted was Marshall’s kennel. Chase needed to find him. Rule him out.
The doors hung open like the gaping mouth of someone who’s seen too much. Inside the once vibrant space, now sat in dank darkness.
A fresh blood smell emanated from the elevator. He made out the blood muddying the windows before he saw the shape of the prone dalmatian in the rear.
“I’m fired up, Ryder. I’m fired up, Ryder,” Marshall whispered continuously.
Looked like he’d been thrown into the glass multiple times. It would’ve taken somebody with amazing strength to pull it off. Chase half hoped they were gone.
The stairwell was rarely, if ever, used. An odd feeling to inhabit a foreign space in a place you’ve lived. The air fetid, tinged with the smell of blood, dog biscuits and body odour.
Layers of dust upon the steps disturbed by bare human footprints. He extracted his pistol using his mechanical arm whispering “pistol” into the modified collar.
Head spun and wheezing from the climb, an unreality blistered what he witnessed upon opening the door.
Ryder wore a costume of blood over his nudity. His dick swung like the baseball bat he brandished, each laying into neglected equipment.
“I should never have left here!!” He screamed, pummelling everything around him.
Chase froze as Ryder met his stare.
“You. You’ve come back to me. You knew I’d be here. Chase. We were always brothers.”
“No,” Chase croaked with emotion. It was all he could say given how the day had gone.
“I shouldn’t have, Chase. I was never good enough anywhere else. And if I can’t have this then none of you can.”
He charged Chase, bat aloft. The stench of Marshall’s blood flooded his sinuses. Chase pulled the trigger until the magazine clicked.
Three funerals took place simultaneously. The murders covered up and pinned on some transient.
Clara smiled through her tears at me. Chase wanted to lick them away for her.
The former pups stood looking regal. They’d managed to move on with their lives.
Chase felt no better than Ryder. Working as a crooked P.I. as close as he could get to his old life. He looked across at the others, remembered how they’d once been. Heroic. Worth something. He wept.
Scott Cumming enjoys reading too much to consider himself a proper writer. He resides in Aberdeen with his partner and two sons. Catch up with all his misdemeanours on Twitter @tummidge