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The Barbecue Murder Mystery -- Flash Fiction Murder Mystery Challenge Continues

Updated on January 8, 2019

The continuing story of the investigation into the death of a teenage boy who died after drinking from a beer bottle that was clearly intended for someone else.

The Barbeque Murder Mystery

The continuing saga of what happened to Kyle Rutland.

The awakening

The Los Angeles Times he had been holding slid to the ground and the bench on which Trent Leland had fallen asleep seemed harder than the last time he had fallen asleep there.

Why didn’t he just go home to his apartment? His second wife had left him two months ago; she should have been grateful that he married her, Trent thought to himself, he considered himself a perfect catch, it never occurred to Trent that she was tired of cleaning up after him when he came home drunk every weekend, that is whenever he bothered to come home, the same as his first wife, and he blamed both of them, neither of them were good enough for him.

Here he was again, alone and hung over and tired of working for the insurance company that hired him fifteen years ago after Mitt Romney sent Sensata Technologies to Japan. After all this time he was still bitter about having to train his replacement at Sensata who was brought to the United States from Japan for that exact purpose.

Was it fate or Coincidence that Trent picked-up the Los Angeles Times amd saw a familiar face?

Trent Leland, was a good looking man with reddish blond hair and a deep tan, tall and muscular fifteen year ago, and he had not changed that much except for the beard, and his name of course, having convinced a judge to allow him to legally change his name to Trent Leland by telling him that the Chicago mob was after him and he needed to be in a protection program, he was good at playing mind games and play acting.

Reaching down to pick up the Los Angeles Times newspaper business section Trent saw a familiar face as he read Jessica Rutland promoted to Director of Research and Development at Siemens Manufacturing. Now that is who he should be with, who he should have married. Why did she break up with him? He was much better looking than Brandon, at least in his own mind.

Was it fate or coincidence that he had picked up the LA times?

Trent thought maybe it is time for me to move to Los Angeles and see what life is like for Jess and Brandon, maybe they are divorced, and for the first time in a long time he felt a glimmer of hope.

Los Angeles or bust, seeking old friends or not

Monday Morning Trent went to work at the insurance company and quit his job, went to his apartment packed a few belongings into his car, sublet his apartment to a friend and headed for Los Angeles.

Within a week of his arrival in Los Angeles Trent had landed a job at Siemens, and began looking for Jess, but he was shocked when who does bump into literally, almost knocking her off her feet as he was walking fast out of his office. Beverly was also walking fast when to two collided. She did not seem to recognize him, she was inviting co-workers to the barbeque she had planned for the following Friday, and she included Trent.

Siemens was having an office get together earlier the same day as Beverly’s barbeque and he thought maybe Jess would attend one or the other of the functions and he also thought Jess and Beverly were friends.

At the office get together Trent saw her, Jess was surrounded by friends both male and female and he could not tell if she was with one person or alone in the crowd. He decided to approach and when he started in her direction she disappeared. Then he caught a glimpse of her going into the ladies room and decided to wait nearby where he could keep an eye on the door and catch her when she came out.

Did you lose her again? He heard a familiar voice ask. Trent turned and there was Beverly. What? He asked. You still looking for Jess she asked. Oh so she did recognize him he thought. No, he said, I was looking for you to apologize for bumping into you; I am Trent Leland he said. I know who you are, she replied. You are coming to my Barbecue later, right? Yeah, right.

At the barbeque Trent wondered if Beverly recognized him.

Trent arrived at the Barbecue an hour early and Beverly ran to him and hugged him, oh you are a God send she said, you can help me get set up and we can catch up on old times, Trent! He wondered if she was being sarcastic or did she really know who he was. Did you ever wonder why Jess broke up with you? She asked. Trent whipped out his wallet and showed Beverly his driver’s license. Oh I am so sorry; I thought you were someone I once knew and to change the subject asked, do you want to help me fill the coolers with beer?

Trent was filling the coolers with beer and placed the coolers where the guest could have easy access. Beverly caught his attention when he saw her staring out the window and he glanced out and saw Jess with a guy arrive. Something wrong he asked her, just that witch with my boyfriend and looked at Trent for some sign of recognition. He busied himself with putting ice in one of the coolers, but he was paying close attention and said nothing.

Hand me a of bottle of Coors Light, would you please? Beverly said, I may as well give her one to let her know that she is in my domain.

Wow, she must have done something pretty bad for you to hate her that much, Trent remarked as he fished out the bottle of beer from among the cans in ice water and fished for more information about Jess.

She bewitched every man I ever wanted, except for the one that I took from her, the one I mistook you for.

Once Beverly got started talking, she could not stop and spill all her deep dark secrets about how she told Jess about her escapades and how Jess knew about the man Trent use to be.

Trent was furious. In his mind he could picture his fist smashing into Beverly’s face, he now knew how Jess found out about his tête-à-tête with this vile woman, and felt sick, the one good thing he also knew from Beverly’s blab was that Jess was single again.

Tears slid down the face from the pair of eyes that watched as the bottle of Coors beer was placed on the table for Jess, then quickly turned away just before the young man picked up the beer.

At the LAPD

After the commotion when Kyle drank the beer and Trent along with other guests were ushered to the police department for interviews.

Trent was looking for Jess and did not see what room she went into. After giving finger prints and a DNA sample, he asked about Jess and was told she had gone home, he left the police station.

As the Investigation continued

At the Los Angeles police station the investigation was well under way into the death of the fifteen year young old man, they had two sets of prints on the beer bottle one belonged to Beverly Fergurson and the other set of prints to Kyle Rutland, the young man who died after drinking the beer obviously meant for someone else, and Beverly Fergurson became the number one suspect.

The LAPD continued to interview guest, workers and the musicians from the barbeque.

Jess was thanked profusely for her quick action to save the evidence bottle then she and Derek Morrow were interviewed and sent home.

Beverly became more of a suspect when she told the police that Derek was Kyle’s father and he had attended her barbecue with Jess. Jealousy is a motive for murder. Strange that Derek did not mention that it was his son who died.

The LAPD brought Derek back to ask him why he had not told them that Kyle was his son. Derek jumped to his feet “WHAT” he yelled. I met Beverly nine months ago and I have never been to Illinois. His DNA sample had been taken along with the other samples from the folks and workers who attended the barbecue. If not Derek, who was Kyle’s father?

When the DNA sample results arrived, the female detective let out a yell for everyone to hear, “Derek is not the father of Kyle,” but Kyle’s father had attended the barbeque.

Police were sent to pick-up Kyle’s father from the address he had given them when the guest were being interviewed and he was not there and never had been. His prints and DNA were not in the National CODES, and there was no trace of him anywhere, as if he never existed.

There wasn’t a trace of any poison in Beverly’s home and no charges have been brought against her to date. She was left to bury her only child, but she could not bury her grief. She had not realized how much she really loved her son.

Chris Mills (a.k.a. cam8510) answered the challenge

When Chris answered the challenge he was the only one and I can understand why there were no others to accept the challenge after the superb job that he did with "An Ideal Venue For Revenge: A Response by cam to The Coors Accident or Murder …Flash Fiction Mystery Challenge."

I thought I would put a new twist on my original "The Coors Accident or Murder …Flash Fiction Mystery Challenge"

So here Goes!

© 2016 Shyron E Shenko


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