(2018-03-18) Fowl Play
Fowl Play
Summary: A detective visits the Busy Bee farm.
Date: IC Date (2018-03-18)
Related: http://darkwater.wikidot.com/log:2018-02-20-the-misty-mountains-cold
Player Characters: Eddie, Audgrim, Bea, EmmaSue as ST

---—-| Kitchen - Hippy Homestead - Rural Forks |

In the center of the maze of hallways is a huge, round kitchen that is clearly the center of this home. Rustic in design, it's all dark wood furniture and whitewashed stucco walls. A hybrid gas-wood cooking stove chugs away almost constantly, baking or simmering something. An old fashioned ice box squats next to a newer high-efficiency model refrigerator, both seeming to be in use. In the center of the room, a long wood butcherblock makes an island, around which a number of high-backed barstools have been placed. An abundance of fresh fruit, veggies, baked goods, dried meats, and sweets are left out constantly for anyone who might be feeling peckish.

The walls are lined with counters and cupboards, covered with an esoteric mix of kitchen tools, spices, and things in the process of being peserved or fermenting. Smelling of good home cooking, and full of constant work, even when unoccupied, the kitchen breathes a warm life through the hallways that lead away from it.

Things are rather quiet on the farm at the moment. It's the day after St. Patrick's day, after all, and with a Spring boss, everyone's working off a serious green-beer hangover. Bea has cleared out the kitchen of the residents and workers, making the snacks that are out and the meal being prepared an exclusive affair for Eddie and Audgrim. While she bustles about making sure that no dish is ever empty, and that the delicious smelling food being cooked continues to get roasted, sauted and baked as needed, she rambles on in a mildly peeved tone, directed at Eddie, "…and just you be careful Eddie, because if you start letting that dumb Tyla's stubbornness rub off on you and get all…all…/stubborn/ about talking to her, then for sure I will clean your car out, and get it waxed and detailed too!"

Audgrim is quite happy he's not the target of Bea's ire, having taken up a spot where he won't be noticed so much. He's got a hangover too, of sorts - that delicious glamour high from the tent revival has left him and now it's just the normal every day sort of glamour left. He sighs wistfully, snacking on some dried something something - he isn't sure what it is but it's delicious. He spears one with a claw and nibbles on it thoughtfully.

"I'm not the one who wouldn't talk. You might remember I had plenty to say, at the park," Eddie says, a little defensive. He's still kind of sore about it, but at least there's no steam shooting out of his ears this morning. "If she wants to talk, I'll talk. If she wants to stand there and look at me some more, I've got more pleasant ways to spend my time. Like my taxes, and getting arrested." Harsh words, but he delivers them like a surrender.

As if on cue! Is it audible, the thump-thump-thump on the front door, from all the way back in the kitchen? After a suitable polite amount of time, it's followed by the doorbell, so whomever it is doesn't appear to plan on leaving anytime soon.

"Speaking of getting arrested," Eddie says, making a guess.

Bea pops open the kitchen side door, poking her head out even as she calls out, "We're in here! Just come on in." When she realizes its the cops, she adds with a friendly smile, "Oh hi officer! How nice to see you, and welcome to the Busy Bee! Come on in. Would you like some coffee or tea or snacks or anything? I was just making some food, so you came at just the right time." If that's the gauge, then just about any time at the farm is the right time.

Audgrim's tail stops moving and there's a moment of panic in the yellow eyes. He looks at Eddie, and mouths the inevitable question; "Do I hit them?" Quietly though.

Eddie shakes his head at Audgrim, and stays quiet. He's obviously paying close attention to the proceedings, but he lets Bea do all the talking, for the moment.

The fellow who comes lumbering 'round the side of the house towards the side door in question is broad-shouldred and a bit short, a spark-plug as the old saying goes. He looks like he was a football player in his youth, which is quite some time back, given how he's a middle-aged man now. He has brown hair (rumpled) and a brown suit (slightly disheveled) and big hands. There's no obvious sign he's a cop until he gets up close: then the badge at his waist and the holster under his arm are a little more visible. The smile he offers to Bea in return is distantly friendly enough, a stranger's greeting. "Thank you ma'am. Nothing for me, thank you… I'm Detective Malloy with the PAPD. Do you have a moment to chat?" He isn't inside yet; he doesn't know Audgrim and Eddie are there.

Bea shoots Audgrim a little smile adn a shake of her head at his question, then focuses her attention back on the detective. "Oh sure. Always I am happy for a chat. Come on in." She holds open the door a little wider, and motions for him to enter. "This is just Eddie and Audgrim, who are friends of mine and visiting. Are you /sure/ you don't want anything?" She pulls out a chair for the detective and starts to pile a plate full of snacky bits, and pour a cup of coffee from a percolator on the stove, both of which are placed in front of him. "What is it you are wanting to chat about? Did one of my WOOFers get annoying last night or something? 'Cause half of them just haven't come back yet, and are probably still sleeping of the drinking from the leprechaun party and everything, so if they were getting into trouble, then for sure I don't know anything about it."

Audgrim raises his mug of coffee at the police officer as he enters, and smiles his most normal friendly smile. He wears flannel and boots, and is harmless. "Hi," he just offers, not about to say anything unless he has to. Don't talk to cops, was his first lesson.

"Detective," Eddie nods politely, and rises to his feet when Malloy enters the room. He watches to make sure Audgrim doesn't do anything too weird, seems satisfied, and sits back down, quietly.

When he steps inside and spots Eddie, Detective Malloy's forehead furrows. His eyes narrow. He doesn't look really angry. Just… hmmm. Thoughtful? Mind, his thoughtful face looks a little on the disgruntled side, so maybe a little angry too. "Mr. Brundle. What a surprise." He doesn't linger any further on the PI though, instead offering a polite nod to Audgrim in return before turning his attention back to Bea. "Pleased to meet you, Ms. Bramble, is it?" A hand is extended for shaking; the cup and seat are not accepted quite yet. As gazes go, his is watchful and steady.

"I did mention that Bea and I were friends," Eddie reminds the officer, noticing that look. "You can ask any of her workers, I'm always out here making a pest of myself. I could step outside…?" He makes the offer, and puts one hand on the back of his seat, making ready to stand, ever accomodating.

Bea sets down the overly full plate and the cup, wiping off her hand before shaking Malloy's overenthusiastically. "Yes, Ms. Bramble is me, but for sure no one calls me that, except at the DMV maybe, so you can call me Bea if you like." She glances between Eddie and Malloy, smiling with delight. "Oh! You two know each other already! Well that's good then, and any friend of Eddie's is a friend of mine." When Eddie interjects defensively, her brow furrows slightly as she considers, then laughs a little, "Oh, for sure Eddie is always here, and it's because he's just such a bad detective, so he can't afford to eat and always needs me to feed him." Yeah, Bea's still a little angry at Eddie, though her petulance is clear for what it is. "Anyway, like he said, officer, if just you need for a private talk, then Audgrim can get back to working, and Eddie can go and chat with some other friend of ours or something."

His handshake is firm, a solid grasp that pumps twice and then pulls away. "No," Detective Malloy assures after a moment. "No need for you to go, Mr. Brundle, Mr. Grim. This isn't a private matter, but it might do for Ms. Bramble to have friends with her." She's a fragile flower, after all. He refocuses on her, gaze sympathetic. "Ms. Bramble, I'd like to show you a photo of someone, would you be willing to take a look for me? I'm looking for information about her."

Audgrim's tail is moving about alertly, but otherwise the Beast shows nothing. The tail is letting his tension show. He sips coffee, and grabs some cookies, giving the detective a grin. He doesn't want to go out and work, so he leans back and tries his best to stay uninterested, like he has nothing to do with anything. Good thing he has food to focus on.

Bad detective? Eddie makes a pretty petulant face himself, and squirms in his seat at the effort it takes to keep from shooting off some defensive reply. He manages it, just, helped along by Malloy's mention of the picture. "You might want to sit down," he advises Bea, probably more for the cop's benefit than for her.

Bea smiles at the detective and nods, eager to see what the detective offers, though when Eddie suggests she sit, she perches lightly on a stool. "Oh sure, and always I am happy to help if it is someone I know. Except, is it someone in trouble? I don't like to get people in trouble, and if it is just that Lucy McDonald, then everyone knows about her problem, and I do all I can, but still, she won't listen to /me/ now that she's thinking she's all grown up, and you can't help people if they won't help themselves, and at least that's what the social workers say, when it comes to the homeless people and their drugs, and it is a hard lesson, but for sure I have learned it." She catches herself mid-ramble and grabs a piece of meat from the chacuterie tray she's laid out, nibbling it as she waits to find out who it /actually/ is that the detective wants to show her a picture of.

He slants a faint glower over to Eddie at the suggestion, but doesn't say anything. Instead, the detective pulls his phone out of his inside coat pocket once Bea is seated; if he's worried about her rambling, it doesn't show. He just waits for her to wind down, patient as it gets, then thumbs through menus to bring it up. The phone is then offered out to her to consider. Attention is steady on her in those first few moments; they'll give him the most information about what she knows, or doesn't.

Audgrim does lean forward a bit, he wants to see the picture too - but from his angle he can't. Besides, he suspects what it is anyway. He shoots Eddie a glance, taking queues from him.

Eddie is pretty sure he's seen this picture already, so there's no leaning around craning his neck or trying to catch a reflection in the window or anything on his part. He stays quiet, not pressing his luck any further, and watches Bea for her reaction nearly as closely as the cop does, plastering on his best look of friendly concern.

Bea's cheer slowly fades when she sees the picture, and she gives a heavy sigh, "Oh…this." She looks genuinely saddened by the picture, but not as upset as one might expect a person like Bea to be at seeing an image of a dead body. She nods and gives the officer a sad smile, "For sure I have met her. And she seemed real nice, except a little crazy. That's Windy Wendy." She leans in to squint at the picture, wondering, "Did she jump off the mountain or something?" She looks over to Audgrim a glance, making a little face. Is she deliberately avoiding looking at Eddie? Maybe a little.

He accepts the phone back, closes it up, and tucks it back into the pocket out of sight. Detective Malloy shakes his head, a slight motion. "You're taking this real well, Ms. Bramble." Is that a good thing? Hard to tell; he's sure not giving it away. "Had you known about her death before my visit?" No, he doesn't answer her question. It seems unlikely he will, given the givens.

Audgrim makes some noise as he drops a cookie on the table, it breaks in half. He stiffens, and picks it up hurriedly, stuffing it into his face. For a moment he breaks the facade, but remembers to behave human and starts chewing slowly. Slurp, slurp. Coffee.

Well, of course she did. Eddie called and told her more or less as soon as Malloy was out of his office, the other night. He's not about to volunteer that, though, just frowning a solemn frown and continuing to exist in a purely friendly capacity.

Bea nods, seeming mildly uncomfortable with the question, shifting in her seat and nibbling on more sliced meat. "Oh sure. Eddie called me to tell me, since he knows I like to keep an eye on the homeless people in town if I can, and just know who to help out and all of that, and Wendy, she seemed real…mmm…crazy, really, so for sure I was looking out for her. And so when, I am guessing it was you, came to talk to Eddie, then just he called me to let me know she'd died. It's real sad. And like I said, sometimes I just work with the homeless people and stuff, and give them food or some work if they are up for it, and so…It is not like the first time I have seen something bad happen like that. And once, even I was giving out some nice socks, since I was trying to knit, and got it right enough that there were some socks, even if they were pretty loose, and everyone said they got pretty big holes real quick…But still, I was giving them out, and then in one of the tents, Gascan George, which is just what they called him since he was always sniffing on some gas, he was just dead as a doornail, and they had to take him away, and just we had to do a whole fundraiser to get him a nice burial and everything."

Detective Malloy's gaze flickers to the sudden sound in what's otherwise a quiet moment. He studies Audgrim for a good long moment, before returning to Bea and her rambling-on. There's a world of patience and intent attention; when was the last time anyone gave 110% to listening to every.single.word? "It must be hard sometimes," he finally agrees, "To put so much of yourself into helping them out, and not being able to actually fix things for them permanently." Well my goodness! He seems to think Bea's a nice lady! "Do you know anything about the girl's life, maybe her last name, or if she had any family in town? Why did you ask if she'd jumped off a mountain? Had you heard anything from your other friends out there if she was having any trouble with anyone in particular? Do you have any idea why she'd have Mr. Brundle's business card in her hand when we found her? Where was she spending her time, do you know?" For all that he might think she's nice, the questions still come fast and a little hard, the sort of thing meant to get a hippy farmer lady a little flustered into talking too much and rambling with even less control than usual.

Audgrim's eyes are starting to glaze over from all the talking, but he's not as hardened as Malloy is. Least he understands all the words by now, so he stares at Bea and the police officer, as if he's as interested in the answers.

Eddie watches Bea and Malloy go to work on each other with a sort of professional curiosity, coming away with a new appreciation for both of them. If he wasn't so mixed up in this he wouldn't know who to root for. He turns his attention to his coffee, as much as he's able, just to keep from staring too much.

Bea gives the detective a sad smile and nods, sighing a little, "Oh yeah, it is hard, but then sometimes I can help some of them, and they get things together, or like Mercedes, who's worked for me for just forever, end up just happy and working for me, and living here, and then I am so happy to get to see the good that comes when they have just a little chance." Bea has on her big eyes, looking practically saintly! She's all selflessness, Bea is, and she's happy to see the results. She definitely seems up to the task of fielding the questions, brow furrowed as she tries to catch them all. "I don't know much about her, really, since I only met her a couple times. But she was sweet enough, just thought she could fly and that some god was talking to her, so like I said, for sure she was crazy. But she was trying to get us to go jump off a mountain with her, since she thought that god would let us fly too, so that is why I asked about the mountain. And she told me she was camping up on Mt Adam, so maybe she didn't jump, but was killed by one of those pot growers that are out there? And they just make like a pain all over, don't they, and cause too much trouble? And no one has said anything to me about her in the camps, but for sure I can ask around if you want, since probably they will talk to me a little easier than you sometimes," She leans in, looing apologetic and sympathetic, like she's telling the detective he's got some serious illness, "Since for sure you are a cop, and it's not hard to tell." She pauses a moment to grab a bite of cheese, then continues to the next question. "Probably she got Eddie's card from Eddie, since he is always giving them out, and even to homeless people, which like I said earlier, he is too poor to even feed himself, and probably because all his clients are just homeless or whatever. Do you want one of those cards? Because I have like, a /bunch/ down at the farm stand, since I got sick of finding them everywhere, and figured they should just go in a card holder with the rest of the business cards. And…" She pauses, ticking off check boxes in her head, then smiles a little and finishes, "And you should have a bite to eat, officer, since for sure you had a long drive up here, and will have a long drive back. And you are doing such hard work, for sure you need a nice meal." She pushes the plate she filled toward him a little, with an encouraging motion.

Audgrim listens like he's never heard any of this before. In fact, he might've forgotten all about this by now, this was ages ago in Audgrim-time. He reaches for some of that meat on the plate, trying out some sausage. He dips it in his coffee.

Since they're watching the detective as much as Bea, it's possible for Eddie and Audgrim to see a flicker-play of emotion and thought going on while he listens to her. Malloy isn't surprised by anything she says (including that Eddie's a terrible detective, more's the pity). He appears to believe everything she's saying, though he does get a 'huh?' twitch when she says 'a god' instead of 'God'. The suggestion about pot-growers is obviously not all that interesting to him, and the mention of Mt. Adams earns a slice of 'interesting' and the fact tucked away for later thought. When she winds down, and ends with the renewed offer of food, he demurs with a polite, "No thank you, Ms. Bramble. I had something on the way up, though I do appreciate the offer." He dips a hand into his own pocket to pull out a proper card-case, tugging one free so he can set it on the table. "Please don't ask around out there about her. We suspect foul play was involved, and I'd hate to see you come to anyone's attention. If you hear anything in passing however, do give me a call."

By the time Bea finishes talking, Eddie has finished his coffee. He sits there staring into the bottom of his cup, arms crossed, trying to figure out how to feel about this revelation regarding his business cards. "Probably good for business," he finally murmurs, and he goes to refill his mug while he waits for Malloy to leave. He can't help but aim a look back at the table when that card comes out, probably just to see how jealous he ought to be of the printing.

Bea takes the card, looking at it as she nods. But that last gets her attention and she looks up, giving the officer a worried look, "Oh? Fowl play? Like ducks?" It's a question asked with genuine interest and sincerity.

Audgrim can't hold it back now. He's been sitting there, and he's been doing sooo good for being him. He hasn't said anything, behaved mostly normal. "I like eating duck," he blurts out. He has an accent, but it's no longer too obvious.

Eddie tightens his grip on his mug, trying to stifle a groan. He manages, painfully, like swallowing a porcupine. Just pour your coffee, Brundle.

Malloy's forehead furrows up. "Ducks?" It takes him a moment to connect the dots. That furrow turns into a darker expression: for reals anger. Audgrim's comment doesn't help. At all. "Please call if you learn anything Ms. Bramble." The words are cut off, brusque and more than a little clipped around the edges. He turns, tasty treats untouched, to head for the door. There's a stiffness to shoulders and a heaviness to step that suggests he might… no. No, he handles the door with polite care instead of slamming it.

Bea leans in, looking at the officer long and hard, her Springy mantle seeming to envelop him for a moment, to those who can see it, before she pulls back a little and gives him a sad little smile. She calls after him, "I can tell you are a good cop, Detective. So I will tell you a secret, if you can promise you won't ask me how I know." She slips off the stool and heads after him.

Audgrim blinks slowly. Did he do something? He stands up too and saunters to the window to peek outside, mug in hand, tail uncertainly looping in figure eights behind him.

Eddie doesn't bother swallowing the groan, this time, now that the detective is gone out the door. He watches Bea follow, then looks down into his coffee and sighs and sets it to one side. "That went real well," he says flatly, to Audgrim and himself and to nobody at all.

He pauses just outside; the door is still half-open behind her. The expression that Malloy settles on her isn't friendly in the slightest, though he is attempting (and not failing, but certainly not managing entirely) to keep his cool in front of the public. "I can't promise that, Ms. Bramble." His voice is still curt. "But if you know something that will help me find out what's happened, I trust you'll tell me anyway."

Bea nods slightly at that, and stands on her toes to whisper something into the detective's ear, quietly enough that it can't be heard by anyone but him, then heads back inside and goes back to stirring her soup pot.

You paged EmmahSue with ‘Bea whispers, "I can't tell you how I know, but that Feather Gang is probably the one who did it. They almost got me, and I didn't want to say, because it would be more trouble for me, but for sure they have been going after all the girls."’

Whatever Malloy's reaction to that whisper, there's no way to tell: he heads off, heavy footsteps lumbering until he's out of sight and gone.

Audgrim has gotten quite exhausted from sitting around doing nothing like he has. It takes its toll on him to act all normal and human. He can't really fathom what just happened and is too tired to ask about it. He sets down his mug, yawns and stretches. "That was fun. He talk a lot, that cop. No mustache, hard to say if he is cop or not. But I remember his face now." He points at Eddie, then does a thumbs up and grins. Far as he's concerned, everything went perfect. "I'm going to sleep now." And he wanders off to find somewhere to nap.

Bea watches Audgrim head off, agreeing, "He /would/ look better with a mustache." She pops a bit of food into her mouth, watching Eddie expectantly, as if she's just done a performance and is waiting for the judge to give her her score.

"I'm sure that won't make it any harder to do my job," Eddie says dismally, staring at the door a while after the detective leaves. He goes back and picks up his coffee and sniffs it, then dumps in the sink. "And even if it did, it's not like I can't just move to Seattle or something. Good takeoff, Bea, but your landing stinks." He heads for the door. He's a little guy, so he can't stomp quite as well as Malloy did, but he gives it his best shot.

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