He turned on local radio and listened to it while he ate his coco-pops that Maria had donated. There was a special phone-in on the homicides later. He could make it after the training session with the back-up players. He had thought about contacting the local TV station to complain, but the little guinea had disturbed him. ‘Connected to the Bees,’ he had said. Where did that come from? Well he would ask him that next time they met, hopefully in Emma’s apartment. And that was another refuge, with the old farm barn as his primary position. He had camped out in the barn the last couple of nights just as a precaution, but nothing disturbed him. He would be safe there for now.
After his masterpiece he would have to hit the road. Longfield was becoming more dangerous for him the longer he stayed. But he would have BG’s money, all of it, and with his credentials he would eventually find another coaching position. There would always be a team in dire need even if he dropped down the leagues to find one. Then he could indulge again.
“Hello caller, you’re through to the Sullivan show live. We’ve got a few minutes before the news bulletin. What’s on your mind?”
From his VIP vantage point outside the studio Mac watched the operator hit the record button. ‘Live’ meant a ten second gap so they could censor it if need be.
“I want some air time. I know about the fish hook homicide. I was there,” replied the caller in a muffled voice.
Mac was instantly alert. He turned to John Hughes, the Director. “Any way we can trace this?”
John shook his head. “Sorry, we don’t have that kind of money. It’s being recorded, that’s all.”
Mac swore. Only the homicide unit and the killer knew about the fish hook. That detail had not been released to the media for obvious reasons; it would eliminate any crank, copycat or other false leads. “John, if I give you a nod, cut the live broadcast.” He saw John nodding in agreement and pointing to the ‘On Air’ button, which he could turn off. Mac replaced his headphones, and listened in. Sullivan was finishing one call and then he was patched onto this one. Live minus ten.
“You got it,” replied Sullivan. “As much time as you need. We got about thirty thousand folks out there listening in live to my show; tell us about the fish hook homicide.”
Mac had heard Sullivan before. A real pro. He knew that Sullivan would handle it correctly. Sullivan was too smart to ask for a name. Didn’t want to frighten the guy off the line. Play to the caller’s ego, if they were lucky they’d get a couple of thousand listening in.
“All I got was a thirty second slot on local TV and some press on page three underneath the girl with big bazookas. Nothing on local radio, nothing nationwide.” The caller went rambling on until Sullivan interrupted.
“Hey friend, the listeners want to hear what you done. I’ll guarantee you get the space to get it nationwide.”
That hit the spot. The caller’s voice sparkled. “Said her name was Josie Forbes. Her birthday. If she cooperated like I asked her to, we’d have a candlelight dinner for two sharing a Pepperoni and a bottle of Chablis.”
“What happened?” exclaimed Sullivan. Mac saw him wave frantically at the sound crew to patch it through clearer.
“Well she kind of rejected my proposal, told me to get the hell out even though I put on Sinatra to mellow her mood. After all I was doing for her, cooking the pizza and laying the table and all. Real romantic, candles and Chablis. Got me right mad, I can tell you.”
“What was she doing?” Sullivan asked. “Wasn’t she helping you?”
“She was kind of tied up right then.”
“What did you do to her?” asked Sullivan.
“Well you know, we fooled around a little; she was playing hard to get but I hooked her in the end. The wine was chilled just right, but she didn’t have the stomach for it. Must have been the pizza disagreeing with her. Next time I’ll stick to a regular Margareta.”
Sullivan then hit a homer. “Our listeners want to know. Did you murder Josie Forbes?”
At that point Mac hit John on the arm and waved for the live broadcast to be cut. John Hughes hit the button and the conversation continued off line.
“Well that’s something between Josie and me, ask her.”
Sullivan took a gulp. “She’s - dead, - friend.”
“That’s too bad. She could have been real pleasant company. Listen up Mr. Sullivan, you want a real big story tell your listeners to watch the late news on Saturday coming up. I’ve got a masterpiece I want to show them.”
“Say that again,” said Sullivan. But the line was dead. His friend had gone.