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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: December 30, 2019      Views: 101
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Chapter 2 of the book Punchinello
Let He Who Is Blind, See
"Punchinello Chapter 2" by Brett Matthew West


"Daniels, you brain-dead imbecile, is this the best you can do to keep carnage like me out of your casa?" Punchinello asked.

Punchinello gained entry with a lock pick and illuminated a halogen flashlight. He surveyed his surroundings and palmed folded laundry in a basket on top of the dryer. The sensation made him feel like a scrote. Punchinello tingled. He almost creamed his drawers. Silently, he eavesdropped on the conversation that came through the closed door. Once upon a time not so long ago he'd been a famous murderer. Soon, the headlines would scream he was again.


The apparition that ghosted the Daniels' furnace room received his nom de plume because of his appearance. Jan Klaassen. Vasilache. Kasper. Vitez Laszio. At one time or another, depending on what part of the world he struck in, Punchinello had been labeled them all. Drunk in court, he escaped remanding in Vancouver. The Northwest Mounties latched onto the rubric and he accepted the pedestrian nomenclature. Like those of his victims, the name branded his memory banks.

Punchinello recited the list backwards and forwards and slantways and sideways. No one understood his reason for the bloodshed anywhere he committed higgledy-piggledy. Not Spokane. Not Las Vegas. Not Modesto. Not Charlotte. Not Toronto. Not Madrid. Not Athens. Not Atlanta. Not even Timbukto. Nowhere. Nor would they in this podunk villa known as Astatula. But the pattern lurked.

No other killer was as intimate with his prey in tenacity, violence, and the frequency in which Punchinello slaughtered them. Some of their ground up body parts he planted in flower pots and used for fertilizer. Punchinello's encounters were unsophisticated pieces of a discombobulated puzzle. The capitulation of life was something to congratulate his vanquished for. Punchinello envied their expiration. As he liked to say, "Let he who is blind, see." To Punchinello, the most deluted people were the ones who ignored what they knew.

Punchinello possessed large cheekbones and a prominent aquiline nose. He referred to the cudgel in his hand as his "problem solver." The anti-social chameleon clutched the shillelagh tight. It was his weapon of choice.

Beth entered the room. She overheard the sheriff's complaint and responded, "At least our little hamlet allows you to work at home, Brock. That's got to count for something."

Marked Astatula Assassin, the folder the sheriff hunted swam somewhere within the sea of files on the table. He twirled a paper clip around the tip of his finger and smiled back at her, "That's a luxury I do not take frivolously, Beth."

Placing a cup of hot java in front of the sheriff, Beth wondered, "How did the killer come to be known as the Astatula Assassin?"

"Because of the savage manner in which the Assassin's first two victims were butchered, Jim Kearney, the editor of the Gazette, pinned the pseudonym on him," the lawman patiently explained.

"Well, trip the light fantastic and let's have a frigging party!" an excited Punchinello exclaimed. He realized how loudly he'd vocalized and placed a finger over his mouth in a shhh motion so as to not give his presence in the house away.

"I take it you haven't found what you're looking for yet," Beth stated.

"No, but I will," the sheriff replied. He ruffled through the folders again. As he did, he commented, "Seems to me the newspaper enjoyed record sales the first day the headlines about the Astatula Assassin broke. Some people have told me the edition is the only mullet wrapper they ever purchased."

Punchinello pressed his ear tighter against the door and boasted, "Wait until they read tomorrow's headline, slimeball."

"Can you pull yourself away from what you're doing for five minutes to eat?" Beth asked.

Hungry, the sheriff assured her, "I can if those hot pastrami sandwiches are ready."

Beth sat one on rye bread in front of him. "Yes they are. So enjoy."

Offended, Punchinello chirped, "What about me, I don't get one?" He vowed, "You'll be a whole lot worse than chopped liver before I'm through with you, missy-poo."

Sheriff Daniels located the folder he stalked. He picked it up off the table and quipped, "Clipped together inside this little widget are controversial comments pertaining to the Astatula Assassin. These crop up in the scandal sheet on a daily basis."

"I'll give you plenty of controversy. Right up aside your claptrap!" Punchinello swore. He itched for action and smacked his cudgel twice against the outstretched palm of his hand.

Beth noted, "It seems everybody in town provides you with their opinions about what actions you should take to make Astatula safe again and solve these murders. And, the sooner the better."

"That's what they pay me to do," the sheriff replied. He tossed the file into the garbage can beside his chair and took a bite out of his sandwich, "Mighty tasty."

Pleased with her significant other's satisfaction, Beth beamed, "Thanks, Brock. But, back the stallions up a moment, Cowboy. Didn't Cody cut those clippings out of the newspapers for his scrapbook?"

"I gave the little munchkin a week to put them away. He hasn't done so. Therefore, as I see the situation, he'll never miss them. And, I don't need the ominous reminders," Sheriff Daniels told her.

Punchinello smiled. "I didn't think you had it in you to lay the law down with Cody like that, Daniels. Glad to see some people still know how to properly parent their children." Then, Punchinello reflected, "Aah, whatever happened to the good old days when you and I were his age and knew we'd better toe the line or a lick or two would soon follow?" Punchinello returned to the moment and finished his thought, "But, I'll do worse than snip, snip, cut, cut when I get my hands on that putrid mamby-pamby. My wood chipper's been silent too long."

The book continues with Punchinello Chapter 3. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
This is Evan by Lilibug6, selected to complement all my Cody Schroder stories.

So, thanks Lilibug6, for the use of this remarkable picture that provides Cody such an easily recognizable face on FanStory.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Lilibug6 at

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