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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: January 1, 2020      Views: 63
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Chapter 3 of the book Punchinello
Corpus Christi Cannibal
"Punchinello Chapter 3" by Brett Matthew West


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 newspaper for his scrapbook? You know, the one he keeps on you."

"I gave the little munchkin a week to put them away. He hasn't done so. Therefore, I can only surmise he'll never miss them and I don't need the ominous reminders," Sheriff Daniels confided.

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 properly 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."


Like a rapscallion caught in the act of doing something he shouldn't do, Sheriff Daniels chewed his bottom lip and flashed an innocent who? me? grin. Beth studied his mischievousness as the sheriff extended his long arm. She noticed the muscles under the sleeve of his pressed uniform shirt rippled and his Fraternal Order of Sheriffs ring scintillated in the light of the overhead chandelier. He brushed the unpaid utility bill aside and picked up a fudge square from off a gobbler-shaped platter in the middle of the table. Caressing the fragile treat like a newborn baby, gentle and easy, he imitated an airplane and he flew the delicacy towards his mouth.

A gleam sparkled in his eye as the sheriff nodded and said, "Pilot to bombardier, look out below!"

Beth threw her head back. Raven hair cascaded down her slender shoulders. Her robust guffaw demonstrated how much she enjoyed the sheriff's unique sense of self-indulgence.

He took a bite of the creamy fudge. A macadamia chip wedged between his two front teeth. "I'll be castigated!" the sheriff exclaimed. He dug the lodged sliver out with the nail of his index finger and recounted, "I've heard it said all members of the human species start to die the moment they're born, and Lionel Simmons was no exception to this peculiarity."

Engrossed by the sheriff's declaration made seemingly from out of the blue, Beth's ears attentively perked up, as did Punchinello's. Her aqua eyes focused on the lawman and she replied, "What does that mean, Brock? Tell me about him."

"Yea, Daniels. Clue me in on your astute observation," Punchinello agreed. He wanted to open the door, and plop right down in the middle of their conversation, but refused the temptation.

The sheriff settled in his chair. He recalled their recent sojourn to Galveston. There, they leisurely strolled the famous Strand's Historic District, rode a horse and buggy through the downtown area, and shared shrimp scones at the Mosquito Grille. Odd man out, Cody devoured a cheeseburger. Fascinated with the Brown Pelicans feeding along the bay, the boy drizzled mustard and ketchup down the front of his new, white, souvenir shirt. From high above, the birds sighted their targets, plunge-dived to stun their prey, and scooped the fish up with their oversized beaks. On the drive home to Astatula, their ears burned listening to the youngster talk about the excitement he witnessed.

Sheriff Daniels drew a deep breath and began, "Lionel Simmons was a complete waste of a human life form. Over the progression of eleven years he cruelly raped, tortured, murdered, dissected, and consumed parts of his victims' cadavers. Simmons claimed the flesh tasted like boiled srirachi chicken. I sure wasn't going to find out firsthand if the barmy cuckoo yanked our chains or not."

"Sounds like a smashmouth paragon after my own heart," Punchinello sighed.

Beth scrunched her face and squeezed the nostrils of her nose tightly together, distorting its shape. "That's disgusting!" she proclaimed. Unable to resist, she teased the sheriff, "You, who brazenly rounds up rattlesnakes to grill over the flame of an open campfire, wouldn't consume the delightfulness of a human corpse?"

"And, just why wouldn't you, Daniels?" Punchinello demanded to know.

The sheriff blurted out, "No, I would not, Beth!" In a split second his indignant response faded. "Besides, I've got much more pressing matters to be concerned about, like who the culprit is behind these recent attacks in our little villa."

"That's the least of your problems, Daniels. Why fan the fires of a good challenge?" Punchinello contended.

"If I knew the answer to that mystery, I'd bottle it and live a life of carefree prosperity," Beth assured him. "Did any evidence exist to indicate Simmons' sufferers were still alive when he feasted on them?"

Sheriff Daniels dunked the remnants of his fudge in his coffee and replied, "None we ever ascertained."

Beth sparkled. It is apparent her mind is ablaze with questions. "Did Simmons have any family?" became the first.

Sheriff Daniels interlocked his fingers and stretched his massive hands out in front of him. His knuckles popped. "Simmons was the second oldest of five children. There were three girls and two boys. All of them were illiterate, and he bore the fruit of the maladjusted family."

Eager to hear the sheriff's story, Beth inquired, "What about his parents?"

Sheriff Daniels considered his response. "Both of them were meth addicts. Simmons' father was also a heavy bourbon drinker. He was no stranger to Knob Creek. In addition, the paranoid schizophrenic was alleged to have been divested of attention by his doddery, club-footed, mother. But, that's not all of his story."

The book continues with Punchinello Chapter Four. 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 your amazing 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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