“He’s dead. He was beheaded.”
“How can you tell? We haven’t called the pathologist yet.”
“Binks, you may only be a rookie but even you could work it out. I’ll give you a clue, it’s something to do with the fact that his body’s here and his head’s stuck halfway up the wall.”
“But serge, why’s he wearing a fluffy brown suit? Is that a clue?”
“Well done Binks.” Cheered Sergeant Bronkomoroni before stating “You tell me why it’s not a clue.”
The young trainee, Binks stumbled over his words “B-But I thought it was a c-clue s-sir. Doesn’t it seem strange to you?”
Bronkomoroni responded quickly “Look at the head.”
“He’s got rabbit ears?” His voice going from nervous to confused. “And it’s pinned up next to a chicken costume head.” Binks stared up in wonder.
“You starting to work it out now?” Bronkomoroni asked.
“Someone’s trying to kill Easter sir, what about the children? Easter without eggs is like Christmas without presents. This is Joey’s first ever Easter where he’s old enough to remember it. Oh no, oh no, what are we go-“ He was cut off by a firm, hard hand colliding with the back of his head.
“We always get ’em.”
Across town in Happy Jimbo’s Pizza Party Place the fun was just starting as the band were now on stage, ready to perform and lights were whirling, flashing different colours. Mars and the Rabbit men, the frontman wearing a leather ensemble of tight pants, a biker jacket with a black cotton t-shirt and thick leather boots while the band members each wore a brown, white and pink rabbit costume.
Right then, what can I see? Three targets. Remember chest not heads. He pulled the trigger and the bullet flew, followed by two more, tearing the sky apart as they sped towards their targets.
Seconds later screams could be heard as families, children and staff members fled the scene in an attempt to save themselves.
“Let me guess, men in Easter costumes.” Bronkomoroni huffed to Jimbo Jr.
“Yeah man, how’d ya know dat? We were having a sweet party ya know, cash just rolling in.” The manager seemed calm considering what had happened only an hour before.
Bronkomoroni pressed him “You know who did this? ‘Cause if you know and you ain’t telling me, I can have my boy Binks here get a search warrant and this place will be closed for I don’t know… a month, maybe two. Your father won’t be pleased about that.”
As Bronkomoroni continued his investigation, the shooter made his way down a dark alley, deep in gang territory where you couldn’t go ten paces without seeing blood, drugs or damage on roads, walls or windows.
The shooter turned into the doorway of what was probably the only nice building left in the area, the vegetable processing plant. This building was where cabbages and carrots, lettuces and leeks along with other vegetables were packaged for delivery and those intended to be frozen were manufactured.
“He that kills a cow…” Spoke a voice from behind the door after a secret knock had been performed.
“…takes a life without need.” Replied the shooter before scurrying in and heading for the main factory area.
Around fifty people were gathered around the room, staring upwards at an office window that had a view of the whole place.
“Friends. Brothers. Comrades. We are gathered because our fight has finally started. Mr Bronkomoroni here has been on a mission to destroy those that celebrate the slaughter of our friends and his police officer brother is clueless about his activities.” Clapping, whistles and cheers went up around the building before the voice silenced them again. “Now, Mr Bronkomoroni, if you would be so kind.”
Lionel Bronkomoroni climbed on top of the nearest crate of cabbages and in a clear, loud voice that conveyed total pride shouted
“Meat is murder,
United we stand,
To save our friends,
Big or small, they’re grand.”
“Alright kid, we need a plan.” Bronkomoroni asserted. “Let’s work off what we know and catch this S-O-B.”
“What exactly do we know sir? What did Jimbo tell you?” Binks inquired.
“Who’s Jimbo?” Asked Bronkomoroni, a confused expression on his face. “Oh right, that kid manager.” He realised. “I call him Junior, me and his pap go way back. He didn’t tell me anything.”
“I thought he looked suspicious, too cheerful if you ask me. And I heard you threatening him with a warrant, you can’t tell me that was for nothing.” The quick learning trainee pointed out.
“I thought he knew something, but he didn’t, stupid kid was on drugs. When I was a boy we used to make our own excitement, we had no need for illegal substances. The youth of today eh.” Bronkomoroni went silent, contemplating the state of the world. He started again. “What we do know is that this guy kills people in animal costumes, we don’t know why but we do know what and that’s enough for us to go on.”
“You’ve got a plan, haven’t you sir?”
“Binks… did you say your wife worked in a fancy-dress shop?”
“Yes sir, I told you on my first day sir, thank you for remembering.” Binks was excited by the prospect of making friends with the boss, sharing things about their personal lives and getting a drink after work.
“Can you get me two rabbit costumes?”
The thick black smoke rose up, creating a dark, deadly cloud that covered the sky. Below, the crackle of flames became a backing track to the sound of the smashing glass of firebombs and explosions of canisters.
Three men stood in the street, shouting about ending the killing and of how their friends should be set free. They threw bottle after bottle, canister after canister, adding fuel to the fire and increasing the amount of damage the blaze would cause.
The sign on the burning building read: Stan’s Slaughterhouse, biggest in Utopolis.
And on the building opposite the men had hung a banner which read:
Meat is Murder,
United we Stand,
And Save our Friends,
Big or Small, they’re Grand.
“Sorry I’m late sir, got talking to a colleague about a massive fire at Stan’s Slaughterhouse last night.” Apologised Binks who was twenty minutes late when he entered the station’s mess hall.
“It’s alright kid. I know what it’s like. You can get me a coffee as punishment.” Chuckled Bronkomoroni who was happier than he should have been considering there was a killer at large.
“I’ve got the costumes sir, but I could only get one bunny, the other is a chick. I hope that’s alright.”
“Yeah kid, it should be fine. It’s funny isn’t it, a caretaker died in that fire of yours. Meat is murder, ha. The definition of murder specifies human beings, so their protecting life has ended one for some idiots thinking murder is the same as killing. Know the laws kid and you’ll see the irony, maybe get a laugh.”
“Ok sir, I’ll check my notes. Why did you need the costumes?”
Two this time. An open location with lots of witnesses, this will get lots of attention for the cause. Lionel Bronkomoroni peered over his newspaper to get a better look at his targets.
He slipped his hand into his pocket to reassure himself that he had what he needed and felt the cold, sharp edge of the flick-knife The Commander had given him.
He put the newspaper down on the bench and stood up, hand in pocket.
Like an animal, Lionel could track his prey for days. Hunting with his father and brother while he was young had taught him how to stalk silently up to a target before pinning it down and creating that all important slice to the jugular vein.
He did this now with his arm around the chick’s neck, thinking the bunny had its back to him.
Sergeant Bronkomoroni spun around, his fist flew towards the man that held his young partner. The fist connected and the attacker fell to the floor, unconscious.
He looked at the assailant on the floor and joked “Err, what’s up do- Lionel!”
“Where’s Miranda?” Lionel Bronkomoroni asked the short, fat, smartly dressed police sergeant that stood across from him in the small, dark, windowless interview room.
“Binks, read him his rights.” The sergeant barked.
The young constable that had been stood near to the door quickly righted his stance, stood to attention and in a calm, clear voice recited the words “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to legal representation. If you cannot afford legal representation, it will be provided for you.” The constable then left the room.
“Alright Lionel, that’s our backs covered. Now can we be serious. You know the law as well as I do. We’ve got you bang to rights. We’ve got a weapon, fingerprints, CCTV footage and eyewitness statements. Everything we’ve got says that you did it so confess and things should be a little bit nicer for you, eh buddy. I am your brother, I could pull some strings, give you an easy time inside. But before you confess, I want to know why you did it.” Said the interrogating sergeant.
“Meat is murder.” That was all the suspect said. The scrawny man tried to hide the anger but Bronkomoroni could see it in his eyes.
“Meat is murder?” Bronkomoroni repeated. “Ok, I know you became a vegan a while back and that understanding the world and why things happen isn’t easy for you but you started at the academy same time I did, you know killing animals isn’t murder. But when you make it wabbit season on my streets, you’re committing murder. So, who pushed you into it? C’mon man, I’m trying to help you here.”
“Daniel. Brother. You never found the path of enlightenment like I did. You never fell in love or got married. I did. You were always too busy with your job. So, don’t you dare tell me I’m wrong because every choice I’ve ever made has been mine and mine alone whereas you just followed orders, danced when you were told like a good little circus monkey.” The suspect’s words conveyed anger and his tone was bitter, full of hatred and resentment. “And don’t give me Reid, you’ve tried positive confrontation and theme development, but I won’t confess no matter what you say. From now on my answer is no comment until I get the legal representation the good constable offered me. And remember Daniel, meat is murder.”
The sergeant left the interview room which left Lionel sat alone, alone in the dark. All I have to do is put Daniel off long enough for The Commander to sort things out, once he’s done, I can tell all I know and help myself. He thought to himself, believing he could still win the fight for his cause.
“We’ve got it sir.” Binks told Bronkomoroni as he entered the observation room.
“You have, good. Where is it?” Bronkomoroni asked his young colleague, eager to eradicate the problem plaguing his streets. He knew his brother couldn’t have done it all alone and now he knew that the slaughterhouse fire was connected.
“Dystopia street sir, we found that he’d made twelve calls from the vegetable processing plant there in the last three weeks. CCTV shows known criminals, all vegan or vegetarian, heading in the direction of the plant. It’ll be a good starting point if nothing else.”
“Well done Binks, Lionel isn’t co-operating, so this is all we’ve got. I knew you could do it. Now we’ve got Elmer Fudd locked up in there we’ll let him stew, let’s get the rest of these looneys.” Bronkomoroni laughed, a maniacal grin spread across his face, he knew the chase was coming to an end.
Around an hour later a fleet of black and white cars pulled onto Dystopia street, sirens blaring and Bronkomoroni’s car at the head of the pack. The cars came to a halt outside the vegetable processing plant.
Thick black smoke covered the sky, creating a dark, deadly cloud that no light could penetrate. Below the crackle of flames became a backing track to the sirens of police cars and the hoses of firemen bravely battling the blaze.
Three men stood in the street, shouting about ending the flames and how they hoped the fire wouldn’t spread.
Bronkomoroni looked at the inferno, saddened by this sudden setback. Whoever else was involved had got away and now he had to put his little brother through the courts. He felt a hand clap down on his back.
Binks had hit him. Binks then said cheerfully “Stop panicking, we always get ’em.”
Both men looked up at the building opposite on which hung a banner that read:
Meat is Murder,
United we Stand,
And Save our Friends,
Big or Small, they’re Grand.