Murder at the Dolfin-square
A short detective story by Jeroen Geerts
What a little bit to much to drink can lead to….. Well to this short detective story for my friends at G-Plaza in the centre of Kos-town.
With special thanks to my good friend Ros Davis (and her husband Phil) for inspiration and correcting my English language.
She never knew she had that kind of volume in her. Now she knew what people meant by 'screaming your lungs out'. She tried to open the cupboard but it got stuck. After a lot of pushing and pulling the door fell open with a bit of a crack. Then a leg fell out of the cupboard. At first Maria thought one of her staff was pulling her leg again, but when she pulled at the leg a whole body fell out. That was when she began screaming. Strangely enough, while screaming, she thought that the cupboard was really too small to hide a body, as if you normally think about that kind of thing at that kind of moment. Her husband, Stavros, came running into the kitchen. First he put his arms around her and wanted to ask what was the matter, but halfway through that sentence he discovered the body and his voice got stuck. The head was still in the cupboard. Maria carefully opened the door a little further and began to scream again. Open, glassy eyes stared at her, she recognised Andreas, the guy that had worked for her restaurant for 5 years now.
"Why are they screaming?" Phil asked. He was sitting opposite his wife Ros on the terrace of the restaurant. Ros looked at the kitchen entrance but couldn't see anything strange. Just when she was about to turn back to her husband, the owner of the restaurant, Maria, ran out crying 'Andreas.....Andreas'. Phil lifted an eyebrow as Maria's husband, Stavros, also came out of the kitchen with his mobile phone at his ear and an angry expression on his face. "They killed Andreas!" Maria cried out. "Oh my”, Ros said turning to her husband. "I guess you really could help." She took a sip of her mint and lemon tea. Phil sighed. He was a retired detective sergeant and didn't want to come into action, certainly not on his holiday in Greece. He was a painter now. He was fed up with bodies of dead people. The only thing he wanted was to paint living bodies and see if he could sell the prints. "Come on Phil, I can see you are interested. At least let's see what's going to happen."
Phil had almost finished his pint when a police car drove on to the dolfin square at Kos-town's harbour. You heard it coming for ages - the sound of the sirens seeming to come from everywhere. But it was only one car. Phil almost rolled over the floor, laughing when two policemen ran in with their guns in their hands. Typically the kind of behaviour you could expect at a place where nothing of this kind happened.
The waitress of the restaurant, Maria's daughter Barbara, sat at the counter crying. Andreas was a pain in the ass, but he didn't deserve to die like this. Her mother had forbidden her to take a look in the kitchen but she did it anyway. She was totally in shock when she saw Andreas' body lying there half out off the cupboard. She never expected that the cupboard was big enough to put a body in. Two policemen came to her, asking where the body was. She pointed at the kitchen and the two tried to get in there together, but the doorpost wasn't wide enough for both of them. 'Greek police are clowns,' Barbara thought when she saw both men struggling.
"Mmmm", Ros mumbled in a way only English women can do. An 'mmmm' that says things more clearly then a thousand words. "No, Ros, I'm not going to offer my services. Enough is enough, and 30 years in service must be enough", Phil said. Ros looked at him with her sparkling eyes and Phil knew he was going to lose this argument.
Stavros had his arm round Maria's shoulders trying to comfort her. Maria's eyeliner made long black lines on her face. Jeroen and Marja came in. They ran apartments next door to the G-Plaza restaurant and were friends with Maria and Stavros. "What the hell....." Jeroen started. He was known for his blunt and strong language. He was Dutch, so everybody forgave him. His wife was trying to talk in Greek to Maria. Maybe she could help?
One of the policemen came out of the kitchen and stood in front of Maria. "Who is the victim?" It sounded more like an order than a question, when you couldn't understand Greek. The other policeman also came out of the kitchen and joined his partner.
"Oh my god", Phil said. "They already ruined the crime scene". He pointed out the bloodstains in the form of footprints on the floor, that were left by the last policemen that came out of the kitchen. "Next they will pull out a game of Cluedo to find out who did it, with the knife in the kitchen." Ros laughed in her own modest way. Another police car arrived at G-Plaza. A policeman came out, stood tall, pulled up his trousers over a belly that was too fat, and stepped on the terrace. "Ah, now the party is starting for sure", Ros nodded her head to the newcomer. "Nobody leaves the restaurant", the fat policeman cried in Greek as well as in English. "At least this man saw a few detective series", Phil said.
The two policemen saluted the fatty, who was probably the commissioner. An orthodox priest was walking by with his young wife and two kids. She was wearing jeans and a red summer shirt. He was wearing traditional clothing. The priest looked at all the commotion inside and told his wife to walk on, while he went in. He had his phone in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth. In some places his long beard was grey, just like his clothes. He spilled ashes from his cigarette. It seemed the priest was a friend of the family as he walked straight up to Maria and Stavros. "And nobody is coming in" Fatty cried. He looked a bit mad at the crowd that was gathering outside looking in.
"And there comes Katerina", Ros said, pointing to the woman coming in. Katerina was the pool keeper at the hotel where Phil and Ros were staying that summer. Katerina ignored Fatty and went to Maria. Then she came to Phil and Ros. "Are you alright?" she asked. "This will take a while. In situations like this somebody has to come from the mainland. A 'real' detective." Katerina said it with a mean look on her face, pointing at the back of Fatty, standing behind her. "Poor Andreas, killed by a knife", Ros said. Fatty turned quickly and almost cried at her "How do you know he was killed with a knife?" He looked angry. "Ah" Phil said. "It was a difficult deduction but we figured it out." He pointed out the bar where the two policemen held a bloody knife in a plastic bag. Fatty turned around. Steam was coming from his ears as he walked towards his staff. "Maybe I can cut some time waiting here", Katerina said and she walked to the group at the bar. She talked to Fatty and nodded her head several times to Phil and Ros. Fatty looked interested. "Oh no", Phil said.
Fatty and Katerina came to their table. "Maybe you could help us", Fatty said. He looked at Ros. "I understand that you are a retired pathologist?" Phil had a big smile on his face. "Uh, yes I am", Ros stuttered. "We have to wait for the federal police from the mainland and we don't like them. And you have to wait till they are flown in. We could make a quick start, so they will be gone as fast as they get here." Fatty smiled. In his mouth only two teeth in the front of his mouth were standing straight. "Maybe you should ask my husband too. He was a detective sergeant with the murder squad." Ros stood up and Fatty also invited Phil to come along. "That went remarkably easily. No assessment, no need for credentials. I could be a brainsurgion in this place", Phil whispered to Ros.
In the kitchen it was cool. They looked at the scene. Ros looked around, found some kitchen gloves and put them on, also handing out a pair to Phil. Ros touched the body, looked at the eyes and felt to see if rigor mortis had already taken place. She sighed, looked around, picked up a meat thermometer and stuck it in the body. Fatty turned a little white in the face, watching the scene. It took a while for Ros to nod and pull out the thermometer. "Well", Ros started "One stab in the back with a big knife straight to the heart, probably from someone bigger than him. He's been dead for about 3 hours, if I check the temperature of his liver in comparison with the temperature of the kitchen. More I can't do at this moment without cutting him open." She turned to Phil. "Your turn."
"Don't you think it's an awfully small cupboard to put a body in?" Phil mumbled to nobody in particular. With his fingertip he tried to open the door, carefully avoiding destroying fingerprints. The door was stuck. "Ah, what the heck", he said, thinking about all the evidence that had been destroyed already by his Greek colleagues, and he pulled the door open with his full hand. "That clears up a lot." The back of the cupboard was broken and lay on the ground in a room behind the cupboard. Andreas's arm was stretched out in the hidden room just as if he was pointing to something in the room. 'Come on, you're not acting in a Dan Brown book. It's not normal for people to give a message when they are dying. Especially not when they are stabbed in the back.' Carefully he stepped over the body into the room behind the cupboard. A lot of dust, but also places without dust. There must have been crates on the floor, if you look at the markings. It was sticky there. It stayed on his finger. Phil sighed. 'All in the name of the investigation,' he thought and stuck his finger to his mouth to taste the sticky stuff. Coke. Not cocaine but Coke as in Coca Cola. And there was also a particular smell in the room Phil recognised from somewhere, but he couldn't place it. "Mmmm", he mumbled as he came out of the cupboard and surged his way through the kitchen. A lot of knives lay on a table at the side of the cupboard. The scene looked easy to assess, but suspects, motives and 'whodunnit' would be a burden, he thought.
All the staff were sitting at the bar as Phil came out of the kitchen. Katerina and the priest were also there. "Where were you this morning?" he asked the priest. "At home with my wife and kids", the priest said. He couldn't believe that strange Englishman suspected him, a priest for God's sake. Phil nodded his head. "Could you please sit down with the other guests then." The priest turned red in the face. The brutality of that cocky Englishman! How dare he command him, the priest of the town. Phil gave him a friendly smile. Breathing heavily through his nostrils the priest stood up and sat down at a free table.
"At what time did you all see Andreas for the last time?" Phil asked. Barbara starts crying again, Maria lasts her arm around her daughter. There was an enormous wail of Greek sound. "Please, do speak English!" Phil screamed. Katerina, could you please translate what they are talking about?" "I think they all agree they last saw Andreas this morning at 10, leaving the restaurant. He was going to pick up the vegetables at the market." This could be right as it was nearly 2 o'clock in the afternoon now, Phil thought. He walked by Barbara, Maria, Stavros and Katerina. "Did Andreas have a quarrel with somebody?" Stavros shook his head. The others looked at Stavros. Phil turned and stood close to Stavros. "Well?" Phil lifted an eyebrow. Stavros looked at the ground. "We didn't get along that well. He always teased me with my big belly." Stavros knocked a few times on his belly that was exceptional big in comparison to the rest of his body. "But come on, that's no reason to kill someone." "You slapped him in the face once", Barbara sniffed. "You did too", Stavros replied. Phil turned to Barbara. "Mmm?" Barbara got a blush on her face. "He tried to kiss me. But I have a friend and Andreas is.... was only a friend to me. It was our only quarrel. He dislikes my mother more", Barbara stumbled. Phil turned to Maria. "Dislikes....?" Maria sighed "We have to let him go at the end of the month, because there are not enough guests. If that's a reason I would be dead in the cupboard, not him." Maria had tears in her eyes. Phil nodded his head and walked back to Stavros. "Why did you kill him?"
Everybody was quiet and looking at Stavros. His mouth was open. "I....I..... didn't......" "Yes you did", Phil said. "What do you drink?" Stavros pointed at his diet Coke. "No, you don't" Phil smiled. "Come on Dad, you would like to drink regular Coke. But Mom doesn't want you to any more. Because you're getting too fat", Barbara said. "But it doesn't really work I guess" Phil said looking at Stavros's belly. "Do you smoke?" "No...." Stavros said while his face turned red. "Oh yes you do" Phil smiled. "I distinctly smell German pipe tabacco." "You don't smoke anymore Stavros!" Maria said with an angry face. "Oh, yes he does" Phil said. "He's smoking a pipe with German pipe tabacco and drinking regular Coke in the secret room behind the cupboard in the kitchen." Stavros' mouth was opening and closing without any sound coming out. "Andreas saw you entering the secret place, did he tried to blackmail you in getting his job back and did you get into a fight?" Stavros could only shake his head, slowly. "When you got the chance you stabbed him from behind and put him in the cupboard after you removed the regular coke and the German pipe tobacco. "No, no, no....." Stavros stumbled. "Yes, yes, yes." Phil said. "You also have little bloodstains at the top of your shoe, that only could get there by falling from above....so...." Stavros drooped his shoulders. "He constantly teased me about my tummy. Then, when he found my secret room and threatened to tell Maria, something snapped." Maria, Barbara and Katerina were in shock as Fatty took Stavros' arm and led him to the police car.
"German pipe tabacco......really?" Ros said to Phil. "Yes really!" Phil smiled. "Did I ever tell you about the time my father smuggled all whole lot of pipe tabacco from Germany to England?" "A thousand times Phil, a thousand times....." Ros sighed...