Mister Bunny and $88.01
I was lying on the couch, waiting for the
air conditioning to kick
in and dozing off due to the heat, a hangover, and disinterest in the ball game
on TV because the Jays were pummeling the Yankees for the third day in a row.
My cat Henry was napping on my chest, and
we were both startled
awake by my apartment buzzer. No one ever buzzes my apartment. People call
first. Actually, no one ever comes to my apartment. I meet people outside.
I staggered to the buzzer. “Hello?”
“Is this James Yates?”
“Yeah. Who’s this?”
Police? What the . . . “How can I help
“Can we come in?”
“How do I know you’re the police?”
“Hold on,” I said. “I’ll
I pulled on a T-shirt and went downstairs.
Sure enough, it was the
cops. Two uniforms, one plain clothes. I assumed the plain clothes was a cop,
because she did all the talking. She introduced the three of them by name, but
I didn’t really pay attention.
Looking at her notes, she said, “Where
were you on the night of
Jeesh, what a question. Some random date
five months ago. Would she
expect me to remember that?
“How the hell would I know?”
“Listen, Mr. Yates, can we talk in
“Do you have a warrant?”
She looked at her shoes. The two uniforms
looked at each other. No
one said anything.
“Ah, never mind,” I said. “Come
They made so much noise coming into my apartment
scurried into his cage and burrowed into his stuffed animal friends.
She said, “Do you know Peter Baxter?”
“Are you sure?”
“I don’t think so. Who is he?”
“He was murdered January seventeenth.
In a house not far from
“Oh, that guy. I remember that happening.
No, I didn’t know him.”
“We think you did.”
“What can I say?”
“Can you tell me where you were about
nine on that night?”
“Probably not. That was five months
ago. How would I . . . Oh, wait
a minute.” I opened up my laptop and went to the website of my credit card
company. On January 17, there was a posting from the Terrier and Rats for
$88.01. “So,” I said, “if you go to that pub, they’ll be able to pull up that
receipt. I remember now. I was trying to figure out the exact tip percentage to
get it to exactly eighty-eight bucks. I couldn’t do it. I wanted eighty-eight
coz that’s how many points the Raptors scored that night. They lost. The game
would’ve been over about nine-thirty or nine forty-five, so my receipt will be ten
or ten-thirty. The receipt will have the time on it. So that’s where I was all
She made a few notes, looked at me, said,
“Thank you, Mr. Yates.
Sorry to have bothered you.” And they left.
Henry came out of his cage, sat beside me
on the couch, and we
watched the end of the ball game. Then I figured I’d go to the Terrier and Rats
for a hair of the dog. I reached into Henry’s cage, pulled out Mister Bunny,
unzipped his stomach, and took out a roll of money. I peeled off a
hundred-dollar bill from what I’d taken from Peter the night I killed him for
trying to rip me off on a heroin deal. I use my credit card only on special
Just because you have proof you paid at ten
doesn’t mean you were
there the whole time. I wonder if cops know that.
Bill Kitcher’s stories, plays, and comedy sketches (and
have been published, produced, and/or broadcast in Australia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Canada, Czechia, England, Guernsey, Holland, India, Ireland,
Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, and the U.S. His stories have appeared in Horror
Sleaze Trash, Rock and a Hard Place, Shotgun Honey, Guilty,
Mystery Tribune, Yellow Mama, and many other journals. His novel,
Farewell and Goodbye, My Maltese Sleep, will be published in 2023 by
Close To The Bone Publishing.