Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Decker & Hayes
Episode 2 - Blue Plate Special

By Lyn Nelson

Stella Decker
Macy Hayes

Narrator: Parlortown. In this black hole of dirt and decadence, Stella Decker and Macy Hayes were a small beacon of light – living their lives in pursuit of justice, money, money, and justice. Well, their professional lives, anyway. And today was no exception. They finally had another case. Tess Nichols, a fiery redhead with a skirt that exposed her long, toned thighs, had come to them with quivering lips, heaving breast, and half a story about her dead husband. Jumping at the opportunity to crack another case, and pay another bill, the girls had agreed to look into Jack Nichols’ death. When we left them, Macy was on her way to chat with Officer Sheridan at the precinct. Sheridan was a portly man in his thirties. He wore a button-down shirt and suspenders, and when Macy walked in the door he was ashing a cigar.

Sheridan: Miss Hayes, always lovely to see you. It’s been a while, I was getting worried.

Macy: Oh you know, our business is a fickle one. But it looks like we’re making our comeback. How about you, how’s business been?

Sheridan: This is Parlortown, sweet cheeks. Business is never slow. So what’s knitting your pretty brow?

Macy: I’m investigating Jack Nichols’ death.

Sheridan: Hoo, yeah. That was a weird one alright. Who’s hired you, the old bird?

Macy: Now now, old man, you know I can’t give that information out. What about it was so bizarre?

Sheridan: Well you know, we found him out in the dumpster in the back of the Blue Diner. What’s funny is that the dumpster was all turned on its side, and the contents were spilled all over the ground like if someone had been routing around in there. Funny thing for someone to do if they’re just dumping a body, don’t you think?

Macy: Don’t I indeed. Find anything worthwhile in there?

Sheridan: Only thing worth noting was big chunks of broken blue porcelain all over the concrete.

Macy: What did the owner have to say about it?

Sheridan: Nothing yet. It was closed when we got there. It’s one of those little dives on the edge of town, you know? They’re never open.

Macy: Convenient place to dump a body, anyhow. Anything else you got for me?

Sheridan: Not a thing. Got a boy supposed to be out there today, I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

Macy: Thanks, Chief.

Narrator: Macy left the precinct and caught a cab to the outskirts of town, where she found Stella waiting outside the door of the Blue Diner. The building was made of faded blue faux brick, and the neon sign on its roof flickered steadily. It looked pretty clean and inconspicuous, for Parlortown. Some sort of elevator music wafted from inside.

(Macy and Stella smooch)

Macy: So, how was Benny?

Stella: Sleazy as ever. And just as useless. Jack hasn’t laid any bets under his immaculate watch.

Macy: Oh pooh, I was so looking forward to working with him.

Stella: What about you, anything juicy?

Macy: Apparently our killer was looking for more than a place to dump a body. They dumped the dumpster, as it were, and apparently there was blue porcelain broken all over the alley. You been in here yet?

Stella: (sarcastically) Not yet. Looks charming, eh?

Macy: We’ll have to remember it for our anniversary. Let’s go find the owner.

Narrator: The girls went inside the squeaky glass doors and up to the counter. They found a very small balding man with thick specs rummaging around with some papers. He was very thin and timid, and not very eager to talk. The place wasn’t very well lit, but that didn’t seem to bother the three customers. The small man looked up at the two women over his specs as they approached the counter.

Stickler: Two?

Stella: Actually, we’re not here to eat.

Stickler: (indifferent) Oh.

Macy: My name’s Macy Hayes, this is my associate, Stella Decker. We’re investigating the homicide that happened here last night.

Stickler: The what?

Stella: You know, the dead guy dumped in your dumpster overnight?

Stickler: First I’ve heard of any dead guy.

Macy: Haven’t the police been in?

Stickler: Not since I been here. I opened around eleven.

Stella: (sarcastically) Glad our cops are doing their jobs, as always.

Macy: (to Stickler) You don’t seem surprised.

Stickler: This is Parlortown, ma’am.

Stella: Well were you in yesterday? Maybe you’d have seen the guy.

Narrator: Stella described Jack from the details that Tess had given them, and briefly explained what the police had found outside the diner overnight.

Stickler: Sure, a guy like that was in here yesterday. Sat alone in the corner there all night. Ordered the Blue Plate Special.

Stella: Blue Plate Special? What’s so special?

Narrator: Stickler bent down behind the counter and pulled out a blue porcelain plate. He held it out nonchalantly.

Stickler: This is the Blue Diner, ma’am. Everything’s the Blue Plate Special.

Macy: Is that what the police saw in the alley out back?

Narrator: Stickler gave her a blank stare.

Macy: The police found shards of blue porcelain in the alley when they found the body.

Stickler: Well, I suppose, but I left them in the dumpster.

Stella: You put them there?

Stickler: Sure. When I opened yesterday I found a whole bunch of our plates smashed back here behind the counter and back in the kitchen. Cleaned ‘em up and threw ‘em out.

Stella: (sarcastically) Glad we’re asking the right questions.

Macy: Any idea who could have done it?

Stickler: Not a one. Not too careful about locking our doors around here. No one has much need for what we got.

Stella: Mind if we take a look in the kitchen?

Stickler: Knock yourselves out. Door around to your right in the back.

Narrator: Stella and Macy went around to the back and through the door marked "Kitchen." They scanned the room quickly, noting pieces of broken plate still on the floor, and everything in disarray. It was the kind of clutter that looked like it had been there since the diner opened. They walked back out to the counter.

Macy: Well, thanks for your time. This is our number if you think of anything you want to tell us. We may be back to ask you some more questions. Good day, Mr…..?

Stickler: Stickler. Jimmy Stickler. Diner owner extraordinaire.

Macy: Good day, Mr. Stickler.

Narrator: The girls caught a cab back into Parlortown proper. They were silent all the way, mulling over these details privately. They hopped out in front of a little café, marked "Café."

Stella: Well, babe, how about something to eat?

Macy: I’d almost lost my appetite. But I guess a sandwich would do us good.

Narrator: What was our criminal looking for in the dumpster behind the Blue Diner? Was it the same mastermind who’d broken Jimmy Stickler’s plates? Was Stickler connected to this somehow? Would Sheridan’s police officer ever get over to the Blue Diner? Where were the police in all of this? Tune in next week for the next installment of "Decker and Hayes" entitled "Crossroads."

Go to Episode 3