Always Wash Your Hands

I thought this up earlier today while riding a motorscooter that was acting fussy.

F1 and M1 are boss and senior employee at a mechanic’s shop. Or a print shop, or somewhere else where people get their hands dirty and therefore often have need of heavy-duty hand-cleaning products. She and he are long-time co-workers and might have been lovers at one point. A few years before, they’d had some kind of breakup, and it was acrimonious, though now things have settled somewhat.

They’re at the shop after hours, just the two of them. M1 is having intestinal distress; he has settled onto the throne with the sports section of the newspaper and plans to stay there and let nature take its course. Midway through his session, he hears, distantly and not well, another man arguing with F1. Because of the bathroom door and the echoey shop, M1 can’t hear the details of the argument, but from pitch and tone can tell the guy is black, mean, and very righteously angry with F1.

Because of his condition, it takes him longer than he’d like to get off the pot and out the door, and before he can do the former, the argument has ended. So he takes his time getting cleaned up, including washing his hands in the Goop or whatever, then goes out to see what that was all about.

Of course, he finds F1 bludgeoned to death on the floor of the waiting room. So he calls the cops, who of course figure him for the killer. He tells the story, but there’s no evidence, no security cam, no visuals at all, and of course the killer ex-lover is going to make up a dumbshit story about a random black guy to distract the cops and the media. But this is 2015, black lives matter, and people aren’t so quick to be fooled by that anymore. Mustapha and Diana never were, but M1 seems like a simple, sports-lovin’ mechanic, and putting his uniform in the laundry and washing up and pretending it was a black guy just seems way too cold-blooded.

A friend of F1’s tells them that F1 had started seeing “the” guy and was planning on telling M1 about it that day. But the murder weapon is nowhere to be found, it didn’t clearly come from inside the shop, and zero forensic evidence links M1 to the actual death, so D/M don’t want the DA to pull the trigger just yet.

Where to next?

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