Stanley stood quietly drinking a lemonade and staring at the dead Hutterite man lying on his front step. He was sprawled out on his back with and arrow sticking out of his chest. Stanley wondered if he could tell time off of it. He also wondered where the body had come from. He figured it couldn't have washed up from the river, because that was a good two miles away.
“Bolt.” the sheriff told him without looking up from his notepad.
“A bolt. Looks like he was shot with a crossbow. Crossbows shoot bolts, not arrows.”
“Oh.” Stanley lamely replied and wondered what the sheriff's face would look like if his nose was upside down.
Stanley lay in bed that night thinking about the Hutterite man. He wondered what happened, and if he'd find another one tomorrow. Before he drifted off to sleep he decided that if there was another one in the morning, he was gonna have to put up a sign.
“Hello.” The ice cream woman purred as Stanley answered his front door. “Do you like what I brought you?”
It was early afternoon, so Stanley was still groggy and didn't know what she was talking about. He also was confused because from what he understood, you went to the ice cream man, he didn't come to you.
The ice cream woman seemed disappointed, and eyed Stanley, who was still in his boxers and a nice robe he had stolen from the governor's mansion when his son had thrown a house party. He had also taken some parmesian cheese, but he had eaten that.
Stanley didn't mind her eying him. It really was a nice robe. Stanley was also really proud of his nipples, but she couldn't see them because of the robe.
Stanley couldn't think of anything he needed, so he just grinned and popped his eyebrows.
The ice cream woman winked.
Stanley looked quizzical.
The ice cream woman looked hurt.
Stanley grinned tightly and shrugged his shoulders.
The ice cream woman reached into a box and handed him her number.
Stanley panned his eyes across the neighborhood wondering why he had the name “Jamie Farr” stuck in his head. Her number melted in his hand.
The ice cream woman looked hurt, and stormed down the sidewalk.
Stanley wiped his hands on his shorts, thinking “Klinger”.
Stanley woke up the next afternoon to get the newspaper, and discovered someone had crapped on his front step.
There wasn't anything new in the newspapers. The same cars must go, the same places were the best for deals, the great two for one coupons at the local Tramlaw. Not one story about the body found on his front step. Stanley was gonna write a letter to the editor about their lack of quality reportage, but the jerks charged by the word, and he just wasn't that into it.
Stanley stood again on his front step, fists on his waist, staring at the new body. This one was half buried up to it's waist in his yard. The legs were all scratched up and splayed this way and that. Stanley thought that it looked really uncomfortable, he also tried to think of the word for how he was standing.
He was starting to get nervous, because he knew that once they find more than one body on your property, the law starts to think of you as a suspect.
Stanley walked back into his house and shut the door. As soon as he'd pucked up the phone to call the sheriff, it hit him: akimbo.
Stanley tapped the sign into his front yard with his boot. He was starting to get nervous about the questions the detectives had asked him. “Why'd you kill those men, Stanly?”, “Do you know what the punishment is in this state for defecating in a corpse's ear?”, “How can such a pretty mouth tell such ugly lies, Stanly?”
Stanley thought he could answer any questions they had for him, but these were hard. So he choose to not say anything, even though they were pronouncing his name wrong. The only thing Stanley said was to ask to speak to his lawyer. They said he could talk to the public defender once he got himself out of prison later in the week.
Stanley said that he wanted to use the lawyer he'd used the last time he needed one.
They informed him that he had used the public defender, which upset Stanley deeply. That had meant that he'd given away a perfectly good stereo that he didn't have to.
As he was leaving the jail, the sheriff told him that someone had come in with a sack full of change and dollar bills to post his bail, even though they hadn't arrested him yet. When asked who it was the sheriff only replied “I dunno...some girl wearing cat ears.”
Then the sheriff gave him a 9x5 glossy of himself, telling Stanley that if he wanted to make things easy for himself, that he'd better call the number on the back.
Her knock came shortly after he went back inside. She wasn't wearing her paper hat, so he knew it was her that tried to bail him out. He didn't know what to say, so he asked her if he could still have her number. It was the least he could do, he'd been trying to picture her naked. He couldn't help himself, Stanley realized now that she was cute, if the ears were fake.
She asked him if he was into Furries. He thought she was talking about the little robot creature. She handed him a brochure.
He asked what first made her notice him. She said it was his nipples.
Stanley waved good-bye with the brochure as she walked away. She stopped to scratch herself on the tree in his yard.
Stanley walked back inside, and when he threw her number into the freezer he was confronted by the picture of the sheriff. He looked at the angry glossy for a moment and walked over to his phone. She answered on the three hundred and fifty-seventh ring.
Stanley sat on a cooler filled with ice cream treats, listening to the happy music and playing with the orange and black tail resting between his legs. He tried to think of a better name, maybe “eroticats” or “purrotica”. He tried to think of a word that meant running away with your new girlfriend with an exotic fetish to in order to escape certain prosecution for two murders you didn't commit. And then, it hit him, a moment of clarity that makes you feel both proud for having solved the riddle and foolish for it having taken so long. There it was right in front of his face the whole time.
It was “The Entertainer.”