THE WINCHESTER-NABU DETECTIVE AGENCY
YEAR TWO: CASE FILE NO. 08-60
￼AMBER LOVE 02-JULY-2018 Catch up on Year One and previous Year Two cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. This work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new PayPal.me.
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Where we left off:
Gus took his assault on a squirrel too far and murdered the young thing. He has since turned his attention mostly back to the Chipmunk Mafia.
CSI: New Jersey
There was one day when I had to be away from the boys and out of the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency offices. I needed to go for some life saving and forensics training. Unfortunately, it was all based on saving human lives and not creatures Gus assaults. I’m not sure how Gus felt about my absence or what class I was attending.
I wasn’t looking forward to morning gridlock and road rage. I planned a route beforehand knowing that the car’s GPS is crap. I took some back roads to find my way to a town called Fairfield, New Jersey. It’s a bland place. Highways with big box stores and franchises line up between traffic lights. It’s 95% white people with a median household income (according to Wikipedia) of an astonishing $97,361 (I believe based on a two-person income). It’s in the 11th Congressional district which carries a lot of media attention. You have probably heard of Rep. Frelinghuysen and Senators Booker and Menendez. In a nutshell, Fairfield is just like any other town and nothing seems to make it stand out.
I arrived at the office park after missing a turn of course. I panicked because the nearly empty parking lot had spaces that were numbered. I thought that meant they were assigned to people in the office park. I drove around the building and decided to take a chance. I took one of the numbered spaces and asked when I got inside. The woman in there, Rachael, would be my instructor for the day and she said the spaces are not reserved.
The class was originally going to be only me. At the last minute, two men from a utility company had signed up and came into the classroom. That definitely made it better. Rachael was a pretty cool teacher. She was a nurse and former personal fitness trainer. She was covered in tattoos and had short spiky hair. Turns out we’re the same age. She also has black cats.
I think we clicked pretty well except for one thing. She told me about her career in fitness and why she needed to switch back to nursing for a job less physically demanding and a lot more stable. She was being candid and said I was “too old” to begin a career in yoga. I’m sure she meant well. Like massage therapy or being a novelist, there’s no such thing as stable income with a retirement plan when you have this kind of career. It’s part of the “gig economy” and it sucks. But hey, good for her that she had a stable career to fall back on. Not all of us do or want to. I never want to work in an IT cubicle again even though I do miss the paychecks and 401K.
I was nervous. The test was a skills test, meaning hands-on demonstration of our abilities to use what we learned. No written tests. Each of us had to take time to be in different roles from first person on the scene and doing chest compressions, person to fetch and use the AED, and person doing the CPR breaths. We ran through it enough times that it got better each time.
Chest compressions are more tiring that you might think. It’s a cycle of 30 compressions, 2 breaths, five times each then you can quickly switch and have someone else take over if the defibrillator isn’t there yet. Previously, I was taught that the compressions went to the beat of Stayin’ Alive by the BeeGees; but this time Rachael said that was dated and now the rhythm is a little bit faster. Any compressions are better than none, as far as I can tell.
We had some time for bantering, but not much. The small class size was a benefit in my opinion. Each of us had our own dummy to work on and other gear. We were told how they’re cleaned and how the artificial lungs are replaced. That was when I looked down at my dummy and saw a black hair on his smooth chest. That looked out of place. None of the other students had hair that would have matched. However, I knew where it came from as soon as I picked it up and took a close look. It was Guster Nabu hair!
My victim’s body had been cross-contaminated with foreign DNA from an animal who was not even at the scene!
“You can’t make someone more dead.” First Responder Motto