Detective Paulson In:  Sweet Tooth

Detective Paulson In: Sweet Tooth

A Story by Lukie LeDoux

A detective in ficitonal Center City attempts to solve a grisly murder and discovers a bizarre culprit.


           Detective Richard Paulson recoiled at the sight of the torn, savaged body.  In his time on the force he’d seen a lot of damaged stiffs, but this one was by far the worst.  The victim was a female, middle aged.  She had multiple jagged lacerations on her abdomen.  Her arms were reduced to so many crimson, fleshy ribbons.  She must’ve put up a heck of a fight.  Her throat was torn out completely. 

            Paulson approached the crime scene.  “What’ve we got here?” he asked one of the forensic analysts.       

            “Looks like the cult got another one,” he said, his gaze never leaving his notebook.

            “Uh huh,” Paulson replied, but he didn’t really agree.  He knew what this was.  This was an animal attack, perhaps a big cat.  “Just out of curiosity, are there any large predators native to the Center City area?” he asked.

            “No,” said the forensic analyst, “and if you keep it up with those crazy theories of yours, the commissioner will make you turn in your badge.”

            “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Paulson said, leaning in close to the body to examine the wound.

            “Just chalk it up to the cult.”

            Paulson remained silent.  The wound on the woman’s neck was covered in a sticky crystalline substance.  Detective Paulson scrapped a bit of the stuff off and brought it to his nose.  It smelled sweet.  “This wound is covered in sugar,” he said.  “And there’s a puncture wound from a tooth right there.”

            “Oh my,” said the forensic analyst.  “Hey wait! Where are you going?” he shouted at Paulson who was walking back to his car.

            “The zoo,” he said, shutting the door. . .

            Detective Paulson pulled into the parking lot of the Center City Zoo just as the sun was beginning to set.  The visitors were trickling out of the gate and all the animals were shouting their nightly calls.  Now and then Detective Paulson could hear the roars of the lions and tigers.

            “I’m sorry, sir, we’re closing,” said the greeter as Paulson approached.

            “Detective Paulson, CCPD,” said Paulson, flashing his shield.  “I need to speak with the person managing this facility.”

            “Oh! Hop in, I’ll take you to him,” said the greeter as she climbed into a golf cart.

            Paulson remained silent during the golf cart ride.  He scanned the fences they passed, looking for breaks and gaps.  The greeter, on the other hand, chatted nervously as she drove.  “Aha! There he is!” she shouted.  The greeter finally broke from her one-sided conversation and stopped the vehicle near a man dressed in khaki.

            Detective Paulson stepped out the cart, showed the man his badge and introduced himself.  “Hello, I’m Albert Macphearson, how can I help you?” said the main in khaki.

            “There’s been a possible animal attack and I was wondering if any of your large predators escaped,” said Paulson.

            “No, sir,” said Albert, waving his clipboard.  “I just finished counting.  All animals are present and accounted for.  Our facilities are some of the best in the country.”

            “I’m sure they are.  Could I see that?” Paulson asked, gesturing towards the clipboard.

            “Of course,” said Albert as he handed it over.  Paulson scanned it quickly.  It was true.  All the animals were within the zoo’s walls. 

            “One more thing,” Paulson began, “do you feed your animals any sugary treats?”

            Albert shook his head violently.  “Oh, heavens no.  Our animals are all kept on strict dietary plans designed to maintain perfect health.”

            “Aha.  Thank you, that’ll be all,” said Paulson returning the clipboard.  Then he turned on his heels and began to walk briskly towards the zoo’s exit, his shoes making a satisfying tattoo on the concrete as he left.

            Detective Paulson returned to his car to find a flyer pinned under the windshield wiper.  It read: “See Bisha, the dancing bear! See her dance like person!”  Paulson could tell from the poor English and the address that the flyer came from the city’s Rush District.  That’s where many of the city’s Russian inhabitants lived.  So Paulson set out to the Rush District.  He had to pay a visit to Bisha the dancing bear. . .

            It was nighttime when Detective Paulson arrived in the Rush District.  He intended to keep his visit brief; the Rush District was not a very nice place, especially at night.  Paulson’s car glided past the facades of low end apartments.  A game of bandy was visible on a television within a run-down vodka bar.

            Finally he came to a stop in front of an old, dilapidated building.  A shoddy wooden sign in the front read: Bisha!  Detective Paulson stepped out of his car and rapped lightly on the door.  Immediately the doors swung open and he was greeted by a cheerful man with a thick Russian accent and a stink that would make a skunk roll over.  It was a thick, animal smell of waste, blood, and something else. . . Fear?  The room was sparsely decorated. A few folding chairs stood in front of a large cage.  The floor of the cage was lined with straw, and there was a hole in the wall that the building and the cage shared leading to a dark room.

            “Welcome!” said the Russian man, “you here to see Bisha dance?”

            “No, I’m Detective Paulson with the CCPD.  We’re currently investigating an animal attack.  Now, Mr. . . .”

            “Zubkov.  Igor Zubkov.”

            “Yes, Mr. Zubkov.  Do you know where your Bear is right now?”

            “Of course I do,” Zubkov said, “she’s right there!” Then, as if on cue, Bisha emerged from the hole in the wall and entered the cage.  She was an enormous brown bear with a coat of long, tangled fur that bunched up in places like so many bird nests.  She opened her mouth to yawn and Paulson saw her teeth: jagged and riddled with cavities.  She had a very intimidating presence.  “Look, I even make her dance for you.  No charge for you, Mr. Cop Man.”

            “No please, if you could just answer a few-” Paulson stopped as Zubkov tossed a sugar cube at Bisha, who caught it in her mouth.

            Zubkov laughed and yelled, “Dance, Bisha. Dance!”  Bisha stood up on two legs and stepped side to side.  Then she began waving her huge forepaws around, each one tipped with five dagger-like claws.  It was quite pitiful, and Detective Paulson failed to see the humor in it.  Then it clicked.  Sugar cubes!

            Paulson turned to Zubkov, just in time to see the big Russian make a leap at him.  Paulson tried to dodge, but Zubkov was too fast.  Soon Paulson had his arms pinned and was being led to a door.  Zubkov opened the door, shoved Paulson through it, and quickly shut and locked it behind him. 

            Detective Paulson scrambled to his feet.  The room was very dark and the floor was sticky.  It smelled far worse in here.  This must have been the room that connected to Bisha’s cage.  All of a sudden the lights flickered to life with a buzz.  It was a community shower like in a prison.  The walls, the floor, every inch of the room was covered in gore and shredded viscera.  A lone closed circuit camera stood in one corner.

            Just as Paulson put the final pieces together, he heard Zubkov’s muffled voice through the wall.  “Kill, Bisha! Kill!”  The giant bear lumbered into the room, still smacking on a sugar cube.  A trap door closed off the hole behind her.  She set her bloodshot eyes on Paulson, still licking sugar off her lips, and charged.    Paulson grabbed his service piece and took aim, but Bisha rammed him full force, causing him to drop it.  The gun skittered across the floor.  Bisha pinned the detective to the sticky floor, her weight crushing him.  He felt her hot, cloying breath on his face.  Paulson shouted in agony as one of Bisha’s paws tore at his abdomen.  He desperately tried to keep her mouth away from his neck, the image that dead lady’s throat fixed in his mind.  Paulson reached for his knife.  He fought with one hand to keep the bear from his face, her sticky, sugary saliva coating his arm.  Then, with his knife free, he pushed the blade into Bisha’s soft throat with all his might.  Bisha let out a gurgly roar as he twisted the knife and slashed at her neck, her hot blood pouring over him.  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Bisha stopped fighting and her body fell limp.

            Paulson rolled out from beneath the dead bear and stood up.  Searing pain radiated from the wound on his chest.  Paulson walked over to his gun.  It now lay in a pool of his and Bisha’s blood that was slowly trickling into the drain in the center of the room.  He picked it up, shot the look off the door and left the stinking room.  Paulson found Zubkov staring at the closed circuit television in the main room, his jaw hanging open.  “B-b-b-Bisha. . .” he stammered.

            Paulson sighed and, keeping his gun trained on Zubkov, called for backup and medical assistance.  Paulson told Zubkov his rights.  The Rush District was bathed in red and blue lights as Igor Zubkov was carted off to prison for the rest of his life.

© 2013 Lukie LeDoux

Author's Note

Lukie LeDoux
This is my first foray into detective stories. Tell me what you think and what I did right, and what I did wrong. Thank you!

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Added on July 14, 2013
Last Updated on July 14, 2013
Tags: murder, detective, mystery, sugar, mauling, animals


Lukie LeDoux
Lukie LeDoux

Lake Charles, LA

I'm Lukie and I like to write about dinosaurs, monsters and the like. I'm fascinated by biology and science and sometimes my writing will explore the gray areas of those subjects. If any of the.. more..