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Death by Chocolate

I never was a fan of pink, but her home looked as if it were coated in Pepto.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

It had been a long day for Bridgett, she was an RN at the Trinity Hospital, and had just pulled a double shift. Walking  towards the door, she heard Shelly at the front desk call out to her. Turning around, she sees Shelly  rushing towards her, carrying what looks like a big box of chocolates. "These were delivered for you earlier, seems somebody knows about your sweet tooth!"

Bridgett took the candy, said goodnight, and left the hospital to drive home for a long hot bath. She wondered who the candy was from. There was no note, so she'd just ask Shelly at work tomorrow. Taking the box with her, she lit some candles in the bathroom and slid into a bubbly bliss. Eating a few of the candies, she leaned back, closed her eyes, and rested her head on the back of the tub.

An hour later, 911 got a call from a frantic teenager claiming his mother was dead. Two more calls to 911, then three with the same claim that a woman was dead.

Hello, my name is Indigo Barbie, I work with the FBI and catch scumbag serial killers. I thought that John, my boss, was playing a joke on me. He knows I am single and could care less about Valentines Day. He's not the joking type, so I listened intently when he called and told me seven woman had been found dead in the last 24 hours. The only common factor was a box of chocolates found near each one.

I asked John the locations of the women. "They all ended up at the Trinity Hospital. This morning I had them transported to the morgue for autopsies," he said. That's local then. Next I asked if the boxes of candy had been taken by the police at each scene. He assured me that they had. So, I decided to head over to Trinity first and see what I could find out.

When I arrived, I went to the front desk to make some inquires. That is when I met Shelly. When she realized who I was, she burst into tears, swearing up and down that Bridgett was dead because of her. She told me between sobs that she had given the box to her when she had left the night before. I assured her it wasn't her fault and asked where I could find the doctor that worked in the ER last night. Just my luck, she was still there.

Listening to the doctor, two thoughts came to mind. One: The candy needed to be tested ASAP; and two: What did these women have in common? The doctor said all of the women were already dead when they arrived, only one was barely breathing, but they lost her moments after her arrival.

I called John to have the candy sent for testing and headed to the morgue. Going to the morgue was not on the top of my fun list. It was cold and it smelled. Kenny was the only good thing about the entire place. He had performed a lot of the autopsies for us in the past and he was very good at what he did. He was quick and seemed to count every freckle to be found.

He had only completed half of the autopsies, but it was only three and he really does check everything. The only common factor he had found was potassium, and lots of it. I thought potassium was good for us, they even have vitamins for the health nuts to take. He agreed it is needed to a certain degree, but too much injected into the vein or the mouth will cause the heart to slow down, and that seems to be the cause of death. The hearts slowed down too much and just stopped beating.

I gave Shelly a quick call. In her mourning, she was very eager to help with anything to help sooth her guilt. I asked if there had been any medicines, specifically potassium chloride reported missing. She was surprised by the question and told me that two nights ago three of the storage units had come up short on several medications. I asked if she could get me a list of all staff that had access to the storage units. She put me on hold and 15 minutes later had a list for me with names and addresses.

Back at my place, I sat down with my trusty laptop and entered the data Shelly had given me. I listed the names of the women who had passed and let it do its job in helping me narrow the possibilities down. John called that evening and told me every piece of candy in those boxes contained a deadly amount of potassium. I thanked him and hit the shower.

The following morning, Kenny called to confirm that all the women had been poisoned to the extent of having their hearts stop beating. The trusty laptop gave me only two names off Shelly's list to look into. I called Shelly to see if either was scheduled at work today. John Smith was scheduled to come in at two and Karen Sue was home sick and wouldn't be in again today.

I decided to give Ms. Sue a visit since I had time before Mr. Smith was scheduled at Trinity. Pulling up to Ms. Sue's address, I was thinking if I didn't already hate the color pink I surely would now. The mailbox was painted a hot pink, the car parked in the driveway was pink. The trim on the white house was painted the same as the mailbox and wouldn't you know it, the flowers surrounding the front porch—pink.

I didn't call first. Perhaps, I should have with her being too sick to go to work. I rang the doorbell and waited. I heard footsteps and then the door flew open. There stood Ms. Sue, all 300 pounds of her, dressed in—you guessed it—a pink bathrobe. I introduced myself and she just stared at me. She didn't ask me to enter, but just stared at me. She told me she was sick and if could I come back in a couple days. She assured me after Valentine's Day she would be better.

Telling her it was important I see her now, she reluctantly let me inside. Her interior was even worse than the outside. I didn't know that they even made pink sofas, but every piece of furniture she had was some shade of pink. She directed me to have a seat and offered me a beverage. I declined and asked if she knew about the death of Brittney. She said no and that she had been home sick for three days with the flu. Except by being swallowed in pink, she seemed fine to me. She wasn't coughing or constantly blowing her nose.

Already knowing the answer, I asked how long she had been an employee at Trinity. For 12 years—at least she told me the truth. I questioned her where she had gone to school and she started to get fidgety. "This is not a social call she stated, so why all the questions?"

I lied, a little, and told her I was questioning all employees, as it's normal when a co-worker is murdered.

She seemed to get more nervous with this. You said she died, never said she was murdered. I asked a few more questions and left, wishing her a speedy recovery.

I then went to Trinity to check the security cams of the three storage units that had been stolen from. And there she was, on all three cams, neatly tucking the meds in a bag she had tucked under her scrubs. Due to her size it makes sense nobody noticed the extra bulge of the bag.

I called John, and explained my findings and my visit with Ms. Sue. He was sending men now to bring her in. Upon further investigation inside, her home there was enough evidence to put her away for several life sentences.

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