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It was close to quitting time and Mitch hadn't the patience to run the roller coaster one last time. He'd been stuck here for 10 hours, watching the people get on and get off. It was an endless cycle that never changed. He knew he could probably do this in his sleep, it didn't take a rocket scientist to push the levers.
The next morning, the Florida Times wasted no time printing the horror that happened at the park the previous night. A man had been found in the restroom—well, most of him, his head was yet to be found. The park never closes, opened even in the rain and on Christmas day. The authorities insisted until the head was found that the park had to be shut down; what kid wants a memory of finding a head on their trip to Disney?
As luck would have it, the missing head was found the next day, floating in a stream in the "It's A Small World" ride. Four hours later, the gates would be opened and the park was in full swing with eager guests.
Three more deaths or murders happened at the park that week. That is when I got the urgent call to pack my bag and head to the sunny state of Florida. My name is Indigo Barbie and I am with the FBI. My job description: To catch scumbag serial killers.
I am aware of the whole theme park idea, but lack in the personal draw or experience. My sister and I didn't have a childhood of puppy dogs and fairy tales. Ours was not a happy one, but we survived. Sis is happily married with two young boys and lives near the high school we both graduated from. Me, I live alone and chase bad guys.
On the plane ride, I went over the files of the murders. Four rather gruesome deaths: A beheaded man, a small boy whose harness on the roller coaster had come unlatched, and the last two were an elderly couple who had been found tossed from an inter tube on a rapid river ride, both having been stabbed multiple times.
No clues or suspects to help me out. There are about 450 employees on a daily basis and thousands of tourists. Where do I start but to go to the crime scenes and get a feel for what I was up against?
I checked into the hotel. Of course, John, my boss, has me staying at one of the Disney hotels on property. The hotel seems as magical as the kingdom guests spend hundreds of dollars on. The desk in my room is complete with a folder of all the events going on this month. Every night at 9 PM they do a fireworks display. Every Saturday is a parade containing all the Disney characters from Mickey Mouse to Snow White. Wow, what was John thinking? Okay, the folder also included a map of the grounds, bingo, something useful.
I changed into shorts and a tank top, grabbed the map, and searched until I found the locations of the three crime scenes. I circled them with my marker and headed out.
None of the three locations gave me any insight, but I was able to get a feel for this mess. The rafting the elderly couple was found on—well, I could see how easy it could have been to commit these murders. There are literally hundreds of people here. You're lucky if you stay with the people you came with, let alone watching what anyone else is doing.
Thirsty from the walking and heat pounding down on me, I stopped for a drink. 10 dollars later I have me a Diet Coke in a Tinker Bell cup. Cute. Next stop is the main office to meet with the one who's in charge of this park. I am led to his office by the bubbly secretary and shake hands. I asked if he had any idea of what was going on. "No, Ms. Indigo, but please find him. This park is about fun, not death."
I had requested a list of all employees when I called him earlier, have to start somewhere, and praying it isn't one of the guests. It makes sense it is somebody who works here and has a feel for the park. Easier for them to blend into the crowds without being detected. I put the list in my backpack and head back to my room.
Booting up my laptop, I start entering the data of the employees. Next I do cross references with any that have a record of any sort. I call for room service, a giant hoagie with chips and a Diet Coke is what I need. Waiting on my food, the computer starts to give me a list of all with a record.
I look at the list and narrowed it down to only 50 possibilities, amazed that many would be hired since the park is such a family-friendly place. Then again, my sister stopped taking the boys for Santa photos when I told her some are from jail with no other way to find employment. Not wanting the boys sitting atop some perv's lap, the Santa visits stopped.
Taking the 50 names, I narrowed it down by the size and age of the employee. A 90-pound teenage girl would not be a likely suspect, nor a retired lady in a wheelchair who worked in a gift shop. That narrowed the list to only 17 people. I was given access to the schedules of employees and quickly wrote them down in my notebook. All but two were currently on the clock. Stuffing the list in my bag, I once again ventured outside into the crowd.
I first watched the employees at work, then one by one I talked to each and every one of them. The only one that rubbed me wrong was a Mitch. He had a great tan, but a bad attitude. Not sure why he was even working here, he seemed to hate everything and everyone.
Well, it was time for the fireworks and I couldn't meet the last two until tomorrow. Both were scheduled in the morning. I headed back to my room to study my findings and do a little more digging on Mitch.
Mitch was a character all right. Seems he did time for being the driver in a drive by shooting that killed two people. He only served two years of his sentence on good behavior and the lack of evidence that he assisted in the deaths. I also found a recent filing of divorce. Seems his wife, who had been released from two months in the hospital, wanted a divorce.
I looked up her current address and decided to pay her a little visit before meeting the last two on my list. Time for a hot shower and then bed.
I knocked on Carol's door—well, it was her parents' home, she was staying with them until the divorce was finalized. I didn't expect to find what I did. I had called her last night to see if she would meet with me. So I knew she was expecting me, but nobody answered the door. I grabbed my cell and called, but her phone just rang. I had a bad feeling and called the local authorities for backup. I walked around the house, waiting for the backup to arrive.
Sitting or slumped in their chairs on the back patio were—I assume—her parents, both shot in the head. Pulling out my revolver, I heard the backup arriving, but where was Carol? I went back to the front and told the officers what I had found and to call the coroner. I explained I had yet to go inside, and finding the front door locked, I returned to the back and tried the sliding glass door. It was unlocked. I slid it open, and with two officers at my back, we entered the house in search of Carol.
The kitchen was empty and we cleared the rest of the floor, climbing the stairs to the bedrooms we heard the shot. Running up the stairs, I called out her name. No answer. Then I found out why she didn't answer. She too had been shot, and I guess Mitch heard us coming and that was the final shot we heard as he killed himself.
I returned to the park and went back to the main office. Once again, the bubbly secretary led me to his office. I explained to him how the case was solved. He was very grateful the killings had stopped. I went to my room, checked out, and made one last stop at a gift shop before driving to the airport. My sister would have bugged me forever if I didn't bring goodies back for the boys, and, of course, for her as well.