The Mustache Man

Chapter Twenty Three


He couldn’t get the tape started his hands were shaking so badly. “I’ve never played this for anybody except Carlton so if you laugh go ahead I’ve woken up in the middle of the night laughing like crazy singing this bad version of a broken record of a country western song, “God-baby, god-baby He’s bringing you home cause you’re so f’n alone.” Corney. And that’s the whole idea. God or the Presence who I don’t believe for a millisecond is snatching people in their sleep, on the internet and they’re disappearing and they’re going through some door, some kind of crazy cosmic door and they come back reborn. So tell me to shut up or walk out of here with Jewels and Bert.”

Chance couldn’t remember saying anything. It had all sounded like gibberish to her, the mumblings of an ex-cop now a security guard and a custodian who drank too much beer and ate too much pizza. God-baby, what was this over the hill Ex-Detective who called himself Shul talking about?

Then Jewels starting singing from the window: “God-baby, god-baby/he’s bring you home cause you’re so f’n alone.” And let Bert a strangely knowing growl from deep in his ancient bulldog throat to accompany her song.

And they laughed. God, it was good to laugh and break the tension. Jewels turned and glowered at them both as they rolled on the floor and clutched throw pillows to keep from busting their bellies.

“We’re not laughing at you, Sweeie,” said Shul. “That was beautiful.

Bert growled a lion-like growl.

“Or you, Bert whatever you are invisible one disguised as a bulldog with you milky way eyes. We’re not laughing at you.”

“Just shut up and play the tape Detective Robert Shulman.”

“Shul, just call me Shul. It’s a good joke my nickname. I’m near atheist never go to synagogue wander into St. Patrics Cathedral when I lived in Manhattan all those years and the bastards who worked with call me Shul. Irony or bad cop humor, who knows?”

“The tape.”

Chance got out a white lined pad took out a red pencil box with sharpened pencils and prepared to take notes.

“You’re going to take notes? “If I’m going to hear theological science fiction fantasy I have to take notes just to read back what I heard and ask you questions after.”

“Yeah, I understand. Do you know what I call the god-baby case, what I called it out here in Denver after I arrested George Marlston for the murder of two ten and eleven year old boys from his world famous boys’ choir, I call the god-baby case a theological mystery because the only suspect is god or the Presence or He, She or It or whatever thousand and one names people give to this other worldly entity they worship in synagogues and mosques and church.”

“Just the play tape Detective Robert Shulman and shut up.”

Chance remembered Shul placing a slender brown black voice recorder on the coffee table set between them. He unloaded a file. At first there was only static a minute or so of static. Shul introduced the players.

“There’s Carlton and myself in this concrete room with two windows letting a small stream of light stream through on a very rainy windy Colorado afternoon. At some point you’ll hear singing, that’s the music of the boys’ choir Marlston (he just wanted me to call him by his last name). I’ve never heard anything like these boys’ voices except for the Morman Tabernacle choir. They sing like angels. Marlston would stop now and then and interrupt his narrative with the music he said he was going to die for. Oh and year I forgot. He was to be executed the next morning. Lethal injection of course.”

“Oh and I should tell you something about Marlston’s appearance and his voice. There’ll be static now and then but you’ll hear what I’m talking about. He was six foot two inches, built like an NFL linebacker and his voice was so elegant and formal it utterly belied the layers of fat surrounding his huge body. Oh one thing because I believe this is why the police believed the circumstantial crap they had convicting Marlston of the murders, he wasn’t a man, he wasn’t a woman.  He was something in-between. He was a transvestite who wanted to get an operation and change from a woman to a man but he couldn’t get the operation. Oh, and…”

“The tape Shul…”

“Look I lost my career because I believed this crazy son of a bitch so be patient.”


Bert growled and sat in Shul’s lap. Jewel took his hand.

“Thanks. They never found the bodies of the two boys. They’ve explored every underground cavern and cave in the Red Rocks area. Nothing. The boys have disappeared and I don’t believe they’re dead.”

“What does any of this have to do with my Pete? And all those Disappearing Acts on the site?”

“Patience. I have a theory. That’s why you’re here. You’re going to help me prove me case. But there is one problem?”

“Which is?”

“If I’m right the criminal the real murderer is God or the Presence. Excepting murdering little boys he’s kidnapping them and calling them home. No, don’t sing that song again,Jewels. And Bert stop growling at me. I never wanted to hear this tape again. But I have to I just have to.” END OF CHAPTER TWENTY THREE MUSTACHE MAN


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