Ice Storm Chapter 5
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"I don't get it."Conan thought. "We have something that clearly looks like murder, but I don't think we have any suspects.
"Serena?" he asked, trying to play innocent. "Do you know if Max had any enemies?"
Serena seemed stunned by all the recent events; she was just staring off into space. "This has to be hard for her." Conan realized. It took her a moment to respond to Conan's question.
"I don't think so," Serena said shakily. "He was good at making people mad, but I don't think any of them would do this…"
"Conan!" Rachel was clearly angry. "Why are you here? I told you to stay with Serena's cousins! And now you're bothering Serena! I should just take you back home right now young man!"
"But I wanna stay here!" Conan whined in his best little kid voice. "I like seeing Detective Moore work!"
"Sure he can stay!" boomed the detective, having overheard the conversation. "I'm glad someone appreciates my work!"
"Moore, you're the only person I've ever met who doesn't see a problem with letting children play in a crime scene." muttered Inspector Meguire. "At least this kid sometimes helps."
"Inspector Meguire?" asked Rachel. "Is it okay to take Serena home?"
"You were with her when this guy died, so that gives her an alibi. She can leave."
"Are you ready to go home Serena?"
Serena could only nod in response.
"Okay time to look at the crime scene," thought Conan. Maybe I can come up with something if I actually see it. Too bad they moved the body. That would have helped me."
He walked over to the crime scene, and found the celery shaped dent in the ground. The hole was filled with liquid. "That's almost weirder then the shape." He thought. "I guess I should try to find a weapon. The lack of blood on the body means the weapon wasn't removed right away, so whoever did this probably ran. But where is the weapon now? It should still be here. Who would have a weapon in that shape anyway? There has to be something I'm missing."
As he searched, he noticed something. There were several similar divots in the ground, to the one that had been found under Max. There weren't very many, but almost all of them were directly under trees or power lines. They were all dry.
Conan noticed that detective Moore and Inspector Meguire were still trying to figure out what had made a celery shaped hole. No one would have a celery shaped weapon, and they wouldn't wait around and wait for Max to die so they could get it back. Suddenly, the conversation had changed direction.
"It's amazing that these power lines didn't break in the storm," said Meguire.
"Did anyone lose power?"
"No actually. Most power lines are under ground, where the ice couldn't affect it."
"So," asked Conan. "Does freezing rain build up on power lines too?"
"Yeah. It builds up on everything it touches." said the inspector. "that would include power lines, trees, buildings…"
"I think I have an idea of what happened here." thought Conan. "I need to be sure, and a way to prove it."
"Inspector, do you have a measuring tape?" asked Conan
"Sure, why do you need it?"
"I just wanted to check something."
"If I'm right, the indent should be less than six feet from under the power lines." thought Conan as he measured. He found he was right. It was about five feet seven from the nearest power line to the hole. "I understand now. How do I get them to see it? There's no way I can do a model the way I normally do. Maybe I should just try to point the old man in the right direction."
He started giggling like a little kid.
"What is it Conan?" Moore asked. "I'm trying to work here!"
"Look at these funny holes!"
"What!" the inspector and Moore exclaimed simultaneously.
"He's right! There are similar holes, and all of them are almost directly under the power lines.
"Inspector," Moore asked. "What usually happens to ice on power lines and trees when it melts?"
"Yes!" thought Conan "The Old Man's getting it!"
"It falls off" said inspector Meguire, "and starts to melt on the ground"
"So, if these pieces of ice were big enough, they could do a lot of damage to a person. The ice could even drive through their skull. But why did it go through his eye?"
"I heard from Serena's cousins, that Max had been drinking before he left," supplied Conan.
"So, Max goes off the road for some reason, and hears something. He looks up to see what it was to see a long stick of ice coming for him, but he's been drinking, so he can't react in time to avoid it." Richard Moore was on a roll now. "Then he falls backwards with enough speed to drive the end of the ice stick into the ground."
"Oh, I know!" said Conan. "Then the ice melts, right? That explains the not being able to find the weapon!"
"Right," the Inspector said. "Maybe you're not as hopeless as I thought, Moore!"
"After Serena went home she told her cousins that Max was dead. When we reached the house, they all seemed sad, even though the youngest didn't really understand what had happened. We spent a few hours contacting relatives and telling them what happened. Before today, I would never have thought that someone could be stabbed with a stick of ice. I guess you learn something new every day."
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