Shawn closed his eyes tight and complied a short list in his brain, a list of things he knew and further his decided list of suspects. Once he'd scared up everything he knew, he opened his eyes to a lobby filled with horrified people. He dramatically placed two fingers to his temple.
"Marylin Dawson! Mistress of murder! Or maybe Laila Neil! Housewife of terror!" Everyone stared at Shawn like he was crazy, but he seemed to be enjoying himself. The two women he'd called out gasped and looked offended, but Shawn kept pointing people out. "How about Max Neil? 'Let's play catch, Dad! Catch a bullet!'" Shawn considered this for a moment. "Well, he was poisoned." He waved the styrofoam cup, dripping last remenants of a fateful cup of cocoa. "But close enough." The teenaged boy in question looked shocked.
Shawn turned to Laila Neil. "You knew your husband was having an affair, didn't you?"
The woman bit her lip, fighting back tears. "Twenty six years of marriage and - and - a secretary!" Laila let out a sob. Gus went up to the woman and offered some comfort. "But I would never kill him! I loved him!" The newly widowed Laila dissolved into full on tears.
"So its the wife!" Gus blurted out. Shawn gave him a look.
"The bad news is . . . well. That's pretty rough." Shawn cleared his throat. "But the good news is, you're innocent!"
While everyone's attention was on Laila, Shawn turned to Gus. "She was still in the sanctuary after we left. There's no way she could have poisoned Roger's drink."
Gus nodded. "My money's on the affair."
They shook on it, then Shawn got back to business.
He turned to Marylin Dawson, and as he spoke, everyone in the lobby swung around with face her, like this was a sadistic low speed tennis game.
The blonde secretary quivered under the spotlight. All she could manage in reply was a little, "hmm?"
"Aww, come on. Twenty six years! He wasn't going to leave his wife for you!"
Marylin sniffed, tossing her pink scarf over her shoulder. "Never - in all my life -"
Shawn laughed. "Have you ever been accused of murder?" He put on a fake accent for the last bit. As with all his previous jokes, no one made a sound.
"Really? Come on, you guys - nevermind." Shawn sighed. "It wasn't you either."
He turned back to Gus. "Dumb bet! You were the one watching her the whole time she was in here!"
Gus made an irritated noise. "But Shawn. How'd you know who the affair was?"
"Did you know church ladies gossip a lot?" Shawn smiled. "That's two bucks, buddy. Like stealing lunch money from the scrawny, nerdy freshman we used to be."
"Speak for yourself."
"And the young Neil." Shawn went to cuff Max Neil, the insurance exec's son, on the shoulders, only thought better of it upon realizing that the twenty year old was at least a foot taller than him. "Yeah. You stand to inherit Dad's business, huh? Only it's falling apart?"
Max looked confused. Shawn gestured back to the body of the young man's father. The dead man's clothes looked as though they came from a thrift store. "Business must not be doing so hot."
Max shook his head. "No sir."
"Bet you think you could fix it up, huh?" Max said nothing.
"So it was the son!" said Gus, with finality.
"No, no, it wasn't him either." Shawn threw up his hands. Everyone in the room dissolved into confusion.
"Look at him. He's all tan. He has no intentions of taking a desk job," muttered Shawn.
"So, who was it?"
"Well, you know Roger. That means he must go to church every week. Which means the only person he'd ever tell about his affair would be -" Shawn smiled. "Well. Let's share with the class."
He raised his fingers to his temples again, squeezed his eyes shut, and shouted, "I'm getting a vision!"
The church-goers all turned to face him once again, in varying states of confusion, prayer, and agitation.
"It was -" Shawn pivoted on his heel, raising a finger to point at - "Pastor John."
Everyone in the lobby simulatenously made different noises of surprise and alarm.
"Roger Neil confessed his sin to you, Pastor." Shawn said, approaching the stately man. "Only he wouldn't correct it. So you fixed it for him."
The police burst in at this moment, and the whole twenty odd congregation burst into pandimonium. Shawn sauntered over to the cop at the head of the group. "Minister," he said, indicating Pastor John attempting to use the chaos to make his escape. The cop shouted at his blue clothed crew and tore after the minister.
Shawn sank back through the panicking crowds and leaned on a table next to Gus. "Perfect timing," he scoffed. "It's like you planned it."
Shawn snorted, then reached behind Gus and grabbed another brownie.