Recipe for Disaster

Posted: January 26, 2023 in Advice, Consulting, Experiences, Thoughts
Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday, I got a phone call from Dimples asking for my ‘special’ help. This particular case had stumped him and the other detectives for several days, and they’d decided it was time to call in the big guns… me. As the resident ‘psychic’ for the police, I get called in when nothing else seems to work, even though not all of the detectives are convinced that what I do is real.

Only Dimples knows the truth that I can read minds, which is just how I like it. Can you imagine how twitchy everyone would get if they knew I could hear their thoughts? It would be a disaster of epic proportions, so it’s much better to say I have premonitions. Still, it does make things a little awkward when I have to explain myself. I mean… premonitions aren’t quite the same thing, so I always have to tell them I have a feeling about someone or something that’s about to happen, and it can get a little confusing.

I walked into the department and Dimples sent me his biggest smile, mostly because he knew how mesmerizing I found his dimples. It was kind of like a reward for coming in to help him, so I couldn’t complain. If you saw his dimples, you’d totally understand… I mean… they’re huge and they’re always moving, like they have a personality all their own.

“Glad you could make it,” Dimples said. “Have a seat, and I’ll explain what’s going on.” I took my seat beside his desk and he began to tell me about the case. “There’s a person of interest we’ve been watching for the murders of a couple of women, but we don’t have enough evidence to get a search warrant.”

“Wait… like a serial killer?” I’d actually known a serial killer. In fact, I’d almost become one of his victims. I shook my head. “You know how I feel about those types of murderers… are you sure you need me?”

“Yes. If anyone can stop him, it’s you.” Since I wasn’t convinced, he kept talking. “Shelby… you know how they work. If we don’t stop him, he’ll keep killing people. You’ll be saving lives.”

I closed my eyes and let out a breath. “Ugh… I know, I know. I just hate being involved with them. Their minds are…” I glanced around to make sure no one could hear me and lowered my voice. “… like the cesspools of humanity. I always feel like I have to take a long shower afterwards, and I’m still not clean.”

“I understand it’s not pleasant, but we’ve run out of options.” He was thinking that taking an extra shower or two was worth saving someone’s life.

“Ouch… that hurt.”

He had the decency to lower his gaze. “Sorry… I forgot you’d hear that.”

“It’s fine. So what’s the plan?”

“I thought we’d visit him at his house and maybe you could pick up something. We’ll say it’s a follow-up, since we’ve talked with him before. I’ll tell him that we suspect one of his neighbors is acting suspiciously, and ask him if he’s seen anything unusual. It actually works pretty well since the guy told us about the neighbor in the first place.”

“Okay. Just make sure he invites us inside his house. If I can ask questions about his house, it will get him thinking about where he hid the bodies, or what he did with them.”

“I can do that. Let’s go.”

It didn’t take long before we were knocking on the suspect’s door. The curtain twitched before the door opened and a thirty-something man with a dark beard and longish hair stood in front of us. He wore glasses and jeans with a graphic t-shirt that drew my eye, mostly because of the slasher movie depicting dead people and lots of blood. That seemed a little obvious. Was that why the cops thought he was their killer?

“Hey Colton. I’m Detective Harris, and this is my colleague, Shelby Nichols. I was here the other day, and we have a couple of follow-up questions about your neighbor. Could we come in?”

His gaze darted to the side, like he was checking out the cleanliness of the living room, before he pulled the door open. “I guess. What did you need to know?”

Dimples asked him a couple of leading questions about his neighbor, while I glanced around the room. It was clean enough, but something was definitely off. Colton kept fidgeting, tapping his hands against his leg and rubbing his arms. It smelled like he was cooking some kind of meat dish, with lots of onions and garlic.

He finished answering the question, giving me an opportunity to speak. “You must be a good cook. What are you making that smells so good?”

Instead of relaxing, he got even more agitated. “Oh… it’s nothing exciting, just a beef stew recipe of my mom’s. I like to make it when I’m feeling lonely.”

“Oh… that makes sense. I take it you live here alone?”

“Yeah. My mom passed a few years ago.” He was thinking after I killed her.

I blinked. “Oh… I’m so sorry. You must miss her.”

He nodded. “Yeah… every now and then, but the stew helps me feel like she’s still here.” He was thinking it helped him lay the past to rest and get rid of the evidence at the same time.

My stomach clenched. Did that mean what I thought it meant? I swallowed and tried not to freak out.

Dimples glanced my way, noticing my white face, and wondering what was going on. Since I’d quit talking, he continued the conversation. “My wife makes a great stew, but it doesn’t smell as good as yours. Could I get your recipe?”

Colton’s eyes widened. No one had ever asked him that before. “Sure. In fact… I was just about to eat. Would you like to have some?”

I coughed to cover my gagging reflex. I couldn’t seem to stop and Dimples began to pound on my back. “Could I get… some… water?”

“Sure.” Colton left and I turned to Dimples.

“We can’t eat that… it’s people.”

Dimples’s eyes widened. “Like soylent green?”


“Never mind… I get it. I’ll figure something out.”

Colton came back with a glass and I took it. After a couple of swallows, I managed to talk. “Thanks. I’m feeling a little sick, so I’ll have to pass on the food, but thanks anyway.”

He looked a little disappointed, but nodded.

“I’d like some,” Dimples said, surprising me.

“Great. I’ll get you a bowl.” Colton hurried back to the kitchen.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I’ve got an idea.” Before Dimples could explain, Colton came back with a bowl of steaming stew and an eager twinkle in his eyes. He was thinking this was one for the history books. If anyone ever found out. Still… getting a cop to eat one of his victims was like the icing on the cake. “Here you go. I hope you like it.”

“Thanks.” Dimples stirred the stew and sniffed it. “It sure smells good… but it’s a little hot. I’d better give it a minute to cool down.”

I was ready to knock it out of hands. He glanced my way. “Shelby? Are you okay?”

I shook my head. “I think I’m going to be sick.” I wasn’t even lying this time.

“I’d better get you home.” He took my elbow and helped me stand. Then glanced at Colton. “Hey… do you mind if I take this with me?”

Colton’s mouth dropped open, but Dimples continued. “Thanks man. I’ll bring the bowl back.” He rushed me out of the house before Colton could protest. We practically ran all the way to the car. Somehow, I managed to get inside, and roll the window down for some fresh air. That would have worked just fine, but Dimples handed the bowl of stew to me so he could drive.

“Oh hell no.” A fresh wave of nausea rushed over me. “What are you doing?”

“That’s the evidence I need to nail him. Whatever you do, don’t puke.” He was thinking that the lab should be able to analyze the meat, and it would give him the evidence he needed to get a search warrant, or, even better, make an arrest.

I closed my eyes and held the bowl as far away from me as I could. Next, I leaned my face out the window so the cold air could blow over me. That seemed to do the trick, and my stomach settled a bit. Still, I didn’t dare open my eyes until we’d parked at the precinct and Dimples had taken the bowl from my hands.

“You coming?” he asked.

“Go ahead. I’ll be there in a bit.” It took a good ten minutes before I felt well enough to get out of the car. Dimples had taken the stew to the morgue, so I sat down and waited for him. By the time he got back, I had mostly recovered.

“Thanks Shelby. I know that was unpleasant, but I think we’ve got him.” He turned to the other detectives and told them what we’d discovered. I was fine until someone asked him if he’d tasted it.

“Gah! I’m going home.”

Dimples held back a chuckle and thanked me again. He said he’d let me know the results, and, in the meantime, they would be watching the house to make sure the guy didn’t leave town. He was hoping for an arrest tonight, or early tomorrow at the latest.

That was yesterday. This morning he called to tell me that he’d made the arrest and Colton was now behind bars. They’d found more evidence in the house, but I told him I didn’t want to know all the details. He was okay with that, but couldn’t help adding that he’d managed to take of photo of the stew recipe.

“Ugh!!” I hung up on him and tried not to puke.

So… I guess it all worked out, but seriously, I’ll never be able to eat stew again… probably for the rest of my life. Dimples told me catching the killer was worth it, and I guess he’s right. But please… if you ever invite me over for dinner… don’t make stew!

  1. bellhavenaolcom says:

    That was nauseatingly fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome and awful but I had to laugh as well as cringe and gag.


  3. Julia says:

    I really don’t know how she manage not to puke in the bowl. Its a good thing I don’t like stew at all. I did enjoy this short though.


  4. Arlene Werner says:


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ruby E Mendenhall says:

    Yummy tastes just like chicken NOT Puke City good story.


  6. Cheryl says:

    Absolutely grim but what a fab mini story! Can’t wait for my next Shelby hit (both blog and book!) 😁


  7. Linda Alice Trainor says:

    Yay πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ˜πŸ˜. Would Twilight be a helpful word for the new book?


  8. Paula Joseph says:



  9. CINDY Fisher says:

    This was so gruesome!! Great read as always!


  10. Martha Moreno says:

    cringe worthy but good as always


  11. Sian says:

    Oh man, I can’t even imagine. I think that would make me a vegetarian for life.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I know what you mean!


  13. Bentje Ott says:

    Oh,… oh, my…
    Now I’m very much relieved that my last stew was a vegan pumpkin stew…


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