DISCLAIMER: Charlie's Angels and its characters are the property of Spelling-Goldberg Productions. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
THANKS: to Debbie for the quick beta.
The Mysterious Case
"Kelly, I don't want to go this year. Every year we plot and scheme to finally meet Charlie in person, and every year our hopes are dashed as we just miss him," Sabrina complained to her lover.
"Oh come on, Bree. It'll be fun even if we don't get a glimpse of him. We have the night off, and we get to keep the costumes until Friday," Kelly replied in a teasing voice.
Sabrina pouted as she countered with the words, "We can still keep the costumes whether we go to the party or not. Besides, wouldn't you rather stay home and play cop and prisoner? We could even take turns being the prisoner." She stepped behind Kelly and pulled her into an embrace.
Kelly smiled at Sabrina's behavior as she offered her neck to her lover, while continuing to plead her case.
"C'mon, Bree. Charlie will be so disappointed if we don't go. Kris and Bosley are going."
Working her way up to a nearby ear, Sabrina replied, "But I'd much rather stay here and have you coming."
A soft moan left Kelly's lips, and she reluctantly moved away from her girlfriend to walk around the couch. Now that a barrier was between them, she stood a fighting chance.
"Bree, baby. I really want to go," Kelly whined as she changed tactics.
Sabrina looked over the couch at her pouting lover and couldn't help but smile. Kelly knew exactly how to play her, and Sabrina allowed her to do so.
"Okay, but if any of Charlie's friends try to pat you on the ass, we're out of there," Sabrina compromised.
Hours later, bored out of her skull, Sabrina sat in the corner nursing a drink while her lover chatted with what seemed like every eligible bachelor at the party and a few ineligible ones as well. Sabrina's only enjoyment was trying to figure out if any of the older gentlemen in the room were Charlie; that and watching Kelly move around in her skin tight prisoner costume.
"Hell, if the prisoners looked like that, I might still be a police officer," Sabrina muttered under her breath.
As the clock struck midnight, Sabrina was beyond ready to go; she'd only spent a grand total of thirty minutes with her lover since they arrived at eight sharp. She was just in the process of standing to go retrieve Kelly when Bosley suddenly appeared beside her.
"Sabrina, we've got trouble. Did you see the decorations Charlie put out on the front lawn?"
Nodding her head, Sabrina replied, "Yes, some of them were cute, but a few were rather disturbing."
"Well, it's one of the disturbing ones that's causing the trouble," Bosley responded, cryptically.
"What are you saying, Bosley?" Sabrina asked, as she motioned Kelly their way.
Bosley became very excited, whispering, "One of the dummies hanging from the trees isn't actually a dummy."
Kelly arrived in time to hear the last statement and asked, "What do you mean by not a dummy?"
"Kris is outside looking things over, but it seems that one of Charlie's security guards was out smoking by one of the trees, and, when he looked up at the hanging figure, he recognized the dummy as one of Charlie's exes, Joan Anderson. He immediately came into the house to get me," Bosley explained.
"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go check it out," Sabrina said as she made a move toward the side door.
"Wait!" Bosley shouted after the retreating women, "There's more."
"More? More than a dead body?" Kelly asked.
"You see that's the problem. The body part, that is. When I went out with John to confirm that the dummy was indeed Joan Anderson, she wasn't there," Bosley quickly explained.
"Bosley, you're not making any sense. Is there a body or isn't there?" Kelly asked the seemingly confused man.
"Yes, I mean no, er, why don't we go outside, and I'll show you," a flustered Bosley suggested.
The three individuals left the party through the side door and met up with Kris who was standing under a tree looking up at the nearest limb.
Kris nodded to her colleagues. "Oh good, you've found them. Kelly, Sabrina, what do you make of this?" She asked as the two women came to stand beside her.
"Make of what?" Kelly replied, hoping that someone would finally say something that made sense.
"Bosley, didn't you tell them what was going on?" Kris asked on the verge of frustration.
Noticing the tone of Kris' voice, Sabrina responded, "He tried, but he didn't exactly get his point across. Why don't you enlighten us?"
Pointing toward a limb, Kris said, "The security guard swears he saw one of Charlie's ex-wives hanging from that limb. At first, he thought it was funny that Charlie had used one of his exes as a model for the dummy, but when he reached up and touched her foot, he realized it was the real thing. He ran into the house to get Bosley, I was nearby, and so I followed to see what was going on. When we got out here, the body was gone."
Kris finished her explanation and glanced skeptically at the guard. With no body, she began to wonder if the guard was telling the truth.
Sabrina peered up at the limb and noticed something adhering to the bark near the top of the limb. Turning toward the nearby security guard, she asked, "Is there a ladder I could use to take a closer look at the limb?"
The guard quickly scurried away, glad to have something to do as he was beginning to question his own sanity. He returned within a few minutes and set the ladder up for Sabrina in hopes that she would find something to corroborate his story.
Climbing up to the top rung, Sabrina turned on the flashlight the guard had supplied and shone the light on the limb. She immediately noted the three sets of indentation marks, one wider than the other two. In fact, the smaller marks had cut deeply into the tree.
Sabrina finally found the object she had seen from the ground and gently pulled it from the bark. She held it up in front of the light and studied it closely. It appeared to be a piece of twine from a rope. Checking the underside of the limb, she found another filament, and, satisfied that there was no more evidence, she slowly climbed down the ladder.
Before Sabrina could show her colleagues what she had found, several police cars made their way toward them with lights flashing. Sabrina put the fibers in her pocket and instructed the security guard to put the ladder away.
The three angels and Bosley made their way to the edge of the drive to greet the officers, and Sabrina took the lead as she stepped up to the first car.
"Good evening, officer. What seems to be the problem?"
The policeman addressed Sabrina, "Evening, ma'am. Someone called in a murder at this address. The caller said that a woman had been hung from one of the trees in the front of the house, and that the owner was responsible."
"You're more than welcome to check out the hanging bodies, but I assure you, you're only going to find dummies," Sabrina smoothly replied.
"Sabrina!" Bosley objected.
"It's okay, Bosley. The officers are only doing their job," Sabrina calmly stated.
The officer motioned for the others to fan out and check the dummies in question while Kris, Sabrina, Kelly, and Bosley watched from the drive. The policemen were very thorough in checking each and every tree before returning to their cars, and one officer, in particular, kept flashing his light on the limb Sabrina had just checked out. He directed the light at various angles and was clearly disappointed not to find anything.
Finally, he walked back toward the lead officer and suggested, "I think we should check out the garage and surrounding area."
Sabrina opened her mouth to object, but the lead officer beat her to the punch.
"We don't have probable cause to conduct such a search. Besides, no one found anything. This is probably someone calling in a Halloween prank."
Turning toward Sabrina, he said, "Sorry for the inconvenience, ma'am, but we had to check it out. My apologies to the host."
The officers returned to their cars, and Sabrina kept a close eye on the suspicious officer. He took one final look at the tree, climbed back in his car, and slammed the door in anger.
When the cars had retreated down the drive and exited back onto the street, Sabrina turned to the others and said, "Something weird is going on here. That policeman expected to find something, and for some reason, he wanted to look in the garage area. I say we split up and check it out."
Sabrina and Kelly took the garage, and Bosley and Kris searched the exterior. The security guard acted as a look out for the four and promised to keep every one away from the search area.
"Bree, what exactly are we looking for?" Kelly asked her lover.
"I don't really know, honey, but that policeman seemed to think he would find something in here, or outside. Let's just look for anything out of place," Sabrina replied as she opened a closet door.
Sabrina yelled when a body fell out of the closet and landed at her feet.
Kelly rushed over and looked down at the body in question while Sabrina attempted to keep her heart in her chest. Turning the body over, Kelly sighed in relief when it quickly became apparent it was just another dummy.
Hearing Sabrina's yell, Kris and Bosley rushed into the garage to find the two women standing over the dummy. Kelly noticed their entrance and said, "Look who came out of the closet."
Sabrina's head quickly snapped up, and she immediately turned red at the comment, but the newcomers paid no attention to the embarrassed angel as they moved over to stand next to Kelly.
"Do you think this was what the security guard saw?" Kris asked her colleagues.
"No, he said he touched her on the foot. I think he'd know if it was just a dummy," answered Kelly, reaching down to grab hold of the foot in question.
Realizing the others hadn't misconstrued her lover's earlier comment, Sabrina turned her focus back to the situation at hand. Bending down to the dummy, she noticed the noose still wrapped around its neck.
Reaching into her pocket, she removed the evidence she'd collected from the tree and compared the filaments with the rope.
"Hey, these fibers could very well have come from this rope so I think this dummy had been hanging from the limb, but I'd sure like to find whatever caused the deep grooves in the tree because there's no way this rope could do that much damage," Sabrina noted.
Kris jumped in as if suddenly remembering something, "Oh, Bosley and I found an area where the grass was beat down, and it looked like something heavy had been drug across it. The tracks lead right to the edge of the garage. I bet you anything the path was caused by this dummy."
Leaving the dummy behind, the four decided to follow the path to try to find the point of origin. Additional flashlights were found on the workbench in the garage so each person grabbed one on their way out. With Kris leading the way, the other three directed their light on either side of the worn path.
Five minutes later, they were standing under the tree where everything first began.
"How did we miss this earlier?" Sabrina asked, upset that a very big clue had been overlooked.
Shrugging her shoulders, Kelly answered, "Probably because we were focused on the limb."
"Okay, well, it's apparent that someone took the dummy down from the tree and dragged it to the garage before stuffing it in the closet," Kris surmised.
Studying the ground below the limb, Sabrina said, "Look, there are several indentations in the ground that appear to be caused by the ladder. I'd say someone used the same ladder I did when I climbed up earlier."
"Hey, Bree? What's that shining up on the higher limb?" Kelly asked her lover.
Sabrina directed her light on the area, and the other three automatically shone their lights alongside hers. Halfway from the end of the higher limb was some sort of metal contraption.
"That looks like a harness to me," Sabrina observed.
Kris nodded her head and concurred, "It does to me, too."
"You know what I think? I think this whole thing has been staged to make it appear that Joan Anderson had either committed suicide or been murdered. Someone is trying to make Charlie look bad," Sabrina explained to her colleagues.
Kelly stood next to her lover and wholeheartedly agreed with the assessment.
"I think Sabrina's right, and I believe it's time to fill Charlie in on the situation."
The angels and Bosley made their way to the house and headed for the library where Bosley agreed to set up communications between the three women and Charlie.
Several minutes later, Sabrina and Kelly sat on the couch while Kris occupied a nearby chair. Bosley stood at the desk, fiddling with the speaker attached to the nearby phone.
Suddenly, Charlie's voice filled the silence in the room, "Good evening, Angels, or should I say good morning."
The women exchanged greetings with their boss before Sabrina took over the conversation.
"Charlie, we've got a problem that you need to be aware of," Sabrina said to start things off.
"What seems to be the problem?" The voice from the speaker asked.
Sabrina quickly explained the situation and offered her opinion of what transpired during the night. The others voiced their support of the theory when Sabrina had finished her thorough description of the night's activities.
There was a slight pause in the conversation as everyone waited for Charlie's response, and when he finally voiced a question, it was not what the others expected to hear.
"So, have you had a good time tonight, Sabrina?"
Confused, Sabrina asked, "Excuse me, Charlie?"
A light laugh flowed through the speaker, and Charlie repeated, "I asked if you had a good time at the party."
"Well, um, I guess so," a flustered Sabrina answered.
"Ah, Sabrina. I've noticed these past few years that you've not enjoyed yourself so I decided to add a little something extra to the party this year," Charlie offered.
Glancing at her colleagues who seemed just as bewildered as she was, Sabrina said, "Um, Charlie? I'm not exactly sure what you mean."
This time a full laugh filled the room, and Charlie replied, "Oh, Sabrina. I had Bosley cook up this little scenario tonight so that you wouldn't be so bored. Although, I have to admit that I'm glad you're on our side because you solved this case well before dawn. Just so you know, Bosley was sworn to secrecy, and he was the only one who knew what was going on tonight. Although, Joan was tickled pink that she was asked to participate in the prank. Of course, I offered to pay for her vacation to Hawaii if she helped out."
Kelly and Kris began to smile which soon turned to laughter, and Bosley was relieved that the two women weren't upset by Charlie's Halloween prank. Now, he could only hope that Sabrina felt the same way.
The dark haired angel listened to the laughter in the room, but somehow, she couldn't find it in herself to join in as she internally chastised herself for falling for the bogus case.
Kelly was the first to notice that Sabrina had not reacted in kind to Charlie's news, and she knew that Sabrina was kicking herself for so easily becoming a pawn in the plan.
Standing, she walked over to her lover and whispered in her ear, and Sabrina stood stock-still as the words slowly filtered into her brain. Slowly, she began to smile, and Bosley sighed in relief.
"Good one, Charlie, but next time, I promise to enjoy myself without the drama," Sabrina said with a laugh.
More conversation was exchanged, and the angels finally decided to call it a night. Saying their good-byes to Bosley and Charlie, they made their way to their respective cars. Since Kris' car was the closest, Kelly and Sabrina made sure it started and that she was on her way before they began the walk to their vehicle.
Opening the door for her lover, Sabrina shut it and walked around to the driver's seat. Settling in behind the wheel, she turned to her lover and posed the question she'd been dying to ask since Kelly whispered in her ear.
"You weren't kidding, right? We get to use the handcuffs?"
"Yes, Bree. I think you deserve a reward for being so good about Charlie's prank."
Thankful that she and Kelly had the day off; Sabrina put the car in gear and managed to break every speed limit on the way back to their apartment.
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