The Return of Eduardo: Burt Macklin Saga, Chapter 3

Macklin stood in front of the giant poster board filled with yarn and Google Image printouts. Janet had called the whole thing “unecessary” and “a waste of printer paper” and “damn it, Macklin, we could literally just write this down on a legal pad.” But she didn’t understand, how could she? She’d been kicked out of every fancy private school in the Midwestern United States- but she’d never been through Quantico.

“Dennis Feinstein.” He pressed his index finger against the photo, leaving behind a ghostly cheeto-powder print. “Six months ago he tweeted that he was going to make a new cologne using Raptor Phermones called ‘Clever Girl’ but your grandfather shot down his sizeable offer.”

Janet Snakehole pulled a packet of candy cigarettes from her pocketbook, tapping one against the inside of her slender wrist and gently placing it into an old-timey cigarette holder.

“No, it wouldn’t have been him.” She exhaled, knocking imaginary ash with her finger.

“Marcia and Marshall Langman, who called the Park a ‘Lesbian Hellscape’ upon finding out that all the animals in the park are females.”

“Too poor.”

“Doctor Saperstein, who recently tried to make his own version of Jurassic Park by making his two adult children dress up in dinosaur costumes and trespass on Pawnee Commons.”

“Nah.” She was attempting to light her cigarette now.

“There’s something you’re not telling me, Snakehole.” Macklin leaned forward, pulling the bubblegum cigarette from her mouth. “And I have ways of making people talk.”

Janet Snakehole shifted uncomfortably under his gaze, fingering the filigree of the heavy wooden office chair.

We spared no expense,” she heard her grandfather say in his thick accent.

“I don’t know who would want the Dinosaur DNA, Burt, I swear! It could be anyone. Judy Hitler, a business rival, North Koreans!” She brushed a lock of espresso hair behind her ear and attempted to regain her composure.

Burt chuckled to himself. She was almost too easy to crack. He could feel the truth starting to bubble to the surface, like the time he boiled marbles to make sure his stove was working. It had been, but had not succeeded in making the marbles soft.

A deep rumble from the tyrannosaur paddock settled across the island before she finally spoke.

“It’s too shameful, Burt. You’d never look at me the same way again.” She looked up at him through thick eyelashes. Her eyes always gave him the sensation of too much peanut butter in his mouth and too many uncooked marbles in his belly.

“Focus, Macklin,” He had to remind himself.

“Janet Snakehole,” he felt her name in his mouth, remembering the first night they met. She’d approached him in a smoky, dark dive- she’d seemed to come out of nowhere. And right into his heart. “A rich widow with a dark secret… How dark could that secret be, Janet?”

“I’m not a widow, Burt!” she pulled a long chain from under her dress, on the end was a ring with a massive cushion-cut diamond flanked by two sapphires the color of Burt’s tongue when he ate too many Jolly Ranchers.

For a moment he wasn’t sure what to say.

“I have a chain like that too,” he replied cooly. “I use it because I kept losing my keys because everyone forgot to tell me which one of my pants had a hole in the pocket.”

“My husband never died in that mysterious boating-fire. He ran away to Venezuela with half my trust fund! And now he’s back to steal the very park Grandpapa died building!” She buried her face in her long, elegant fingers.

“You don’t have to tell me everything, Janet, at least not yet,” He said reassuringly. “Let’s just start with his name. Can you tell me that?”

“Eduardo.”

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