DS Percy Worple nodded to DC Kate Perkins who waited by the entrance to the Cabaret Lounge.
‘What’s the story?’
‘Not sure. Caller said something about the Crimea and someone being cold blooded.’
‘Russian mafia killing? Just what we need.’
Kate titled her head to a poster. ‘It’s meant to be a Magical Talent Show.’
Percy wrinkled his nose. ‘Ok. Let’s find out.’
Inside the front door the officers showed their warrant cards to the white faced doorman who couldn’t speak.’
‘You ok?’ To Kate he looked frozen. She had to resist the urge to touch his face.
His eyes directed them towards the club room.
Percy strode ahead. ‘Pretty undemonstrative.’
‘More like petrified.’
They glanced at each other and squared their shoulders. Inside the tables and chairs were randomly scattered. Glass crunched under their feet. To their left a crowd of terrified faces peered over the bar like targets at a fairground.
On the stage, sitting on a stool in the spotlight, a man with a wand and wearing slightly tired looking evening dress appeared to be talking to a six foot long lizard. Only the reptile had the face of the manager.
Percy looked from one to the other. ‘What on earth happened?’
‘I was taking audience suggestions for one part of my act. Novelty chimeras. Someone said make him a lounge lizard. So I did.’ He tried a smile. ‘It will wear off. Eventually.’
Kate bent to the manager. ‘You ok? Anything we can get you?’
The manager flicked out his tongue. ‘I’m a bit peckish, what will all this changeling malarkey.’
Kate looked at Percy who stood back and raised his hands. ‘Hey, I’m the one who’s the sergeant here. I’ve no flies on me.’