Iris

Submitted by Elliott Laurence to Contest #9 in response to: Write a story that uses flowers as a symbol.... view prompt

Iris


Arriving at the townhome of Frank and Alaina Macey in his Sunday best, a blue three-piece Alfani suit, with black Alfani shoes, dark blue shirt and a white tie, Orion would miss half of Sunday service for the third week in September. Orion states. “So, once again, a blue iris is left at the scene. Have you found the white iris yet.” 

 

“And who are you?” asks police Captain, Sierra Shaffer.

“Orion Sunn. I ride along with various police departments around the metro area. I’m a writer.”

“You mean a journalist.”

“I freelance, ghostwrite. I’d like to help you with that memoir you’re writing?”

“I bet you would, journalist,” replies Captain Shaffer. “You the mayor’s idea?”

“Police chief, actually,” replies Detective Kellen Wright. “Well--Orion Freelance,” continues Wright. “Here we go again the symbol of faith and hope.”


“Okay. So let’s go over it again for clarity,” states Orion. “The iris itself denotes eloquence. The blue faith and hope. The purple iris stands for wisdom. The yellow symbolizes passion. And as usual…”


“The white a symbol of purity,” adds Detective Wright. 

“So we’re likely mirroring the DeLaurentiis case,” says Orion.

“Likely,” replies Det. Wright.

“So where’s the body?” asks Orion.


The theft occurred just over three months ago on the 4th of July. While Naomi DeLaurentiis was with her son, daughter and extended family at her husband’s funeral. The thief entered their home in Decatur, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, and stole the famous painting “Iris Tulips Jonquils and Crocuses” a work of icon Alma Thomas.  In its place on the DeLaurentiis wall, the thief left a blue iris. This wasn’t the only place the iris flower played a part. The white iris was left in the office of Leyton DeLaurentiis, Mrs. DeLaurentiis' husband, on the sill of the bay window. Leyton was found dead at 8:03 in the evening seven days ago. Cause of death? A lethal dose of poison from the iris flower.


*****

Back at the Macey Townhome--

“There is no body. The townhome is empty,” replies Det. Wright. “When the owner came home the door was wide open. There was nothing out of place. Nothing taken.”

 

“And the only thing that did not belong was this blue iris on the front door?” adds Orion.


“That’s it,” answers Det. Wright. “Mrs. Macey calls us because she’s afraid someone’s likely still in the home. She relays to dispatch there’s a blue flower on her front door. Dispatch immediately sends a uniform out, then informs me because I’m lead on the case. I arrive and the uniform is trying to do all he can to question her, as well as, keep her from leaving the scene.”


“Where was she going in such a rush ?” inquires Orion.


“When she had called her husband to ask why he left the door open. His co-workers told her that he had been taken to the hospital.”


“Slip and fall?” asks Orion. “Or you’re thinking he’s been poisoned like DeLaurentiis.”


“Yeah, I’m thinking he, like DeLaurentiis, is likely been given a lethal dose of the iris flower.”


“No doubt when we get to his place of business we’re going to find the white iris we’re looking for--in his office, in his truck, on the window.”


Orion asks, “what is he trying to make pure? Assuming it is a he. What is he, or she, trying to make righteous?”


“Don’t know,” replies Det. Wright frowning, shaking his head and looking around the room. I think we’ll find out when we find  Ms.Thomas’ painting, and ask the thief why they took it. There’s no word of it trying to be sold. Plus why the need to punish the DeLaurentiis family. And why punish the Macey family and possibly murder Frank Macey.”


After Naomi DeLaurentiis returned from her husband Leyton’s funeral. It would be half an hour at least before she went to take in the view on her deck and relax and think about how she was going to move forward without her confidant and business partner. It was when she was contemplating her next steps did she notice that the painting--Iris Tulips Jonquils and Crocuses-- was missing from her wall and the blue iris sealed in plastic was hanging in its place. Naomi reported it missing. She loved the painting, but she figured no big loss since it was a fake. She’d simply get another replica. But when the curator and Detective Kellen Wright went to Washington D.C. to check on the famous painting they found that the National Museum of Women in the Arts was displaying the fake Leyton DeLaurentiis had purchased for his wife on their second wedding anniversary. So the real painting is lost. 


*****

Detective Kellen Wright’s car en route to the VA Hospital. 

“You think we’re going to lose this second victim, Frank Macey?” asks Orion.


“Hopefully not, for Mrs. Macey’s sake. She says they’re doing all they can to make ends meet as it is. The loss of her husband” she said, “would send her and the kids spiraling into poverty in two to three months.”


“What about insurance?” asks Orion.

“What if it’s suicide?” asks Det. Wright. “What, if like Mr. DeLaurentiis, it’s poison from the iris flower. We’re still trying to figure out who killed Leyton DeLaurentiis. Naomi DeLaurentiis is the prime suspect, so far. Did she do it? Did she have her husband murdered? And the same for Alaina Macey. What hidden talents might she have that she could cook up the mixture to off her husband.”


“I don’t see the DeLaurentiis kids knocking off their father. They both have signed letters of intent to a major university. The son to the University of Georgia for football. The daughter’s letter of intent to play soccer at the University of North Carolina. At the same time that doesn’t place them outside of the realm of possibility to administer the toxin to their father. What about the Macey’s kids?” 


“No,” says Det. Wright. “It’s Fall break next week and they're out of town. Besides they’re six and eight and more likely to set the neighborhood on fire Mrs. Macey told me...Officer Torrey. What’s the status of Mr. Macey?”


“Sir, I was just about to call you. Frank Macey was pronounced dead about a minute ago, 1:38 PM. Mr. Macey was sweating, shivering and non-responsive when he was brought in, but the nurse stopped short of saying he died from a high concentration of plant poisoning.









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