The television flickered, putting a
ghostly light in the semi darkened bedroom, the sound a low buzz of
voices and music. At the foot of the bed, Bruno sighed in his sleep,
nose twitching. He shifted closer to the slender bare legs along his
“It’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights—“
The one person on the bed shifted a little, mumbling, burrowing into a pillow.
"It’s time to put on makeup. It’s time to dress up right—“
The phone rang.
Sleepily, Sara made her way into work, not happy to be called in on her night off, but aware that the Henson case was hers. Yawning, she made her way in an noted that Judy looked a bit different today—a little more
. . . cuddly.
Sara waved to her and moved down the hall, towards Grissom’s office.
“Hey Grissom—“ she called, opening the door. He wasn’t there. Frowning, Sara turned and headed for the labs, feeling a little uneasy—as she approached the blinked. There WAS someone behind the counter of the Chem Lab--someone shorter and . . . fuzzier. The glasses looked familiar, as did the lab coat.
“Sara—“ came the odd voice; higher, but with familiar inflections. “Sorry to call you in, but here at CSI labs, I’ve been working on something that should be of genuine interest to you. I’ve invented a machine that can turn old latex gloves into Tofu burgers!”
With astonishment, Sara watched as the big fuzzy beige hands twiddled with a box full of knobs. She cleared her through, “Um . . . are you sure that’s . . . safe?”
“Absolutely! Greg, come here a minute—“he called. Immediately another figure popped up, cowering a little. Sara bit her lip as Grissom pushed a button and immediately the entire box went up in flames.
Greg gawked at the fire and meeped, looking twice as frantic as he usually did.
Sara glanced around the lab, but the fire extinguisher that normally hung near the door was gone, so she darted out of the lab, looking for another. She swung around the doorframe and looked into Trace One, where a cynically amused glance met hers.
“Where’s the fire, hon?” came the low voice.
“Uh, next door, actually—“ Sara blurted. “Catherine—why are you . . .?”
“—Dressed up like the Queen of Hearts? Part of that Wonderland Casino case. Nick’s got a reenactment in mind. I think Hodges has an extinguisher—“
“Right,” Sara nodded, trying not to stare, but feeling more confused by the minute. She shifted and looked across the hall to where Hodges worked. In the Chem Lab there were louder meeping now, and the smell of slightly singed felt.
Sara crossed the hall. “Hodges—“ she began, then stopped at the gruesome sight before her.
Lined up on the table were several . . . heads. Hodges stood behind them, looking proud of himself.
“Ah, Sara, you’re just in time to catch my quick rendition of ‘Lady of
Spain’“ he assured her. “In the key of Tangerine and Carnation flat in fact.”
“You can’t be serious. Those are . . . HEADS,” Sara growled at him. One of the pink ones mouthed, ‘help us!’ to her. Hodges frowned.
“I’m not a cruel man—“ he began, only to be interrupted by a figure looming over Sara’s shoulder. She glanced up to see the dour face glaring into the lab.
“Shocking . . . but why am I not surprised,” came the low, disappointed rumble of Ecklie’s voice. “The depths this shift won’t go to—“
Sara bit her lips, feeling a laugh building up. She carefully unhooked the fire extinguisher from the wall and carried it back to the Chem Lab.
Greg was fairly charred by now, and Grissom had dumped something on him that should have been water but was in fact a bucket of herrings that slithered across the floor. Feeling a little disoriented, she sidestepped the wriggling fish and backed her way out after handing the extinguisher to Grissom.
She made her way down the hall and peeked into the morgue; Robbins was there, catching up on some paperwork. He looked up and waved at her.
Sara passed the Interrogation room, where Brass—with more hair than he’d ever had—was interrogating a bunch of bellboys. Or bellrats as it were. She shook her head. Brass nodded at her and went back to questioning his little group.
“I’ve got to get a grip—“ Sara murmured to herself. “A serious grip.” She shook her head and turned, working her way back to the front of the building.
She made it back to the reception area when she heard the sheriff’s voice, and that of Sam Braun. Looking around, Sara wondered where they were.
“Up here, Miz Sidle. I guess it’s no surprise we’re over your head—“ Sam Braun called.
“Good one,” The sheriff complimented him, waggling his grey eyebrows. “I guess that’s why we call them ‘underlings’, eh?”
As the two old men cackled, Sara fought the urge to flip the pair of them off, and strode out the doors. As she did so her cell phone rang—
The phone rang.
Sara sat up, blinking, blindly groping for the nightstand and feeling a sense of relief. “Bu-Bunsen?” she muttered into the phone, noting the time on the clock.
“Your one and only Honeydew,” came Grissom’s soft chuckle. “Don’t tell me—you fell asleep half-way through the show again, didn’t you?”
Sara grinned, and began to get dressed.