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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

Shirley H. and the Connected Crimes

October 12, 2023
Cameron Fowler 

Encore Expiration

Cameron Fowler 

“Tragedy strikes the Allegro Club as Kaisa Lawson, famed contrabass player, member of the band Cacophony Symphony, and fiery member of the famous Lawson family has been found dead. During the rehearsal night last evening, a stage light crushed her right as her signature song was about to begin. Cacophony Symphony has cancelled their concert today, as investigations are underway. The band has requested that Hamview’s famous detective Shirley H. address the scene-” 

Shirley shut off the TV and took a moment to think. Today was supposed to be her day of relaxation, courtesy of Gloria Puff, but it seems she would have to do more work solving another case. With a quick breath in, she put on her coat, left her apartment, and made her way to the Allegro Club. Thankfully, it wasn’t that far of a walk from her apartment. All the while, Shirley checked her phone; there weren’t any messages from Hercules, Parvath, or Aimi about the case. Shirley dismissed this as a one-time thing but couldn’t shake the pit in her stomach. 

As she arrived at the Allegro club and was let in, she was immediately met with a man she hadn’t seen and didn’t want to see for a very long time.  

“Caiaphas, it’s been a while.” The man, who was facing away, turned around. He was very similar in appearance to Shirley, allowing many to rightfully guess that they were related. The man, Caiaphas, smiled. 

“Oh, my dear little sister, how wonderful it is to see you!” He beamed, although Shirley didn’t buy his smile for a single moment. “I haven’t talked with you in so long? Why have you not answered any of my calls?” 

“Because I blocked your number so I wouldn’t have to listen to your annoying voice,” Shirley scoffed. “As much as I would love to talk with you, I have a case to investigate,” Shirley stated flatly as she pushed past him and ignored what he had to say next. 

The Allegro club was much different than Bear’s Belly Bar, as the décor was more focused on music, with records framed on walls, photos of record signings sat next to trophies in cases, and even some memorabilia of certain musicians hung up as well. In the center of the room was the stage, where currently a body was covered up with a white cloth. Shirley made her way to the door of the backstage and knocked before entering.  

What her eyes saw was a somber band. Due to their immense popularity, Shirley was able to identify them without the help of Hercules. The one sitting in the middle with the drumsticks was Kayla Kistner, the drummer well known for her “shark-tooth” smile. On her left sat Varro and Hala Lawson, who played violin and flute, respectively. On her right was Salina Simmons, who played the keyboard. Further down was lead singer Victor Viscovian and his partner Damokles, who played bass guitar. The band, though well known for their eccentric nature and bright smiles, showcased neither at the time. A quick scan of the room also had Shirley meet the gaze of Andrus Lawson, who was burly enough to carry the double bass with ease. He was in the corner of the room, delicately holding Kaisa’s contrabass, as if it would shatter into pieces. Tears slowly fell down his face, striking Shirley with a feeling of sadness, which turned into a motivator to solve this case. With furrowed brows, she turned back towards the main group. 

“Since you requested me on the news, I don’t need to introduce myself and I already know you guys since you’re all a part of a very popular band. Tell me what happened last night,” Shirley spoke straight to the point. 

“We always perform a night before the actual performance,” Victor spoke, “Ya know, to work out any technical kinks n’ whatnot. We were setting up for the main performance when Kaisa stepped up. There was a weird metallic sound and suddenly we hear a crunch sound. Since I was in front, I turned around and…saw her…” Victor didn’t finish what he was saying but Shirley knew what he meant. 

“Did Kaisa have any enemies?” Shirley asked. 

Hala spoke up. “We sometimes had spats with her, as she was known for her short fuse, but never something deadly!” 

“I was one of those people,” Kayla spoke up. “I had a sort of prank war with her, but I never wanted her dead!” 

“Did she hate anyone?” Shirley asked. 

“Well,” began Salina, “We have two technicians, Zhane and Erickson, and she HATED Erickson so much. The guy was super obsessed with her, to like a bad point, y’know? If you check the trash,” Salina jutted a finger to the trashcan, “You can find confession letters and roses that he tried to give her.” 

“Any others?” 

“She didn’t seem to like our guard, Xander,” Damokles spoke up. “Erickson gave her a drink last night and she just pawned it off to him, but I don’t think it was out of malice at all.”  

Shirley processed this before asking two more questions. “Do you know who was in charge of the lights last night, and where was your guard during all of the commotion?” 

“Zhane was,” Varro confirmed. “But he told us he wasn’t feeling good, so Erickson had to take over. As for Xander, we found him sound asleep at his post at the door. He’s usually wide awake, so to see him asleep is crazy. Why do you ask? Do you think he did it?” 

Shirley was silent for a moment before speaking. “He’s a possibility, but I really just needed a clarification.” As she turned, the door to the main room opened, revealing Caiaphas. 

“Figured it out little sister?” He teased mockingly. Shirley walked by him with a scoff. 

“Most certainly, and without any of your help, that’s for sure.” 

Who do you think committed the crime? 



  1. Encore-Eradication-concert. What happens when the show can’t go on? Photo taken by Laura Stanley on Pexels. 
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