Bambino and Cleveland by Duffy Brown

Bambino and Cleveland here…I’m the adorable black furball and Cleveland is the one on the pillow. We are here on Mackinac Island in a bike shop owned by Rudy and now that chick, Evie Bloomfield.

Mackinac Island is a for real island located where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron and it’s like the 1800s with no cars. Everything here is horses and bikes and parades for the tourists we call fudgies ‘caue they buy ten-tons of the stuff each year.  Between you and me the place should be called Paradise for Dentists or Where Weight Watchers comes to die.

The parades have bands and music and famous people like George Washington, Betsy Ross…you get the picture. Well, Rudy takes on the character of Mark Twain and Twain had cats named Cleveland and Bambino so you get how we got out names.  Of course the two of us are much cuter than the original Cleveland and Bambino.

We hang out a lot on the pool table in the bike shop. I know, what is a pool table doing with bikes? Well it’s only here in the summer months when the fudgies are in town crowding up the place.

In the winter the table is at the Mustang Lounge, the watering hole for locals. When the snow’s falling…and it sure does fall here on the island…the five-hundred locals who stay here all winter congregate at the Stang, drink beer, eat fried green beans and shoot pool. When the fudgies come back in the summer the Stang is sooooo busy they have to move the pool table up here to Rudy’s Rides to make room.

Mackinac may seem like the island throwback kind of place where everything is sublime. We do have reenactments at the fort and even fire off cannon and have musket firing demonstrations. But there’s the dirty little underbelly like any other town and here it just happens to be murders.

It hasn’t always been this way till Evie moved here. Seems she’s got this black cloud and attracts murder like a giant magnet. You think I jest. Ha! Three murders in as many years kind of says it all, and this time there’s two at a time. One body out at the freight dock with a bottle of Champagne clutched in his cold dead hands and one up at the fort when that musket practice took a turn for the deadly.

Are the two deaths…a real Tandem Demise…related? How can they not be? Did our local police chief do the dirty deeds to keep his past in the past? What’s the connection and how can we find the killer on the downlow? Letting the cat out of the bag that there’s a murderer loose on the island is a real buzz-kill for business and has the fudgies running for the docks and getting the heck out of here.

We can keep the Champagne bottle dead guy quiet as it was out of the way at the freight docks and we passed off death-by-musket guy as part of the reenactment. Actually it did get a great round of applause. As you can see it’s shaping up to be another crazy autumn on Mackinac Island. Sure wish you were all here to visit. If you come, bring tuna…lots of tuna. Bambino and I love the stuff.

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