The following is an excerpt from “The Strange Case of Dr. Pepper & Mr. Pibb,” a new thriller by Det. Nick Denton, republished here with permission from Caffeine Free Diet Coke™.
It was 9 o’clock at night and the first fog of the season, and Dr. Mylton Pepper was dead. I’d gone for a walk to reminisce on the hilarious times we shared together (like that one time he ate an entire bag of other bags), but was interrupted by the sight of a shadowy figure with the posture of a question mark. I’d seen him before — maybe it was at Wayne Reed Drugs, or the G Spot (a Godless place where my ex-wife bought all the toys she would eventually run away to Bermuda with, may she go to Hell). Anyway, the man danced as if one foot was stuck in a bear trap while the other gracefully completed what the U.S. Figure Skating Association calls the Biellmann position. I’ll cut to the chase. A paparazzo jumped from the bushes to photog the whole thing, and the flash made everything clear: not only was Dr. Pepper still alive (!), but the excitement had turned Pepper’s usual butyraceous face into the disfigured, raging mug of his monstrous alter ego: Mr. Pibb — To Be Continued.