Case of the Crooked EX
Authors Note: This is a story I have been working on for a close friend, the idea came to me after watching a recent episode of the TV show Fringe where one of the main characters, Walter weaves an enchanting story using many elements of his own life. It is a detective story set in the mold of 40's and 50's detective story style or crime nior I believe and so I tried to do the same since I enjoyed the episode and the idea. Now writing in first person present is not my strong suit so there are going to be slip ups many of which I am trying to catch in the editing process but hey it is all for fun so I hope you enjoy.
The Case of the Crooked Ex, Heather's Story
It was snowing outside, the type of big wet snow flakes that makes driving dangerous and people cranky. I stared at the snow as it fell outside my office window, it’s the type of night that poets and romantics call beautiful but to me this is the type of night that always brings trouble my way. I turn back around in my chair to face my desk, a glass of single malt scotch getting warm and watered down on one side, a newspaper beside it. I hadn’t had a case in a couple of weeks and I knew if there ever was a night when I would get one this would be the night. I never seem to get a case during the bright light of a sunny day, no, bad weather seemed to be the thing to drag people out and make them seek out my help.
I loosen my tie a bit more and unbutton my collar, leaning back in my chair a little bit more as I pick up the newspaper to read more about the crime spree that seemed to be gripping the town. Things were getting bad out there, so bad even cats were getting shot and this town might be a lot of things but cruel to animals wasn’t one of them at least not before. I steal a glance at the glass of scotch, debating whether or not to finish it. I choose not to and flip the paper up in front of my face reading about some murder by the river. My view is completely obscured, looking back maybe that should have been a sign.
“Ah-um is this the dump where I can find detective Josh Barron?”
The voice was sweet but with an edge to it the kind you hear from a woman that is tough but knows that she can get as much as she wants with honey as she can with her will. I bring the corners of the paper down and in so I can look over the top edge. Framed in the bright light from my outer office is what I can only describe as what God must have intended a woman to look like. She had dark brown hair with auburn highlights that fell past her shoulders in loose curls. The melting snow gave it just enough of a wet look that it almost glistened. Her five foot six frame was curvy in all the right places and the dress she was wearing showed off just enough to get my interest and hold it. Her deep brown eyes had certain hardness to them but also something else, some bit of sadness and fear, a glimmer of vulnerability. She pulled a lit cigarette from between her soft red lips holding it in a gloved hand, its mate resting on her hip, further showing off some curves that I wouldn’t mind exploring.
“You going to answer a girl or just continue starring, cause I can get what you’re doing at the local gin joint.”
I lay the paper down and lean back further, “Who wants to know?” I have found that a certain degree of attitude is expected by people when dealing with a private detective and even a gorgeous woman isn’t going to change how I operate.
She raises an eyebrow and then takes a long pull off her cigarette before walking over and placing both hands on the front of my desk. Damn, there is just something about a woman wearing full length black gloves, gloves that disappear into the sleeves of her coat that drives me wild. She slowly exhales in my face and I try to avoid looking like it bothers me.
“Look buddy either tell me if this is the place to find Barron or I’m going to give you something to stare at.”
“Lose the smoke dollface, yeah I’m Barron, what can I do for you Miss?”
She takes another long pull on that cigarette, I’m not into smoking but I have never wanted to be a cigarette more in my life. She exhales again before taking a stray piece of tobacco off her top lip and then shaking her head a bit to send her hair off her left shoulder and back down her right. The smell of jasmine and honeysuckle from her hair was more overpowering than the smoke from her cigarette.
“Stroble, Heather Stroble, Mr. Barron and I need your help.”
I slowly let my chair back down and get up, walking around to the front of my desk. I sit down on the edge and pull the cigarette from her hand, dropping it on the floor and grinding it out with my left foot before leaning in close to her. The smell of her perfume and her hair almost making me forget to play my tough guy role, the heat between us is almost palpable, every inch of me is screaming kiss her.
“Dollface what makes you think I have the time or the desire to help you.”
She fixes me with those hard brown eyes, her hand on her hip again looking defiant, like she was thinking about slapping me in the face and then the look softened. “Because Mr. Barron,” she says as she opens her purse and pulls out her cigarette case, “my ex-husband wants me dead and if you don’t help me I’ll be dead by tomorrow.”
Well that’s just plain dirty pool; she knows I can’t resist that type of case. She flashes me those brown eyes again only this time they are soft and warm and inviting and they draw me in. She is trying to light the cigarette she had just finished pulling from her cigarette case and tapping on the top of it, I take the lighter from her hand and throw the cigarette in the trash.
“Sit down Mrs., Stroble and tell me all about it”