Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Detective

"Henry! Henry!" Phoebe's head stuck out of the third floor window. "Henry!" she called again, but he kept walking away from her. Even from the street, I could see her body shutter, her angst shaking her more than the cool autumn wind. She continued to stand there, staring at the path he had taken. Looking down the street, I couldn't see him anymore and assumed that he must have turned by the Johnson and Son's Family Grocer.

Phoebe continued to stand in the window. I could hear her crying now. It sounded guilty. Still I watched her, the silky white night gown clingy softly to her body. She was gorgeous, but every fellow in these parts knew that. Pulling her robe around her, she stood up tall, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. I noticed that her cherry red lips were still quivering. I licked my lips just thinking about them.

She closed her window and moved more to the interior of the house. That's when I made my move. Dropping the newspaper in the garbage on the curb after I crossed the street, I bounded up the stairs and pulled the door open. The elevator sat a few yards from the doors. I pushed the button to summon the elevator. The doors opened immediately. It wouldn't take long to get to the third floor.

Deposited into her hallway, I smoothed down my coat and slacks. Three ladies came around the corner. Smiling I tipped my hat to them before proceeding the rest of the way down the hall. I was in a good mood. Apartment 321 stood in front of me. The heavy oak door and gold paper almost made me feel like a rich man. I expected to half to knock, but the door was open slightly. Looking around, I let myself in.

"Phoebe," I called into the empty room. "Are you in the bedroom?" I made my way through the tables and chairs and to her room. She was sitting on the bed, her right leg thrown over her left and bouncing in the air. Smoke swirled toward the ceiling and her long fingers wrapped firmly around the cigarette holder. I remained leaning against the door frame, just watching her gather her composure.

"So, how much did it cost you this time?" she asked without looking at me.

"Not much. A $10. I told him there was an extra $5 in it for doing a good job." I smiled. I had a knack for getting cheap labor off of newbies.

Phoebe inhaled deeply and let the smoke come out slowly. "Well, he earned that $5 and apparently a whole lot more."

"Yeah. That good a job, huh?" I said peeling myself from the door frame and starting to approach her.

She didn't say a word, only tapped some glossy photos on the bed and then stood up, walking to the dresser. I picked up the photos and the smile slipped from my face. They were pictures of Phoebe and I together. The pictures looked innocent enough, but I knew that restaurant terrace was where we met for business. Paper clipped to the last picture was a note. The handwriting was neat and orderly, but still clearly a man's. "Read it," she said, stubbing out the cigarette as the last stream of smoke lifted.

I began to read it. Three pages detailed the meeting we'd had the day the pictures were taken. My mouth fell open. The meeting had been about how Phoebe should close the Henry scam and how much money she thought she could get from the bastard. I looked at her disbelieving what I'd read.

She had a coat pulled around her nightgown and proper shoes on her feet. Next to the dresser was her suitcase, fully packed. "Next time, make sure the detective you hire isn't already working for our target." She turned her back on me and walked away just as Henry had done to her.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***


  1. two thumbs up, kiddo. (you were posting while i was posting over at marc's so i read yours belatedly.)

  2. Kiddo.... my grandparents use to call me that. Brings back good memories. Thanks for stopping by Summerfield. I'm sure I'll see you on Marc's site soon enough.

  3. Consider me intrigued. And wanting to read more of this.

  4. I didn't really know where it was going until after "I" was in the apartment. So, I am glad it worked out well enough to be enjoyable.