follow me on Twitter

    Monday, July 30, 2007


    PART X – 17 HOURS

    He checked in with the receptionist as he drove toward the bar. He needed to think and he always did his best thinking when his brain was primed. Something about the threat of impending cellular genocide always brought out the best in his grey matter.

    The receptionist picked up on the third ring. “Homicide,” she answered in her lilting tone.
    “It’s me. Anything?”
    “I’ve gotten 43 auto vacation responses, 12 bounce backs for non active addresses, three “No’s”, 1 threat of legal action for Police harassment, and a the filtered junk mail doubled in the last hour.”
    “You do understand that when I asked if you had anything I meant anything useful?”
    “So you’re be overly efficient to punish me for making you sit there and watch the screen until your eyes bleed.”
    “Call me if you get anything,” he hung up before she could answer. He then dialed the bar.
    “Last Call,” said Kris, sounding bored to tears.
    “I’m coming in hot. Prime the pumps and clean off my stool.”
    “How far out?”
    “Two minutes.”
    “Got it.”

    He hit the parking lot without slowing down and rolled right into his favorite spot. He slapped the breaks and his bumper blew a kiss at the wall. It was starting to get good. With a spring in his step and a radioactive grain of rice in his pocket he hit the front door. His irises went from pinholes to gun barrels so fast he went blind for a second. He took his sunglasses off and the familiar shapes returned. Kris was smiling large with a fresh glass of beer in her hand. He made it to his Stool before she dropped it on a coaster.

    “You must really be flummoxed to be thinking this early.”
    “I was, but it’s getting more clear with each passing hour.” He took a sip from the beer and let it settle on his tongue for a minute. His brain woke up and he smiled and swallowed.

    The bar was almost completely empty. He’d thought it would be, which was what he wanted. He needed Kris to help him lay some things out. She was good for that. His mind was non-linear, but hers was a straight line. She’d open a mental file and as he’d talk she’d slot everything into order and read it back to him without writing anything down. While he’d be digressing, she’d keep it on track and ask him questions to fill in the gaps. None of it seemed to bother her either. She liked playing detective as much as he liked being one. If he ever quit and put up a shingle, he’d make sure she was pert of it.

    “Ready?” He asked, knowing full well that she was.

    It took three beers and a few paused moments for her to attend to other customers before he was finished. She seemed to chew over it for a minute and then he saw the click in her eye as the line finished coalescing. But then her eyebrows dropped and he could see a question building.
    “Why you?” She asked slightly concerned.
    “What do you mean?”
    “Why you? Why did they choose you?”
    “Luck of the draw, I was the one who answered the phone.”
    “Then they must have called more than once, because they wanted you.”
    “What makes you think that?”
    Kris shrugged her shoulders, “it’s in the line. They’re making a statement. They’ve set the table for homicide, yet there’re no bodies, just teeth. You telling me they just lucked into the only detective in the city who wouldn’t have already thrown it down from Homicide to make some beat cop cry. They wanted you. They knew you wouldn’t be able to let it go.”
    “That’s not what I wanted to hear.”
    “No, but you’ve felt it the whole time.”
    The Detective dropped his head, “I need another beer.”
    He pulled out his cell phone and called the receptionist. “Nothing,” she said.
    “How’d you know it was me?”
    “I hooked in a caller ID display so I could harass you directly.”
    “Thanks. I need you to get an incoming call log and match the number from the primary case call to any calls made from the same number to the precinct in the days preceding.”
    “It’ll take a while.”
    “You’ve got time. While you’re at it go ahead and pull a reverse look up on the number as well.” This time she hung up first.

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

    No comments: