The dame was hot, like the weather
I had a new case. A dame called Mia. I didn’t have much to go on, a few whiskey fuelled memories of what she looked like and a vague idea of where she worked. It wasn’t much but I’ve solved cases on less before.
I didn’t have a choice. Hard liqueur might slow it down, but I knew it was going to eat away at me like an old hound unless I could track her down. Holly (Scalene’s doll) had said there was something going on by the way Mia kept looking over at me at the speak-easy. That caught my interest enough for me to take up the case.
*looks out of window through Venetian blinds*
I hit up an old contact who had helped me a few times, goes by the name of Googles. Funny guy but a good source. He couldn’t help me. He needed more to go on than a nice haircut and well coordinated accessories.
I needed time to think. I was feeling the effects of the night before. Her flirty smile was haunting me like cheap perfume. I hit the streets.
*Slow jazz music with trumpets as Toast trudges down a softly lit street*
I knew where she worked. A magazine, and I knew what she worked on. That had to be the clue.
I picked up a copy of the paper at the corner shop. The man looked at me strange, it wasn’t a magazine for men but I stared straight back. I dodge bullets and knives, evil looks wouldn’t even mark my Trilby.
The magazine had the names of staff in it. None rang any bells. I cussed myself a few times for forgetting her name. I’m terrible with names, but good with problems and this girl was a puzzle I wanted to solve.
The next stop was a book-keeper I knew. Known as Face. I threw a few names at him to see if he could help. There were a few pictures but none matched my description. I was getting no-where fast and my hangover was getting worse. I knew I had to contact her the day after the bash. I couldn’t leave it any longer than that.
Face couldn’t help me so I hit up Googles again. With some names to go on he threw up a few leads and eventually together we worked out the right one. I would have celebrated with a slug of Jack if my head hadn’t been pounding like a headboard at a cheap motel on a Saturday night.
* Toast picks up his long coat and walks out the door over head a ceiling fan turns slowly*
Googles couldn’t help me anymore, so I went back to Face. There was something about the name that was familiar and I couldn’t think why. I looked back at some old photographs Face had of me. I friend had taken them at an awards party a few months ago. The night was good, but the free bar and awards had rather got to me. There was one photo of me at the end of the night. It wasn’t pretty.
The sort of photo that women and children shouldn’t be allowed to see. I had been drenched in cheap champagne and was on the dance floor. If I had shame I would have removed it but I keep it around, to remind me to keep straight, stay off the hard stuff.
Mia’s name was on it. Months ago she had commented on the photo.
“Helen W. This is the one you picked out for me as a potential boyfriend. Your matchmaking skills are no longer required, thank you and goodbye.”
At the time I had no idea who she was, or who this Helen dame was. I laughed it off, if you saw the picture you’d understand why, and moved on. Now it seemed there was a connection already. The case had just got more complicated, just how I like it.
I got Face to pass on a message, he knew how to contact Mia now I had her real name. Nothing serious just a polite hello and a quip about the night before.
*Toast is in his office, sat behind a wooden desk. There is a gun and a bottle of whiskey. He leans back in a wooden chair that creaks just a little*
The waiting begins now. Face would let me know if Mia replied. There is always waiting in this game, more than anything else.
My head still rang out like I’d fired .38 just behind my eyes but now I needed a slug. I wasn’t celebrating, just a nod to fate for playing a more interesting hand than I had first thought.