Monday, January 16, 2012

Darkness in the Afternoon - Part One



I was sitting in my office cleaning my handgun when it accidentally fired narrowly missing a flea on the head of Mr Alfred Rukelhaus who was having his hair cut in “The Hair’s Progress” across the street—a business run by a man with large black eyes that squinted intensely called Stravinsky. I immediately leapt from my chair, closed the venetian blinds and crawled on my knees back to my desk. I was on the floor when someone entered my office.

"That sounded like a shot?"

"It was my new coffee percolator. Buying a 'twenty cup' was a blunder. It flew out the window. Probably in Shoreditch Park by now."

"Are you a private eye?"

I slipped back into my chair and shuffled the one piece of paper on my desk. When I glanced at the source of the voice, I saw a beautiful woman with fine black hair and piercing dark eyes. Normally I stand to greet clients, but decided—for her modesty, and mine—to remain seated. I gestured to the lady to take a seat.

"My name is Elina."

"Sounds Greek?"

"I’m from Tooting."

She looked at me with a mixture of intensity and pride.

"Are you an investigator, or not?!"—Elina glanced at her watch—"I’ve no time to waste!"

After checking I was breathing my two eyes met her two eyes. "You have a face that cries – NO, SHOUTS (I leapt from my chair) MELANCHOLY!" Then softly, "And just a little anxious, no?"

Peculiar sounds emanated from my body. I made a mental note to modify my diet. "I’m—an explorer—a prober—a sleuth." I started to ramble.

"What was your most recent case and the outcome?"

"A kidnapped halibut. It belonged to a dentist who performed a shoddy deep-root filling. The kidnapper sent a ransom note to its owner with a photograph of the fish holding the Hackney Post. The fish was returned unharmed. I’m sorry to say the dentist was later found dead—battered to death with a haddock."

"How did you recover this fish—this hellibute?"

"Halibut! Basic, professional detective work. I’m sworn to secrecy about the details—" I made a note to obtain analgesics; my gums were still markedly sensitive.

"What’s the book?" she asked, pointing to my desk.

"Gustave Flaubert by Madame Bovary. I’m not usually a fan of female writers, however this is exceptional."

Elina had lost her husband and was fearful he was in danger. I stayed quiet hoping she would volunteer information.

Finally, I asked, "Did you murder your husband?"

She half-closed her beautiful eyes with a weary grace.

"I said—"

"—I know what you said. Why would I?"

"Money, pleasure, the excitement of amorous adventures—?"

"NO! You're insane." A perceptive and intelligent lady.

My instinct told me she was telling the truth. "OK. I believe you. Tell me about your husband. How you met him—" As I listened I looked at her face. I could sense uncertainty beneath her enticing self-confidence.

End of Part One (to be continued during bright daylight)

2 comments:

nietzschesorphan said...

Charming post, you possess a strong

distinctive style, with great dialogue.

All the Best for 2012.

Cheers

Mark

Ronnie Kerrigan said...

Hi nietzschesorphan,

Thanks for passing by, taking time to read my blog, and your kind comments.

I wish you a healthy and productive 2012.

Best regards
Ronnie