Sample Day

You might be familiar with my written works. You might even be familiar with my Facebook author page. But have you actually read any of my stuff? Maybe you’re not sure where to start.

In that case, here’s the opening chapter of my book Wanderers. It was a quarter finalist for the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the Mystery/Thriller category. If you like it, please consider it picking it up for Kindle at Amazon, for the Nook at BarnesandNoble.com, or in paperback from Lulu.com.

Enjoy Chapter One after the break.

ONE

It was raining again; no surprise there.  It had been for most of the week.  It wouldn’t have been all that bad but it was a hot rain, the kind that made the air thick and heavy like in an old speakeasy when it was full of smoke and sweat and sin.

I was sitting at my desk with my feet up and watching the rain fall outside my window while the Dodgers played the Pirates on the radio and I focused on my sweating.  The brand new oscillating fan I’d bought earlier in the week had been running practically non-stop since I’d first brought it into the office.  For the most part it had done a fine job of moving the hot air from one part of the room to the other.  But I was still wearing my third fresh shirt of the day.  I wasn’t sure why; I hadn’t had anyone to impress in weeks.

Things had definitely been quiet.  But that was fine, it had been too hot for me to be busy and I’d had every intention of remaining not busy.

Then she walked in…

I heard the outer office door click open and someone step in.  I immediately put my feet down and opened the top right hand drawer of my desk where I kept my .38.  I had my .45 safely tucked into the shoulder rig I wore but I’d been sweating a lot and didn’t want my grip to fail.

“Hello?” said a woman’s voice.

“In back,” I called.  I relaxed a little but I kept the drawer with the gun open.  Hey, you never know.

The woman opened my door and my breath got stuck in my throat, like I’d swallowed some steak too early.  She was tall, taller than any woman I’d ever met before, but a lot of them like her were.  Her facial features were soft and delicate with radiant skin and the biggest, darkest eyes I’d ever seen and I was certain that I’d never see their like again.  She was well dressed with a dark blue dress that fell just below the knees, a simple string of pearls, and a pair of those new nylon stockings I’d heard women were starting to wear.  She welcomed herself to my coat rack and hung up her tan raincoat and big blue hat on it before walking over to my desk.

She moved well, gliding across the room the way good scotch slides down your throat.

“May I sit?” she said in a voice so soft it was almost a whisper.  It almost made me blush.

“Please do.”

She smiled and almost floated into one of my client chairs, crossing her legs at the ankle and holding her matching clutch purse in her lap.  Her obsidian eyes fell on my right hand which was still laying flat on the desk near the open drawer.

“You have a weapon in your desk,” she said.  It wasn’t a question.

“I do.”

“Do you think I’m dangerous?”

“One never can tell,” I said with a disarming smile.

The corners of her mouth turned up slightly.

“What can I do for you, Miss…?”

“My mate is missing,” she said, blatantly sidestepping my request for her name.

“Your mate?”

Her head cocked a little to the side and her big eyes narrowed a little.  She recovered quickly and smiled again.  “My husband is missing.”  She spoke clearly and well with only the slightest hint of an accent.

“Okay,” I said.  “Why me?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Why come to me?  Why not the cops?”

She nodded.  “Ah, I understand,” she said.  “I have my reasons.”

“And what might they be?”

She smiled again, but this time there was something behind it.  “They are mine,” she said.

“Ah.”

“If that makes you uncomfortable, I can show myself out, Mr. Tennant.”

“I didn’t say that,” I said.

A heavy, dark cloud passed over my building and my office darkened some.  Only she seemed to glow a little in that brief patch of shadow.

“Why don’t you tell me about it?”

She smiled.

“My ma—,” she caught herself and smiled.  “My husband went out for drinks Saturday night with several associates.  He did not return home and he has not telephoned.”

“Did you reach out to the ‘associates’ he had drinks with?”

“Reach out?”

“Have you contacted the people he was with Saturday night?”

“Oh,” she said.  “I have.  They saw him get into a taxi cab to come home.”

“And none of your…people have seen him?”

“No.”

The hairs on the back of my neck bristled as though I’d just stepped inside of a meat locker full of porterhouse.  There was something about my potential client that bothered me and it was far more than just her exotic lineage.  Something about the whole deal didn’t feel right and part of me wanted to send her on her way.  But the other part of me was listening to my stomach growl.

“Who were these associates your husband was with?”

“They are the men he works with.”

“Interesting,” I said.  “Where does he work?”

“Consolidated Edison.”

“Your husband works for Con Ed?”

She nodded.

“Okay,” I said with a shrug.

She eyed me questioningly, her large raven eyes seeming lost.  “Excuse me, why do you find it interesting that my husband is employed?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it,” I stammered as I nervously took a cigarette out of the open case on my desk and lit it with the table lighter beside it.  “It’s just…  I didn’t know that any of you… that your people worked.”

She scoffed softly and nodded with a small smile.  “Yes, Mr. Tennant, some of us choose to work even though it is not at all necessary.”

Even though she gave no outward sign of it, I was certain that I’d insulted my new client-to-be.  All I could do was keep talking and try not to offend her any worse while her voluminous eyes studied me.  

“When did your husband’s co-workers last see him?”

“I—I do not know,” she said as her cheeks turned an odd shade of blue.  “You ask many questions.”

“I do,” I said.  “It’s part of the job.”

She nodded as the color in her cheeks deepened.  “I have never done this before,” she said.

“Well, I would imagine there are quite a few things here that you haven’t done yet,” I said.

She smiled and laughed a little.  “You are right,” she said.  “Will you help me, Detective Tennant?”

“I will,” I said.  “And it’s not ‘detective’, okay?  Cops are detectives.  I’m just plain Marcus Tennant.”

“Mar-coos,” she said.  The way she said my name made me feel like I’d just slipped into a hot bath.

“Yes,” I said after I cleared my throat a little.  “Now there are some things we should discuss.”

“Your compensation,” she said with a nod as he opened her clutch purse.  From it she placed several precious stones on my desk.  There had never been that much collateral on my desk before.  It made my mouth water like I’d just been served the tasting menu at The Rainbow Room.  “Is that enough?” she said innocently like a child buying candy for the first time.

“I’m sure it is,” I said, licking my lips as I stared at them.  “But I generally prefer cash or check, and I usually don’t accept full payment up front.”

“Oh,” she said as she scooped up the stones and put them away while her cheeks colored again.  “Do you require a…retainer?”

“It would be nice.”

I told her how much.

“Is that all?” she said without batting an eye as she reached back into her clutch and pulled out several crisp bills which she placed where the stones had just been.  I fought the urge to lick my lips.

“Is there anything else you require of me, Marcoos?” she said, drawing me away from my hungry stare.

“Um, first off,” I said as I swallowed hard, “why don’t we stick with ‘Mr. Tennant’.  Second, I’m going to need a list of all of your husband’s friends, co-workers, and fam—family.”

She smiled.  “But of course,” she said as she opened her purse and pulled out a plain piece of paper with a list of names, addresses, and titles handwritten by a flawless hand.  I hadn’t seen such carefully, perfect script since my primer books as a kid in elementary school.  At the bottom were the address and phone number for her and her husband.

“Will that be sufficient, Mr. Tennant?”

“Almost,” I said as I browsed the data.  “I’m missing one more crucial piece of information.”

“Really?  What is that?”

“His name.”

She smiled as her cheeks blued again.

“Of course, how foolish of me.  His true name is Anadool, but you may call him Andrew.  I believe that is the name your people know him by.”

“May I also have your name?” I asked.  “I’m sure that might come in handy later.”

“Certainly.  My name is Alazadol.  You may call me Alice.”

“Any last name?”

She smiled at me and said nothing.

“I know that you probably don’t need it all that often,” I said, “considering who you are.  But I’d like to have it.”

Alice nodded.  “We are all Tehmarians,” she said.  “And we all use the name of our home: Tehmar.”

“Very good,” I said.  “I’ll report to you as soon as I know something.”

“Thank you,” she said as she stood and walked to the coat rack and collect her things.  I stood as well and took the opportunity to examine Alice’s backside.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she had very attractive and shapely calves so I was enjoying the view.

Until her tail peeked out.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s