tnkerr’s ‘C.C. Jones Investigation’- a continuation

Monte Carlo, Monaco

“OK, well then – the last time I saw Dean was in Monaco…”

Visions of intrigue on the French Riviera, this busty little blonde hanging off my arm wearing something soft and clingy, as we raced the moon through the gold lit streets of Monte Carlo, burst onto the horizon of my ever vivid imagination even before she could continue. 

Only to be dashed upon the rugged shores of the Mediterranean a second later when she finally did.

“It’s a crowded little ‘burb within the city of Lawndale. College students mostly, but some of us, like Dean and myself got locked in tight by way of useless degrees, and stayed on well past graduation.” 

As she diddled her way through their consequent meeting whilst working at the same dining establishment, seemingly coming no closer to the last time she saw Dean than she was when I originally happened upon her seated across the desk from C.C.- I left off listening intently. Willing to take my chances on the accuracy of my old war buddy turned private eye’s deft investigative note taking- I started to do some sensory detective work of my own. 

She was fiddling with the clasp of her handbag as she spoke, snapping and unsnapping it rhythmically, as if feeling her way through her own story. Much like the tapping of a blind man’s cane seeking a path clear of obstruction, she was nervously weaving her way through her own neural highways, carefully targeting important information, building a backstory if you will. 

Something about that just didn’t sit right.

I got the feeling she was doing so in an effort to influence the trajectory of our investigation. That is, if it really was an investigation she was interested in at all.

It felt too orchestrated. As if she already knew “who done it”, whatever it was, and was just looking for a convenient place to park the blame. 

And what more convenient fall guys, than C.C. and I, two past their prime Vietnam vets who lunched regularly on IPA and answered their own telephones from the back office of a third floor walk up detective agency- that proudly bore the name of a guy that had been named after a bottle of pop.

Every Sunday, when tnkerr posts the weekly On Line Writer’s Guild prompts, they are led into with an unrelated original story, poem or vignette. This week, I challenged myself to not only use the three phrasal prompts offered, but to use them in a continuation of the story that tnkerr posted as a lead in. 

Clicking on the first line of my story, which incidentally is the last line of tnkerr’s, will take you back to that story, giving you the scenario upon which this continuation elaborates.

Oh, and by the way, the three phrasal prompts this week are:

  1. racing the moon
  2. the tapping of a blind man’s cane
  3. locked in tight


Ethan’s mother

Sculpture by Martin Hudáček

It’s mostly true, the things they say about losing a child. The sun really does rise each day in derision- almost as if we don’t make sense together anymore. I used to wake filled with providence. At one with both God and Nature. Contented in myself, my son, my life.

Since Ethan’s passing, I have to remind myself to breathe- almost to remind my heart to beat- and all this, before I even get out of bed. Rising, has become a daunting list of inconsequential motions. Another painful trial I have to make it through. A searing gateway to sorrow.

Each night I pray through gritted teeth, to the same God that saw fit to take my son from me. To leave me here alone. With only too few tender memories. I search my soul for the power to hate him. This god. This callous destroyer of his own creation.

Yet how can I curse the very God that blessed me with even the few short years I did have with my son? The same God that continues to make the sun rise, despite how painful it has become? I cannot. But today, I can allow myself to be angry.

This piece is written in 50 word increments, and is my response to the literary quote offered this week by Kristian on 50 word Thursday, “I have to remind myself to breathe – almost to remind my heart to beat!” – from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

I also included the three phrasal prompts provided by tnkerr on the OLWG #39 where the prompts were:

  1. It’s mostly true
  2. we don’t make sense together
  3. Derision


La Sosia

Image by Vitabello from Pixabay

It could have been her up swept strawberry blonde hair, or the pale distance in her eyes. Alone, either could have served as a least common denominator in triggering painful remembrances of Evaleanna. The coupling of the two, however, was closer to the agony of being gut shot.

Wojo was in Arizona on a little matter of clean up. It seems the Witness Protection Program had come into possession of a worthless piece of trash which had once belonged to The Family, and when word was received they had deposited it in a rural Arizona, Wojo caught the next flight for Phoenix.

It was there, amidst the hustle and bustle of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, that his eyes first came to rest on la sosia Evaleanna.

“Thank you for choosing Hertz, Mr. Anderson.” La sosia greeted him with the same practiced joviality he had seen her greet everyone who preceded him in line. “What type of vehicle can I put you in today?”

“Something luxurious.” Wojo responded, stretching the word ‘luxurious’ to a nearly obscene length- and winking seductively when it became evident his elongation had not gone unnoticed.

“I do love a man who knows what he wants.” La sosia countered, the sing songy style with which she delivered her tired sales script having been instantly replaced with a soft, throaty coo. 

By the time her hand lingered just seconds too long in his outstretched palm whilst delivering the keys to a Jaguar XJ, Mr. Anderson had already scribbled his cell number on the back of one of his business cards, and tucked it delicately into a pocket just under Annika’s name plate, and over her- heart.

                                                                **********

Any similarity Annika may have borne to Evaleanna in the airport earlier in the day evaporated quickly as he plunged himself into her, atop the fully reclined, cordovan leather passenger’s seat of the Jag. 

Until that moment, Wojo had been able to fool himself into thinking that he could allow the color of her hair, and the distance in her eyes to be enough. That somehow they alone could transport him back to the only time in his life when he knew what it felt like, to love.

But as Annika bucked and moaned beneath him, any yearning he may have had to recapture that bliss quickly ignited, fueling the only emotion he was still capable of feeling in the arms of a woman. Rage.

As he drove Annika back to her car afterward, his rage had turned inward. How could he have allowed himself to be blindsided by such emotional bullshit? He knew very moment he spent in Phoenix added to the danger of being seen in the area, the possibility of his being identified in connection with the job he had been sent here to do. What the fuck was wrong with him?

By the time he pulled up alongside her car, he had to fight off the desire to knock Annika out of the car and into the parking lot like so much unclaimed baggage.

Hanging on to one last thread of civility, he was allowing her to say her good-byes, when he was forced to notice the once pale distance he had seen in her eyes, had since been replaced by the same pleading hunger that over the years had only served to deepen his disgust..

In that moment however, something clicked. What was to become his life’s work rose from within him like the Phoenix out of the flames.

He came to understand the depths of what could be accomplished- were that hunger to be harnessed- and nurtured under a careful regiment of highly controlled feedings..

This is the fourth installment of the Las Donnas Fatales series which can be read in its entirety by following the Las Donnas Fatales category header located in the drop down menu on the blogs home page.

I included both Misky’s Twiglet #152 ‘pale distance’ and the OLWG #40 single prompt, least common denominator.

A yardarm armada

CCC #53

Wynken Blynken and Nod
Got in a row over a broad
Each bouy was a fixin’
To net the sweet vixen
Based solely on the size of his rod.

Big Nod won the toss for first go
But his skiff was judged only so-so
By the crew on aft deck
Who cried “Bloody ‘eck!
The chaps belly’s ‘alf ‘idin’ ‘is cargo!”

Wyken was second to cast
But his yardarm was stuck at half-mast
The stern crew yelled,”Wanker!”
When he dropped his anchor
Leaving poor Wynken’s dinghy downcast

Last up, Blynken set sail his raft
But while the galley was ogling his craft
The first mate slipped his pontoon
Into the vixens lagoon
Proving our bouys to be understaffed

This off color verse was inspired by Crispina Kemp’s photo prompt this week on Crimson’s Creative Challenge #53.

Maggie gets the license (plate)

Photo courtesy of Temsco Helicopter Tours Juneau, AK

The words had no sooner crossed Nick’s lips when, thanks be to god, there was a knock at the door.  I gave Miss Jenny a moment to settle into hushed tones with whomever was on the other side of the door before moving into the organdy wing chair closest to Nick.

“I evidently didn’t get the memo on the value of foreplay as an interrogation tool.” I quipped sarcastically, as I purposely looked down my nose in displeasure.

“I know, I know.” Nick groveled uncomfortably. “I told you this one was a lulu. I gotta sneak in the back door with her. Make it a game, if I ever want to get anything out of her..”

“Well, I get the feeling your Miss Jenny is more likely to break out into a fan dance than shed any light on the whereabouts of the plates off her Lincoln- so wadda ya say, you keep her occupied,” I paused here, eyebrows raised for good measure, “while Maggie and I go have a look at the car. I highly doubt she will object to my excusing myself.”

I’d like to say I waited for his response, or at least long enough to see him squirm, but I didn’t. I grabbed my purse off the divan and hightailed it toward the door.

“I have extra suction cups,” Miss Jenny was whispering to whomever was on the other side of the door as I approached, “if he gives you any problem just..”

She swung around mid-sentence. “Where you goin’?”

“I thought I might leave the two of you alone for a bit. I’ve got my dog out in the car, so I’ll just go walk her while the two of you,” I glanced from her to Nick, then back at her, “well you know…” 

With a wink and a smile, I brushed quickly past both Jenny and the latex clad whatever it was on the other side of the door, who in a tone that reeked of disbelief exclaimed,“Ugh! Did you see that?” As if I was the one wearing the rubber hood!

Maggie met me with an exaggerated level of exuberance, considering I had only been gone for ten minutes, and nearly leaped into my arms when I opened the door. 

I let her do her little jig and have a quick pee on the tree lawn before the two of us headed up the drive toward the back of the house where I had heard Nick mention the Lincoln was parked.

I was not however, in any way prepared for what happened next.

Maggie, in her continued exhilaration was straining at the lead when we approached the rear of the house, and cut the sharp corner at a run before I realized I had any reason for concern. I was nearly airborne before the lead ripped from my hand and Maggie was off like a shot.

Not wanting to draw attention to the fact that I was prowling around in Miss Jenny’s backyard uninvited, I refrained from calling out after her, and hastened my pace, reaching the front corner of the garage about the time Maggie reached the Lincoln. 

A long black car, better suited to use in a funeral procession than ‘car dates’ in the back yard of a suburban whore house, it was parked behind the garage, surrounded in knee deep grass and weeds. It was evident this vehicle had not been on the road for quite some time.

As I approached to get a closer look, hopefully even a glimpse inside, if the grimy buildup on the windows would allow, I noticed the grass in front of the vehicle had been trampled- directly in front of where the license plate was affixed. Was being the key word. The plate was exactly where it should have been.

I quickly ran around to the car to see if the rear plate was missing- Nope. It was there, too. Same trampled grass. What the? It was then that I noticed the license plates were sparking in the mid day sun. While the rest of the car was covered in a thick layer of dust and grime indicating it had been stationary for quite some time, the plates were gleaming.

Or were they? I asked myself as I withdrew the clever multi tool I never leave home without, some tissues and one of the plastic bags I carry with me at all times- in case Maggie has to go.

As I was crouched at the rear placing the last plate in the bag with my tissue covered fingers, Maggie flew past me and down the drive.

Tucking the plastic bag containing the license plates into the waistband of my jeans at the small of my back as I hurried to follow her, I was relived to hear Nick’s voice, and know that it was he, and not one of the other occupants of the house that had drawn her attention.

“I’m almost afraid to ask,” I overheard him say jokingly, as Maggie’s tags jingled with excitement over having found him in the drive, “but where the hells your mother?”

This is yet another installment of Maggie’s Story. The previous installments can be found by following the Maggie’s Story category header located at the bottom of the blogs home page.

The inspiration for this episode was found in the three phrasal prompts provided by the OLWG #38. The phrases were:

  1. I have extra suction cups
  2. a long black car
  3. ugh, did you see that