Mark Terry

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flat-footed, Part 2

April 30, 2009

Flat-footed, Part 2

From his office on the main floor Biz heard the door open. Rumproast immediately abandoned his breakfast and raced for the stairs. The TV news cut to the weather. Cloudy, heavy smog, slight chance of showers. A voice wafted upward: "Oh, there you are, my little darling. How are you this morning?"

Biz sighed and trotted downstairs. "Good morning, Mom. You're here early."

Lydia Leightner bent down to kiss him. She stood six feet tall in bare feet, had straight hair touched up to look silver rather than gray. His Mom had gone through college on a basketball scholarship, then off to Stanford Law. Retired now, she helped him with his PI firm when she was in the mood for it. Apparently today, of all days, she was in the mood for it. "You're up early."

"I was on surveillance all last night. I'm not up early, I'm up late. And I've got a problem." He told her about the news report.

Mom crossed her arms over her chest and considered her from her seventy-two inches. Not for the first time Biz reflected that Yahweh was a vicious bastard with a sick sense of humor. "What are you going to do?"

Biz ran a hand through his dark hair, thinking up a smart-ass response, when the the office door pushed open and another tall woman stepped in. She was maybe an inch taller than Mom and instead of Biz's mother's pink and gray warm-up suit, wore a navy blue pinstriped suit with a champagne blouse, the skirt ending about two inches above her knees. And she wore heels, dammit. Biz said, "I think I'm going to talk to the LAPD."

The woman held out her badge, indicating she was with the elite Robbery-Homicide Division. "Are you Benjamin Disraeli Leightner?"

He waved her to his private office. "Come with me, Detective--"

"Rain. Summer Rain."

Biz did a double-take and shook his head. "And I thought my Mom had a sense of humor. Okay, Detective Rain, let's talk."

In his office, he pointed to a leather client chair the color of cultured pearls and made himself comfortable behind his desk. She settled in, crossing one of her long, lovely gams. He said, "Has anyone ever told you your legs are like--"

"--if you say 'a rainy day' I'm going to drop-kick your midget ass from here to Pasadena."

"Mom," he called out. "Call my agent. We want to pitch a new reality show: "Survivor: LAPD." To Detective Rain he said, "Once the ACLU gets involved I think you'll be the first one voted off the island."

Scowling, Detective Rain said, "You were working for Delbert Fontaigne." It wasn't a question.

"Yes, I'm sure you know that. Where's the rest of your homicide team, Detective?"

She was all questions, no answers. "Where were you last night between the hours of two a.m. and four a.m.?"

"I was apparently providing his wife with an alibi. Can I get you coffee, Detective Rain?"

To be continued...

6 Comments:

Blogger Erica Orloff said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE Benjamin Disraeli!
E

P.S. More, more, more!

6:34 PM  
Blogger Richmond Writer said...

I like that line, apparently providing his wife with an alibi. Nice wit. That and Yahweh's sick sense of humor. I like this character and of course your story. What prompted you to publish it here?

5:47 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Richmond,
Blame it on Erica. Whenever she writes a post about character tags I trot out a comment about a dwarf PI that drinks stingers for breakfast. She did it again this week and I wrote a paragraph in good fun. Then 2 days later I was totally blank about what to write on the blog, so I decided to serialize a short story about Biz Leightner, dwarf PI, simply for the hell of it. It's keeping me amused and it's cranking the inspiration engine, which desperately needed cranking. I'm glad you like it.

6:26 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

LOL! I just love Biz! I'm thinking I like character tags. :-)

1:22 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I'm glad you like it. I've actually written Part 3, but for some weird reason blogger won't publish it. I'll keep trying.

1:33 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Need help? Just email me! I owe you one... thousand, LOL.

9:20 AM  

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