Mark Terry

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Flat-Footed, Part 6

May 17, 2009

Flat-Footed, Part 6

Biz was actually up at 11:30 and on the road by noon and he felt exactly as if he had been up all night and only gotten two hours of sleep. Sipping from a Starbucks High-Octane Mochawhatziz, he pulled into the driveway of a taco place set up with a dozen picnic tables with a view of the beach. Not even the seagulls moved when he pulled in.


He made his way to the window, glanced around the parking lot, ordered a fistful of tacos and carried them to a picnic table where a heavy-set woman with muted red hair and a maroon blazer that clashed with her hair sat hunched against the sea breeze. The seagulls shows a more than casual interest in the food.


He handed her half the tacos and a Coke. “I don’t want to be seen with you,” she said.


Biz looked around. “Nobody’s following you. Have the cops questioned you yet?”


“No. Why would they?” Her hands toyed with the wrapping on a taco, but didn’t unwrap.


“Go ahead. Eat.”


“When I agreed to do this I didn’t think anybody was going to get killed.”


“Me neither.” Biz bit into a taco and chewed, washing it down with his Starbucks concoction. “And don’t worry, I’m not telling unless they make me.”


The woman, an IT manager for ShalaVu, looked up. “I don’t want to lose my job!”


“It’ll be okay. Look, did you...”


She shoved a flash drive across the table at him, glancing over her shoulders to see if someone was watching. No one was. Even the seagulls were more interested in the food. Biz pocketed it and slid her two hundred dollars in twenties. “Anything interesting in there?” he asked.


“I could get in trouble for that. Don’t tell anybody.”


Biz sighed. “Melanie, you’re not selling trade secrets. You’re giving me copies of e-mails sent and received by a murder victim. I’m not asking for Shala Fontaign’s correspondence or anything related to the business.”


“I gave you her schedule!”


“And I’m her damned alibi for her husband’s murder as a result. Relax, would you? Have a taco.”


She tore it open and took a huge bite. “I don’t know what’s going on, but Mr. Fontaigne was back and forth with a lot of people, especially someone called DanX at a Gmail account. They talked money a lot.”


“Any way to backtrack the account?”


She shook her head. “Not through Gmail. Maybe there’ll be something--” She wolfed down the taco and unwrapped another. Apparently Melanie’s guilt was a transient thing. “--in the content. But there are dozens of them. They’re the ones that stood out.” The second taco was gone in two bites and she was on to a third.


“I appreciate it, Melanie. I’ll keep you out of it.”


“Promise?”


“Promise. Confidential source.” He hoped. There was nothing like a four-foot-four-inch man facing jail time to make you question your resolve. Biz ate a taco and glanced at his watch. DanX, he thought. Who are you?


To be continued...

5 Comments:

Blogger Sandra Leigh said...

Wow. That woman has an appetite like mine. Scary.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Glad to see this new episode. Cant' wait for the book, and the blurbs...

"Dwarfs the competition!" etc....

11:07 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Sandra,
A woman's gotta eat.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Eric,
Oooh, you're a genius. I'm gonna use that!

12:03 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

"High-Octane Mochawhatziz"

Hah!

3:23 PM  

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