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A Detective Story: Part Three
2.26.2004 by Sarah.

I decided, my cheek still stinging from the smack of milady’s palm, to remain silent for the rest of the trip. Not that I could say much through the ball gag she with which she stifled me as the car sped out of the parking lot. I’ve been with many a dizzy dame in my time, but none had been as feisty or—dare I say it?—kinky as this one. She pulled a pillowcase from under the seat, thrusting it over my head, but not before unclasping a flask from her thigh and taking a swig, her tongue lingering in the gap where her front teeth should be. A final, glorious vision before darkness.

For several minutes she said nothing, not to me, not to the driver. I listened to the sound of the tires bumping over the pavement, trying to discern where we were headed. Thump, ka-thump, ka-thump. I figured we were on the highway. Or maybe the freeway. Though it could possibly have been the expressway. Or perhaps we had just been really lucky with the traffic lights and were still in town, on some side street away from the circus parade. So yeah, I had no clue where we were headed. I’m not very good at this.

She spoke, ending my silent investigation. “Tell me,” she asked, “what do you think about Bush’s foreign policy?”

“Arrmmkggahhh gaha…” I spoke. She ripped off the pillowcase and untied the gag, obviously angered by my impertinence.

“Well,” I spoke tentatively, looking at my kidnapper from the corner of my eye, “I think that the difficulties with nine-eleven intelligence and the war on Iraq color any diplomatic overtures he may wish to make elsewhere. Although,” I added, “diplomacy seems to be an unknown concept in the Bush White House. That Bush’s plea for aid for rebuilding Iraq was met by the UN with icy rebuff clearly indicates that any attempt at so-called ‘diplomacy’…”

She slapped me across the face. Harder this time. I hoped she wouldn’t make a habit of it. Bruises are unseemly.

“Silence!” she burst. “There can be no diplomacy. Only death.”

“Yes,” I agreed, warming to the topic, “that does seem to be the Republican attitude these days when dealing with perceived threats to the Bush agenda….”

“You fool! I am talking about your death, you bleeding-hearted one-armed imbecile!”

“Hey now,” I countered, “that’s no way to speak to a disabled man. We are just like normal human beings, only specialer. What’s this all about, anyway? What does this have to do with killing your husband?” I felt as though things weren’t going according to plan. My plan, anyway, which was to heroically free my toothless vixen from the clutches of her overbearing gorilla of a husband, whisk my love away to a tropical paradise, and then charge her time-and-a-half for vacation hours.

“I thought you loved me,” I whined in a small, pathetic voice. Maybe pity would win her over. She looked away and sighed. She answered me softly.

“How can I love a man I hardly know?”

Too true. To be honest, though, I thought we had hit it off well from the start when she walked into my office smelling of haddock. And even now I detected tenderness in her voice, in her touch as she slipped a noose around my neck and so gently took up the slack. The rope caressed my thorax as if they were her fingers, tightening like arms in an embrace. And slowly cutting off my air supply. She loved me, but I sensed some anger. Issues from childhood, surely.

The car slowed and turned into a parking lot not unlike the one behind the Big Boy’s. The lot faced the backside of a scummy bar I knew from my college days—on a Saturday night one would find cheap booze, drug dealers, a tarnished disco ball rotating from the ceiling like a corpse dangling from a noose. Like the noose I now sported. But right now was not a Saturday night, and the sun illuminated a sad array of broken glass and medical waste strewn across the lot. In a heap by the back door I saw a discarded moosehead with Mardi Gras beads threaded through its antlers, its gold-flecked cats’ eyes staring at the sky as if beseeching angels to rescue him from the trash-strewn sewer of the city. You see how there were a lot of words in the last few lines with an ‘s’ sound in them? That’s called alliteration. I was an English major in college.

“Come on.” Velma slammed the car door after her. I hurried to follow.

Tune in tomorrow (yes! Tomorrow!) for the action-packed, derivative conclusion! Stuff will actually happen! I promise!

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