Author Topic: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two  (Read 4336 times)

Offline Foxy

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Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« on: May 08, 2008, 11:37:33 AM »
Part one: http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=14457.0

I couldn't believe my luck. Sister Theresa, the woman who all those years ago had awakened my interest in the opposite sex, was sitting in my office and offering herself to me. Sure, she was older, but if anything she had improved with age. She had the kind of looks that Hollywood starlets went under the knife for, and a figure that could tempt the Pope. If my diary had been handy I'd have checked the date. I was pretty sure it wasn't my birthday, but I couldn’t be certain. Right at that moment I couldn't be certain of anything. Except that this was the best offer I'd had all year and that I was going to have to turn it down. Even though she was no longer a nun, she had been the nun who had damned me to Hell, and by so doing had set me on my career path. I had figured at the time that as I was already damned it didn't much matter what I did, my prospects weren't going to get any worse. It was like a license to be naughty and, as I got older, it got me into a world unknown by the average Joe. A world populated by scum, lowlife, prostitutes, pimps, thieves, drug dealers, con artists and insurance salesmen. I strode through them all with my guilt free shield, observing and learning; taking what I wanted and giving nothing back. It was the perfect apprenticeship and it's stood me in good stead. I had too much to thank her for, to take advantage of her

I dragged my eyes away from her leg with an effort that blurred my vision and glanced for the picture of my ex on the desk. It was face down and mocking me just the way the ex used to. She always hated to see me enjoying myself.

I stood up and strode to the window. Outside, the city sweltered under storm clouds as heavy as broken hearts. In the distance the bridge on the bay stretched out to sea to be engulfed by a leaden mist. The deluge hadn't started yet, but it was going to. The streets had cleared themselves in anticipation. I hadn't turned her down yet, but I was going to. I cleared my throat in anticipation. "Thanks for the offer, sweet lips, but it wouldn't be right for me to take you up on it," I said as I stared through the window. "But that doesn’t mean I won't take your case, if I can help you with your problem I will...no fee."

There was the sound of chair legs scraping on the floor as she stood up, then a pause before she said, "I don’t know what to say, except for thank you and God bless you, Mr. Stone...you're a good man."

I continued to stare through the window, I’d never been called a good man before and I wasn't sure I liked it. But I was sure I didn’t want it putting about. Rumours like that could be real bad for business. I turned from the window to ask her to keep it as our little secret but she was gone. I covered the distance from the window to the door in two seconds flat and stepped out onto a deserted landing. The stairs too were devoid of life. It seemed Sister Theresa was a fast mover in more ways than one.

Back inside my office I noticed a white envelope on the desk; it was blank and wasn’t addressed to me. I opened it anyway. Inside was a slip of paper on which an address had been written in a woman’s hand, 2571 Benison Drive. The street name had a forgotten familiarity to it, as though at one time I'd been acquainted with the place. I stepped over to the street map of the city I kept on the wall, and eventually located the address. It was nearby to where I had gone to school, that was why it was familiar. It was also on the other side of town and it would involve a journey that would take me through the more colourful areas of the city, starting in China Town, and then on through Little Italy down by the canal basin, and finally through the notorious Welsh Quarter with its façade of gaily painted shops and arcades that looked out onto the ocean and hid the iniquitous streets that lay behind it. A glance through the window told me that the storm had started, which meant, with a touch of luck, that my journey through the city's underbelly should be fairly uneventful. I grabbed my gat from the desk drawer and loaded into the holster under my arm. Then I pulled on my raincoat and hat and made my way outside and down to the street.

Raindrops like coffin nails were hurtling down from the sky and bouncing off the paving hard enough to get me wet from two directions. My sedan was parked a few feet away, but with parking places at a premium in the city, I didn’t want to take the chance of losing mine. Fortunately I could hear Mrs. Termagant's rasping tones drifting down from under the awning of Blind Eddie's newsstand a few yards down the street. I turned up my collar and hurried down to the stand.

"Ooh, Mr. Stone, whatever are you doing out in this weather?" Mrs. Termagant said and flashed me a toothless smile. "I wouldn't think even ducks would want to be out in this weather." She was wearing a clear plastic raincoat over the Day-Glo orange housecoat, and had topped off the ensemble with a matching Day-Glo orange sou'wester. In her hand she was holding her false teeth, which were embedded in a piece of saltwater toffee. Toffee that I guessed had been given to her by Blind Eddie in an attempt to shut her up.

"I'm on a case, Mrs. Termagant," I paused and pretended to sniff the air. "What is that mephitic scent? Are you wearing a new perfume, or is it your own graveolent essence?"

She threw her hands up in delight and screeched, "Ooooh, go on with you, Mr. Stone, you’re making me blush."

I pulled a billfold from my pocket and peeled off a one spot that I tore in half. Mrs. Termagant's eyes, both the good one and the evil one, watched my hands closely like a vulture sizing up carrion. I held out one half of the banknote and put the other half back into my pocket. "I've got a job for you...if you want it."

Mrs. Termagant's head in the Day-Glo sou’wester nodded vigorously like a ship’s bell in a storm. "The usual, Mr. Stone?"

"Yes, the usual." I handed her the half banknote. "You know the score. You get the other half if my parking spot is still there when I get back." I glanced at Blind Eddie and his unseeing eyes stared back at me full of gratitude.

Mrs. Termagant shuffled over to my car. I followed her, got in and started the engine. A glance in the rear-view mirror as I pulled away showed Mrs. Termagant taking up her position in the road. At least there was one advantage to having an office cleaner who looked like a traffic cone.

#

The car's whitewall tyres hissed as I turned onto the waterlogged blacktop surface of Benison Drive. I slowed my speed down to a crawl and peered out through the rain-smeared windscreen. Low green hills flanked both sides of the narrow road. Regimented clusters of trees helped to break up the skyline and obscure the monuments in the valleys between the hills. To my left in the distance I could just make out the turreted roof of St. Nigel the Flagellant's convent.

I drove on for another two hundred yards, then stopped the car and got out. I'd arrived at my destination. 2571 Benison Drive was a burial plot in Pleasant View Cemetery. A mound of soil with a sparse dusting of grass lay before a simple wooden cross. A small brass plaque on the cross read, Sister Theresa, Rest in Peace, below this was the date of her birth and the date of her passing, a year ago to the day. I stood for a moment, oblivious to the driving rain, and pondered on the significance of this. Years ago, the nun beneath this mound had damned me to hell, and then today, the same dame, or so I thought, had blessed me because I’d turned her down. It didn’t make sense…Then a shiver ran down my spine as I realised the enormity of what had happened.

I got back into the car and rolled a cigarette with shaking hands. It takes a lot to make me shake. I move in a twilight world where nobody is who they appear to be. A world littered with lies and alibis. A world where a man's life ain't worth a hill of beans if he's in the wrong place at the wrong time. I thought I'd seen it all. I thought nothing could surprise me anymore. I was wrong.

Who would have thought it was possible; two nuns, both of them ex in different senses of the word. Both with exactly the same hourglass blemish in exactly the same place on exactly the same thigh. That was one hell of a coincidence and one I hadn't seen coming. I was just glad that I hadn't addressed her as Sister Theresa when she was in my office. Boy! Would that have made me look foolish.

I started the engine and pulled away, and as I did I thought I heard a woman’s voice whisper, “Dumb-ass.” But when I looked there was no one there. It must have been the hissing of tyres.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2008, 11:54:20 AM by Foxy »
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Offline SteveJ

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 11:48:07 AM »
This is brilliant stuff - more please! :)
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Offline ma100

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2008, 04:27:05 PM »
Hope to see more of your
work soon.
Mairi :)

Offline Foxy

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 08:33:38 AM »
Steve and Mairi, thanks very much for your comments guys. ;)
My novel, Trinity, available from Amazon.
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Offline Don

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2008, 07:31:51 PM »
I agree with Steve.  This is freakin' brilliant. 

Now, I know this is being presented as Part 2 and I didn't read (and couldn't find) Part 1.  This could easily stand alone but it could just as easily be the first chapter of one helluva mystery.  Your Detective Stone just has to decide to go find the woman who was in his office that afternoon and we're off to the races.  Great stuff.
I have a motto: when in doubt, go for the cheap laugh.

Offline Big T

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2008, 09:08:25 PM »
There is an echo ringing around this thread  ;)

If Stone takes the case, I'll read more.
Big T  :o

Offline Mark H

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 05:00:23 AM »
Foxy

Very enjoyable and very funny! I love this line: At least there was one advantage to having an office cleaner who looked like a traffic cone.  :D

Great witty writing.

Mark
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Offline Foxy

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2008, 04:14:36 AM »
Don and Big T, once again, thanks for the comments.

Citabria, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
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Offline dedelite

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2008, 09:44:21 PM »
You kept me spellbound through both parts 1 and 2 and now I'm waiting for the part 3, please.

dedelite

Offline Foxy

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2008, 11:57:34 AM »
Thank you for the kind words, Dedelite. :)

However, there is no part three, the story is complete, and all the clues are there to answer the mystery of Sister Theresa and her hourglass mole.
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Offline bobby digital

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2008, 05:56:10 PM »
...

You always amaze me with your similes and metaphors. They are so effortless/snappy and always add to the imagery in your stories.

I have a healthy envy of your flow ;) And will need a autographed copy whenever you get published. 

Bobby
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Offline jeanette

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2008, 06:15:45 PM »
HEYY Foxy is back! It's been too long, mate, I've missed your wonderful wise cracking detective stories. What happened to your old lad Sam, is he still on the scene? I hope so! Just as funny and sharp as ever, Fox, keep it coming.
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Offline Foxy

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Re: Short Story: The Hourglass Blemish - Part Two
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2008, 03:11:20 PM »
Bobby, if I ever get published, you'll be welcome to an autographed copy. Thanks for the comment.


Jeanette, it's good to see you back. I hope your book is selling well. Now, keep it under your hat, but just between you and me, Sam's back after a very long rest, and the story is being written at the moment.
My novel, Trinity, available from Amazon.
UK http://tinyurl.com/7fq8rzt  US http://tinyurl.com/7ecvkom

Blog: One Loose Cannon http://wp.me/2fgNI

Book Covers and artwork: http://patrickfox.crevado.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PatrickFox_