The pounding in my head is so familiar; I barely notice the effect of last night’s scotch. What isn’t familiar is the aroma of coffee. I open one eye, in case there is a body lying next to me. The bed is empty, but the bedside table shows proof of another existence; a half smoked cigarette is slowly disappearing in an ashtray. Oh Jesus, what did I get up to last night? I hate awkward morning after conversations. I drape on my clothes from yesterday, and hurry to make a quick exit. I can hear her in the kitchen, and to get out of the house, I have to pass her.
“Good morning stranger. Drink coffee, or is scotch your preferred drink of the morning?” Her full lipped smile and her husky nicotine voice remind me I still have an hour before I have to make an appearance in the office. But it’s best not to do a repeat, no need to hurt anyone.
“I’m running late as it is. Is my car out front?”
“It’s parked in the driveway, I drove us here. Your keys are near the front door. Will I see you round?”
Might as well let her down easy.
“Yeah, you’ll see me round.” I can’t remember her name.
My office is like my home. No other place is more welcoming. As I enter my floor of the building, my new personal assistant pants up to me.
“Sir, there’s a woman waiting for you in your office. She says she’s being accused of murder. I told her you wouldn’t be in till noon, but she insisted she wants you on the case. Quite a fox actually.”
“Thanks for the update George.”
I walk into my office, and the woman is sitting in front of my desk, back towards the door. As I sit down, I examine her without saying a word. I’ve been called intimidating many times, but she doesn’t even flinch. Hair in a bun, pinstriped skirt suit, and short heal black shoes. A fox? She looks like she’s preparing to become a nun. Too innocent to be capable of murder. Obviously, this is what she was aiming at.
“So, who did you kill?”
“I’m being framed.”
“So you say.”
“Are you always so arrogant? I am being framed, and Bob Jones told me to come see you. Apparently your an ex-cop, pissed off at the justice system and its corruption, and the description perfectly fits you.”
“What’s with the innocent get up?”
“Appearances are everything. Are we going to talk about the actual case, or do you want to discuss my shoe size?”
“If you pay me for it, sure.” She looks frustrated. Better get on with actual questions.
“Ok I apologise. Do you mind if I pour myself a drink while you explain to me what’s happening?”
“It’s ten-thirty. In the morning.”
“And I haven’t had breakfast.” She looks at me, not sure whether I’m being serious. To prove myself, I stand and head straight for my cabinet containing my Chivas Regal Scotch Whiskey. It ironic that my office is in such poor condition, looking as cheap as a ten dollar motel room, and yet I manage to buy one of the most expensive bottles of scotch every week. I suppose I have my priorities in order. While I pour myself a glass, I glance at her to make...