The car is empty as I drive by. At least I think it is. But no excuse not to be careful. I head up to the top of the deck and park next to the Corvette. It should be safe for a couple of hours, the towing company hasn’t been by in weeks.
I pop out toward the stairwell. The interior is lit with holiday light and it doesn’t bode well. The door to my floor is propped open. I quickly go to the other staircase. Illuminated by another set of light, couple was coming up the stairs, hanging off each other. I didn’t recognize them, but they seemed OK. I’ll act normal and no one will suspect a thing. A snow fox would be proud of me as make my way down. They get off at the third floor and don’t even notice I’m there. Good.
Getting out on my floor, I see two sets of shoe prints on concrete floor going up to Delores’s place, a woman’s and a man’s. She’s none of my business, but I am compelled to at least check it out. I feel a twinge of anticipation as I get closer, like when I would wake up Christmas morning hoping for a lot of presents. Would it be good, like Angie wrapped up in a bow or bad like another corpse?
My reverie is shattered by the sound of them getting on the naughty list. Mr. Audi was a bad, bad boy and Mother Delores was encouraging every bit of it. And I could tell the new toys came with batteries. They don’t need or want my input, obviously.
I listen until they finish then go in my place. The empties were where I left them. Why not? It isn’t like I have anybody to clean up after me. They sound like gunshots as they hit the bottom and I duck behind the sofa. What is it about this case making me so jumpy? Donna Bartlett didn’t give off weird vibes. She was another woman who had made bad decisions and was looking for a way out. Solving those puzzles was how I had made my living the last few years.
I flip on the laptop to take my mind off things. I pull up a video on the meaning of dreams and let it run in the background while I do the final review of the case file. Date of first contact: October 26 when she called to ask if I were available. It was a week before I could actually see her because of a couple of prior commitments. Then she’s dead less than 30 days later. Funny how all of it goes.
A passage about flying dreams enters my conscience. I used to have a lot of those when I was little, usually ending in a crash. An expert on the screen says these anticipate some tragedy that was coming, or not. I wonder if Donna dreamed?
I guess I’ll never know.
Pic Guesses: Snowfox (in blog), white, quiet, winter, cold, curious