It is that time again! Today's prompt words are: Lucid, Righteous and Salvage. I continued last week's story line with this week's words.
A week later, I was still no closer to finding out who killed Marie Francis O’Malley. Her friends and neighbors all loved her. She was a sweet Irish Catholic girl who always had a kind word, did volunteer work at the homeless shelter and the animal rescue shelter, was attending classes at the local community college and wanted to be a kindergarten teacher.
She was so sweet, it made my teeth hurt. Her parents and siblings – all fourteen of them – had descended on me time and time again, but there was nothing else I could tell them.
Lurch, I mean, the coroner, had found that cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation. She fought though, and the traces of hair and skin under her nails, and the semen inside her had been sent for a DNA profile.
The phone rang and I jumped. “Detective’s Squad.”
“I need to speak with Detective Luna.” The connection was horrible. I could barely make out the caller’s words under the static.
“This is Luna.” For a moment there was only the pops and hisses on the line.
“I have some information about Marie O’Malley.”
I ripped off the top sheet of my notepad, quickly discarding my distracted doodling, and switched into interrogation mode. “What’s your name?”
“Uh…It’s Paul. Paul Smith.”
Sure. Whatever. “Okay, Paul, what information do you have about Miss O’Malley?”
The connection worsened and I couldn’t make out his words. “Paul, can you still hear me?”
“Yeah, I can hear ya’.” His voice sounded tinny and far away.
“Can we meet?” I was sick of trying to decode his words.
“I don’t know if that would be a good idea.”
“If your info’s good, there may be something in it for your, Paulie.”
“Fine. Meet me at Sabine’s in an hour.”
“How will I know who you are, Paul?”
“I know who you are. I’ll wait for you.”
Sabine’s was one of the city’s newest hotspots. Everyone who was anyone wanted in, so the line stretched down the sidewalk for over half a block. I scanned the crowd with cop eyes, knowing instinctively which ones were doing drugs, selling drugs or had something heavy in their jacket pocket or ruining the line of their clothes. I wasn’t here for that tonight, but I’d definitely give vice a head’s up – if I could salvage my own case.
I thought briefly about standing in line, but hell, I have a badge, and what fun is it to have if you don’t use it? The spike heels on my black leather boots sounded like gunshots as I strode past all of the vacant stares and hostile voices, right up to the bouncer guarding the entrance.
“Sorry lady. Back of the line.” He crossed his arms – or attempted to cross his arms – over his massive chest. “You gotta wait like everybody else.”
He turned away, clearly dismissing me until I shoved my badge in his face. “I think I’ll just go on in, unless you have a problem with that?”
“Listen, I don’t want no trouble. I’m just doin’ my job.” His voice was so deep it almost hurt to hear.
“I’m not trying to wad you up, Tiny. I’m meeting someone.” He looked at me for a few more seconds before motioning me past. I flashed him a quick grin when I heard all of the moans from the waiting crowd.
The music smashed into me. Hard. It felt like a heartbeat throbbing all over my body. I stopped just inside the door and let my eyes adjust to the dim light and overpowering strobe lights.
The dance floor was packed and around the outskirts were tables overflowing with people. In a single sweep of the room I counted seven different drug deals and at least ten times as many underage drinkers. I could only pray my Paul Smith was lucid enough to tell me anything, and that he had something good.
If not I was going to shoot him. And, by God, it would be a righteous shoot. No one makes me miss Monday night football with my dad.
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On a personal note... We had our final adoption hearing on Monday, and Aaron is officially ours now! Big family happiness!