Monday, May 7, 2007

Powder Burn Flash #23 - Clair Dickson

A Bo Fexler Short Story
Clair Dickson

"Honest, I haven't seen him in, like, weeks," Amy tittered. She flashed a smile.
"When, exactly, was the last time you saw him?" I pressed again. I leaned in, using my several-inch height advantage for intimidation. I'm Bo Fexler, tenacious female private investigator. She was a woman I'd finally cornered outside a Taco Bell after several weeks of investigating.
"Well. Lemme think. I think it was back in April before spring break."
"Spring break?" I arched one eyebrow.
"I'm still in high school. Graduate this year."
"You don't look that young. How old were you started dating Ben?"
"Seventeen. We were pretty steady for a long while."
"That's what I hear."
"But we broke up. I don't even know where he's at."
"I don't buy that."
Her smile vanished and was replaced by a cold frown. "I don't care."
"You've been calling him and harassing him."
"No. No, I haven't."
I moved very close to her. "You didn't like that he broke up with you. That he got another girl. Except, you didn't realize he had the girl on the side most of the time he was dating you. You were the young girl he scored with, she was the girl he was going to settle down with."
"You don't know what you're talking about. You talk this shit, but you can't prove anything."
"I don't have to prove anything to you. You have to try to clear your name. I have enough circumstantial evidence to hang you with."
She shoved me. I allowed myself to tumble back and fall to the floor. She laughed cruelly. "You don't have anything."
"Maybe not. I guess I'll go." I gave up easy, starting to get to my feet. Because I already had what I needed. I had lifted her cell phone from her open, over-stuffed purse.
She didn't give up though. She lunged at me, knocking me back over. She pulled my hair and scratched at my face. I tried to shove her off but was limited because I clutched her phone in one hand. She punched me with a loose fist, so I grabbed her wrist and twisted it until she squealed and scrambled away from me. I thought she was leaving, but she came back for a heeled-kick to my head. I grabbed her ankle, twisted her to the ground beside me, and punched her good in the face. Her nose trickled blood. I got up and got away, finally.
I drove down the street, finally stopping at a gas station. I flipped open Amy's phone and wrote down each of the numbers dialed, noting when they were called. Two numbers were called frequently. One was my client's husband.
But that didn't prove that she was calling to harass like my client's husband claimed. Or that she was seeing the husband, like my client wanted evidence to prove. But I had an idea. I went to my car and took out my tape player. Then, I opened the phone, put it on speakerphone, and dialed.
After three things, a breathless voice answered.
"Hi!" I asked, forcing my voice to high giggly pitch.
"Amy? Is that you?"
"Uh-huh!" I giggled and drawled.
"You not supposed to call this early."
"No? Oh. Right. Forgot."
"Have you been drinking?"
"A little."
"A little?"
"But I wanted to hear you again."
"You must be drunk. You usually only call when you want money, pot, or sex."
"I know. I do. I knew there was a reason I called!" I giggled. This was degrading.
"Which do you want?"
"Can I get sex?"
"No. I told you. I gotta stay home with the baby."
I knew that. "How about pot. I'm out."
"How can you be out? I just sold you four ounces on Sunday."
"I'm starting to think you don't love me anymore."
"I never loved you. You know that. I liked your . . . kitty. You liked my plants."
"That's right. And the wife?"
"What about her? She has what she wants. The nice husband. The kids. The big house. She's got everything she wants. Doesn't suspect a thing."
I rolled my eyes. "Of course not. You're so smart," I said in my normal voice. And hung up. I returned the phone by placing it on Amy's windshield, wiped clean of course, and called my client on my own phone.
She took it in stride.
A few days later, it hit her. And hit Tom. With the weight of their minivan as my client pulled into the driveway after dropping the kids off at her parent's for an overnight visit. I was called to testify on motive.
I supplied the tape, reluctantly admitting that I picked up Amy's phone and pretended to be her. I almost didn't get anything for my trouble. Except I took it upon myself to contact the paper about my testimony-- free advertising.
And I called my client's parents, telling them they were responsible for their daughter's bill if she didn't pay.
I also called Amy and told her that she could have been next. She didn't thank me. Probably because I also set her up to buy pot off an undercover narcotics officer. My way of thanking her.


BIO: Clair Dickson writes Bo Fexler stories when she's not teaching her darling students at the Alternative Adult Education High School Program she's currently underpayed at. She also maintains a blog at, posting links to Bo's published stories there. Clair has a penchant for wordplay, including the title of this story. She can't help it-- it's like Kryptonite.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You seriously need to listen and follow Earl Nightengale's "Lead the Field" cds....

Great writing style but the content just screams anguish about how you see life....

Attitude is key. Make yours a positive one as soon as you can.