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Drew Ewing, 02 Sep '12

                                                How They Met


        “Cream or sugar?” the waitress asked, hovering over the table with a half full coffee pot. Her question was an attempt to spark a conversation in the empty restaurant but they had done this dance every day for two weeks with the same outcome.

        “Black, please,” he responded without looking up from the reports and photos that lay in disheveled piles across the small table in the back corner of the diner.

        She began pouring the coffee slowly into his cup, glancing around his head to see the same photos again — checking for any progress. After two weeks of this routine the pang of nausea and fear were almost gone and wasn’t yet sure if this was a good thing. The photo on the top of the pile was of a young woman, jet black hair, ivory pale skin and the crimson streaks of blood across her forehead. The photo was centered on the victim’s left cheek; a bloody imprint of a kiss had been left by a pair of voluptuous lips — the murder’s calling card.

        “Can I help you with something?” he asked, looking up at her. She froze, her eyes meet his, she struggled to find an excuse but she was too startled to speak. She couldn’t bring herself to look away from the man; he looked distinguished with his salt-and-pepper hair cut short, clean shaven face and cobalt eyes. Now, this attractive man had his piercing gaze locked on her and she was powerless to do anything about it.

        She took a deep breath, slowly, trying not to show the anxiety that had her stomach in knots.

        “I am so sorry, sir,” she finally responded. “I didn’t mean to stare, it is just, I couldn’t help but notice what you were working on.”

        “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “I get so damned absorbed in this mess I forget I am not alone.” The words made her feel a bit better, but she was still embarrassed by her careless slip. “I’ve been working this case over a month. I’m getting nowhere. I can’t sleep. All I can do is drink coffee and let these photos haunt me,” he confessed.

        “I’m not a detective, but I can tell you need something to eat. Let me bring you an omelet and pancakes. Food may help you find something you missed or at the very least make you feel a bit better.”

        “Thanks — you’re probably right.”

        She made her way to the kitchen and placed the order with the cook. As she set the coffee pot back on its warmer, she checked her scarlet coated lips in the polished chrome of the counter top and smiled. She passed a quick glance over her shoulder back at the man in the booth; he had returned his attention to his pile of photos. “Detective Sheridan,” she whispered, “if you only knew, how close you were to discovering that murderer.”

Comments · 1

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  • Jessica Cambrook said...

    Ha! I loved the twist. Really clever. I want more!! It would be so interesting if the murderer and the detective got involved in a romantic affair. Keep your friends close and pesky detectives even closer. The thoughts of the waitress are realistic and the interactions aren't forced. I'd like to read more!!

    • Posted 5 years ago