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| Category: || Mystery and Crime Fiction |
Posted:|| February 9, 2020 Views: 134|
Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
Chapter 1 of the book Double Blind
Blind Girl Mysteries, Book Two
"Double Blind ~ Chapter One"
by Sally Law
It was the type of Louisiana evening that left you chilled. The moist gulf air mingled with Old Man Winter and sent us inside earlier than usual searching for warmth.
Jackson and I had just finished our hot chocolate when we heard a familiar knock at the door. It was our new neighbor, Mike Lembowsky.
"Would it be too much trouble to take King with me downtown? I was needing some fresh air. My house renovations are near completion, but the new paint smell just does me in."
"Say no more," I said. "King needs a walk, and you're welcome to stay in our guestroom if you'd like. Your alarm clock still sits on the nightstand."
King, being the psychic dog that he was, appeared with his leash in his mouth.
The moonless night obscured a mysterious presence, stopping Detective Lembowsky and King in their tracks.
"Gotta light?" asked the raspy male voice. "Cheap lighters--who needs them?"
Detective Lembowsky was trying to quit, but more often than not, still carried his engraved lighter. "I don't recognize you, Sir. Are you new around here?"
The stranger cupped his hands to receive the flame. "What's it to ya? You some kind of cop?"
"As a matter of fact, I am. My name is Detective Mike Lembowsky. And you are...?"
"There's no need for a strip search, Officer. I'm just passing through your fine town enjoying a pack of smokes. It doesn't sound like you're from around here, Detective. I'd say... Jersey," guessed the stranger.
"Hoboken. I'm a transplant, but I certainly do love it here," said the detective as he took a mental picture. "There's less crime, and Lafayette Township has a such a homey feel."
"Yeah, it's like going back in time. I heard about this place on the news with the Andre Dupree murder trial and all. I'd thought I'd take a trip and come see for myself."
"I still didn't catch your name."
"Oh, sorry about that. My name's Ed Silver. My friends call me Eddie." He extended his hand in a quick handshake.
It's funny what you can learn about a person from their handshake. The detective's mind quickly ran down the list of Louisiana's Most Wanted.
"I'm famished," complained Mr. Silver. "Is there any place around here you would recommend?"
"Louie Louie's is great. They have a large dinner menu, but they're only open until ten o'clock. The Cajun gator tail is good, and the gumbo, if you like authentic Louisiana cuisine. Tell the owners Detective Lembowsky sent you."
Ed Silver disappeared into the evening, leaving a cloud of suspicion behind him.
"King, what do you say? I could go for a bowl of hot gumbo right about now. Follow that Cajun smell."
I was out of breath from running. How had I ventured so far away from home without Jackson and King? I could hear their voices, but I couldn't see them.
"Jackson, where are you? King, come now!" I stumbled and cried as I tried to move along. A faint trace of light shone on a passer-by as I fell to my knees. "Please, someone help me! I'm lost and can't seem to find my husband or my guide dog."
The smell of cigarettes filled my nostrils. I tried to scream, but I could not....
King's electronic collar went off at the same time Detective Lembowsky's cellphone chimed. It was Jackson.
King immediately turned towards home with him in tow.
"What is it, Jackson? Is Sally all right?"
"She's had a bad dream, I'm afraid. I think she needs her dog to help calm her. It was a really bad one this time. Sal said she can still smell the cigarettes from the dream."
"We'll be right there." The detective and King ran all the way to 17 East Main Street without stopping. The face of Ed Silver came to his mind, and the detective felt their meeting had not been a coincidence.
The stranger returned to the alleyway where his Lexus had been parked for so long, it was no longer white.
Everything he needed for a quick transformation was in a small makeup case, which was stashed in the glove compartment. He removed his brown contact lenses and put on a pair of horn-rimmed glasses.
Staring at himself in the rearview mirror, he continued to alter his look until he had it right. "Pomade is just the thing!" He put a little bit between his hands and smoothed his wavy gray hair back and away from his face. He slipped on a turtleneck sweater and rain slicker to give himself a heavier appearance. "It pays to be a magician," he said as he admired his work.
Rummaging through his backpack, he switched to another wallet--just one of many. Each one was complete with a fake driver's license, gym membership card, and multiple credit cards. "Let's see, I think for tonight, I'll need this one. I really do look like a Gavin Lovett," he drawled in his southern accent.
Just then, his burner phone rang. Rolling his eyes, he received the call from the familiar number. The voice on the other end was irritated.
"Well... did you find her?"
"I'm close. You need to be patient. These things take time. Besides, she's heavily guarded."
"How much time are we talking?"
"A few weeks, possibly longer. If you want this to look clean and no tracks back to you, you'll need to be more patient. Don't keep calling me. I'll be in touch if I have any questions."
The disposable phone was thrown into the sewer as the stranger made his way to find the best gumbo around.
It was a typical Sunday evening for LSU student, Clementine Jones. One she had grown tired of. She had stooped to the unthinkable-- an online dating profile. She went by her usual nickname of Tine Jones, and ditched the first part of her ancestral curse. Who on earth would name their daughter Clementine? Wait ... my doting parents!
Online profiles were so appealing to the twenty-year-old. She liked the anonymity and the way a profile could present her in the best light. Tine had more money and scholastic awards than her friends, but she was missing her storybook romance. "This should do it," she said as she pressed search.
She gave it a few minutes while she made herself a cup of microwaveable ramen noodles, a culinary staple her roommates bought by the case at Big Box. Tine sipped the hot broth as she reviewed her results.
"Nope. No--definitely, not. Oh, please!" She scrolled down the list of responses who wanted to do a meet and greet in an informal setting.
Not one looked appealing. She was just about to call it quits when one more caught her eye.
This man's profile was just what she was looking for. He was well-read and an LSU graduate! An older man with graying at his temples. His likes included: sunset walks on the beach, poetry, Cajun food, and live jazz concerts. Be still my heart. Look at those blue eyes!
Tine pressed the accept button and hopped in the shower. She had to hurry to be on time to meet 'Mr. Blue Eyes' at Louie Louie's in Lafayette Township by eight o'clock. However, she broke a pact she had made with her roomates, and it made her wince. "I'll call from my cellphone as soon as I get there and let them know where I am," she said as she backed out of her campus parking space.
Unfortunately, Clementine Jones never made that call.
To be continued....
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