Waiting for work has never been my strong suit. In my current situation I needed to go looking for trouble, instead of waiting for trouble to find me. Working as a private investigator was not easy, but I truly believed that it was my calling and now, it was time to go find people in need of my help.
First, I opened the drawer of my desk and pulled out the revolver, Now, I am not one for destiny, but coincidence often happened in my line of work. As I was loading the colt revolver there door swung inwards, no knock and a beautiful woman entered. Her face said it all, but I needed her lips to confirm.
“Are you Detective Generic?” she asked me, brushing the curls away from her face.
“Depends who's asking,” I murmured, pushing my plaque off the table.
“My name is Miss Universal,” she told me, not meeting my eyes, instead studying the auburn carpet beneath her troubled feet.
“Not Mrs?” I asked slyly, testing the waters so to speak, but these ones seemed to be filled with sharks.
“Not anymore and I would thank you to realize that, Generic.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. What seems to be the problem?”
Universal stood there silently at first, then tears began to roll down her face. Each drop parted her make-up much like that guy parted the sea, Don’t ask me who, I’m not the religious type. After so many weeks in this career, I learned that there was no God, only a child who played with us like cheap action figures.
“He died, Detective,” Miss Universal whispered as I lit my fifth cigarette. Not that I finished smoking the other four, all of them were still in my mouth. “But I believe he was murdered!”
The violins in the background had a bit of a spastic fit, but the saxophone calmed them down so we could continue.
“And you want my help to find out who?” I asked, three cigarettes dropping into my lap because I moved my lips too much.
“Yes, I heard stories about you detective,” she told me, after which she raised her eyes to meet mine. Universal’s eyebrows seemed to do a suggestive dance to which my eyebrows replied with doing the worm.
“Well, I will happily start straight away,” I told her, beating the fire on my lap with a bunch of old newspapers. “Do you have any butlers?”
“No, we use the children.”
“Did he have any evil twins?”
“Sister, living in Madagascar.”
“A disappointed mother?”
I walked over to the blinds and stared out at the busy city street. The case was slowly getting interesting, however, I felt that she was keeping something from me. As I eyed her reflection in window I noticed a common twitch. Her arms bounced around, performing the Macarena.
“You’re going to have to give me something to work with, Miss Universal,” I told her. “I know you’re keeping something from me or you wouldn’t be...is that the riverdance?”
Miss Universal stopped bouncing and repressed her movements.
“It seems you have what it takes, Generic,” she told me, lighting a cigarette of her own. “Yes, there is something I am keeping from you. Something dark, sinister and might be the one piece of useful information that helps you solves this case.”
“In that case, keep it to yourself,” I told her. “I only solve a case when the stakes are high and my landlord has yet to give me a notice.”
“Isn’t that it on the table?”
I lowered my eyes and saw a yellow envelope with the landlords angry writing scrawled across it along with the line, “Where’s my money?!”
“Okay, let’s hear it,” I replied.
“I believe that he was murdered by people from his past,” she told me slowly. I could tell she struggled to find the words, because she stammered more than me when I was six and my mother asked me if I had stolen the last cookie.
“Are time machines in play here?” I asked hopefully.
“No, I mean he was killed by an old criminal partner,” Miss Universal clarified. “Someone who helped him the worst of times. Somebody who aided him in stealing the great jewel of the city, similar to the one I wear around my neck right now. Someone who he loved more than anything else and who loved him more. Someone who would kill him if he ever left the toilet seat up again.”
“Interesting,” I murmured, pacing the room in deep thought. “I believe that I am beginning to see what really happened.”
“Do you, Detective Generic?”
“I do, but there somethings I need to do before I can bring this case to a close.”
“Let me hear it, Generic. The sooner we find the killer the better.”
“First, I need to interrogate the man he buys his cigars from, I feel that he can shed some light. Secondly, we need to sleep together to gain trust and make the grand reveal far more dramatic. Thirdly and finally, after we sleep together you need to call everyone in your family and his, even that crazy aunt who lives out of town, we can wait for her to get here. We will gather them all and at least two fat cops in the same living room. Once there, I will relay the obvious to everyone before you breakdown admitting you were the one who killed him.”
Miss Universal took a piece of paper off the table and began writing on it before handing it over to me.
“Here is the address of the smoke shop that he used to visit often and that is my address on the bottom,” she explained. “The bedroom is on the second floor, first door to your left.”
“I will see you there,” I nodded.
With that, Miss Universal burst into fake tears and walked over to the door, only to drop the act and wave goodbye as she walked out the door. I narrowed my eyes in suspicion.
There was something strange about her, something that didn’t add up.