"You don't boo the stripper."
Jensen frowned into his drink, regretting his partner's choice of
venue for fleshing the truth from Carl DeAngelo. DeAngelo's wife's
version of the truth, that is; the version that would guarantee a
favorable divorce settlement and seal a nice commission for Jensen
and Jensen, Private Detectives. It'll be perfect, Louise had
said. Get him to a strip club. Buy him a few rounds. He'll spill
his guts. Louise was probably at home right now, tucked into her
favorite armchair, cracking the spine of a new mystery. Why had he
chosen to go into business with Louise? Why, indeed, had he asked her
to marry him?
"You lecturing me on local
etiquette, Jensen? I guess you don't want my business that bad."
His cover was that of a hardware
salesmen. Jensen didn't know a doorknob from a doorbell, but Louise
seemed to think he could pull it off. "Nothing local about it.
You just don't do it."
"Why the hell not? She ain't got
nuthin' to shake, what with them thin hips and, well, let's face it,
upstairs there's not much to look at neither."
Jensen gazed at the stripper,
practically a child. She could be his daughter--the daughter he'd
lost when...He narrowed his eyes, studied the girl's face. Could it
"I could do a better job than
her." Carl stood. "You boys think so?" He put his
hands in the air and gyrated his hips.
The girl's face fell. She stopped
dancing. "Alright, asshole," she shouted. "Come on up
and see what it's like to strip in front you morons. Your wives know
what you're up to tonight?"
A moment of silence followed by uneasy
"I guess I'm up." Carl leapt
onto the stage vacated by the stripper and began dancing.
Jensen tossed a hundred on the table
and went in search of the girl that just might be his daughter.
It had been three years.
He wasn't quite ready to give up.
Labels: Fiction, flash fiction, Trifecta Writing Challenge