Rouge, Private Eye
Synopsis: Street smart, intellectual, observant and keen, Rouge and Blanche solve crimes without the assistance of local law enforcement, unless necessary.
Chapter 1-Red Glove Investigators Inc.
The seemy, seedy underbelly of the city had seen its fair share of private eyes come and go, never lasting much longer than a week. One young twenty-something woman had bought the building adjacent from the police station. No one had owned that duplex for years but it had once belonged to the city's finest detective. Alas, that detective's name was lost to progress and modern technology, but the newcomer would use these tools towards her advantage.
She called herself Rouge. No one knew her actual monquier, and if they asked, she always veiled her responses. Not only that, but she was absolutely stunning to gaze upon. If her rapier wit and incredible deductive abilities didn't impress, then her bombshell body was enough to make anyone stare, despite sexual preference.
Rouge preferred to work alone on crimal cases outside the jurisdiction of the law. Some officers actually despised her, but others admired her moxy. She made plenty of money solving crimes on her own accord and had inherited vast amounts from her wealthy parents to afford forensic equipment and a lab all under one roof. She had plenty of books for research, just in case she needed them, but it was unlikely since she had an idactic memory. She was comfortable working alone and had acquaintences she chatted with online, but no real 'friends'. Her only so-called social life was her love of ballroom dance with her partner and sometimes lover, Frankie Azul. On weekends, she would spend the night with him, and then return home, back to the apartment and no one would be the wiser she had been out on a night on the town and returned to her home and rest. In the morning, she'd read, reorginize files and keep closed cases organized from open ones. It didn't take long and afterward she would play the flute and enjoy some time with the company cat, Noir. Noir was kind of a mascot for Red Glove Investigators Inc even though he stayed close to home, but he did enjoy the occassional piping Rouge provided him as well as the time spent playing with him when she wasn't excercising or reading.
Chapter 2-I Was Wondering...
It had been a fairly typical day for Rouge after she had solved the mystery of a woman's stolen identity. She had discovered it was the woman's so called boyfriend who had been dipping into her funds and taking advantage of her purposely. Since that time the young lady dumped her boyfriend and has been happily independent. Sighing happily with a cup of green raspberry tea and lemon tarts, Rouge petted her beloved Noir as he jumped up atop her desk and rubbed up against her, displaying immense amounts of affection. There he curled up into a ball and rolled supinely in order for her to scratch his belly. She smiled and thought to herself, 'Another case closed and work well done. All completed just before I can get my daily watching of CSI for the evening.' All of a sudden, her doorbell rang. It was to the tune of Strauss' waltz, different from any other chime in the city. It set her apart from other businesses and added even more class and elegance to her already lavish reputation.
'Coming !', she said, leaving a pouty Noir behind on the desk, wondering where his massuse had gone to. Opening the door, Rouge welcomed a woman dressed in a white dress, hat and tan trenchcoat. She was blonde and blue-eyed, the exact opposite of Rouge.
'Come in. Sit down. I can pour you a cup of tea if you want.', Rouge offered. The blonde woman happily accepted, loving the tea and tart that Rouge so hospitably gave her.
'This is divine. Did you make the tarts yourself ?', she inquired.
'Yes. How observant. How did you know ?', Rouge asked, mightily impressed.
'Firstly, you can call me Blanche. Once I come to trust you, you'll be the only other person other than my parents to know my true name. I deduced it was your work because this tart is far too decadent and sweet to come from a store. You seem to have a gift in the kitchen.', Blanche deduced. Blanche had a flair for the obvious but her deductive reasoning was flawless. She got straight to the point and asked about the circular in the newspaper.
'You've been working for years now and doing sensationally. I must say, I am rightly impressed.', Blanche remarked. Rouge couldn't help but blush at the compliment. She considered the intellect of this woman and knew she had an instant rapport with her. Although she had been working as an independent private detective for years, it wouldn't hurt for her to have a companion to help with some of the cold cases that were still stumping her.
'I've considered your credentials, Blanche. I am pleased to say 'welcome aboard !', Rouge stated, congradulating her. Immediately, Blanche hugged her a bit overzealously. She withdrew her embrace from Rouge, but Rouge didn't mind being approached in such a way. It had been years since she had a female friend and she knew that Blanche would be someone that she could count upon. Besides, there were cold cases that were still stumping her. Although there weren't many of them, she had a sense that Blanche would dive right in and seal these troublesome cases once and for all.
Chapter 3-The Case of the Teenage Runaway
It had been considered a cold case for years now, but the parents of this young African American girl, Natalia, hadn't given up on finding her. It had been said that she was held captive by a sexual predator, but none knew if this information was hearsay or simply the product of bad rumors and possible nightmare fuel. Blanche knew that the rumors weren't true. Natalia was simply homeless, she concluded. According to the files, she was dead, but after doing some digging, she learned the young lady had fallen upon hard times. It wasn't that she didn't try, no. That wasn't the case for this industrious lady. She simply couldn't find work and instead had to panhandle and do odd jobs just to feed herself and the community she had become a part of.
Half the case was nearly closed except for the whereabouts of the lost homeless girl.
She wasn't a runaway after all, even though originally, police had deemed her as such.
'Where was the last place she was spotted ?', Rouge asked, thinking she was on to something after looking at survellience photos through her computer. She felt she had captured a recent picture of Natalia on a corner playing a harmonica recieivng money for her talent.
Blanche explained to her that it was a bad part of town and the two of them would have to be very cautious.
'I have a kevlar jacket. I also purchased one in your size. I carry a gun, but I never use it unless I have to. I have an extra if you need one. Do you know how to shoot ?', Rouge asked, practically.
'Of course I do. When I was a little girl dad would take me to the shooting range and teach me. He was involved in 'Nam, so he had quite a bit of combat experience. Dad might be a bit rough around the edges but he has a heart of gold.', Blanche reminisced, waxing nostalgic.
Chapter 4-Returning A Little Lost Lamb
The neighborhood was foreboding to say the least, but neither one of the women let the uneasyness of the urban setting get under their skin. There were quite a few homeless people meandering about, but one was panhandling. From the profile, Blanche looked at the young woman's dirty face. She looked a bit more rugged than usual.
'Could you spare a few dollars ? I'm really hungry.', she said, pathetically. She was in desperate need of a bath as well as a visit from the dentist.
'Actually, we have something better in mind. You just have to make us a promise.', Rouge said, meeting the young woman's eyes, clearly and plainly.
'What's that ?', Natalia asked.
'Promise us you won't run away from home ever again.', Blanche said, seriousness in her matronly voice. Natalia knew that when she had made that decision initally, it had been impulsive and lacking direction. She was grown up and thoughts such as that were in the past, as were her days on the street. From now on, she was going to make an honest living and gain the education she needed in order to survive. Sure it might take her longer than her peers to get through high school and college, but with hard work and dedication, she was going to be the first in her family to get the job she desired and maybe even become a massuese someday as she always wanted to be. Needless to say, this cold case could be filed under 'open and shut' and thankfully had come after a long line of other cold cases that had been thawed and ended more unfavorably. It always made the two investigators euphoric when they could finish the day on a high note and go to bed that night knowing they had reunited a family that had never given up hope on finding one another.
Chapter 5-Good Times, Bad Times
The private investigating job didn't come without its critics or danger. As the Runaway open and shut case had proven, going into the situation with Kevlar jackets had been prudent. There were a few times that the ladies did so, along with firearms, just to be safe. They never used them, but having the protection there was enough to give them peace of mind.
Then of course, came those who didn't care for the investigators, especially some in the force who thought the ladies were taking away some of their business and spread some rather derisive, snide remarks on internet forums about Red Glove Investigators, Inc. Like Blanche always said, 'Don't feed the trolls'. Both of the ladies knew it was good advice. Those enforcers were simply jealous and had too much time on their hands.
There were days when Blanche and Rouge ventured into gang territory and risked their lives amongst endangered youths. Sometimes, Rouge even had the fortitude to talk to kids at risk and pull them away from gang life before it could even take a stranglehold of a youngster.
'You do realize that if they figured out where you were, they could come and either shoot you to death or rape you.', Blanche reminded.
'I know. But these kids don't have any parents and I want them to have a good role model. I don't know if they will ever thank me, but I am satisfied knowing I can make somewhat of a difference. Maybe my influence will help lower crime ? Who knows ? It's up to the kids I teach !', Rouge said, with a reflective, but angelic smile as she sipped a cup of vanilla latte and nibbled on a crisp biscotti at the local coffee joint.
'That's admirable. I think we're both changing the world in small ways.', Blanche agreed as she nibbled on a lemon tart and drank some hot green gooseberry tea. It was getting late and about the time that Noir had to be fed. The ladies returned to Red Glove Investigations, Inc. and took care of a very hungry and affectionate black kitty. It was rather late, and they were feeling enervated.
'Time to close up for the night.', Rouge said, stretching and yawning. The two friends said their goodnights and conducted their typical rituals for the night before settling down to bed. Noir joined Rouge in her bed, snuggling under her chin, peacefully. It was good to close another case and to dream of what tomorrow would offer as the two friends slept to the drone of cars rumbling by on the street and the smooth sound of a jazz musician earning his keep in the evening before returning home.
Some might think that an agency like Red Glove Investigators, Inc. might be a passing phase, one that was left behind with the end of the Temperance movement. However, it is alive as it ever was. Although some may not like the fact that the two slightly rebellious females operate outside the jurisdiction of the law, they still follow protocol and know the difference between right and wrong (albiet the line between the two can be many different shades of grey). So long as crime continues in this world on the mean streets of Chicago, these two women will continue upholding truth, justice and a better future for youngsters. This world can be a jungle at times, and someone has to be the zookeeper to keep order where there is none.