Thank you for being such a patient listener. Today was just a regular day at the office. I got coffee, sat down and listened to Tom read the reports, did some light investigative work, and -oh yeah, killed a couple of drug dealers on my way home! You should have been there! It was a real rush! I would go into the details about the murder, but before I do, please remember, in case anyone is reading this without my permission-this is a work of fiction!
Now, on with the story-"
The forty-something year-old man trembled as he twiddled the pen between his fingers. It was difficult to tell if he was really nervous or just overly excited.
"It was a dark and stormy night-I know that's cliche, but that's just how it is at night in Seattle! Jack Longmire-that's me, if you don't know!"
Jack put his pen down and looked thoughtful for a few minutes.
"Where-oh-where was I? Oh yeah, Jack Longmire was on his way home after a long somewhat tedious and unfruitful-oh who was I kidding? It was downright boring! All I did was go through paperwork and listen to Tom yap yap like a little dog! I could have been working on the latest Black Death murder case, but oh no! Old Tom wanted to make sure we were thoroughly briefed on the details first. After all, there was no need to go rushing into things...or was there?"
The pen started to swivel as Jack shivered in nervous manic glee.
"Anyway, to get back to my little story, I was bored, probably more bored than I had been in years-and I thought, I had just spent the last six hours learning about how to cover up a murder and commit the perfect crime-why put it to waste? Heh-ha! I bet you didn't see that one coming. Well, you should have because it was in the introduction, but I digress..."
The cat that lives in the office came up and started trying to rub affectionately against Jack. Without thinking, he put his hand out and started petting it, but before he knew it-
"Get off you mangy fur ball! I'm trying to tell a story here!"
The cat sprawled itself out over his desk and purred contently.
Jack balled up a fist and yanked the cat up by the scruff of its neck.
"Meack!" the cat screamed.
"Jack, I need you to go take Tina and investigate that crime scene we were talking about!"
"Finally, a little bit of action!" Jack said under his breath.
"Mew!" the cat said, almost in appreciation.
Jack sighed, loosened his grip, and gently placed the struggling feline on the floor. It quickly crept away, distrustful of the situation.
The forty-something aspiring crime fiction writer put his pen in his pocket, grabbed his coat, and walked to the car.
Tina was waiting. Jack eyed her, raised an eyebrow, and gave a wry smile.
"Are we doing some undercover work today or do you have another job you forgot to tell us about?" Jack asked.
"Very funny, Jack, ha ha," Tina said dryly.
It was a fair question, at least Jack supposed it was. She was dressed kind of like a cocktail waitress, or at least he thought so. She had what looked like a leather corset and short shorts. Her short blonde hair fell into her face.
"Well, either that, or you need some serious fashion advice..." Jack said with a smirk.
"If we're going undercover we at least have to look the part. How well do you think a seedy joint like Montigo's would receive us if we came dressed in our PI uniforms?" Tina said.
"Well, probably better than if we showed up in our underwear, but I'm just a man, what do I know?" Jack quipped.
"Apparently less than you look like you know..." Tina quipped.
"Are we going to do this all the way to the club?" Jack asked.
"Hey, you were the one who started it," Tina said.
Jack rolled his eyes and leaned back in his seat.
"Spoken like a true child," Jack whispered.
"Hey, what was that?" Tina asked.
"Nothing...Lady Marmalade!" Jack quipped again.
That time, he was rewarded for his cheekiness with a slap.
"I'm wearing this because Tom thought it was a good idea..." Tina said.
Jack smiled and started giggling.
"...so maybe my boss isn't afraid to mix business with pleasure after all?" Jack asked.
"You let him hear you say that and he might just throw you off the force," Tina said.
"Tsk, tsk!" Jack said. It was a clicking, scoffing sound.
Tina glared daggers at him.
"I'm just saying, I'm not the one dressed like a Playboy bunny; why couldn't he have found a better outfit for me?" Jack asked.
"Wanna trade?" Tina asked.
The response was a chuckle.
Jack then raised his eyebrows and looked at Tina through the rear view mirror.
"You think I could pull it off?" Jack asked.
"Yeah, when pigs fly!" Tina said.
"...or when our boss starts taking these undercover missions seriously, right?" Jack asked.
Jack continue driving, trying to hold back a chuckle. Young ambitious twenty-something Tina Bright could be such a child at times, and she was willing to do anything to make the force happy, including dressing like the Easter bunny and going to a cocktail party for a mob boss.
"If anyone's dying tonight, it will probably be of laughter," Jack whispered to himself as he continued to drive.
He took one more long look at Tina and her ridiculous looking outfit. He didn't notice at first, but it actually had feathers, or at least it looked like it, maybe that was a hat she was wearing. Jack tried to stifle his laughter and not roast Tina anymore, but he almost felt like she was asking for it. Black lipstick, giant high heels, low-cut leather halter top...did he even need to go on?
"I hope they don't ask you how much you charge," Jack quipped. He just couldn't help himself.
"Ooh! That does it. I'm changing when we get to the bar, but you better not cost us our mission!" Tina said.
"Darn! and I was getting ready to see if I could nominate you for one of those makeover shows!" Jack said.
"You know, you're so hotheaded; you think you know everything..." Tina yelped.
Jack sat and listened to her rant about him being an insensitive jerk. She must have had a lot to say, because by the time she was finished-
"..and we're here!" Jack said, as he turned in to the parking lot.
Tina and Jack got out and headed toward the door.
Jack took one last look at Tina and gave a whistle, followed by a dry chuckle. This earned him a glare from Tina.
"If you would open your eyes you'd see that I didn't do half bad; most of the girls are dressed like this," Tina said.
The forty-something sighed when he realized she was right. Many of the women he saw walking in and out were dressed the same way Tina was, in those ridiculously short rompers that could have been bathing suits. In fact, compared to some of the girls he saw in the lineup, Tina was actually somewhat modest.
"They all need better fashion sense," Jack quipped.
"That's besides the point, if I'm dressed like the majority of women at this place, I think I made the right call," Tina said.
"Speaking of call, the call girls called and they want that outfit back..." Jack said.
"..and I'm just about ready to call whoever sold you those clothes...and..." Jack said.
Jack continued turned to scoff at Tina when he noticed she was already gone. He turned and saw she was already headed toward the door.
"I thought you said you were going to change?" Jack said.
"Calm down, we're not even inside yet. I can do it there. What? You don't expect me to do it here, do you?" Tina asked.
The older male sighed.
"No, even though that outfit leaves so little to the imagination already it probably wouldn't even matter!" Jack said.
"Yeah, but you ain't the fashion police!" Tina said.
"For that outfit, I'm happy to make a citizen's arrest!" Jack said.
Tina groaned and growled as they approached the line.
Jack was only kind of aware of what was going on. It was bad practice, but he couldn't help but let his mind wander back to the story he was writing. He took his pen out and started fiddling with it, anxious to put it to use.
"I'm Rosie and this is Stephen!" Tina declared in an obviously fake Brooklyn accent. Jack tried to hold back a giggle.
The man scanned the registry.
"I'm sorry; you ain't on the list," the man said.
"There must be some kind of mistake, I'm, you see-" Tina said.
Jack cut Tina off.
"I might be able to handle this," Jack said.
The forty something asked to see a copy of the register for himself, and they were indeed on the list.
"Next time, we'll tell our managers if you refuse us service!" Jack quipped.
"Right!" Tina said.
The chilly air and even chillier mood hit them as they walked into the bar. The lights were dimmed, and the whole room was tinted in a sort of purple. Shadows played on the walls. Music from the speakers pounded their eardrums. Jack continued to fiddle with his pen.
"At least there are no flashing lights," Jack said, with a sigh.
Normally, he had trouble tolerating places like this. He wasn't about to let his twenty-something female co-worker show him up, though.
"No matter," Jack said with a sigh.
The forty-something was perched on a bar stool. Lazily, he played with his straw while trying to figure out his next move. Tina was covering the hard part, and she was supposed to alert him if she found anything of interest.
Jack tapped his fingers nervously on the bar counter. He couldn't take it anymore; he was getting really bored, and it looked like business was slow tonight.
Quietly, he pulled out his pen and began to write on a napkin.
"Well, I'm back. Hopefully, I wasn't missed. It's been dreadfully boring out here at this bar. It does remind me of what I did to those drug dealers, though, and, well, since I don't have anything better to do right now, I might as well let you know every gory detail-okay-it all started on a night much like tonight-"
The forty-something stopped, scowled at the paper, and then scratched through his first few sentences.
"Nah...I've already given them an introduction...but if I cut to the action now...won't that leave a lot of plot twists and fun developments unexplored?"
The man continued to fiddle with his pen and napkin.
"Like I said, I've decided to give you all of the gory details and not hold anything back-"
"Hmm...now, I kind of like the sound of that!" the aspiring crime novel writer said.
Almost as if on compulsion, he went back and studied the sentence. He crossed out the last five words of the sentence he wrote.
Suddenly, a searing pain went through his head. It caused him to shake and drop his drink. He yelped as he held himself.
It was a tremor, and they weren't new. The forty-something hid them pretty well from his boss and coworkers, but they became more frequent with certain environmental triggers.
Jack covered his ears to shield them from the loud music.
I have to get out of here. Jack thought.
The forty-something tried to make his way out of the jungle of flashing lights and pulsating music before he had another tremor. Finally, he made it out.
Just then, something like fireworks went off.
For a minute, he didn't recognize it, but then-
No, those are gunshots?
The forty-something led a pretty sheltered life, but he still should have recognized those.
Then, he heard a woman scream.
Tina? Jack thought.
Frozen, Jack continued to stare toward the club. He wasn't sure what to do. Briefly, he wished he was the character from his novel. That man wouldn't be afraid to take action, that man lived for danger, that man-
"Hey, buddy, are you okay? It looks like you wet your pants!" a burly man asked.
Jack stared at his crotch, where the drink was spilled and gave a nervous laugh.
"Yeah...I had a bit too much to drink, I guess..." he said sheepishly.
The man just stared at him. Jack started blushing when he realized what it sounded like he said. The
"It's the drink...I spilled it..." Jack tried to clarify.
"Oh? Do you need a ride home?" the strangely friendly man asked.
"Uhm...no, thank you, though," the forty-something answered.
Jack breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the man leave. He may have been a forty-something single male, but he still had some dignity.
Relief was short lived. The police arrived, the tell-tale red and blue lights started flashing and casting shadows that made him uneasy.
He knew he had to hide; he had already had one tremor that night, and he wasn't in the mood to deal with another one.