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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chapter Twenty

            Lee Finch stared at the screen of the coffee shop’s television set and stirred his iced coffee with short, sporadic stabs. His sneering mouth curled even more as he watched Dr.. Jamison explaining to the camera about how the death of Darcy Tucker was most likely caused by blunt force trauma and not a gun shot for what had to be the fifteenth time.

            His phone buzzed in his pocket and he flipped it open slowly and set it against his ear, “Hello?”

            “Mr. Finch,” a familiar voice echoed in his ear, “Any instructions before we proceed?”

            “Not as of right now.” Finch smiled up at the screen, “You are doing just fine so far.” he hung up without another word and sipped his coffee. Even though the drink had come with sugar added to it, Lee carefully set down his cup and poured four more packets into it. He sipped it once again, frowning when it still wasn’t sweet enough for his tastes.


            David arrived at his apartment building but, as usual, he didn’t head straight home: his landlord was waiting for him on the front stairs. Greta Anschuler had been the single owner and manager of the Franklin Fields Apartment Complex for the past ten years, and for twenty years before that she had co-owned and managed them with her husband. When David moved in eight years ago, Greta and David began a friendship that had developed almost into a marriage without the sex: so for a older reclusive woman and an emotionally hemorrhaging cop, it was the perfect arrangement.

            David smiled at her and she scowled, “You are late coming home tonight.” she had lived in the States since she’d been sixteen, and yet her accent stubbornly showed no signs of lightening.

The detective nodded, “Yeah, it was a long day.”

She nodded sternly and pointed to her door, “Come. I made soup. It won’t keep, and I have eaten.” she turned on her heel and hurried inside, the potential of David not following her not existing in her mind.

He followed her into her kitchen, but as she began to reheat the soup on a burner, he exhaustedly fell into her couch, crushed by the day’s emotional ups and downs. Greta, who had been watching today’s events unfold on her television, knew that this case was perplexing at best and sinister at worst, and so she walked over to him quickly, hiding her concern behind a scowl, “You think you can just sleep on my couch now?” David groaned and started to get up but she shook her head curtly and sat down next to him, “Why don’t you get new job? Move somewhere sunny?”

            David tried to speak but Greta stopped him, “This is no good for you. I wonder what you looked like thirty years ago: you look old and tired now.”

            “Oh thanks.” David couldn’t help but laugh, considering that Greta had looked old and tired since she was a teenager. He thought for a moment before he muttered, “It’s like someone pushed a domino over at exactly the spot where my world would be most affected. Everything is happening too perfectly to be random.” he shook his head and cupped his aching temples, “I don’t know…I think I’m just being paranoid.”

            Greta stared at him knowingly and then nodded, “You can take soup back with you. You need your rest.”
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