- based on Alice Kuipers’ writing prompt to use the words OPEN LILY and HURTLE in a story less than 500 words long. Oops – it’s longer than that and not yet finished. But I have to rethink some of it.
- Last line: I hoped they didn’t see that I landed in the ___________________ (?) I needed to get to the cops fast.
- Are The Jerk and Iris in cahoots? Are The Jerk and Lily in cahoots?
Hurtling through the air toward certain death was a new experience. I’ve been sent flying through the air before. I wouldn’t have held on to my PI license this long without being flung over a bar or through a window at least a couple of times. But to certain death? That was new.
I’d been following this goofball all day. He’d killed his wife. Her sister, Lily, had hired me to find out what had happened. Like I said, I was following this jerk. Just following him. Finding out what his usual routine was – where did he bank, how many Cokes he drank, did he stop at yellows or speed through? Simple stuff. I could not have predicted that today was the day he would dispose of the body. His wife had been missing nearly two months. When Iris didn’t call after her holiday six weeks ago, Lily got concerned. The big jerk husband just gave her stories – Iris was busy, Iris was out, Iris couldn’t come to the phone. Finally, two weeks ago, Lily flew out. The Jerk wouldn’t let her in the house. That’s when she called me. I’m no fancy-pants PI, but I’m not AAA Detective Agency and simply first in the Yellow Pages either. My small ad sums me up – Discreet. Reliable. Reasonable Rates. Pretty much what the average person looks for in a private investigator. We went through the usual rigamarole. I first told her she ought to go to the cops. One thing my ad doesn’t say about me – I’m honest. The cops will do this for free most of the time. Lily wasn’t convinced the cops were really going to find her sister. And, as my rates were quite reasonable she figured she’d hire me for a couple of weeks and see where that went.
I couldn’t follow the Jerk every day. I had two other cases. A girl was looking for her biological mother. And, a dude thought his boyfriend was stepping out on him. So, I was only on day three of following the Jerk. Day one was a Saturday. He slept until ten. At one o’clock he drove a twenty year old car four blocks to the market, bought beer, smokes, a package of wieners, a bag of buns and an enormous jar of Cheez Whiz. So, when I tell you this dude was six foot two and weighed maybe one-fifty you won’t believe me, but it’s the truth. Then he went home. For about three hours he watched a sport that involved men pummelling each other while eating Cheez Whiz hot dogs and drinking beer. The Jerk ate and drank, not the fellows pummelling each other. For the following two hours he did something on the computer, filled the dishwasher, sat in his yard while the dog relieved himself on the last two surviving bushes, then went in for another cheez dog in front of the TV. I was nearly convinced that one, Iris had left the Jerk and was laying low for a while and, two, this guy did not have the brains to swing a hammer, let along execute a murder and cover it up for over a month.
Day two was the Tuesday. He left the house around eight o’clock. He was dressed in tan chinos, wearing a crisp, blue golf shirt with a little animal on the left breast. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed this was the same guy. Hair just right, expensive shoes and driving to work in a new model beemer. If the garage opened onto the street I might have seen that one on Saturday. I followed him to his office, some kind of investment firm on the twenty-eighth floor of a shiny high-rise full of swanky lawyers, plastic surgeons and financial management companies. The Jerk had to be the boss or a hot shot. Those are the only types who dress for Casual Friday on Tuesday. I guessed he’d be there for a few hours so I beat it back to the house to take a look around. I half expected to run into the Cheez Whiz hot dog eating slob I staked out on Saturday. I didn’t want to upset the dog or the neighbours so I grabbed the clipboard and some pamphlets from the floor of the car. No one pays too much attention to people with clipboards. I was hoping that most of these folks were at work on a Tuesday morning.