THE SECOND FALL: A BO FEXLER STORY - CLAIR DICKSON
Originally published at Muzzle Flash in February 2007
“Eve,” she said as both greeting and introduction.
“I thought that after the apple, Eve realized she had to be clothed,” I commented.
“Finally, someone who can appreciate the irony.” She smoothed the tiny tube top and adjusted her tiny shorts. “What can I do for you?”
“I’m Bo Fexler, private investigator. I’m looking for Holly Smalls.”
“You’re awful pretty to be a private eye.” Then, she invited me into her mobile home by wordlessly stepping aside.
“What do you know about Holly’s disappearance?”
“Who hired you for that, anyway?” She slid coyly onto the couch, arching her back so her boobs stuck out.
I gazed steadily at her face. “All looks, no brains. You make things hard for those of us with both.”
Eve didn’t like that and put on a pouty face. She wet her lips in a way practiced for seduction. “Do you like girls?” she asked in a little voice.
“I like everyone the same,” I answered. I kept the punch line to myself. Then, I pressed again. “Holly Smalls.”
“Nobody would come looking for me like this.”
“I’m getting paid for this. Otherwise I’d be at home with Raymond.”
“Your man?” she squeaked in distress, confirming my suspicions.
“Chandler. An author.”
“Oh. Do you have a man?”
“Sometimes. Until I get bored.”
Eve smiled. “Holly likes men, too. Lots of them.”
“Do you know why she wouldn’t tell her mother about that?”
Eve laughed at my joke, even though it wasn’t a very good one. “Holly wasn’t the good girl her parents wanted her to be. She liked to go out to clubs. She’d come over here afterwards to sleep it off.”
“Then you know where she went?”
“It’s a good thing Holly’s gone.” With the bait on the hook, I cast the line. “Because now, you’re available.”
Eve was done playing coy. She sat up, planted her feet on the thin floor and leaned forwards. “I know his name, only I don’t know where they were going. He said he had a place on a lake. His name was Dale Weaver. She met him at a club. They slept together a bunch of times, and then he invited her up to his cabin.”
“How long were they together?”
“A couple of weeks.”
“Did you go clubbing with Holly?”
“No. Not much fun.”
“Gets old, doesn’t it? All that male attention.”
She smiled knowingly. “It can.”
“You find many dates?”
“Holly’s parents don’t know, do they? That you’re lesbian.”
Eve shook her head, a flicker of a frown.
“Come on, Eve. You may be a good seductress, but you’re a bad liar. They knew. They didn’t want Holly around you.” She looked down. “That’s why you bought that trailer in Webberville.”
Suddenly, she fixated on me, her mouth agape.
“Like I said, darling, you make things hard on those of us with both beauty and brains. You called there, repeatedly, on your cell phone. The police never connected it because the cell phone’s still in your ex’s name. Only your ex likes tall blonds just as much as you do.”
Eve smiled weakly. “Okay, okay. She’s in Webberville. In a trailer we bought. Once things settled down, I was going to move out there. But it’s not like you think. We’re just friends.”
“Didn’t work out as a couple, huh?”
“Damn. You’re sharp.”
“Thanks. I don’t suppose you’d give me the address. So I can do my job, you know.”
“I dunno,” Eve smiled, coy again. Her default.
I tried again. “If I don’t get paid, I can’t take you out to dinner or anything.”
“Like, on a Friday night.”
“Well. That’s different. 412 Creekside Way. Little blue one.”
“Wait. Friday night.”
“What about it?”
“Aren’t we-- aren’t you taking me out?”
“What? I never said that.”
“No. I didn’t. You heard what you wanted. Besides, Eve, you try too hard. Seduction should be subtle.”
“Bo—was anything you said ... true?” Eve asked as I stepped outside.
“Sure.” I smiled amusedly, lit a cigarette, and walked back to my car, watched by Eve. The first girl—to my knowledge—to fall that hard for me.
BIO: Bo Fexler has appeared in more than 50 short stories in over 17 publications. Clair Dickson writes about every evils when she’s not working one of her many part time jobs or chasing after her young son. Visit www.bofexler.wordpress.com for links to more short stories.
Irish Times Crime Fiction column, February 2018
11 hours ago