After the shower, I got a few hours of shut eye, not
much, but enough to get my thoughts straight. I fell
asleep on the couch and didn’t see Lily when she
came back in. I rummaged around Woody’s kitchen
and scared up a jar of instant coffee which was better
than nothing, heated some water on the stove with
the worn out kettle and made some strong black
coffee. To top off the morning I added a cigarette to
the equation and almost felt like a new man.
Kathy had laid out not only a jacket but matching
pants as well. I was hoping Woody wouldn’t be too
mad at me for kidnapping his nice clothes. When I
turned out the pockets of my jacket, I found the torn
piece of cloth I had absently stuck in my pocket after
the fight. I unwrapped the fragment and discovered it
was indeed a pocket. Inside the pocket was a
crumpled note. I unfolded the note and read what
was written on the paper. This added to my anxiety.
I slipped the clue into my borrowed jacket for later
reference but I already knew where it came from in
the back of my mind.
I wandered over to the kitchen table where Woody
had been working on his latest offering and peeked at
some of the pages. I was thrilled to see his electric
typewriter there and not in a pawns shop somewhere
traded for booze money.
Back in the living room, I scooped up my keys and
headed for the door. I had an idea what to do next to
solve this thing and get Woody off the hook. The
beating had been a blessing in disguise. I opened the
door but glanced back when I felt someone watching
me. Lily was leaning against the wall in the hallway.
She was wrapped in Kathy’s terry cloth bathrobe and
her beauty was undeniable. Her dark hair spilling
around her shoulders, her lip red and pouty. A
feeling stirred deep below my belly and I quickly
pushed away the thoughts. I was also wondering how
much of Kathy’s stuff was now mixed with
“Going off to hunt for clues, Mr. Detective?” she
crossed her arms and drummed her thin fingers over
“Probably,” I said, avoiding eye contact.
“I might not be here when you get back.” Her
voice was filled with poisonous honey this time.
I said, “I know.” I went out the door, got slowly
into my car and drove away.
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