” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “
( Serial Flash Story)
A few years later…11:30 a.m., Seattle, Washington USA
” You make me feel so young, you make me feel like spring has sprung, every time I see you grin, I am such a happy, individual….”
The sound of frothing milk, slurping and strains of a Frank Sinatra song filled the small coffee shop. Raphaella looked across the room, then responded to the thin man sitting across from her.
” That scuttlebutt has been hanging around San Francisco for at least two years, and I have been working on this case for a year, ever since Neil Muniz’s sister asked me to start a missing person search on him.”
She was now sorry she had taken the time to fly up to Seattle. It would take another two hours for the return trip, which would make her late for her two o’clock appointment with a new client. And that client was paying.
” Mr. Helleborne, what it all boils down to is that without that tape, it is a non-story, a rumour for conspiracy theorists.”
” But Raphaella, if I may be so brash as to call you that.” The little man pulled his tweed jacket tight while glancing at the entrance of the Slow Joe Cafe.
” Listen, I just don’t have the time to look into this case any further. Time is money and right now, I am running low on both.”
“Please.” The man’s voice was trembling.
Raphaella slid on her green raincoat.
“Your friend was scheduled to meet us here at nine. It is now eleven-thirty. It looks like another dead-end. I have to go.” Raphaella gathered up her notebook and shoved it into her bag.
” The same thing happened in Brazil. Tapes were everywhere and the evidence was ignored. Now the tape that you described… well it would be hard to explain away. Look, I have another client waiting in San Francisco, good luck. It would be a hell of a story if you were to get that tape.'” She handed her card to him, and walked out the door into a wall of rain.
Mr. Helleborne watched as Raphaella’s purple umbrella turned the corner and disappeared. The card read Gator-Eye Investigations. He sipped the remainder of his espresso and left.
A few minutes later, a tall figure in a rumpled brown suit walked into the Slow Joe Cafe. Shaking water from his cap, he searched the cafe then shuffled to the table by the front window. He tossed the manila envelope onto the table, knocking the half drunk cappuccino over. Seconds later he was gone.
The waitress came over to clean up. She picked up the stained envelope, and dropped it in the trash can.
“What a mess, sometimes people are such…oh, what’s the use.” She made her way to the door, flipped the open sign to closed, and headed to the back room.
FYI -Thanks to all my readership over the last year, A Pale Green Mermaid Blog will be closed for approx. 3 weeks due to unforeseen events.