The place is, Chesserton; a little burg tucked away from the big cities. It’s not much of a town, but I live here, work here. I carry a badge, and in this town, that means something. The name’s Case, Sam Case, and I’m a detective.
It was a wet Thursday in November. It was night. I was all alone in my office that could pass for nothin’ but a hole in the wall. The traffic outside whizzed by as if in some kind of hurry to get home for the night; to get some place other than here. It was 11:02 p.m. I sat at my desk goin’ over the notes from my latest case. The pieces just weren’t addin’ up.
It was a night just like this, not too long ago, that she came to my office; her curvaceous silhouette outlined on the window of my door. She hesitated only a moment before she opened the door and slipped inside with the grace of a tiger, stalking its prey. She wore a fitted orange suit. She eyed me with keen interest. I sat with my feet propped up on the side of the desk. The single lamp did little to rid the room of all the shadows.
“You Case?” She asked with an air of cool confidence.
“Depends who’s askin’.” I answered trying to get a better read on her.
“I’m askin’,” she quipped. “The name’s Pamela, Pamela Eater.”
“Then you got your man, Ms. Eater.” I pushed away from the desk, and walked around to face her. I showed her to a seat so as we could talk. “What can I do for you?” I asked as I settled back in to hear her story.
“It’s my husband. I think he’s out to get me.” She stated it with little emotion, and kept her eyes riveted on me.
I leaned forward on my desk, hands clasped in front of me. “What makes you say that?”
“He doesn’t approve of the company I keep, and has plotted against me.”
“What’s this husband’s name?”
“Peter.” She spat, as if saying his name were a dirty secret.
“What does he do?”
“He’s a farmer.”
“What kind of farmer?”
“The pumpkin kind,” she scorned. “Can’t you tell?”
“I had a guess, but I wanted to hear it from you.”
“Well now you heard it.” Her jaw jutted out, and her eyes squinted in defiance.
“What’s he done to arouse you’re suspicions?”
“What’s he done!?!” Her incensed look could have burned holes through paper. “He’s gone and put me in a pumpkin shell, that’s what he’s done.”
“It’s not of your own choosing then, Ms. Eater?”
“Hardly!” Her demeanour changed from incredulous to cool and calculating. “I prefer gowns to gourds.”
“Do you really, Mr. Case?” she challenged. “I can no longer fit into my Corvette for the sheer girth of me; and even if I could, my feet would barely reach the pedals. My skin is turning a ghastly orangish hue, and I smell like compost. Just how am I supposed to go clubbing like that?”
“And what do you want from me, Ms. Eater.”
“I want you to keep him under surveillance. I’m sure this is a plan to ruin me and put me out to pasture.” A well-time tear appeared in her eye. “Please Mr. Case; I am going to wilt if you don’t get to the root of this. I’m sure Peter's up to something.”
I took the dame up on her request, and staked out the Eater’s Pumpkin patch. There were no signs of foul play on the part of Mr. Eater. In fact, he kept his wife quite well. Over time she seemed to even appreciate his kindness. Last I checked I saw her in a new shell; her skin still tinted an odd orange colour. Strangely though, both Eaters had smiles on their faces. I guess Peter just had to squash her desires for the party scene, and help her see the good life with him on the farm.
I shut the file with a self-satisfied grin, then, walking towards the door I flipped the sign, “Case” closed.
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