Could be fear that I can't keep up that level of funny. Could be fear that I'm the only one who thinks any of this is humorous. :shrug:
:drumroll: Here's the beginning of Cut & Dried: A Jordan Almond Mystery. (Because yeah, I have a whole series of these planned - if I can ever finish this one and find someone to buy it.)
Jordan Almond: Cut and Dried
I’ve heard it said there are a million stories in the naked city. I don’t know about the naked cities, but here in Flint, nothing is as obvious as that. Of course, if things were laid out for anyone to see, I’d be out of a job.
You see, I’m a private detective.
I know what you’re thinking, but trust me, I’m not living the dream. I mean, it pays the bills, and I could be doing a lot worse things with my life, but to paraphrase an old country song I hate, ‘Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be P.I.s’. It’s harder work than it sounds, and sometimes you piss people off enough to want kill you.
Seems to happen to me a lot more than I’d like, but that’s the way life goes sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in this for the money; I’m not in it for the prestige either. This business isn’t as rich and glamorous as Hollywood would have you think, which is too damn bad. There’s a silver lining here somewhere. I haven’t found it yet, but a gal can hope, can’t she?
Who am I? The name is Jordon Almond. Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard all the jokes, so don’t bother. My parents thought it was funny. I don’t.
From what I was told, the name was actually Allman up until the ‘60s when my father took a bad trip and ended up changing it to something more in tune with Mother Earth. After he woke up a few years later, he kept it Almond because he thought it was a good joke. Now I’m stuck with it. I would’ve changed the name years ago if my father hadn’t made me promise to keep it. He knew I never broke a promise. I wish I’d remembered my father’s sense of humor before I agreed. He up and died before I could wiggle out of it.
He also roped me into the family business, but he did that after he was gone. His last will and testament said that as soon as I finished college, the whole kit and caboodle was mine. So I stepped off the platform—degree in hand—and right into the gaping hole of my future as a private detective.
Now you see why I never bothered to change the name on my office door. Even after my father died, I left it like it was: Eddie Almond Investigations. Hell, even in the crappy neighborhood where Eddie bought this office, I don’t want to take a chance on someone stopping in to buy candy. I don’t do candy. Hell, I barely even eat the stuff.
Not that taking over the family business was the worst day of my life. Oh no. I’ve had plenty of worst days in my thirty-five year existence, and most of them had nothing whatsoever to do with dear ol’ Dad. In fact, one of the crappier days I couldn’t really blame on Eddie at all. If I had to blame it on anything, I’d blame it on my own desperation.
You see, it was like this...
About three years ago, if I remember correctly, I was sitting at home minding my own business. It was probably about three a.m. and I was playing a bit of no limit hold-‘em before I got started on my day. Just as I flopped a straight, and was drawing to an inside straight-flush, the lights flickered once and my damn computer rebooted. As luck would have it, I was sitting in one of those rooms that just folds your hand when you lose your connection, so not only did I not make my straight flush, I lost the couple hundred dollars I’d already bet.
So there I was watching a week’s worth of groceries disappeared into cyberspace, and cursing a blue streak, when the phone rang. Of course, I didn’t answer it; that’s what they make machines for. (No, I don’t have voice mail. One of these days I’ll drag myself into the 21st century, but don’t look for it to be any time soon.)
After I finished rebooting and looked at my account balance on the poker site, I wasn’t quite feeling like playing any more. A few more sessions like that, and I was going to have to find a new way to supplement my income. Maybe they needed a new dog washer at the Pampered Pooch. Problem is: I like dogs the same way I like kids—as long as they aren’t mine they’re wonderful. It’s not like the P.I. business is all that lucrative, but like I said, a promise is a promise.
With nothing else to do, and my brain still whirring like a kids’ toy, I decided to listen to the phone call I didn’t want to pick up. Bad mistake. I should’ve just erased the damn thing and went to bed.
“Jordan?” said a familiar voice I couldn’t place. “I need you.” If only... At the moment, I wasn’t seeing anyone, didn’t know anyone I’d want to need me, and I certainly didn’t think the image popping into my mind was what the caller had in mind. I searched my brain to figure out where I’d heard that somewhat effeminate male voice. I knew it wasn’t a work-related voice. This business eats up the effeminate and shits them out. Hell, I’m a woman and I can’t get away with femininity.
Then the little light bulb went off over my head. My hairdresser! Of course. By the time I figured it out, the rest of the message had played, but I was pretty pleased with myself for naming that voice in under five words. Enough patting myself on the back, though. Since Gerry didn’t swing on my side of the street, he obviously needed help, and since he was the only one in the tri-city area who could do anything with my hair, I figured I’d better help him. If only to keep myself from looking like something the cat coughed up.
Reaching for a pen and paper, I pressed the replay button.
“Jordan? I need you. I’m at the police station. They… They think I killed someone. Can you help me? Please?”
Now Gerry Fitzpatrick could be a bit bitchy sometimes, but the thought of him as a murderer was beyond stupid. He cried when he had to clean the traps at his less-than-upscale salon. I once saw him have a funeral for a particularly unlucky field mouse who must’ve been in town visiting his more urbane relatives and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gerry couldn’t kill anything.
So why were the cops thinking he had?
Looking at the clock, which wasn’t much help since the power burp had set it to the flashing 12:00 again, I decided I didn’t really need to sleep that night anyway. I grabbed a jacket to throw on over my sweats, and headed out the door.
Oh, the things I do for a good haircut.