The Private Investigator set himself down at the bar with a sigh. It was a wet night, but the bar was dry. So was his tongue. He was looking to fix that, right away.
“What can I do ya for, chief?”
“Right-on. What’s your name, fella? For the tab?”
“Need a little more … that’s not uncommon, buddy.”
“Lemon. John Lemon.”
“… don’t joke with me, boss.”
“I’m not. I promise you that.”
John Lemon had heard it all before. People always wanted to hold his hand, let him be, get together … he was done with it. Let them joke. His dad liked the music. That was John’s burden to bear for the rest of his life. At least he wasn’t “Sue”.
John sipped his Tupelo. Mead. Interesting. Made from honey. That’s a new one. Maybe the buzz would help him relax and find this “Ginger” he was looking for.
That’s when he saw her – red hair ablaze, shooting a glare at him from the end of the bar. John cocked an eyebrow. She motioned him to come down. He shook his head. Never move if you don’t have to. Have to conserve the energy where you can.
She was exasperated, but collected her purse and made the journey.
“Ginger, I presume?”
“Oh honey, I get that a lot.”
“So … yes?”
“We’ll go with that.”
John raised his brows. This was going to be a challenge.
“You called my office. You’re looking for a Secret Beach?”
“You might say that. Or you might say, I need something from the Secret Beach.”
“Listen lady, I don’t have all night.”
This was a level ten lie – he had all night, and all the nights after this. Business hadn’t been too strong lately.
“I left something … important … down there …” she trailed off.
“Money? Jewels? What are we talkin’ here?”
“You’ll know it when you see it.”
John knew his Supreme Court cases, and that phrase carries a certain connotation in that curriculum. He assumed she wasn’t talking about her dirty magazines.
“How about we table the object, and we talk place. Where’s the Secret Beach?”
“You know Star Thistle Ave?”
“I do. Been down that way many times.”
“Go down there tomorrow night. 9 PM. You’ll get the info you need.”
And with that, she was gone. John was glad to have another billable hour tomorrow night. Probably two by the time he found the “info” she was talking about. If he took the scenic route, maybe three. That’ll almost pay for a week of rent at the motel.
For now, he enjoyed his mead.
And that’s when she walked back in, strode across the bar floor, and sat back down next to him.
“Ginger, you’re back?”
“Back, honey? I just got here … wait … you didn’t meet my … twin?”
John was gonna need another drink.
** End of Chapter 1 **