“Did you want to get a coffee before the movie? We have time.”
“Well someone knows the quickest way to a woman’s heart.”
“I thought it was through the sternum?”
That got a laugh from her, “Marry me?”
“Let’s hold off till the second date.”
“Fine. I guess we can wait.”
I met her on this new app. It wasn’t one of the usual dating apps. At least, I didn’t think they had many on the dark web.
“I thought we’d do the movie first and then get dinner.”
“Works for me. What are we seeing?”
“I don’t know but…
“Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go,” I said as I waited out front in the car.
“I’m coming,” Jen said. I doubted it though. Jen was always late.
“Toss your stuff in the back I want to beat the traffic.”
“Relax, we have plenty of time.”
“We had plenty of time. I had plenty of time.”
“Shut up, it’s been like 3 minutes.”
“I’ve been sitting out here for an hour,” I said. What I didn’t say was that I had arrived 45 minutes early.
“Yes. Let’s go.”
“Fine. Should I toss my stuff in the back?”
I finished my coffee and tossed the paper cup into the trash. I tugged on the chain around my neck. It had been itching all morning.
“She in there?” I asked the officer.
“Yeah. They just brought her in.”
I opened the door to find the young woman sitting patiently in the chair. I took the seat across from her, tossing my little leather notebook on the table.
“I’m Detective Ford. Miss….er, Simpson right?”
“Yes. Why am I here?” she asked.
“We just have some questions for you. Just routine really.”
“Okay. Did I do something wrong?”
It was a rainy day, the day that I met her.
I remember the raindrops making their way down the shop windows as I walked along the sidewalk. I clutched my collar, holding it close to keep the precipitation out, and to keep the last vestiges of warmth inside my jacket. The jacket was old and worn, and it was already doing an unsatisfactory job keeping the rain at bay; I refused to carry an umbrella. My shoes splashed in the ever-growing menagerie of puddles, and I had to find some respite from the rain. …
“How did you pick this place?”
The cabin we had just driven three hours to was tucked back in the woods, and it was nearly impossible to see from the woods.
“Did it look like this on Airbnb?
It didn’t look like anyone had been there in a while.
“I didn’t get it through Airbnb,” she said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I didn’t use an app. I just saw the ad.”
“I don’t get what the big deal is?”
“Because now we’re just walking into someone’s house. In the middle of nowhere.”
It was early in the morning and the Devil’s Assistant was just shutting off her alarm. It was struggle to get out of bed most mornings. She still wasn’t used to the new schedule.
My boss was a morning person, which was the least evil thing about him. It was actually kind of funny to me. His reputation for being the free spirited one of the family was well known, but he was one of the more regimented people I knew.
Word was that it hadn’t always been that way. But recent events meant lots of new people sent down…
Despite the cold night I slept with the window open. It was too tempting to fall asleep to the sound of the water.
Though now that I’d shrugged off the two quilts that decision didn’t seem so smart and now I was forced to close it.
The small room was cold. Mostly because of my preference for the sound of the surf at night, but also I knew Mary lowered the heat in the building to try and keep the costs down.
I looked around the room, pretty spartan, but it had all I needed, a bed, and a desk…
Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.