Insert Chassis Albuquerque: The Missing Woman.

17 January 2018

The Missing Woman.



Related imageBack at her place, this is where the real trouble must've started.
There was nothing in it - no mirrors, no tables or dresser, no drawers with makeup and hairbrushes or cupboards of outfits and suits, no photos on shelves, family and friends, no photos taken in another world from another time when all she'd known was still alive.
There were no clues as to her past, which would've helped me find her now, in the present.
Suddenly, a man appeared.
He saw me and looked surprised.
Surprised because he'd a stocking pulled over his head distorting his features but he knew I could make them out because I was familiar with women's stockings and probably - given my vast experience in this field - could've pulled him out of a line-up.
He also had on a pair of latex gloves to prevent leaving any fingerprints.
The whole thing was dastardly and downright suspicious.
And anytime we had these two adjectives (or similar) in the same sentence I pulled my gun.
"Freeze, fucker! Move and I'll shoot your goddamn eyeballs outta the back your head...! Now answer me this: There are two guys in a missing woman's apartment. One of them, you, is here illegally and the other, he's a gun pointed at your stupid head. The question is what are you doing here...? Hurry up asshole, I ain't got all day. What you wanna do, phone a friend? Have the computer take away two incorrect answers leaving one correct and one incorrect? Or you can ask the audience what you doin' here - that's me, the audience. So ask me, what you doin' here...?"
I gestured with the gun at him.
Suggestively.
So that he knew he’d better answer me.
And no shit, either.
Or he’d face the consequences.
“Now, look, mister, this ain’t what it looks like. I’m just trying to turn the place over. Make a few bucks on the side, you know? I don’t know nothing about no missing woman!” he insisted.
“How’d I know you’re telling the truth?” I wondered, pointing with the gun again.
“You good with people? I can tell, you know people – so you must know I’m telling you the truth…!”
I believed him.
There was a kind of desperation to the way he spoke that smacked of the truth. The truth, it had been a while since I’d heard that word and this case had had me all twisted inside.
“Interesting line of work you’ve found yourself in – maybe you should consider a career change,” I said.
He nodded.
“How’d you know the apartment was empty?” I asked him.
“Police crime tape over the door. Plus, I live a few floors down - everyone in the building knows she went missing.”
“Which apartment?”
He hesitated.
I cocked the gun.
“325! Apartment 325!” he shouted.
I made a note in my notebook.
“325… Best get outta here then,325,” I said and gestured at the door behind him.
He bolted.
I had the place to myself again.
Even though it was 1981 and the mobile phone wasn’t yet really available in a commercial form to make it affordable for the masses, I phoned Candy Cox from the missing woman’s phone to let her know I wasn't going to make it for dinner.
Candy Cox was furious.
"This is the third time this week! Don't ever call me again you piece of shit...!" she yelled down the phone and hung up.
Well, that last bit she said was just gratuitous and unnecessary. Still, I couldn't stop thinking about her while I drilled down into the facts of the case: A 32 year old woman had gone missing, vanished. And the only clue was her stance on hypocrites – basically she was okay with them; in fact, quite tolerant, meaning she was a hypocrite, too.
The whole case stood on its nose.
Hidden behind a loose wall tile in the kitchen I found a notebook of poetry written by the missing woman. How’d I know where to look? I’m a detective, I know things. I know poetry and wall tiles are popular with this type of personality.
Her work was quite interesting, I suppose, if you were a poet and unbalanced:

Suck me,
Suck me,
Fuck me,
Fuck me.

In fact, the entire notebook was filled with that one poem, repeated over and over.
Was it a clue?
Ordinarily, yes. 
But not in this case. The clue to solving the case was finding the missing woman. And I believed she was still in the apartment, somewhere, in the words in her little notebook, behind a wall tile or under the floorboards.
Dead.
It was going to take a while, so I settled in for the night...