Not too long ago, I pulled cards out for the CLOSAT game. This story is the result.
After a cold winter, the 68 degree spring weather made even the most obnoxious, entitled bureaucrat showed some hint of humanity.
Anthony Hernandez leaned up against his red restored 1965 Mercedes-Benz and pulled out his phone. He played up his Spanish accent for anyone in an earshot, playing up the stereotype of an immigrant tradesman.
“What did you get?” The voice on the other end asked. “Did they suspect anything?”
“No, señor.” Anthony gave a quick nod to a dark-haired woman walking her dog. She gave a pursed nod back, then quickened her pace.
He waited until she disappeared around the corner before talking normally, his accent nearly non-existent. “They rarely suspect a lowly plumber who only speaks in Broken English.”
“Your former boss…” Anthony switched his phone to his other ear. “The senator is definitely having an affair.”
“Yes.” Confusion set in. “With multiple women and some men. You wanted me to dig up some dirt, right?”
“How embarrassed would he be once that’s revealed to the public?” The voice over the speaker cracked. “That’s not a big deal anymore. It’s even considered a badge of honor in some circles. All he would have to do is have his wife claim that they’re in a consensual open relationship.”
“Well, I suppose I’m still a bit old-fashioned.” Anthony chuckled. “It’s a big deal to me. But, you’re right. I can poke around more to see if there is some financial scandal. I’ve seen some red flags and taken some notes.”
A small worn-out blanket, by some bushes that could use a trim, caught Anthony’s eye. He picked it up. “I’ll get back to you.”
The pink and white pattern on the blanket reminded the old private eye of the pink and white play set and other miscellaneous toys had littered the yard of the Senator’s house he serviced. It must have come from there.
He sighed. Kids need their “blankies” no matter how awful their parents are. His children, now adults with families, had their own. They are too innocent to understand. Too innocent to pay for their parents’ crimes.
A cloud passed over the sun, dimming everything around Anthony as he trudged his way back to the house, making his way up the sidewalk and onto the porch. Before he could ring the doorbell, a small purple sparkle caught his eye as it floated towards the ground.
The iridescent sheen enticed Anthony to pick it up. The thin oval shaped seemed to change from purple to dark green and he wondered if it was part of some weird jewelry or sequins from an overpriced blouse.
A cool breeze floated through, causing the curtains in the open window to ruffle apart. A humanoid shape, facing away from the window, ducked suddenly and darted out of view.
Anthony dropped the blanket and turned on his heel before regaining his composure, pulling his phone from his pocket.
“I think I just saw a giant lizard!” Anthony texted his client. “Is that what you are looking for?”
His heart leaped into his throat when the following text read, “Get out of there now!”
Anthony made his way to his car, nodding with a tight smile to another woman walking her dog… or was that the same woman as earlier? He slipped into his car and took a deep breath, letting it out with a groan.
“I’m getting too old for this.” He rubbed his face.
The phone went into its holder and Anthony put his arm over the seat, looking over his shoulder.
An iridescent green and purple reptilian face looked back at him.
Birds flew overhead. Alternative music blared from a flatbed truck, only to be cut out for the hourly call.
“It’s now eight a.m. on this beautiful Tuesday morning in the DC area and your headlines for the morning. Three shot in a Seven Eleven robbery last night. One of them has been identified as a former Whitehouse employee. A local missing man was found in his car this morning submerged in the Potomac river in an apparent suicide. More on these stories after our sponsors.”
“Alright Hank!” A voice called out. “It’s all secured. Let’s bring it to the lot.”
The truck pulls away from a river, passing a Chevy van with “The Office of the Chief Medical Exam” emblazoned on its side. The still dripping 1965 Mercedes-Benz creaked on the flatbed as the driver carefully navigated of the large pothole by the stop sign.