It was a hot summer day, although you wouldn’t know it by the room he sat in. The windows were covered in a thin layer of dust save for the few smudged panes that he’d half heartedly wiped with his hand. The air conditioner hummed quietly in the corner with the only sign that it was on being the slight rustle of the piles of paper nearby. He’d never been really organized, but the lull in his work lately had left him to follow his thoughts aimlessly rather than keep his piles of paper in order. He drew a cigarette from his silver pocket case and rolled it in his fingers, contemplating it quietly. Just as he raised it to his lips there was a loud rap at the door, something which he’d almost forgotten the sound of.
Dropping the cigarette to the table he called out to the person at the door “Come in, it’s open”, for a moment thinking that he could’ve remained silent and have been left in peace. He didn’t actively desire the life of a hermit, but sometimes when you’ve been alone for so long you forget what it feels like to even talk to another human being.
“Are you Chris Satkin?” she said, neverously darting her eyes around the office. It wasn’t an easy place to find so someone must have told her to come to him. Strange, he usually did business over the phone with his regulars and most people knew to call rather than try to see him face to face.
“I am, but you already knew that” he retorted, letting his detective wit slip for just a second. She avoided his eyes.
“I’m Brooke Aegis, I believe you can help me find two people.” she said, sliding a small package across the table.
In it were 3 photographs, two of them showed what appeared to be young children, no older than 12 or so. The last was a ship with it’s vessel number clearly visible, he knew that it had disappeared several weeks ago. He was wondering what the hell she thought he could turn up that the authorities hadn’t already.
“The authorities won’t tell me anything, they’re keeping me in the dark. I need to know where that ship was going, please” her voice was desparate, he pondered if he should take advantage of this.
“What about the kids?” he said in a dismissing tone.
“I need to know if they were on it, that’s all.”
“Standard fee ma’am, paid in full before I start”, he’d only begun speaking as she reached into her bag and drew out an envelope. Inside was his fee, to the dollar. He wondered who had referred her. It must’ve been William, he was a sucker for the ladies.
“I’ll start right away”, he said waving her out. “Before you go though, who told you about me?”
“It was a Mr. Daniels”
His time in the detective business had obviously served him well. He’d have to thank Will later for sending such a fine young woman to him.
He pondered the photographs for a few moments more, then picked up the phone…
PS. I’ve updated the vow post with Rebecca’s vows for those who couldn’t hear them over the wind. Enjoy