Copyright 2013 by Iris Stewart
be justified and we all deserve. Perhaps in confirming our
justification in an undeserving world, we begin to lose ourselves,
the part that controls our conscience. My job required ethics, but I
was the wrong person for the job. I had lost the gene for compassion,
perhaps I never owned it. Ultimately, greed and my lack of empathy
will destroy others in my path and many innocents will pay the
Just as the door
opens, the insect flies up my nose. I'm forced to remain still giving
little sniffs as I feel it travel to my brain. My target, the woman
in the pink dress, walks to the car. Thankfully, after a bit of
fumbling and a fresh application of lipstick, she drives off.
I come to my
feet, index finger buried up my nostril, the camera still on the
ground. An old woman with a dog passes by, a look of utter disgust on
her face. Once again, I consider quitting. It’s all too
Private Investigator, a job I've been doing for the past two years.
At the time I accepted the position had sounded a lot more
interesting then the stage acting roles I performed every Friday at
It had begun with
the advert in the local paper. Private Investigator Looking for
graduate to do some private investigative work. Free training. I
had applied, not really expecting a response. When it came I was
totally surprised. For the interview I dressed up in a two piece pin-
striped suit borrowed from my flatmate. She never knew. I was
determined to look the part of a PI.
The building was
old, the office even older and yes the ‘boss’ the oldest.
I had neatly prepared my certificates in a folder which I never got
to produce at the interview. After answering questions mostly on my
ability to ‘duck and dive’, Eddie the founder of the
Agency offered me the job. He seemed surprised when I accepted. I
was surprised when I accepted! After 6 months of training on
Investigative and surveillance techniques, I officially became a
junior private investigator at Edward Thornton PI Services.
Most of my days
were spent on tracing missing pets, background checks and making
countless cups of coffee. Sometimes, like today, I got to do real
detective work, ‘surveillance’,on a cheating spouse.
Unfortunately, many of our caseloads were on errant spouses.
Two years later,
as was then, I still desperately need the money. Besides, I
hours spent ducking in bushes and laying in the sand, insects
crawling up secret places did pay my rent and put food on my table.
As I enter the
office, Eddie comes through his door, smiling, beaming from ear to
ear. ‘We got a big one’ he says, ‘a
big fish ’
Sure, I think we
probably got upgraded from investigating sleazy cheaters to finding
Eddie goes back
into his office. I follow. ‘It s murder he says. We got us a
sure whether I want to laugh or cry. Laugh because we are blessed
with a murder or cry because someone got murdered. I start to work
out a possible commission in my head. Surely this one is big money.
got murdered? ’
I ask finally feeling rich.
old story, cheating spouse, but this time someone decided to take the
old man out!’
He hands me
several papers. ‘I need you to start surveillance
immediately’. He says. ‘I’ll do
thebackground investigations. If we nail this one right imagine how
many other murders we can get ’
Yeah I think,
this is our break! After years together, I’m as sick as Eddie.
Eddie and I spend
the rest of the day going through the paperwork. Our client is the
brother of the victim and he suspects the wife. She’s young and
a cheater, the victim was old and rich. The Brother calls in and we
debrief him on the case. He casually opens the silver briefcase he
carries. It’s filled with money, fifteen thousand dollars! A
deposit he says. You can smell the money its straight from the bank,
clean and crisp. Just like his suit. He promises the same amount, the
balance payable once we give our last report to promote a
conviction. Money is no problem he lets us know, but we need to nail
I've never seen
so much money in my life, neither I’m sure has Eddie! As the
Brother speaks, we both continue to stare at the suitcase each locked
in the reality that impossible dreams would soon be realized!
brother has conditions. Only Eddie and I are to know about the money,
only Eddie and I were to know his address. He signs the papers
confirming that he has hired our services. He is strange, but his
money speaks volumes. After seeing the money we don’t mind
strange. We would agree to do a circus act if he asked us to. Eddie
and I are definitely ready to solve this one!
Day 1. I
make an early start. Its 4.30 am and I’m already parked outside
the townhouse. Hours later, a young woman steps out. From a distance
I cannot see her face but recognize the long blonde hair from the
photos. It’s the wife. She jumps into a white Lamborghini and
pulls off. I follow at a safe distance in Eddies Chevrolet. I
remember I should have put fuel. The woman stops at a gym. I fill the
tank at the petrol station across the road and then park the car near
the door of the gym. For several hours I’m slumped in my seat
watching the door I’m starting to get cramps in my legs and my
feet are cold. After a while I can’t even feel my feet. I need
After ten hours
she comes out and jumps into her car. Who does ten hours of exercise!
I follow trying to safely keep up. Eddies car is no help. If only I
Arriving back at
the townhouse, I record my surveillance notes for Eddie and call it a
day. I need to be better prepared tomorrow.
Day 2. I’m
early again, this time well prepared. A full petrol tank, sandwiches
and socks. I wait but the woman doesn't appear. Fifteen hours later I
call it a day.
Day 3. I
arrive early. The place is surrounded by police. The neighbors
are all out. Someone points in my direction. A policeman comes over
and before I realize what is happening, I’m in handcuffs.
going on? ’ I ask.
Eddie hadn't trained me for this.
says the Policeman.
do you mean? ’ I
ask. Now I’m really afraid. ‘What
been a murder’
says the policeman, ‘neighbors
say you been hanging around!’’
’ I ask.
young woman in that townhouse’ he
This is serious.
I’m scared, really scared. Do I ask for my last meal or my one
call? I've lost my appetite so I go for the call. I tell the
policeman. I hope Eddie remembered to put on his earplugs.
Eddie collects me
from the police station after clearing my name. He carries his
Security Authority licence and the papers from the first victims
brother as proof as to our presence at the crime scene. I’m
severely traumatized. Turns out the wife was killed on the evening of
the first day of surveillance. No wonder she hadn't appeared the
following day. We go back to the office. Victims are piling up. Eddie
tries to call the brother of the victim, the first victim, but his
phone is not available. We starting to feel we were set up!
Eddie keeps checking the money in the safe. He’s feeling
uneasy. Eventually I convince him to give me the combination to the
safe. Eddie agrees that he’ll feel safer if we both watching
Eddies late. Eddies never late. I try his phone several
times. It rings and goes to voice mail. I’m scared. I check the
money in the safe, it’s all there. At 12 o clock in the
afternoon, I call the police. I tell them with all that’s been
going on I’m worried about Eddie. I don’t mention the
money in the safe as was agreed with Eddie and the brother. I give
the policeman Eddies address.
I’m at my
desk when two policemen walk into the office. They ask me to sit
down, the news is not good. Eddie is dead. He has been strangled.
Someone screams, it’s me, and then I black out.
I’m under sedation in the hospital, still in shock. When
I’m released I’m taken to the police station. They insist
I need to get away, I could be the next target. Both victims, Eddie
and the wife have been strangled. They suspect the brother. The one
that hired Eddie. He’s disappeared. He had motive to kill the
wife, and maybe Eddie found out. Of course they don’t know
about the money.
I make a decision
to leave town. The policeman takes me to my bedsitter to pack. I tell
them to leave me at the office. I need to collect a few things before
I leave. The policeman escorts me to the office. He is reluctant to
go. I’m sobbing, holding the picture of Eddie. I can swear I
see tears in the eyes of the policeman as he leaves.
I pull the
curtain gently aside and peep through the window. The police vehicle
is pulling out of the yard. Finally I’m alone. With a smile, I
wipe away the tears. The acting lessons are paying off big time. I
make my way to the safe. I open it. The money spills out, I can’t
believe it all belongs to me. I neatly pack the crisp bundles of
bills into my suitcase. My passport and travel documents were
prepared days ago. I had been very cautious.
I notice the book
tucked in the small compartment of the suitcase. How to get rich
in 10 days it reads. I've proved there’s a quicker way, I
got rich in six!
The past days
have been very hectic, but I was no stranger to hectic. I didn't know
what I had planned to do until the moment I arrived at the door of
the brother, on the pretext of getting further information. That was
on the same day he had hired Eddie and I. He was surprised but let me
in. The house was quiet. I confirmed he was alone. I remembered in
his paperwork he had said that he was only renting this condo for a
short time following his brother’s death. He would be returning
to Italy soon. It was perhaps the element of surprise that made it
easier to lift the statue, hit him over the head, and strangle him. I
had hid his body in the basement. He was heavy, that’s why my
legs and feet had ached.
On the evening of
the first day of surveillance, I had secretly returned to the
townhouse to confront the wife. I told her we knew that she had
killed her husband but that I could help her as we were working with
the police. I lied, it was an investigative technique.
After denials she suddenly broke down, it was when she had buried her
head in her hands, full of remorse, that I hit her with the vase then
strangled her. How pathetic she was. After all, she had started this.
If she had not killed her husband, everyone else would still be
alive. I remember how she had held onto my hands trying to loosen my
grip. It reminded me of my flatmate those many years ago. The one who
owned the pin-striped suit. If she had just giving me the money I
wouldn't have had to get rid of her! The things people do!
days I reported for surveillance duty early making sure the neighbors
saw me parked outside the townhouse.
And then there
was Eddie, poor Eddie, but I had to do what I had to do! He had to be
killed off too! I don’t think he would have agreed to go along
and besides, I would have only got commission from the money. No
doubt a large sum as Eddie promised, but I deserved more, much more.
By now I deserved all!
Eddie had been
good to me. For that, I had waited till he was comfortably in his
chair, beer in hand. He didn't know I was behind the chair, belt in
hand. I felt justified that I had treated Eddie fairly.
The money is all
packed in my suitcase. Neat bundles still crisp and clean. I close my
eyes and breathe in. Slowly I exhale. For the first time in many days
I am calm and at peace. This time tomorrow the only sand on my body
will be from the sea.
Time to go! I
look at my watch. I gasp. My wrist is empty. Where is it? Where is
my watch? Where did I leave it? When last did I see it? Was it when
the wife grabbed my hands? And ..it’s got my name
inscribed at the back! I’m starting to sweat, I’m having
a panic attack. After all I have gone through I don’t deserve
I hear? Please what is it, is it.....sirens?
home is in Zimbabwe and I am an Independent Recruitment Consultant. I
love Writing, English, Art and being creative. Gifts I inherited from
both my late Father and Mother. I love you both and I am
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
Another story by Iris
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