Friday, April 21, 2017

The Reader - Week 16


“You two are free to go now, but be aware that you may get a follow-up call from our investigators in a couple of days.”

Andy and Jennifer had been sitting in a booth in the back of the pub, as far away from the front door as possible. When the bouncer was shot, he collapsed on top of Jennifer, bleeding profusely from a massive chest wound. He was dead. The shooter had left, but there were plenty of other witnesses who had seen him get angry when the bouncer had ejected, kicked out for yelling at the people who were watching the band, interfering with his pool game. It would only be a matter of time before he would be apprehended. Jennifer had been doused by the bouncer’s blood. Several wet towels later she was still a mess but no longer looked as if were she who was the person who had been shot. Andy was still numb, only going through the motions of trying to be helpful.

“Do you have some clothes I could wear at your place? A sweatshirt, some pants?” asked Jennifer, “I need a shower and I want to get rid of this dress. I don’t want to go home yet.”

“Sure, my sweats will be a little baggy, but they’re clean,” said Andy, “I need to change too.”

“The walk will do us good,” she said, “Just a sec, I’ve got a call.”

Jennifer took out her phone and glanced at it for a second before putting it away.

“It’s nothing,” she said, “Let’s go, I can leave my car in the lot.”

At Andy’s place, Jennifer showered and put on Andy’s sweats, while he changed his clothes in the bedroom. He went back out into the kitchen and waited for Jennifer. Her phone chimed, but he didn’t look at it.

“That feels better,” she said, “Will you do me a favor? Do you have a plastic bag you can put that dress in, and then take it out to the trash?”

“Sure, I’ll do it right away,” answered Andy as he got up from the kitchen chair, “Your phone rang.”


Andy went into the bathroom and bagged up the dress, taking it outside and putting it into the trash. As he walked back into the kitchen, he saw Jennifer put her phone away. He noticed that she was shaking.

“Are you all right?” he said.

“I’m still pretty jumpy,” Jennifer said, “I need something to calm me down. Do you have any liquor?”

“I have whisky,” Andy said, “It’s a single malt, but its mild, not too peaty.”

“Pour me a glass, please,” she said, picking up a manuscript from his work pile, “Why don’t you read me a story.”

“These are pretty soporific,” Andy said, opening the whisky, “Straight or on the rocks?”

“Straight, with a little water. Four fingers. Hold me.”

They went into the living room and settled in on the couch.

“Thanks for doing all this, Andy,” said Jennifer, “You, know, we have the strangest dates.”

“It’s O.K., We’ll just do whatever we can to make it through the night.”

Andy swapped the whisky for the manuscript and, as Jennifer moved in close to Andy she began to calm down.

He began to read.

The Reader is serial fiction, published every Friday.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Jono said...

Maybe this will be the beginning of a beautiful, but weird, friendship.

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