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by C. M. Albrecht
Description: Wanna be a shamus? Just put on a trench coat and insert an ad in the Penny Saver. Hey, it works for Vero and Izzy. It works so well that they find themselves up to their fedoras in murder -- and they may be the killer's next victims! Tape. You'll be all wrapped up in this sticky mystery.
eBook Publisher: ebooksonthe.net/ebooksonthe.net, 2011 ebook
eBookwise Release Date: January 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [229 KB]
Reading time: 146-204 min.
A white prison van pulled up before the small bus station and its sole passenger, clutching a clear plastic bag of clothing, stepped carefully down onto the sidewalk.
The driver, a middle-aged red-faced man who had never missed a meal in his life, smiled grimly and moved his gum to one side of his mouth.
"Be smart, Shorty," he said in a deep tired voice. "Get in there a buy yourself a one-way ticket out of here and don't ever come back." But, he silently added without a change in his expression, you will.
Shorty--Jesse Thompson--smiled just as grimly. "Don't worry. I'm all through with that. I've been saved by the grace of Jesus and this time I'm really starting a new life."
The driver nodded and popped his gum as he stepped on the gas. The van pulled away leaving Shorty standing on the sun-drenched sidewalk with two hundred dollars 'gate money' in his pocket, and all his worldly belongings in the clear plastic bag.
He looked over at the hardware store across the street, up at the clear sky above his head and then took his first real breath of freedom. Even in the van, he was still part of the prison system, but now...his mouth twisted in a sort of smile. He scratched the bald spot on top of his head and headed into the tiny station.
Inside he sat at the lunch counter and ordered a cup of coffee. He just sat for a minute. Although he wasn't hungry, he enjoyed the smells of bacon and other odors coming from the kitchen, and he even smelled the faint perfume the waitress wore. It had been a long time since he smelled the nearness of a woman.
Shorty figured the waitress had already made him for a parolee, even though he had his sleeves rolled down to cover his mostly prison-made 'sleeves', the tattoos he had picked up over the years. The waitress probably saw a lot of ex-cons come through this coffee shop; Shorty knew they all had a look about them.
He pulled a paper napkin from a metal holder and spread it on the Formica countertop. He pulled a stub of a pencil from his denim jacket pocket. He began writing on the paper napkin. He labored over the spelling as well as the difficulty of writing on such fragile paper, but after a few moments with an occasional pause to sip the hot coffee, he had his list. It wasn't very long.
1. Get a room.
2. Get Gorman
3. Get Wilson
4. Get a job and go straight.
Shorty studied his list while he sipped his coffee. Finally he smiled grimly, showing yellowed teeth. He held the napkin firmly down and underlined Gorman and Wilson. His lip curled. He sipped more coffee and studied the napkin with satisfaction. He nodded. He folded the napkin and dabbed his lips with it and shoved the napkin into his side pocket and went out into the lobby and bought a bus ticket to Sacramento.