General > Play-By-Forum

Hunter's Moon - The Case of the Wayard Spouse [IC]

(1/5) > >>

The sun has long set on Ashburn, the so-called Pearl of Lake Michigan, on a Sunday night in early June. As usual, though, this means the lights in the office of Saul Bernstein, attorney at law, are exuding a pleasant glow that bathes his office in warm tones contrasting the dark streets outside. With the gramophone softly adding to the melancholy of the last days of spring, the inevitable summer looming over the young metropolis with a shadow that always seems to fun deeper than one might expect, the evening could almost be called perfect. To Saul it is, anyway. Ever since losing his wife to an unfortunate traffic accident so many months ago, he's content with these weekly evenings with his neighbors, sipping cognac or whisky and sharing his treasured Cubans - mixed with the soft jazz they go down so well that he may almost forget how much he misses listening to the sound of Elaine's breathing on mildly stifling nights likes this one. But the more the Light giveth...

He has come too far to let this bother him too much anymore. At least for the time being, he has Desmond and James to keep him company, and with their offices-cum-living quarters all situated on the same floor of the same building on East 23rd Street, it has been easy enough to fill the void of her absence with their company. A little bribery of the intoxicating kind helped grease the wheels, sure enough, but to Saul it's a small price to pay, at least for the time being.

"So," he says in his gravelly voice, further enhanced by smoke and alcohol, "what's been keeping you two busy, if I may ask? The Light knows I love to listen to myself talk, but I didn't get to where I am now by neglecting to listen every once in a while." He smirks to himself, staring into the middle distance for a second or two, after which his gaze falls upon his guests again, genuinely interested.

James didn't share that thought. He'd be quite happy to let Saul chat away this warm evening. He took one more sip of whisky and said in a quiet voice. "Well sir, I've been keeping myself busy mostly. I've fixed Mrs Robinson's radio and I'm trying to find a steady job. But you know how it is..." The sentence trails off and for a few moments the quiet tones of Jazz fill the room. James stares at his feet. "But if any of you knows something I can help out with, I'm willing to give it a try. And Desmond, what have you been up to?" He asks, finally diverting attention away from him.    

"Me?  Nothing much, just closing up that last case involving that guy who made off with a mistress who happened to be some low-level gangster's wife," Desmond replied in a somewhat sardonic manner.  Saul was not his best friend by a mile, but that man sure had that class that he felt he needed after running through the low-life for too long.  Besides, that man has a generous stock of cognac and sometimes would even offer some jobs.

"What about you Saul?  What's keeping you up at night these days?"  Desmond peered at Saul carefully, trying to divine what he was going to say before he did.

"My bladder, mostly," he replies with a stern face. As is usually the case, though, he can't resist laughing at his own joke for very long, and the familiar wheezing sound that signifies his merriment soon fills the room. When it subsides again, he resumes "Fortunately, most of the bones they still find fit to throw me aren't much to lose any sleep over. At least, after everything I've seen and heard in my long years of service, things tend to stop surprising you too much. For a youngster like you -" he says, and points to James, "- and I've told you before to stop calling me "Sir", before I start feeling as old as I am - for a youngster like you, there might still be enough in them to start eating at you. You won't wake up screaming in the middle of the night, or even lose any sleep over them, but you'll be dragging their weight around without realizing. And before you know it, you'll have grown older - too old for your mortal coil to betray. Some people can't take too many stories. I'm not saying you're one of those, but the Light knows I wouldn't want to be held accountable for the drain on your spirit that tales of human depravity might inflict."

He sits back in his chair again, having leaned into James during his short monologue, the slightly evil look in his eyes fading again. He lets out a deep sigh. "Sorry for that. I think I'd do well to turn in after this one," he says, peering into what's left of his drink. "I respect you, son. You're a good kid. Sometimes I worry for those that have yet to be tarnished by the extent of human cruelty. Take Desmond on the other hand," he says with a short laugh, "he seems to have made the extent of human cruelty his life. You wouldn't believe the number of times it has already knocked on his door."

And at that moment, you hear a knocking sound - not on Saul's office door, but on one a little down the hall, which could only mean either of yours.

Saul tries to stare straight through his own door, utterly baffled. "Well, I'll be."

"Blechh," Desmond said as he stood up, putting down the snifter of cognac carefully on the table.  "I'd best be checking it out.  I wasn't expecting anyone to be wanting that report till tomorrow, but you know how some people are when their wives are out running around with other people."

Desmond walked briskly towards Saul's office door and threw it open boldly.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version