November 03, 2003

The Karbon Kopy Killer, pt 1

It was a cold and stormy night. I was going to turn on the TV, but if the TV guide was any clue, my night would only have gotten lonelier if I had.
The street below my office window was dim and deserted.

Rhodes is the name. Country Rhodes.
Don't laugh; it's a nickname. My given name is Gravel.

I'd been whiling away the hours in my office that evening by closing my eyes and seeing if I could count the seconds to sixty while matching the clock. One time I peeked at thirty seconds and was pretty close, but by 45 seconds I'd strayed by three. If I'd only slowed down around 38-41 like I knew I should've... Damn!
Maybe I should have just stared out the window some more.

Then there was a knock on the door. "Come in!" I called.
Just when it seemed that the world was fated to be awash evermore in the hopeless drizzle of shame, neglect and abject remorse, she walked into my office; heaving breathlessly, slowly panting, but still quite conscious.

"Are you Rhodes? Country Rhodes?" she asked as she shut the door behind her and felled her backside upon it. "'Cause if y'are, I've got a job for you."

She wore a pillbox hat with a veil that half-obscured her face, but I could still see a face beneath that veil that begged for sublime closure.
Dressed in neutral greys she slowly approached my desk on a pair o' gams that would have stretched onto forever were they not stopped by the floor.

"What can I do for ya, Madam?" I asked, tipping up my cap whilst attempting to conceal any evidence of the fleeting thoughts of violating any and every new P.C. city ordinance that I may or may not have contemplated violating.

"It's about my twin sister."

"Okay," I said, leaning back on my stool and falling to the floor on my shoulders.
There were two of these dames? That was the first moment I can remember that I'd wished I'd had a friend.
"I didn't catch your name."

"I never tossed it. My name's Darla. Darla Minx."

"Okay, Doll Face," I said as I grabbed a thirty year-old bottle of whiskey and two shot glasses from the bottom drawer of my desk. I poured two shots and handed one to Darla. "Have a drink and tell me your story."

She slammed the shot and poured herself another.
"Sadie was my twin sister," she began, "and she was killed on the 4th of July."

There'd been a string of "twin killings" going around. Only one of a pair of twins: off'd. Darla slammed the second shot.

"Do you suspect the 'Karbon Kopy Killer'?" I asked.

"Of course I do," she exhaled, reaching for the bottle again. "Maybe you don't know what it's like to be a twin; just as I don't know what it's like not to be one. The special connection, the unspoken understanding. The fantasy that you singulars all seem to have of talking to yourselves in a way that is both familiar and surprising is what we had, Sadie and me. Maybe if you could just imagine..."

She kept on talking but I'd stopped listening.
Maybe it was the way her lips caressed every word as if each one tasted like a different flavor of ice cream. Or maybe it was the way her eyes were tearing up as if swollen by a long-forgotten yearning that she'd only just forgotten to forget...or maybe it was the way her hips swayed in unintentional.... 42, 43, 44...

"Wont you help me, Country? Will you help to find who killed my twin sister?"

"The cops have been on the case for months," I told her. "Captain Walmart might be upset if I edge my way into a case that the Force is working on."

"The police haven't made any progress," she said worriedly. "and until whoever killed Sadie is found, one of another pair of twins will die again. And then another after that."
She slammed the third shot and poured another. "Don't you see, Country? Every day that goes by that my sister's killer is on the loose is another day that someone else may meet the same fate. You've got to join the hunt."

"Still," I told her as I leaned forward on my elbows, "I like to get involved only after the cops have come up empty."

She slithed atop my desk until her face was within inches of mine. Like a late autumn twilight she looked like dormance and smelled like passion. Her strawberry-blonde locks flowing out of her hat like Niagra after a spring thaw. Her indigo eyes gazing so deeply into mine that I was sure she could read the combination to my wall safe.
"I pay," she whispered more softly as she leaned even more closely, "cash!"

"The price is $12. Plus expenses." (I never again will forget to add expenses to the fee.)

Yeah, I took the case.
Sure, Darla played me like a harmonica, but it's been slow around here lately. She slammed a fourth shot and left my office warmer yet stormier than she found it.
Call me a sucker, but, damn, I knew I just had to try to come up a scenario in which I'd be assured of seeing this broad again.

Posted by Tuning Spork at November 3, 2003 08:50 PM


Posted by: Susie at November 4, 2003 10:25 AM

What the kind of name is Gravel Rhodes... kinda like Bob Winston... you need something original like Thaddeus Chadderbury... something cool... I guess that'll have to do for this story. Good start... Does he get to have sex with the babe?

Posted by: The Bartender at November 4, 2003 10:19 PM

hmmmmmmmmaybe.... :D

Posted by: Tuning Spork at November 4, 2003 11:09 PM

It was a miserable night. It was cold, the sort of cold that creeps into your bones, that no cosy fireplace or hand-knitted sweater could keep out, though three fingers of bourbon just might. It was wet too, the on-again off-again rain never amounting to enough to actually clean the grime off the windows, just enough to leave filthy streaks on the glass like an incontinent snail and make my cigarettes hard to light.

I flicked away the mashed and sodden remains of my latest attempt at a smoke and wondered what the hell I was doing out here. Earning the rent, that's what. Already three months behind and I doubted that Mrs McGregor was going to let another month pass without having the locks changed.


Posted by: Pixy Misa at November 4, 2003 11:54 PM

Dang, Pixy! Put me to shame why don't chya!!
Show-off... :)

Posted by: Tuning Spork at November 5, 2003 12:05 AM

Just turn this thread over to Pixy - I bet he has a better name than Gravel Rhodes too!

Posted by: The Bartender at November 5, 2003 02:46 PM

Shaddap. I started it and I'm gonna finish it!! ;P

Posted by: Tuning Spork at November 5, 2003 09:15 PM
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