Still editing this beast, but that’s no reason to deprive you lovely people of another segment.
If you haven’t been reading along so far. You can catch up here:
“Yes poor Richard,” Glinden’s red lips formed a frown. “We were all fond of him. He had his troubles of course. Alcohol was such a trap for him. Yes he was there. He came in about five o’clock while we were still preparing dinner.”
Her accent seemed didn’t seem quite American, but Frankel couldn’t place it. It was like a piece of wood, sanded and smoothed till all its rough edges and defining features were gone. A she spoke, Alisha entered the room bearing a tray laden with china.
“Afternoon, detectives!” Alisha’s brown face split into a friendly grin. With a deft move she set the tray on the table. Past the middle point of her pregnancy, she was overflowing with strength and surprising dexterity. “When I heard you were here, I just had to come. I grabbed the tray right out of Charlotte’s hands!”
Standing in the doorway behind Alisha’s vibrant form, was a small mousy looking figure. Her pale, moley face was framed by cheap glasses and a close cropped scrub of brown hair. She gave an awkward smile to acknowledge that Alisha had accosted her in the manner described.
“Alisha, you mustn’t over exert yourself.” Glinden said as if speaking to a favored, but silly child. Alisha accepted the gentle admonishment.
“I was hoping to hear more about their investigation,” she replied. “It wasn’t right how that happened to Richard.” She began busying herself with cups and saucers.
“We’re still tracking down leads.” Frankel supplied. “It’s early days yet. We’ll find whoever’s behind it.”
“Any more bad dreams?” Winslow asked, taking the cup Alisha offered into his hands.
“Nothing lately, thank the Lord,” she said.
“Poor thing,” Glinden smiled at her. “She was an absolute wreck the next day. I suspect Saturn’s ascendancy opened her third eye that night. Often a challenging experience for the uninitiated.”
“Third eye?” Frankel coughed. The corners of Winslow’s mouth twitched. He almost hoped his friend would continue the current line of questioning. Frankel was highly entertaining when confronted with the absurd.
“Oh yes, detective,” Glinden replied. “With practice, your third eye can be opened at will and reveal new worlds. I’ve offered to train our Alisha, but she, like you, has her doubts. In my own explorations I’ve travelled across time and space many times.”
“Did you happen to see who killed Richard Wilson along the way?” Frankel deadpanned.
“I don’t usually make earthly enquiries when I commune with the infinite.” Glinden’s lips curled.
“You shouldn’t tease her, detective.” Alisha interjected. “I don’t follow the Temple’s way, but Miss Glinden took me in when I needed help. When I had nowhere to go. And soon, there’ll be a whole foundation set up to help women like me.” She placed her hands reflexively on her rounded abdomen.
“Thank you, Alisha.” Glinden placed her hand on the girl’s shoulder and placed a smile on her lips as she scanned Winslow and Frankel’s faces. “One of the Temple’s primary missions is caring for the marginalized innocents like Alisha. As she says, in the spring we’ll be opening the doors on a crisis center for women in her situation.”
“Have any other bums gone missing from your shelter?” Frankel’s crass insertion wrenched the conversation back to the matter at hand.
“Certainly, a number of them are always coming and going.” Glinden answered. “Richard is the only one to turn up dead of course.”
“You don’t think the murderer’s done this before do you?” said Alisha. “Or do you think he might do it again?”
“Maybe,” said Winslow. “It might not even be a single person we’re looking for.”
“That’s the Hungarian talking.” Frankel snapped. “You and me work with evidence. Let Zoltan make up theories.”
“Who’s Zoltan?” Glinden asked with polite interest.
“A consultant the Lieutenant called in to help on the case.” Winslow replied. “He -”
“He stinks like garlic!” added Frankel.
Despite themselves, the two men began to bicker over details of the case. Glinden became very still. Her posture straightened as though she had an iron rod at her back. There was a faraway look in her eyes. Severe and distant. She looked closer to a fairy tale queen than any other moment during the interview.
See you later, alligators.