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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1807751-Solvent
Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #1807751
A dame, a stain.
“Could you please take off your hat in the house?” the dame said. First thing out of her mouth when I walked in. Tough cookie. I figured she wouldn’t even look at my badge, so I didn’t bother. She stared at me with twin light blue daggers. I stared back. Blonde hair cascading in curls around cheekbones you could sit on. I took my hat off but kept the trench coat on.

“Why are you here?” she asked.

“A tip,” I said. I spotted something past the dining room through the kitchen doorway. I pointed that way with my hat and said, “May I?”

Her blue eyes clouded for a second, then rolled up. Punching out an exaggerated sigh, she said, “Go ahead.” Sarcasm, I thought. Not so smart from a dame in her position right now.

Passing the dining room table, I noticed a red blotch on the carpet. Big one. I squatted down for a look, ran my fingers across it. Faded, but still damp. “What happened here?”

Big shrug. “I spilled tomato soup. I’m trying to get out the stain.”

I nodded and headed for the kitchen.  Four items on the counter. Bottle of cleaner. One of those carpet wands from late-night TV ads. Sponge, blue, extra large. Plastic gloves.

I spun on her. “This doesn’t look very good for you. I know it, you know it, and you know I know it. Your husband’s whereabouts – kind of a mystery, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” she said. “It is. His insurance office doesn’t close till 5:00, but here he is, home at 4:30.” She turned me around and gave me a pat and a little shove. “Now why don’t you go into the den and watch The Maltese Falcon for the hundredth time?  I’ve got work to do here.”

(Word count: 300)
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