This story is based on a song. Any mistakes I have made within it are not intentional.
A Short Story
Victoria started coughing after she took a long drink from her soda. It got so bad it took her about a minute before she got it under control. She put her drink down next to her just as she stopped it. Just in time for her to catch a couple who came out of the bar she had been watching from across the street in her car.
After picking up her phone on the passenger seat on top of a vanilla folder, she unlocked it and tapped the camera icon. She started taking pictures of the couple as they walked down the street to the next cross-street where they turned. She tapped the camera icon again to turn it off.
When the phone returned to the main screen she tapped the recorder icon on it before she spoke. “They aren’t the couple I am looking for. She doesn’t look anything like Emma Lou. Besides his looks, he’s too tall to be Steve.”
Victoria tapped the Recorder icon to turn it off. Then she puts it down on the passenger seat before she picked up the vanilla folder. She glanced down at it as she opens it. Victoria smiled as she saw what was on it. Across the top of it was written ‘Victoria Watson Investigations’ in big letters. Under it in even bigger letters was ‘Emma Lou.’
After she opened the vanilla folder she picked up the first picture. It was a picture of Emma Lou. Her name appeared at the bottom of it. Victoria put it back in the folder and took out the next picture. It showed the picture of Steve on it. Only his first name was on it too.
“That couple definitely wasn’t them.” Just as Victoria put Steve’s picture back in the folder she glanced over at the time on her dashboard. It read ‘2:59.’
“It looks like they are about to close for the night.” Victoria put the folder back down and picked up her phone. She tapped the camera icon again. Only she changed it from pictures to video. Victoria also zoomed in on the faces of each person just as they started coming out of the bar.
A few minutes later everyone was out, and the bartender locked it up after leaving it too. Victoria sighed as she put her phone down again. “They have been here every night for the last two weeks, but not tonight. I don’t think that they are in Detroit City anymore.”
Several beeping sounds made Victoria sat up in her motel room bed blinking her eyes rapidly for a few seconds. Then she shook her head a couple of times. The last time in the direction of the laptop on a desk next to a television. Victoria got up and took the chair in front of the desk.
Victoria smiled as she looked at her laptop screen. “It’s about time you found them. I was starting to think you never would. After all, I have been here almost a week.”
“I knew that you were here somewhere. Just didn’t know where until now. I’m going to have to find a special way to thank Frank for this recognition program.”
“Also knew you would be staying near a Jazz club you’d be going to every night. The only problem is there are so many Jazz clubs around here I didn’t know how long it would take to find you. I was starting to think you would leave again before I found you.”
Victoria stared at her laptop screen for a few more seconds. Then she started tapping the keyboard. “So, where have you been hiding when you’re not at a Jazz club?” She suddenly stopped tapping and leaned back in her chair with a shocked look on her face. “No wonder I couldn’t find you. Not only have you been going to different clubs, you have been staying at a motel almost in the center of them all.”
After getting up Victoria glanced out her motel room window at the motel sign a few rooms away from her room before she left her room. Victoria looked at her watch as she left. It read ‘4:23.’ She walked into another motel at ‘4:56’ according to a wall clock she glanced at on her way in there.
Stopping just beyond the doors Victoria slowly scanned the room before she walked up to a counter. The male behind that counter still kept his eyes on whatever he was looking at on his laptop. Victoria ran the counter bell. He still didn’t respond. So, she did it two more times before she sighed. Victoria reached over and lowered his laptop.
“Why did you do that?” the man looked up. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you there.”
“Welcome to Motel Chicago Six. How many I help you.”
Victoria produced her PI ID. “I’m looking for one of your guests. Which room is Victoria Watson in?”
“I would help you if I could, but I can’t. You just missed them. They left here about fifteen minutes ago.”
“What are you two doing? Why did you return to this state?” Victoria turned the wheel of her car sharply to the left to avoid hitting a slow-moving car in front of her. She glanced behind her as she did it. Barely cutting in front of another car as she cut into that lane. Victoria quickly got up to speed to pass the slow-moving one before she got back into the right lane of that busy highway.
Victoria continued down that highway for several minutes in silence. “I have been following you around this state for almost three months. You have been to every Jazz club in the state at least once. Most of them you visited several times.”
“Yes, I know that you like Jazz, but that isn’t the only reason why you are doing it. Now is it?”
“No, it’s not. The main reason why is because of me. Me and my Django. Isn’t that right?”
Victoria drove in silence for about a mile before she took the next exit ramp. At the bottom of that ramp, she had to stop suddenly and drive onto the shoulder because of the oncoming traffic. “For such a small town, there sure is a lot of traffic.”
After a couple of blocks Victoria turned left at the light. She turned left again after three blocks to head in the direction she had come from. “I have been in this town before. There are no Jazz clubs here.”
“There’s no reason why to stay here. They aren’t going to be visiting this town.” Victoria drove out of that town and got back onto the highway. She merged without any trouble and got up to speed very quickly.
Victoria continued to drive in silence for several miles. Looking at each town sign as she went by it. “Where should I try next? Maybe they finally left this state? No, they couldn’t have done that without my Recognition Program telling me so.”
Just then the laptop on the passenger seat starting beeping. Victoria pulled onto the shoulder and stopped before she looked over at it. “So, there you are.”
“I’ve got you now. You are going to be here for a week or two. At least you have every other time you have stopped in this town.”
“How many times does it make for this one? Why do you keep coming back to this town?” Victoria asked herself as she walked past three doors to stop at the fourth one. She used a lock pick kit and got into that room very quickly.
Once inside Victoria started searching the room. She began with the closet. Then she pulled out their luggage to search through it. Finally, Victoria searched through the dresser draws. “Where is it at? My Django must be here somewhere. So, where is it?”
After the dressers Victoria checked under the two beds before she checked out the bathroom. “It has to be here, but it’s not.”
Victoria started her search again. “Did they take it with them? Maybe they hid it somewhere else? That could be why I can’t find it. It could be almost anywhere. After all, they have been in over half of the United States in the last seven months.”
“If they did hide it somewhere there is only one way that I can think of to find out where it is. They will just have to tell me where when they get back here.”
“The Jazz clubs will be closing soon. I will soon find out where it’s at. One way or another I will find out where you have hidden my Django.”
Victoria placed a chair in front of the door to that room. Then she sat in it. She was staring at the door when Emma Lou and Steve entered. Both acting and sounding drunk. Especially the way they were singing off-key. Just inside the door they suddenly stopped. They stopped their singing as they stared at Victoria.
“It’s about time you got here.” Victoria smiled evilly. “The Jazz clubs have been closed for almost an hour. Where have you been?”
“So, you finally found us. What took you so long?” Emma Lou asked.
Victoria’s smile slowly faded. “I will admit you did give me a merry chase, but that’s all over now.”
“I told you that I won’t let you go.” Victoria’s smile turned evil again. “That I would let you leave. Especially with my Django. Where is it? Tell me, and I might just let you leave here alive.”
Looking at the shores of California Bay Victoria smiled. She kept smiling as she glanced at Emma Lou and Steve seated in the backseat of her car. Victoria returned to looking out her front window just in time to see to see the car in front of her stop.
Victoria barely had time to slam on her brakes too. Her car shrieked to a stop only a couple of inches from her. She looked in the back seat. “Are you two okay?”
“About as good as we can be under the circumstances,” said Steve. “Why are you doing this to us? You said you would let us go if we returned your Django.”
“I said I might do it.” Victoria looked back at Emma Lou and Steve. Then quickly looked straight ahead again when the traffic started moving again. “I changed my mind.”
Emma Lou looked at Steve, then at Victoria. “Victoria, you still haven’t answered Steve’s question.”
Victoria kept her eyes on the cars in front of her. “You know where we are going. I’m taking you back to Mexico for the last time.”
“We can see that,” said Steve. “What we want to know is why you’re doing it.”
“You know why. I told you I wouldn’t let you leave. The only way for you to leave is to go back to Mexico. That’s where I am taking you.”
Steve looked at Emma Lou worried. Then he looked back at Victoria. “We all know why you are really doing this. It’s because of me and Emma Lou.”
Victoria smiled evilly again. “You are partially right. I am doing it because of you, my love.”
“I’m mostly doing it for the money, though.” After she stopped her car again because of another small traffic jam Victoria looked at Emma Lou and Steve. “You should never have returned to the United States, my love.”
The traffic started moving again a few minutes later. “Relax, you should be back in Mexico in a few hours,” said Victoria.
It was midday when they got into their last traffic jam. Now it was after dark. So, several hours had passed. Victoria got out of her car. She helped the bound Emma Lou out first, then Steven. Before she pushed them both down onto the side of the road she kissed Emma Lou. “Goodbye, my love. This time it’s for good.”
Word Count = 1,998