This will be an online database for my other writing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chapter three *cont*

Van gets into his car and leaves his friend waving at the station, he has an odd feeling of deja vu, like its been a long time since he's seen his friend, even though they had just met up.. He shrugs the idea off and notices hes going out of his lane.
Van swerves back to avoid the car in the lane next to him, and straightens out. He proceeds to turn the radio on to calm his nerves.

"Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
here I am
Stuck in the middle with you"

The chorus plays in the car as Van starts tapping his hand on the wheel. He always turns on the oldies station when he wants to relax. It was what his dad used to listen to since he could remember. This song he especially liked, even though he never really had any idea who it was by. That wasn't important though, the song was doing what he wanted it to in this particular moment.

He drove into the parking lot of Pie and Burger, he didn't see Rachael's car so he figured he didn't have to be in a hurry. Stepping out of his car he lights a cigarette as he ponders the situation. He was not at all prepared to deal with what Cole laid out on him. Now he has a high paying client as well, who insists on being a supreme pain in the ass. He throws the butt on the ground and stomps it out with his foot. As he walks inside he sees the familiar face of Doris, the heavyset older woman who has been tending tables at the restaurant for years.

"How's it hangin' Doris?"
Van asked
"Hangin'? Honey, I hope you are referring to the effect that gravity has had on my tits and not implying that I have something between my legs that hangs. Either way, that's no means of addressing a lady even if she is a bit late in her years, no wonder I never see you bring a girlfriend in here!"
Said Doris with mounds of fake anger.
Van chuckled
"It's good to see you too Doris!'
Replied Van.
"Its been a while since I've seen your face in here young man, been busy I hope."
"Nah, not really Doris, the opposite actually, business has been real slow until today, I feel like I've had Fat Man and Little Boy dropped on me today."
Van said with a smirk
"Aren't you Japanese Van?"
asked Doris
"My point exactly."
Van noticed that his joke went completely over her head, that's ok, he thought, his sense of humor is lost on a lot of people and he knew this.
"What about you Doris? I see you're still working at this place."
Van uttered smugly.
"You and I both know that I am going to die here, older, grayer and alone."
Doris said laughing.
"Yeah I know I just wanted to hear you say it."
They both start laughing at that comment, as the front door opens and a new guest walks in.
"Hey, I've never seen her around here, what about you Van?"
"Nope, partially because this is her first time here, she's my date."
"Date? Ok, looks like I spoke too soon earlier, she's quite the looker, she could have given me a run for my money in my twenties."
Doris says musingly.
"When was that? The 1920's?"
Van answers
"If you didn't tip well so I would get Jimmy back there to grab his cleaver and teach you a lesson in manners young man."
"You enjoy our conversations as much as I do Doris, you would miss me too much."
She laughs
"You will never hear me say that."
Rachael Valentine walks up to the bar where Van is seated and takes a seat next to him.
"Hello there, can I get you a cup of coffee to start."
Van sees Doris offer her usual half bored coffee greeting and smile.
"No thank you, water will be just fine, I try not to drink too much caffeine"
Rachael answers somewhat timidly.
"Well miss Valentine, lets get down to business"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Chapter two (first edit)

Van lights a cigarette as hes driving down the 212 and exits on Corson to head towards the police station. He starts thinking more about what Rachael had reminded him of earlier, it comes to him, suddenly hes feeling kind of uneasy.
"I need a damn drink."
He mutters to himself while contemplating what Coleaman could want to talk to him about.
Van arrives at the police station and Briggs is waiting outside almost like he knew exactly when Van would show up. It might be one of those childhood friend sixth senses Van thinks to himself they were always pretty close but this still kinda surprised Van.
"Its like you knew when I was gonna show up Cole."
Smirked Van
"Not really Ive been out here waiting for you since I called."
"Oh, I apologize, I would have hurried if I knew"
"Chasing some girl again I assume?"
"Shut up asshole."
Van said as he shook Briggs hand laughing as the handshake turned into a hearty hug.
"So whats so important that you had to call me and have me drop what I was doing in order to come here?"
Van asked while hoping that it wasn't what he thought.
"We have a lead on Lucy, Van."
Van's face immediately darkened.
"I was thinking it had something to do with that."
"Call it intuition, we know each other well enough"
Briggs responded  with a serious tone.
"Van, we tracked down one of the men that was associated."
"Where is he I would love to get my hands on him"
Said Van with a slight flash of anger.
"Well that's just it buddy, hes dead, thats how we stumbled upon him."
"Whats the guys name?"
"The guys name was David Fade, we found him dead in a house in Newport Beach."
Van responded contemplativley.
This meant that there was a large possibility that someone with money was involved in this. Van found this unsettling because lots of money always complicated things, and when things got complicated that means Van had to work harder. In this case Van didn't mind however, this case was personal, and he wanted to see this to the end
"Van snap out of it! I thought I was giving conversation not a monologue."
Snapped Briggs.
"Well then tell me more, if you found this guy dead how do you know that is associated with Lucy Reed?"
"Well that's just it man, the way we knew is that we found a picture of her in his apartment. Her's along with a half a dozen girls close to her age, well they seemed to be, its not like they were head shots with names and ages printed on them."
"Did the chief open the case again?"
Inquired Van.
"No, not enough evidence, however he is counting this as a new case and we are looking into the evidence right now. The victim was one David Fade, not in the system, means hes got no priors."
"Do you have any other intel. on this prick?"
Van asked teeming with curiosity.
"We have barely any information on the guy. No family, no relatives, just his driver's licence which might even be fake since nothing turned up on the guy."
"So you don't have shit! Then what the fuck did you call me for! This is useless!"
"Whoah man, you told me to contact you ASAP if anything on the case ever turned up again, don't go getting pissed at me buddy."
Said Briggs calmly examining Van a bit closer.
"Are you hungover? Its almost 3 pm Van I thought you didn't drink like this anymore?"
"I had a rough few weeks, business has been slow and old memories are a pain to deal with sometimes."
Van turned away as he said this.
"I understand, I just worry about you sometimes man, shit, we're pretty much brothers you know. Come talk to me if you need to."
"Thanks man but I'm fine I just got a bit carried away last night is all, was listening to George Thorogood and felt like drinking no big deal."
Briggs knew to drop it, Van was good about composing himself after a night like that, and he knew that he only had a night or two like that in a year, just when he felt really down.
"I have a present for you, I made a copy of the key to Fade's apartment, I figured you would want to go there and take a quick look yourself. We are done with the scene until tomorrow morning, try not to move anything, photos have been taken of the scene and it might get back to me if you fuck up."
"Thanks a lot Cole, I dont know what I would do without you sometimes."
"You wouldn't be able to find your dick when you're pissing without me Van."
Briggs laughed, Van joined in the laughter, They both realized that they hadn't seen each other in a while but at the same time whenever they get back to talking its like they were the same 15 year old kids they once were. Those were some happy times for both of them, smoking grass for the first time, dealing with school and even some young romance in those days to talk about. They started reminiscing a bit, both noticing they were doing it and got back on topic.
"Thanks again,"
Van said modestly
"No problem, I would pursue this with you but if the Chief finds out it could mean my ass. I will try to help as much as possible so keep me informed, I want to find out what happened as well."
Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call. Its a number Van doesn't recognize.
"This is Van"
"Mr. Matsumoto, I'm so sorry to call you so soon, I hope I'm not interrupting anything."
It was Rachael Valentine, Van was really tempted to spout something flirtatious but didn't.
"Hey, no problem what can I do for ya."
"I called the hotel where my father was taying and the front desk said that he never checked out. The books for the week were taken by the night manager to log into their database because they were having network problems at the hotel. When is the soonest we can get together and go over any evidence I have."
Van was confused at her statement.
"Well I just need to know a few key things and I can start tonight if you would like."
"No, part of the deal is that Is that I get to go with you, I flew here from Seattle and took time off work so I could do this with some professional help."
Snapped Rachael, Van was a hairs breath away from saying, "lady you need some professional help if you think I'm going to agree to that," again he held back.
"I always work alone, I don't think I can agree to that."
Van responded calmly.
"I am willing to pay whatever it takes, I will double, no, make that triple your normal fee."
Van is very strict about his policy of never working with a client, it puts them at risk, its not good for business, and emotions are are always abundant in these cases. Van however was hurting for money, and since he was positive this was going to be an open and shut case he reconsidered almost immediatley.
"I never work with clients on cases, its too risky."
Van decided to give some resistance to not appear desperate.
"Listen Mr. Matsumoto, You told me that you would take my case, I expect you to own up to your word and do so. I know you are a well respected as an investigator I did my research but I am not above harming your reputation to get my way."
She said very as a matter of fact-ly.
"Are you threatening me miss?"
"You bet your ass I am, I was told you were going to take my case, and since you agreed without knowing the full details of the case I assumed you would be OK with any requests that I might have while you were in my employment. Or are you telling me that you aren't a man of your word."
Van was getting a bit irked at this response, she had him cornered in this conversation. "Man, what is it with me and being surrounded by strong willed women" He thinks to himself.
"You drive a hard bargain, I pride myself on my integrity I did in fact take your case so I will be following through with it. I assume you would want to meet as soon as possible?
"Yes, now would be great."
Responded Rachael briskly.
"Very well then, Lets meet at Pie'n Burger, its a diner on the corder of East California Boulevard, and Cornel road, can you figure out how to get there?"
"I can I have GPS in my rental, it shouldn't be a problem. I can meet you there in thirty minutes, I will bring things related to my dad."
"Be there in thirty"
Van hangs up, he doesn't even consider that she might not be used to his lack of phone etiquette until after he had done it, or that Briggs was still there.
"Sorry buddy, I got a pushy client and I really need the money I gotta run."
"I need to get back to work as well Van, It was good seeing you, we should get together for a beer or two soon."
Briggs said as Van was starting to walk off.
"Sounds good man I'l be in touch."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chapter one, first edit.

Nothing says alcoholic like thanking a bottle of whiskey for the conversation it just gave you. It was the first thing Van thought of when he woke up. This being the last thought he had before passing out and waking up with half his body on the bed and the other half on the ground, all while clutching a bottle of Evan Williams like it was his lifeline. A phone call pierces his ear, he digs through a pile of clothes that he may have been wearing at some point to find it.
He answers his phoned disgruntled.
"Van? Holy shit, you asshole its one a clock in the afternoon, where the fuck are you!"
Squalled a familiar voice.
"Now Margaret, is that any way to talk to your boss?"
He beamed sarcastically.
"You're making us look bad ya old sonofabitch, get down here now!"
He knew she hated that name, especially when he used it. Van stood up to catch his bearings and almost fell over again.
"Be there in twenty"
He said as he hung up the phone.
"Who is she calling old?"
He mumbled to himself and tossed on a pair of khakis while stumbling toward his coat rack. He thinks twice about grabbing a coat as he sees himself in the mirror and decides to do something about the haggard man staring back at him. A quick shave and a hat thrown over his head is all he decides to do about it. With his bearings on straight he grabs his favorite black pea coat and exits through the door.

Margaret was the office help to his PI business, she was young but she was a lot more organized and strong willed than he ever was; she had taken the job to pay her way through a law degree and figured that it would also be good experience for the time being. Van was somewhat of a local celebrity in the area, after the job that involved a Russian crime syndicate branch which was prominent in the city. Van didn't really care for it, he feels like it was more happenstance than anything. He did enjoy the recognitions sometimes though. Margaret always went by the name Mags; Margaret Fuller was her mother's name and there is only one thing she hated more than her mother, and that was being called by that name.

As he was driving to the office Van had a truckload of thoughts in his head, much like he always did after waking because he spent most of the nighttime drinking to forget everything he had on his mind. Much like Mags he hated his name, but not because of any association with his parents but lets face it he didn't like the fact that his name was associated with something that was used to pick kids up from soccer practice by a school-mom.

His father insisted on giving him this name because of his Japanese descent. Not that the name was of Asian descent but it had gained popularity in the culture because of the fact that his father as well as many other people of his time had a fascination with Germanic mythology and anything associated with it. So there he was with the name Van Matsumoto, being as white as he was a lot of people wondered if his name was fabricated or changed by him at some point.

His father was also something he didn't like to think about either, he was a hard-ass, strict, Japanese immigrant who spent most of his adult life in the States but after Van's mother disappeared he felt the need to return to the homeland for some spiritual reason or another. Needless to say that they weren't in contact much these days.

As Van neared the office he saw the familiar palm tree which he insisted on planting in a giant pot in front of the office. He immediately felt more at peace and his hangover seemed to subside a bit. Van explained to anyone who asked that the plant reminded him of good memories but never really shared why. He parks the car and strolls into the office casually.
"OK kid where's the fire?"
He asks while entering
"Who are you calling kid old man! We have had a customer waiting for the past 45 minutes for you hurry in here!"
"Wow, thats surprising"
He said as he flashed a pleased smile, business had been slow lately and the diminishing savings account made him worry a bit, although he was doing just fine for the moment.
"Yeah I wanna make sure you have work so you can keep paying me, I do more work than you do around this joint anyway, maybe I'm gonna change the sign to Mags F. P.I on the front when you're not looking.
"Well, business has been slow, what do you want me to do about it"
"Advertise! put yourself out there, do something!'
"Isn't that what I'm paying you for?"
"Well maybe I will get to that after organizing all of your files and keeping this place clean after you decide to trash it."
"You're useless, I should just fire you."
"You would go bankrupt."
Mags said as she was walking away with a disorganized mess of papers. She was right, Van thought, he was notoriously bad with money and keeping track of it, she was the one that kept his books. To the untrained ear this display of harsh words would make it seem like those two hated each other.

As he walks in through the double glass doors to his office, something else he insisted on having because it "made it seem more professional", he notices the "client" who was a smoking hot thirty-something wearing an almost skin tight red dress. Not the kind that a stripper would wear though, this one was classy and expensive looking and didn't show off too much skin except it was somewhat short so it showed off some leg but even most of that was covered up by the long coat she wore.

Van didn't say anything and found himself getting lost in an old memory.
"Mr. Matsumoto?"
"Yeah, thats me sorry, its been somewhat of a rough day so far, I apologize about the wait I was caught up with something. "
"I heard you talking with your secretary, did I intrude on a lovers quarrel? I could come back later."
"Me and her?
He chuckled heartily.
"God no, she's barely 21! Shes just a mouthy employee, something of a charity case, Either way mis.."
"Rachael, Rachael Valentine"
She extends her hand very professionally. Van meets it with his and notices a strong grip for such a small frame. She couldn't have been more than five-six or five-seven.
"Ok miss Valentine, now that we're properly acquainted, what can I do for you?"
Calling her miss was Vans slick way to see if she correct him and say Mrs.
She didn't, so she was either a flirtatious housewife or she was single either way, he liked it. She seemed to be the more honest type, despite the tight dress she seemed to wear it with class and a hint of self consciousness. Not that a lot of people would notice the self conscious bit but Van prided himself on reading people well.
"Well, I found your add in the yellow pages and I have been worried about my father recently. He has been missing for about a few weeks now, he was supposed to be on vacation in Santa Cruz but I have not been able to get hold of him and he checked out of his hotel a week ago."
"I'm going to assume he is not at home?"
"No, I checked his house, I have the spare key. It doesn't look like anyone has been there for weeks."
"Has he been known to disappear like this before?"
"Unfortunately yes, he is still quite impulsive for his age and he does go off without telling anyone first. He does however always call me after he leaves and lets me know where he is. He knows I worry about him and   that he isn't a young man anymore. The other thing that worries me is that I called the resort he was staying at and they found his cellphone in his suite."
This struck Van as strange as he thinks of his father and how much he always forgets his cellphone everywhere.
"Is it uncharacteristic of him to do that?"
Asked Van with a secret hint of sarcasm.
Rachael said with a louder tone.
"Hes like a teenager, that I-Phone is practically glued to his pocket, he keeps better track of it than his own children!"
"I see."
Said Van, thinking that the old coot probably just left it there and ran off somewhere with some young gold-digger after his money. Which he assumed is how Rachael got the expensive looking dress she was wearing, daddy's money. Must be some designer crap that he doesn't know much about but he has seen similar dresses in stores on the boardwalk for thousands of dollars.

The same piercing sound that Van awoke to this afternoon broke the conversation.
"Sorry I have to take this."
Van mumbled.
"Hey, you need to come down to the station right now, I have something I need you to look at."
The voice belonged to Coleman Briggs, a personal friend Van had in the LAPD. He was someone Van had known since grade school and they sometimes had to butt heads in their professions. However they managed to remain fairly close.
"Can it wait, I am kinda busy."
Cole said sternly, Van recognized this tone, he didn't have to ask any more questions he just had to say yes or no.
Van said as he hung up, he had the habit of ending phone calls without a formal goodbye but Cole was used to that.
"Rachael I apologize something has come up, may I take your card so that I could contact you tomorrow and we can go over more details about your case. Maybe even take a look around your fathers place?"
This was another one of Vans ways of cleverly getting information about people, he was testing to see if she was a person who carried a business card, this spoke a lot about peoples character.

"I don't have a card but I can give you my cell phone number, so does that mean you will take my case?
She didn't have a card, he liked that.
"I wondered if you would catch the subtlety of that yes."
"Great! Thank you so much for your time, please call me as soon as you can."
"Of course, let me walk you outside I am in a bit of a hurry."
They walk out of the double doors together.
"Hey where are you going boss!"
"Errand to run, keep doing what you're doing, I will be back soon"
"Ok slacker, looks like I'm holding down the fort again."
"Try not to burn the building down, I don't have insurance"
Van says with a grimace.
Mags shoots Van a look that just says "fuck off".
Van walks Rachael to her car, which is a newer model Audi, classy, Van thinks although he doesn't know the model.
They exchange goodbyes her eyes don't leave his for a while. He can't decide if it was attraction or whether this was just how she was. This one was hard to read, he thought to himself.
"I hate those kind."
He mumbled as he closed his car door and headed toward the station.