the vampire murder case (part fourteen)

This story started here.

We followed Åsa for eight or ten blocks, away from the center of U-town, toward the highway and the river. Then she turned a corner and slowed. We slowed also, and then stopped, ducking under an awning. After a moment, still without looking around, she walked forward. We came up to the corner as she crossed the street toward a tall fence with an ornate gate in the middle of the block.

All we could see on the other side of the iron fence was trees and foliage, but I remembered that there was a house in there, on a plot of land that covered a whole city block. I was trying to recall whose house it was as Åsa paused at the gate, and then she opened it and slipped inside.

"Who lives there?" Christy asked. She was whispering, though there was certainly no way Åsa could have heard.

I shook my head. "I'm trying to remember. A writer of some sort, maybe a poet."

"Poetry must pay better than I thought," she said with a chuckle.

I motioned and we crossed the street, peering in betwen the iron uprights of the fence. From there, the house itself was visible through the trees, and we could see Åsa hurrying around to the side of the house. We watched her open a door and slip inside.

The house was old and decrepit-looking, and there were no lights visible through the trees. "I don't remember the whole story," I said quietly, "but I think it's his family's house. They used to be rich, but no more. I think he's popular with college kids."

We waited for about an hour. People walked by from time to time, but not many. At one point, Christy stayed put while I walked quickly around the block, just to see if there was anything significant to observe. I didn't see anything, but as usual I wondered what my employer might have noticed that I had missed.

Then, unexpectedly, Christy put her hand on my arm. It is probably an exaggeration to say that I jumped, but I was not able to completely conceal my surprise, and I saw that she noted my reacyion. Christy was, I knew, as tough as any other member of the Jinx when she had to be, but the rest of the time she was fairly prim and proper, and not at all touchy-feely. Also, like some recovering alcoholics (which I knew her to be), she gave the impression that she never made a gesture without evaluating it first.

So, although I was sure that she wasn't making a pass at me, I did jump, a little, and she instantly got worried that I was going to think she was making a pass, but before she could speak to clarify her intentions, whatever they were, I saw her react to something she saw over my shoulder. She gave a wry smile to let me know that I was going to have to wait to find out what the sudden gesture had meant.

"Here she comes," she said quietly.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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