By J.J. Geddyup
It was raining in Tiny Town. A steady, persistent, rain somewhere between drizzle and deluge. An ornery rain that had overstayed its welcome, like some tiresome politician trying to grind out one more vote in a pointless election. Grey clouds blocked the sun, rumoured to be somewhere in the heavens, and painted the world in muted shades of dark and light, a charcoal drawing starting to run together and lose its definition at the edges. Wisps of fog cloud droppings cascaded down the many drainages like mosquito netting over beds in a malarial jungle.
Id been on stakeout undercover for the better part of 72 hours, skulking about the corridors and service passages of a large, well-known hotel. The good looking blonde whod hired me didnt given me much to go on. Pilferage. Missing supplies: tiny soaps, bottles of shampoo and hand cream, shower caps, and wash clothes. Only washcloths oddly enough, not bath towels or hand towels. I suspected an inside job. A clean freak. So far Id turned up zip and only managed to draw suspicion to myself from a clerk at the magazine stand whose overactive imagination probably cast me as some mad bomber. Must be losing my touch. Or maybe I just dont give a damn.
I turned in my report and collected my pay but had the distinct feeling the blonde from HR wasnt happy with my work.
"You didnt find anybody stealing supplies?" shed asked in an icy voice.
"Nope," I replied.
"Well then, whats been happening to them? They havent just gotten up and walked off by themselves now, have they?" Even her posture dripped sarcasm.
"What the hell does that mean?" she glared.
"What it means is your damn soaps and shampoos have gotten so tiny they mightve just fallen through the gaps in the service carts and got sucked up by vacuum cleaners being pushed around by lifeless, shoulder season zombies. I never found any pilferage."
I guess I could have lied and ratted out the worker bee I saw squirreling away slivers of soap. Shed have gotten fired and maybe been better off. On the other hand, she didnt look like she needed grief. Let blondie crack her own missing soap caper.
Once again, I found myself contemplating the manifold difficulties of being a private eye in Whistler. Investigating suspects in a town where people come and go at the speed of light and virtually nothing is considered scandalous. I was deep in thought, and drink, trying to figure out what exactly it was that kept me here, when the phone rang. It was Bob Barnett, the Piques editor.