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Murder in the Great Big Playground

A tale of real estate, murder, politics, and really great powder: Chapter Four


By Sean Wilken

Rory was having another bad day.

He was cold, wet and bored.

He was cold and wet because he was standing in the snow, in some of the worst rain in his life, had been standing there for two hours and forty seven minutes (by his last count) and the rain, which he noted sourly had developed into sleet and freezing water, had worked its way through every zip, opening and gap in what he had been assured only that morning was a super-comfy and warm uniform.

The boredom was more complicated.

You’d think Chuck’s death should have made life anything but boring. You’d think...

Rory was different.

For a start, all this at his client’s insistence – as passed on by his supervisor – he had to be there, she was going to arrive at any minute, her board needed carrying and he just looked “so cute in the snow”.

Then there was the small fact that Rory was a former Olympian. Olympians do not instruct and they certainly are not forced to stand in the snow by a client, backed up by some supervisor. A supervisor who had disappeared, gone skiing, informed Rory that there was awesome powder up top, and was now drinking coffee with his buddies.

But all those causes of boredom were, Rory had decided, superficial. Rory, these days, did not mind waiting for clients. It was just that normally he would wait in a warm bar with several large, comforting Jack D’s. No, the real cause was that, contrary to current appearances, Rory was not interested in boarding and certainly not interested in teaching.

After the “fall” (as Rory described the incident involving the UK women’s curling team and his subsequent exclusion from the Games), Rory had become a private investigator.

In Rory’s mind, this meant slouched fedoras, London Fog coats, late night bars, smooth cocktails, impossibly attractive brunettes with great gams whispering their intimate details into his all-knowing, and let’s face it, over excited ears… All shot in black and white with a very knowing voiceover. Probably with De Niro as Rory in the movie.

In reality, it meant an escape from the endless boredom of driving backhoes and ploughs for the muni or tow trucks for a local operator. All of it to make the rent. And where the only release was trashing some 4x4 in Marketplace, or towing the sole vehicle from an otherwise totally empty garage on a minor, technical infraction.

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