March 21, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story

Murder in the Great Big Playground 

A tale of real estate, murder, politics and really great powder: Chapter 9

click to enlarge Illustration by Corinna Haight
  • Illustration by Corinna Haight

By Katherine Fawcett

The truth was, Rory couldn’t focus anywhere but on Janna’s derriere as it sashayed past the stone fireplace away from him. Oh, she was a package of Christmas morning. Her hips rocked hypnotically from side to side and Rory didn’t notice the trickle of saliva that meandered down the side of his face. He also didn’t notice the old man hitting him on the side of the head with a newspaper.

“Hey shithead.” Whack. “Numbnuts.” Thwack.

“Oh! Ah, sorry Mr. Rumswitz,” said Rory, shaking himself out of his reverie and wiping his chin. His sweaty hand still gripped whatever it was Janna had slipped him. “What’s up?”

“Have you seen this?” Bits of meatball clung to his wormy lips. “This is what I’ve been trying to avoid, you little schmuck.”

The Pique was folded back to the Partial Recall section, which featured a shot of Mumu spilling out of her tank top, bleary-eyed and shiny-haired, petting the bicep of a bartender at the GLC.

“Gee Mr. Rumswitz, She looks really... I mean, I’m so sorry, I guess I should have been…” Rory stammered. But no. That was the old Rory. “Actually, sir, I’m not a marriage counsellor. I’m not a babysitter. I’m a professional snowboarder and,” he lowered his voice and tipped his eyebrows downward, “your private investigator. Nothing more. I can’t change what she does. I can’t take the sugar out of a tart. I can’t make her love you. I can only report on what she does. Besides. Look at the date. This is from weeks ago.”

Rory took a closer look. Mumu’s hair consumed most of the frame, but something in the background caught his eye. It looked an awful lot like Chuck. That was definitely Chuck! Who was he with? Wasn’t that Barb McCann? Minty’s housecleaner? What were they doing together? Was he whispering something in her ear? Or kissing her neck?

Rumswitz grabbed the newspaper and stormed away in a lumbering huff. Rory looked around for Janna. She was gone. He had to talk to her about Barb; she was connected to both Minty and Chuck. Everyone knew she was broke after her lawsuit with VANOC over the “Olympic Cleaning Services” name. And wasn’t her company famous for their cash-in-hand, “Get High, Tidy up and Snoop” policy? And, she had access to all Minty’s personal life and effects.

Looking down, Rory suddenly remembered. He slowly opened his hand. Lifting up the bright pink fabric, he gave it a shake before he could tell what it was. What the…? Rory grabbed his coat and ran out the front door towards Minty’s house, where he knew she’d be waiting. He couldn’t believe that Janna St. James had pressed her panties into his hand.

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