"The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic." ― G.K. Chesterton
Mateo Emblem's office took the saying 'cleanliness is next to godliness' to a new level. Spotless, organized, and extremely color coded.
Sticky notes of a variety of colors were stacked in neat piles on the corner of the desk.
One of his draws even contained 7 sharpened pencils, all the exact same length and with the same amount of spacing between them.
The floor-length window behind his desk cast a gleam of natural light across the room, reflecting dazzling shapes onto the opposing wall, which fluttered and danced with every movement of the sun.
Adrian Monk would have an office like this. V.C. thought as she shuffled through the desk. Jack was to her right, inspecting the only filing cabinet that hadn't been emptied.
She pawed through a stack of receipts paper-clipped together.
Some were for work expenses: client dinners, fundraisers, and even an occasional hotel charge.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
V.C. moved down to the next draw and opened it. Stacks of files were piled inside.
As she pulled them out, V.C. noticed they were court records-nothing unusual for a lawyer.
She was just about to close the draw when a flash of black captured her eye.
Under a stack of blank paper, the corner of an ominous black folder stuck out. V.C. dislodged it and flipped the folder open.
The first line read- 'Divorce Application Form'. Mateo's name made an appearance more than once as she read on, her eyes skittering down the page rapidly.
On the line, 'Reason for Divorce', Emblem had scrawled 'Irreconcilable difference'.
A light dinged in V.C. head and she filed that information under 'Super Duper Important Information!!'
"Rhodes . . . take a look at this."
At the scent of a mystery, the pair seemed to have forgotten their never-ending feud and temporarily reconciled.
He lifted his nose from the paper he was currently reading and walked over.
She handed Jack the folder and pointed to the document. "It looks like Mateo and Silvia weren't a happy couple after all."
While Jack scanned the page, V.C. bent down and tried the bottom drawer of the desk.
She pulled the handle but it was locked.
Inspecting the desk for a key that would unlock it proved futile as she came up empty.
"Looks like I'll have to do this the old fashion way" V.C. murmured to herself as she grabbed the letter opener from the desk.
"Do what the old fashion. . .? HEY! Wait, you can't just. . ."
A loud creak blocked out Jack's demand as the lock gave way. "Oh, hush. It's not a big deal."
Expiring a blow of air, Jack said "What did I tell you? Come on," He motioned with his hand and went to grab his cuffs. "I can't stand by and watch you break into private property."
"Actually, it's not private property, it belongs to the firm and the owner let us in. . . so technically. . ." She stooped down and dropped to her knees behind the desk. "Not illegal."
V.C. grabbed the handle and pulled. This time, it gave way and slid open.
When she saw the inside, her eyes widened in surprise.
YOU ARE READING
Eridanus Flooding (WATTY 2018 WINNER)Mystery / Thriller
Commander Jack Rhodes is a retired Navy Seal. Well. Retired isn't what he would call it. More like fired. Yes. Fired would be the correct choice of word. No one retires at the age of 32. When a mission went wrong, leaving Jack as the only survivor...