Old 09-19-2016, 07:11 PM   #1
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Six Ways To Sunday

James walked by his secretary as he put his hand on the brass door knob to his office. Twisting the knob he questioned Evelyn as a form of daily repetition, “Anything new today?”

She responded negatively in soft tones as though to lessen the blow. But she knew as well as he did that if things continued going the way they have been that it wouldn’t be long before she was forced to leave. The question of whether he was able to afford her was constantly buzzing in his mind.

His name had been printed on the door’s glass seven years ago just before Hoover’s arrival. And now seven years later specks of dust were gathering against the pane of glass, highlighted by the sun filtering through a window and a light shade on the other side of his office. It didn’t matter at this point. If there was anyone who was desperate enough to afford his time they surely weren’t going to care about what the window looked like. And James had been beaten down for so long, neither did he.

There wasn’t much left of his office. A desk and it’s chair, along with a few common wooden chairs on the other side but there was nothing more aside from a coat rack brooding next to the door.

Before he sat down behind his desk he removed his revolver, placing it inside the top drawer as the holster joined it’s partner moments later. It hadn’t been used today, or ever. The more he stayed in the shadows the better he was. The way they depicted his occupation in those comic strips or films just weren’t accurate. But he wasn’t about to downplay the hero-like features of those recent Dick Tracy radio broadcasts.

A morning newspaper had been laid out on his desk as he pulled himself forward. His hands laid the paper flat and read more headlines that would’ve been surprising or heartbreaking in almost any other decade. Instead it was just the daily news. It was something else to be forgotten by tomorrow. The nation certainly had troubles but each person had more immediate problems that needed to be solved.
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:57 PM   #2
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She may not be dressed in the height of fashion, but at least she was not the only one on the busy street dressed in rags. The shapeless dress hid the thin body forced to survive on one meal a day, if she was lucky, and right now, Rose Glover was out of luck. Though the dress was well worn with a few places worn completely through, the dress was clean and someone had obviously attempted to repair it.

The scrap of paper with a name and address was clutched in her small hand and she worriedly glanced at it as she walked, occasionally glancing up at the addresses on the building fronts.

Stopping in front of the building, she double checked it against the address on the paper before stepping through the door and into the dark lobby.

The closer she got to the office, the more nervous she got. If he couldn't help her, then no one could, or would. How simple it would be if she had money.

She finally came to the door with his name printed on it. She had coiled her blonde hair on top of her head and secured it with the few bobby pins that she had. Gone were the days of having her hair styled and she had been forced to let it grow long. She was about ready to take scissors to it herself, but hopefully she looked presentable enough that this detective would possibly help her. Her face was pale and devoid of makeup - makeup cost money - and the smattering of freckles were pale across the bridge of her nose and the tops of her cheeks. But her eyes were clear and gray, showing pain. And though she did not cry, her eyes gave the impression that it would not take much to spill them.

She pressed open the door. The office was bare bones, like most businesses nowadays. The secretary sitting behind the desk looked at her, and for a moment, she thought that she saw a look of hopefulness looking back at her before it was replaced with an indifference that had become an everyday feeling. When you've seen one desperate person, I guess you've seen them all.

She attempted a smile and tried to remain positive. "I have an appointment. My name is Rose Glover." It took all of her willpower to keep her emotions under control. She sat in one of the hard wood chairs in the outer office and tried to keep her nerves under control. She just had to get his help.
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Old 09-21-2016, 06:52 PM   #3
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Evelyn stood from her desk as Rose sat. For once Evelyn didn’t have to simply appear busy while denying the hopeful look on her face. She smoothed her skirt before she walked across the hallway, disappearing from view through an open door. Brief muffled words were exchanged, escaping from the room before Evelyn return with a brief smile toward Rose as Evelyn rediscovered her seat.

James folded the newspaper neatly, after all, it was still early. Tossing the paper into his lower bottom right drawer which stored his bottle of brown liquor he stared momentarily across the room. Perhaps today would give him something to hope for beyond that sickly looking bottle. Did it matter anymore? Was one case, one incident going to change his life? In all likelihood he’d be kissing the bottle by the end of the night… or even the early evening.

James pushed away from the desk as the legs of his chair scraped against the bare wooden floor. Walking beyond his lonely coat rack he stood just beyond the doorframe, appearing in the hallway due to a feeling of friendly obligation.

“Miss Grover? Come on in.” At least he managed to remember her name from his desk to the door. And he returned to his chair.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:27 PM   #4
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Rose heard her name, ignoring the mispronouncation of her last name, and stood, finding the detective inviting her into his office. He looked tired but that was a common look nowadays. It was easy to look tired with life as it was.

She gave him a tentative smile and stepped into the room. His office was just as bare as his waiting room. He motioned for her to take a seat and she sat in the wooden chair. Watching him take his seat behind his desk, she tried gauging how sympathetic he appeared. She felt her stomach dip - he had a hard look to him. She suspected that this would be a dead end, and as he was her last chance, she felt the despair well up inside. She pushed it down and launched into what she wanted.

"I am needing help. My younger sister is missing. She was seen being pushed into a car at the corner of 8th and Houston last Thursday. When I went to the police they claimed that she ran away. But she didn't. I know that she didn't. Please, can you find her for me?"

As she spoke, the words came faster and faster from her lips until at the end of her speech they fairly tumbled out to scatter around the room. She took a deep breath and tried to calm herself. He would not help a crazy person. And she wasn't crazy, just worried sick.

She sat there, clutching her woefully empty purse that held only a hanky, a piece of paper, and $1.27. Her knees were shaking and she hoped he wouldn't notice that.

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Old 09-26-2016, 08:40 PM   #5
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James heard the story before. It never changed and people like him were always the last choice.

As she spoke he ignored most of what she said. A missing younger sister was all he heard as his tired eyes took her in for the first time. She could’ve been beautiful if she tried, perhaps even pushing Jean Harlow from the public memory. When she stopped speaking he allowed the silence to ring in the air as he watched her through learned eyes.

He reached to his right, gripping a half-used pencil with a perfect, never-been-used eraser. James withdrew a small book and opened it, where it displayed its first blank page.

With the pencil firmly in his hand and ready to write he looked back to her, “Tell me about her, Miss Grover. What she looks like, her habits, where she usually goes, who last saw her and where you’ve last seen her and when. Anything that can get me started and decide if there’s a path to follow.”

What he didn’t tell her was that he was going to find something even if it led to perpetual dead ends and false hopes. After all, a man had to eat.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:15 PM   #6
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Rose licked her lips, her throat parched. Her stomach growled, though she thought that the sound was soft enough that maybe he had not heard it. Now came the hard part - getting the man to look for Lucy without pay.

She sat up straight. "First off, my last name is 'Glover' and my sister is Lucy Glover." She smiled, trying not to come off as a bitch. "Second, how much do you charge? Do you ever do pro bono work?" She held her breath, every nerve in her body tense as she waited for his answer.
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:11 PM   #7
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Rose sat there, her nerves on edge the longer that his silence lasted. She knew that her chances of getting help without payment were next to impossible. No one gave away anything these days. Everyone need money and she dug deep down inside, trying to come up with anything of value that she might have.

She sat there looking at him. Obviously the request for pro bono had not set well.

"I'm sorry. I probably should not have ask for that. I realize that you have to eat too." She took a deep breath and continued. "Okay. No matter what you charge, I cannot pay it." She opened her purse and upended the contents on his desk. "$1.27. That's all I have. I have nothing else of value." She closed her eyes and swallowed hard. "This is my sister. She is all the family I have left. And I will do anything to find her."

She was quiet for a moment. Her stomach growled a little louder but she ignored it. Rose leaned in, looking the weary private detective in the eye, refusing to back down.

"Anything!"

Times were hard for everyone, women as well as men. And many times, she had heard stories of what some women had had to do in order to survive. She had hoped never to have to resort to such. But if this was what she had to do to find her sister, she would do it.
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