March 19th, 2007


Dream Fragment: The Color of Murder

"What's your name?"


"Kier what?"

"Kier O'Scuro."

"What the hell kind of name is that?"

"The clever kind."

"My ass." Turquoise stirred in his chair, glimmering greenly today. He watched me, and I watched him right back. I'm good at watching. You could say that I watch professionally. Sometimes I also shoot people or punch them in the gut. Sometimes people shoot and punch me as well. All in all, I prefer the watching. The hours are better.

Turquoise was a strictly amateur watcher. He lasted maybe thirty seconds before breaking off his observations. "They tell me you're the best private dick in Opa City," he said.

"That's what it says on the door," I admitted, jerking my thumb at the glass panel. It read SHADOW DETECTIVE SERVICE - HIGHEST DISCRETION - BEST IN THE CITY. Actually, it read that backwards. Apparently Turquoise wasn't big on signage.

"They also said you're a wise guy," he said, screwing up his eyes and peering at me in a way that was probably meant to be tough. With his hue drifting more towards aquamarine today, the actual effect was mostly one of cuteness.

"Life's boring if you can't have a little fun."

"You had enough fun that they kicked you off the force."

I shrugged. "I couldn't see things just as black or white."

"They say you're smart, though, and tough enough."

I shrugged again. "These Colors Never Run."

Turquoise seemed to be satisfied with my alleged qualifications. He composed himself in his chair.

"Indigo's dead," he informed me.

"I read about that." It was in all the papers. Somebody had prime-coated her out of existence. Horrible way to go.

"I'm a suspect," Turquoise said. His hands wrung in his lap. "The fuzz has been all over me. They think I killed her, but I didn't do it!"

I leaned forward slightly. "Did you want her dead?"

Turquoise licked his lips. "Well, it wasn't just me. I mean, everybody hated her. The small-time colors, I mean."

"How come?"

"Envy, I guess." He stood up and looked out my window. The neon light flickered through the colors of the rainbow, some of them clashing starkly with his skin. "She's in the big mnemonic."

I stared at him blankly. "ROY G BIV!" he shouted. "The color mnemonic! Every kid in elementary school knows it. The three primary colors....the three secondary colors....and indigo. How'd she sneak in there?"

I nodded. "They think you did it out of jealousy?"

"Well, she's rich, and she's famous. She's got, you know, name recognition. That's important for a minor color. You don't got name recognition, you don't get used. I mean, Cerulean is like the best color on the minor circuit, but Indigo gets all the love! Freakin' Indigo?" Turquoise was incredulous.

I nodded again. "I can see why they think you did it."

Turquoise collapsed back into his chair. "But I didn't do it, that's the thing. I'm innocent. I wouldn't last a second in jail. I'd look terrible converted to greyscale!" He sobbed.

I hate when they cry. I try to discourage it by not having tissues around. It doesn't work.

"Hey. Hey hey. It's okay, I believe you," I said. "You got an alibi?"

Turquoise looked up, emerald tears gleaming. "Yeah. But, uh, not one I can use."

"How's that?"

Turquoise studied his shoes. "I was, ah, mixing with another color at the time."

"Your wife doesn't know?"

He shook his head. "I was with, um, an earth tone."

"I see." I did. His wife was probably some pretty little pastel. They can never handle it when they learn about their husbands' murky interests.

"Will you help prove me innocent?" he pleaded. "But leave my wife out of this?"

"Shine a light on the truth, except for the darkness?" I smiled wryly.

"Friend, that's what I do best."

Back of the Phone Book BAY BEE

I am really, really proud of my beautiful and talented wife. She is the bomb in all ways.

Today is the first day of a new job for the Bonster. She has been working for the past 4-5 months at a very prestigious law firm in town, and while this has been lucrative, she has felt that her legal credentials haven't been put to very good use. Bonnie likes to get into the courtroom, as first chair whenever possible, because she has good rapport with people and is tremendously likable. Bonnie is excellent in front of juries, and also does good work during voir dire picking out people who will rule in her favor. She likes to get her hands dirty and her feet wet. These last few months, however, she has been pushing papers around and hasn't seen a courtroom once.

Bonnie is in the process of phasing out her old job. She will continue working at the old gig on a limited basis, but she is increasingly picking up hours at a new office. Basically, she will be the only associate attorney for a small but successful personal injury and medical malpractice office.

This is something of a change for Bonnie. She has done a lot of criminal work, and quite a bit of civil corporate litigation, but this is smaller-scale plaintiff stuff. She'll be representing people who have been injured in auto wrecks, or people who have had botched surgeries. Bonnie will need to learn a lot from her Jedi master at first, but her learning curve is excellent, and I expect she'll be up to speed in no time. In the meantime, the fact that she has criminal experience is a bonus for the firm, because often several sorts of complaints come all bundled together. If you're going to sue an SUV company for injuries sustained during a rollover, for instance, it would be nice if the same legal firm could also keep you out of jail because you were intoxicated at the time....

Bonnie will be dealing with some skeevy people, I imagine. But, she'll also have the opportunity to help people who are being screwed by the system and have no other means for redress, and Bonnie loves to help the underdog. Besides, no matter how creepy these characters may be, they're nothing compared to the drug dealers she prosecuted when she was a DA.

In a couple of years I hope to see Bonnie's smiling face on the back of the phone book, advertising that if YOU ARE INJURED there's a TOUGH SMART LAWYER who will get you COLD HARD CASH for YOUR PAIN. I would be exceedingly proud of her, and we could also become exceedingly rich -- two things that I support with all my heart.

Right now, though, the reality: this is a two-person practice. Bonnie needs to bring in some business to help grow the firm. Like all small-scale efforts of this sort, word of mouth can be very helpful in building business. So, if anybody reading this happens to find themselves in a position where they could use a lawyer for personal injury or medical malpractice cases -- or if you get into serious trouble with the law and need somebody to keep you out of jail -- please contact me and I'll put you together with the Bonster. Tell your friends!