The Missing

Bella looked at her case book and let out a loud sigh.  She had never had so many back-to-back unsolved cases before.  She read through the details again.  All of them involved missing husbands or boyfriends, except for the latest one that seemed a bit odd as it was about a missing ex. 

Okay, let’s look at this the other way around.  Three wives and a girlfriend reported missing partners in the last two months.  Two of them came directly to me, one was referred by Jacob who thought it sounded “more my thing,” and the girlfriend was referred by the police.  Then Jacob sent the missing ex one to me yesterday.

Five missing men and I can’t find a single clue.  They are from three different areas of the city, and they have no apparent links to each other.  Hmm, a banker, an architect, a plumber, a student, and a musician. 

This is crazy, Bella said to herself. Why try to link them?  Because . . . because they are too similar.

The missing ex.   Why would someone report an ex as missing, and then say that they didn’t really keep in touch. Isn’t that the definition of an ex?  Someone you aren’t involved with.  So why do you want to find him, and how do you know he’s “missing?”  Maybe he moved, or just doesn’t want “you” to find him.

Bella closed the case book and pulled out the Brady file, the name of the “missing” ex.   Andrew Brady was a twenty-seven-year-old musician.  He did mainly pub gigs, and occasionally warm up sessions for some bigger local acts.  She had found a flyer that said he had performed at the Queen’s Head three weeks ago.  “Well, there’s some place to start,” Bella said aloud.


Champagne Nights

Woman, Drink, Glass, Wine, Alcohol, Champagne, Model

As soon as she stepped into the room she realized that the deception was going to be more difficult than she had anticipated. There was nothing outwardly different than in the recon visit, or in the run-throughs. It was more of a feeling that something had changed. She considered buying a quick drink at the bar and then leaving, as if that was her only reason for entering, but she know that would undo three months worth of planning.

She walked over to a table and making a conspicous gesture of placing her designer bag on the table, she smiled towards the waiter and waited for him to attend to her.

“Dom Perignon, 2003, please,” she said repeating her smile. “Oh, and two glasses please, I am waiting for somebody.”

“Certainly,” the server replied.

While the waiter was away she took out her compact and checked her makeup, angling the mirror to check out Will Casey and his bodyguard at their usual corner table.

“Your champagne,” the waiter said bringing her surveillance to a close. “Would you like for me to open it, or to wait for your guest?”

“Um, Open it please,” she said.

“Bella began to sip,” and took a quick glance at her watch. Fifteen minutes she thought to herself. Not much time to make this believable.

She poured herself a second glass and drank it. She poured yet another glass and secreted the powder into it. She looked at her watch again, making it obvious this time, and made a dramatic facial gesture of annoyance just to accentuate the ploy.

She took out her phone and dialled a non-existant number. “Where are you?” she said in an over-loud and well rehearsed tipsy lilt.

“Don’t give me that. You promised you would be here this time,” she said raising both pitch and volume. Sure she was now being watched, she signalled the waiter by waving her platinum card. When he had taken the payment. She stood seemingly, unsteadily. She then noted the entry of her two colleagues and watched them angle to the bar giving them access to Casey.

It was now time for the big show, she picked up her bag and chugged down the glass of bubbly which contained the powder. She took two steps and then swooned foaming at the mouth. Most every head turned to her as she hit the floor.

It was now the chance for her colleagues to apprehend Casey while the bodyguard was distracted.

Unfortunately, a loud voice rang out, “Don’t worry we’ve got this.”

Yes, the big sting just happened to be on a night that a medical convention was in town, and three doctors attended to her and business went back to usual.


Fandango’s Story Starter #7