A Detector's Detective Gam...e...ble (finalized)

A Detector's Detective Gam...e...ble (finalized)

A Story by Shade of Gray
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Life is hard, even for the best detector. Not because of his ability, but his personality. Enjoy reading it... and give some thumb ups

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What’s the meaning of beautiful? Hateful Heart? Forgiving Heart? Faking Love? True Love? Why are we even attracted to, pursuing, beautiful things? Because the others were doing the same, or because I was different?

 

Taking the Café Mélange in his hand sip by sip, his hungry beady eyes were locked on me. The bottomless glare of Officer Brown felt like my mustache was on fire. “So, after three whole days I have given you, and you are telling me no conclusion can be reached. Am I making any mistake” My eyes followed his raising eyebrows, ascending so close to touch the ceiling. His nostril breathed out a puff of hot gas on my cheeks, “Detector Drake, you are young and wise, so don’t try to hide anything from me, it’s unwise.” He turned his back and walked away, each footstep clutched my heart, leaving me there, paralyzed and empty-minded.

 

Staring in the hollow corridor, “I know. I know… hiding truth from the best detective in the past only shows my foolishness, right? I know that too…” My mouth grew sour and I bit my mouth to keep the tears in place, “I just can’t grass my friend up. That filthy clever thing.” Looking through the glass to the endless azure, my heart didn’t lighten for a bit. My fertile imaginations turned greyish, darkened, and now toying with idea of dying. Agitation conquered my body. I gasped a breath of chill dull air, and made up my mind.

 

No. No idea. No Conclusion. At all.

 

That was no difficult task, the reason why three days was so enough to drive him mad.  Just onerous. Finding the damages of masterpieces in an art museum no one cares about, seemed adventurous and chilly cool, huh? Just lame. First, that is no cool British Museum exhibiting crafts and artifacts of the History of Egypt, just a tiny museum around our workplace no one cares about except the free low-class coffee machine. Second, the security was loose, what did you expect. But my eyesight, far like eagle, my thoughts, clear like crystal, chillness, hot like Captain America, just kidding, and any other thing a detective should have possessed, I had them all in best qualities. Upon arrival to crime scene, everything is so flawless, leaving no behind a trace, a clue, or a shade of hideousness, everything except……

 

“Silhouettes! Cat! Cat narrowed eyes! I… I… I saw it and then my eyes blacked out…” The victim, the female guard who lived her job there for no less than 10 years, cuddled to me like I was the real Captain America, shamelessly. Watery substance drooled out from a side of her thick lips, “Well… I did look at one letter before I lost consciousness.” She handed me a letter unwillingly, as I focused and forgot about soothing her over her nightmare. Ewe… the first thing I saw was a thin pinkish smooch on the bottom right corner, who could actually do that? Some magic must have held within, as I wiped my eyes right after looking at it for a few seconds, and yawned. I closed the letter, the file will soon be closed. I hoped.

 

I made another round of investigation, slower and more carefully. The damaged arts were still laying not far away from where they should be. These discarded ones were obviously not the preying target, but what was? I took out my brain buddy, a Billiard 1968 Pipe, and screamed so loud I didn’t recognize my voice as I flicked the lighter. “What in the world do you think you are doing?! Detector?” The timid woman guard brought an aura of strength, turned on her thick light torch and shone on her ghostly face, a greedy one with dandling swelled eye bags, desiring something to feast on. A streak of iciness slashed through my spine, I backed off, and apologized with sincerity. Nothing could be scarier than that. Nothing could be more helpful than that…

 

Her sudden aura soon wore off and returned to that love-deficient cat purring for attention. The torch was still shining unconsciously into my eyes, and I looked away. “Don’t feel shy or guilty, I didn’t mean to be that rude…” Was her brain stuffed with meatballs? But then I thought I saw something glittering palely, “Keep the lights on.” “Oh, are you afraid of the dark? Or do I actually look better in the light?” The love-struck guard was never getting enough, which made me harshened my tone and smirked, “Just give me the light. I’m trying to concentrate. You are completely fine. I wouldn’t haunt you even if I were a ghost.” Harsh might it be, but my charismatic smirk must have caused a blood shot in her brain. She left with some chuckles which really crept my skin off, somehow devious.

 

Back to my work, I switched on the torch, what I had seen was correct. “That’s what you call ‘Look at the Bigger Picture’, huh?” As a detector, no doubt that I brought along my torch. Just that kind of tiny professional one could reveal the hidden fingerprints, could track down the most inconspicuous speck, but never could allow you to see the bigger picture, nothing more than that. Inspected the same area several times, all it had done was to convince me the nature of acrylic paintings. Shining swarm of light on the whole piece, the lip part was exceptionally oiler, or should I say waterier, than the rest. Yet, the one art in front of me seemed not to be the only victim, but the rest, too. Then, I was freaked out again.

 

My detective sugar, I know it’s weird to ask. But could you be leaving this lipstick on my desk? I mean… like… umm… did you give it to me?” Blushing so hard, she looked back and handed me the lipstick. I had by far past that point of blushing, I felt my neck reddened and blood kept spreading upwards, expanding the territory. First, she had scared me walking out of nowhere, then introduced me this more than hilarious tale, I had had so much of this now. I growled and looked at the lipstick on her hand, my fingertips chilled and my mind cleared. Persian plum, dimly glittering, Focallure, so like the preyed lips in the paintings. No way could the whole plot be this chaotic, it could.

 

I knocked my head, like cracking an egg. How could I fall into the pit of forbiddingness? It should be reasonable only when nothing was. I shook the thought out of my brain, then I fell into it again. I glanced, stared, glared at her lips so hard, so hard that she started feeling uncomfortable, “What is it?” “Why are you wearing the lipstick you have no idea about?” “Well… (chuckles)… I thought you gave it to me, that’s why…” I rolled my eyes and looked back, blaming myself for asking such a nonsense question. How I wished I could slap my face a trillion times until I could speak no more. My eyebrow raised and talked to myself, “Could she be… the one behind…?” “Mm… what did you just say?” She was busy wiping off the lipstick from nobody, at least not from me. “Nothing, nothing important, never mind that.” “Okay… I’ll clean off the hideous lipstick first then… Mm… Find me if you need anything…” She turned away and left again. At least she knew it was ridiculous, to make that pair of thick lips into poisoned ones. Had she left at all during all this time? No way would this more or less brainless and love-struck woman be the culprit behind it, would she?

 

A freezing breeze blew past my rib cage, ripping my every innards into hollowness, and making the bones clatter in pain. A shadow slashed through the darkness, like drifting wind, landed on a sycamore round table swiftly and soundlessly, holding her head down. She opened her wide eyes, the narrow emerald iris representing a vicious alley cat. She opened her mouth, not uttering a meow, but a threat, “don’t take this game so easily, detector” In another breeze, the spot she stood became spotless, as if everything had been my selfish imagination only.

 

Like crying over onion, the more you cried, the more unstoppable it became. My eyes sored and burned after concentrating on countless security tapes borrowed from the guard, with a huge cost of which I wasn’t in the mood of explanation. I could feel blood pumping through the capillaries netting over my sclera, stronger by second, but not a single thread of idea. I had repeatedly watching the seconds as the shadow flew past the guard and led to chaos, all the screaming and clashing. “Grump… curse the CCTV, if only this stupidity can be colored.” It didn’t really come from heart, “Who needs the CCTV, when I have me.” I lied, feeling as terrible as ever. But I did notice a certain thing. The cat figure never stood opposite of the torch. A very careful and impossible-to-deal-with person, I’d say. Was it only a coincidence, or could she be…?

 

I paid a visit again, as I knew she would too. Man’s hunch, never argue about it. The clock read 8:49, on the same sycamore round table, there she landed again, like an imperceptible assassin creeping up your back and threw a dagger through your spine, before you realized pain, she would be long gone. “So I see you are here tonight as well,” She remained silence, licking the back of her palm, “why did you come?” She looked up and glared at me, more intense than my boss, with her narrow beryl eyes, locking you in the chartreuse woods in her garden, “Nothing special. The color would fade otherwise.” I didn’t really catch up with her, but I continued, “I mean why here, everything’s the same.” She snickered, coldly “To come here, I thought you’d expect to see me. You never change.” I never changed? She knew my thing? “Are you the culprit behind all this… umm… mess?” My mind became blank " what was I asking? This was far lamer than the lipstick one. “Is that a joke? Is that something a detective asks? You are not a newbie,” she paused, kind of like a halt, “seems.” She continued, “Well, since you are dumper than I thought, I’ll tell you. Nope. At least not for the major destructions. How fragile a stupid mind can be.” Major destructions, was she referring to the fallen and wracked art pieces on the floor? If she’s not the only one, then who was? What was she doing here then, to harass and embarrass me? Stupid mind, me? No way my mind would be fragile, right? So many questions blew up in my mind, no longer a jar filled with pebbles, but one with sand. My heart pumped to tell me I was alive, but it shook as I was afraid that she would be gone, and the case would remain open, lasting, even after I withered from this world. Mindlessly but kind of necessarily, “are you here to help, to solve the case?” It’s stupid to ask an admitted criminal for help, but she’s not the beef, so why not? “Nope.” A bucket of ice on the fading flames, “we are enemies.” Followed by compressed air, freezing every great pictures in sight, and misted my mind like liquid nitrogen. What was I expecting then again? Did I expect anything?

 

Her words worked a storm inside my head. More puzzle pieces had to be found before putting them together. Moonlight sept in awkwardly, so awkwardly that it never got to where she was squatting, like a shadow aura casted around her. Or wait, when I looked more carefully, she actually did. She’s no longer on the sycamore table, but had kept moving to the left, which my head also moved unconsciously with her changing spots. “Could you be afraid…” Before I finished off my sentence, she vanished from my sight, then reappeared right in front of my eyes, tilted her head a bit……

 

Her tongue crept into my cavity, exploring, dominating, every tiny inch of territory. I tried to shove her aside, but her strength was remarkable, and held me down " me pushed against the wall. Soon enough my breath was bereft by this assassin, and my vision blurred " my body moved on his own, pace and desire. A glance of her softened look. She fingers slowly closed the curtains of mine, then her hands worked around my body, gliding on every perfect crevasse, feeling the clusters of small ridges, not forgetting to nourish the petals of ours. We pulled apart, looked deep into the eyes, she snuggled and played my blushing ear with a kitten’s tongue, “I like your lips”. Under the blurred and scattering light of holiness, her lips were garnet purplish, the color of condensed burgundy wine, and I drank so much until I had drunk too much.

 

The next day I woke up with my clothes untouched, “Rise and Shine. I’m so afraid that you were dead. Why are you lying on the floor, detector?” “Not so early, please!” My heart moaned to its content, but no one could hear it. Without opening my eyes, I could tell this nightmare is living and breathing, and it could be nothing else except that She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the Guard of Museum. My head ached, because of this, and because of that. My brain and empty-spaced after yesterday night’s storm, I could only remember there’s one really important things. What could it be…

 

I wandered around, looking at the arts again. Never learnt to be an art admirer, locked in this place is worse than a prison, let alone when there’s additional surprises. “Not the major destructions, not the major destructions…” I kept murmuring as I wandered, and wondered what could that be. Then, I spotted the guard following me at the back, like a mouse creeping up to a walking cheese. Right! The lips, the odd purplish lips of the art pieces, and the exhausting lips of hers! “Right, exhausting…” my cheeks blushed and made a creepy smile. “Concentrate!” I smacked myself, “and that’s the damage she was talking about. She really is a tough opponent if we get to fight.” I inspected a little more it, and very likely I was right. But the thing was… who was she?

 

These days, that officer who only knew how to sip coffee, and more coffee, and more, never stopped picking my nerves by sending me endless messages, demands and doubts, on how come it would take me so long finishing off a fly. Right, if this had ever been a fly. I got so bent out of shape I demanded a 10-day “rest”, which no disturbance from anyone, especially him, would be allowed. If I couldn’t close the file by then, I would quit, simple enough. I wouldn’t regret about it, I hoped……

 

I stayed in the museum for longer times, where I got myself a quiet corner to gather the bits and pieces, sewing them together, and to plan my next move, seeking an answer. The guard would sometimes pay a visit, which she’d prefer staying forever, if ever possible. When I looked at the art, or into the mirror, I felt only part of me existed, minor electric field remaining lingered my body after what happened last night. I didn’t remember what happened, that’s why. I didn’t know if I deserve an existence, that’s why. Eventually, the time had come, 8:49…

 

“Hi. So you are here again.” Again, a reply of silence. But without looking back, I could tell her every existence, and every slightest movement, but her heart. “Are you always this free, what about work?” Her guard loosened as she sat on the table, swinging her legs back and forth, a hand weakly supporting her tilted neck. I didn’t know what she’s thinking under the faking mask, but was definitely worn out to loose guard in front of me. It’s my chance to attack, no or never. “Tired from work, huh?” “Yeah, I’ve got work just like… never mind that.” She took the bait, and better not think I would let go so easily, “work like planning on next target and so, huh?” She thought for a second, her lips pursed, “Yeah… something like that.” “Just go home then, why are you bothering my work?” I pretended cool. My head was in a fight of angels and demons, solving the case, and some other minor purpose. Bother my work, I got it right, and I got it wrong…

 

She sneaked into my arms, became energetic, laid on my chest, toying until her fingertip stopped right above my thudding heart, “don’t you want me to bother you?” Her teeth bit my lips and we started the firestorm again. But I was certain I did nothing more than kissing, at least before I fainted until the next morning. I desired not to be an obedient prey but a prey preying on the predator. If not today, it would be tomorrow.

 

I got to track her down. I knew nothing about her except, ironic enough, she’s good at kissing, or at least her lips were. I prepared some dust, enveloped in a randomly folded paper. That was no normal dust, not magical stuff like stardust or fairy dust either, but some greyish particles my family used to track something down. Not very convenient, as it could only be used on the exterior surfaces, but it did look like dust, and would fade into nothingness after half day or so, which was exactly something you wanted to use on such a careful and weakness-unidentified predator-prey. Then, time arrived.

 

“You sure got some gut.She initiated the talk as I was wondering how, with a typical Cheshire cat smile, “quitting just because you cannot solve a case, you are interesting.” I woke up from my deep thought, too surprised to make sound, “how… how… come you know… me… hah…” I let out some freaking laughter, my mind felt like burning, “I know… You know me, right? You have always know me, just you pretended no. You… are one terrible liar. Just admit it now. I know you do.” My body didn’t stop trembling from the thought, cold sweats forming on my forehead. Who was she? For a detective, it’s the absolute first rule to know your enemy before they know you, or just don’t expose yourself to the other. “Have you finished your drama?” She returned to that carefree posture. “Then how come you…” My eyes fell on her hands, where my phone was. Her last finger pass through the loop of string attached to my phone, dangling, “What do you think, detector?” I pressed on my back pocket, pouted, “That’s rude of you.” Suddenly, my thought that she knew me dispersed, like cleared fog. Was she any related to my case after all?

 

I pretended that my anger had not waved off, “Do you just come for kissing every night? I ain’t no kiss-offering machine.” To my surprise, “Yes, I do. How beautiful a pair of lips in art can be, it has no temperature, and it has no life. It could never be as beautiful as a living one, let alone a beautiful living one.” I felt hotter, and sweats slid down my back, and gulped “How beautiful a rose can be, it has no recognition, and it has no acceptance. It would be no more beautiful than a thrown away paper rose, right?” I started walking to her, she embraced me, “Not even close, but I will take it.” We kissed just like we always had fun. Sadly, I couldn’t enjoy tonight, I had some dust to put on.

 

I always woke up the other day and never saw her off. But I regretted not, at least not for today " I knew where she would be. I started my stalking, I meant tracking, this was only for my detective job, nothing personal, right? “Wait… this doesn’t seem right. She must be joking, right? Please turn left. You must be kidding me.” My teeth chattered I thought they could clip all my fingernails off. She was heading towards my workplace!

 

The whole day, bothered by the guard or not, walking around the gallery, appreciating the arts or not, I kept checking where she was. I forgot how many times I had checked, and double checked. She was there, for some reason. She was there and she never left. I felt wrinkles crawling up my face, and I tried to control my inner-peace, “This is just a coincidence. Nothing more. Only a coincidence. But why did she stay there for so long?” I checked it again, her spot moved away from there, “When is it now?” I stared up the wall, where the truth-telling clock read 5. Then, the blinking spot became softer, and eventually vanished. Literally, I was out of dust, which means not even magic could tell me where she would be now, or later, or 8:49 tonight, or tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow……

 

Her kiss was always never out of magic though. Like a sinner deprived of life wandering aimlessly in the middle of forgotten land, her kiss resurrected you and gave your life a meaning, or she brought you to another forgotten land, where you could love her, and her alone, only. You felt lost in dominance, but win in romance. You felt hollow in flesh, but everything in heart. You felt angry for having her kind in this world, but euphoric for accompanying her for one second. You could have lived in this world of blossoming roses, and falling petals, like for eternity. What’s really killing would be the next day, who pulled you away from this virtual unhealthy land to a land of reality facing your pain by discovering the truth.

 

“Sigh… it’s another day, yet the day of truth.” Using up the last bit of my dusty hope, all I found was despair. But if I believed in myself, I had to give it a try, even if I didn’t want to. I had to investigate my workplace, taking my injured heart pleading that I was wrong with sincerity. Everyone was giving me an awkward look, like I never belonged to that place. They gossiped. They giggled. They grinned. From their heartless shadow, I could tell the news about quitting my job was no longer a disclosed secrete, but a projected one. I was always considered as one of the black horses going to take up the Officer’s name one day, the reason why my voluntary leave would be so welcomed.

 

My footstep got heavier by step, but my concentration and sight got better by second, as if all left was scorching land after my screening of places. Before I entered my second most familiar place other than my own house, my office, well, not my very own office at the moment, just where I worked with everyone else, if I could stay, I halted, and prayed for the last time. Taking a deep breath, I swung open the door.

 

It’s almost like happening at the same point of time, not half a second missed. My boss put down his sipping coffee, came out and greeted me, “Case solved?”. My colleague stopped their keyboard clattering, eyes locked on me like frozen time, then started chitchatting with one another again. And at one of the corners, a female colleague, Danish, I forgot her name, clanked her cup on the table so hard she uttered a slight scream, hurriedly scooping everything on her desk into a bag as I walked to her, “Is there anything I could help?” She looked at me in the eyes for a second, then looked away, “I just have to go to the washroom, if you excuse me.” She pushed past me and left, bringing the bag with her. “Hmm… How strange…” It was then I noticed everyone, including my boss, was staring at my direction. It was then I noticed, on the ground laid a heliotrope magenta lipstick, rolling to the tip of my leather shoes. Focallure.

 

I stayed for some more time, sipping coffee with my boss, and updating some info about the case, and left. Returning to the museum, I saw a grandmamma in security uniform pounding heavily towards me, “I was so afraid that you would leave forever.” I skid past her, pretending that it had nothing to do with me. I wandered around the art gallery, organizing what I had discovered earlier today, thinking of what she had said then. The beauty of art could never compare to that of a real figure, who was most likely me. But why were we enemies? I took out the lipstick from my left pocket, “Could she be really knowing me after all? All that she has done, plays after plays, acts after acts, is to let my guard down, then exposes her real assassin nature?” Unstable beads of tears formed, I used my arm to wipe them away. I’d rather want the hope to dry off on me, than to fall on the mat, absorbed by worthlessness. “For my boss, she’s one black horse with potential, like me. With me gone, she would likely take the place, at least with one less opponent. And all the distractions, is to delay my progress… affect my judgement… and… and clear me off? Is that all? Am I really that all to her?” This endless Merry-go-around did no contribution but to create more contradictions. “She would not be coming tonight… It would be me, or her, staying. Only one of us…”

 

I had decided. I flipped coins, and I picked wild flowers from the roads " all telling me that she should be got rid of, “So… get rid of should she be…” Soon, the moment of truth arrived. 8:49. And it was not alone. She came. I didn’t falter for one split second, “Are we enemies?” She acted chill, “I’m afraid we are.” I tried to deny it, “And it’s like either you and me?” Her voice weakened, “I really don’t want this to happen… but I have no choice…” This was the moment. I decided, “Do we know each other?” Shaking, her body whined “Maybe…” I glanced at her masked face. Her lips were not wearing lipsticks, and that’s all the answer I needed. “How do you love me?” We fell into the deepest silence we’d ever had. “I guess I really do…” That night, the moon had never been more cleared, bright, and true.

 

I stopped as I had all the answers wanted. I had all the answers wanted as I stopped. The next time, and the last time, I entered my office, was I resign myself from the job. Before I left the room, I got to that corner, “I believe this is yours. You look good in this.” And I handed her the lipstick. She looked shocked for some seconds, then she smiled, warmly, “Why? You have found out all along. You are one good-natured detective, and I really am no way close to you. I wish I… could… could we…” I pressed on her lips and handed her a card, “If cool, let’s have a date this weekend.” She took a look and held her head down, like forever. She saw me off, so as the others, and my sipping coffee boss, who would know nothing, no matter how good a detector he was. The glory of a black horse left the office, but it never vanished, and it would never be vanquished. It freed itself in boundless and reckless azure only.

 

Would I regret for my decision? I would, or I wouldn’t. Why was hiding her? Her kiss, lust for love, lust for life, and most importantly, lust for truth. Coins and flowers were for the weaklings. Life was a path, and we were the builders, carving a smoother road.

 

A rose with no recognition and acceptance wouldn’t wither and die so easily. And if it made to the time, when that one person decided to endure the pain of thorn and understood, it would bloom to be the reddest among the redness. If it could not be in this life, so be it in another life. All I had was lives of time. Still, it would be a lot better than a lifeless paper rose, only for display.


© 2017 Shade of Gray



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Added on November 6, 2017
Last Updated on November 11, 2017
Tags: #Detective, #Nothing is worse than betrayal

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Shade of Gray
Shade of Gray

Hong Kong



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