The Pianist

The Pianist

A Chapter by Domi Seguin

Lavender's brother is causing trouble again, when she meets a private detective who works for her brother's boss. What has he done now?


"It's just up the road a few blocks and then to the left. You'll see a sign that will lead you there."


            The voice came from directly behind me, it's low tone bitter in the frozen air. My coat warmed my ears but the cold pecked them as I turned my head to glance at the man who just spoke. I locked eyes with a stranger, about a foot taller than my short figure, standing several feet away with his tall form as slim as bone and as dark as the winter day. He was wearing a black winter coat with dark jeans and worn out shoes.


            Already after looking at him for four seconds, I could make out three different observations. He was a man in his late twenties, single, and left handed. I looked back towards the road, indeed marking where my destination may be, before turning back to thank the stranger. By this time, the sun was still high in the sky but the clouds weren't much help in allowing it's vivid light shine rays, for they were as grey as smoke and made the atmosphere seem dull and depressing.


            His hand was outstretched and I glanced down to notice that a phone was resting from his palm to his fingertips in my direction. The phone displayed a message that took me a moment to read before I eventually understood.


            'In twenty seconds, your phone is going to vibrate. Respond to it and follow the instructions.'


            Another government authority trying to sheath my name. They've already introduced me to several agents and all of which I am NOT interested in, but apparently I haven't made that clear enough. Whoever this agent was, he wasn't like the others. All of the other agents were all tall and single and their dominant hands weren't really an important factor (at first), but this man was slim, young, surprisingly attractive, and judging by that smirk he had spread on his left cheek, one of the clever bunch that I haven't met yet.


            Nice of them to send someone who can understand the situation. All of the other agents didn't know what they were doing. Always approaching me directly when there are people around. Seriously. I've seen idiots and this man wasn't one of them. Without surprise, exactly twenty one seconds later, I felt a light buzz from the inside of my left pocket and immediately placed my grip around my phone and drew it out. It was an unknown number, but I recognized the first few digits.


            It was definitely from my brother's workplace. The boss there is so serious about keeping his identity from being revealed due to all of the threats he's been getting that he deleted all of his contacts and even changed his phone number. Not a big surprise. So what did my brother end up doing now? I glanced up at the man for a split second to notice that he had placed his phone safely in his pocket and was now watching me silently. He reminded me of an old friend I had a long time ago, only he seemed much more mature.


            I answered the phone without hesitation.


            "Hello?" I said solemnly.


            "Hello, Ms. Raynott. How are you this morning?" I knew it. It was the boss. Always him. Why did I not see this coming?


            "I'm freezing at the moment from being stopped by your friend here. Please tell me what this is all about" I replied whilst trying to warm up my feet by moving them side to side.


            "I'm sorry if this is causing you any trouble. I just need you to come to the studio to talk about your brother if it's not a bother" his voice was calm but his words were making my blood feel as if it was burning layers and layers of my skin.


            "What has he done this time Mr. Foffat..." I knew how distraught I was sounding but truly I was exhausted from having to deal with my troubling brother after all of these years.


            "I'm afraid you will have to gain that sort of information once you get here now please....Ms. Raynott," just as he was about to finish his pause, a black Cadillac pulled up beside me on the road and the man stepped back, "get into the car silently and quickly. I will tell you more once you get here."


            I wasn't afraid to enter the car, considering that I have had to drive to the studio numerous times to help out my stressful brother, but my loyalty has it's limits.


            "What will happen if I decline?" I felt at a risk to say, but I said it anyways. I could hear a sigh on the other end of the line before he cleared his throat. He had some kind of threat prepared, didn't he?


            "If you don't step into the car, you will miss out on a very important case that could land your brother in prison. I have said all that I have the liberty to say now I'm afraid we will have to speak later. Until then, this is where the call ends. Thank you for your concern" and before I could reply, he hung up the phone. I looked around in frustration, not willing to enter the car for ANOTHER ride to my brother's studio. My only incentive.....the case. I just had to know what the case was and why my brother was in so much trouble.


            I wasn't here to save my brother from prison. Oh no. I was here to take on a case wasn't I? I can't decline a case like this, in fact, I was more than excited. I was thrilled! Finally, something exciting was going on! I mercilessly climbed into the car and shifted to the left side of the car to make way for the stranger. The driver was an old man wearing a suit and tie, but of course he was just a poor divorced journalist who was almost fired but instead was refrained to a driver.


    Refrained journalist (judging by the fading ink stains on his lower palms and wrists), divorced from the tan line on his ring finger that indicated that there used to be a ring there but now it has been removed, and because of how old the stains are and how he doesn't show marks of having recently done anything related to journalism (desk marks on wrists, flat behind, and other indicators) I immediately concluded that he was refrained. This is where my skills lay. Observation.


            "Is it disrespectful to business if I ask you your name?" I asked politely whilst trying to figure out where the hell I'm going. The man smirked before reaching into his right shirt pocket to reveal a business card. He handed me the card before continuing to look out the window. I was astonished to realize that I had misjudged him. He was a private detective, not a government agent. His named was Seth Martinal, age 28, single, and as I expected, exactly one foot taller than me. He seemed like just an ordinary man on his business card, but in reality I knew that he was just the very opposite.


            I gently returned the card to him and watched out of the corner of my eye as he slid it back into his pocket and fixed his eyes on the stainless windows that seemed to be almost new.  Seth had dark curly hair with a dark aftershave still visible on his jaw. His jaw was firm but his neck was thin. He seemed as if he hadn't slept in over two days and his stained fingernails indicated a drug addiction. When he rested his hands against his jeans, I could automatically tell that he was a skilled pianist and skilled literary writer. His middle finger was bent and his thumb and pinky were spread apart from his index and middle finger, but the middle and index finger were the closest.


            His deep calluses on his left hand and the way his thumb was bent slightly downwards indicated that he worked both on paper and on his laptop. He was serious about writing but wasn't in any journalism branch, rather he was a detective who was skilled in the arts. Perhaps I wouldn't have minded him sticking around for long. He seemed to fit the type to solve a case in only a minute.


            "You're observing me again" his voice sounded low but his voice was cracked like that of an occasional smoker. He knew how to control his smoking, but judging by his shaking hands, perhaps not his undesirable addiction. I was feeling the same. My hands were shaking for another smoke but of course my roommate had to take my cigarettes again. She never tolerated my smoking but I never tolerated her idiot "soul-mate" as she so poetically called him.


            "Does it bother you?" I tried to sound as respectful as possible, but unlike everyone else, he wasn't hostile at all.


            "Not really. Just wondering what you see" he looked at me and struggled a light grin before realizing that it was probably best to just give up on the smiling. I agreed with him. I sighed and gave him everything that I knew.


            "I see that you're skilled in the fine arts, have a job as a private detective, single but you're not exactly looking for someone, have a bruise on your elbow, you're from England, have a degree in forensics science, you're a drug addict, you're working on my brother's case, you had to buy that phone for work but you never use it so this is probably the first time, you live in an apartment with someone, and you have a can of pepper spray in your left back pocket. Don't try and trick me. I know who you are and I know that whatever my brother did is serious enough for this to become inevitable for me so please, let's not talk about anything other than this very moment and not me or you" I sounded pissed but tried not to be.  


            He looked at me, his pupils flickering, his mouth slightly hanging but quickly shut, and his face turning a lighter shade of white. His surprise didn't last long though. He returned to staring out the window before speaking once more. He certainly knew how to respond to something like that, even if it was something about his personal life.


            "I see the hands of another drug addict, the face and clothing of another detective, the phone of someone who uses their phone excessively, the fingers of a pianist but also the thumb of someone who stresses their keyboard, the tidiness of someone who lives with a roommate, the intelligence of someone who is currently a university student, the general appearance of a single woman in her early twenties, the shoulders of someone who is often buried in work, and the movements of a single child ambidextrous" his refute wasn't exactly what I expected, but everything he said was on point. His observational skills were potentially impressive, but I was too focused on the passing buildings outside the window to really express it.


            "You're good."


            "So are you."


            A few seconds to exchange glances at one another was all we needed for me so finally see him crack a real smile. For half a moment, I cracked one too. His white teeth just barely peeking from behind his lips, but with a face structure like his, of course it was hard for him to smile. Such heavy cheeks takes a lot of muscular buildup in your face to do such a task. Most people say that frowning takes more muscles than smiling, but people with faces structured so that your cheeks tend to be heavy like ours, it's harder for us to smile because it takes up energy. It drains me.


            I glanced at the driver to realize that he was looking at me through the mirror. His wrinkled eyes were set on mine for a moment, before he realized that I was glaring back and he turned his cheek to the road. He must've been captivated by the moment as well. Sharing observations like it was a quick fire. It pleased him almost as much as it pleased us. My brother may have been on the brink of imprisonment, but all I was thinking about right now was meeting his boss and seeing Seth again soon. He may be useful in the future going by the way he so diligently expressed his skills.


            The car soon came to a halt in front of a very familiar building. The studio. This was where we had to part ways and I had to face a new case. For the first time, I wanted to stay in the Cadillac. I wanted to share every piece of information I had to this incredible detective, but time was being cut short. There was no time to say farewells and the car quickly sped away. Without another glance, I was walking in through the doors and revealing myself to a large room with a desk in the middle.


            A woman sat in her chair with her eyes concentrated on her paperwork. Her hair in a tight bun, her shoulders hunched, but the moment she saw me walk in, her spine was as straight as it could possibly manage to be and her shoulders were relaxed and she appeared calm. She's a new employee so it was time to introduce myself. Normally all I had to do was walk in and the other woman behind that very desk smiled and called my brother, but this woman asked me if she could help me. She was in for a surprise. My brother and I looked nothing alike and he always befriended everyone.


            "My name is Lavender Raynott and I'm here on an important inquire. I was told to speak with Mr. Foffat immediately" my voice came out calm but for whatever reason my legs felt locked in place. She quickly turned to her lit monitor and began typing away. Within a few seconds, she was asking for an ID card. I showed them the ID card that I always used and was pleased when I saw her expression shift from neutral to pale. This was the point where the desk woman would always realize that I'm a detective. They would always wonder to themselves why a detective was here, but over time they would find out that I'm really just here to see my brother.


            In this case, probably not. Probably never again. I was silently hoping that she wouldn't ask me any further questions. She just didn't seem the type to ask the right questions towards a detective. She continued to type on her computer before handing the card back to me and smiling. They always smile so much don't they? God I feel bad for them. Their faces must be so tired at the end of the day. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up getting sags hanging from their cheeks when they retire.


            "His office is on the second floor. It's the first door across the hallway. You can wait outside his office until he arrives" she continued to smile so falsely, like some kind of barbie doll or something. I nodded slightly before walking passed the desk and towards the elevator. Pressing the button, I heard the familiar sound of the elevator descending before seeing the familiar sight of the doors opening to reveal nothing but walls and floors along with the sound of bright music to accessorize it.


            I pressed the button to go up before watched as the doors closed in front of me. I waited in impatience before looking up above the doors to see the number two in red calling 'hello' again. One or two more small jolts and the doors finally slid open. The familiar hallway reassured me that everything was fine, but my legs took longer than a second to move. For no apparent reason, my heart felt like it was filled with adrenaline. I stared down the hallway for a moment, reassuring myself that this was something to do with my brother and not me.


            I idled towards the chair beside the door across from me before settling down and facing the occupied hallway. A depressed woman in her late thirties, a male journalist who just got a good scoop, a grey haired fellow carrying papers who just came back from a holiday vacation in Brazil, and a fair man wearing a suit who was clearly in debt. I began to worry about my own appearance for a change. I looked a bit  scruffy for a moment, but then remembered how much worse I've seen. 

I zoned in to a conversation between two secretaries standing at the end of the hallway. The footsteps from the other walking bodies was loud but I could still hear everything they were saying. The moment that I was able to understand every last syllable, my blood ran cold.

"Poor Ms. Bridgewater. She was the youngest employee I've ever seen! She was so nice! That Raynott b*****d will pay for what he did to her. I swear that the next time I see him, I'll put him in the ground myself, but of course that would make me a murderer too!" The ladies both chuckled, holding their clipboards firm on their chests. Was? Pay? Murderer? What kind of case am I investing myself in? My brother, or murder?!


            This case already seemed to be my best and worst. 

    My brother....a murderer?

© 2016 Domi Seguin

Author's Note

Domi Seguin
This being the first chapter, I decided to make it a little short. The chapters will get longer as they go but I hope this is good enough for a first chapter. By the way, the warnings are for later in the book. I like to make the beginning more settle ;^) Thanks for reading//

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Added on May 12, 2016
Last Updated on July 11, 2016
Tags: detective, mystery, troubles, suspense, observation, deduction, winter


Domi Seguin
Domi Seguin

Essex, VT

My favorite books are mostly horror novels or novels with a lot of feeling and truth. I began writing in elementary school in a little journal and haven't stopped since. Every now and then, my poems a.. more..