TITLE: Tourist Town
GENRE: Upmarket mystery
A pregnant homicide detective works her first big case, investigating the murder of a woman who recently gave birth.
I root through the coat closet for my soccer ball. In the confines of my tiny kitchen, I kick the ball. Left foot, right thigh bounce, right foot kick, left thigh bounce. The cat scampers from her post atop the stove.
The plan is my partner comes over any time now, and I calmly tell him I’m pregnant. We argue that yeah, it’s unbelievable because even though the air’s electric between us we only screwed that once two months ago. Maybe we have a conversation about which one of us will leave the police department. Then he goes home, and tomorrow comes.
The polyurethane ball swirls the green and brown stains from the field as it rotates. It’s already past 10 p.m., but across town they’ll have the stadium lights switched on for another hour. I could go there right now.
I lean forward, get my head in front of the ball to catch it between my shoulder blades.
If the plan’s so simple, why did I stash my weapon away in the lockbox like I might have some freak compulsion to use it?
I shake my head, and the soccer ball rolls off me, bounces against the oven door, writhes torturously on the floor, settles into a corner.
The doorbell buzzes. Heart racing, I jerk the apartment door open, and it’s so light, made from plywood and veneer – not up to fire code – that it slips from my grip, and bangs against the wall only to slam shut again immediately. I take a deep breath, exhale through my mouth. Open the door.