Sunday, August 14, 2011

How Did I End Up Here?

I woke slowly aware this was not my own bed, nor my room. My head ached, and as I took in my surroundings, I noticed the bars. How did I end up in jail? I sat up slowly holding my head, unable to remember what had happened last night.
I stood and reached into my pocket hoping for a stick of gum, anything that would take this horrible taste out of my mouth. Pulling out my hand I found five things.
The first was the book of matches. I turned them over slowly and read the name on the package, Escape Gentleman’s Club. What on earth was I doing with these? I’m not a smoker. Why had I been there?
The next item was a napkin. It too had the emblem of Escape on it and a number. It wasn’t a phone number as there weren't enough numbers. This was becoming a puzzle.
There was also a key. It was not a car key. Motels use key cards so that was out. When I turned it over it had “Bank of Michigan” imprinted on it. This might be a safe deposit box key, but I didn’t have a safety deposit box.
Item number four looked like a worm. Oh heavens, the worm from a tequila bottle. I never ate those. How did it get in my pocket? Disgusting, I shivered.
The last item was a business card. It belonged to someone named Jesse Barstow. Who was this person? Why did I have the card?
I sat on the bunk and tried to put my thoughts in order. That’s when the officer showed up.
“Come with me, we’re serving breakfast before we turn you loose.”
I followed quietly still pondering the items in my pocket. I was put in a small conference room. Coffee and donuts were on a counter along one wall.
“Go ahead, help yourself. The Chief will be here in a minute.”
I took a cup of coffee added a ton of sugar and a bit of milk. Then I took a jelly donut from the box. I’d just started on the donut when the Chief walked in.
“Well, Sam, you got yourself into it this time didn’t you?”
“I’d like to agree with you, Chief, but I’m not sure what happened last night.”
“Let me see if I can fill in some of the blanks. One of my officers found you wandering down the street at about one o'clock this morning. He recognized you and brought you here. You seemed to be in some kind of state and were non-responsive to questions. I had them take a blood sample and run it for toxins. Someone slipped you Rohypnol, the date rape drug. I immediately had them take you to ER. They ran a rape kit, but it came back negative. Someone was trying to put you out of business, Sam. What do you remember?
I reached into my pocket and pulled out the five items. Slowly things started to fall into place. I’d been hired by Jesse Barstow to find someone. He’d met me to Escape where I’d picked up the matchbook. The key and the napkin were still a bit of a mystery.
I explained what I could to the Chief. We looked at the key and the number on the napkin. He also took the business card.
As I sat there finishing my coffee I went for another donut. There was still a big blank. Why didn’t they keep me at the hospital? I’d have to ask the Chief about that one. As a private investigator, the police department held me in as much esteem as they would a pile of dung. I’d paid my dues in the department and that counted for something.

This is the beginning of a short story I've written. Stay tuned to find out what happened to Sam.


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