Sunday, 17 March 2013

Handbags and voodoo

This week’s flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig was the website It randomly generates a crime fighting duo with some interesting features. I refreshed a couple of times, laughing hysterically as I did so, until I got this one:
He's a suicidal voodoo cop with a winning smile and a way with the ladies. She's a warm-hearted insomniac socialite married to the Mob. They fight crime!
I choose names from hitting the random article button on the Wikipedia site until I get something that will fit.
Harry Wild Jones and Angela Gravano
Limit of 1,000 words. My word count is 959.
Handbags and voodoo
A well-manicured hand grabbed his arm. “Detective Jones? I saw you at that charity event last month,” she hissed at him.
“What? So?”
“That woman wasn’t interested in you at all. And then you blew some powder from your hand into her face.”
He just stared at the woman accusing him.
“After that, she was all over you like a rash. Did you drug her?”
He grabbed her arm and dragged her away from the others at the crime scene. “It’s not what you think.”
“Really? I may not work and I may just run parties all the time but that doesn’t make me stupid.”
He looked at her carefully; he had assumed she was just a socialite wife. The immaculate hair, expensive wardrobe and make-up marked her as one. He suspected her handbag cost more than his yearly salary.
“I asked her about you at the next function and she didn’t recognise your name.” She poked him in the chest. “You’re a cop! You can’t drug women like that. It’s against the law!”
He tried to change the subject. “What are you doing at a crime scene at…” He checked his watch. “…three am?”
She looked caught out. “I couldn’t sleep.”
She hadn’t slept at all if the hair and make-up was a guide. He noted the wedding ring. “Huh. Husband doesn’t miss you?”
“He has his own bedroom. He works odd hours and why am I telling you this?”
He grinned at her; leaning in towards her slightly. “I’m charming.”
“Crime scene?” he asked again.
“I listen to the police radio.”
“Oh, it’s all online now. You can even get an app for your phone.”
“What does your husband think of this?”
“He doesn’t mind.” She shrugged. “It helps with his business.”
“Which is?”
“You don’t want to know.”
He frowned. He needed to do some research on this woman. But right now, he thought he’d have some fun. “So who’s the main suspect, Sherlock?”
Her face softened as she glanced back to the room where the woman’s body was lying. “You all think it’s the husband, but I think it’s her brother.”
“He’s got priors,” she said, looking oddly pleased with herself for knowing the lingo.
He didn’t know the victim had a brother, so he kept quiet.
She kept talking. “She was having an affair, but her husband doesn’t care. He’s one of those anything for her guys.”
“It’s not the lover?”
She launched into an intricate explanation of who said what to whom at which party and then so and so told her…
When she had finished - he could tell because she stopped talking and looked at him expectantly. “Money?” he checked.
“Yes. She said no more loans to the deadbeat brother.”
“Do you know the brother’s address?”
“Yes. Can we go there now? Where’s your partner?”
“Don’t have one.”
“Why not? I thought it was policy.”
“Mine keep getting shot.”
“Is that your fault?”
He blinked. “Ah… maybe. I can be a little… reckless.”
“Humph. Suicidal, more likely.”
She annoyed him with the humphs. “Do you want to go see the brother or not?”
“Yes, please.”
“Wait in the hall. I won’t leave without you.”
“You can’t. I have the address.”
She was smart. He watched her walk away, which might have been a bad idea. The Chanel suit fitted her in all the right places and her heels clicked on the floor enticingly.
“Why is she here?” the uniformed cop asked.
“She had information.”
“Angela Gravano knows her?” his head inclined towards the body. “Is this a mob hit?”
Oh shit. Now he remembered where he had seen her. She was the wife of Tony ‘Chains’ Gravano, a capo in the mob. She was right; he didn’t want to know anything about her husband’s business. “There’s a lead I want to check out. A brother. Owed her some money.”
“Money.” The cop sighed. “Always money or drugs.”
“Or love.”
She was standing by his car.
“How did you know this was my car?”
She just pointed at the gris gris hanging from his rear-view mirror.
He opened the door for her. She gave him the address.
“The powder?” she asked, as they drove.
“Voodoo is used to serve others.”
“She needed you to sleep with her?”
He glanced at her. “Yeah, she did. She felt unloved and rejected and alone. It was just pouring off her. And I told her my name was Harry Wild, so she wouldn’t have recognised Jones.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Middle name,” he explained.
She was silent for a minute. “She seems happier lately,” she conceded.
“She’ll move on, now.”
“Her lover died of cancer last year.”
“Now that I did not know. You surprise me, Detective Jones.”
“Call me Harry.”
She nodded. “Angela.”
“So, you don’t sleep?” he asked her.
“So, you do voodoo?” she replied.
They grinned at each other.
Her brother made it easy; he ran when Harry held up his badge.
Angela clocked him with her handbag as he exited the back door.
“I told you to stay in the car and don’t humph at me,” Harry said, as he cuffed him.
Angela just looked superior.
He called it in. She sulked when he wouldn’t let her do it.
He asked her to wait outside the station. He was back within fifteen minutes.
“Paperwork?” she asked.
“It can wait. Let me buy you a coffee.”
“To celebrate?”
“Something like that.”
They toasted their success with espressos and exchanged numbers.
“I’m free after midnight,” she suggested.
“I do all my best work after midnight.”
She laughed. “So, let’s fight crime.”
“Don’t tell the department,” he said.
“Don’t tell my husband,” she replied.
They shook on it.
© AM Gray 2013


  1. The dialogue is snappy, and I like the way their rapport builds. This was a fun read. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you. The website tosses up the most amazing short descriptions and it was great fun.

  2. Interesting characters, I like the way their relationship is developing. Jones seems like a bit of a maverick, and Angela seems to have found her calling. Loved the bit about getting a police radio app for your phone, very dry. Well done!

    1. Thank you. It does feel like there should be more. My beta readers commented that they wanted more of these two, as well. The wonder of Google! No one needs to steal a police radio any more; now there's an app for that. lol