Nineteen-year-old Logan Colp is a Tennessee native living in California with his two brothers, mother and father as well as two pet cats. He is enrolled in the Creative Writing for Entertainment BFA at Full Sail University and says his strongest skill in writing is the characters he creates. He enjoys playing video games in his spare time and enjoys lore-driven games like Magic the Gathering and Dragon Age. He hopes to one day work for a game company that develops story-driven games so his skills can shine.
It was around 6pm when I gave my first yawn of the night. Whether out of boredom or just being old and tired, I sat around waiting for something like her to come up. Rain filled my stereotypical evenings before I got up and closed the office for the night. My shiny Kel-Tec P-3AT sat in its pretty little box in my desk, never used, just like the last time I inspected it ten minutes ago.
She came in and the door shut quietly behind her. She looked wrought with worry, but was nonetheless beautiful, even in her comfortable looking blue jeans and t-shirt with a coat.
“Justin Hoffman, PI. What can I-“
“We need to talk, but not here,” The dame said. Her face was wrought with different levels of fear, anger and worry.
“I hope you saw the sign, miss,” I said. The sign in question was placed outside my office, above my ‘work’ hours, which were usually ignored anyway.
“Yes, I know about your wages,” She said. She stared me down for a moment before finally giving in to the blank expression I gave back. “Fine, I have… I need a little for gas, but the rest is yours,” She said, throwing a small wad of bills on the desk.
I counted the money, moving the dollars around. She only looked to have about twenty or so on her, but I wasn’t too stingy about it. “What’s the situation, then?” I said, trying not to seem desperate as I put the money in my pocket.
She reminded me that we couldn’t talk in my office, for some reason, so she wrote down an address and a word underlined multiple times for emphasis and left. “Meet me there in room one-nineteen at three pm.”
I nodded and she left.
The next day, I did as she asked. It turns out that the hotel she sent me to was in on whatever she was doing, because I was asked for a password. I looked at the post-it and read the underlined word. “Alleyway,” I said. Everyone in the lobby looked at me, judging me for even breathing. Three short knocks and an ammo check of my still shiny pistol and I was inside.
“Mr. Hoffman. Thank you for coming,” she said. The same woman from yesterday, but her new choice of clothing would have convinced you she was not who she seemed.
“No problem, but I don’t understand why you’d go to all this trouble. You could have just bought me a beer and called it even,” I said. I smirked at myself for that one.
“Well, you understand our world these days. With our leader’s lies and drones, I just can’t be too careful,” she said.
Unfortunately, I knew all too well what she meant. “Yes, I understand. It was only a joke. Please, forgive me,” I said.
“You see, my father has recently… disappeared. I want to get him back. If he can be, that is.” She said. There was a solemn tone to her voice, inducing a frown from both of us.
I led her to the balcony and had her sit down nearest the window. I removed my jacket and let the wind cool me down. “Any information you have would be very helpful.”
“Well, that’s the reason I brought you here, actually. If he’s anywhere, he’s in this hotel,” she said.
I leaped out of my seat and grabbed my gun after pinning my badge to my chest. “What floor?” I said.
She looked stunned, but told me just the same. “Uh... Th-The ninth floor is where he should be.”
I should have asked her how she got that information. I should have asked a lot of things. It was suspicious from the start.
By the time these thoughts could have even registered in my head, it was too late. I raced up the stairs to the ninth floor and found a door slightly ajar. When I opened it all the way, my gun aimed inside to catch any would-be assailants off-guard, I noticed the writing on the back of the man on the balcony’s shirt. Secret police.
I was an up-and-coming private investigator who had already done a few cases and got a few officials arrested. I guess they had had enough of me, because now my shiny gun was stained in blood and brain and mush. All of it belonged to me.