Page 49… in a fiction series.
Before Miranda finished her interview with Emerson Tiller, Neil Lipman, was on his way to Traverse City. The lunch crowd at Tommy’s Gotcha was made up mostly of tradesmen, tourists, and a few drunks getting a jump on the weekend. He would fit right in.
There would be plenty of chatter and background noise. Attorney Joe Ramano always met with Neil at the local bar and grill because of Neil’s heightened sense of clarity when he had a bucket of wings and a Bud Lite in front of him. He was at his best when his belly was fat and happy.
Enjoying the midday sun, Lipman headed south out of Charlevoix and turned up the radio in his old Ford F-150. He tapped his nicotine stained fingers on the steering wheel, belting out a favorite tune. (“Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there…”) A cigarette dangled from the corner of his mouth.
Ramano was Lipman’s brother-in-law. And he was a stickler for being on time. “Time is money,” he used to roar, but Neil didn’t think it was healthy to be so uptight. (“…she would merengue, and do the cha-cha…”) He was already running ten minutes behind, and would continue at his leisure.
“When Joe sees what I’ve got on Miranda,” Lipman sneered, “he’ll be buying me drinks all day long.”
It’s not that he didn’t like Miranda per se, but he was being paid to keep an eye on her for a very important client. She could stand to be a little nicer to him, especially after he shoveled her out after the storm.
Ramano got a taste of Miranda’s spirited ways when she swore it was Neil who robbed her boat over the Thanksgiving holiday. Ramano was Lipman’s alibi, but Joe didn’t like being involved– it was unprofessional. Even though Miranda could be feisty at times, Neil needed to learn how to deal with her. He needed to be more discreet.
He saw her out on the dock during the blizzard and wondered how she could survive. But she did. And she was cute enough when she put on some make-up and dressed like a girl. Whoever was paying to have her watched must be very interested. It was costing him alot of money for Lipman to stand out there smoking by the lady’s room.
Neil kept a log of her daily activities, documenting who was coming and going. In the parking lot he ran their plates and did background checks on everyone who passed through the security gate. Those were the client’s orders. Neil took a long drag on his cigarette, flicked the ashes out the top of his window. He glanced at the notebook on the seat beside him. Ramano’s client would be getting his money’s worth today.
To be continued…
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.