The investigator barged into my office with the force of a tropical storm. She had a bad haircut and wore a masculine outfit of pleated pants, a button-up shirt and ugly, scuffed leather shoes. If I had a proper warning, I would have boarded up the windows and left town.
“I’ve been calling and I rang the doorbell. Why didn’t you answer?”
My mouth opened to say that I had not received any calls in the past hour, the doorbell never sounded, and lastly, who the hell are you? Clearly, if I had notice, I would not be there waiting.
The woman continued in an almost apologetic tone, “It doesn’t matter. My name is Debra Dedmaus and I am here to investigate a claim of neglect.”
I snickered in spite of the uncomfortable tension.
“Is something funny?” she asked. “Because there is nothing funny about child neglect. Now, if you will take me to Alison F. Orgets apartment. I will handle things from there.”
This was not a request. It was a demand.
I led the terrible Deadmouse woman down the hallway past the numbered doors.
One, Two, Three.
We stopped in front of Four. I knocked, with several light tippity-tap-tap-taps. Deadmouse waited a second and commenced to pounding on the door. Plaster crumbled from the ceiling overhead and landed on her dark hair. Ha! I thought, serves her right.
The door opened a crack, a woman in a bathrobe stood behind it. She saw me and opened it the rest of the way.
“Hi Puney, what’s going on?”
Deadmouse stepped in front of me, wielding her official badge from her agency.
“I’m here to investigate a report of neglect,” she repeated the same line from earlier.
She glanced down at her clipboard and went on to add, “It came from a P. Bones. I assume you know each other,” she smirked.
Ali looked at me in disbelief. I used my mind powers to open a hole in the ground into which I hoped to fall until I hit the Earth’s core. Again, my powers failed me and I remained standing. I didn’t feel so much embarrassed as I felt small and ashamed. I set into motion an unstoppable chain of events which would prove to be as cataclysmic as the original sin.
I was Judas and had just delivered the kiss of death.