You’d have thought I’d written a script for them to follow, because sure as thunder follows lightening, the cops followed my anonymous phone call right to my door. I had heard them arrive early the next morning, so early in fact that it was still heavily dark outside. My apartment was in well order, everything had a place and everything in it’s place was this characters motto. I had even pulled out an Afghan which featured a fat cat lounging under a tree, for the back of my couch. No touch was too subtle. I was dressed in a very moderate and meek feminine outfit which whispered of lush meadows in bloom featuring soft violets and gentle greens. The skirt which fell to mid knee boasted of prudence and propriety while still looking reserved and somewhat matronly. My hair, my wig which cascaded across my shoulders in bouncy curls infused with life, looked perfect. At that moment I realized I was right, this was my favorite wig, and in my own way I thanked Terra for the part she played. Then came the knock at the door.
I hunched my shoulders in an attempt to seem subservient, let some of my hair fall into my face, hoping to look frightened, and opened the door. I did not meet the eye’s of the officer, didn’t even look up as I said “Hello.” His name oddly enough was George (life always has it’s irony), as he spoke his name my eye’s flared in mock fear hoping he would see a connection, and I lowered my head even further. We played tennis, him asking to come in to chat, me accepting fearfully whilst fidgeting with the hem of my blouse, I led him to the fat cat. For hours we volleyed on that couch, he’d ask questions hinting at a relationship between me and George while I maintained a very poor attempt at covert intentions, until suddenly he asked the question I had been waiting for. “Miss Pluitz, were you sleeping with your Land Lord?” Now was the time, all out theatrics, I clawed at my face, ripped at my shirt as if it were strangling me, screamed in bloody terror and sobbed. He reacted as I had expected, bumbling and shocked himself he pulled at my hands which were feigning bodily harm and self mutilation, he grabbed me around my chest and allowed me to sink into him, sobbing, virtually inconsolable. I stayed like that for several minutes.
He told me about everything they’d found in the apartment, pictures of me, my face fraught with pain and embarrassment as I was forced to pose in more than compromising positions. Pictures of me with fresh bruises purpling my face, and causing it to trickle blood (again I must thank Terra for the part she played in those bruises, and the gods for pushing me to photograph the marks) . Several pairs of very feminine and appropriate panties that had obviously been warn and loved thereafter. Pieces of my mail and perhaps the most shocking of their discoveries, a hole was uncovered behind his slightly askew bookcase. This hole coincidentally stared straight into the shower stall of my apartment. As I listened I wondered if I should have gone as far as to get the schizophrenic homeless man I paid in 5 o’clock Vodka, to take the photos, to take one more scantily clad picture of me wearing one of George’s shirts. As it turns out, I could have gotten away with it even if I’d done less. They didn’t do DNA on the underwear, after all, I claimed them. They didn’t even question who had taken the photo’s after I had told my tale. A tale so perverse, my pride well’s as I now recount it for you. The story goes that George, Landlord, elderly man, immigrant of Italy, man who enjoyed model ship building opted for sexual favors of the most demeaning kind when tenants could not meet their rent. As I got further behind in my payments, the depravity of what he expected grew. It started out as simple fondling (the way it always does), “He’d have me lift my shirt as he pleasured himself.”, I told the detective while maintaining a rosy blush of shame, and eye contact with the floor. “Eventually he started taking pictures because he said he wanted to have me at his finger tips all the time. When I cried he’d slap me around saying tears had no purpose besides making a man feel guilty, and he shouldn’t feel guilty because he was after all keeping my whore ass off the streets. He said if I wasn’t giving it to him in exchange for a place to sleep, I’d be giving it away for far less to some dirt bag. He even suggested I move in with him to save us both trouble, but I was able to change his mind by lying about a strict Mother who was planning to come stay a few months.” I continued on appearing numb and blank by this point. “I think it’d still be going on if I wouldn’t have finally put a stop to it three nights ago.” again I broke out into a barrage of tears, choking on the resulting flem making my case that much more sympathetic. When I “regained” composure (when I thought the dramatics had gone on long enough), I told them how George, in a fit of anger over hearing me converse with a neighborhood man on my way home from the market, became enraged and forced me to lie down so he could sodomize me with a Swiffer Sweeper. I told them I fought my way away from him during the act, slapped him across the face and swore if he ever contacted me again I’d make sure he rotted in jail, running back to my apartment I left a trail of blood in my wake, which I promptly cleaned up when I knew he had gone to Darby‘s (an Irish pub where everyone knew George and saved him his barstool). I told them I also cleaned it several more times over the next few days, ashamed someone would find out what had happened, but only when George’s apartment was quiet, when I knew he‘d not confront me. The rest of the time I insisted, I stayed locked behind my apartment door terrified of the impending eviction.
As they gave weak apologies for my trauma, and set the look on their faces to pity (as my story blossomed, so did the number of police in my small apartment) , I showed them the way out promising I would be around in case they needed to contact me further. The door was almost closed when a young detective spoke up “May I ask Miss Pluitz, would you know anything about a pair of women’s size 7 Gore-Tex hiking boots?”
I left my boots there. Fuck, Elizabeth Pluitz would never wear graphite colored hiking boots, they were not of her sensibility and she certainly did not have the adventurous spirit that would require her to own them, nor would she have ever had the money for them. Black, black, blacker, my thoughts began to subside, I was near fainting when I heard the blood hound, his voice sounded like that of an angel, “Ummm Officer I think I can explain those.” I found out later Corey (as he had told him his name was) had spun a terrific tale about giving those boots to George as collateral for his rent, just until he could come up with the funds. According to him, the boots were his sisters, and she was out of town for the next few weeks. They checked his story and it seems he was telling the truth, at least partially, a woman who had been staying with him had recently disappeared. He offered to exchange them the months rent money opposed to having his sister kick his ass when she got back, however, they assured him it’d not be necessary. Were they to take the boots or the rent money, it’d just rot away in some police evidence storage room and take up space that was needed for other more sinister crimes. They gave him the boots without another insistence and left. Their final ruling? Old Georgie must have been giving the same treatment to another woman as well, only she hadn’t been so restrained. My pictures it turns out, were not the only pictures they found. In another drawer of his nightstand, pictures of a yet to be identified woman, only seemed to prove George’s deviance. The newspaper article read like many we’ve all seen before, pervert finally get’s what he’s got coming to him after terrorizing local women. It turns out George’s death coincided with the time frame a certain local prostitute went missing, and later they discovered those other pictures found in his nightstand were of that very same prostitute, meth mouth and all. When I read that article, immersed in my morning coffee I smiled deep and raised my cup to Terra, thanking god once more for giving me the forethought to take those pictures, and then in what now seems like theatrical and childish flare I turned that cup over spilling one “for my homies”, this one is for you Terra, I thought. Everything works out for the best in the end, at least in this instance it did. One less dirty whore spreading her disease, one less bitchy Land Lord knocking on my door, and an excuse to meet the blood hound in person, I aimed to thank him.
However he beat me to it. Not thanking me, no, but in introducing himself. It was days after the George situation had quieted, and the crime scene tape was freshly removed so the new Super (a woman), could move in her belongings.
Turns out George had no friends or family besides those friends at Darby’s bar, and they were even less concerned with what happened to him than I was, they certainly weren’t going to pick up his shit. Most of it was donated to the local Salvation Army where I traded my old couch for his more luxurious L shaped version. It wasn’t nearly as new, but Debra had never sat on his couch and that made it perfect.
As I listened to the gentle scrape of her things being brought up the stairs and shoved into that tiny apartment where George took his last breaths, I found comfort in the thought that some things are always followed by a predictable sequence of events. Study hard and apply yourself, become well educated. Fall in love, get your heart broken. Kill your Super, and they’ll send more. Without intention I fell into blissful sleep, once again my back pressed safely against the security of a couch.
As I woke the world was quiet. I knew instantly it was either early morning or dead of night for the creatures of the world had set their volume to a very gentle, hardly detectable hum. The colors of my apartment harmonized in their shades of gray, until I clicked on the lamp. Suddenly the room was alive with color, each piece contained matching the next in no way. My life, my loved ones, my apartment all robed in that of a gypsies quilt. Pieces picked up from here, or there for the purpose of need more than anything else. As I scanned the room I knew something was different, something looked new. The box which sat safely out of my way were I took wake and attempt walking to another section of the apartment without turning on the lights was cenetered perfectly in front of my apartment door. The letter which sat on the top was also completely perpendicular to the package. In the neatest scrawl I had ever seen were the words:
To The Story Teller,
I find myself a sucker for moonlight walks, even more so when the moon is not out. If you are not otherwise engaged, and would enjoy the exercise (as I see you do not get out very often), please meet me where Prospect and Julius intersect at 3:00 a.m. Here I hoped to say something extremely complimentary about the glimpse I caught of you in the skirt, at this moment though, I draw blank. Let it suffice to say you are quite enchanting when you want to be.
P.S. Knowing you’ll need something in which to walk comfortably I included the box below, let’s call it a get to know you re-gift, as the contents are slightly used, however I believe you’ll find them quite up to par with your sensibilities. It may take you back to the scene of the crime so say, but I figure some small risks are worth it.
As I placed the note aside, I quickly tore open the package knowing what it contained. As soon as I had them free of their bindings I clutched my boots to my chest, looked at the clock (it was one a.m. I still had time), and began to cry.
If you would like to continue on reading Emma’s journey, please look into my folder named Work in Progress , that is where you will find the following chapters numbered. I did this in the hopes of making the story easier to leave and come back to, tied up in neat little packages.