Friday 16 November 2018

Episode 12 - Stake Out

A night out in Brooklyn.
It sounded like the title of a movie, one of those romcoms where everything that can go wrong does, but the two get together anyway.  Where had those days of Jane Fonda and Cliff Roberson gone?
Harry could be home watching a movie at home with the cat, but instead, he was enduring the onset of a cold night, in his car on a stakeout.  He was outside the address Jennifer Jones had given him, one of several brownstones.
Harry had already scouted the location and if he was lucky he might get a photo of them in the kitchen, or one of the front rooms if I didn’t get caught outside.  The chances were he was going to get nothing but a cold.
At least he’d arrived there before, at the very least, Miriam got home.  If she turned up alone, Harry might yet get home in time to watch that movie.
Harry doubted the cat would worry whether he turned up or not.
Not even his experience as a night patrolman had prepared him for the long, cold, lonely night he expected to spend in the car. 
Watching, waiting.  For what, he had no idea.  
He'd brought the obligatory thermos of hot coffee and donuts, but it did little to assuage the boredom or cold he felt.
Nothing was happening, not after the first hour, not the second.
At least he didn't think anything had happened. There were times when he drifted off, sleep induced by the right sort of classical music softly played on the car's radio.
One of those nap0s was interrupted by a slamming car door, and he looked over to the building where Miriam lived and saw her on the sidewalk, watching the taxi leave.  She was alone, and he hadn’t seen anyone else but the driver in the cab.
No incriminating photographs tonight.
The clock on the dash said it was 1:40 in the morning.  It had taken her a long time to get him.  Perhaps they had stopped off at a hotel for their dalliance before she came home.
Or not.
She was a little unsteady on her feet, the sign of too much to drink, and she carefully negotiated the steps leading up to the front door, and after a rummage in her purse, she found her keys, took a few minutes getting the key in the lock before going inside.
One job down, onto the next.
Hardly worth going home to annoy the cat.  He would go over to Al’s brother’s place and stake it out, see what he was up against.  Perhaps he might even catch Jennifer Jones sneaking away very early in the morning.
Anything was possible.

It was half-past two on a very cold early morning when he settled down.  The coffee was drunk, the snacks were eaten, the next meal would be breakfast in a cafe if he could find one.
His head slipped onto the car window, and he woke suddenly.
Opening his eyes, he realized it was morning.  Overcast.  Still cold.  Colder than the night before.
He could hear a tap on the window.  He wiped the fog inside to see who it was.
A man.  
Middle-aged with a beard, In a tracksuit.  A jogger, trying to see if Harry had died in his sleep.
He wound the window down.  "Can I help you?"
"My brother got you watching me?"
It was the man in the photograph.

© Charles Heath 2016-2018

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