Short Story Preview: Wood Scented Whisky – Gabriela Harding
“2.45 p.m. Neatly dressed, hair done, full face of make-up, the suspect emerges from Pimp-My-Hair.” The detective chuckled. “Your little lady has really gone for it this time. New nails, I noticed. Nice and sharp. Very popular on the estates.”
Leonard swallowed. “Pimp-My-Hair? What the hell is that?”
“A hairdresser’s. Afro,” he added as an afterthought.
“Great,” Leonard spat, making the papers on the desk before him ruffle slightly.
The detective ignored him. He continued describing his wife’s garments.
“Do you have to go into so much detail? Jesus. I just want to know the facts. I don’t pay you to get a kick out of this.”
“Ah, but that’s exactly where detectives get their kicks, my friend. The details.” Leonard pretended to check his watch. It had run out of battery and was now showing the wrong time. “I have a meeting in twenty minutes,” he lied.
The detective smiled.
Leonard felt his cheeks burning. “All right,” he sighed. “Carry on. Might as well lose the whole day. It’s ruined anyway.”
“She went to the mall, heading to Esquires café, or, if you want, the love nest …” Leonard sighed. “She checked herself in all the windows – clearly nervous, she tied and untied her scarf, you know, glanced at her phone exactly six times, and then he came and gave her a peck on the cheek. Her face lightened and …”
Leonard wondered how the hell you can tell if someone’s face lightens if you’re standing at least ten feet away behind a newspaper and with black shades on. It was the details that made him feel sick, more than the situation itself. Parked her car, neatly dressed, full face of make-up, fancy nails. Words like poisonous snakes coiled inside his soul, waiting for the right moment to bite him.