I pushed my way out of the building. A rush of hot, dry wind caught me in the face. It wasn't blowing when I went into the chief's office, but that's how these Santa Ana winds work---they flare up quick as a changing mood. The heat gave me an idea, though. My next move---check the arson scene.
Cop on the Edge, Episode 8M. Stanley Bubien
I headed for the car, but a guy wearing a three-piece suit sauntered into my path.
"Sir," he nodded in an English sort-of way, "Do you happen to have a fag?"
"What?" I blurted
"A fag, my good man. That is---a cigarette."
"Oh. No." The English have a way with words. Next thing you know he'd be asking for a rubber.
"My dear sir," he pointed toward my pants. "Would that be a cigarette, or---I believe the saying goes---are you just glad to see me?"
Reaching into my pocket, I produced a crumpled cigarette. Must've fallen out of the chief's pack before I tossed it onto her desk.
I wiped my brow and my eyes caught sight of a plume rising in the distance.
"Smoke." I said.
"Thank you," the Englishman reached for the cigarette.
"Sorry buddy, but on a day like this, smoke is the last thing we need."
I brushed past and hopped in my car. Tossing the cigarette into the glove box, I revved the engine and steered toward the scene of my new case, which, funny enough, happened to be in the same direction as that rising pillar of smoke.
Copyright ©1997 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.
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