As mentioned in The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 1 (Redux), I work to nail down the opening of whatever I’m working on.
Here’s The Alibi – Chapter 3 and borrows heavily from what was The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 5
I’ve learned to live with my rewriting. Hope you can, too.
Dev Surely remembered The Farm recruiting her in high school. It was Friday, her last day of detention – the last day this time, anyway – everybody else had bugged out early, and the clock was sweeping towards five-pm. Special Assistant Blah-Blah-Blah Cam Connelly came up to her in detention hall, sat at the desk next to hers, gave her a once-over, and smiled.
She gave him the finger.
He chuckled but said nothing.
She decided to give him a once-over, too.
No idea what he was doing at McLouth, Kansas, high school. His clothes were too nice – light blue suit with a navy blue stripe on cream shirt, tie matching his suit – his face too clean shaven and with absolutely no stubble at all even though it was closing in on five in the afternoon, his dusty brown hair too well groomed, his hands nicely manicured and almost graceful if you didn’t notice the veins and tendons sliding over each other as he clasped them together, and an amazing smile under bright gray eyes, and he didn’t smell of farm. Everybody around here smelled of farm. Wheat, corn, cattle. Lots and lots of cattle. Some pigs. A couple of sheep. Hay.
Who was this mud-fucker?
She checked out his shoes. Everybody around here had cowshit on or under their shoes. You couldn’t help it.
But this guy had clean and recently polished black patent leathers.
With laces neatly tied and even.
He smiled when she caught his eyes.
Smiled and nodded, like he watched her evaluate him.
That’s when she knew he let her inspect him.
She turned her head away, didn’t want to give him the satisfaction.
He sat without talking for a full three minutes.
She knew because she timed him.
Finally she turned to face him full on, one hand flat on her desk and the other holding the back of her chair. “What?”
He kept on smiling. “That’s pretty good, Devorah. Most people your age won’t last thirty seconds. Hell, most people your age won’t last three.”
“Don’t call me Devorah.”
“Right, right. Dev. I saw that on your record.” He held his hand out. “So, Dev, nice to meet you. I’m Cameron Connelly. Most people call me Cam.”
She didn’t take it. “So what’s this about?”
Cam Connelly kept his eyes on hers and didn’t blink unless she did. “Your school’s star linebacker makes a pass at you and you knacker him? Impressive.”
“Kneed him so hard in the balls he won’t play this weekend. Maybe not even next.”
“He picked me up.”
“Not much else to do in McLouth?”
He made it rhyme with cloud. “It’s McLouth. Like your teeth after getting punched in the face.”
He nodded. “How tall are you?”
“Five fuck off.”
Cam Connelly laughed. “Okay. I have a favor to ask you. Give me this favor, it might change your life. Don’t grant me this favor, you’ll never see me again.” He cocked his head slightly left. “He picked you up? You mean off the floor?”
“I was at my locker. He tapped me on the shoulder. I had my pack in my hands. He grabbed me by the elbows and lifted me up to his face level.”
“Maybe he wanted to ask you out.”
“Maybe he’s an asshole. Maybe the two of you are related.”
His eyes obviously ran down her body. “You’re what, five-one? Five-two? You’re basically a perfectly – some might even say wonderfully – formed woman in a tiny body. What’s not to like?”
“You looking to get your balls knackered, too?”
His head rocked back and he laughed, loud and unashamedly. He sounded like some African tribal leader bragging about the wealth of his people. “So how about it, grant me the favor?”
“Why should I?”
“No reason, really. But it could change your life.”
“Okay. Still, I think we could use you. With the proper training and education, you’d be outstanding.”
“Who’s we? What training and education?”
“You have to grant me the favor.”
“You haven’t told me what it is.”
“Meet me here tomorrow, nine o’clock sharp.”
“If I show up – and I won’t – I’m bringing my dad’s handgun.”
“Exactly the kind of attitude we’re looking for.” He held out his hand again. “See you tomorrow?”
Her eyes went from his face to his hand and back. She took it. He had rough hands but they didn’t feel like farm-roughened. “Guess you’ll have to wait and see…Cam.”
The clock rang five.
He held the door for her on their way out.