Rain. Again. Tch. Suits me fine. Dean Irons swiveled in his metal office chair, the sound of metal creaking against metal filling the room as he did so. He faced a scratched-up oak desk that sported burn marks and too much paperwork. His office was dim (he couldn’t be bothered to purchase new bulbs for his cheap lamp), and the rain outside had barely begun to fall. The busted-up PI could hear the sounds of thunder doing a dark tango in the distance. Dean felt his left shoulder protest as he lifted it, bringing a cigarette stub to his chapped lips. After taking the final drag of it and watching the room fill with smoke, he tapped it into a glass ashtray which was already too full. He shoved it aside and opened a brown folder; a useless gesture. He’d already gone through the information so many times he had the technicalities memorized.
He didn’t want to move this one to his “unsolved” drawer. Not this one. This one hit too close to home, and he hated that he was getting absolutely nowhere. It’d fallen into his lap about three weeks ago, and he was too pinched for cash as it was to turn it down. Besides; the missing thirteen year-old looked far too much like the one he’d lost. She looked far too much like Lizzie and his fair Dina for him to turn away. Yeah, yeah; don’t make things personal. His old captain used to say that, and before he lost his family, Dean had no problem living by that advice. Now, though…now, he just wanted to find a missing child. Too many these days. Dean rolled his shoulder, knowing the old wound would never quite go away. One of many. Dean spent fifteen minutes scrolling over testimonies and technical information before slapping the folder shut and standing up. He’d read it all before.
Horse shit. He’d get farther by talking to people. Already talked to the neighbors. Well, they’d better be ready to see his face again. Dean slapped a wrinkled brown fedora onto his head and shrugged into a brown trench-coat. He patted his breast pockets, wondering if he’d have to stop somewhere and buy more cigarettes. Nope; there they are. He found a half-empty pack and sighed in relief. He clamped one between his teeth, tucking that folder underneath an arm and fishing his keys out of his pocket. He locked his office and walked down a narrow hallway, noting that his secretary had already gone home for the day. Once outside, he felt the patter of tiny drops landing on his wide shoulders, and sighed. His cigarette glowed amidst the gloom, and there was an ever-present trail of smoke trailing behind his face as he walked. Maybe I’ll check that eerie house up on Park Street…hadn’t looked there yet. And for good reason. Dean didn’t like admitting when something gave him the spooks…and that place kinda gave him the spooks. Maybe they know something… He doubted it, and he wasn’t the ‘keep the hope alive’ type. But at this point an option was an option. So he walked.