Good Bye

The prompt for the Monday Chatham Writers Group was to start your story with the words “Good Bye”. My fictional piece follows.

Good Bye

“‘Good bye.’ Those were the last words she said, just good bye.” 

“Wow, with great finality it sounds.”

“I suppose.” Detective Jerry Mullins shrugged and glanced at his wristwatch.   He reflected on the past two hours.  He had entered the hospital cafeteria, his detective shield clipped to the pocket of his sports jacket.  A woman in uniform waved to him.  Next to her on the table was a cap with the familiar black and gold checkerboard pattern above the bill.  Pittsburgh PD.  He walked over to her table and introduced himself.  She had a firm handshake and said her name was Fran Parker, a Sergeant in the Oakland Precinct.  The Sergeant’s name sounded familiar to Mullins, but he couldn’t recall from where.

He noticed there were two coffee cups on the table in front of her.  She pushed one in his direction and asked him if he was working a case.  When he answered affirmatively, Sergeant Parker asked if he could tell her about it.  He looked around to make sure there wasn’t anyone who could overhear them.  The cafeteria was nearly empty save for a group of hospital staff huddled at one table too engrossed in their conversation to pay attention to anyone else.  Nonetheless, Mullins leaned in a bit closer and laid out the details of the case to Sergeant Parker.  It was a white collar crime case and it involved a childhood friend.

He told Sergeant Parker his friend had introduced him to Laura, his new girlfriend.  “She was stunning.  Now mind you, Curt’s a super guy, however he makes Steve Buscemi look handsome.   The new girlfriend seemed to really like Curt.”

“I sense a but here, Detective.”

“Oh, yeah,” said Mullins, “a couple of days ago we received a bulletin from the Cleveland PD to be on the lookout for a con artist who’s MO was to establish relationships with men in order to obtain their financial info and empty their bank accounts.  The photo that accompanied the bulletin was Curt’s new girlfriend.  Different color hair and wearing glasses, but it was definitely Laura, which apparently was one of the five names she used.”

“So did you tell Curt?” asked Sergeant Parker.

“Yes.  And, Oh God, did he fall apart.  The timing was great because he was ready to give Laura 25 grand.  Tonight as a matter of fact.  Curt told me where Laura was staying and my partner and I went to arrest her.”

“That was tonight?.  How’d it go?”

“Laura, or whatever her real is, was a great actress.  She feigned innocence, then she hugged herself as she was crying real alligator tears.  Suddenly looking up and laughing maniacally, she pointed at me, a glint of metal, then, “‘Good Bye’. Those were the last words she said, just Good Bye’.”

“Wow, with great finality it sounds.”

“Yeah, I suppose.”

 “So what’re you doing here at the hospital?” asked Sergeant Parker.

“Waiting for word on a gunshot wound victim.” Mullins took a sip from his coffee cup.  He  thought, “When did I get a refill?”  Looking at Sergeant Parker, he asked, “So, what are you doing here?”  Before she could answer, it dawned on Mullins where he had heard her name before.  “I know who you are…” his voice trailed off.

“I’m always here detective, but you have to leave now, you’re going to be alright.”

“Wait, Sergeant Parker, what did you say?”

“Glad to see you’re awake!  I said you’re going to be alright Detective Mullins.  You’re going to have a bad headache, but your going to be alright.  Who’s Sergeant Parker?”

“Who are you?” Mullins groggily asked.

“I’m Doctor Sinclair, the one who removed the small caliber bullet from your skull.  Instinctively, you put your hand up for protection.  It absorbed most of the impact otherwise we wouldn’t be talking.  Now who’s Sergeant Parker.”

“She died in the line of duty last year, but I saw her in the cafeteria.”

Doctor Sinclair nodded, “Get some rest Detective Mullins. You’re going to be alright.”

This story is loosely based on an actual incident that occurred to a friend of a friend. An attractive woman tried to bilk this guy out of thousands of dollars. Although the guy truly would make Steve Buscemi appear like Brad Pitt, he was no dope and figured out what the deal was. The woman who tried to grift him did not have an APB out on her – at the time, who knows now – and this happened over 40 years ago. Nobody was shot, there was no police involvement, the dialogue was made up. I fell back to the familiar haunts of Pittsburgh to set the background for my story.

Ernie Stricsek

The Chatham Writers Group

March 20, 2023

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