Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.
– Isaac Asimov
For the next few weeks Bast will be stepping into his area for interviews as he tackles the people connected to a too successful private detective agency from the short story “The Couch,” the first story in Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Today, he talks to the secretary, Annie Everglades.
Bast: Sit down Ms Everglades or may I call you “Annie.”
Ms Everglades: Ms Everglades will do. I don’t like to get too familiar with people, if you know what I mean.
Bast (looking at Annie who is wearing a tight short dress and five-inch heels): No worries there. I’m gay.
Ms. Everglades: Oh, okay, Annie will work if you wish.
Bast: Good. Now, I understand you work for a very busy PI Agency. How did you come to work there?
Annie: Simple. I answered an ad in one of the Toronto dailies.
Bast: I see. Okay, can you tell me what your PI Agency handles?
Annie: A little bit of everything, but mainly adulterous spouses, jewel robberies, blackmail, con artists, even dognappings and the occasional murder. We keep busy.
Bast: That’s for sure. Okay, your boss is somewhat of an anomaly for a PI – age mid-twenties and running a very successful business. Can you tell me something about C.U. Fly and what’s the secret to success?
Annie: Just being C.U. Fly.
Bast: What does that mean?
Annie: Well, Fly is a real go-getter and is good at listening. Comes from the background. Fly used to listen to everyone’s problems when growing up, even Mom. And Fly once told me that the psychiatric route didn’t cut it – too much schooling I suspect.
Bast: But you have a couch in the office.
Annie (sighing): You got that right and it’s been a blessing and a nuisance. Clients seem to gravitate towards it and well, I guess it helps to loosen their lips.
Bast: But you’ve had or have some shady and unusual clients, like Brutus the dog and Ratty…
Annie: Don’t mention those two. That dog has chewed away at the arm of the couch and Ratty, well his name says it all, doesn’t it?
Bast: So, I gather you are not too happy with that couch.
Annie: Well, it’s made of horsehair and it itches.
Bast: But you wanted to get rid of it, didn’t you?
Annie: That was C.U. moving it down to the basement – the clients complained, so it had to be moved back upstairs.
Bast: I repeat. You wanted to get rid of it, didn’t you? You gave your boss an ultimatum?
Annie: I suppose so.
Bast: How did all those clients affect you? Did you have to do any of the PI work or?
Annie: C.U. took care of that – surveillance, interviews – some at clients’ places, but most here. I just took notes and typed up the reports on my laptop.
Bast: I see. Now about all those clients, didn’t your boss come up with a unique way to decrease the number of clients?
Annie. C.U. did have me send out notices about downsizing.
Bast: But that didn’t go over very well, so what else did your boss do?
Annie: That would be telling. Anyone who wants to find out will just have to buy Beyond the Tripping Point and read about it. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have to go. Work calls.
Annie stands up, smoothes down her short skirt and clicks out in her five-inch heels.
You can read more about Annie Everglades and her boss C.U. Fly Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=Beyond%20the%20Tripping%20Point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.
Sharon A. Crawford will be taking Beyond the Tripping Point to several readings and even using it in a workshop she will be teaching with Brian Henry – all September events. The next two are this Saturday, Sept.14, 2013 at Du Café in Toronto, where Sharon will host a Murder and Mayhem reading by Crime Writers of Canada members and Thursday, September 19 where Sharon A. will host the Canadian Authors Association Toronto branch season opener of readings at the Victory Café in Toronto. Sharon A. will also be reading at both events. More information on these and other September 2013 gigs, go to http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html
Sharon A. Crawford