Private Voices: Part 05

Updated on February 6, 2020
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Mike is a long-time supporter of procrastination and enjoys doing as often as he can.

The Story So Far


Janice James is a Private Detective haunted by the death of her son and a fractured psyche, forcing her to see her son Brandon as well as others. She and her estranged now ex-husband Bill are slowly coming back together.


Janice was hired to help a man named Stanley Franco find out why his wife Ava is fighting a divorce. During the investigation, she stumbled onto a unique counterfeiting scheme designed to infect scanning machines allowing the user access to a company's funds. When her client was murdered, Janice turned her case over to the local police. She contacted someone from the secret service with help from her mentor, a former police officer named Sean. In the process, she found herself being watched by the FBI and Ava, a woman that isn't who she appears to be.


Part Five (Beginning of Chapter 2)

1995

Janice sat under a tree holding a book with a gym bag between her legs, hiding the recording video camera. This was her ninth job in the glamorous world of private investigations. It wasn't really a full-time job that could pay the bills, but it was a start. She worked a nine-to-five job behind a counter asking, "do you want fries with that." Today she was in the park watching a man with a woman as they kissed. His wife was hard at work while he hardly worked, but he could spend money on another woman. The wife wasn't the client; the sister of the wife hired Janice to show her that he was cheating. She bought a good video camera after a fuzzy image helped a morally ambiguous husband lie about why he was touching the babysitter.

A voice came from around the tree she was up against, "say miss are you recording all the action?"

A man in maybe his early twenties with black curly hair and wire-frame glasses came around the tree.

Janice looked Bill over trying to size him up while trying to decide whether he was really interested or was he hitting on her. Bill smiled, changing her age speculation to maybe twenty, which would make him about two years older than her eighteen years. Janice decided he was hitting on her, or at least she hoped he was.

She said, "please don't say that out loud. His wife should know the truth."

Bill looked over at the couple then sat down next to Janice. He looked over her shoulder at the blank book.

Bill asked, "What is that some sort of journal?"

Janice looked at Bill then said, "it will be when I start to write into it. Right now, it's just a prop."

Bill put out his hand and said, "Bill."

Janice looked at his hand, then said, "you haven't hired me yet."

Bill pulled his hand back a little then said, "no…. That's my name… Bill as in William."

Janice held in her smile, saying, "well, I guess you are expecting to hear my name."

From the angle, Bill was sitting, he could see a little down her open shirt and wither it was that or just his curiosity.

Bill said, "I would rather know what you look like after a night with me, but a name is a good start."

Bill asked, "How long has this been going on?"

Bill put down his beer and stared at Janice, waiting for a response.

Janice was looking away as she said, "I don't know if it started when I went into the office or when I took the case, but I know that I am being followed by both the FBI and Ava Franco."

Janice replayed the video of the FBI in her office, placing listening devices, then Ava coming in and searching.

Janice said, "I wanted you to know what was happening before we did anything."

Bill watched the video feeling both an angry rage and just a little bit of excitement.

Janice put her glass of wine down then said, "and the FBI did all this without the locals knowing."

Bill finished his beer.

He said, "your job was always interesting, but this doesn't answer my question."

Janice responded by saying, "you mean demand."

Bill opened another beer saying, "no, condition, and yes, they are two different things."

He looked at the Crooked River bottle then back to Janice, "We could put him to rest in a place he deserves not a shelf being defiled by feds."

The video was paused on a man placing a listening device in the urn containing Brandon's ashes.

In a small dark motel room out in Green, Ohio, Ava sat there reading her emails. She was trying to decipher her instructions without the codebook she left in her home. Steve's motel was very different from her usual four-star accommodations providing anonymity that was well worth the small room. Without all the fake bills, the plan was in jeopardy, and now with the FBI or Secret Service having at least one of the bills, the plan was on hold until a replacement could be made. That is if the plan was still an option. Ava was able to take the other bills as well as figure out what bills were missing so her client could replace them, but if the other bills were out on the street, there was a chance the whole plan could fall apart. Ava knew her part of the plan was to promote distrust in the British Pound, American Dollar, and Euro.


Either way, her cover was blown, and her fake life in Ohio was over. For a microsecond, she started to like her experience with Stanley. She met him online using a dating app and angled him into marriage. He was a small angry man that loved having a beautiful woman at his side. Much to her surprise, he was even good in bed. She would compare him to the porn star Ron Jeremy. In those times, when he was on top of her, she could see making this her life. Still, then reality would hit her, and that glamorous life she had waiting would call to her. Stanley was a light beer while she was a fine French wine. When this job was done, she would have enough money to retire on. She made sure that she wasn't paid in any of the currencies her clients were trying to destabilize. She couldn't wait to get out of Ohio. The winters were cold and icy, and the summers were hot and muggy. Most of all she won't miss the people. In the summer of 2001, her last job in the states she was in New York City, helping a group of middle eastern men hide their actual plans. While there, she was able to hide in plain sight with no one even talking to her, but in this place called Cuyahoga Falls, it seemed that everyone wanted her backstory. The New York job paid for a private island with a villa. This job would help make the island self-sufficient just in case her client's plans worked just a little too well.

A day later, Bill and Janice were at the grave Bill bought to memorialize Brandon. With a little money, the staff at the cemetery was able to open the plot up and lift the small coffin out. Inside was a soccer ball signed by all of Brandon's teammates, a picture of Brandon, and his first shoes. The miniature baseball bat he would carry around when he was nine, and a few other items that only a child would see as valuable. Janice put the urn into the coffin.

She whispered, "I hope all you FBI jagoffs burn in hell."

They left the listening device inside the urn. Both Sean and JG stood by watching with JG watching the roads and Sean staring at JG's ass. They didn't know how the feds would take to what they were doing or what their next move would be. While they were at the gravesite, the agents that planted the surveillance-gear were taking it out. They would still watch just using other means. Janice looked up and out to a stand of trees where she saw the six-year-old Brandon and her grandfather Jack. It was clear to her Brandon was crying, and Jack was trying to comfort him.

© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron

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