Friday, June 29, 2018

Be Careful What You Wish For

This week’s fiction comes to you courtesy of something called an Archetype Card. This card belongs to a set of 80 cards, each with a different “archetype” or pattern of behaviour and shows both the light and dark aspects of these archetypes. They’re actually kind of fascinating and I think they’d make a really handy writing tool.

If you’re interested, you can find a description and walk-thru by Tiger’s Abyss HERE  or by Truth in Story HERE

Anyway, the card I drew was the Detective and the description was as follows:

Light Attributes:
Great powers of observation and intuition
Desire to seek out truth
Shadow Attributes:
Falsifying information

And here’s the story I came up with from the prompt:

Be Careful What You Wish For

I knew it was a bad idea from the moment the woman approached me. It was the same old story: girl meets boy, girl and boy get married before they really get to know each other, boy spends long hours at the office, and girl suspects he’s cheating and hires a detective to follow him. That’s where I come in.

I hate these kinds of cases but I have to eat and things have been pretty slow lately. So when the not-so-young woman (she had to be in her 40s) darkened my door one gloomy morning, I didn’t figure I could turn the case down.

“Money’s not a problem,” she assured me. “In fact, that’s why I need to be sure. My assets are, shall we say, considerable.”

“You never had him sign a pre-nup?”

“It was such a whirlwind romance,” she said, blushing slightly. “It just didn’t occur to me.”

I just barely refrained from rolling my eyes. Love is no excuse for ignorance. But a buck is a buck.

“All right,” I said. “I’ll take your case.”

She gave me his picture, where he worked, that sort of thing, and left in a flurry of patchouli.

He looked like a decent enough guy, a little younger than her but who am I to judge? Anyway, after two months of tailing him, I was kind of feeling sorry for the guy. She may have been holding the purse-strings, but he was the one who was filling that purse. He worked a lot of overtime, yes, but that’s exactly what it was – work.

He stopped for an after work drink once, maybe twice a week with the guys, but that’s all it was. One drink and he was headed for home to his “loving” wife. Funny thing though, any time he was at a bar he was approached by a woman, but he turned them down every time. Even the one who accidentally spilled her drink on herself and asked him to help clean it off. She was a real looker, I’ll tell you, but all he did was offer her his hankie.

His wife came to my office to receive my report, and just sat there in the chair, lips pursed, when I finished reading it to her.

“You’re sure he’s not meeting anyone? No encounters with a woman at that bar he sometimes stops at?”

“You seem almost disappointed,” I said, as she confirmed the suspicions I was starting to have about her.

“It’s just…” She turned all coy and demure, then after a slight hesitation for effect added, “How much extra would it cost to make it look like he really had been seeing someone?”

“You mean falsifying my report?”

At least she had the decency to wince. “I just want to make sure I come out of this with what’s mine. You know the old saying, marry in haste, repent in leisure.”

“Or maybe you’re the one who had to sign a pre-nup, only now you’ve met someone with even more money. You want to have your cake and eat it too.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Interesting that you’d use the phrase “marry in haste, repent in leisure,” that’s exactly what your husband said when he hired me.”

I laid a series of pictures on the desk in front of her. Not only was the man she involved with older, he was richer too. “There’s another old saying that applies here. “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.” And you’ll certainly be getting your divorce.”

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