From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she smelled like someone made up to be seen from 30 feet away.
— With apologies to Raymond Chandler
It was a very bad morning for Damon. Sleeping on a half-broken couch in his office was old hat by now, as was the morning sound of a stone gargoyle landing outside the window at dawn, or a feline deity demanding breakfast. Nothing that a bad cup of coffee or three wouldn’t fix, especially with some bourbon thrown in. Memories of the previous night were fuzzy — something involving a beautiful woman, a fist fight, and alcohol. Just like every night. Through sheer force of will, the detective managed to keep one eyelid propped open as he rolled out of bed and onto his feet, fumbling for his coffee cup.
There was an angel sitting behind his battered desk.
She looked like a goddess, radiant and attractive beyond the understanding of mortal men – brunette hair worn off the shoulder, alabaster skin without a trace of imperfection, and blue eyes as wide and alluring as the sky on a summer day. Full, red lips that were made by some deity for the very purpose of being kissed. Looking up from the newspaper she was reading, she cocked her head to one side and gave Damon a smile full of hope and trust. “Like a puppy hoping for a home,” he thought sourly. His heart still skipped once.
Then he caught a whiff of the smell. A smell he normally associated with back alleys, strays hit by a railrunner, and the city morgue on a warm day.
“Awake?” said the angel with a voice like honey and milk. She tapped the newspaper. “I was just reading the obituaries. So strange to see my name there.” She smiled again, all innocence and trust. “Thank you for agreeing to find out who killed me. It really means a lot.”
From the corner near the food bowl Ubaid piped up “And you complain about the things I drag home!”
Thus read the introduction we had received via a email: on Sunday we played a new episode of the adventures of Damon Sainte, P.I., an ensemble cast setting my husband wrote for the game Bloodshadows from West End Games. The most recent episodes were posted here and here. Our player characters this time were Damon Sainte himself (Steve P.), Cat the former pit fighter and current casino owner (Maureen), Chummie the newspaper boy with a not-so-imaginary friend (Adi), and Marycete the nurse, a worm collective animating a dead body (me). Short descriptions of all character backgrounds are found here.
Damon questioned the dead dame, Dottie. She was sure she could not have died in her sleep has the obituary claimed. And she wanted Damon to investigate.
Her last memory was of having gone to sleep in her home in the wealthiest part of town, the Diamond Districts. She lived with her parents — and their twenty-five or thirty servants and employees of the art gallery. Dottie did not work or study but she painted and entertained many suitors. No pets, no enemies. But Alfram Gallery was known as the most prestigious in Galitia. Continue reading “The Case of the Dead Client: A Damon Sainte, P.I. Adventure”