A Sam Phelps story: The Case Begins

It was cold, it was dark, and it was humid.

Another unbearable winter morning on this godforsaken island. Moments like these made me question my choice to relocate here. What the hell had I been thinking? Sexy women in bikinis, long summer nights, drinking fancy cocktails with the umbrellas in them… It was good while it lasted but nothing ever lasts and now winter misery was here and work was slow.

I was just about to start my third game of Spider Solitaire when she walked into my office like some kind of movie star. She had legs from here to the moon and eyes that could cut ice. She looked over the room and then looked over me. I sat there, like a fool, one hand hovering over the table with the card I was about to flip over, the other hand wedged between the third and fourth buttons in my shirt, scratching at my navel.

“Are you Phelps,” she asked, with that husky voice, like an Austrian import movie star. Her eyes flashed as she waited for me to answer.

“Yeah,” I said, managing to free my hand from inside my shirt. A button popped free and skidded across the desk. Her eyes followed its descent to the floor.

“How can I help you?” I said.

“I need your services.”

Her accent wasn’t local, but she wasn’t English either. Where the hell was she from. The continent?

“What can I do you for?”

“Someone has stolen my voice.”

As soon as she said it, I should have known that she was bad news. What the hell was I thinking? I should have told her to buy some cough drops and go see a shrink, and finished that game of Spider Solitaire. I was pretty close to winning, too.

Instead, I smirked and leaned back in my chair. “I can hear you just fine, Ms…?”

“Ms Similovic.” She offered her hand. Black gloves with a ring around her middle finger.

“You do not understand me, Mr Phelps. I am an opera singer and someone has stolen my voice. I can no longer perform.”

I rubbed my forehead. “So, you don’t think you should go see a doctor, or someone better qualified?”

“No, you are the man I need to see. You are the only private investigator on the island, are you not?”

“That’s correct.”

“Then allow me to explain.”

“By all means…”

When she was done, I knew that this was going to be one case I’d never forget.

To be continued…