Friday, February 14, 2014

What's in a Face? A Valentine WEP

Sometimes we fall in love with a face, not knowing what's behind it. A dangerous proposition. . .

She Wore Red

As he arrived at the cafe, he saw a woman look up at the door. He couldn't take his eyes off her face.The red scarf was draped around her neck, as she had told him it would be. Her black leather jacket molded to her shape.  She had called earlier, asking him to meet her at Cozmo's.

He remembered Veronica Lester, the local girl who changed her name. She used to sing at the jazz club, but left when she was offered a contract in New York. She came back a few days ago, at the same time her ex-partner at the club went missing.

"I'm Jarvis, you called me earlier today. . ."

"Yes, I hear you're good at what you do."

"I am. I'm a private investigator. You want to hire me?" Her red lipstick made her look  dangerous.

"Yes, I want you to find a friend of mine. I can't go to the police. I'm afraid he's dead."

"Tell me more.  What's your real name?"

"Veronica Lester is my legal name; years ago, I was Vickie Rasmussen."

"Well, Ms. Lester, what is your connection to this person you want me to find?"

"He was an old friend that I promised to keep watch over. If he's dead, I need to know."

"Did you say your name was Vickie?"

"Ah, the light brightens?"

"I do remember the name, and I heard you went to the big city to make a name for yourself."

"Of course, I wanted a career and a recording contract. My ex-partner was  negotiating a future booking at the jazz club, Smoke, in New York. A couple of days ago, he dropped out of sight."

"What's in it for you, if I find this guy?"

"The truth? Money. He owed me back pay, and the Smoke gig was going to be my ticket into the world of New York jazz and blues."  

"I see. How much are you paying me?"

"Enough. What do you charge?"

"That depends."

"I have cash. And, I really need your help."

This dame liked to spar. But, she had cash. If it wasn't for that face and those lips, I'd turn her down.

"I'll do it."

To be continued. . .


A Face from the Arc de Triomphe sculptures, Paris, by DG Hudson


February Theme: What's in a Face? 
A Valentine's Day excerpt

Learn more about WEP at Denise Covey's - Write Edit Publish. This is a monthly themed bloghop with the purpose of getting us to write more, share photos and poetry, and jumpstart a few short stories. Check it out, you might be intrigued. Word count is limited to 1000 words or thereabouts. My entry is once again the seed of another story.


What's your opinion on Valentine's Day? A Hallmark institution or a chance to be romantic? Do you try to read a person's face to determine if you can trust them?

Please share your thoughts in the comments. I'm always listening.


LIE TO ME - a TV show, now off the air. The show is inspired by the work of Paul Ekman, the world's foremost expert on facial expressions and a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California San Francisco, School of Medicine. Jim Roth's character in Lie to Me, a tv series, was based on Paul Ekman.

***   Denise Covey's site, info on WEP   Paul Ekman, and Facial Expression Studies