Remember that we had to write a story of exactly 200 words, and include all of these words: blackmail, cumbersome, discombobulated, edacious, intrigue, namby-pamby, poppycock, procrastinate, tawdry, vicarious. Here was my response.
Cameron let himself procrastinate while watching his new client leave. She had a dancer’s body, a tawdry wardrobe, and a massive bank account. His kind of woman. The kind that could leave a man too discombobulated to do his job.
He blinked, and picked up the file she’d left behind. The case had little intrigue. She’d cheated on her husband, and now some edacious vulture had photographs good enough for blackmail.
She’d fired the previous PI for his lack of progress and (her words) “namby-pamby” approach to her case. She used several nasty phrases to describe him, but beneath her anger still seemed unsure when she told Cameron, “He said I should pay the bastards what they want.”
“Poppycock!” Cameron snapped. He’d made a promise to stop swearing in front of ladies, which was proving to be a vocabulary challenge.
The case notes were cumbersome and of little value. This other guy had clocked enough hours for a new plasma TV, but clearly had scant talent as a PI. A good PI has to be more than a good observer. The best PI gets vicarious thrills from the low-lifes he investigates.
And sometimes, from his clients too. Cameron blinked again.
Well it won't win a Pulitzer, but it was fun to write! And I won the contest, which is just too cool because there were really fun entries in the mix.