Finding Florence | Bryana Thomas

 


‘Finding Florence’

Bryana Thomas

The Murder Internationale Award


Every morning was the same. Wake up hungover with barely any memory from the night before. I would leave my dank apartment and go down to Ethell’s Diner for my morning coffee and read the depressing headlines of the daily newspaper. Florence would greet me with her overcompensating smile and pour me a cup of coffee. She was stunningly beautiful, too beautiful to work in a dump like this.

Today was different, I noticed a dark bruise under her left eye, it was a distinct sign of a right hook to her face. She wasn’t smiling and barely made eye contact with me. I would get the guy that did this to her.

Working as a P.I. wasn’t the most rewarding job. Taking photo’s of cheating husbands and working for lawyer scum wasn’t my idea of fun, but it paid for the booze and the rent.

It was dark and raining the next morning, my head felt like it had been hit by a steam train, everything was fuzzy. I walked down towards the diner to get my morning coffee. The red glow from the diner’s neon sign shone through the heavy rain, a few of the bulbs were out so the neon sign read “HELL”. How fitting, I thought to myself.

There was no sign of Florence inside the diner. I asked Molly if she had seen her, but Molly told me she hadn’t shown up for work this morning. I decided to go around to the parking lot to see if her car was there. Sure enough her pink 1959 Beetle sat motionless in the parking lot. The ground underneath the car was dry, which means the car must have been parked here all night. I stood under some shelter and lit a cigarette. Where could she be?

Out the corner of my eye I noticed something pink in the dumpster. I moved in and took a closer look, there under a maggot filled old sandwich was a blood soaked pink uniform with the name ‘Florence’ stitched to the breast pocket. Shit.

My first instinct was to call the police, but I wanted to get this bastard and let my own justice be served. I searched the parking lot for any other evidence, but I couldn’t find her phone or purse.  Was this the work of the same bastard that gave her the black eye?

I stashed her bloody uniform under my jacket and headed back to my apartment. When I walked in I noticed the place had been trashed or there had been some sort of struggle. Someone has been here. Was it the same person that hurt Florence?  I noticed my passport sitting on my dresser with what looked like some type of locker key and a plane ticket that read ‘Seattle – Toronto, Gate 41, Seat 23F, 3:00pm’. Why were they there? But this was my only clue, so I raced to the airport to find the set of lockers the key belonged to. Inside the locker was a familiar suitcase. It all came rushing back to me like a tidal wave ‘I killed her’. I knew her body was in the suitcase and why I bought a plane ticket. I quickly wheeled the suitcase into the unclaimed baggage area and boarded my flight to Canada.