After The Facts
An After Coffman mystery
Copyright © 2002 by Vincent M. Lutterbie
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To my mother, my wife, and to Tracy for their faith before the fact.
To Dave and Ed for their faith after the fact.
“Might just have to depend on dumb luck,”
I muttered as the shadows began to lighten in the cramped hallway outside apartment B-23, of the Boulevard Estates apartments. The door, scarred with years of abuse and neglect, stared back at me without comment, shades of tan, white and an unidentifiable color vying for prominence as they were unappealingly peeling away from the pressboard veneer. Dumb luck was all I was having on the case to this point, but a clue to its puzzle might just be behind the door.
Please notice that I wasn’t asking for the entire puzzle, as that would be asking for far too much.
I was struggling with my conscience, as I wondered whether or not to pick the lock. I pulled a quarter out of my pocket, surprised that I still had coins of that high a denomination left. I quietly said, “Heads;” as I flipped it into the air. Of course it came down tails.
Figuring one flip was not legitimate odds, I flipped it again. Tails.
Flip…. tails. Flip….tails. Flip….heads; good enough! I took out my picks and went to work on the door. The lock yielded its secrets as easily as a 5-year-old caught with his hands in the cookie jar, ready to rat on any sibling in order to avoid his punishment. Of course the door didn’t open easily, so I had to put my shoulder into it. Knowing, however, the clientele of this elite establishment, I was fairly certain that no one had recovered yet from the previous night’s wine binges and would not be bothered by any noises I might make.