“Well, what do you know Walt, Christmas cards from the ‘rents and Viv,” her voice echoed in the empty post office atrium. Flipping open the card written in her mother’s feminine flourish, she smiled at the childish cartoon drawing that was her father’s signature.
Pauley was still adjusting to her long-dead mother resurrected, and living a life of leisure in a Moroccan villa with a crazy man who turned out to be her biological father.
She tensed, suddenly overcome by that uneasy feeling when someone is encroaching on her personal space. Unbuttoning her jacket, Pauley loosen Walther from his tooled, custom-made, Brazilian leather holster. She cocked her head just enough to catch sight of the interloper.
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Arcozelo,” Pauley said, relaxing.
Settling her .22 handgun, Pauley re-buttoned her jacket, and slipped her mail into her pocket. “Como é você hoje?”
“Muito bom, obrigado,” the older woman smiled, showing brown, tobacco-stained teeth. “You’ve been practicing. Your Portuguese is improving.”
Dressed in a light blue velour track suit, embellished with rhinestones and hand-painted beach scenes, Mrs. Arcozelo, owner of the local Bodega, was well-known in the neighborhood. Her arms were laden with holiday issues of Lillian Vernon and Finger Hut catalogs.
“Here, I already have one of these,” Mrs. Arcozelo said, handing Pauley a Hickory Farms catalog, “It has some wonderful holiday ideas.”
Thanking her, Pauley left the building, chuckling at the idea of sending Gail and Butch a gift basket of summer sausage, faux cheeses and spicy mustard.
A blast of icy, New York air brought tears to her eyes. Walking to her nearby apartment, Pauley was grateful her radiator was working for a change. Keeping her jacket on as she set the kettle for a hot cuppa tea. She pulled out Vivian’s card, showing an idyllic beach in sunny Rio de Janeiro.
Humming “Girl From Ipanema,” Pauley fanned herself with the card. “Maybe it’s time for a visit Viv.”
Trifecta, a weekly one-word prompt, challenges writers to use that word in its third definition form, using no less than 33 words or no more than 333. The week’s prompt is: Uneasy [adj. \uhn-ˈē-zē\] 3: marked by lack of ease : awkward, embarrassed
Pauley, a hired killer featured in the Summer Series, “Dead Money,” written with Lance (he of My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog), is recently returned to New York, after being drugged, kidnapped, and flown to a country with no extradition treaty with the U.S. Even though the series finale was published last week, she is hard to quit. Vivian, aka Millicent, was her last partner in crime.
If you missed the series, the link to past issues is in the top nav bar – Pauley: Dead Money.