An Unexpected Call

It was a dark and stormy night when I got the call. My name’s Jack, I’m a private investigator in the city, and things have been slow lately. Business was slow, my fridge was empty, and I was just about to call it a night when my phone rang.

“Hello?” I answered gruffly, wondering who could be calling at this hour.

“Um, hi,” said a nervous female voice on the other end. “My name is Amy. I got your number from a friend. I need your help.”

She went on to explain that her sister Jenny had gone missing three days ago. The police weren’t taking it seriously and thought she just ran off with some friends. But Amy was convinced something bad had happened.

“Jenny wouldn’t just leave without telling me,” Amy pleaded. “She tells me everything. And she missed an important interview yesterday that she was prepping for all week. It’s not like her to just disappear.”

I agreed to take the case. The first thing I did was go check out Jenny’s apartment. The place was tidy, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. No signs of struggle or forced entry. I searched for clues but came up empty. As I was leaving, I noticed a small bouquet of red roses that had arrived that day. The card simply said “Thinking of You.” No name. Strange, I thought.

Next, I talked to Jenny’s neighbors, classmates, coworkers. Everyone said she seemed totally normal in the days leading up to her disappearance. She was stressed about her upcoming interview, but excited too. Her boss said Jenny had left to meet friends the night she went missing. None of her friends admitted to seeing her that night, though. Another dead end.

I went to the police station to look at the files and get their take. They stuck by their story – no evidence of foul play, likely just a case of a young woman running off somewhere. I wasn’t convinced. On my way out, I bumped into a young cop named James. He avoided eye contact with me and seemed anxious for me to leave. I made a mental note – something seemed off about that guy.

A few days went by with no breaks in the case. Amy was getting more worried by the day. Then I got an anonymous email with just an address. 8910 Elm Street. I grabbed my coat and headed over. It looked like an abandoned warehouse. As I entered the dimly lit building, the hairs on my neck stood up. Something wasn’t right here.

Just then, I heard a loud crash behind me. I whipped around to see a shadowy figure rushing towards me. I felt a sharp pain in the back of my head. Then everything faded to black.

When I came to, I was tied tightly to a chair. Across from me was none other than Officer James.

“Why?” I asked hoarsely.

He laughed. “Because she turned me down, that’s why! Do you know how that feels?”

Then it hit me. James must have asked Jenny out and didn’t take kindly to rejection. We were in serious trouble. We had to get out of there. But first, I had to find out where Jenny was.

“Where is she? What did you do?” I demanded.

“Oh, she got what was coming to her.” James sneered. “But you won’t have to wonder too much longer.”

He pulled out a gun and aimed it at me. Just then I heard sirens approaching. James looked panicked, giving me just enough time to break free from the ropes binding me. We struggled and I managed to get the gun from him.

Minutes later, a whole swarm of police burst through the warehouse doors. Apparently Amy had gotten worried and asked them to track my phone. The cops got there just in the nick of time.

They found Jenny tied up but alive in a back room. And they took Officer James into custody. Turns out he had been harassing Jenny for months. She finally reported him to their superiors which made him snap.

In the end, Jenny was safely returned home. James awaits trial for kidnapping and attempted murder. And I’m still a small-time PI, but with one incredible story to tell over drinks. All in a day’s work, I suppose. But I’m sure glad I took Amy’s case when I did. Something told me that girl needed my help. And it turns out, I needed hers too that night. Guess that’s how some partnerships start – thrown together by chance, bonded by surviving a storm. This job may be lonely sometimes, but for once, I sure wasn’t glad to be alone that dark and stormy night.