Free fiction Thursday – Omens and Oracles and Eros, Oh My!

Happy Thursday before Valentine’s Day!

Just in time for the big day, private detectives Diz and Dee are back with a case involving the God of Love himself, Cupid. Here’s a sample. Follow the link at the bottom to read the whole story, which will be available for free for a week.

Omens and Oracles and Eros, Oh My
Annie Reed
Published by Thunder Valley Press
Copyright 2011 by Annie Reed

It’s not every day a Greek god walks through a girl’s front door.

My partner and I run a detective agency out of an old storefront half a mile from the ferry landing on the mainland side of Moretown Bay. The neighborhood is rundown urban with a touch of whimsical eclectic. The shop next door sells everything Asian, from manga to anime to imported CD soundtracks side by side with things like shrimp chips and lichee jellies. The masseuse across the street has her front door decorated with purple glitter and glow in the dark stars. Every time one of her customers opens that door, enough aromatherapy candle smoke escapes to engulf the neighborhood in a cloud of calm. Or passion. I’m pretty sure on those days she provides more than a simple massage. I don’t intend to find out. She seems like a nice enough woman, but I’m not that starved for affection. Not yet.

I didn’t recognize the guy who walked in my office like he owned the place, not right away, anyway. Who’d have thought you’d find a god wandering around a neighborhood like this? The sidewalk in front of our office looks like concrete accordion pleats, and I’m pretty sure a family of four is living in the panel van permanently parked at the back of the municipal lot at the end of the block.

Plus, the guy wasn’t dressed in a diaper and carting a bow and arrows. Even a detective needs at least a couple clues.

“You find lost people?” he asked, his tone more than a little upper crust.

“We do.” I resisted the urge to look at the plate glass window at the front of the office. The name on that window was D & D Investigations, and underneath: Missing Persons Are Our Specialty.

I’m Dee, one half of D & D. Diz, short for Dizzy G, is the other half. Diz is an elf. I’m not. I get along with most people. He glowers. He’s also built like The Rock, and that makes him more than a little intimidating. Which is why I’m the one who meets with potential clients. If I let Diz do the meet and greet, we’d both be begging the police department for our old jobs back.

“I need you to find someone,” the guy said.

I smiled my most competent, professional detective smile. “Have a seat.”

The guy sat, rather gingerly, in one of the two client chairs in front of my desk. The chairs were straight back, fake leather armchairs, comfortable but definitely not high rent. Nothing in our office was high rent. I had no doubt the guy’s tailored suit cost more than the monthly rent on my office-slash-apartment, and I could have eaten for a couple of weeks at the best restaurants Moretown Bay has to offer on what he must have spent on his shoes.

“Who’s missing?” I asked him.

“My youngest daughter,” he said. “Dyte.” He pronounced it DIE-tee. “She’s named after her grandmother.”

Dyte. Unusual name. Really unusual name.

Wait a minute.

I’m not a detective for nothing. The guy in my client chair had the kind of ethereal beauty that marked him as something other than a mere mortal like me. He had an angelic face, and tight little ringlet curls hugged his head. Strip away the fancy suit, slap the guy in a diaper, hand him a bow and some heart-tipped arrows, and oh yeah — he was the absolute personification of every cheesy Valentine’s Day card I’d ever gotten as a kid.

So when he said his daughter was named after her grandmother, did that mean Dyte as in Aphrodite?

Holy shit. I had an actual Greek god sitting in my client chair. I wondered where he stowed his wings.

“You’re Cupid?” I managed to choke out.

He sniffed. “Eros. I prefer Eros. Cupid is so–” He made a vague gesture with one hand. “–common.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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