Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Written by Sennebec

Jacob Trufelman, eh, I set tomorrows paper down so I could finish my coffee before it got cold. Dont get me wrong, cold coffee has its place, but never before lunchtime, and absolutely not until the first job of the day is out of the way. A guy in my profession has to have standards. Bourbon before the suns over the yardarm is verboten too, although there are times

After rinsing my cup and setting it just so in the strainer, I checked the paper again before folding it. I was sure I had the address memorized, but better safe than sorry when working on a tight schedule.

It was a typical early April day, clammy, overcast, with a sharp northwest breeze which made me really glad the company issued good quality windbreakers. I let the engine warm while I rummaged through my toolkit in the trunk. Yeah, I know the operations staff downtown is good, but Ive been nipped a couple times when a rookie repacked things and I wasnt in any mood for starting Monday with someone elses screw up.

According to the paper, Trufelman lived just off the interstate where it curved around Lake Auburn. If the details were correct, I had just over an hour to get there. I backed out, taking care to look left twice. You never know when one of those Kawasaki jockeys from Marble St. is going to come over the crest of that blind hill and mash his brains all over the side of my car. It has nearly happened twice, screwing up my schedule both times. Sorry if I dont sound compassionate, but when youre on a tight schedule, compassion has to take a back seat. Same reason I dont stop when I pass an accident.

Fog was rolling across all four lanes of I-77 when I reached the exit. I made certain I was going slowly as I banked into the looping curve which took me onto Lake Auburn Drive. The temperature reading on my dash said 35, but Ive seen it drop like a bad stock market this time of year. No sense tempting fate with all the moisture in the air this morning.

Trufelman answered the door almost immediately. He wasnt as old as I expected, although he had that telltale grayness which I see all too often in my line of work. Although we had never met, he was expecting me.

You know where it happens?

I nodded, again, another part of the job. Im used to it by now. Hey, if I didnt know, why the heck would I be here now, but theres no point in stating the obvious in my line of work. In the bathroom while youre toweling off after your shower. No hurry though, you have almost half an hour.

He blanched at my bluntness. Coming face to face with your own mortality does that, I guess. Even though our services are included as an employee benefit, I dont know anyone who has signed up. Im not that curious about my future.

I accepted a cup of very strong coffee, declining cream and sugar. The less I had to clean up after the fact, the happier Id be. Weak rays of sunshine were breaking through over the lake when I set my cup down and raised an eyebrow inquiringly.

This going to hurt?

Beats me, I said. Never had the pleasure, so I cant say.

I let Trufelman lead the way, waiting outside the bathroom as he showered. I opened my bag and got out the kit when I heard the water shut off. Ill give him credit, he displayed no false modesty when he stood on the bath mat and started drying off.

He uttered a nearly inaudible gasp as the towel slid from his hands. I made certain I stood clear as he crumpled to the bathroom floor. No need to create any suspicions. I pulled on a pair of disposable gloves and extended the TR20. After checking to make sure it was functioning and connected to the laptop on the front seat of my car, I went to work. Because he was naked and not terribly large, the procedure took less than five minutes. I did a quick rescan before shutting the wand off and putting it away. After rinsing the two coffee cups, I dried mine and put it back in the cupboard, leaving Trufelmans in the strainer. As soon as I closed the front door, I stripped off the gloves and stuck them in my pocket.

As I sat at my kitchen table, sipping cold coffee while adding notes to the scan report. I had to wonder why the guy had bothered to buy a policy. Truth to tell, his sin profile was among the dullest Id seen in the past couple years. Heck that grossly obese woman last Friday had taken ten times as long to clean up and there were things on her list that still made my ears burn. Now that his soul cleansing was complete, Mr. T. was gonna be on the express lane to heaven for sure.
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Trufelmans coffee... black
Trufelman's coffee... black


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