National Front Disco
The Midnight Heat was empty; the cleaning crew was busy picking up the mess left by last night’s visitors. The only way Karen and Peewee had access this early in the morning was by passing themselves as private detectives hired by Janet Morales’s family, the owner Luis Santos agreed to meet them at 10:00 AM with the staff that was working on the night Janet went missing. “ The cops already talked to every of me workers and found nothing, okay, I’m not sure what you looking for.” The owner was a Puetro Rican in his mid forties, he talked a bit like Tony Montana and attended to walk with swagger. He opened the night club ten years ago, in the same exact spot of another failed night club name the National Front Disco, a joint paying homage to the Morrissey song of the same, you would still get those Morrissey look alikes walking into the club remembering the days of old.
Mr. Santos used to work as a kitchen cook in a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn. It wouldn’t be long until he hit it big with a small sum from playing the lotto. It wasn’t enough for him to retire, but just right to fulfill a dream of owning a nightclub. The club was becoming vastly known in New York, it was bringing some of Hollywood Celebes under its roof. It was a hot spot for some of the N.Y Giants Football players to blow off some steam during the off-season, most of the heavy hitters would drop a cool four-thousand in mere minutes, but despite all the glitz and glamor, Midnight Heat still stayed a club for the people.
A club for the people, but now for Peewee, as he had tried to get in on numerous occasions, only to be tossed out by the bouncers at the door, which in itself is a shocker, as all guests were welcomed with open arms, but that one particular bouncer just had it in for Peewee. All in all this was a small victory in a way; he was finally inside the club that had made his mortal enemy list, right under old people and Oprah. “We just need to double check, you know how cops are.” Peewee was dressed in a cheap worn out suit, something a private eye would wear, an upgrade to his jeans and masturbating bears shirt or have a nice day smiley face.
Karen was dressed in her nice long trench coat, and work slacks, something a fed would wear. They needed to sell themselves, fit the description, fool the untrained eye, lies were only half of the equation. “We won’t take much of your time.” She added as well.
The staff that had been up late night walked in one by one, none of them pleased to be called out this early in the morning. “pendejos de mierda.” One of the bartenders muttered, Karen dabble in Spanish, she knew it meant “ Fucking assholes.”
“lo siento por todo esto, esto sólo tomará un minuto.” Karen replied in Spanish to the bartender, the only thing he could do was smile after being embarrassed, he and the entire staff never expected them to know a single word of Spanish, they both looked like the average white person with low self-esteem. “ Like I told your friend here, I’m sorry, but this won’t take long. We just need to ask you guys a few questions on the night Janet Morales went missing.”
The twelve employees talked among themselves, a bit suspicious that people were asking questions about the case, seeing how the cops had brushed it aside. “Cops already asked questions?” One female employee said.
“Yes, we know. We’re private detectives hired by the Morales family. We’re conducting our own search.” Karen pulled a photo of Janet and passed it around the employees to get a good look at her. “We know for a fact, that this was the last place Janet was in before she vanished. We just need you guys to remember something about that night that can help us speed things up.” Karen and Peewee spent hours speaking with Janet’s friend whom they ran into outside Rusty Chicken Shack, what they got out of her was little, but Janet did match Karen’s theory of the killers taste in his victims, Janet had been a part of a broken family, no father in her life, looking to the common loser for that missing void. Now all they needed was a miracle, someone that might have seen anything.
The photo circle around the group, each one just shook their head as they laid eyes on Janet; they couldn’t come up with a single thing to help them with their case. But the look on one of the girls face in the back caught Karen’s eye. “Hon, do you have something to add?”
She was hesitant to say anything for a second. “I do remember seeing the girl.” One of her female friends grasp her arm, telling her to stay back, but the young worker just said calmly. “ It’ll be ok.”
Karen gesture the girl to come forward. “Can we have a moment alone?” she asked the owner.
“Yeah, sure thing, boss.” Mr. Santos snapped his fingers at his crew. “ Let’s head out the parking, to have a smoke.” They followed, complaining on their way out. Asking if they would get paid for showing up to this meeting. “ You fucking lucky I pays you at all, chico.”
Karen waited until they were gone to continue asking questions. “Let’s have a seat.” The three moved over to a nearby table. The female worker looked no older than nineteen, no doubt too young to be working with the nightclub. But she was eye candy, which meant more customers for the establishment. “ What’s your name?” Karen asked.
“Brittany.” She mumbled.
“Relax, kid. You’ve got nothing to fear from us, we’re not the cops.” Peewee could see the uneasiness in her face, she was scared they would ask her age and use that as a card on the table. “ Just tell us what you saw.”
Brittany took a deep breath before answering. “ It was around midnight, I saw her dancing with this guy, they were getting hot and heavy on the dance floor. It was, sensual.” She blushed a bit.
“ That’s what caught your eye in the first place?” Karen smiled, she missed being young and pure. Though at her age, Karen had lost her purity ages ago.
“ Yeah.” She giggled nervously, she played with the edge of her flower skirt, twisting it back and forth, being interrogated was a first, she had no clue what to expect.
“ How did this guy look like?” Peewee took out a small notebook from his pocket to make notes.
“ He was tall.” She said.
“ Can you tell me how tall, like six feet?” Karen nodded at the girl to answer Peewee’s question.
“ He might have been, I think he was like six-four.” She nervously scratched her leg, her voice began to prattle. “ He also had long hair.” She scratched her forehead, trying her best to dig the memory from her mind.
“ Did you see him face to face?” Karen asked.
“ I passed him by twice, but each time his hair covered his face.” She shook her head. “ I should have said something, I know, but they told me not to, I can‘t lose this job.”
Karen held her hand. “ Relax, we’ve all been there. It’s ok, you’re not in trouble.”
“ Do you remember the detective name who came to question the staff?” Peewee’s voice was soft and comforting, he didn’t want this girl to feel she had cost someone’s life, no one deserved to carry that weight on their shoulder.
“ He looked mean, small, but built..” Brittany shivered
“ Harkness.” Both Karen and Peewee said, they knew the man, they knew his face, he could be a rabid dog when he wanted to be. Jamie had once been chased by the detective himself down the streets after snapping a photo of a crime scene. Her long legs were able to out run the detective in the four block race they had.
Karen placed her hand on her shoulder, to keep her calm. “Yeah, he’s a bit of an asshole.”
The young girl laughed. “He looked like one.”
“Is there a chance any of the other staff got a good look at him? “ Peewee knew it was a reach, but this could be the golden opportunity to have a visual description on their man.
“No, they were all busy handling other customers. I’m the only one that saw her on that night.” She looked at them. “You don’t thinks she’s dead?”
Karen jumped quickly to answer. “No, there’s a good chance she‘s just doing this to give her family a scare.” It was a lie, but a lie to ease Brittany’s mind. “You know, the whole melodrama.”
“ Good,” She blew a sigh of relief. “ is there any more questions you guys want to ask?”
“ No, we’re done.” Karen borrow Peewee’s notebook, ripped a clean page, and wrote both their numbers on the paper. “ I want you to have this,” She handed Brittany the piece of paper. “ It’s our cell numbers, in case you remember anything, don’t hesitate to give us a call any time of day or night.”
“ Can I call you if I’m lonely.” She winked at Karen.
Karen just rubbed her chin. “ I can never say no, to a pretty gal, like yourself. But, seriously, don’t hesitate to call us if you remember anything new.”
“ I will.” She reassured them.
“ That’s my cell at the bottom in case, you know, you want to chat or whatever.” Peewee said to her, but was complete blown off, which added more bruises to his already battered ego. “ Let’s get going.” He told Karen, grabbing his notebook feeling like the third wheel in this girl on girl sex fantasy, kinda like the guy in a porno, you don’t want to see him, you really don’t need to, the girls are all anyone needs. “ We got a lot of busy things to do.”
They informed the owner that they were through with the investigation and thanked him for his cooperation. “ We’re just glad we could help.”
“ There’s a bouncer here…” Peewee wanted to get to the bottom of that issue.
“ We’re done.” Karen yanked him out the front door.
“ The girl was all over me,” Peewee fixed his clip on tie as they walked down the street. “ I’m telling you it’s the suit.”
It didn’t take a genius to know he was full of crap, but Karen was willing to humor him. “ I saw that, made me so jealous. ”
“ I know, I saw that, I didn’t want to say anything, but I just knew it. I could see it in your eyes.” They reached the car. Peewee rubbed the hood, a sign to show his baby that he had return to her. “ But, that’s beside the point. What do you think of the description?”
“ It’s not a lot to go on, but, it proves our charming man was at the crime scene.” Karen didn’t want to use those words, she hoped the girls were alive and well. “ A note from Lisa Donner didn‘t come down the wire until the pressure was poured on, I’m guessing we’ll see the same here.”
“ What the hell does he do with them.” Peewee was frustrated, the more he tried to figure out the why the more walls he seemed to hit, it was wearing on him. “ I just need to know…” His cell vibrated in his pocket, taking the words out of his mouth.
“ Who is it?” Karen asked as he dug into his pocket to pull it out.
“ It’s Maggie, she wants to meet.”
“ I’ve been meaning to ask does Maggie live here or just flies over for a visit?” Karen wondered, seeing how Peewee had been very hushed in the whole background of his relationship.
“ She moved to N.Y recently, has a small apartment close to Harlem. She’s working at a diner to pay for the rent.”
“ Husband’s not in favor in her living here?” Karen knew the answer to the question already.
“ He’s hoping to cut Maggie off and get her back to L.A. It’s a really fucked up situation. You mind if we head over to her place?” Peewee looked at his cell again viewing the message left by Maggie, “ Have you found her?”
Karen wasn’t going to say no, she knew Peewee had formed a bond with this woman, it’s the only reason he was going out of his way to solve this case. “ Yeah, of course. I want to ask Maggie some questions too.”