Sunday, 22 January 2012

Miss Lacy and her Coco Ribbon Stockings

Jack Dimachio’s body was found face down in his New York penthouse suite. A Playtex stocking, the dowdy kind so thick my Sergeant used them to wash his car, wrapped tightly round his neck. As Sergeant Jones rolled him over, his blue eyes bulged out of his sockets, glazed with death.
Sergeant Jones whimpered. “Not a pleasant way to go that… Nice suit though.”
Jack Dimachio was the highest paid and best looking divorce lawyer in town, every rich dame looking for a good settlement and a rebound always fled to Jack. With his movie star smile and dark eyes, he’d made a killing with the ladies since he was just 21. Now, twenty years later, it looked like one of the ladies made a killing with him.
“You think he dumped some divorcee and she got her revenge Sir?” Sergeant Jones asked thoughtfully.
“Could be,” I replied, “it’s worth looking at all his previous clients, and a chat with Mrs Dimachio… who found him?”
“His last client Sir, Miss Stoke Lacy.”
“Miss? Why would a miss hire a divorce lawyer?”
“Take a wild guess.” came a husky drawl from behind me.
Stoke Lacy was no innocent. You could see from the look in her eyes, the wavy blonde hair and the perfect curves of her body. This woman was a danger to any man with a pulse.
“We were having an affair.” Stoke smiled, watching my eyes take her in as she took a drag from her cigarette, “It has to be his awful wife, she found out about us, forced him to end it.” 
As my eyes reached her legs her smile grew wider.
“I never wear Playtex stockings… What do you think I am, a housewife? I only ever wear Coco Ribbon. You can check.” She held out a shapely leg, her face mocking.
“No need Miss, you may go.” I said. Every man’s eyes following her as she sashayed out of the room.
“We need a talk with Mrs Dimachio, call her in Jones.”
“Of course sir.”

Two hours later, Mrs Dimachio peeped red rimmed eyes over her auburn fox furs, a frail slip of a thing. With her dark curls she must have been beautiful once, but now all remained was the strain of anorexia and a philandering husband.
“I never knew Miss Lacy” she sobbed bitterly, “But I know her reputation. She was poison, always carrying on with other women’s husbands and taking all their money. My Jackie, dead… it must have been her.”
“Please have a tissue Madam” I offered her a box of paper hankies as she collapsed into sobs.
This dame could barely hold up her own arm, let alone strangle a man with a stocking but I had to ask.
“What brand of stockings do you wear Mrs Dimachio?”
“What does that matter?” her voice squeaked, “Am I suspect?”
“We need to rule it out Mrs Dimachio.”
“Playtex, as does virtually every woman in New York. You’ll be a long time finding your murderer if all you do is check their stockings.” She simpered.
“That’ll do for today Mrs Dimachio.” I sighed.
As she left Jones came bustling in. “Sir, Lacy checks out, only ever buys stockings from Coco Ribbon. Here’s a list of Dimachio’s previous clients.”
“Good Jones, now get back to work.” I said gruffly, waving him away.
I slowly scanned the list, a sea of desperate, fed up housewives. Dowdy Playtex stocking after dowdy Playtex stocking. It could be any dame on here, but this wasn’t a crime of passion, this wasn’t some woman scorned, or even a vengeful ex-husband. Tests results showed not a single imprint on the stocking. Whoever did this, planned it.  I scanned down to the bottom of the client list… Miss Stoke Lacy. The woman needed another visit.

Turning into the darkened driveway I clasped my gun, I didn’t trust this dame one bit. Striding up to black door I slammed on the enormous brass Lionhead doorknocker.
“Police! I need to speak with Miss Lacy.” I barked.
“Why come in,” came a familiar husky drawl as the door opened
She looked ravishing, in a long black figure hugging dress. Her chest dripping with diamonds. “Do you like them” she smiled, her rich red talons fingering the jewels, “a goodbye present from Dimachio.”
“Where are you going?” I demanded.
“A gala opening.” She smiled.
“Seeming to be holding up without your lover aren’t you.”
She sighed. “I didn’t kill Dimachio.”
“You found him,” I hissed, “he dumped you for his wife, Did you use a Playtex stocking to frame her?” 
“Listen, there are things about Dimachio’s missus you don’t know.” Stoke snapped, “Maybe it’s worth checking her bastard child.”
She stared at me, eyebrows raised. A black Saab pulled in the driveway. Stalking away, she called “Now, if you excuse me, I have a gala opening, some of us have lives you know.”

Staring at the office ceiling, the clock ticked past 9pm. I thought of my ex-wife Jo sitting at home with her new husband.
According to the records Jones’ checked, Mrs Dimachio didn’t have an illegitimate child. I had zip. Nothing concrete on the mistress. Nothing on the wife. They both had motive. Lacy had just been dumped, she certainly had the nerve. The wife had been humiliated by his affairs for years, she wore the right stockings – but not the strength to hold them.
Throwing my pen down I saw Jones slumped at his desk.
“Come on” I grabbed his shoulder, “time to head home.”
Then I saw it crumbled in the bin, Mrs Dimachio’s family tree… she had an illegitimate child alright. Someone who certainly used Playtex stockings.

As the door creaked open, I grimaced at Mrs Dimachio.
“Can I come in?” I asked.
“How is the case?” she asked, her lips pursed.
“Couldn’t stand the affairs? Didn’t have the strength to strangle him yourself so you got your son to do it?” I growled.
Suddenly I felt the tip of a steel barrel pushed into my skull. “Not quite,” laughed Sergeant Jones.
Slowly I turned my head to see Jones staring at me, his eyes menacing. Reaching for my gun I flinched, it wasn’t in my holster, it was already in Jones’ hands. 
“I never introduced you to my mum did I sir?” he smiled.
I turned to see Mrs Dimachio, tears falling down her cheeks.
“Jones, what have you done?” I asked.  
Jones grinned, his eyes bulging, “Dimachio was my step father –  not that he accepted me, but I was still in the Will, mum begged you see.”
He twisted the gun further into my temple. “I figured I could wait it out, he drank too much, surely living so fast would kill him off. But when Stoke Lacy came along,” he sighed, anger furrowed his brow, “he made a fool of himself for her. It was hell having to watch that whore writhe her way into his will. He wanted to divorce mum and marry Lacy, leave her my entire inheritance.”
“But Dimachio dumped Lacy.” I said.
Jones sighed, “Lacy dumped Dimachio. He gave her mum’s diamonds to wear to the gala in a bid to get her back. It was only a matter of time before my five million would be lining her pockets.” He laughed, “My years on the force weren’t wasted, I knew a printless stocking would make you think it was some anonymous dame.”
Calmly, he pulled back the safety. I squared my shoulders, waiting for the moment to strike.
Out of nowhere a shot fired into the air, whipping his hand away, in one movement I grabbed his shoulder, barging him roughly to the floor.
“Darling!” Mrs Dimachio screamed, rushing over to her bleeding son.
Whirling round I saw her, a swirl of blonde hair emerging from the shadows.
“Good work.” She drawled, her eyes triumphant, “Well, better get on doing your job, arrest the criminals.”
I nodded and pulled out my handcuffs.
“Dimachio didn’t just give me diamonds you know,” she continued. “He was so desperate to get me back he had already changed his Will.”
Moments later she was gone. After scoring five million, Stoke Lacy and her Coco Ribbon stockings sashayed into the night.

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