The sun rose over the treetops and pierced through the partially open slats of the bedroom blinds. Birds began chirping mercilessly outside the window, those terrible little sadists. The woman groaned and rolled on to her back, away from the rays which sliced through the still morning air. She didn't care to open her eyes to look at the clock; she didn't want to know the time. She just wanted five more minutes of sleep.
It was at that point her bladder made its presence felt, and the woman groaned again. She pushed aside the comforter and swung her bare legs over the edge of the bed and on to the floor. She hung her head and stared at her toes for a minute while she waited for the room to stop spinning around her. Her stomach lurched in protest. The woman hid behind her hair and stood and stretched. She was tall and lean, and her arms had an impressive wingspan which nearly reached the ceiling. She rolled her head and scratched her scalp, smirked when her neck popped loudly, and began to feel a little more like herself. She looked back at her bed and saw the mostly covered (and probably naked) form of Neil, one of the chief litigators at the firm where she worked. She was annoyed that she had allowed him to connive his way into her panties again, but that would have to be dealt with later. Presently she had to pee.
She walked silently down the hall to the bathroom and was just about to turn in when her phone rang. Bladder be damned because the ring tone was the one she had set for the office. She followed the tune to the dining room, where she found her Blackberry warbling away under yesterday's silk blouse, amid other clothes strewn about the room. What the hell had happened last night? Wow.
She cleared her throat and put the phone to her ear as she retraced her steps to the john, "Hello?"
"Erica, it's Denslan."
"Yeah," she croaked, "what's up?"
"Have you been watching TV this morning?"
Erica sat on the toilet and covered the mouthpiece as she relieved herself. Hoping Denslan couldn't hear her peeing on the other end, she said, a little too loud, "Uhhhhh no."
"God! You're echoing. Are you in a tunnel?"
"Nope. I'm home, in myyyyy kitchen."
"All right," Denslan said, "Cliff Notes version: guy kills a hooker two nights ago and cuts her into pieces with a machete or something. What are those ninja swords called?"
"Maybe. I don't know. Anyway, his mother calls Mr. Allenson in the middle of the goddamn night to have us represent the little nutcase."
"Ummm, no motive?"
"None. He doesn't even remember bringing her home last night. Says he was framed, or drugged, or aliens did it, who knows."
Erica finished in the bathroom as quietly as she could and left without flushing. Once in the hallway again, her brain began to clear and get rolling, "What about a history of mental illness?"
"Guy's clean as a whistle. He's never been arrested, cited, or pulled over as far as we know. The only picture we could dig up is his friggin' Senior picture from his yearbook. The guy's a mensch."
She thought about it, then asked, "Do we know he did it?"
"Oh yeah. Slam dunk. The dipshit didn't even clean the sword. We got DNA, his fingerprints, her blood all over the goddamn murder weapon. A first year Law student couldn't fuck up this conviction."
"That's where you come in. We need the best damn investigator we got. We need Erica Lanesboro, Chief Swingin' Dick around here."
Erica put her hand to her head and cursed herself for all that vodka last night at the club, and for the pulsating pounding of the dance music which continued to throb with every heartbeat inside her head.
"I've got to shower. I'll see you in forty-five."
"We'll be here."