Tempest in a Pillbox


(a working title)






            She slipped her tasteful little derringer back into her sturdy brassiere and calmly turned to leave.

             Her ears were deaf to the tears and hysterics behind her as she clicked-clacked across the shiny  tile and out of the bank, holding an alligator clutch bag filled with approximately 10,000 old, unmarked, and untraceable dollars. Her pillbox hat was perched jauntily on her chignoned head, a tiny, black veil shrouded her eyes exotically -- she looked like any 43-year-old, stylish woman in 1956, doing her weekly banking.

            Only her ample bosom, heaving slightly, belied the overt calmness of her appearance.

            By the time the police cars drew up to the curb, scattering curious onlookers like pepper in a sneeze, she was safely ensconced in a neighbourhood bar, sipping a martini -- stirred with two olives -- listening to a flash news broadcast from the radio on the counter. The announcer, a metallic-sounding man recounted the details of the robbery as told to the reporters by the panicky teller. The bartender and a customer were listening intently, eyes locked firmly on the radio dial as if they might miss something if they looked away. The customer had a cigarette stuck to his bottom lip. He said,

            “That’s the third robbery this year! And all of them perpetrated by this mysterious woman,” the cigarette flipped up and down but didn’t leave his lip. The smoke curled around his head, a spectre in the dim light.

            The bartender nodded and continued wiping out a tumbler, saying,

            “That’s some dame -- and some lucky husband. She can park her pumps under my bed any time. A man’d never  have to work another day of his life with a babe like that.”

            “What would a ‘dame’ of that calibre possibly need a man for, gentlemen?” a voice coming from behind them said. It was a strong voice, clear and well-modulated, with exacting enunciation. It was a different pitch and tone from what the walls of the bar were used to absorbing, and it surprised the men by the radio, who turned, mouths gaping. It came from the lone woman in the pillbox hat sipping a martini in a booth.

            “Huh?” the man with the cigarette said, focussing blood-shot eyes on the face behind the voice. He pushed his hat farther up his forehead, revealing a look of acumen to rival Cro-Magnon man.

            She shrugged, slipping her gloves back on finger by finger, saying,

            “An obviously independent woman, financially secure as we’ve heard, seemingly with no accomplices, what makes you think she’d even want a man in her life at all. Just one extra person to look out for, to clean up after, to share her takings with, not to mention to run the risk of getting her caught. A woman in her shoes would be crazy to leave them under any man’s bed.”

            The men stared at her for a moment as she stood up, tucking the clutch bag under her arms. She thought she noticed a menacing flicker in the neanderthal’s eyes. For a moment she regretted opening her mouth: they would never have noticed her if she hadn’t spoken so forcefully. She tensed, expecting a shout of recognition or realization, but she relaxed as guffaws of laughter reverberated towards her instead.

            When he was able to regain some control, the bartender said, “What dame would be able to pull something like this off without a man behind her!” He shook his head and looked down at the bar top, wiping the smooth surface, grinning in amusement. The bald man, who lit a new cigarette with the old one and placed it in exactly the same spot on his lip said,

            “Women don’t have the stamina to pull a heist like this alone. No offense, lady.”

            “None taken,” she smiled, accepting her confirmed anonymity “And perhaps you’re right, after all. Something like this would be terribly difficult for a woman acting alone. I daresay she’d need the emotional support of a husband, not to mention the intelligence to plan the whole thing.”

            “That’s what I hear the police are figuring,” the bartender said. “Find her, and find the man who masterminded it. So they’re looking for a married woman.”

            “Good thinking on their part,” she said, slipping a coin on the counter, “It’s reassuring to know the police in this town are so alert to the possibilities. I expect it won’t be long before she and her husband are behind bars. Good day gentlemen.” She click-clacked across the wooden floor and out of the murky light into the illumination of the noonday sun.

            “Speaking of babes, for an older one, she was allright,” the Cro-magnon man said.

            “Yeah, she could park her pumps under my bed anytime,” the bartender agreed, “as long as she could cook.”


            Alexandra was not a very good wife. She was, however, a really good bank robber. One thing she soon discovered after embarking on her new career was that husbands simply got in the way of enjoying life. Since enjoying life seemed to be another really good thing, she opted to emphasize that, and divorced her husband of 10 years, Ed Whistle.

            Ed was not a very good husband, but like many husbands, he didn’t know this. What he did know, however, was that he was devoted to Alexandra, and her proclamation that she wanted a divorce was not only a shock but also downright devastating. He did not know that she had found something else to fill her life other than the expected wifely duties of cleaning, cooking, and catering. He did not even know she had been unhappy with those wifely duties. To Ed, living for him seemed the most natural and understandable activity in which Alexandra could participate. In return for her complete servitude, he provided her with a beautiful home, lots of nice clothes and jewellery, and an interesting business-related conversation every evening with dinner. He never failed to ask her how her day was as soon as he got home, and even listened with interest to her response as he changed into leisure clothes for the evening, unlike many husbands, who just demanded their nightly scotch and evening paper and tuned out their wife’s words, more interested in how their socks rolled off their feet than in how the pie crust turned out. Alexandra never complained about making pie crust; indeed, Alexandra had never made a pie in her life, so Ed did not have to listen to those kinds of complaints from her. Instead, they were able to discuss current events and stock prices and the arts. It was the idyllic home life, and he was perfectly content, and if he was content, Alexandra should have been. Unfortunately, he saw later, she wasn’t.

            Alexandra, on her part, didn’t hate Ed, she was just bored with him. His life was not her life, and try as she might, she could not make him realize this. Listening to his conquests in his day just whetted her appetite to have days like that herself. Once she even went so far as so suggest to Ed that she get a job as well. Ed responded with abject horror, the thought that his wife might be seen at a job was abhorrent to him, not to mention the fact that everyone would start to wonder what was wrong with him that Alexandra needed to work. She was unable to make him see she needed more in her life, that ministering to him was simply not enough, that she had a mind and needed to use it.

            Her decision to go into business for herself was completely unexpected. She was picking up items from a corner market, wondering if one squeezed tomatoes to test for ripeness or if one smelled them, like one would a cantaloupe. Looking up from the the tomatoes, she noticed a bank, standing like a sentinel before her, windows acting like a beacon and an idea krept into her mind and started to fester.

            Walking as if programmed towards the shining edifice, she clutched her shopping bag in front of her. Alexandra Kingsley Sharp had always liked challenges, and the biggest challenge of her life was in front of her now, huge and solid, stern and commanding. The First National Bank was either going to make or break the meaningless existence Alexandra had been calling her life.

            Desperation as her motivator, she quietly lifted her clutch bag to the counter. Sweat formed between her breasts and across her upper lip. Without knowing what she was going to say next, she prayed the clerk was stupid and cowardly enough to be bluffed.

            “May I help you, ma’am,” he said in bored tones.

            “Yes, I believe you could,” Alexandra said, lifting her shopping bag to the counter.

            “I’d like to make a withdrawal.”

            “You account book, please.”

            “I’m afraid I don’t have one.”

            His head was tilted downwards, and at this comment, he lifted his eyes, keeping his head tilted.

            “I don’t think I understand.”

            “Well, I see you obviously don’t. Let me explain it to you.”

            She pushed the purse towards him, placing her gloved hand into it at an angle. The clerk watched quizzically, lifting an eyebrow.

            “If there’s a problem, ma’am, I can call the manager.”

            It was now or never, she thought, desparately.

            “That won’t be necessary. You see, in this purse is a small, but highly effective pistol. It is loaded and cocked. In order to avoid being shot, you will place all funds at your fingertips into this shopping bag, and you will do it silently. And rest assured, young man, I am an extremely accurate marksman. When you are done, you will hand me the bag and allow me to leave before sounding the alarm. Do you understand?”

            The clerk nodded, fear crowding out his earlier disinterest.

            “And by the way, your tie is not tied correctly. I hardly think in the type of position you work in that your manager would allow you to present yourself in such a slovenly manner -- a little faster please, I’m in a hurry -- and it’s highly inconsiderate to your clients to provide service in such a state of deshabille -- thank you, is that all? Well, I shall be going now. And don’t forget, I must be out of this building before you alert the authorities, or I will shoot you where you stand.” She turned to leave, and added over her shoulder, at the mixture of astonishment and fear on the clerk’s face, “By the way, I should retie that thing if I were you before the news people get here. You don’t want to find yourself all over the front page looking driven from home.”

            And that was the start of it.


            In the lobby of Alexandra’s apartment building, the doorman, Joe, had the radio tuned to the news. He was sitting with his feet propped on the counter, his cap pushed to the back of his head exposing a rather prominent frontal lobe which shined as if freshly polished. He was a large, brawny man with inordinately hairy arms slightly longer than the average man’s, giving him a simian appearance. He wore his uniform proudly, obviously feeling his position of authority in the building was a step up from whence he originally came. He took his work seriously, no one got past him who shouldn’t, and as a result, word had gotten around about the safety of this particular building, and many single, working women had moved in. Joe took a proprietary interest in the lives of his charges, and often could be found dispensing advice on everything from love affairs to make up to jobs. When a tenant moved out, Joe could be seen waving good-bye with a discreet yet manly tear in  his eye. All Joe’s emotions were considered manly -- no one would have suggested anything else standing in front of him, eye level with his second or third brass jacket button.

            He was listening to a radio broadcast with a young lady, whom Alexandra had never seen before. She was beautiful and shapely, though heavily made up. She glanced at Alexandra quickly and without interest, then directed her attention back to the radio.

            “Busy day today, Miss Sharp?” Joe enquired politely as Alexandra left the lift.

            “Indeed, Joe,” she replied.

            “Just listening to this report of the latest bank robbery. The cops seem to feel there’s a man behind all this.”

            “No doubt they’re right.”

            “I don’t know,” Joe said, rubbing his massive forehead, “Knowing the ladies as I do, it behooves me to think there’s a possibility the gend-arms ain’t on the right track.”

            “Hey, they’ve got a description this time,” the young lady said, ssshhhing them with a wave of her exquisitely manicured  hand.

            They listened as the announcer repeated a description of the woman bank robber:

            “Repeat, about 5’7”, 130 lbs., red hair, she was wearing a blue two-piece suit, silk stockings, high-heel black pumps, and a blue pillbox hat with a small black veil. She is armed and considered dangerous . . .”

            “It won’t be long now,” Joe was saying, but Alexandra wasn’t listening, she was noticing the slow turning of the young woman’s head in her direction. She was watching the young woman raise and lower her eyes, taking in Alexandra’s height, weight, hair, clothing and finally, the blue pillbox hat, which suddenly felt as heavy and as noticeable as a lump of  modeling clay plopped on her head.








Poppy Duvet watched the cab drive off, becoming a yellow speck in the distance, only vaguely listening to Joe’s chatter. (Joe wasn’t normally one to chatter, but Poppy made him nervous). There was a little niggling something going on in Poppy’s head. It was just a tickling, a barely perceptible feather of a thought, but just enough to annoy, just enough to make one want to bat it away or catch it and have a good look at it. She was unable to endure Joe’s voice, manly though it was,  any longer so she feigned a sudden headache and Joe summoned the elevator for her, clucking over her like a mother hen (Joe was also not a clucker, but such was Poppy’s influence on him.)

In her apartment, Poppy sat down on her leaking couch, considering momentarily that her couch gave new meaning to the term “over-stuffed”. Once nestled back, with the stuffing settled, she retrieved her mental picture of the red-head in the pillbox hat gliding into the yellow cab, such a contrast in colour and yet looking so appropriate. There was something about this picture that pinched at her thoughts….something to do with the Pillbox Bandit…..and yet, how could that be, right here in her building, in plain sight of everyone, herself, Joe, old Mrs. Ratchett in 304, as nosy as she was shrewd. Poppy gnawed at her thumbnail, a nasty habit she had had all her life and which the studio used to give her an awful time about, her agent painting it with tobasco sauce (for which she subsequently developed a taste) and wrapping rubber bands around it when she wasn’t working in an effort to keep the nails looking nice.

Could the redhead and the Pillbox Bandit be one and the same?

And if so, what could Poppy do about it?

If nothing else, Poppy was an action-taking kinda gal.

Poppy Duvet had always wanted to be a star. And not just a Hollywood Star, but a Marilyn Monroe-surpassing,  Royalty-transcending kind of star. The kind of Star discussed not just at dinner, but at breakfast too. The kind of Star of whom even the Stars themselves were in awe. Poppy Duvet wanted to be the Star directors  sought out for their masterpieces, the kind tour buses scheduled on their Hollywood tours, the kind immortalized in photos and paintings and pop cans and cereal boxes. She was blonde, she was blue-eyed, she was full lipped, she was even fuller busted. Her skin was creamy and smooth, her legs long and her walk sensual. Poppy Duvet could have succeeded, but she had one flaw: smooth-talking, good-looking men. Rocco Bonati, touting himself as a Hollywood producer, was as good-looking as he was smooth talking, which is to say, holy wow!

Poppy was doomed before she’d even caught his eye, which with Poppy’s looks was only the most fleeting of moments, because Rocco Bonati, handsome and smooth talking, was nothing if not a sucker for a beautiful woman. His main flaw, because Rocco actually had many as Poppy would eventually find out, was that he was unable to commit to just one. Hence Rocco Bonati had a stable full of women he called his own and his schedule was often so full he had to find other escorts for these women to fill up their time. His time was often spent primarily finding escorts for these women, and subesequently, being a business-minded individual, he derived a method upon which he could provide himself with an income even as he provided lonely men with a date and his bevy of beauties with something to fill their empty hours away from him. Some officials in town called this prostitution, and Poppy tended to agree, but Rocco vehemently protested and always said he was simply providing a companion service for invidividuals with a need. After all, he surmised, not everyone was as confident with those of the opposite sex as he was, not everyone as handsome, nor as suave. He felt it unfortunate that there were so many men and women out there who were unable to find companionship as easily as he did. So he considered himself a humanitarian first and a businessman second.

Poppy soon decided this frame of mind was a trifle misguided, but by that time, she had also realized that another of Rocco’s flaws was his egregious temper. Thirdly, his temper was only surpassed by his possessiveness, and Poppy soon found herself attached to a violent pimp/producer, unable to secure her freedom without risking her perfect looks upon which both of her careers were founded. It was a dilemma of momentous proportions.

She resolved to achieve her independence by whatever means possible.


Detective Lieutenant Michael Snow leaned back on his chair, ran his hands through his sandy brown hair in frustration as he contemplated the city map on the wall next to him. A small central portion of it was dotted with red stickpins indicating a series of crimes -- armed robberies to be exact -- had occurred in that spot. The Pillbox Bandit, he mused, was either half ghost, able to disappear at will or one hell of a master of disguise.

            The last robbery had taken place a week and a half ago. The trail was certainly cold now, Michael knew. Everyone involved in the last one had been questioned and re-questioned, but nothing new had been discovered since the description. And the description! Michael slapped his forhead, Christ, it could be his mother and half the wives and mothers on the force! Just his luck he was assigned the case. Fresh in from a three-week vacation, his superiors decided he was ripe for the challenge. But challenges Michael did not need. He had enough dealing with his wife -- ex-wife, as she now insisted he call her since she moved out a month ago -- and the divorce. Not that her leaving wasn’t timely -- he supposed it had been a long time coming, and he’d just never recognized it. What hurt him the most was her grounds: mental cruelty. Not adultery. Not growing apart. Not the abject stress of being a policeman’s wife. Mental cruelty. She was claiming a certain malformed physical attribute of his placed undue stress on her ability to act as a partner in all areas of the relationship, especially the physical, which in turn caused her mental anguish due to the fact that she doubted her capabilities to perform as a woman in said relationship. The questionable attribute, she quoted in her legal statement, protruded grotesquely in a repulsive manner, and it was impossible to ignore it, so prominent its malformation. At any time through the normal course of the day, she continued, she would be apt to be poked or prodded by the thing, in the eye or ear for instance, creating an uncomfortable environment in which to live. Perforce, she was unable to continue to live as wife to him and requested an immediate divorce. Michael was only too happy to oblige. Notwithstanding the fact that he didn’t want his problem bandied about any more than it already was, he did not want anyone to think he was holding his wife hostage in their relationship.

            He fingered the proterburance as he considered his situation. It was firm, slim, and remarkably blemish-free. If he squinted, keeping his eyes straight ahead, he could see the fuzzy outline of it. He thought it was remarkably handsome, despite the fact that it was an anomoly in this world of regular-shaped ones. He’d been living with this all his life and had resigned himself to the fact that he would never experience freedom from the stares, comments, locker-room humour, and quickly turned heads, but he never thought he’d end up divorced due to an extended proboscis.

            His nose had given him trouble as far back as he could remember. Even farther, if his mother’s claims to a difficult birth were true. He wasn’t breach or posterior; he came forehead first and was not overly large, but his mother always recounted the experience with a shudder, remarking that she felt like he’d gouged a furrow all the way down the birth canal. On top of that, the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses in attendance once he was out in the world caused her to suspect all was not right with her bouncing bundle of joy. She was unable to see him immediately because the doctor passed him to a nurse in the manner of a football toss and he was whisked away to be cleaned up and no doubt examined for further deformities.

            When brought to her later, she reacted to his appendage as any new mother would. She said, “Holy Hannah!”

            Fortunately, a mother’s love is blind, and this didn’t cause any problem with their bonding. His father however, always suspected a secret liaison between his mother and Bob Hope, and never grew entirely comfortable with him. It seems he didn’t quite know where to look when he talked to his son. This was not unusual. Most people found their eyes drawn to the middle of his face involuntarily, and some claimed unconscious hypnotism as a result of watching his nose move as he spoke. He always thought this sounded like a promising prospect, but he never got brave enough to put it to the test.

            School brought with it the inevitable teasing and taunting and isolation. He’d be bent over his school work and someone would attempt to ring an elastic around his nose from across the room as he looked up.  Girls would avoid him at all costs; parents tried overly hard to include him. The result was as expected: Michael became lonely. He also became a champion of the underdog.

            Wherever he went, if someone was in trouble, he came to their rescue. If someone needed a hand, he was there to provide it -- his hands being entirely normal, after all. His pendulum swung the other way from what one would have suspected of an ostracized and sad little boy, and he became caring, sensitive, and helpful young man. Somehow, someway -- some say the gene which caused his over-large nose also came with extra goodness -- he became ultra-honest.

            He decided, needless to say, to become a police officer.

            A crackle came from his radio interrupting his chain of thought.

            “Calling all cars! XXX in progress at Main and Third. Respond XXX. Proceed with caution. Suspect is armed and considered dangerous.”

            Michael glanced at his map. It was in the vicinity of the previous Pillbox Bandit robberies. Good Lord, it might be her again. He jumped from his seat, grabbed his coat, and sped out the door to his car.



Chapter Three




            Alexandra grew up an only child. Right from the start, she was expected to fulfill

the role of both son and daughter. Her father, Kingsley Reginald Sharp, was a man with whom one didn’t argue, with the exception of Alexandra. In fact, Kingsley relished his debates with Alexandra and encouraged them from quite a young age.

            Kingsley Sharp adored his daughter. However, he showed his adoration in a non-traditional way, because Kingsley was a very non-traditional man. Instead of the usual pink frilly dresses and pink frilly baby dolls, Kingsley encouraged Alexandra to read the classics and appreciated art and so enfolded her in those worlds, much as a parent would enfold a beloved child in a room full of toys and treats.

            Her mother, Doreena, being a pretty non-traditional woman herself, was behind Kinglsey all the way – indeed, it was pretty hard not to be behind Kingsley in any project he undertook, and let it be understood, Alexandra was much more than a daughter, she was his ultimate project, his ultimate handiwork, his ultimate creation.

            Kingsley Sharp was an artiste; Doreena a cordon-bleu chef: and so it was that Alexandra was raised in a very liberal and opinionated household, with people who had no appreciation for the traditional man-woman roles designated by society, but every appreciation for gourmet meals. They were loving and committed parents, make no mistake, and Alexandra had every comfort any child could ever need, both physically and emotionally. And she had so much more, although her teachers felt a little differently.

            Unfortunately, her teachers felt Alexandra was being raised in an environment in which she would grow to be completely unprepared for life as a woman; and they were probably right in this assessment. However, Kingsley did not allow for that possibility, and so waged a constant war between himself and the school Alexandra attended, from elementary grades right through high school.

            At school, Alexandra’s behaviour, though exemplary in manners and etiquette, was decidedly lacking in lady-like deportment. She could always be counted on to wield a sword in school plays and she dug right into the dissection of a worm without a single squeal of horror. Spiders held no revulsion for Alexandra; her purse was as apt to be used to smack a bothersome boy as hold a lipstick.

            Alexandra Kingsley Sharp was the first girl in her class to see a boy’s penis – and she discussed it the next day quite clinically, to the dismay of the boy with whom she had experimented and the teachers who overheard the discussion. Kingsley’s reaction to this incident was a resounding “A PENIS? That’s what this is all about? A stupid tally-whacker? I thought you were calling me in here for something SERIOUS!”

            Taken aback by Kingsley’s unorthodox reaction, the poor teacher was only able to stutter and shush him, waving her hands in the air and covering her ears at his specificity. After that, any incidents involving Alexandra were dealt with in school, and her parents were never consulted in the matter, as they were no help at all, as far as the school was concerned.

            To that end, Alexandra pretty much finished school without any further discipline. Her teachers learned that her unusual behaviour was come by honestly and tried to more or less ignore any unseemly situations that arose.

            And thus, was Alexandra Kingsley Sharp brought into a world filled with small-minded, right-wing, and misogynistic humans, by free-thinking, left-wing, open-minded parents, and raised an independent, strong-minded, strong-willed woman.

            Is it any wonder she couldn’t make a decent marriage and ended up a lowly criminal to boot?

            The fact of the matter was that despite their upper class attitude, the Sharp family was actually financially depleted. They were rich in ancestral lineage and name only. They were,frankly, flat broke. Kingsley, though a well-respected artiste, was not a well-sought-after one; and Doreena’s culinary achievements, though delicious and decadent, were not enough to fill the family coffers. The bottom line was the Sharps lived well above their means, keeping the family image and estate lived in, even if a trifle dilapidated.

            Alexandra vowed to have none of that in her life. She decided quite young, as soon as she realized the truth of her parent financial situation, she would never be broke once she grew up. She pursued her post-secondary education with a gusto that brought tears to her father’s eyes, making the second mortgage and Doreena’s over-abundance of crab cakes, well worth it. Then Alexandra met Ed Whistle.

            It’s not that Ed swept her off her feet. If there was any sweeping being done, it was all on Alexandra’s part. Ed fell for her hard. No, it was Ed’s financial situation which attracted Alexandra, and that was when she had her very first really, really mercenary thought. Why not marry Ed, be rich and be intelligent? Her parents had the intelligence and the talent, but not the money; here was a way Alexandra could have both! It didn’t take her long to make the final decision. It took about as long as it took for Ed to pull out a little blue velvet box from his jacket pocket one evening at dinner, labeled Tiffany’s with a beautiful five carat ring inside for Alexandra to decide this might be a very good idea after all. What had she to lose? Her independence, for one thing. Her mind, for another.


            Alexandra stepped into the crisp air outside the bank just as the first of the police arrived on the scene. She joined a crowd of people milling off to one side, speculating about the situation. She enjoyed watching things for a moment or two, then turned and walked brusquely away from the melee. She had only walked 10 paces when she felt a tug and saw her purse dash off down the street, aided by a scruffy-looking youth in dirty, too big dungarees.

            “Oh my God!” she exclaimed, clearly seeing some not-too-pleasant implications in the situation.

            But these implications paled when she noticed a large, well-muscled man -- a police officer at the scene of the robbery -- give chase.

            “Oh my God!” she exclaimed again, clearly agitated, something she hadn’t felt in a very long time in relation to her recent bank withdrawals. She was in two minds: should she wait around and very possibly be discovered as the Pillbox Bandit? or should she go home and start packing? because surely as soon as he looked into her clutch and read her identification, which she had foolishly and without previous forethought left in her wallet, she would be discovered anyway.

            But she hadn’t time to decided because there in front of her stood the burly policeman, handing her purse to her, unopened, and saying,

            “I believe this is yours ma’am. The thief dropped it and managed to slip away.”

            Reaching for the purse, thinking thank God for Gucci catches,  she breathed, as casually as she could,

            “Thank you, officer. It was most fortunate for me that you were here to retrieve it.”

            “Not at all,” he replied, “I happened to be in the neighborhood . . .” the man’s words trailed off.

            “Well, I guess I should be going. I have appointment’s to keep,” Alexandra said, smiling her most charming smile and starting to sidle away. She had never been one to sidle before, but the situation clearly called for some way of extricating herself from the policeman’s presence, and at this very suspenseful moment, sidling was all she could think of to do.

            “May I escort you home?” he asked, suddenly, refusing to allow her to leave by sidling or otherwise.

            “I think not. A woman can’t be too careful these days, officer, even with the police.”

            “Of course,” he said, disappointed. “Well, I should take your name and phone number. In case I need it for my report,” he added.

            “Oh.  Yes. Is that really necessary?”

            “It may be. You see, I should account for why I was not attending the bank robbery.”

            “Oh, of course. The bank robbery. My.” Alexandra could see no way out of the situation. She had to give him her name and number, which she did, watching him record the information in his little notebook.

            “I’ll call you if I need a statement,” he said, officially.

            “Yes. That would be fine. I really must be going now, Officer . . . “

            “Detective Michael Snow.”

            “Detective Snow. Thank you again,” she nodded her pillbox hat in his direction and turned away, conscious of his eyes on her back as she walked, a trifle stiffly, down the street. She was concerned to note that she didn’t know whether she was more worried about his discovering her guilty secret or the intense attraction she herself felt for the handsome detective.


            Michael Snow, on the other hand, was concerned about the attraction he felt for the beautiful woman he just helped. It was a disabling experience, feeling this attracted to somebody this quickly, he mused. The attraction hit him as soon as he turned up at the curb in front of the bank and saw her watching from the crowd on the sidelines. He was immediately distracted from the situation at hand, which was why he noticed the thief  start suspiciously towards her in the first place.

            She was beautiful, but what was more, as he’d spoken to her, he noticed she was not noticing his nose. She was looking straight at his eyes while they spoke and the experience left him breathless, confused. No one, no woman had ever not noticed his nose before. He was quite unable to continue with his duties at that moment. He needed to sit quietly, maybe have a drink, and ruminate on this unusual occurrence.


            Joe the doorman was thinking at that precise moment, as well. And, he too, was thinking of a woman. Being as he worked in a building full of women, this was not unusual; however, the woman in question, and the type of thoughts he was experiencing made the act entirely different than was customary.



The End

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