Character Obscura

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

Everett Sleepwater

There I was, perched above what was soon to become (yet another) crime scene I had no part in creating but that I no doubt fit the description for. I peered down at tonight’s pursuers and sized them up. Mabel was a familiar face. Though I’d never been mouse to her cat, you tend to remember the one Black private eye in the city. The journalist type tailing her was clearly new. The camel coat may as well have been a reflector vest. Rookie.


I stepped back from the railing I’d been leaning on and receded into the shadows. I had no intentions on revealing myself to the pair two floors below just yet but I did want to admire the pristine aftermath of whomever actually ran the diamond joint. Mabel eventually dragged her press liaison away which allowed me to peruse through the jewelry studio. Most of the shop was unsullied but the safe had been relieved of its contents. Whichever gem they were hiding was on its way to the fence by now. I departed with the same cat-like finesse I entered with and meandered around the area. I was almost hoping for trouble.

The sparsely lit alleys were choked into an uneasy silence by shadows. My familiarity with the night has never dulled my senses. Anyone could be lurking and I was only ever a few steps from joining whatever uncertainty lives in the dark. I stopped for a smoke break before wandering over to the parkade.

Fuck! The nosey pair from the shop had spotted me. I heard ‘em call out as I slinked down the steps and disappeared into the darkness below. Time to put some distance between me and my last known location. This was shaping up to be an interesting night.

Mabel Middleton Moss

Ain’t many Black people in this profession... even fewer women. I got called in to poke around what I was told to be a jewel heist. This was far from my expertise but I’d been slowly losing the ability to sleep when it was dark out. The better you are at this job, the more dangerous every moment becomes. Nobody likes being caught so I just stayed up.


The store was an ice box. The windows and display cases were all fogged up but otherwise untouched. Neither the front gate, nor the door behind it, had been damaged which was also odd seeing as it was the only way in. I gloved up and poked around the store a bit. Until seeing the bathroom I was having a hard time believing this was done by burglars. See, store fronts like this are rarely designed to be jewelry stores so the floor plans are far from secure. Owners tend to rely on their safes and alarm systems for protection. This one shared bathroom walls with the gift shop next door and the crew responsible sawed their way through with little issue.

Now, I left through the front door only to be ambushed by someone from the local paper. She had a few questions and a couple leads apparently. I was in a good mood so I let her follow me to my car. She’d seen someone looking down at the store earlier from the railings across the street. Even had a picture of him. He was in an ill fitting suit with a fedora and bone structure you couldn’t miss. She hesitated to mention he was Black. I had a good idea of who she’d seen. This wasn‘t his crime. But maybe he knew somethin'. Regardless, I wouldn’t be chasing this man around with the only thing tyin' him to the scene being an eyewitness account from an excitable journalist.


Louise Liú


After our run in with the suspicious figure looming over the jewellery store Mabel and I went out to the road to continue exchanging notes. She mentioned the safe was opened with one precise drill hole and that she was under the impression that the A/C was cranked up to help cool the drill. This was, without a doubt, an incredibly professional job and further investigation of the crime scene was unlikely to turn up any compelling evidence pointing towards suspects unless we could establish some kind of pattern with other heists.


Mabel was in the middle of a sentence when I spotted him again and took off in his direction. Though I could hardly call this a chase.

He vanished into an alley as soon as I’d gotten up to speed. I’d dropped my camera and had to go back for it anyway. Mabel hadn’t even bothered running. I wonder why.


We went to one of the local haunts where a few of my sources frequented to get the scoop on this character. Given the less than legal business ventures that were

coordinated through this bar, it was a neutral zone. Must have been an hour or two before I noticed him sidling out the door. I followed him down the steps hoping he wouldn’t notice but a chase broke out.

I knew I had no chance of catching him in a footrace but before I had the chance to go back inside for Mabel, he just stopped. I watched him lower his head whilst raising his hand to rub his temples. He looked so... disappointed. He’d hardly been caught so I was frozen in my surprise. Mabel stepped out with the same disappointed expression written across her face. Without exchanging so much as a word, we both followed Mabel to the docks. What had just happened?


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