FRAMED: Episode 4, "Frame Boy"


Austin laid the picture of Poopie face down. Poopie, seven months old. The woman dated her dog’s picture like a mother would a child, and her ‘s’ had a special little curve at the end. Austin shook his head. If being a cop had taught him anything it’s that there were all kinds in the world, and Mrs. Von Doren was definitely one of a kind.
His stomach growled, reminding him it was time to take a break. He stared at his watch. Noon. What did Mrs. Frame Shop do for lunch?
“Hey, Violet? You hungry?” he asked, measuring the picture. Measure twice, cut once, his old boss always said.
“No. I’m fine. Besides, Kim will bring something over. She always does.”
“You mind if I take a lunch break then?” He scribbled the numbers down on a scratch piece of paper.
“Sure. Go head. I can handle it.”
“Thanks.” He felt bad leaving her alone with her arm, but he had to start his investigation. She said her friend would be here soon, so he wasn’t really abandoning her. “Do you know anything about the art shop next door?”
“No.” Violet’s eagle eyes honed in on him. “Why do you ask?”
“No reason. I’ve been thinking about taking a class while I’m in town.”
“You like art?” She raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah.” He placed the pencil down on the table. “I’ve dabbled with a paint brush a time or two.”
“Really? You don’t look like the artistic type to me.”
“And what type do I look like?”  He deadpanned her with his own best eagle eye.
 “I…” Her cheeks reddened. Nice to know he could get a rise out of her. “I don’t know much about the place, but some strange characters go in and out of there. My advice is stay away.” Violet resumed the path to her office.
His gaze trailed down, assessing her as she walked. Her hair hung midway down her back in soft curls, and she had a slight bounce in her step that caused his gaze to travel to her bottom. It had a nice roundness to it that was for sure. One he wasn’t used to in the women he’d dated. Her hurried his gaze down to her light pink sneakers, chastising himself for staring at her. But, that was his job, right? Assessing people. As a cop he had to be aware of his surroundings at all times. Right? His gaze traveled back up her legs, as she stopped, and turned back around.
He quickly averted his eyes to the scratch piece of paper he wrote the measurements on before he was busted for staring up his boss.
“Come to think of it, you never told me what it is that you do. When Danny recommended you, he said you were between jobs, so I never thought to get you to fill out an application.”
An application. He wondered when this would come up.
“I normally do contract work. Besides.” He shrugged. “I’m only staying around a few weeks. Really no need for an application.”
“What kind of contract work? For whom?”
He should have known that answer wouldn’t please her.

Read the entire installment in the November 2019 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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