My 1996 station wagon squeaked to a stop in front of the house. It really needed a lube job, and I suspected a brake job; I did not even dream about getting my AC fixed this year. I looked down at my phone, then up at the pony express box and confirmed I was in the right place. These people had some real money; this was both one of the oldest and most expensive neighborhoods in Orlando, and somehow I had been asked to come and investigate a theft. Walking up the sidewalk I automatically added another zero to my retainer cost and hoped it would not sour the deal.
The lady of the house opened the door before I could ring the bell (I was sorry about this because I really wanted to hear the doorbell; I bet it was one of those big gonging things like the Addams Family).I followed Mrs. Lafluer into the house, which from the short tour of the digs the inside matched the outside in that it was highbrow and expensive.
“I do not believe I have ever met a Private Investigator before,” the very distinguished looking grey-haired man said, rising from the sofa and extending his hand.
“And I am sure I have never met a brain surgeon before,” I said, shaking his hand. It was warm and firm, and I wondered how many brains these fingers had touched.
“We prefer Neurosurgeons, it shows you have an open mind.”
I heard his wife groan at his joke; it was one I am sure she had heard a couple thousand times. I supposed old married couples do that, but I did not have any personal experience with it; my mother’s longest relationship was with a couch she had for fifteen years. They motioned for me to sit, and we got right down to the case.
“We had a break in last month.”
My face must have shown some shock and Mrs. Lafluer noticed. “Oh, it was an organized ring, they broke into a series of houses around here, but they were caught last week.”
“I had not heard anything about it.”
Doctor Lafluer. “It was kept quiet, and they’re still trying to recover some property.”
“No all of ours was recovered waiting to be sold.” Confusion must have shown on my face. “Everything except one item,” the doctor added.
“And what was the one item?” I asked.
“It was a collectible, a family memento really.”
I nodded and then volunteered, “Something connected to Disney?”
The couple nodded, then Mrs. Lafluer spoke up, “It would probably be easier to show you.” The three of us rose and I followed them to an upstairs hallway. I noted several framed collages of what appeared to be Disney ticket stubs, park maps and small souvenirs, all mounted tastefully behind glass.
“One is missing,” I noted motioning to a spot on the wall that was slightly discolored. The void had once held a similarly sized collection I guessed.
“Yes, that one had opening day memorabilia from Hollywood Studios.” I nodded and Dr. Lafluer continued. “My daughter was working there opening day as was our future son in law Justin. They each received opening day pins and assorted things that they both saved. When they got married, we framed it all and gave it to them as a wedding present.”
The rest of the Miles Mitchell Mysteries can be found at Smashwords – The Miles Mitchell Mysteries – a book by A.A. Forringer