© by Susan Livengood
No love lost for this parking garage. The cold damp lair of the dread “combustis inginis” is striped with ominous shadows. I find my pepper spray, scan for movement, lace keys through my fingers, gather my bags, exit the car boldly, and stride to the security door. “I fear no evil, for I am the meanest…”
The loud voice startles me, my can of spray drops and rolls to his feet.
“Integers, you scared me!”
“Sorry. I saw you yesterday. I’m Detective Brown, everybody calls me J. Can I help you carry anything?” He scoops up the can and hands it to me. “I thought I knew everyone on the roster. Are you new? Why do you come in at this gawdawful hour? I never forget a face. Are you working dispatch?” he asks, sliding his keycard at the door. “Allow me.” The door doesn’t open. He slides his card again and the door still does not open.
“Signs and portents,” I mumble, returning the mace to one of my bags and groping to find my keycard. Why am I at the Police Station at 4:00 a.m.? Synesthesia is a short circuit between the senses. Some people hear color or taste numbers. I see the colors of numbers. Numbers are my friends, much more entertaining than people. Certainly quieter than this popinjay. My abilities and education have led me into a unique profession. I am Sharon Swain CPA, Forensic Accountant, TRACKER.
“It worked this morning,” the noisy, nosy man said.
Rigorous accounting protocols and charming shades of colors reveal trails of money that are oh, so carefully hidden. For the last few months I’ve been working at the Chancey Crossing Police station as an independent contractor, reporting directly to Lieutenant Bradley Cornwall. He’s one of the few people who values my mathematical talents and is not concerned with my eccentricities.
Let me know if you’d like to read the rest of this story. SL