Image By: Silberius (Edouard Noisette) on DeviantArt
Mistaken Identity Pt. 1
By: Robin Gagnon
Victor Knight sighed, as he went over the many portfolios of all the cases he had been hired to investigate. Several of them were closed, but he still had the daunting task of writing the reports for each one. He couldn’t complain too much, though, because this had been a dream job of his since he was a kid. Being a private investigator meant he could help people, no matter who they were, figure out what had happened to their loves ones when the police couldn’t give them answers. Today just happened to be a very stressful day.
Suddenly, a knock came at the door and a young woman, around the age of thirty, with dark brown hair and a round figure walked in. She looked emotionally distressed, like most people who walked through his door, and Victor got up to pull out one of the three chairs in front of his desk for her to sit down.
“What can I help you with?” Victor responded immediately, getting right down to business.
“It’s my husband,” the woman answered immediately. “He has gone missing and the police won’t tell me if they’re even looking for him. All they keep saying is that it’s part of a larger investigation.”
The woman went on to describe her husband and give Victor pictures of him. He was a decent looking man, also in his thirties, and had a beer gut with an unkempt beard. She went on to tell him that she feared the police weren’t searching for him because of his criminal background.
“He’s changed,” she cried to him. “Ever since he married me, he’s always been on the right side of the law.”
After hearing her story and accepting her money, Victor got to work and removed all the old files from his desk. The lady, by the name of Mrs. Duncan, had provided him with an extensive list about everything she could remember about her husband; old acquaintances names, his favourite places to hang out, details about his criminal background and the very outfit he had been wearing when he had disappeared.
Going over the details, he found out that some of his old contacts were in a biker gang, whom also liked to hang out at the same bar as Mr. Duncan. Victor decided that it was best if he started there first.
Visiting the bar late that Friday night, Victor walked in wearing torn up jeans and a leather jacket with a red bandana around his head. Just as he had hoped, Mr. Duncan’s old biker gang was there too and they had already drank way too much.
“Well hello there, newbie,” one of the biker’s slurred, noticing Victor’s attire. “Looks like we got a new biker in town.”
Victor ordered a glass of whiskey and quickly responded, “I was just passing through.”
“No worries, bud,” the man with a blond, handle bar mustache and a long beard replied with a slap on Victor’s back. “We don’t bite. It’s always nice to see a fellow biker. What kind of ride you got?”
“It’s a Harley-Davidson Softail Heritage Classic,” Victor responded, pointing towards the door behind him. “In black and silver.”
The man whistled in approval, “That’s one nice bike. Mind if I take it for a spin?”
Victor let his shoulders slump forward in mock depression and sighed, “Maybe after a drink. I’m not in the mood to ride.”
“What?” the man exclaimed, looking at Victor in shock. “How can you not be in the mood to ride? It’s such a beautiful night to be riding through the Nevada desert.”
“Not tonight,” Victor mumbled, taking a swig from his glass. “My buddy went missing a few days ago and the cops don’t want to seem to do anything about it.”
“Awe, man, I’m sorry,” the guy apologized, with another slap on the back. “What’s his name? Maybe the boy’s have seen him.”
“Jesse Duncan,” Victor replied, looking solemnly down at the bar for effect. “He’s an old buddy of mine.”
“Jesse’s missing?” the man replied in shock. “We used to be good friends with him before he went and got a missus. We haven’t seen him in a while and figured he was staying at home with her. We never went lookin’ at his house, though, because he didn’t want her finding out that we were still hanging around him.”
Victor nodded at this new information when, all of a sudden, a cold desert breeze crawled up his back. He turned in his stool to come face to face with a man in dark sunglasses and a scar up the right side of his face. One of his ears was pierced with a diamond stud and a red bandana wrapped around his shaggy brown hair. His beard was long and it was obvious that Victor was about to meet the biker’s ring leader.
“Funny, that you’d be asking where Jesse is,” he replied in a deep and menacing voice, as Victor looked nervously at his muscular and hairy arms that were covered in tattoos. “Last I seen ’em, he was talking to you.”
A confused expression crossed Victor’s face as he asked, “What are you talking about?”
“And that’s one sad story you thought up,” the man continued, ignoring Victor’s question. “You should know that I hate liars.”
Getting up off of his chair to face the burly man, Victor argued, “I didn’t lie.”
“Then where’s your amazing Harley Davidson,” the man asked, pointing out the door he had just walked through. “Cause I ain’t seen it.”
Panicking, Victor grabbed the rest of his whiskey and threw it in the biker’s face, before dodging around him and exiting out the door. He sprinted around to the back of the building and across the desert to his car, which he had purposely parked far away out of sight. Sending desert dust and sand flying in the air, he sped off into the night.
Once Victor had gotten back to his office, he threw down his leather jacket on the couch and ran his hands frustratingly through his hair. What had just happened back there? He wasn’t entirely sure, but there was one question that stood out in his mind the most; why had the biker told him that he was the last one to be seen with Mr. Duncan? Victor had never even heard of the man until today.
Perhaps he had just been trying to mess with his head or had confused him with someone else, he thought, flopping down on the couch next to his leather jacket. Regardless, now that the bikers were onto him, this job had just become increasingly more dangerous and stressful.
Sighing, he looked at his watch and saw that it was already late. Getting back up off of the couch, he decided that it was best for him to continue the investigation tomorrow morning. Turning off the lights and locking the door, many unanswered questions swirled through Victor’s head. Despite the confusion, one thing was clear to him; he would figure out who really kidnapped Mr. Duncan and clear his name.