CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Word Count: 1148
The man’s fingers strummed against the guitar as he sat on the seat, calling up the music of the song he was playing, in his brain. It was one of those rare moments for Conrad Ecklie, one where he was somewhere where he didn’t want to be, doing something he didn’t want to do, but was lost in it all the same. He was almost totally lost in the music produced by his fingers, almost, but, since he wasn’t, a part of his mind still itched, still told him to be annoyed. As a result, he did not smile, just played the guitar with an occasional tap of his foot, so he could keep time.
The Las Vegas lab occasionally did things like this, things like, parties. People contributed, brought chips and dips, some cakes, and maybe some tiny quiches or sausage rolls, all in the name of good nature and giving. Then they pushed the tables to one side, and set the room up so they could talk and mingle, and, maybe, even, in their resplendent silliness, dance. This party, was for, someone, he knew that much, however, he didn’t know, or more specifically, had forgotten, who, they were throwing it for. Maybe some really old Detective was retiring, maybe some middle aged Lab Tech was going on long service leave, maybe someone else was having a baby, or, maybe, someone was getting married. He wasn’t really sure, and, in the all honest truth, he really didn’t give a damn. He had been pushed and persuaded to be the musical entertainment for part of the evening, at the very least, because, apparently, the y couldn’t find anyone else at such short notice. He was such a good player, and it would be so kind of him if he could just help them out, the man had hear a various assortment of pleading over the past few days. Eventually, knowing that he would never get any rest until he did what they asked, the man acted out a giving on, a caving on, of his adherence to being unsociable, and they roped him into it immediately.
The moment the Dayshift Supervisor sat down on the seat though, tuned up his guitar, and began to play, the annoyance was still there, oh how vibrantly it was there, but it was mixed thoroughly with this lightening, pacifying, madness. The beat filled his hands, the music filled his head, and, suddenly, he was off, quietening himself in the memories of learning those initial songs. No one noticed as he stopped, selected a song from those stored inside his head, and cringed as he began to play. He remembered this song, he had remembered what it was about before he had started playing it, but, he had begun to strum it out anyway.
Closing his eyes until they were barely slits, Ecklie continued to play as his mind drifted back into the land of memories. A sunny day, a grassy field with some trees, and yellow flowers, something that was such a rarity outside the inner city of Las Vegas, if anywhere at all. A picnic, a picnic basket, some strawberries and chocolate, some champagne, there were chicken and salad sandwiches, and soy sauce laden beef stir fry. Michelle had set the picnic blanket down, spread it out, and sat down, smiling at him as she patted a place beside where she had tucked her flower patterned sun dress under legs. He had put down the picnic basket, sat down next to her, and kissed her suddenly, pushing her back, until she lay flat on her, back. Smiling and resting just slightly on top of her, oh so gently, he ran his hand up under the bottom of her dress, stroking her thigh. A deep rumbling laugh had echoed out from his throat, and into hers, and Michelle giggled, broke the joining of his lips, and kissed his nose. They hugged, and, with the fervent looks of naughty schoolchildren out for a wild romp in the woods, sat up and smoothed out their clothing. Appreciating the warmth that fell down from the sun, onto parts of their exposed skin that were not covered by the gentle presence of the shadows of a nearby tree, they started their lunch soon after, but not before a quick kiss and a cuddle, of course.
Halfway through their lunch, Ecklie watched an idle bird flickering from tree branch to tree branch in the summer warmth, and smiled as Michelle rested her head against his shoulder while delicately taking a bit out of a sandwich. Moving to the right, suddenly, he saw the woman sit up with a puzzled look painted across her face, until, leaning over, he picked over the guitar that he had brought with him. Unzipping it, the man pulled out the instrument, and she smiled, her pearly white teeth showing, framed by lipstick red lips, her whole face upturned in happy, jubilant, surprise, at such a promise of a gift, such as a song. Stuck for a song, though, Ecklie looked to Michelle, silently questioning her, until she opened her mouth and began to sing, a soft song, a nightingale sweet song, something so gentle his whole body shivered, and something so beautiful, his whole body hummed with brilliant jubilation. Letting her sing it through one time, he joined in with the guitar balanced across his lap, as she began a second time, and, soon enough, they were creating a beautiful song all of their own, his notes mixing with her words, his melody mixing with her tune. And, together, they raced towards the night time stars that would surely approach if they stayed in that field for too long. He kissed her, he hugged her, he held her tight, he kept her safe.
Their song, the briefest, rarest, of smiles, flickered across the man’s face as his fingers, now decades older, played the familiar tune, the oh, so, dreadfully, familiar tune, on his guitar. It was the same guitar, too, the same, exact, very one, that she had sung to, all those years ago. Lost in the music, and ignoring the party, he finished the tune, cleared his throat as quietly as he could, and started the same song up again. Introduction finished, he began to sing, quietly, softly, just to himself, to the astounded stares of the other party goers, who, aside from listening to the background music, were largely ignorant of his presence. Inside, he smiled, but, outside, he just sung, and frowned coldly, grimacing at the enduring happiness, the lightening, pacifying madness, finally ebbing away. With it gone, it was so much so, that, when the last note had left his lips and finished his course, he got up, collected his things, and walked briskly out of the room, away to his normal life, his normal frame of mind.