Death in HR – Part VI    Courrtney Webb

(Vi Lee, HR Manager at Hi Tech Industries, has disappeared.)

Police were still doing inquiries but, a body had never been found and they seemed to be out of leads. The mother and grandmother, however, were still heavily grieving and mourning her loss. Neither had given up hope of finding their girl.


It was a sunny Saturday morning. Sam Reynolds, PI, was at his kitchen table sipping on a mug of fresh coffee. He loved this time of year. The sunshine seemed brighter and the air more clear. Fresh breezes pushed out the sluggish, heavy air of a long summer. Neighbors were busy raking leaves; pumpkins and Jack O’Lanterns were appearing at doorways.

Sam was reviewing the latest football results when his phone rang. He glanced at the clock. 8 am was a little early for Kristie to call. She was usually a late riser on her days off. He answered it.

“Sam Reynolds.”

“Yes, Dr. Jones, of course I remember you.” Who could forget that

 dish? he wondered.

“Yes, this is a good time. Business? Let me get some paper. Just a minute.”

Sam got up and rummaged in his desk drawer and pulled out a pad and pencil.

“I’m listening.” There was conversation on the phone for several minutes.

“But certainly, the police . . ..”

“I’m not sure what I can do.”

“Good friend of yours. . . patron of the museum. I see.”

“Well . . ..”

“No, I have time. It’s just . . ..”

“Next week?” He sighed and looked at the wall calendar.

“No, I’m free. Okay, if you say so. I will drive up. If it will make her feel better. But once again, I am not sure what else I can do.”

“Okay, sure. See you on Wednesday.” Sam sighed again hung up. He gave a big stretch then got up to refill his coffee cup.

“Women, always getting into trouble,” he said out loud and went to finish his paper.

Later that day, he was having lunch with Kristie and told her about the phone call. 

“Called her a sort of Devil-Wears-Predator kind of person.” He bit into his sandwich.

Kristie laughed. “It’s Devil Wears Prada, Sam, not Predator. Do you ever watch movies at home?” She giggled again and glanced sideways at him.

He munched, unconcerned. “Of course, I watch movies. You know that. John Wayne was a fine actor and I have seen Saving Private Ryan several times.” He sipped his coke.

“Oh, yeah, right,” Kristie replied. “War, war and then more war. Real movies.”

“Damn straight.”

He munched some more and did his own sideway glancing. Kristie was his go to for all things having to do with fashion and females.

“I don’t exactly know what that means. The Devil-Wears whatever.”

“It’s a famous movie with Meryl Streep . . ..”

He looked at her quizzically.

“Oh, never mind who was in it. Basically, the boss lady, you get that part right, Boss Lady?”

He nodded agreeably.

“The Boss Lady is a super bitch who is very selfish, self-centered and runs everyone around her ragged. She is very demanding and everyone including her own family ends up hating her. This making sense?”

He nodded again, finishing his sandwich.

“In the end, she just burns through one person after another and ends up pretty much alone and lonely. Was that what Dr. Jones was talking about?”

Sam wiped his mouth with a paper napkin.

“Think so. I wasn’t sure. But now you explain it, yes, it’s starting to make sense.”

“So, this woman was killed up in San Francisco?”

“Disappeared, more like, and no body found. The police and everyone else think she’s dead. She disappeared one morning and not a word since. If it was kidnapping, they would have heard something by now. . . but. . . nothing. Nothing at all.”

“Weird,” Kristie offered.

“I know, that’s what they are all saying. Very weird. However, since she was apparently not well liked, they mostly suspect someone did her.”

“Hum,” his girlfriend replied. “You driving up there?”

“Wednesday. Got an appointment at Dr. Jones’ office. Then we will go meet with the mother and grandmother.”

“Who’s paying?”

“Grandmother. Apparently, she’s the one with the dough and also might be the last one to see the girl.”

“How old is this girl?’

“Thirty something.”

“Sam, that is not a girl.”

“Well, to me, sweetheart. She is to me.” He gave her dark blonde curls a playful tug.

“You want company?”

“You’re working. Anyway, how could the credit union get by without you darlin’? They would have to close the doors.”

Kristie shook her head. “Why do I always feel like it’s my job to keep an eye on you, Sam Reynolds?”

He gave her an innocence look with his big blues. “I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about Ma’am.” They both laughed. Kristie twinkled at Sam. At sixty-six years of age, he was still in great shape due to  long hours at the gym. However, she remembered too well the times he had been in tight spots. She knew he often depended on his friends Smith and Wesson to bail him out.

Read more of Courtney’s writing in: