The monotone buildings only looked duller underneath the overcast sky. Today the rain was no heavier than yesterday’s. Then beauty strode out of the dampening mist. Her aurora matched that of the street, with its darkly lit corners. She stood still. Across her path was a tiny, decrepit building. With no second thought or emotion, she walked over the puddle ridden streets towards the sorry structure.
Inside was a tight hallway, roaches could be spotted in one area and cracks in another. Not exactly the ideal place for a professional, but neglect was a protecting ally. She stopped to the side of a thin wooden door. Her face once filled with determination turned confused.
“Etavirp evitceted?” After taking a closer look of the painted words she rolled her eyes, hoping his incompetence at decorating wouldn't affect his skills at investigating. She knocked on the hard door with her delicate hand.
The door gently opened and the smell of hot air and smoke ran into her, irritating her nose as she tried to brush the smell away. The room revealed not one, but two men. She looked to her right at the man who opened the door. His exceedingly clean appearance stood out in contrast compared to the entire room and especially the man sitting in the chair across her way. His waist coat was neatly pressed and bearded chin well groomed. But despite his friendly appearance he eyed her with skepticism.
“You’re the woman who called?” He inquired quietly.
“Yes.” She nodded politely. “Are you..?” Before she had a chance to finish the sentence she was interrupted by his gesture of pointing to the gentleman in the chair. She walked in and oddly eyed the lax man who paid no attention to her.
He was too busy trying to make smoke rings with his cigarette. His feet were rudely placed on the desk and the scuff marks on the desktop indicated that it was his usual habit.
She sat down in the chair across from him. She tried hard to hide her irritation of him ignoring her. In a subtle but demanding voice she spoke in confidence. “You’re Anakin…?”
He raised his hand to stop her. “I’m just the investigator.” He spoke coolly between puffs.
She looked down and huffed under her breath and noted only two cigarettes in his tray. “I’m Padme.” She rebuffed.
The gentleman behind her then spoke up again “We got your call three hours ago, who ever it was that made it difficult for you to leave the house is the one you came to talk to us about. So you better tell us his name too.”
She raised her brow in awe and shook her head. “Now wait? You assume I’m having husband troubles.”
“No.” The smoking investigator puffed nonchalantly. “You’re having fiancé troubles, and I take it you object?”
She gave him a cold stare and then sighed. “His names Clovis, he’s my family’s intended suitor. I've been having trouble with him lately.”
The bearded man behind her let go of the closed door handle. “We’re not hit-men.” He brazenly stated.
“Well, it will cost extra.” Anakin shrugged.
“It’s not that.” She continued. “He’s been acting different. He knows that I don’t want to marry him and I don’t think he accepts that.” She sighed again.
“You want us to beat the message into him?” He asked.
Then man behind them rolled his eyes and stated back sarcastically to himself. “That will also cost extra.”
Hoping they were joking she continued once more. “I think he’s doing something illegal. Lately he’s been hanging around dangerous men and one week ago I caught him snooping in my fathers’ house. Can you help me?” she pleaded.
“Sure, half cash up front,” He then casually glanced at an overdue bill lying across his desk “And the rest if we run short on time.”
“Time? I didn't give you a deadline?” She exclaimed.
“I was referring to our own needs.” He replied.
"Alright how much are you asking for?” She bargained.
“One hand-sized case of standard currency.”
Padme looked down at her hands overlapping each other ever so fiercely in thought. “Deal!” She answered.
“Good.” Anakin almost smiled as he put down his cigarette to shake her hand in agreement. But as he turned his chair it snagged on the back wall and hindered anymore movement. In the awkward moment he whispered a small curse trying to nudge the seat back in position. “Okay.” He whispered as he got back in place. “It’s settled then,” reaching out once more to shake her hand.
She gave him a coy look and grabbed his palm. “That’s probably the first time you looked at me since I came in.”
“It won’t be the last.” The words were dangerously ominous as he retracted his arm. “You better head home now and don’t let anyone know you were here.”
She reluctantly got up and headed towards the now open door. “Can I contact you later?”
“So long as there’s no heat on your end, I don’t want to have pull out my gun and double your price.” He joked seriously.
But she took it to heart. “Isn't that what I’m paying you for?” she asked.
“You’ll find out.” He waved as he gestured Obi-wan to close the door.
The sound of her footsteps in the hallway echoed off the walls until they faded entirely.
“Anakin, you were too obvious.” Obi-wan bowed his head and narrowed his brows disappointment.
Anakin quickly got up from his seat in a huff. “Obvious about what?”
Huffing under his breath and rubbing his forehead he proceeded to chastise himself I've been your partner far too long. Obi-wan looked at him face on from where he stood, holding back no hindsight "I can tell that you liked the girl.” But Anakin didn't look back and ignored the comment while Ob-wan then swiftly grabbed his coat off the rack. “We have to follow her and see where she goes.”
“Why?” He asked in confusion.
He placed his gloves on in a hurry and said among breaths, “Because, you my friend forgot to get her address!”
Story beautifully narrated by my gracious sister. After finishing this project I wasn't much in the mood to write after all the drawing. She put together this lively story opener to go along with the atmosphere of the picture. I also recommend some of this beautiful dark noir jazz to go along with picture 8tracks.com/loathsomepete/noir…. I listened to the album Sunset Mission by Bohren & der Club of Gore inside and out while working on this. It gave me so many old-timey film noir feels I had to watch a few Humphrey Bogart movies.
If you could, any feedback on the picture would be much appreciated I don't usually ask for critiques but I would love to hear any insights you might have. Not that I want to sound needy but something other than one word comments would be most helpful .