The Rare Curiosity of William Fitzgerald

Clytie wasn’t happy with the story William Fitzgerald handed him. His face didn’t change much and his voice stayed soft and even but his horse’s teeth clamped together so the muscles at the corners of his jaws bulged out and the breath that came between them was fouler than ever. “Sorry to hear, sir,” he said. “Indeed. Very terrible news, very sad. But these things happen. Indeed they do.”

William Fitzgerald sat through all this and fed him what he knew about where she’d gone and what he’d picked up on her. Clytie wasn’t impressed, but he nodded his head and thanked William Fitzgerald anyway, jaws grinding together audibly in the space between the turning of the ceiling fan, and paid him the remainder of his fee.

William Fitzgerald watched him move off down the street from his window. Clytie walked like he was crippled, legs stumping along unevenly, shoulders humped high by his ears. That his client was angry didn’t bother William Fitzgerald much if at all, but the way Colleen had disappeared ate at him. William Fitzgerald ran the bills against each other and decided he’d go back to the religious district and see what he could find.