by Forrest Roth
Despite successes in these international entanglements, the agent thought his entire dealing with the woman at her husband’s uptown condo not too commendable: hired movers, when so inept of protocol that they forget bringing gloves, should never ask the subject for spare styrofoam packing. But her unhurried disengaging of the chain-latch only compelled him to show a magistrate signing off on the retrieval of Kleinmann’s last canvas in his “Cathedral Series,” which he discovered, after almost falling hastily over a serpentine leather couch, she had hung in the den as simple decoration above a blank, artificial fireplace. Other than navagating devious furniture, this case might have proved mundane due to the husband having already left for the Exchange, as the police downstairs in the lobby anticipated. Little doubt the famously emotive, dark contours of Kleinmann deserved better than a securities broker propping his feet on an Ottoman in front of it, and him keeping from his wife an undocumented business trip to Vienna, as well as why he had overlooked a required legacy check. The agent did not mention this because no such information was granted in triplicate on his clipboard. With pen in hand he had her read here and here and here, each a different dwelling of sorts that attached fresh nuisances since, he tried explaining in routine diligence of a painting’s legal removal, she became sole witness whose maiden name signed, instead of her married name provided, was now brought out from its presumptuous seclusion.
Forrest Roth is the author of a novella, "Line and Pause" (BlazeVOX Books), with other fictions appearing in various print and on-line journals. He lives in Buffalo, New York.