The roll-neck top she had pulled up over her nose did little to stifle the sickly-sweet smell of rotting garbage in June. With hands clad in blue nitrile, she sifted through the alleyway while breathing as shallowly as possible. “On TV, detective work isn’t nearly as glamorous as this.” She joked between breaths, before scampering back as hard-shelled roaches scurried out to fight over the remains of a gyro she’d unearthed.

“Yeah,” her partner responded, hauling a refuse sack out of a dumpster to start pouring over, “It’s all the boring stuff. Pitched gun battles, car chases, hot sex and cool champagne. They leave out the trash duty, the desk work, the endless coffee runs. That’s where the action is.”

“I wish we could wrap up everything in forty-two and a half minutes. We’ve spent that long here already.”

“Maybe there’s extra long advert breaks?” A grin crossed his face as he shook an empty box of condoms. “Holster your piece with Magnum, sponsors of Two Detectives and a Dumpster.”

Her laughter soon became spluttering retches as an unpleasant whiff struck her nose through her top’s light fabric. “Is that what our show is called? I was hoping for something more catchy. Kovalski and Renault, but instead of and, it’s one of those squiggly…”

“Ampersand?” Renault supplied.

“That’s it.” Kovalksi nodded, carefully climbing to her feet. “Why don’t we have uniforms on this task, anyway?”

“More imperative duties. The President’s in town after all, so the gruntwork is all ours.” Wiping his brow on his forearm, he gestured at the pile of trash he’d unleashed. “Not a sign of anything vaguely relating to murder, unless you count some awful Kung Pao chicken and a copy of Diane Taylor’s ‘Fit Fast’ work out DVD.”

Peeling her gloves off, Kovalski tucked one into the other. “Pretty sure that gave someone a heart attack. Not so sure it resulted in someone being choked with a bike tyre’s inner tube.”

Renault sighed. “How annoying is that? Our murder weapon currently has more traction than our investigation.”

Author’s Note: That was a fair absence, wasn’t it? My apologies for the vacation. This week’s 3 Word Wednesday words were: Garbage, Traction, Imperative.


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