Piece Of Cake

By Siegfried Haug

I am reading a segment from my latest book, BAD SLEEP, a suspense novel set in Key West, Florida. The scene involves a couple of suspicious men and a fair amount of mayhem for my two main characters, Sue and Rosie.

Sue looked frantically around the restaurant for a place to hide from the two thugs.

“Whatever you’ve got, honey, stick it right in here,” Rosie said, indicating a seat and an almost foot-high slice of key lime pie.

It turned out to be a sweet hiding place for Sue’s flat rectangular device.

As they squeezed nonchalantly by one of the thugs, he grabbed Sue’s Baggallini right out of her hand and ran the other way. She had not looped the strap over her shoulder after burying the flash drive in the pie, and now bag and assailant were gone before she could yell for assistance. It did not help that she had not finished swallowing the heaping spoon of Blue Heaven’s best Rosie had forced on her for fortification purposes.

“Oops!” was all Rosie said.

That’s as far as I got with the reading when Jane, my wife, tapped her Timex.

It was time for Q&A. Then on to the signing.

The library annex in Flushing, New York was three-quarters full. An overdressed couple sat way in the back.

The couple did not want their copies signed. While my wife got her dahlia arrangement ready to come back home, they sidled up to me and flashed palm-sized faux-leather wallets. The woman’s identified her as Special Agent Duda.

“That flash-drive? The one in the pie?”

“Yes?” I said.

“It is evidence in Mlle. Thibodeau’s murder investigation.”

I experienced a slightly scary sense of disorientation.

“You need to hand it over,” she said.

“But . . .”

“Failure to do so will result in your arrest.”

“But . . .”

“Stay out of this, Ma’am.” This the guy-agent to my Jane bearing flowers.

“There is a disclaimer, in the front of the book!” Me, a little too loud. “It’s all fictional . . . fictitious . . . there is no drive.”

The agents did not bite. The difference between fiction and reality was lost on them. I myself had stumbled over audience questions pertaining to the same issue.

“I don’t have it,” I said. “It may still be in the pie for all I know.”

“You witnessed the scene. That makes you an accessory. . .”

My eyes pleaded with my wife. Am I crazy?

“Rosie took it to Singapore. Sorry,” she said.


Siegfried Haug is the author BAD SLEEP, a suspense novel published in 2019 by Levellers Press. He is also the author of I WANT TO SLEEP, a workbook for insomniacs. Retired now from clinical work and teaching, he lives with his wife, a ceramic artist, in the foothills of the Berkshires. When warmth is hard to come by they migrate to Key West.

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