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Just a Happy Little Fork

     She walked in to my office on a dark, rainy Thursday.  It was July, and lightning from the summer storm outside illuminated her face for an instant.  A second later, the office was plunged into blackness.  The power had gone out.

     I lit a candle and poured myself a drink.  She said she had a case and needed my help.  If her case was anything like her curves, I was the one who'd be needing help.  I casually tossed back the booze and bid her continue.

     She pulled an old, dog-eared poster from her bag -- an advertisement, she said, that was the only connection she had to her missing brother.  He'd disappeared from his position at the Agency a week ago, and all she knew was that he'd been working on something big.  She begged me to examine the poster -- his last project -- carefully, urging me to blow it up to wall-size for further inspection.

     Anyone could see that the poster was an old raster image; candlelight danced off of the faded print-out.  I was no vector expert, and I was in no mood for a go-nowhere case.  I was just about to tip back another glass when a second bolt of lightning glanced into the dim office.  She was leaning on my desk, poised over a large stack of greenbacks.  I counted them as she left.  I was always a sucker for dames.

     Her poster lay before me, a bold splash of red bleeding all over a portrait layout.  An ivory fork wore eyelashes, lipstick, a saccharin-sweet smile, and a blue ribbon tied in a bow.  With that ribbon, it held a small card.  "The gourmet has met his choice", the card read. 

     It was just a happy little fork, trying to shill some butter.

     My office grew hazy as I burned through smoke after smoke, struggling with Illustrator into the wee hours and beyond.  By the next evening, I'd turned up very little in the way of clues, and my desk was awash in shot glasses and candy bar wrappers -- but my vector image wasn't half bad.

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