Chapter 1 - Theo

The large man burst through the door of the wood-paneled office with a victorious flurry, “Hello Doris!” he trumpeted with a wide grin.

The woman sitting behind the oversized computer monitor looked like she was hungover from drinking a little too much at her 150th birthday party last night. “You got ‘em then sir?” she croaked, her voice was evidence of her recently escaped smoking habit. She gave up smoking a few years ago and now she just chomped on gum like it owed her money.

“Of course I did Dorris, don’t you know who I am?” Theo sighed as he plopped onto the leather couch and began to prop his feet up on the neighbouring coffee table as he leaned back contemplating his success.

Theo was in his mid-30s and just over six feet tall, his daily uniform usually consisted of brightly colored Hawaiian shirts, cargo shorts, and flip flops. He had shaggy light brown hair and scruff covering the lower half of his tan face.

Right in the middle of reclining, he saw an ancient hand come from behind the astonishingly outdated monitor and snap once. He immediately took his feet off the table and placed them on the floor and cleared his throat, “It was the alligator wranglers dentist”.

“Called it. Where’s my money, sir?” Dorris croaked popping a hand out to receive her winnings. Theo fumbled in his pocket and produced a $1.00 bill, then gently placed it in Dorris’ weathered but rock-solid grip. “You did” his eyes narrowed, “how do you always do know?”

“I don’t always know, I just only bet when I’m sure. Also, TV” she shrugged. Theo looked across the room to the small antiquated TV set that set on a wooden TV tray. It was in fact playing some old murder mystery show like it always was. “With that one done, we have enough money for the end of the month”. Then without smiling or breaking eye contact with Theo, Dorris fidgeted in her front desk drawer until she found what she was looking for, she brought her hands above her head and tugged on the string of a mini pull-string confetti cannon raining miniature streamers all over her hair and desk.

“Well, I’m not the one buying confetti cannons” Theo smirked then broke into laughter as Dorris cracked a smile. “Well, is there anything else on the docket?”