The island police station was quiet except for the broken phone conversation the desk sergeant was having with an irate individual. 

SGT. Walton : Sir I am trying to tell you we have no one who can possibly go by                            your house right now, but...

Muffled yelling...

SGT. Walton : I understand your concern, but everyone is out who can check on 

                     that. I can send an officer when the next shift starts in an hour,

                     or if someone on patrol now can go by there they will.

More muffled yelling...

SGT. Walton : Your donation offer is greatly appreciated, but frankly won't

                     expedite the situation to your satisfaction. I have all the 

                     information, and will phone you as soon as we know anything.

                     Thank you and good bye.

SGT. Walton gratefully hung up the phone. She was completely disinterested in the continued ramblings and yelling of the obnoxious strip club owner. She was muttering to herself when Detective Jason Bryan walked through the front door.

DET. Bryan : Sgt. Walton, talking to yourself again ? Guess I don't have to ask how 
                   things are going this beautiful afternoon. Who has you so irritated? 
                   A missing goat? Stolen travelers checks?

SGT. Walton : Just the detective I wanted to see. Actually, we have a missing      


DET. Bryan : An actual missing person, or just someone sleeping it off where they 
                   aren't suppose to be? Could be a drunken drowning. My favorite so far 
                   was the drunk tourist guy who saw cliff diving on TV and thought he 
                   could do it. He really should have made sure there was water at the 
                   end of that dive. Looking at his friends video of the whole thing 
                   he didn't even have good form. Sad really. I mean at least go out with 
                   style. Flailing isn't, why are you looking at me that way? You know you 
                   thought the same thing. Don't pretend you didn't. 

SGT. Walton : Are you done?

DET. Bryan : Appears so. What is it?

SGT. Walton : I wouldn't get your hopes up, it probably is nothing. A Salvador 

                    Manana, a very earnest and apparently somewhat Yiddish man, from

                    the BLU VELVET strip club can't find his star. A world 

                    renowned-better-than-all-of-us, stripper, Erin Thorne. Apparently she

                    was suppose to check in when she got here, and so far hasn't. Big

                    surprise, an irresponsible stripper doing whatever she wants on a

                    tropical island. 

                    Anyway, he has called her cell phone repeatedly and she doesn't 

                    answer or return his calls. He desperately needs her to get in touch 

                    with him as he needs her to return as soon as possible for a huge 

                    show. Ranting about making millions, I honestly lost track of the 

                    conversation other than we're suppose to find her and have her call 

                    him. I tried to explain to him we aren't a phone service, but he seems 

                    to believe something happened to her which then does involve us. So 

                    there you go. It was a most painful conversation I'd like to add. I think

                    he called me a name, but I can't be sure

DET. Bryan, sarcastically: Really? I'm sorry he might have called you a name. You

                   should go get a massage after work. Loosen yourself up. Unwind. Why

                   are you looking at me with that blank stare when I'm showing genuine

                   concern? Enough about you then. How long has she been MIA?

SGT. Walton : What?!

DET. Bryan : M-I-A! You know, missing in action. Work with me here, this could 

                    be our first real case. Take all the fun out of it.

SGT. Walton, chuckling: 3 days, and she's suppose to be staying at the white 

                     house on the hill.

DET. Bryan : 3 days? That certainly gives a body a chance to start stinkin'.

SGT. Walton : What?!

DET. Bryan : Why do you think the worst of me? I'm saying what if she hasn't

                   been at the house for the last 3 days she probably hasn't taken 

                   a shower. I'm not saying she's rotting somewhere. Well, she

                   could be, but that's not what I was saying. What name did he call you?

SGT. Walton : I couldn't understand it completely, but it sounded like

                     shnook. What is that? How much longer are you going to harass me?

DET. Bryan : Shnook? I don't know what that is. It doesn't sound really

                    terrible on a possible name calling scale. As far as harassing you I

                    think I'm finished for the moment. The white house

                    on the hill you say? What is the strippers name?

SGT. Walton : That's the house, and Erin Thorne.

DET. Bryan : Erin Thorne? THE Erin Thorne?

SGT. Walton : Yes again, Erin Thorne. I don't know how many Erin Thorne's

                     there are, but that's what he said her name is. Don't tell me you know

                     this person.

DET. Bryan : Well, perhaps I know of her. I've never seen her in person, but 
                   always dreamed of it. Every man's dream really. He leaned down

                   with one hand on the sergeants desk, and the other on the back

                   of her chair, and whispered : Did you know the club where she 

                   works has to have a staff of doctors and nurses because people

                   literally pass out when she's doin' her thing on stage? They have

                   to have a separate room for oxygen tanks so people can catch

                   their breath. People throw so much money on the stage it's inches

                   thick, and she just dances and kicks through it. Doesn't even care

                   she tromping all over it. I heard people have disappeared after

                   touching her. Can you believe that?! 

SGT. Walton : Seriously?! Well, just after you see her, and regain consciousness      

                     and hopefully not disappearing if you happen to shake her hand,  

                     have her call Mr. Manana please. I really don't want to EVER have  

                     to hear his voice again.

DET. Bryan, sarcastically: You think I should write myself a note and pin it

                   on my jacket in case I lose all cognitive abilities? I hope they

                   have oxygen at the house. What if I do pass out? What if she puts

                   people under some sort of stripper spell? I should take some large

                   bills with me. I'm sure a dollar is hardly acceptable, and highly

                   insulting. She's probably never seen a dollar. Do we have any

                   confiscated drug money?

SGT. Walton : Please leave.

DET. Bryan : Ok I'm going, but if I'm not back in an hour, or three, send

                   someone to look for me. No, on second thought don't, it's not a

                   bad way to go. 

SGT. Walton : Just go.

The detective grinned and waved to the sergeant as he pushed the station door open, fumbled for his keys in his jacket pocket, and headed to the house on the hill. Driving with the windows down he felt the warm tropical air across his face, and listened to the flocks of screaming parrots in the thick green tops of the jungle trees. He knew this would be another easy call, they were all easy as nothing ever horribly criminal ever happened on the island. 

He had no idea the deceit that waited only a few minutes away. Deceit that would open the door to the truth of what was, for as long as could be remembered, believed to be merely island myth and superstition. 

Empty champagne and beer bottles were scattered throughout the house. Ana was on the couch downstairs slowly waking up to the distant sound of Erin's cell phone chiming her signature dance song. She stretched and opened her eyes with regret.

Ana : Stupid, stupid song.

She rolled over and waited for the noise to stop. She wanted to go back to sleep, but couldn't. The sun was shining too brightly throughout the whole house, and the birds outside were so incredibly loud. She hated this place. It was a horrible, tropical postcard nightmare. She rolled back over thinking she might as well get up. Besides, she thought, today is the day. She sat up, and stripped. Leaving her clothes on the floor where they fell, she headed to the pool when the door bell rang. Not caring in the slightest that she was naked she answered the door.

Ana : Yes.

DET. Bryan tried not to be phased by her appearance, but could not initially keep his 

        keep his eyes above her breasts : Uh, I'm sorry, I wasn't expecting you,

        or anyone, to answer the door completely naked. I apologize. I am

        Det. Jason Bryan with the Island police department. He awkwardly tried to stop

        starring, can you tell me if Erin Thorne is in? You're not Miss Thorne are you?

Ana: No I'm not Erin, but you knew that didn't you? I'm Ana.

DET. Bryan  Well yes. Anyway, Ana, is she in?

Ana: You a fan of Erin's?

DET. Bryan: I wouldn't say a fan, but I know of her. Most everything about her.

                  I've never seen her in person, just a lot of pictures. Not naked pictures, 

                  just ones in magazines, and not nude magazines. Is she here? I need to

                  discuss something with her.

Ana: Something? Like what?

DET. Bryan: It's nothing really, and I feel ridiculous coming out here for it.

                   I mean I do have a degree in criminology, years on the police

                   force, made detective at a very early age, but ya know, I don't

                   mind delivering a phone message to a world class stripper. It's all a

                   part of the job right? As I was saying a Mr. Salvador Man..Manna...

                   He had a continuing problem not starring at her perfectly tan,

                   smooth naked body, and was embarrassing himself with his lack

                   of discretion.

Ana : Man-an-a, and why don't you just take one long, hard look and get it over 

DET. Bryan, giving an embarrassed laugh: Uh, well, that would be completely 

                 unprofessional. Although helpful, still unprofessional. I think I'm ok

                 now, your comment was sobering enough. Would you mind

                 putting a robe, or anything, on please? 

Ana : Yes actually I would. I'm going for a swim.

         She turned away from him, and headed toward the pool. She knew he

         would not be far behind. She stepped into the warm water not waiting for

         him, or a response. She did not care if he followed, but it would be

         more convenient if he did. He was saving her the effort of calling the

         police station, and giving the dramatic speech she planned. This was going

         even better than she hoped. She came up from under the water, and saw

         him standing at the end waiting for her. She thought it was perfect that she

         was such a seductive, naked distraction to him. He would not be

         concentrating on Erin's whereabouts. She swam toward him.

DET. Bryan: Would you please tell me where I might find Miss Thorne?

Ana: I just woke up, so I don't know where she is. 

DET. Bryan: It's late, you just woke up? Must be nice. Could she be upstairs? 

Ana: Doubtful, too quiet. 

DET. Bryan: Loud sleeper is she? Would she have left a note if she went anywhere?

Ana: She might've. She got out of the pool without glancing at the towel he tried to

        hand her, and slowly went into the house. Detective Bryan followed thinking he

        would keep a safe distance from this one. She pretended to look on the kitchen

        counter, then glanced over at the coffee table where she knew she left it.

Ana: Here it is. She handed him the small piece of paper. Dripping pool water on 
        the tile floor.

DET. Bryan looked at the note: She did go for a walk. Guess you don't know

                  what time that was since you were sleeping til, he saw the clock

                  on the wall, 2:30. About 2:30?

Ana: That's right. Don't have a clue when she left.

DET. Bryan: I'm just asking because this Mr. Manana says he's been calling

                  for three days. Why hasn't she called him back in three days?

                  She not like him?

Ana: Nobody likes Sal. She sat on the couch still wet from the pool. Sal thinks he 

        owns Erin, but it's really the other way around. If it weren't for Erin, Sal would 

        have, and be, absolutely nothing. She doesn't need him, but he'd shrivel up 

        and die without her. Other people do what Sal tells them to do, or else they 

        disappear. Pathetic and unoriginal really. If Erin doesn't want to talk to him 

        he'll simply have to get over it.

DET. Bryan: He said he needs her to come back to the BLU VELVET, or he stands 

                   to lose millions. Is that true? He sat on a chair across form her no 

                   longer noticing her naked body in the slightest. I mean can he really 

                   lose millions if she doesn't do a show? Does she really make  

                   him that much money in ONE show? That's impossible isn't 

                   it? I mean I won't make a million dollars in my life time. How can she 

                   do this in a few hours?

Ana was becoming physically ill by the conversation on how wonderful, and profitable Erin is to Sal. She found it incredibly nauseating to have to say anything nice about her at all, and to have to sit across from the detective who obviously wanted to ogle over her like every other irritating peon, was almost more than she could stand. The detective, like everyone else, looked right through her to simply get to Erin. She hoped more than anything Erin's body was at least half rotted on the coral path. That the jungle animals gathered around the carcass like one of Sal's all you can eat fried food buffets.
DET. Bryan: Isn't that impossible?

Ana: What?

DET. Bryan: Isn't it impossible for her to make millions off one show?

Ana: Depends. 

DET. Bryan: Depends on what?

Ana: Depends on who the show is for. If he has someone flying in for a private 

         show, then no, it's hardly impossible. That's some of his best money.

         He could close the club if he wanted, but it's how he moves some of his,

         lets say, questionable, untraceable income.

DET. Bryan:  Questionable and untraceable income? That's a whole other 
                    investigation. Staying on the subject, how do you fall into the 
                    equation? Why doesn't he just talk to you?

Ana: I'm not connected to Sal, or his club. 

DET. Bryan: You don't work there with Miss Thorne?

Ana: No. I'm, independent. Self-employed. No one controls me.

DET. Bryan: Self-employment must be nice. 

Ana blankly stared at him.

DET. Bryan: Back to Erin. When she comes back in would you please give her 
                   my card and tell her to call me first so I know she got in ok. It is a 
                   jungle out there ya know.

Ana continued the blank stare.

DET. Bryan: That's ok, it was a bad joke that frankly no one ever laughs at, and I 

                    should stop telling. Where is her cell phone by the way? You think she 

                    took it with her?

Ana: She didn't. It's upstairs.

DET. Bryan: Would you mind getting it?

Ana got off the couch and went upstairs. She thought she should act a little polite, for future reference, and should offer him a drink. She should probably put on a t-shirt or something too.

Ana: I'll be right back. Help yourself to something to drink. There's 

         beer, champagne, wine, all kinds of stuff in the refrigerator if you'd like. 

DET Bryan: I'll get a water. Thank you.

DET. Bryan got a water out of the refrigerator as Ana went upstairs to get the cell phone. He was completely immune to her beautiful naked body by this time. He knew her type. The type who vainly believe themselves to be above all others. The type that uses everyone's backs to walk on as they  thoughtlessly get what they want. No regard, no consciousness for others, only what their narcissistic selves desire. He wondered why she was a stripper. Dysfunctional childhood? What was her mother like? May be she didn't have one. Abusive male role model? Perhaps she's the spawn of Satan? He laughed a little out loud at his thought.

Ana was coming down the stairs. She had put on a pair of thongs and a white 
        t-shirt: Something funny?

DET. Bryan drawn out of his boredom: What?

Ana: Something funny?

DET. Bryan: Oh, uh, just thinking about a show I watched last night. If I tried to 

                   explain it, it wouldn't be funny. Nice of you to put on some clothes. 

                   Such as they are.

Ana handed him the cell phone: My naked body too distracting Detective?

He scrolled through the missed calls, and saw many from Sal's number, but no

          others: Does no one else ever call her? The only number on here for days is 

          Mr. Manana's. And no your naked body is no longer distracting just 

          unprofessional. Unprofessional for me that is.

Ana glared at him: No one really has her number. Sal, a few people from the club.
       She sat back down on the couch.

DET. Bryan: You?

Ana: Obviously.

DET. Bryan: Well it doesn't matter. I see he has called, incessantly, so I'll 
                   just wait for her to call me when she gets in. Make sure she calls

                   me first.

Ana shrugged. 

DET. Bryan placed one of his cards on the coffee table in front of her: 

                   If she's not back by dark call me. She's probably going to hit a 

                   couple of the beach bars before she comes back. Thank you for your 

                   time. I'll let myself out. Thank you for the water too.

He turned and waked out the front door. His shoes made a loud cracking sound on the coral drive way. He glanced back at the house, shaking his head thinking it was such a waste to be so physically beautiful, but have absolutely no morals, no ethics, and nothing upstairs but cruelty and self-serving attributes. As he got in the SUV he wondered if Erin was the same, or just mixed up with someone acting like they cared. He sat for a minute. He thought he should drive by a couple of the beach bars within walking distance from the house. She would have had to take the old coral path behind the house to get to them, but it wasn't a difficult walk. Otherwise there wasn't much else for him to do except wait at the station. He slowly drove away. 

Ana was peering out the front window at the detective sitting in his running vehicle. He's another useless jaw dropper she thought. A little detective on a filthy little island having to pat himself on the back with all his diplomas, and awards because no one else will. He'll one day brag he almost had a brush with fame, but didn't have a clue fame was rotting just down the hill. He will be able to say he sat in the same room with me though, and that will be the highlight to his entire career and miniscule life. May be we could kill him too, or at least ruin his life. I could tell a few little lies about him. What  he did to me while he was here, accuse him of things he more than likely imagined doing to me, but never in all his upstanding, professional would ever do. Everyone would believe me, the beautiful, distraught bystander. She smiled as she watched his SUV roll down the drive way.

Ana: Idiot.

         She got something to eat and sat on the couch to watch TV until a little after 

         dark. Then she would call the idiot detective, and tell him Erin didn't come 

         back. She'd have to remind herself to sound worried instead of irritated and 

         bored. Her next call would be to Markis. No need telling him about the 

         detective at this point since everything was still going as planned.

         She flipped through the channels trying to find something remotely interesting

         to watch. She wondered how people could live, or even choose to visit, such 

         an insanely boring place and call it paradise.