by Martin Maenza
It was about a month later that I was sitting in my office on the Embarcadero, San Francisco’s waterfront. Things had been slow, so I was actually in the office for once when a package arrived for me.
The box was rectangular, wrapped in brown paper. No return address, but postmarked from Boston. For a brief second I thought that it might be a bomb or something, but dismissed that idea. The package was too well-wrapped, and the handwriting on the label too neatly written. It wasn’t that heavy, either.
I removed the paper and sliced into the top of the box. Whatever was inside was kept safe with a generous amount of Styrofoam peanuts. I dug through them and fished out a rectangular object wrapped in white tissue paper. Turns out there were two things inside the wrapping.
The first was a beautifully framed photograph. The frame itself was wood with an intricate pattern carved into it. I turned it over and looked at the glass front. Looking back at me was a picture of myself with Zatanna, taken at Manny’s that night after I had rescued her from her kidnappers. When she insisted that her manager take the photo of us, I’d assumed that she wanted it for herself. This was a nice gift, and I planned to hang it on the wall as soon as I could locate a hammer and nail.
The second item was a pink envelope with a note folded up inside on matching personal stationary. The note read:
Thanks so much for all your help. You’ll find a check enclosed. I don’t know your usual fee, so I took a shot in the dark. It’s the least I can do for the man who saved my life.
All my best,
I took a look at the check last and let out a whistle. “Look at the zeroes!” If nothing else, this unexpected surprise would certainly help out during the dry spells. I decided to run it straight down to the bank before hitting Aunt Maude’s for a late lunch. Sometimes it really does pay to be in the wrong place at the right time.