Ilze Berzins
A Tear in God's Eye cover

Click the image for a larger view

Click here to read the first few pages of A Tear in God’s Eye

A Tear in God’s Eye (Page 1)

THURSDAY AFTERNOON, Ivan Pavnick walked through the door of the gym, looking for Mike.

“He’ll be back in a sec,” the skinny girl who ran the juice bar called out over the hum of the Nautilus machines.

While Ivan waited for Mike, he looked around and thought to himself that this must be the Weight Watchers time slot. Down one wall of the gym were seven overweight lovelies exhibiting their doughy buns on the tiny seats of the stationary bikes, hiking the flesh from side to side, staring intently at their speedometers. Who let the dogs out. Who let the dogs out, thumped in the background as seven pairs of knees pumped up and down. Ivan turned away and looked to the back of the gym. Chicks in their sports bras and shorts were doing their reps, working the free weights. A chick had just come from the tanning bed, a serious barbecue case. Ivan shook his head. Discipline, he thought. He had to focus.

Everyone noticed when Mike walked into the gym. Mike was a big guy, not fat, just huge and bulky. With a brilliant, flashing grin that exposed the diamond embedded between his two front teeth, he walked the length of the gym and stopped in front of Ivan. “How’s the Chairman of the Board today? Decided to check in with your message service?”

As Mike held out a piece of paper, he cast a worried glance over the barbecue case. His eyes widened and he made a mental note to check the tanning bed timer as soon as he got rid of Ivan.

“Come off it, Mike. Give me a break,” Ivan replied as he tapped his various pockets looking for a smoke. “A lady called at nine this morning. And whatever your offer was, I don’t think she’ll refuse.”

“So, what did she say?”

“Nothing. But she left you her number.”

“Thanks,” Ivan said taking the phone number. He made for the door, then

A Tear in God’s Eye (Page 2)

stopped to call “I owe you one” before bounding out of the gym.

Ivan turned right and did his cool guy walk to the corner, his shoulders rolling and his motorcycle boots clicking like castanets. He dug a quarter out of the tight pocket of his jeans and dropped it into the box.

“Hi,” he said, his voice as smooth as melted honey. “Are you the lady who called about the red Aztec.”

“Yes. I’d like some more information,” came the no-nonsense voice.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“I’d like to know how much you’re asking, what year it is, and how many kilometers,” she recited.

“Well, why don’t you let me bring the car over. You can have a test drive.”

“Let’s keep it simple, alright? How much?”

Oh boy, this was a hard case. Ivan had to think fast. “Three or four grand. How’s that?”

“Well…” she paused. Playing the pause game, Ivan chuckled. He knew the type. As he talked cars, his mind slipped back to the gym. Which one was she? The full breasted babe in the hot tub? The professional type working with weights? Or one of the tubbies on bicycle row? The images faded as her voice came over the phone, tight and decisive. “Okay, bring the car in an hour.”

He had given the woman his nice-guy routine, but there was nothing doing. She was a typical tight-ass suburbanite, sunglasses up on her head, designer jeans, and a sweater tied across her shoulders. But she wasn’t a push-over. Ivan could tell she had bought second hand before and knew what to look for. For a moment he sweated, hoping she wouldn’t pick up on the number Bobby had done on the odometer.

Complete waste of time, Ivan thought as he parked the Aztec around the corner from the entrance to the Second Cup. He had opened the windows, but still her perfume stayed in the car—either from the Avon lady, or from a green tree air freshener dangling from the rear view mirror of her old Honda.

Why hadn’t she said right up front she wanted to use the Honda as a trade in? Of course, he wasn’t going to tell her that he only dealt in hot cars.

Ivan went into the Second Cup. He had lots of time to keep up with the news. He bought himself a fancy coffee, sat down at a side table, and started to leaf through the Sun.

Before he settled into serious reading, his glance slid over the other patrons. He recognized the spectacled bank manager from the branch just a few doors down the block. Poor guy, a ten minute coffee break, and he still wears Brylcreem in his hair. Ivan did some more mental checking as his gaze swept over the ultra conservative blue blazer sitting alone reading the Globe. Boring bunch, he decided.

Wait a minute.

A Tear in God’s Eye (Page 3)

Here comes a real looker out of the ladies room. Their eyes met briefly, but long enough for Ivan to note her glacial freeze as he winked at her. Smiling to himself, he turned back to the news of the day.

A top ranking politician had just announced he was gay. Ivan shrugged a who cares. Then an article caught his eye. Hey wait. What’s this? A pregnant young run-away had been found in a dumpster, bludgeoned to death, and a senior police officer was rumoured to be involved. Ivan wondered if he knew who it was. Disgusting, a cop who gets a kid zonked on dope, then kills her. He flipped through his inner cardex of cops. It could be any one of the assholes, he decided.

Naturally the officer had denied knowing the girl. For sure a cover up. And what could anyone expect? It was only surprising that anyone was surprised. Ivan wasn’t.

Enough of this coffee shit, Ivan said under his breath as he got up and slapped the newspaper down on a nearby chair. He needed a cigarette. And a good stiff drink. He walked out into the chill air, turned up the collar of his jean jacket, and headed for his car which he had parked illegally on Third Avenue.

A long weekend was coming up. Easter weekend. He noticed an ominous sharpness in the wind. It had rained during the night and the temperature had dropped close to zero. Not a good day to be outdoors.

A Tear in God’s Eye is no longer in print. If you wish to request a copy, please click here to let me know and I may be able to get it for you.