Okay so I promised I might produce a few lines from one of my books, so here goes, hope you enjoy.
Jack Johnston, Private Dick
I awoke with the taste of “urinal cake” in my mouth. Don’t ask how I knew. The smell of stale vomit and fresh urine invaded my nose. Upon checking, both were mine. Fingers on both hands had made the discovery about the same time. Thought about trying to get up, was having difficulty making the legs work. Someone or something had worked me over pretty good. Must have asked the wrong questions somewhere. Swell, the day was starting pretty much like all the others had recently. Aside from that missing front tooth my tongue had found, the others seemed in tact. I groaned, vocal chords still worked. Shoved up with the elbows and came to a semi-sitting position. Worked better than I thought. Well, the stomach contents were already spilled so that didn’t bother me when I gagged on the stench. Nothing left to come up, or so I thought. Funny how these things never go as planned. Oh well, the shirt was in need of dry cleaning anyway. What’s a few more chunks more or less? “Hey, the Sox won again”, I perused as I wallowed in the trash. My bookie would be pleased, I could finally pay him what I owed him and get him off my back.
Legs were still wobbly but trying to seek an upright stance. “Come on, you can do it.” The drain pipe was handy so I used it to help my rise. Leaning gave me stability and kept my legs from buckling. Hoped that brick wall was in better condition. Gazed up and down the alley. Wasn’t one I recognized and I knew plenty. Rather dark where I was, more light at either end. Opted for the closer of the two. Pushed off hard in that direction. Stumbling was a way of life for the time being. I got used to it. Glad my feet kept up with my vision of “the way” and didn’t redeposit me onto the asphalt again.
Hailed a taxi at the curb. Took a minute to check if I still had my wallet. Still there. Not much folding money and I knew he wouldn’t take a check. Hoped it was enough for the ride, I didn’t feel like playing rabbit. Wasn’t too worried about it. Gave the guy the address and leaned back into the cushions for the ride.
Whoever she was had left a pleasant calling card imbedded in the head rest, Channel #5. That fragrance seemed to change with the particular body part that it was applied to. Inside the elbow was definitely a different aroma than the backside of the knee. It may have been due to the proximity of the prize. Body heat sent the smell to another level. The hotter she got, the more she smelled. I had tasted every one. Well, I must be feeling better, those thoughts were back again. Began to recognize some things whizzing by the side glass just as we pulled to a stop in front of my building. I had a buck left after the fare. Stumbled up the stoop and into the foyer. Hoped the elevator worked, my legs couldn’t take the stairs.
Nice lady got in on the third floor. Same perfume as the cab. Thoughts were rambling again, but the wall I was leaning on held most of my attention at the moment. The fifth was mine and I bid her farewell. Two doors down and on the right. Fumbled for the keys…the keys…found them. Went through a half dozen before “bingo” and the tumblers fell into place. The door swung open as priorities fell into place, first more whiskey and then the couch. I heard the first snore then blackness.
Must have laid there motionless till I stirred with a full bladder, was sore with some parts still asleep. Left arm was numb and didn’t work very well. Found the john and let her rip. Felt good just to have a decent whiz. Mind wandered as the toilet splashed. Must remember to let Mrs. Waverly know her husband was “not” fooling around with another woman. That’s what she paid me for. Wondered if she wanted to know that he was fooling around with a junior exec, who was rather effeminate. Oh well, take the money and run. Guess she would pay for another insight into her hubby’s dealings on another occasion. That would put beans on the table. Never had let ethics stand between me and my wallet. “Damn, peed on my shoe!” Rubbed it on the back of my pant’s leg. Shook it twice and flushed. Was careful not to zip certain things up in the zipper. Could get bloody.
Couldn’t quite shake a certain aroma. It wasn’t the pee on the trousers leg. The closet held a couple of choices that hadn’t quite made it to the cleaners yet. Grabbed the blue pinstripe and a fresh shirt. Would save a shower for later. Belly said it was time.
Pizza box on my desk didn’t hold anything too enticing for breakfast so I turned my thoughts to the diner across the street. Cute little red headed waitress was always teasing me with something or other. Two could play that game.
I slid into my favorite booth as she brought a menu after working it over with her pencil.
“I just scratched what you like,” she sassed.
“Well, wash your hands and bring me ham and eggs anyway,” I told you two could play.
She stomped off in a huff and yelled back over her shoulder, “Coffee?”
I just smiled and she just shook her hips menacingly as she ducked behind the counter. "Might have to give that a try sometime.”
After I gobbled down the goodies I found the rumpled pack and the last cigarette. I lit it and eyeballed the red head.
She caught my gaze and strutted over for the perfunctory “Anything else?”
I decided to push my luck and see if the waters ahead would be smooth sailing or rough seas. I shoved my hand up her skirt. She smirked and turned so my hand came to rest on the prize. After an inappropriate pause, I gave her a little pinch and she cleared the table and shot me a grin from ear to ear. Guess that meant calm waters and full steam ahead.
The morning paper lay in the booth beside me so I gathered it up for a read. Lots had happened overnight while I lay indisposed. The headlines were a mix of “fashion faux pas” and penny ante hoodlum games. Was still garnering the printed word when she returned to fill my coffee cup from across the table. Then the words struck a chord.
Mrs. Jonathon Waverly III had come to a rather unexplained end last night. She was found stuffed in the dumbwaiter at the Waverly estate. “Strange.” The kitchen help and the rest of the staff were being questioned but had all been released. Mr. Waverly, the third, was nowhere to be found and the police were also seeking the whereabouts of a certain junior executive who had frequented the estate as of late. “Wow, how interesting…and a shame!” She had been my bread and butter for several months now, must look into another “cash cow” in a hurry. Nice lady, rather naïve.
Smiled at the red head and headed for the door. After adding to my tab, she ambled that direction too and when I opened it she said “I get off at three.”
“I’ll be back.”