Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Noir fiction # 4

Well, it's been six months and the closest I've got? It's big.
Big enough for me to get my nose broke.
Big enough for my lady to leave me.
Big enough that I almost don't care.

I've moved my office to the Pink Peri for the night, and the only thing that keeps me from chargin' out the door to blindly bust heads is the Piano guy. He's a friend of mine, and plays the Vaudeville I like.
I lite up to go with my scotch and he glances in my direction. I know he hates it, but damnit, tonight's a night for vices. He doesn't say anything, but I sense a tinge of disapproval in his A sharp.
Yah. He's that good.

I guess everything's forgiven later 'cause he sidles up to the bar to chat during his break. Orders a cranberry juice. He plays like an angel for a bunch of lowlife port rats; 'Man. what are you doin' here?'

We sit in silence. He always waits.
"She's gone. Finally had enough." There's really nothing else to say. He exhales slowly; He's gearing up to ask a question when a piece of dark-haired marzipan in a red sequin sashays up,
"Hey, ya big lug. Play me somethin'?" I wanna tell her to take a walk, but the look on his face stops me. I guess I owe him for the smoke.

Halfway though the song, she drapes herself on the piano, and I catch a glimpse of her thigh. A parrot tattoo. That ain't good. My buddy's looking at her like he looks at a piece of music. That's worse.

I finish my scotch, top up his juice, and with one last look at his face, hit the streets again.

God ain't heard from me in a while, but we talked that night. Let her just really like birds. Failing that, help me be faster then whatever's going down. A good man like that doesn't deserve this mess. Big guy must have been tuned into my channel 'cause I caught a tail around peach street. Something was wrong though. I could have lost this man taking a dump. Nobody was dumb enough to send a bad tail after me. What were they playing at?

I ducked around a corner and waited. Once his head was under my arm, I leaned on him. He sang like a fat, ugly, canary. What are they teaching kids these days? Before I could ask the name of his boss, though, I heard the very nasty harmonic of a big chunk of lead.
Then I caught a break.
Several, in fact.

As I lay in the gutter, bleeding gently, I consoled myself by saying at least they had to dry clean their suits now.
Yah. I'm that good.

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