The Dame had a Case, she was one …
This case was a doozy. Most cases usually are. But the dame was cute. And snooping pays the bills, especially Bill, my bookie and Bill, my probation officer. The names Hughie Dunnit. I’m a PI, it says so on my door.
All was sweet until the alarm went off like the shriek my ex-wife made when she discovered my underwear fetish. And my mistress. Mainly my mistress.
This scene was shaping up badly so I split before his goons could do the same to me.
This much was clear, though: she was the Kingpin’s favourite squeeze. My fee had just tripled overnight.
Looking back, I wonder whether I was really there. It still feels
so vivid, but like it happened to another. Sometimes I feel
like crying, running to mum, or hiding under the covers but I
remind myself that at least I wasn't hurt. It seems silly, but I
feel guilty about only getting a few cuts. James had to be taken
to hospital with glass in his eye; his clothes, hair and skin were
covered in broken fragments that grazed his arms when the
windshield shattered. I bet hes still in shock. He's only
just got a proper nights sleep and I'm sure he's not exaggerating.
The terrible impact, the shriek of grinding metal, the tortured
confusion leave me cold at night and he still hears them too.
All my friends say they're over it but I recall their stricken,
terrified faces, even when the bus had finally stopped moving.
They wont easily forget, you can see it in their eyes.
My parents are getting me through this, though: my mum couldn't
stop kissing and hugging, my dad took me horse riding and even my
sister made me a card. Awful memories may seem real, but not as
real as a family's love.
By and by, the three claimed the safety of the Growlery.
All had been pheasantly rewarded.
"I saw Flouncer today" The larger dog leered at his younger cousin.
"She was watching you."
"Lay off, Jack" Merrydance was in no mood for a brabble. Her eye
twinkled at Bobbin's. "The poor tod's only got eyes for Moonchaser."
Ficklejack snorted derisively. "Forget her, pal, that vixen's way
out of your league, you'll only foozle yourself "
He yawned, displaying a glitter of fangs.
"Trust me, you'll have to face the Chickenman to impress her."
Bobbintail thought hard. A challenge like that could not easily
"So, why does it always happen that things go wrong when I'm
Lucinda smiled indulgently at her sister's distress.
"I'm sure you're overreacting. That boating incident could have
happened to anyone"
"But what about when the banister broke and I fell down the stairs?
Or that time I got lost on the moor?"
Laura was starting to get upset.
Her twin encircled a comforting arm around her shoulders and
gently stroked her hair.
"We'll both have to be more careful."
The irony could not be more apt, Lucinda thought darkly.
The next accident would have to be far more meticulously planned.
“It could be a self portrait in bronze” Natalya seemed confused. “But Uncle Dmitri was never this talented.”
Stepan felt his chest tighten. For a precarious instant, the magician sensed in her a flicker of comprehension. Natalya frowned, pondering, then left. Her heels faded down the corridor.
Stepan leisurely drew on his cigarette, then blew deliberately at the statue.
“You’re a fool, Dmitri” he hissed “to think your tryst with my wife could be concealed after all these years.”
A single tear welled in the vacuous eye. Stepan grinned.
“Natalya calls me Father. She cannot call us both by that name.”
He exhaled slowly. Time was short.
He moved with a panther's grace to the Dojo steps.
Lamp light flickered in the evening breeze.
"That is far enough."
His master's behest might once have commanded obedience. Now, a
memory turned sour. He approached the silhouette without bowing.
"My brother is dead. You tricked me." His voice wept regret.
"And I believed you."
The immortal blade was suddenly lightning in his hand.
"Have a care, Lo Chen, you came this far when the sun shone,
but now it is dark."
The sensei's eyes were milky with cataracts.
"And I have lived my life in the shadows."
"So its true then, there is no hope?" The old man and his friends
gazed with yearning at the impassive Gates.
Micheal regarded the unfortunates with undisguised pity. A queue
of similar individuals snaked into the distance.
He shook his head.
"I am sorry, you each had your chance but I dont make the rules.
If only you had not insisted on proof ..."
He closed the Book.
Spiritfire rent the firmament and blazed as a pyre around the
"Give your regards to my brother."
Their cries were heard, plummeting earthwards, until the last
echo was swallowed by the void.