This story was written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Challenge:
Prompt A (genre challenge): hard-boiled mystery
Prompt B (sentence starter): “I told you not to spoil.”
Prompt C (photo)
He sat in his office puffing on his third cigarette and looking out of the window.
The grimy alleyway below hadn’t changed in all the years he’d been there. He’d lost track of the number of dead bodies found hunched behind the trash cans down there. Taunting him in a way. He was a private detective after all, but he didn’t work for free. Let the police hunt around for the killers of those poor tramps and vagabonds, not him.
He saw her get out of the taxi and pay the driver. As he waited for her to climb the stairs up to the office he reached out and poured himself a scotch on the rocks.
She didn’t knock. After all, this was as much her patch as it was his, although she had left seeking fame and fortune and had been gone for years. She stood there, just like she used to, one hand on her right hip and her long hair hanging over her left eye. She’d gotten older, sure, but she was still gorgeous.
“I told you not to spoil,” he said, in his sandpaper voice.
“Have you looked in a mirror lately?” she responded whip-crack fast.
They just stared at each other for what seemed like an age. Then he said the thing that he’d promised himself not to ask. “What made you come back?”
“I heard your whistle, Steve, and like a good girl, I came.”
Just like that, the spell was broken. He leaned back and smiled, the light from the torch glistened off his gold filling.
“Just in time too. I’ve just got a new commission. There’s a new kingpin in town and he wants us to find out who killed his best informant. Ready for a trip to the docks?”
“You always take me to the nicest places, Steve. OK, let’s blow.”
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 16/May/2019
I have also included the following word prompts: