This is an attempt at a bit of a noir-ish story, that has held up fairly well. I’m working on the infrastructure for some things, and working on ornaments for this weekend’s festivities. Sleep’s over-rated, right? You can lie to me.
The young woman strode through the dimly light bar. She looked all at once out of place and warily comfortable with the surroundings, as if she was stepping into a familiar haunt, but one that had endured three decades of traffic since she last graced the door with her striking silhouette. She was the kind of woman that demanded the attention of every male in the room, and yet, she could easily ignore every glance without the slightest comment. She was the type of woman who could break a guy’s heart, and make him enjoy every minute of it. She was trouble.
And even though she was going to break me heart, there was something in her determined, yet vulnerable face that meant there was no way I could possibly resist her, no way I could prevent myself from the agony I knew she would bring. Well. That was the life of a PI in the middle of an extremely contrived and formulaic piece of short detective fiction. There could be no mistaking the signs of a desperate writer, milking a wisp of an idea,in the off chance that an original and marginally humorous story would miraculously appear.
And the woman, with the glint of danger hiding in her angelic face, spoke.
“Have you seen the klepht?”
“The cleft?” said I.
“Yeah. Some knucklehead out in Washington with the look of a drowned rat and teeth to match. They say he comes in here, and I want him. He’s the one that caused all the problems, and I’ve had enough. When I’m through with him, he’ll think the Justice Department was friendly.”
“Look, lady. Out here in San Francisco, everyone looks like that. Look, let me buy you a drink, you can give me some more clues, and I can track this guy down for you. I am, by trade, a private investigator. Name’s Sam Spade. ‘Fraid it’s not really original, but what do you expect from formula fiction?”
“Thank you for your time, Mr. Spade. I was hoping I’d find you, though I guess a women like me couldn’t help but stumble into one of your stories. I want you to find this weasel man, and kill him. He’s committed horrible crimes against humanity, and I’m afraid the law won’t stop him. Think you could do that? There’s 100 grand in it for you, more if you don’t get caught.”
“Uh, huh. And what’s this guy done to you that’s worth whacking him about?”
“He’s the most evil man to walk the earth. He wants to take over the world through inferior technology and unfair business practices. I can’t get through a single day without his diabolical equipment breaking down, taking with it all my creative output, my livelihood and my resolve. It’s a nightmare Mr. Spade. And I’ve had it.”
“I see. And what’s this drowned rat’s name?”
klepht: / kleft / a robber, brigand. A member of the Greek patriot bands who held out after the Turkish conquest of Greece.