I’m suddenly laughing at the idea of a cliche noir detective story written in the brutally concise style of Hemingway.
A woman walked into my office. She had legs. I noticed her legs. “I have a problem. I need your help,” she said. They always said that. I knew her legs weren’t the problem. I hoped she might want my help with them anyhow.
“Can you pay?” I asked. Of course she could. Her shoes were worth more than my rent. She could pay.
“I can pay,” she said. Her eyes were wet. I wondered if anything else was wet. Probably not. I am not handsome. Not since the war.
She was looking at my scar. Lots of people do. Most look away. Not her. She did not look away. She looked at my scar and I looked at her legs. There were two of them. I liked that about her. I liked that a whole lot.
“Will there be danger?” I asked. There always is. This city bleeds danger, then drinks it right back up again.
“I’m afraid there might be danger,” she said. She had the voice of a beautiful woman. She also had the face and body of a beautiful woman. She was beautiful.
The light from the window was striped. It made stripes on my cigarette smoke. The end of my cigarette crumbled into ash. My marriage had also crumbled into ash.
“I can handle danger,” I said. I patted the butt of my gun. My gun was a Colt. My gun and my scar were all that was left from my time as a soldier. My gun, my scar, and the nightmares. I looked her up and down. “I am good at handling things.”
“It’s about my husband. He’s gone missing.”
She was not wearing a ring. It means something when a woman does not wear a wedding ring. Usually, it means that she is not married. “Seems your ring has also gone missing,” I said. I hoped her dress would join it.
Her red mouth curved upwards. She was smiling a little. “I don’t wear it outside. A diamond that large would only invite trouble.”
“In my experience, trouble doesn’t wait for an invitation.” I looked at her legs again. They were both still there. “When did you last see your husband?”
@kleenexwoman it got better!
i would read a whole novel like this seriously
(Your picture was not posted)