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Showing posts from February, 2014

Photo Challenge - February

The theme of this month's photo challenge coordinated by P.J. over at a 'lilhoohaa is "red". Now I was pretty busy in February what with participating in a daily writing challenge and all. I did find the time to take the lovely Mrs. Dufus out for dinner and present her with a beautiful bouquet of red roses. Lucky for me, nudge, nudge.







Click on P.J.'s link up there and see how the rest of the photog bloggers dealt with the prompt.

The Last Friggin' Day - Day 28

And Then My Brain Exploded
My life was flashing before my eyes. It had been a good life. I was happy with it. Funny how fear made you able to see what was going on around you while at the same time flashing back on days gone by. A click as Silver unlatched the safety on his service revolver brought me back to my surroundings.
"Don't do it, John. You won't get away with it"
"Sure I will, Jack. I'm gonna pin it all on you."
"After you shoot me."
"After I shoot you."
I pushed my hands out, not unlike the Supremes way back when they used to sing Stop, In The Name Of Love. Damn, now I was going to blow this mortal coil with that damn ear worm. 
Silver fired.
"Click"
He fired again.
"Click."
I put out my hand out to take his revolver.
"I emptied the clip before you got here this morning, John. Also, I looked under your desk. You know you moved your desk a couple of weeks ago? Yeah. There's a secret compartment …

It's Not Long Now! - Day 27

How Did You Find Out?
I spread out the paper on the table as I downed my sausages and eggs. I checked the crime stories every day. After all my case wasn't the only game out there. Across the front page was splashed a story about Mr. Moore Arty who'd been shot in the head at his breakfast table. He'd been found by his landlady face down in a bowl of Cheerios. Damn, I thought, this is the work of a cereal killer.

I got to the precinct early, before most of the day shift had arrived. It was 20 minutes before Silver was expected to show which was just fine. I wanted to be there before he was. I had something to do before he arrived.
The red second hand swept around the dial face of the clock on the squad room wall. It just didn't seem to be moving quickly enough. The air was stale, although not quite as stale as the three Gitanes cigarettes I had smoked in the last five minutes.
"Gouda" said Silver, startled."What are you doing in my office?"
"Sit…

Three More Days? Really? - Day 26

Naked and Lost
The air was pungent and full of smoke. My nostrils were working overtime to deal with the overpowering smell of beer, tobacco and human sweat. I lifted my head from the beer-drenched table  top and ran my fingers through my wet scalp.
Since coming to the conclusion that Captain Silver was a kingpin in drug running and illegals smuggling activities - and a murderer - I'd kinda gone off on a bender.
Kinda gone off on a bender was like expecting triplets and saying you're kinda pregnant. Who was I kidding. I'd done some serious damage to my liver, not to mention a few brain cells.
The last thing I remember is ordering another Pabst test - my nickname for a whiskey with a Blue Ribbon chaser. And then things went dark.
I wasn't wearing a handkerchief on my head but nevertheless my brain hurt. Seven jackhammers pounding in concrete couldn't compete with what was going on in my brain. As I squinted open my eyes I was immediately hit by bright sunlight. Not …

Four More Days - Yay!!! - Day 25

Social Media
I had to accelerate my efforts. Time was running out. However if my hunch was right my Captain Silver would soon have nothing but time on his hands. But a hunch wasn't good enough. I needed proof.
Now, I'm just your every day average hard-boiled homicide detective. I usually rely on underworld contacts and snitches for information. They're usually pretty reliable but getting the information can take  time and be a bit expensive.
I needed something quicker. I borrowed Dylan's laptop and started exploring. She had something called social media sites and plenty of them. I couldn't really get why they called it social media when people all talked to each other on computers and not face-to-face. To my mind they should have called it  unsocial media. Especially with the rate of exchange between the American and Canadian dollars.
Anyway, I Googled John Silver and one of the entries took me to something called Facebook. What's this? Among his friends were …

30M2DW III Day Yeah, Yeah, Whatever

And Then She Said
I was depressed. I'd spent 24 days on this murder case and if I didn't solve it in the next five days I'd soon be pounding a beat and pushing parking tickets.
I got home late. After work I'd stopped off at Rover's Rump where I'd reintroduced myself to my friends Mr Blue Ribbon and Mr Jack Daniels. They couldn't seem to remember my name so I'd had to make several attempts at introductions.
As I fumbled with my key in the apartment's front lock I could hear high-pitched laughter coming from the other side of the door. What the hell's going on here, I thought.
I swung open the door and there was my sweetie-pie Dylan along with another woman, a brunette-bobbed beauty with deep diaphanous eyes, languid lanky legs that wouldn't quit and big bouncy boobs any man could get lost in. She was wearing a sleek, slinky, strapless, backless, sequinned red number. And it's number I was guessing was 38-24-36. They were playing Trivial P…

Thank God We're In the Home Stretch - Day 23

There Are Things
There are things that really annoy me.  Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, figure skating judges, Stephen Harper and peas to name a few. But none of them hold a candle to unsolved cases that just drag on and on…not unlike seemingly endless internet writing challenges. Both are like a bad rash on your testicles that only gets worse the more you scratch.
Captain Silver was growing impatient with my lack of progress - with the case not the rash on my testicles - and had decided to call in the big guns. I guess he thought my Magnum wasn't big enough. Funny, I thought that's why they called it a Magnum.
Wait, gun was a metaphor. In an early morning meeting in his office he introduced me to an old, paunchy, bleary-eyed character named John Rebus.
Turns out Rebus was a semi-retired Scottish police Inspector with some time on his hands. How he and Silver knew each other I didn't know and neither were forthcoming about it. And when I inquired as to how the two had met Sil…

30M2DW III - Day 22

It's Only A Dream
I took my .44 Magnum from the bottom dresser drawer, fingered the hallow points into the clip, pumped the clip into the gun and stuck it into my pants, dropping the front of my Hawaiian shirt to hide it. At least I thought I'd hidden it.
"Oh, Studly," purred Dylan, "Are you glad to see me or what?"
"Very funny, Dylan, it's my Magnum."
"That's not the Magnum I saw last night" she cooed. "I hope you won't tell me it's only a dream."
"No honey last night was real enough that's for sure."
You know Dylan really made it difficult for me to keep my mind on my work but as much as I wanted to stay and play I knew what I had to do.
After our little distraction I quickly got dressed and hopped in my car. I had seven more days to wrap up this case and frankly I was getting a little tired of it dragging out as long as it had, not unlike the three-week mark of certain internet mid-winter writin…

30DM2W III - Day 21

Yes I Made That
Drug kingpin Joe Blow had certainly given me lots to chew on, and I wasn't talking about the two servings of frogs legs he'd feted me with. I was certain Joe had blown Ned Amigo away and my snitch Bird. But apparently not, and for some that might be hard to swallow. For me, though, I seriously doubted that the overweight slimeball ever left the chair in his restaurant.
But I'd put the case aside for a day. I had other things to think about. It was Dylan's birthday and I wanted it to be a very special occasion for her. And, if I played my cards right, at the end of the day it'd be a very special occasion for me, if you get my drift.
I told her she needed to get out of the apartment for awhile, so she arranged to spend several hours shopping with her friend Sara. Dylan had known Sara for some years. She came from the Lowlands and she always struck me as a bit of a sad eyed lady. But I digress.
It was time to go to work. I headed out to the market. I n…

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda III - Day 20

Chaos
He was right. They did taste like chicken. They were so good I ordered another plate of frogs legs with nary a thought of how the poor frogs got around without any legs.
"Good, eh?" said Joe.
"Hrmph, mumph, dumph" I replied and then thought maybe I should wait to respond when my mouth wasn't full.
And I had a lot of questions for Joe and I hoped he wouldn't blow me off. Ha, ha, I thought. I made a funny. Joe Blow. Blow me off. Sometimes I killed myself.
"Bark, Bark, Bark, Bark…Bark, Bark, Bark, Bark."
What the hell? Is that coming from the kitchen? I didn't see dog on the menu. Just as I was about to ask Joe he said "Relax, Inspector, it's just my phone. I got this crazy bark app for my ring tone from someone called Lauren. You should have seen the look on your face. Don't worry, Jack, my phone's bark is worse than it's bite…ha, ha, ha."
He turned his head away from me to take the call. I washed the last of the …

30M2DW III - Day 19

Tastes Like Chicken
I left Dusty and Lucky on the beach in Bijao, Panama - where the temperature hovered around 90F every day - sipping their fruity drinks with the little paper umbrellas in them and made for the Tocumen airport. I had a two hour cab ride ahead of me and I really needed to catch the last flight out to Newark. Otherwise, I'd have to spend another day in Panama. Did I mention the temperature was 90F?
With layovers in Newark and Montreal, and after a 14 hour travel day I finally made it home where, exhausted, I fell into bed next to Dylan.
She stirred. Her eyes fluttered open and she said to me "Hey, Stud. Glad you're back. Actually, I'm glad you're front too." And with that we tumbled into each other's arms and, like they say in the movies, fade to black.
The next day I was up early, showered, shaved and was ship-shape to continue my sleuthing. I checked the internet for the address of this restaurant in Chinatown, collected my keys and wit…

Damn, It's Only Day 18 of 30M2DW III

Liars
The breeze was almost non-existent. The sand beneath my feet was warm but not baking as it sometimes could be. And the ocean crept gently to the shore, it's waves whispering quietly upon the beach.

That's right. I'd tracked Dusty and Lucky Amigo to Panama where - stop me if you've heard this before - the sun shone brightly every day and the temperature crested at about 90F. But I digress.
I found the Amigos in a beach front bar sipping on fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them. They were easy to spot. Their funny Mexican sombreros stood out a mile away. I called for a Corona, pulled up a chair and sat down.
"You're a really gooda detective to track us down here" said Dusty and the two of them dissolved into giggles at Dusty's little joke.
"Yeah, yeah, everyone's a comedian. But you guys are a couple of liars.  Actually, you're a couple of outliars."

"Outliars?" said Dusty. "What the heck you talking about?&q…

Day 17 of The Writing Thingy

I Faked It
"You Gouda?"
"I've been called worse."
Horse face had seen me in my dark corner of the Twelfth Night Pub and made a bee-line for my table. He didn't make a bzz-bzz noise. In fact he didn't make any noise at all. He just walked straight to my table.
"I hear you've been looking for me" says Horse face.
"You could say that, although unfortunately I don't know your name."
"Oh, I'm sorry. Trigger. Raynes Trigger."
He had to be kidding. A guy with a face like a horse is named Trigger? 
"So Raynes, can I call you Raynes?"
"Hey, don't pull back."
"Okay, great. So Raynes, what can you tell me about the untimely demise of the 3 Amigos?"
"If they're dead then they had it coming."
"What do you mean 'if'?"
"Well I ran into Lucky only yesterday and he said, and this is a direct quote: 'I faked it'."
"He said that?"
"Y…

30M2DW III - Day Whatever

Shakespearean English
I slipped into the Twelfth Night Pub unobserved and thought to myself "Hmm, what a coincidence. The Twelfth night and this was the 16th night I'd been on the case." Cops weren't always the most accurate of people but, hey, close enough.
I parked myself in one of the darkest, deepest recesses of the bar and sat with my back to the wall so as to observe the comings and goings.
"What be your pleasure, my liege" boomed a voice in my ear. It was the barkeep, a swarthy looking fellow in what looked like knickerbockers and long stockings, shoes with silver buckles and a frilly shirt like in that Seinfeld episode.
I immediately thought of Dylan, but of course that wasn't the pleasure little Lord Fauntleroy was referring to.
"A whiskey with a Pabst chaser, and keep 'em coming."
"Forsooth, my lord has a liking for the spirits" claimed LLF.
"I don't know about your four suits but four Pabsts sounds about right…

30DM2W III - Day 15

My Ears Are Ringing
The hot mid-day sun hung high in a cloudless sky beating down on those of us silly enough to be out and about at that time of day. I pulled a well-worn handkerchief out of my back pocket and dabbed my brow for the umpteenth time in the last hour. I was waiting for my contact, sitting on a park bench in the town square. He was late and I was suffering the consequences of sitting in an area without a shade tree in sight. My contact was an immigration expert although not exactly of the legal sort. Word had it he ran wetbacks across the border and was probably the most successful at it, more than any of his competition.
And then he was beside me on the bench. He'd arrived silently and gave me a bit of a start.
"Gouda?"
"Good what?" I responded.
"No, you. Gouda?"
"Oh, sorry, yeah, that's me. You Manuel?
"Si, me Manuel."
"Okay, Manuel, I see you. But tell me, how does it work? Just what's the genesis of transp…

The Half-way Mark of this Bloody February Writing Thing - Day 14

It Has To Be Aliens
I was just coming out of  Daffy Dill's, the florist where I'd bought a bouquet of Bluebells to give to Dylan for Valentine's, when I saw him. There was no mistake about it. He had a long face, wide-set eyes, big teeth, a flowing mane and he kind of trotted as he moved in and out of pedestrians on the sidewalk across the street.
"Halt" I yelled and drew my pistol. I had no choice but to pitch the flowers as I took up the chase. A homeless woman, in whose lap I'd thrown the flowers gazed at me longingly. He was about a block ahead of me and as I picked up speed his trot quickly became a gallop. As we turned a corner and descended a set of stairs horse face was in the lead and I was on the rail.
And then he was gone. "What the…". Just like that he had disappeared.
Where the hell did he go I thought. "It has to be the aliens and their tractor beam" I said aloud as passers by started to stare at this wild-eyed, dishevelled d…

30M2DW III - Day 13

Incommunicado
As I drove out of my whey to the Cheese Store and my meeting with Chief Silver I started humming a little tune that had been rumbling around in my head. Soon, the hum turned to words…
On a tree by a river a little tom Tit,
Sang; "Willow, tit-willow, tit-willow". And I said to him; "dickie-bird why do you sit, singing willow, tit-willow, tit-willow?" "Is it weakness of intellect, birdie" I cried, "or a rather tough worm in your little insides?" With a shake of his poor little head he decried;
"Oh willow, tit-willow, tit-willow.
You really had to hand it to Gilbert and Sullivan. They had a real turn of phrase and the Incommunicado was one of my favourite G&S works.
Anyway this little ear worm helped pass the time as I made my way to the precinct. I found Silver alone in his office pushing his furniture around.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm tired of how this place looks. I'm rearranging the furnit…

That Writing Thing in February - Day 12

One Bite
The wind swept down the boulevard carrying with it last night's detritus. Detritus? You know debris, waste, refuse, rubbish, litter, scrap, rubble and so on. I say detritus because my pal MikeWJ said I didn't know how to use it in a sentence. You owe me $50 Mike. And detritus is just one of those words you'd expect to find in a noir discourse. My God am I a literary marvel or a homocide detective? Good to know I've got something to fall back on if this detecting thing doesn't work out.
And it wasn't working out. As I gazed out of my apartment window at the rising sun in the east (notice how the last chapter ended with a sunset in the west? That's continuity, folks.) I thought to myself that after 12 days I was no further ahead in finding the murderer of the 3 Amigos than I was on day 1.
Something had to change. Somehow I'd wandered off the trail searching for a man called Horse. All I knew was I'd better get myself back up in the saddle. 
F…

30DM2W III - Day 11

Succubus
In a blaze of red-hued and slightly clouded glory the sun began it's western descent. There was something metaphorical about that sunset because it was the last one I'd see at the dude ranch. My visit to the desert was coming to a close.
And as I thought about that Elton John song where he wails "don't let the sun go down on me" something more than metaphorical was happening to me as Dylan, unlike the sun, was going down on me.
"Dylan" I said half asleep " just what do you think you're doing?"
She looked at me, through honey blonde hair hanging across her face, and whispered devilishly "Wake up, Jack, I'm a succubus."
Honey, I thought, you can suck anything you want but I said "Babe, you might want to think that through because if you succubus you're bound to burn your lips on the tailpipe."
The moment was broken. She started to laugh, an endearing hiccupping giggle that got me going too. And as our lau…

30M2DW III - Day 10

Zombies
So I'd narrowed Horse down to be one of the seven guys. I won't say how I ruled out the ladies. You'll just have to take my word for it.
I'd staked out the men's showers bright and early. I'd drilled a tiny peep hole in the outside wall, giving me a clear shot at whoever might be taking a shower. In this way I'd be able to identify the guy with a horse's head tattoo on his chest.
Bob was the first up. And in no time at all I'd ruled him out. But Bob seemed to really enjoy his shower and took his time, if you know what I mean. I couldn't watch.
Bill was next and I could see right away he wasn't my guy. A bit of a horse's ass, Bill. But no horse's head.
Brian showed up next. And wait. He had a tattoo. But he was sideways to me and I couldn't make it out. He turned and… What the fuck? Who the hell was Harold?
It didn't take me long to find out when the next guy in the shower was…Harold. And he didn't wait for Brian t…

30M2DW III - Day 9

Dylan
She was a tall, cool glass of water and I thought I'd love to have her slake my thirst - nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
"Hi" she whispered breathily in my direction. "And who might you be, handsome?"
Well she'd already answered her own question but I decided to play along.
"I'm Jack. Jack Gouda, pleased to meet you Miss…?"
"Oh, I'm Dylan. Dylan Thinman."
"How interesting. Named after Dylan Thomas? McDermott? O'Brien? Farrow?"
"No, silly, Bob she moaned. "My parents were hippies. I'm just glad they didn't name me Sunflower or Moonbeam, Microbus or Weed," she giggled.
Wow, good looking and a sense of humour.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry."
"Don't think twice, it's all right."
"So what's the ballad of Ms Thinman, Dylan? Where's a girl like you from?
"The north country."
"And you're here all on your own? No husband or boyfrien…

30M2DW III - Day 8

Damn
A week had passed since I took on the case of the deaths of the Three Amigos and Bird, my snitch. I had to get myself in gear. Tracking down the murderer would take an olympic effort. Citius, altius, fortius I said to my self. We say that a lot in the detective business. Especially every four years around February. Not to be confused with the motto of a certain writing challenge: dimmer, dumber, drunker.

I'd escaped the clutches of the ax-wielding Boom Boom and left her commiserating with some French broad called Maryse (not a bad looker by the way). They were nursing a few at Rover's Rump pub when I excused myself and jumped out the men's room window. Now I was on the road, lukewarm on the trail of the bad guy.

What better place to track down a man called Horse than at a Dude Ranch. There were twelve of us all told - eight men and four women wanna-be cowboys - and morning came early at the dude ranch in the desert. In fact, it came before sun-up as we gathered in the…

30M2DW III - Day 7

Hint, Hint
The life of a hard-boiled cop isn't an easy one. At the station house you're only as good as the last case you cracked. In the dirty underworld of criminals, pimps and snitches you're only as good as your last Benjamin. And to the barkeeps of the world you're no good at all because they let you drink free beers and then you keep turning up for more like a bad penny. Not that I know any Pennys that are bad. In fact I know one who's pretty good, if you know what I mean. And in terms of currency I don't see how there can be any bad pennies because Canada got rid of them recently so we'd have to talk in terms of bad nickels, dimes, loonies and toonies. Just doesn't have the same ring to it.

And you may think it odd that a Canadian detective carries around a pocket full of Benjamins - American $100 bills. Well, yeah, it is a little odd but "Benjamin" sounds so much better than "Borden", some long-forgotten prime minister. And b…

30M2DW III - Day 6

Scatterbrained
When last we checked Izzy Amigo and I had shared a plate of cheese and a bottle of tequila while he gave me his thoughts on who murdered his bothers, the 3 Amigos. Izzy Amigo? No, not really, just an acquaintance who gave me some information.

But I couldn't sit around Rover's Rump much longer. Another drink would surely put me under the table and in that case I'd be a sitting duck for Boom Boom. Boom Boom? Just the most stubborn chick out of Rochester. And when she gets a bee in her bonnet, look out. It'll sting her and she'll strike out at the closest thing to her. I'd heard she was tracking me and she wasn't happy. My first clue? She carried an ax. Hey, give me some credit. I'm a detective.
But enough about that and back to our story. I stepped purposefully up the neatly-trimmed sidewalk of 77 rue Sunset, on the French end of the strip. This is where Izzy's cousin Jhurigo Hugo lives. Hugo is her married name. 
The door swings open a…

30M2DW III - Day 5

The Empty Bottle
I had to dig deeper. There was a killer out there. I had to find him before he struck again. Victims were dropping faster than participants in a certain mid-winter writing challenge.

When the Chief says get on the case, he's not talking about scotch. I'd received a tip that a fourth Amigo may have had some knowledge about the untimely demise of his three Amigo brothers. So Jack Gouda was back in the hunt.
His first name was Isuza. For some reason people associated Isuza Amigo with the car business but he actually owned a chain of supermarkets in Puerto Rico.
Izzy, as most called him, was a quiet, low-key individual. Of the four Amigo brothers Izzy was the one who rose above criminal activity. He was kinda the Amigo version of Zeppo Marx. He was on the level, a straight shooter - not in the literal sense, 'cause he didn't carry a gun - in short an honest man. Not a short, honest man because Izzy was 6'2". And, like Zeppo, he wasn't funny.
I…