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Shamus (standard:other, 1591 words)
Author: kendall thomas Added: Jul 25 2004Views/Reads: 2071/1244Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Gritty, hardboiled P.I. tale.


by Will . 

For once the call light on my telephone was blinking when I got to my
office.  Business had been bad for a couple of months.  I only had five 
bucks left in my checking account. 

I pressed the voice memo and sat down at my scarred oak desk propping my
dogs up. 

“This is Lonnie Mack, shamus.  Meet me at Park and 7th.  11 a.m. sharp.”

I glanced at my watch; I had a couple of hours to kill.  I stopped at
Larry's for a double whiskey with a beer chaser, then headed out. 

Lonnie Mack was a big old southern boy who had lifted himself up by the
bootstraps the old fashioned way:  through drugs, loan sharking, 
prostitution, extortion, etcetera. 

He was sitting at an outdoor table, with a red and white checked
covering, in front of Ernie's hot dog stand, stuffing his face.  There 
were two goons standing nearby.  One of them patted me down. 

“I never pack,” I said. 

“Not that,” Lonnie replied, while chewing on a hefty chunk.  “Have to
make sure you're not wired.” 

He nodded for me to take a seat across from him.  A diamond pinkie ring
glittered in the sunlight. 

I remained standing. 

“I heard about the goods you got on Lenny Franks for a client.”  Lonnie
chuckled and slurped down a mouthful of malt.  Lenny won't be gettin' 
around so well now -- not without his kneecaps. 

“What did you want to see me about?” 

“Like to get to the point, huh?  Well, that's cool.”  He wiped his mouth
with a napkin and leaned back.   “It's my wife.   She's a whore.” 

“So, she's fucking around.  What do you want me for?” 

Lonnie took a roll from his pocket, peeled off ten bills and slid them
across the table. 

“I want pictures.” 


“I collect'em.” 

I slid the bills off the table and into my pocket with a nonchalant air
as if I had more there and had no need for them. 

He took a gold pen from the pocket of his off-white gauzy shirt and
scribbled quickly on a paper napkin. 

“That's where you get in touch with me; make sure you don't give it to
anyone else.” 

I didn't have to wait long the next day to follow Emma Mack.  Around
noon she drove out from Lonnie's suburban home on Estate Boulevard in a 
red Vette.  I followed her onto the interstate, where, after fifteen 
minutes, she exited onto a side road winding up at a small park with a 
greenish lake in the center and dusty trees surrounding the whole. 

There was a tall guy with a ponytail waiting for her next to a VW
Beetle.  I snapped a couple of pictures as they embraced passionately 
and strolled off toward a thick border of trees. 

I parked a couple of hundred feet farther down and doubled back. 

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