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|Shamus (standard:other, 1591 words)|
|Author: kendall thomas||Added: Jul 25 2004||Views/Reads: 1974/1175||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Gritty, hardboiled P.I. tale.|
SHAMUS 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.” “Why?” “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. Click here to read the rest of this story (165 more lines)
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