A good afternoon is not having a dead broad on your office floor.
Today was not a good afternoon.
One of the secretaries came rushing in, a horror covering her face.
“Oh my stars!” she exclaimed, hand over mouth, eyes as wide as a whale.
“Yeah, that stain’ll be a pain to remove from the carpet,” I responded, checking to see how deep the blood had stained.
The secretary ran back out, which I had hoped was to call the cops. I needed answers.
And stain remover.
I checked and found the bullet wound just above her left temple, piercing straight into her brain. I shook my head, disappointed at another lost life at my hands. I searched her, looking for any clues to her existance, but she had no identification, nothing that could tell me anything. I knew there had to be a lead, something that could tell me something and lead me from this mysterious enigma before me. I checked her pockets once more, then again, hoping that I had missed that important clue, and that it still lay there.
“The police are coming,” the secretary told me, poking her head just past the doorframe. Glancing in her direction, I gave her a quick nod, and she disappeared back to where she came from.
No good mystery starts without a lead. Then again, maybe my lead was waiting for me somewhere else.
After the cops had arrived, after I had cleared up the situation, after I had cleaned up my carpet, I took my coat and went for a walk.
The Webster streets are a dangerous place, a poorly kept part of town. Slums exist in every doorway, crime runs rampant in the alleys, and no one who lives here doesn’t have a story to tell. The disorganized streets are a haven for those who wish to disappear and make a living without one.
I knew one man who might help me, one man who had all the answers, one man who just might give me that lead.
I walked into the bakery, inhaling the aroma of “Papa’s Bread”. I catiously walked over to the counter, checking for spies, yet trying to maintain my facade.
“Daniel, finish the baguettes right away! I cannot afford to lose my top customer just because someone sneezed in the first batch and had to start over!”
I chuckled at the menacing voice coming from the back, a deep Italian accent for a large man. I stood at the counter, awaiting his return.
“Ah, Dixon, my top customer,” he spewed, sauntering back over to the counter. “What can I get for you today?”
“Ah, Mr. Papa,” I started, iniating the code sequence. His countenance suddenly changed as he glanced at all the tables, then resuming his act, picking up a glass to clean.
“How are the chickens, Mr. Dills?” he responded, quickly picking up the lingo.
“They are just fine, but my third hen lay a broken egg this morning. I was wondering if you could stop it from happening again,” I quickly responded. You don’t get sent to four years at detective schools to not know this stuff.
“Well, what name does this hen go by? I hear that the name is important.”
“She is Betty, and it happened right after I rang the bell.”
His eyes suddenly flashed sorrow as he turned his back to me, replacing the glass and picking up another. “You might want to check the Bull’s Barn, the fifth stall. You might find some more hay there for more padding.”
I nodded my head as he handed me a baguette, which I kindly took for free as I turned to leave his shop.
I wondered as to what I would find at the Docks, but I knew that Papa wouldn’t fail me. I closed the door behind me when I noticed several figures around me.
“We’ve been waiting Mr. Dills; I’ve been waiting for this,” said the tallest one.