Not Quite What He Wanted

You know how there’s always that story of the final mission?
That came too early.
My cry for help came too late; apparently someone was a little trigger happy.
The last thing I heard was, “Looks like we have another case of ‘swiss cheese’.”
But then again, if I’m dead, how am I recollecting this story?
Beats me. Ask the author.

(Author’s Note: I wasn’t too sure where this was going in the first place, but I soon realized it was nowhere. In ‘ne case, I’ll have a fresh adventure with a new lead soon.)

Breaking… In or Out?

Imagine being on a summer vacation in the Bahamas, the warm rays of sunshine engulfing you in its blinding glory, listening to the gentle sloshing of the tides against the beach, that has the smoothest sand in all the Caribbean, endless miles of clear water all around you, alone on your own private island.
This mission was nothing like that.
After bumping my head against the low air duct ceiling for the 5th time, I let out a silent curse, wondering why Jake always insisted on doing things the hard way.
“Dammit, Jake, they don’t have a front door for nothing!” I vehemently spat at him, intent on digging in the most guilt with every word.
“I’m sorry Dixon, but it simply isn’t in our best interests to make our presence known. Now we quiet, or we might be caught,” he whispered fiercly back at me.
I cursed again, for there were now oil stains in my best blazer that would never come out. Such is the life of a private investigator.
We continued in the air duct, taking several lefts when I felt right was right, and often taking rights I thought were wrong. After endless passages and several more bruises, Jake turned and smiled, apparently successful at finding our way to our destination. He quickly popped the grate out while we silently dropped into the dark room. I stood and waited, hoping that Jake knew where the light switch was.
“You know, why is it that the room you always need to get to always has an easy back door in it? It’s just ridiculous how easy things are; it’s almost as if they wanted us to just stroll right in,” I commented, a growing sense of pride at our apparent competence in making such a difficult assignment easy.
“Yes, it would seem that way, wouldn’t it?” responded a distinctly unfamiliar voice, to which I soon attributed to an unfamiliar face as the lights overwhelmed the darkness. “Now, you’ve met your end. Men, kill them,” the man ordered, and I look around to see several thugs who seemed very eager to let their index finger speak for them.
“I think we should fight,” Jake muttered to me.
“If by fight, you mean pull out a random device that has been alluded to by our mastermind toy maker earlier in the story and escape in a spectular manner, I agree,” I retorted.
“By fight, I meant something more like praying to every god you know that their weapon providers accidently filled their ammo boxes with blanks. Either that, or their aim sucks and they shoot each other instead.”
“I think we’ll just go classic,” I finished. I heard percussive clicks come from each gun as our doom moved into the barrel. I anxiously waited for the last moment, feeling the exact second before their trigger appendages tensed, and yelled, “Wait!”

Strange Places

Waking up in a strange room with menacing men holding weapons no longer scared me. Or even surprised me. I’d been through this hundreds of times, and my survival is a testament to some ridiculous fortune.
Perturbed that my hat and coat had been removed, I also noticed my gun gone, along with my keys, wallet, and rubber duck. I tried to move, but found all limbs tied to the chair, and the chair seemed quite stable.
“Stop moving, or the boss says we can make a hit,” one of the men behind him said.
“Make a hit, you say? Hehe, well, my good friend Ricky has made a couple hits too, like “Fly me to the Random Space Junk” and “Come Soar with Me”, hehe,” I replied nervously. Humor always loosened up tense situations. It also loosened up restraint.
“Think you’re so funny, eh?” Darn Canadian hitmen(W00T!!). “Well, why don’t you tell your joke to Mr. Louisville Slugger?” His arm cocked back when a door I couldn’t see creaked open. His arm relaxed as another voice, much smoother, came across to me.
“Mr. Dills, I’m surprised to see you back again so early,” the man said as he closed the door behind him. “Does it not seem like just yesterday that you made a similar visit, under similar circumstances?”
“Perhaps,” I responded neutrally. Advice: don’t let anything on in an interrogation room.
“Ah, well I’m sure you know best. Of course, I actually know why you’re here this time,” he hinted.
“Oh, do you? Mind letting me in on that, I think I’ve forgotten.” I always chuckle in my mind after lines like that.
“Yes, I believe it was because of something like this,” he finished, pulling out his gun and cocking it.
Some people pray at moments like this. I just use my psychic powers to deflect the bullets.
Not really.
“See you in Hell, Mr. Rawlins,” I responded cheerfully, knowing all the little offenses would’ve stacked up against me.
“To be sure,” he responded, swinging his gun around and popping each of the thugs in the forehead.


Yeah. Because that one happens a lot.

Twists… are Best Saved for a Rope

Well, luck is fickle, but I just seem to always grab it at the right time.
“Well, that’s one bridge that I’ve crossed while burning,” Jake Rawlins muttered. “How you doing, Dixon?”
“Oh, you know, not so bad, just the usual, murder attempts, torture, etc. Hey, you mind undoing these bindings?” I casually requested of him.
“Oh, ya, sure,” he responded, putting his gun back in his holster, sweeping a couple blond locks back, then working on the rope behind me.
Within a minute, he had undone all of it, and we immediately began to plan.
“So, when you got me in here, did you have a plan for getting me out?”(‘neone catch the quote? Comment the source) I asked, rubbing my wrists, then checking to see what equipment they had stripped from me.
“Well, I know the guards on this hallway are knocked out from some ‘special’ whiskey I gave them, though past that, I don’t think there are any major obstacles. What are you doing down here, anyways?” he inquired. So he was bluffing before…
“A Mrs. Betty Belle came to my door, looking for some cover when she was killed in my office. Went down to Pops, and he pointed me in this direction,” I explained.
A ghastly look came over Rawlins when I turned to look, and his eyes widened. Apparently something was wrong.
“Did, did, did, you… say Betty Belle?” he repeated, blinking hard as though to rid it of his mind.
“Uh, yeah, didjya know her?”
Color seemed to return to his face as he eased slightly, wiping his sweat with a hankerchief.
“We need to break into Captain’s office. Now.” He held his voice carefully, making sure to enunciate every word precisely.
“Why is that?” I asked him, wondering why it was so neccesary to take such a big risk.
“Because there’s no way she could be dead in your office if she’s locked in the Captain’s.”

Trouble’s Not Just for the Customers

He quietly opened the door to the “Bunny Cradle”, attempting to make as little disturbance as possible. The smoke filed his nasal cavity, blessing him with the smell of cigarettes instead of the B.O. of many unshowered men. Pool balls knocked together, mugs were clunked around, and music played above all other sounds. Wondering what he would find here, Dixon sauntered over to the bar, taking a seat isolated from the others.
“What can I get for ya?” the bartender called over his shoulder while cleaning out one of the mugs.
“Prune juice. Warm, not chilled,” he responded smuggly.
The bartender stopped for a moment, then turned toward him, embers burning in his eyes. “How dare you bring your sorry butt in here and order something like that! You come to an honorable estab-“
CRACK, cried the baseball bat as it collided with the back of an unsuspecting man’s head, ensuing into another bar fight.
The bartender paused again. “Okay, whatever, need to get rid of it ‘neways,” he finished, moving into the stockroom to grab the unopened crate.
“Mr. Dills, I’m surprised to see you back here again,” called out a familiar voice from behind him.
Dixon turned as Mr. Knuckles greeted him as well.

Down by the Water

“Ah, Mr. Jones,” Dixon replied curtly as the men around him moved closer, bats in hand. “I would greatly prefer it if you removed the mask,” he continued, gesturing to the tall man’s face.
“Ah, yes, about that,” he returned, slowly pulling it off. “So when are you planning on joining the community baseball team? I’ve been waiting for a reply for awhile.”
“I’m on a case right now, so I’ll have to give you a rain-check. Sorry about it.”
They slowly began walking down the street, chatting about news and such. Fortunately, a team of baseball players with bats in hand was enough to keep the thieves and muggers away.
“Well, as much as I’ve enjoyed this,” Dixon said later, “I really need to figure this case out. I’ll call you when I have time.”
The tall man nodded, and Dixon took the nearest cab to head down to the docks.

The docks were a savage place for only the toughest of men, bravest of all, and darkest of skin(sorry). For as dangerous as the streets of Webster were, no law enforcement officer dared go near the docks. A hive of corruption and danger, the docks held almost every major crime organization in town. Along with the only “Sears”.
The sun had not set, but the roads seemed dark regardless. The smell of the ocean, the cries of the seagulls, and the taste of garbage around gave the greatest warning any could need to stay away, but Dixon was unafraid.
He had his membership card in his pocket.
“Yo, whachu trying to pull?” said a random gang member as Dixon walked up.
“I’ve got my card in my pocket,” he quickly responded, pulling it out and showing him.
The man inspected it carefully in his grimy hands. “Looks alright to me. But you better watch yourself,” he hinted, lowering his voice. “The Blue Clams are looking to start trouble. I’d stay in Vaseline Razer town, if I were you.”
“Do you know where I can find the nearest Bar on 5th street? I’m actually kind of thirsty,” he asked offhandedly.
“Bunny Cradle. Can’t miss it,” he responded. Dixon gave him a quick nod and headed in that direction, not noticing those in his shadow.

A Stroll to Papa’s Place

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.

Just When You Think You Have an Easy Case…

“Well, you’ve come to the right place,” I said in my smoothest, most nonchalant voice. “Take a seat, make yourself comfortable,” I continued, propping my feet back up, stretching out my long legs, and running my hand through my hair.
“Thank you,” she responded politely, moving toward the chair, grasping it with her velvet gloves, then adjusting herself in the seat. “Well, see my husband, he-” she paused for a moment. Damn, all the good women are taken! “Well, see, my husband, he’s been involved in a lot of ‘incidents’, and I think our lives are in danger. I don’t have any real proof, but it always feels like there’s someone in the shadow, like, like-“
“Like you’re being followed?” I finished, casting my eyes up to the ceiling, pulling the pipe out of my desk and lighting it without glancing back at it. She nodded, and I imagine that she had a very concerned countenance at that moment, though I couldn’t look through her veil; not like I cared. I learned it was never worth it to get even remotely emotionally involved in a case. Until you know how padded their pocketbook is, of course.
“Could you do something about that?” She kind of looked at me funny, and I just kind of looked back. “Well, I don’t really know what I’m asking for,” she interjected, breaking the awkwardness. “I don’t even know if you can help. I just thought-“
“You know, I’ve done hundreds of cases,” I said wistfully “and I know exactly how they all begin. Just like that.” I gestured with my pipe at her, moving my eyes back to the ceiling. “I can do it. But it’s going to cost you; my usual ra-“
Just then, a series of loud pops went off behind me, breaking the serenity of the moment, shattering the window behind me and tearing the blinds. I felt a searing pain and quick air just above my shoulder. Instinctively, I immediately pulled my gun out of my hidden holster, falling to a position behind my desk. The firing abruptly stopped, and I catiously poked my head up to see where it had come from, but my assailants had fled. I was quite angry about another attack on my life, but even more perturbed that they had forced me to drop (and possibly damage) a perfectly good pipe. I sighed, reholstering my gun, vaguely satisfied that I was still alive.
“Could’ve been worse,” I commented as I turned to look at my guest.
“Aww hell…”

Introducing…

It was a late afternoon, one of those afternoons where you have the taste of lunch’s pastrami just sitting in your mouth, slowly growing more and more foul as it turns to gingivitis. It had been a slow day in the office, no visitors, no mail, no mystery. I always hated days like that, because you knew that somewhere something was happening that needed to be fixed. If only I had the motivation to get up and fix it instead of letting someone come to me.
I counted the number of lace crosses on my shoes as my feet sat propped up on my desk, staring straight up to the ceiling with those toes that so desperately needed clipping. I had played with my fedora for what seemed like an eternity. Every sound that passed in the hallway excited me, a possibility for a new case to be presented, yet each echoed away in silhouettes just as they came. I had counted the number of ceiling tiles 42 times when I heard the doorknob clink as it turned. Immediately at attention, I dropped my feet, pulled out my pen, and looked hard at the grocery list on my desk, slowly raising my head as my visitor came in.
She was beautiful.
Yet mysterious.
“Hello, are you Mr. Dixon Dills?” I slowly nodded my head at the anonymous figure at the door, wondering why she didn’t just read it off the door. “I’m Betty Belle, and I need your help…”

Stories of Summer

Summer is glorious beyond all gloriousness.
And I’ve never enjoyed it so much.
In the past, I’ve always just kind of stayed at home and vegged all summer, but not this year. This year is going to be so awesome.
Sort of.
Well, the day after school got out, I got a chance to bring Nerd Football back, and we had a good 12 ppl show up to play. We played for about 2 hrs, and I must say, that was probably some of the best Nerd Football we’ve ever played. No rain, no injuries(Willie *ahem*), reasonable teams, and pretty good weather. It was great.
Dad came back last week, which is pretty cool. All the family’s back, feels like home again.
In a span of 4 days, we managed to have 3 parties over at Evan’s house. Interesting time I got to spend over there… lots of fun over there, hanging out with that entire family, lots of PS2, and a nice game of Hold ‘Em. Got to spend quite a bit of time talking with Julie(aren’t you proud you got special mention again?), which was interesting to say the least. Wait, Tom moment: got a poker story.
So I was playing with Thor, Kenny, and Julian, and Julian got wiped pretty soon, with Kenny and me in pretty bad condition. Kenny makes a bad call for going all-in on Thor’s straight, but I backed off and scampered away with somewhere around a dollar left(Thor was, as I estimate, somewhere around 10). Fold, fold, fold, blah blah blah, yet with mebbe 3-4 good hands of the 15-20 he dealt, I managed to claim a sizable amount, and eventually a majority of the chips. But ya. Okay, Tom does a betta job, but whatever.
Been hanging out with Kosine for the past couple days, quite an interesting guy for a complete loser.
Went over to Willie’s yesterday with Aditya and Albie, and we went swimming. Wow.
I can honestly say I’ve never had a better time playing Monkey-in-the-Middle and Marco Polo.
From successfully tricking Willie to swim a lap in a “race” that we made back ahead by far when he “didn’t even see you guys(us)”, to sacrificial victims for Marco Polo, it was hilarious.
New Marchers started yesterday, and honestly, I floundered.
I thought I would have done a better job, but I didn’t quite seem to be able to find the confidence to present myself as a knowledgable DI. That is definitely going to get better(thought I did a better job today, for sure).
The tuba section seems pretty dry right now. Of the 4 kids, one can’t shut up(in a bad way, of course), and the other 3 won’t talk. As such, they’re very fishy(honest question to ‘neone: was/am I that bad?). I think that once summer band comes around and I can stick them in with the rest of the section, they’ll come around. I did.
Marching has definitely been a fun experience. As usual, marching is as exhilarating, in that weird band geek sort of way, and it’s been interesting being a DI. I’ve gotten so used to looking up to great leaders of upperclassmen, like, like… like Daniel Cangany and K.C. White and Chris Westbrook and Arash Tehrani that I really feel like I’m getting more respect. =)
But really, it’s pretty cool, because I can actually make a difference, and ppl watch me and expect me to teach them and lead them. Pretty spiffy stuff. Extremely awkward though, and definitely different. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing Matt Soerens in a leadership position…

STORYTIME!!!
Well, luck is fickle, but I just seem to always grab it at the right time.
“Well, that’s one bridge that I’ve crossed while burning,” Jake Rawlins muttered. “How you doing, Dixon?”
“Oh, you know, not so bad, just the usual, murder attempts, torture, etc. Hey, you mind undoing these bindings?” I casually requested of him.
“Oh, ya, sure,” he responded, putting his gun back in his holster, sweeping a couple blond locks back, then working on the rope behind me.
Within a minute, he had undone all of it, and we immediately began to plan.
“So, when you got me in here, did you have a plan for getting me out?”(‘neone catch the quote? Comment the source) I asked, rubbing my wrists, then checking to see what equipment they had stripped from me.
“Well, I know the guards on this hallway are knocked out from some ‘special’ whiskey I gave them, though past that, I don’t think there are any major obstacles. What are you doing down here, anyways?” he inquired. So he was bluffing before…
“A Mrs. Betty Belle came to my door, looking for some cover when she was killed in my office. Went down to Pops, and he pointed me in this direction,” I explained.
A ghastly look came over Rawlins when I turned to look, and his eyes widened. Apparently something was wrong.
“Did, did, did, you… say Betty Belle?” he repeated, blinking hard as though to rid it of his mind.
“Uh, yeah, didjya know her?”
Color seemed to return to his face as he eased slightly, wiping his sweat with a hankerchief.
“We need to break into Captain’s office. Now.” He held his voice carefully, making sure to enunciate every word precisely.
“Why is that?” I asked him, wondering why it was so neccesary to take such a big risk.
“Because there’s no way she could be dead in your office if she’s locked in the Captain’s.”