Sea Legs: Chapter 2

One of the rules of the gumshoe business is this: don’t let personal feelings get in the way of a clean job. I followed Paul Lorre to his house. It was a straightforward drive, down privileged streets lined with pencil-thin sidewalks. My Buick was as out of place as a wart on Susan Hayward. If he saw me, that was good. Over-confidence is every sap’s downfall. I didn’t know Lorre, only by reputation, and I didn’t like him. He had that monied attitude that put the sour in my belly. But I pushed that aside. I wasn’t paid to like him.

He lived on Upper Riverside, in a neighborhood loaded with swells and their chunky Edwardians. The houses hung fat shadows over everything like they were supposed to. Lorre made his money after the War, turning land into gold through some tidy alchemy that most chumps don’t understand. He had a knack for it, and it was barely this side of legal. I didn’t dislike him for his money; I disliked him because he wore it on his face, all the time. The clever man with a sneer, a man who thought he owned the world, or the prettiest piece of it.

Lorre wasn’t alone, and I wasn’t surprised. He parked his Nash in the driveway, and escorted his sugar-baby to the front door without a qualm. She was just another rich man’s entitlement. My camera was loaded, but something felt off. Way off. It felt too easy.

Another rule of the gumshoe business is this: trust your gut; if it feels wrong, it probably is. (Steve)

Was there more to this case than just exposing Lorre as another lying, cheating son of a bitch? Just for a moment, I heard that little voice in my head, agree with my rarely wrong gut. I put down the camera and decided to dig a little deeper into both the beautiful woman who hired me and Lorre. (Alexis https://atribeuntangled.com)

***

He was the Golden Boy who tried his best to keep me from throwing myself from the roof of the building. And then the Gin won out over the foggy future prospect of a police pension and I found myself on the outside, broke but free from all the bullshit the city bosses shoveled downhill to cops who did the job. Golden Boy had a wife and three kids and kept his shoes shined. He stayed and I managed to get out before all the pinches with busted lips and the mugshots with turbans caught up with me.

Carlisle. How’s the kids?” The phone booth stunk and something slippery and dark was on the floor.

Shithead. You only call me when you want something. The kids have all had birthdays since the last time I heard from you. She may be knocked up again. I need to make sergeant, soon.”
Golden Boy was working burglary now. On his way up the Inspector’s ladder from missing persons. But he had access to the card files and knew every clerk downstairs in records. If there was anything I needed to know he could find it. If he didn’t get caught… (Mike Fullerhttps://mikefullerauthor.com)

Bastard. He wasn’t going to pass on an opportunity to make me feel shitty for not remembering his kids birthdays. All part and parcel for squeezing a few extra greenbacks out of me for a job. “You’ll make sergeant, get sergeant’s pay, and still take an arm and a leg from me for every call, you son of a bitch. At least your intuition’s still on point. I do need a favor.” I whistled out the nervous breath I’d been trying to hold back. “You hereby have my permission to verbally lay me out after I tell you who it is I’m scouting and why.” (K’lee (https://obzervational.com

***

Join K’lee (https://obzervational.com) and me in the adventure. Add a few sentences or paragraphs in our respective comments, along with your name and site address, and you’re in! No prior gumshoe experience is necessary.

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29 thoughts on “Sea Legs: Chapter 2

  1. Was there more to this case than just exposing Lorre as another lying, cheating son of a bitch? Just for a moment, I heard that little voice in my head, agree with my rarely wrong gut. I put down the camera and decided to dig a little deeper into both the beautiful woman who hired me and Lorre.
    (this is fun…Alexis! atribeuntangled.com

    Liked by 2 people

  2. He was the Golden Boy who tried his best to keep me from throwing myself from the roof of the building. And then the Gin won out over the foggy future prospect of a police pension and I found myself on the outside, broke but free from all the bullshit the city bosses shoveled downhill to cops who did the job. Golden Boy had a wife and three kids and kept his shoes shined. He stayed and I managed to get out before all the pinches with busted lips and the mugshots with turbans caught up with me.

    “Carlisle. How’s the kids?” The phone booth stunk and something slippery and dark was on the floor.

    “Shithead. You only call me when you want something. The kids have all had birthdays since the last time I heard from you. She may be knocked up again. I need to make sergeant, soon.”

    Golden Boy was working burglary now. On his way up the Inspector’s ladder from missing persons. But he had access to the card files and knew every clerk downstairs in records. If there was anything I needed to know he could find it. If he didn’t get caught…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All right, Steve. I’m going in on the first person:

    Bastard. He wasn’t going to pass on an opportunity to make me feel shitty for not remembering his kids birthdays. All part and parcel for squeezing a few extra greenbacks out of me for a job. “You’ll make sergeant, get sergeant’s pay, and still take an arm and a leg from me for every call, you son of a bitch. At least your intuition’s still on point. I do need a favor.” I whistled out the nervous breath I’d been trying to hold back. “You hereby have my permission to verbally lay me out after I tell you who it is I’m scouting and why.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds great, K’lee! I’ve added it to the post. This story’s getting more challenging and interesting! I’ll probably take a couple of days before chapter three… there’s a lot to mull over. And I’ve got to get started on posting to the MyTrendingStories site. It looks like a busy week ahead. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Sea Legs: Chapter Two: Up and Running! | Obzervashunal

      1. Well, Anderson ensured one thing: We got to come bold or not at all… she really did ratchet things up a gear or three, so no sense wasting the fire… you can do it! (grin…)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Anderson. Could you tweak this for a PG-version? I really like the direction you’ve taken and think it takes the story in an exciting and unexpected direction. Just a little alteration of some of the more explicit phrasing. Thanks.

    Like

    1. For sure. It might take me a bit to get to it, I have a lot going on today and tomorrow. But I will certainly clean it up. If you want to delete the comment from the site, that is fine, I’ve got the original saved on my computer.

      -Anderson Ryle

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok, edited some of the language and some of the more explicit material out. There should be no more F-words in it. I kept in the cocaine, because I wanted him to have a reason for Lorre to go to the safe. Not sure of Mathilda’s game, maybe she just wants him dead, but maybe she knew he would open that safe and she wanted pictures of the combination. Not sure exactly how PG you want it, but I am happy to do more editing if needed, including the drug references.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    I lit up my cigarette and stepped out of the phone booth. Heavy clouds blanketed the moon, and I welcomed the darkness. I swung my camera up, ready to shoot. As rotten as the whole thing felt, I wasn’t going to miss a chance to get the pictures. Maybe this whole job was wrong and the pictures were worthless, or maybe it was exactly as I’d been told and it would just be getting paid to catch another cheating husband, but maybe these pictures were worth a damn sight more than that.

    Lorre and the woman were in a bedroom on the second floor. They weren’t making it easy for me, but luckily there was a pergola that I was able to climb onto. When I had made it to the top, I paused to catch my breath. From the pergola, it was a small scramble onto the roof. I positioned myself just below the window and tapped out my cigarette on the shingles, letting the butt roll into the gutter. There was a single lamp on the bedside nightstand; it was bright enough to cast a golden light over the two lovers. Lovers, whatever the hell that meant. I checked my pocket for the colt revolver, and then went to work.

    I took a few establishing shots of the bedroom: bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice, and a record on the turntable. Then Lorre had his clothes off, and I had a great shot of the woman’s face. Money. I snapped off three photos. The girl was tan, and had long, curly blonde hair. She was pretty in the way that your high school prom queen was pretty, but she didn’t have the freckles that had been spinning around inside my brain all night.

    I waited for the scene to change, and sure enough it did. The woman pulled a pair of handcuffs out of her purse, and before long she was cuffed to the bedpost. During the first job I took doing this kind of work, my dick was hard from the first picture to the last. After a couple hundred, the old boy won’t so much as raise his head. I snapped off some more photographs as Lorre moved in behind her. I was burning through film like I was back in Okinawa feeding ammo into machine guns. I opened my Brownie, ripped out one film canister, and slammed in a second. My fingers worked like mad to keep up with the scene unfolding in front of me. At last there was a lull in the action, and Lorre unlocked the cuffs. I snapped a few more pictures as the woman poured two glasses of champagne.

    After a few minutes, Lorre opened the drawer of the nightstand and pulled out a blindfold. The woman smiled as he wrapped it around her eyes and tied it tight. Then he pulled back the picture hanging over the bed to reveal an iron safe. I readied my camera and unloaded as he twisted the dial to enter the combination. He swung the safe door open and reached inside. I quickly replaced the film once again with a fresh canister. He pulled out a white bag of powder, closed the safe, and returned the picture to its place. He dipped his finger in the powder as he moved himself behind the woman. He rubbed the powder on her gums, and I had a perfect view.

    It didn’t take long for them to snort half of the bag of coke straight off the nightstand, her blindfold removed and forgotten in the corner. I took pictures of the whole thing. After a while, Lorre started to come onto her again. They twisted the sheets for a moment, and then it was his turn to be handcuffed to the bed. She locked him in the cuffs, and slid on top. Her grind was slow, Lorre let out a moan, and even the old boy perked up for a minute as she worked. Eventually her paced quickened, and his moans grew louder.

    Then, quite suddenly, the scene changed again. I couldn’t see what happened at first, but the moaning stopped, the woman lifted herself off of the bed, and then she placed two fingers gently on his throat. My camera was firing and it took me a minute to realize that Lorre’s body had gone completely limp. Overdose? Heart attack? I didn’t know, but it didn’t look good. I kept firing. The woman slipped her dress back on, and picked up the two glasses of champagne. She finished hers in a single swallow, but she took his half empty glass and strode confidently to the window. I saw her heading towards me and ducked to the side just in time. Her left hand threw the window open, and she pitched the last of Lorre’s champagne out onto the roof, just past my face. She hadn’t seen me.

    After she closed the window, I steeled my nerves enough to look inside again. She was just leaving the bedroom, purse in hand. I quickly opened the window and stepped inside the house. The music was still running in the turntable, covering my noise. I snapped a few pictures of the scene, and then checked Lorre’s pulse. Nothing. The man with the silver spoon up his ass had died on me. I bolted back out the window, and scrambled down the pergola as fast as I could, twisting my ankle slightly on the landing. I cursed as I tried to run across to my Buick, slowing to a limp as I reached it.

    I already had the pictures, and Lorre wasn’t getting any deader, so I didn’t see a rush in calling the cops. I wanted to find out who this woman was, who had hired her, and what her end game was. She pulled out of the driveway in Lorre’s car, I followed it to a parking garage where she ditched it, then followed the cab she took downtown. She switched cabs, amateur; switching cabs only works if the tail doesn’t see you get out. This cab took her to the west side of the city, and dropped her off at a street corner. I watched which way she was walking, drove past her and parked down an alley. Then I walked towards her; I could see her face, but she wasn’t looking at me.

    “Want a cigarette?” I asked.

    “No,” she said curtly, and kept walking, her face turned away from mine.

    “I want to talk to you,” I said, falling into stride. “I want to talk to you about our mutual acquaintance, Paul Lorre.”

    She stopped dead in her tracks.

    “Cigarette?” I asked again.

    -Anderson Ryle
    AndersonRyle.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

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