It had been another hectic day in Tinsel town. I sat in my office, or should I say, a shack I’d built by the pool in the far corner of the yard beneath an overgrown Bird of Paradise. I gulped down a shot of
I slid my snub-nose .38 halfway out of my shoulder holster, but found myself staring into the ravishing eyes of Beverly Bel Air, the blond bombshell reporter from ‘Caustic Confidential’. Bev was a fearless reporter. She had the tenacity of a pit bull and the huevos of a Matador. When it came to piling on the poop, she wasn’t afraid to grab a shovel.
“He’s out to get us Danny,” she purred. “You and me, and Cal got caught in the middle.”
The urgency in her voice, however, sounded more like a two AM tomcat that had lost its footing while straddling a fence.
“Who is he?” I inquired.
Why would she was coming to me? Sure, we covered different aspects of the same business, the waste management of tinsel town trash, but we were never friends.
I dug up trash for clients who paid me well for my services.
“How do I know you won’t spill the beans to those psychos in homicide, and blame me for clipping
Her words hung in the air like icicles on a January rain gutter in
She stooped to feel his pulse, and noticed
Bev said she heard the screen door slide sideways, which I though was kinda stupid as it certainly wouldn’t have slid up and down. She grabbed
“The perp jumped the Jacuzzi and crashed into the cabana,” she confided. Then, she burping unashamedly, and continued, “But, I recognized him right away. It was...”
A bullet buzzed past my ear. It slammed
I pulled the piece I was packing and pumped six rounds into a large porcelain pedestal on the porch. The perp stood briefly, and then collapsed face down in the peonies planted around the pedestal. It was the last porcelain pony he’d ever ride.
I slowly approached, and rolled him over. I recognized the cold cadaver immediately, and reeled back in shock. It was
“Danny,” he whispered, “
Lefske took a shallow breath. He’d soon be one more corpse for the coroner to count. In this city, body counts were the only way to score the game.
“Why’d you bump off
Then, he faded to black, a less than benevolent burglar biting the big one for his blunder. It all came together.
I wiped my fingerprints from the furniture before calling the cops. Then, I slipped out through the side door and headed for the nearest bar. It was a dirty business and I needed a drink.
Tomorrow was another day, and I had to search for another snitch. Tinseltown would be business as usual.
Harold ‘Butch’ Kempka is a former Marine, and Vietnam Veteran. His poetry and short stories have been published in Leatherneck Magazine and the Circle Magazine. BUTCH was born in
"I guess my real motivation was to play with and generally lampoon the detective genre. Since most of my stories are written in a more serious vein, I wanted to write something fun."