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Detective in a Rut
(Best read in a Sam Spade voice)

by Galen Black
    I was sitting in my office replaying the final seconds of an imagined Knicks/Lakers game. It was 10:31, that's when she walked in. She had the face that could stop a clock and the body that could start it again. She shut the door behind her and sat in the only vacant chair left in the room. She began to tell me her story right away, I stopped her and picked up the phone. I had a call to make to my friend Billy. I had a hot tip for him. After I finished my call, she began to speak and I told her to stop again. I informed her I had a filing cabinet full of stories like hers from a million different dames. She laughed. She lit a cigarette and offered me one. I told her I didn't smoke, but took the cigarette anyway. I figured I might need it later if the night went okay. I told her I would take her case. I asked for payment up front. She reached into her purse and pulled out a wad of cash so big it would make a blind man blush. I took the money and told her that her father was dead not missing. He had been murdered by a business associate. I went on to say that her father had threatened to go to the authorities with evidence that would send his partner up the river, so his partner killed him with a secret potion that would make the murder look like a heart attack. Then I told her about her brother's plan to cheat her out of her inheritance. I knew more, but she'd have to pay more for the rest of the story. I ain't no Paul Harvey. She started to weep and between the tears she asked me to take her home. That's when he walked in. It was Billy, my old friend from the police department. Billy came to arrest her for conspiracy to commit murder. He put the cuffs on her, read her rights, and thanked me for the tip. She was gone as quick as she came in. Like I said, I've got a filing cabinet full of stories like hers, from a million different dames.

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