The Angel of Zero City: Part 13

The Angel of Zero City: Part 13

A Story by Andrew Colunga

An urban-fantasy novella. It is an untold story between the chapters of its parent book: The Gauntlet of Maltese.


The Mouse



Finlay approached the prescient slowly. “You’re lucky you didn’t break your arm. Hiding a cast would’ve been impossible. You know, a lot of the guys have a good thing going on around here, and you’re lucky it wasn’t the Demon gang who found you.”

“I’m aware of these good things,” Joseph sneered.

“Hey, what’s up with you? You survive one beating and you think you’re invincible.” Finlay parked, and the detectives got out.

“Alright. I’ll calm down, okay. Good thing I’ve got unlimited sick days.” Joseph opened the heavy front door and grunted discreetly.

Finlay led the way as they moved past hustling desk cops and people being booked or released. “You know me, Joseph, I’m honest. The world is my confession booth, so I mean this with absolute praise when I say that being humdrum and rational is beneficial for you. People like you and Esmeralda’s age are facing a difficult time, when the summer of youth is starting to fade, and you find yourself worrying about the foundations for your B-side years. A reliable stick in the mud like you might be exactly what she’s looking for.”

Joseph’s eyes narrowed as they went upstairs. “You just called me boring and old. I’m only thirty-five.”

“Like I said, and you’ll be thirty-six in a few months. Have you called Esmeralda yet?”

Joseph felt a pang of guilt. When he checked his phone he had a missed call from her Sunday afternoon, one of the days he was still unconscious, and today was Tuesday. “I haven’t yet. There’s not been much time since I woke up.”

“Well, get on it. In fact, we could go there for lunch.”

“I don’t know, Finlay. I don’t want to show up beaten and battered.”

“You haven’t talked to her since your first date, and you’re supposed to be having another one soon. You should show up.” Finlay’s voice rose. “God, Joseph I thought I was done dealing with my friend’s first dates when I turned sixty.”

Joseph mumbled, and the two entered the homicide department. Some of the other detectives raised their heads, but Finlay quickly rushed Joseph passed them.

“What are these? New cases?” Joseph instinctively grabbed the topmost files on their desk. Finlay tried to beat him, but Joseph was already scanning the documents. “So, three more Angel murders in Hell, and they’re H.Fers. Finlay, these are the guys who jumped me! How old are these?”

“Shh! Yes, I know, and they’re dead now.” Finlay sat both of them down and looked at Joseph.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because pal, you chasing the Angel isn’t worth the risk. You were as close as you were gonna get that night, and behold where it got you. Look … I’m glad you ruled out some sort of plague, and we had enough evidence for me to convince the CDC agent, but this Angel isn’t gonna make it easy for you anymore, so we might as well return all of those cases to the unsolved mysteries.”

“You’re telling me to give up?”

“Maybe, at least for a while? I’m telling you to relax, Joseph. Besides, we’ve got plenty of other murders that need solving.”

Joseph stared coldly at his partner. “You’re right, Finlay. There are other cases that we need to work on. So I think I’ll take half of the stack and carry on solo for the day.”

“Joseph, don’t….” Finlay protested, but his partner was already filling a messenger bag with heaps of folders.

“I’ll be at The Park if you need something signed,” Joseph said, and he marched out of the homicide division. He didn’t get far though before feeling dizzy, and his bruises we’re throbbing hot. A taxi cab took him the rest of the way to The Park. Along the way, he mused over his date with Esmeralda, and he felt confident that under the circumstances, she wouldn’t mind him not having called back.

“Hey, Joseph!” Esmeralda yelled. She came out from behind the counter and took Joseph’s hands. “Are you okay?”

He was flushed. “Hey. Yeah, I’m�"wait what?”

“Your partner came by yesterday and told me you’d been hurt.” She pulled him over to a booth and watched as he slid gingerly into his seat. “You were jumped Saturday night in the East-Side while working on a case?”

“Yes I was.”

“What did they look like? Where can I find these b******s so I can teach them a lesson?”

Joseph laughed. “They… they’re kinda not around anymore.”

“Oh.” Esmeralda shrugged.

“Did you come by my place the last few days?”

“No. Your partner said it’d be better for you to rest.” She put her hand on his cheek and slid her fingers into his hair.

Joseph genuinely sighed. He owed this touch to Finlay, and he had just walked out on him. “I meant to call sooner, but I wanted to see you first.”

Esmeralda smiled, and here in a booth on a Tuesday afternoon, they shared their first kiss.

For the rest of the day Joseph got a lot of paperwork done while sitting at The Park, drinking coffee, sharing glances with Esmeralda, and having lunch with her. Come dusk, as she got off work, outside Joseph felt daring, and he pulled her in for a long kiss that lasted the sunset. He walked her to her apartment, about five blocks away, and they made promises to go out on a date tomorrow night. The Funny Bones comedy club would be having its amateur night.

© 2014 Andrew Colunga

Author's Note

Andrew Colunga
This is a 19 part story. All of which are completed and are expected to be posted.

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Added on May 2, 2014
Last Updated on May 2, 2014
Tags: urban, fantasy, urban-fantasy


Andrew Colunga
Andrew Colunga

Los Angeles, CA

Artist and Writer from LA. more..