Chapter One

Chapter One

A Chapter by Church
"

Mal gets a case from someone he least expects.

"

This city is something else. Every time I think I’m done with it, it seems to suck me back in. I shook my head. No, that wasn’t right. It wasn’t the people. Never was. They were just a byproduct. 


Reaching out, I grabbed the rod on the blinds and twisted it them shut just as a car passed, making me squint in the darkness. Even this high up, the lights from the cars on the street could still reach me. Turning, I put my glass back on my desk and reached for the bottle. I pulled the top off and poured more of the bourbon into my glass. I pushed the top back into the bottle and put it back on my desk with a slight thunk. 


The phone rang before I could do anything else. I grabbed the receiver and brought it to my ear. “There’s a person here saying they have an appointment.”


Squinting again, I brushed some of the papers off of my desk to look at the calendar. My last appointment was three hours ago. I chuckled. “Tell them we’re closed. If they want to see me, actually make an appointment this time.” I let the receiver drop into it’s cradle. 


The chair squeaked as I flopped into it. I’d probably end up breaking the old girl before too long, but tonight I couldn’t care less. I grabbed the glass, still slightly cold to the touch and brought it to my lips. It still burned no matter how long it had been since I started drinking. I grinned as I put the empty glass back down. It was a good burn.


I turned, the chair swiveling to keep up with me as I looked at the window. I could still see the lights from the street, the light being distilled by the raindrops hitting the window. I closed my eyes, listening to the sound of the rain. It always made my hair stand on end.


Then there was something new added to the rain. The sound of heels hitting the floor as someone walked. It was faster than usual for the secretary. Something must have been going on for her to walk so fast. 


I heard something hit my desk. I turned, looking at it. I almost swore. “Miss Mullens, what is the meaning of this?” I looked up angrily, and blinked.


“Has it really been so long that you forgot?”


I shook my head. “I’d never forget you. But I was pretty sure after you walked out the door, you’d want me to.” I picked up the photograph and offered it back to her.


She grinned, her lips redder than I remembered. She brushed a strand of black hair out of her face. “I thought we had an appointment.” She pushed the photograph back down onto my desk.


Looking back at the calendar, I looked to my pocket watch lying open on the desk. I shook my head again. “You always were late.”


She smiled when she saw the pocket watch. “Oh honey, I know. It gave us quite the scare before, didn’t it?”


I grabbed the pocket watch and closed it before slipping it into my pocket. Attaching the clasp to my belt loop, I ignored her. She was always like this. 


She crossed her arms in front of her. “You always were one to get right to business. No playing around.” She grinned.


I scowled. “Just get on with it.”


“You always said that too.”


Pulling open a desk drawer, I rummaged around, pushing papers and a gun aside. After a few moments I pulled out a crumpled pack of cigarettes. My fingers wrapped around one of the cigarettes and pulled it out. I placed it in my mouth before drew a match box from my front pocket. Pulling out a wooden match, I struck it against my desk. Taking a deep drag, I blew the smoke out to the side. It burned too. 


She frowned. Her hands returned to my desk and she began to rummage through papers. I rolled my eyes and blew smoke at her. When it cleared, she was holding an old silver lighter in her hand. She placed it gently back on the picture. 


“Why don’t you use that anymore?”


Another drag. “You always said wooden matches were better.”


“But...”


“Besides. You use it. You get rid of it. No extra maintenance. Sound familiar?”


She sighed, but pushed the picture and lighter towards me. I didn’t touch them. I just looked up at her, the cigarette clasped between my lips.


“I need your help.”


“You always did, eventually.”


“Must you always be like this?”


A final drag. I almost coughed. “And who’s fault is that?”


She sighed. I shook my head and picked up the picture. I placed the lighter back on the calendar. Turning over the picture, I opened up the back of the frame and pulled out a manila envelope. I looked up at her and sighed.

“Amelia. Is that all you use this for now?”


She shifted, crossing her arms. “No. You know I wouldn’t do that.”


I raised an eyebrow, the cigarette hanging limply from my mouth.


Her knuckles turned white as she gripped her arms. “No. I mean it. I wouldn’t just... use that. Not now.” She hesitated. I waited.


“Look. I just need your help, okay? And I needed them to think this was just a visit. Like it used to be.”


I closed the frame and put the manila envelope back on top of it. “So basically, you used it?”


She shook her head. “No! D****t Mal, I want you to understand that. I wouldn’t use it like that. I figured...” She looked to the lighter. To the pocket the watch was hiding in. “I figured you didn’t have much stuff from before and would want it.”


I leaned back in the chair. “I’ll take a look.” I sighed. “I’ll call when I get anything.”


I knew she was smiling without me even having to look. “Thank you Mal. Thank you. You don’t know how much this means to me.”


I looked up at the ceiling and blew smoke. “Save it. You know I can’t say no to someone in trouble.” That’s probably why she came.


I heard her walk around the desk. She took the cigarette out of my mouth and took a drag of it. Blowing the smoke away from us, she bent down and kissed me. Standing back up, she slid the cigarette back into my mouth. “Thank you Mal.” She turned and walked out the door.


Leaning back in the chair, I let the cigarette sit until the ash was in danger of falling on me. I let the chair slam back onto the floor before I pulled it out of my mouth and knocked the ash into a tray. Placing it back into my mouth, I moved the manila envelope off of the picture. I flipped the picture over. The two of us, her arms around me. I sighed, taking a deep drag on the cigarette, tasting her more than it. I smashed it into the ash tray. 


“D****t.”



© 2011 Church


Author's Note

Church
First chapter on something I haven't tried before. Hopefully it isn't shit. Please review!

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Added on April 12, 2011
Last Updated on April 12, 2011
Tags: noir, detective, mystery, first person, smoking, Amelia, Mal, private eye


Author

Church
Church

NC



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Chapter One Chapter One

A Chapter by Church


Chapter Two Chapter Two

A Chapter by Church


Chapter Three Chapter Three

A Chapter by Church