Chapter Two

Chapter Two

A Chapter by Church

A blast from the past will always have a bigger effect than you can imagine.


I jumped as something slammed. My vision blurry, I hurriedly looked around. Just what the hell? After a few moments, my vision began to sharpen and I sighed. So that’s what it was.

“Miss Mullens.” I rubbed a hand across my cheek. Jesus I needed to shave.

She shifted her weight, her hands on her hips. “You feel asleep again.”

“So I did.” I ran a hand through my hair before I looked down at my desk. I grinned. “Hey, at least I cleaned a spot for myself this time.”

Miss Mullens cocked her hips out in the way women do. I sighed before straightening my tie. 

Shaking her head, she began to pick up papers that had been tossed to the floor. I stood up and turned to the window. It was day light. It had snuck up on me. The clouds from last night’s rain still hid the sun. I pulled out my watch. It needed wound. I pushed it back into my pocket and tried to straighten my shirt up. “Miss Mullens, do you happen to have the time?” 

I turned and the picture Amelia had delivered last night was sitting up right on my desk. “Is she the one?”

I paused, then pulled a cigarette out of my front pocket. I put it in my mouth, ignoring that it was slightly crushed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

She tossed the lighter at me. I caught it and flicked it open and lit it in one motion. Bringing it to my lips, I sucked in. “Is this the girl?”

A long drag. “You’re going to have to be more specific.”

She sighed and shook her head. She laid the frame back down, hiding the picture. “Did you take the case?”

I turned towards the window and stared. I let the cigarette hang limply from my mouth. “I told her I’d take a look at it.”

Papers ruffled across my desk. Miss Mullens clicked her tongue. “You haven’t even opened it yet.” I continued to stare out the window. 

“Just sleep in a bed tonight.”

“Of course I will.”

“Your bed.”

“Always a pleasure Miss Mullens.”

I let the door slam before I turned around. Taking another drag, I walked over to a mirror near the door. The circles under my eyes were darker than usual. I ran a hand through my hair, trying to get it to sit in something that would approach a civil manner. When it protested, I moved on to my shirt and tried to pull on it a few times to fix the wrinkles. Giving up, I looked at the reflection once more and blew smoke at it before walking back to my desk. 

I grabbed the envelop. Sitting down, I turned it over and looked at the seal. It was wax, an old symbol etched into it. I shook my head. She was so old fashioned. Sliding my thumb under it, I broke the seal. Pulling out the papers, I leaned back in my chair and started to read.

The papers smelled of her perfume. Taking a deep drag, I blew the smoke out of my nose. I could still smell her. I shook my head, going through the cigarette relatively quickly. Without looking away from the papers, I smashed cigarette into the ash tray. I pulled out another one and lit it with the lighter.

There wasn’t much to go on. A picture. A description. General information. I turned to the last page. I frowned and reread the page. Letting the chair hit the floor, I picked up the phone on my desk and nestled the receiver against my shoulder. Using my free hand, I dialed. 

I waited as the phone rang, the cigarette hanging limp in my mouth. I read over the last page for a third time. Then a fourth. 

“Hello?” Finally.

“What aren’t you telling me.”

There was a light chuckle. “Business business with you..”

My hand tightened around the page. “I don’t have time for this. What aren’t you telling me.”

She paused. “Mal, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I slammed the paper on the desk. My ash tray jumped. “Don’t give me that. I don’t run a protection agency. Either tell me what is going on or hire someone else.”

Another pause. “I didn’t want to worry you.”

“You know that doesn’t fly with me.”

“I know. I was just hoping you could go without asking for once.”

I took a drag. “You should know better by now.”

“He’s an ex. There was a nasty break up. I think he’s stalking me and I’m scared. I wanted your help in figuring out if he was and I thought.. maybe...” 

“You thought I could scare him off.” I blew the smoke through my nose again.

“No! Well.. I was hoping you could persuade him not to.” She sighed. 

I grabbed the receiver. “You always had a way with the boys, didn’t you?”

I could hear her smile over the phone. “Oh honey, does this mean you’ll take the case?”

“I never said that.” D****t I needed a drink.

“Everything you need is in the envelope. He doesn’t know about you, so you should be fine. Just do what you always do. And thank you.”

I shook my head and touched my forehead. “No one ever knew about us.”

“Oh Mal, don’t start that now. Besides, once you do this, we can talk about your payment. I know I still owe you one. Don’t think I would forget.”

Ash from the cigarette hit the desk. “And don’t think I would let you forget.”

I could hear her smile through the phone again. “I know you wouldn’t. Thank you Mal. I hope to hear from you soon.” There was a click and then nothing.

I hung up the phone but kept my head down, the ash from my cigarette falling on my desk. After a few minutes I shook my head, forcing the smoke out through my nose. Sitting up, I reached for the bottle of bourbon.

Looking back at the picture, I frowned. A stalking case. This was small. This was beneath me. I had helped the police at times. That was a while ago, but it had still happened. I was better than this.

Extinguishing the cigarette, I touched the glass of bourbon. It was still warm to the touch. Taking a deep breath, I could still smell her. Clenching my fist, I drank the bourbon as quickly as I could.

© 2011 Church

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Added on July 5, 2011
Last Updated on July 5, 2011
Tags: noir, detective, mystery, first person, smoking, Amelia, Mal, private eye




19/Male more..

Chapter One Chapter One

A Chapter by Church

Chapter Two Chapter Two

A Chapter by Church

Chapter Three Chapter Three

A Chapter by Church