I had the great pleasure of seeing Arthur Slade, the Writer-in Residence at the Regina Public Library recently and part of the service he provides is the opportunity to go over your work with you and critique it.
We went over a few of my stories and he was kind, informative, generous with his praise and extremely helpful. So helpful in fact that I made another appointment to see him on the spot. I highly suggest you avail yourself of his services if you are a fledgling writer such as myself.
This week I decided to go over his / our notes and re-write one of those stories and post it. I left the original in it’s place on the blog so you can see the difference between the two if you are inclined to do so.
Thanks for all the wonderful help Arthur!
A Case Closed
It was a hot muggy Saturday night, and my desk fan was doing its damnedest to move the stale air around my cramped office. The sounds of the ever present night life drifted up from the street below and in through my windows.
The hall light shone through the opaque glass of my office door, casting unusual shadows on my desk top. If I concentrated, I could make out what they spelled in reverse: Dirk Smythe, Private Investigator.
I was on my fourth shot of whiskey, trying to wrap my brain around my latest case, a missing person. Well, a missing dame really. I had been looking for her for over a week now and my client wanted answers, but I had none. Oh I had a lot of leads, but none made any sense, yet. I downed the whiskey and went to pour another, loosening my tie as I did so.
A shadow fell over my desk and there was a knock on the door. I looked up to see the hazy outline of a woman through the glass. Who could be calling on me at such a late hour on a Saturday?
“Come in!” I called.
The door opened and in walked the classiest dame I’d ever seen. She had curves in all the right places and knew how to walk so she showed them off. She was wearing a tight silk number and one of those little hats tipped just so on her head. From her high heels to her cigarette in its fancy holder to her clutch purse she screamed money.
“Are you Dirk Smythe?” Her voice was hushed and husky.
“Yeah, who wants to know?” I said, playing it cool.
“I might be able to help you with a case you are working on,” she said. “May I sit?”
“Be my guest.”
She melted into the chair like she was made of honey and hot wax. I swallowed hard and forced my eyes off her long legs back to her eyes. I had to get a grip, this might be important.
“So, what’s this about?”
“You are looking for a friend of mine, Vicky.”
Indeed I was, that’s the dame I had been looking for.
“Well, I might be able to help you with that,” she purred.
“Pour a girl a drink?” She motioned to the bottle of whiskey with her cigarette holder.
I rummaged around in my desk for another glass and poured us each a shot. I slid hers over to her.
“Cheers,” she said, and fired it back. I did the same.
“So,” I said, “about Vicky?”
“My, my, impatient, aren’t we?” She crossed her long curvy legs. I caught myself staring again. I had to keep on topic. I needed a break in this case.
“Look lady, either you’ve got something for me, or you don’t. We’ve had a drink now so let’s get down to business. What’s your name anyway?”
“Does it matter?”
“Yeah, in case I need to find you later.”
“Oh, you won’t need to find me later. I guarantee it.”
OK, I thought, that was an odd thing to say. Dim alarm bells went off in my brain.
“So you said you were a friend of Vicky’s?” I prompted.
I waited. She didn’t say anything else. This dame’s short answers and hoity-toity attitude were getting on my nerves. I leaned forward in my chair and slammed my hands down on my desk.
“Well, what have you got for me?” I asked.
“This!” she exclaimed.
She pulled her right hand up from where it had been laying in her lap by her purse. She was holding a .38 Special.
Maybe it was the five shots of whiskey. Maybe I was off my guard ‘cause she was a good looking dame. It really doesn’t matter. Either way, she had me.
Five shots rang out. I felt the five bullets hit my chest and stomach. I slowly slid to the floor.
She put the gun back in her clutch purse and said “Vicky doesn’t want to be found.”
She left me there, bleeding out.
As I lay there and listened to the whirr of the fan things started to go black and I thought to myself, now I’ll never know what happened to Victoria Day.