Monday, September 6, 2010


What an intriguing starter sentence! Of course, they are ALL classic, aren't they? I was determined I was going to complete this one on time, and I'm back on track--I hope. Please enjoy.


He walked in and slid the photograph across my desk. Can you believe it? I picked it up and what did I see? An ugly black dot of a pooch squatting on somebody’s ten grand lawn. I thought, this old dude is a nut job. You want to hire me to do what--and you want me to split what--and where’s your straight jacket, pops? You leave it in the taxi on your way in here?

Let me back peddle some right about here. Name’s Lenny. Lenny Worchovsky, and you’re…? Well. Anyhow, I’m a dick. Now, get your mind up out of that sewer. I’m a detective. That kind of dick. Private, mind you. I don’t serve the public. Only those who pay cash up front.

Fast forward. This old guy that I figure to be around 175 years old, strolls into my base like he knows what day of the week it is, drops a few bills on the desk, and offers me a proposition. This dwarf of a mongrel in the photo, he says, belongs to a rich fella who will pay a pretty penny to get it back in the event the furry thing should turn up missing. He wants to share this score with me since my legs still work.

Now, I’ve been known to take some gigs that were, shall we say, peculiar, but snatch a dog and hold it for ransom? Even I wouldn’t dip that low. But, you see, since cash fanned out in front of me in hundred dollar denominations works wonders on any ethical dilemmas I might be experiencing, I said I was in.

He had done the recon and knew when ‘it’ would be alone in the yard for a time. I’m to stuff it into a valise, drop a note, and later on, trade the valise for the cash. Then, meet up with my new ‘partner’ and split the take. I wondered what Rio was like this time of year.

I get back to the office with the mutt, and the first thing the geezer does is pull off its collar, remove the tracker on it, and drop it, still blinking, on my desk. Of course, the dog is wearing a tracking device, Lenny--you stupid chump. Then, the old man sucker punches me twice. Once, with the news that the animal is worthless--it’s the millions worth of diamond chips sewn inside his collar that he’s after. Apparently, the fleabag is a world traveler and new collars containing different treasures await him at his various destinations. The second punch came hard, and was over the head with the vase that once held roses I bought for my ex. I never refilled it once she bailed on me. Silly me.

So here I am now, in a phone booth, on the corner of Going-Nowhere Street and I’m-So-Fucked Boulevard. On the run, since somebody went through my office last night like a cyclone. Not one of my better decisions, taking on the old cuss, but you know? We all err, my friend, do we not? I sincerely appreciate your letting me spill here too, Mr….uh….dog guy, and if I may, I’d like to just conclude with a couple of points.

First, let me find the old man and return your diamonds to you. If you want to know the absolute truth, there’s a few issues my fists would like to discuss with both sides of his head. Last, and really not least, give a sap a break and don’t have me snuffed. Keep all the bling and stick me with the dog. Going into this whole mess blind like I did, I figure I deserve that.

Of course, I’ve found that carrying this minute dust ball around in my breast pocket is a real babe magnet. You know? Maybe we can both still come out of all this as winners. What do you think, Mr., didn’t catch the name, um, dog guy? Sir? Hello? Hello? You still there?


  1. Nicely hardboiled and streetwise. Dialog straight out of Chandler and Howard . I could hear the slow saxophone in the background (Harlem Nocturne, maybe? You gave me a whole lot of tasty pictures and a nice indeterminate end. What more could I want in a story? Nothing. Everything's there, complete. Thanks, Joyce. Ya done me good.

  2. Welcome back, Joyce - have missed your literary efforts around here! :-)

    And what a glorious return - boy did I enjoy this! I don't know what era you set this in, but it conjured up an old black and white film in the 30's/40's - some old gumshoe detective, with a stubby cigar wedged in the corner of his mouth.........

    Great finish - I'm glad nothing bad happened to the dog!

  3. The next time you find yourself on the corner of Going-Nowhere Street and I’m-So-Fucked Boulevard, stop by and have a beer. I live just up the street.

    Great story!


  4. Ah, the poor bastard! I liked the way you unfolded this story and the snappy language. Well done!

  5. I liked that bit. Funny, quirky, solid. I can imagine hearing it being played out on one of those old radio plays.

  6. I laughed loud and hard at:
    "So here I am now, in a phone booth, on the corner of Going-Nowhere Street and I’m-So-Fucked Boulevard."
    This was after I had flagged the following as great lines:
    "I thought, this old dude is a nut job." and "I wondered what Rio was like this time of year."
    Yes, I enjoyed this story very much - evocative and fun and funny - people often forget the humour in noir, both books and films. But you have captured that well.

  7. A.J., Thanks so much for your comments. You really picked up on the atmosphere I was trying to convey. So glad I pulled it off. I love the old black and white brooding PI type characters and films. I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment.

    Sue, You picked up on the setting I had in my mind. Don't you just love those detective types from the old films? They were great! And no way would I ever let anything happen to the pooch!

    Doc, Thanks so much. I'm usually north of that intersection by a couple of city blocks. Nine next Friday night good for you? Glad you enjoyed my tale.

    Flannery, Glad you liked my strange little tale. Sometimes, if it wasn't for bad luck...

    Ron, Thanks for your comments. So glad the era I had in mind spilled through. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Matt, I very much appreciate your comments. That 'location' still makes me laugh. It just popped in my head and I couldn't get it down fast enough. I'm glad you liked it and you make a good point about the humor. Yes, noir should be dark and mysterious, but even in the darkness, there should be room for a smirk or two. Keeps it real, I think.

  8. Thanks, Chad. At times, one can find humor even in the darkness.