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Non-Formulaic Hard-boiled Detective Thriller Humor
For mature readers
"Dickless goes a long way toward restoring reading to its rightful position
of entertainment delivery system of choice."
"I have written a masterpiece, and I'm damn proud of it."
Sample - from Chapter 1
When the intercom beeped that fateful day, and my secretary told me there was a woman out there to see me, I didn't tell her to set up an appointment for later. No, a possible client was somebody I wanted to see right away. But to create the impression that I wasn't like totally starving to death, I told her to make her wait ten minutes.
The first thing to hit me was the perfume. It was almost as if I caught a whiff even before the door even opened. Then she came in, and I lost it completely. I admit it, okay. Never mind whatever problem brought her to me. Babes like that shouldn't be allowed to have problems, but, let's face it, nobody was ever going to come through that door without them. The client had cleavage. I'm talking major here. I'm talking Eldridge Cleavage.
She could have been a serial killer or a cannibal for all I cared. If her stuff wasn't spoken-for, I wanted it. Even if it was, because merchandise like that is never not-taken. It has a very short shelf life.
What I was used to was fading dickheads with bad breath wanting me to find out what their old ladies were doing behind their backs, and too few of those to pay the rent. But his one! High-end, yeah, that's what this one was, definitely a class item. My first, and as it would turn out, my last, but I'm getting ahead of myself. And what about her ass? Not the frivolous question you might think, because with me, that's the part that tells the tale. From its configuration I can divine the complete parameters of the possibilities profile. That's one of the skills that made me a professional.
I told her something just came up, and she would have to go back out to the front for a few minutes. That was just a ruse so I could get a look at it. And it was beyond anything I could have hoped for. The lady was carrying a world-class double chrysanthemum, and by that simple observation I knew everything was possible.
I slapped the intercom like I was going for a prize.
"Yeah what!?" my secretary said, irritated, like I was interrupting something important, like maybe she was busy chewing gum.
She wanted me to call her Donny. Why not? We're equal opportunity around here. "Client still out there, Donny?" I asked her.
"I a'ready know whud yer tinkin'," she said.
"I don't pay you to 'tink'."
"Yeah, well tink a dat nex time yuh wanna ged off inna affernoon. Yuh doan pay me fer dat neider." She liked to talk tough, had a lavender belt in karate or something.
"Careful. She can hear you."
"I want her to."
"Not very professional, Don."
I heard her say to the client: "We're casual as hell around here, but we get the job done. Best in the west."
"Send her back in," I said.
The door opened. That perfume again. You'd think I'd have known the name of it, but I didn't, which annoyed me. A girl has to be up on these fashion thingies.
Her sit-down could have been X-rated. The ass descended, the hemline ascended, the legs struck like lightning and hurt me bad.
"My name is Barbara Brains," she said.
"Sure it is, honey," I said. "What's the real handle?"
"That's not important, Miss Traci."
"It's Ms, and it's Abramowitz. Traci's not the real name. That Dickless Traci bit, went with that for the agency promo, the hype, the sham, the scam. Knock 'em dead in the Yellow Pages. Know what I'm sayin'? The name's Renee Abramowitz. You can call me Renee."
"And you call me Barbara."
She started sobbing. I slapped the button.
"What!?" Donny said, still with that annoyed tone.
"Kleenex," I said. She brought it in like it was the worst thing she'd been forced to do in her whole life. I made a mental note to keep it on the desk in the future, so I wouldn't have to bother her. Her tie was crooked. That was not like her.
She threw the box down on the desk and marched back out like she had something big and stiff up her ass. Speaking of which anatomical attribute, Donny didn't have one, and she knew how I felt about that. She'd seen the client's, and she was jealous. Good. Donnie loved me, and I loved just about anybody else.
Barbara was a blond, but you already knew that. The lipstick was that new redder-than-red stuff. Everything about her was asking for it: the way the chest turned into waist, the way the waist turned into hips, the legs, the hose, the shoes - everything.
"I'm in trouble," she blubbered.
So who wasn't?
"There, there," I said, pushing the box closer to her. She pulled some out, blew that cute little nose with a cute little wet farting sound, daubed at the eyes. The mascara was running, accentuating the falsity of the lashes. That really turned me on.
"Ever make it with a woman?" I asked.
"Oh, God," she sighed with a shiver, "I'm in big trouble."
I repeated the question. It was vital to the investigation.
"No," she said, but I knew she was lying.
"A woman can get you off way better than any man ever can," I said, just to draw her out a little.
Ignoring my remark, she went on: "I hadn't had any sex in months. I don't know. My job, you know, it's so demanding of my time, and...and...I just wasn't interfacing with the right class of prospect. I mean, I don't screw just anybody, not usually anyway. And then one day I bring the coffee in to my boss, just like any other day. Only this time, guess what? He grabs me and bends me over the desk, pushes my skirt up, pulls my panties down, and, you know, does it, without even asking. But what the heck, he's my boss. So what was I gonna do, complain? I want to keep my job, and he did hit the spot. It was like totally okay, I mean, after all. And then he drinks his cofee like nothing happened. It didn't even have time to get cold."
"So what's the problem?" I said, surprised by the sound of my voice, which was suddenly hoarse and strangled.
"So I go the rest of the day," she continued, "really happy, with a big glow. I guess it musta showed too, because this guy on the bus hits on me. So I take him to my place, and, you know...."
Hidden behind my desk, my hands had found their way home and were working together like two little animals building a nest, the left holding the elastic out of the way, the right doing the detail work.
"Oh, he was a nice guy and all that. He did exactly what I told him to. But I still wasn't satisfied. I was hornier than I'd ever been before in my entire life."
"So whudja do?" It was hard to talk because I was trying to keep from coming.
"Something I don't usually do. Went to a meat market and found another one. Just wanted one more trip to, you know, Screw Island."
Screw Island? I did know, knew the place well. "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt," I said.
I wanted her to keep talking. I was going on this dumb idea that she shouldn't know what I was up to.
"Go on," I said. "Go on."
She must have been thrown off by my tone. I know I was. I couldn't tell if she was on to me or not. I was trying to hide it, sure, but I wasn't sure I was succeeding, and then, finally, I didn't care. It might even be better if she was in on it.
"We went out to his car," she said, "and did it in the back seat. Five times in a row."
That was it. I couldn't hold it back any longer.
When I come, my face, neck, and upper chest turn strawberry red, and my eyes water, and I was coming, and she was looking right at me.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"Yeah. Fine. Okay. Yeah. Fine. Fine. Fine. Yeah."
"Are you sure? You look weird."
"It's okay. Okay. It's just...an allergy. It goes away quick. It comes and goes, like. It's okay. Okay. Okay."
"Oh.... Oh!" She got it then for sure, but what she was going to do with it remained to be seen. Then, the last spasm finally spent, my color and breathing returned to normal.
"Go on," I said. "Then what happened?"
"Nothing. I went home and went to bed. Didn't wash that night. Didn't want to lose any of it. Wanted to absorb it all."
"Good for you, girl," I said. "I like men too, you know. Juice of the gods and all. Can't have goddesses without gods, can we? I'm a natural woman. I'm not queer.... So what's the problem? I still don't get it."
"I'm pregnant," she said and went off on that sobbing routine again, this time really getting into it.
"That is a problem," I said. "But you don't need a PI for that, girl. You need an o-b-g-y-n."
I got up, went over behind her, and stroked her hair.
"There, there," I said. "It's okay, baby. It'll be all right. Whatever it is." Because I knew it was more than she was telling me.
I started in on her shoulders. "Relax, baby," I said. "We'll get to the bottom of this."
I felt her let go into my hands. I leaned down, she leaned up. Our lips moved towards each other, and Saundra came in.
"Good timing, Don," I said.
"Oh," she said, "am I innerruppin somepin?"
"Duh?" I said. "Now get out of here."
I turned my attention back to Barbara. God, she was hot, but first things first. "You still haven't told me what makes you think you need the services of a PI."
"Not just any PI, you."
"Me? Of all the stinkin' PIs in the Big Rotten Apple, why me?"
"Because of your particular talents."
"How would you know anything about my talents?"
"The Moodles told me. They said only go to Dickless Traci Private Investigations. I believe you know Lester Moodle and his wife Latrice?"
A hot blush burned across my face. Lester and Latrice. "Yeah, I did some...work for them. But...?"
"You know who my boss is?"
"Come on, girlfriend. I'm a private dick, not no psychic."
That rang a big bell. "Not the Joe Hablo?"
"Yeah. Him. And that's the problem."
"Why am I not getting this?"
"It's obvious, Renee. Think about it. If Joe Hablo's the father of the foetus, I'm set for life, as long as I handle it right. But if I don't handle it right, I'm snail bait in the bottom of the East River. See where I'm coming from?"
I did. "Go on," I said.
"If it's either of the two other guys, I'm getting rid of it. But if it's Mr. Hablo, I'm keeping it and going all out for the paternity thing."
"Okay, but I still don't see what you need me for?"
"I need some of his sperm for the DNA test."
"Barbara, Barbara, Barbara. I knew you were special the minute you walked in that door."
"So you'll take the case?"
It occurred to me that she could have gotten the sample as easily if not even more easily than I. But when somebody wants to pay you to do something they could just as well do themselves, it's not very professional to start questioning their reasons.
"Ten thousand," I said. "Five up front, five when I deliver the goods."
"Deal," she said, stood up and extended her hand, and we shook like proper business persons.
"Cash only," I said. "Dickless don't take checks, credit cards, I.O.U.s, etc."
"Okay, sure. no problem. Only I don't have it on me. I'll have to bring it. Tomorrow. Okay?"
She sailed out of my office, leaving a last impression that was everything a last impression should be. For once in my life, it looked like I was getting it right.
I hit the intercom. "Don," I said, "get in here right now. I need you." And she took her good time, to punish me as only she knew how.
At five that afternoon, leaving Donnie behind to finish up whatever, I left for home.
And didn't even see it coming. There was no warning. But at least it didn't hurt, not when it happened anyway. There was a sudden flash of light, then blackness, then light again, a creeping, insidious, light, and that's when the pain kicked in. I closed my eyes, then opened them very slowly. There was some kind of honeycomb pattern, out of focus. What the hell was that? Where the hell was I? Who the hell was I?
Then it started coming together. The honeycomb pattern was a tile floor, out of focus because it was just two inches in front of my eyes, because I was lying face down on it. I tried to move my head, and that's when the pain really cranked it on. My nose was glued to the floor with some kind of thick, red glue. I peeled it away carefully and raised my head a little bit. The red glue was blood. My blood. Then I realized I was in a hallway. Then I recognized....
© Charles Martin Simon