Detective finds a bloody trail
A room: there were no lights, just the moonlight that filtered through my office window through my partially closed blinds. I lit my cigarette, the smell of tobacco stinging my nose... the voices were still there, niggling at the back of my head.
My office was bare, a desk, a lamp... the same dead spider that had been there for about two years now. Yellowing wallpaper hung from the wall in sheets, Marcie scurried from her hole, sitting beside me at the window with a squeak. I gave her a cracker from my top drawer, scratching her ear... she disappeared as soon as she got what she wanted and I was left alone again. Days like this were laborious, waiting for the phone to ring, for something in this dead-end part of Santa Monica to wake up and start walking.
I used to be a detective; LA, sweet car, hot chicks every night and an office with a pretty good view. Of course, when my ‘gift’ came I was kicked from my force, became a private eye and got an office above a pawn shop in the back end of the Lady by the Sea. Although, when you’re known as the ‘Psychic Private-eye’ the only deals you really get are the twisted ones, or when a drug dealer’s got a client that missed out on his payments. I regret the very day I accepted who I was, fuck those people who say ‘oh, but you must be at peace with yourself’ I gave up with that karma bullshit when I kicked into hell, no way I deserved that.
Ring, ring-ring, ring. Oh, glorious hangover you’ve returned. I fished my phone out of my pocket and loosely listened to the man on the other end. I only perked up when I heard the words, ‘animal, rafters and no head,’ woo another crack addict when loco on their dealer. At least it should be worth my time. I donned my typical black trench coat and pulled the collar up, I might not get babes anymore but I still think image is important.
My original red Porsche was taken by the repo-men, so I was left with a golden Chevy 62. The seats were ripped, barely could tell which animal the leather came from... pretty sure Marcie had been in here too. Fucking rats get everywhere. I flicked the cigarette from the window, listening to my old honey splutter to life. She idled down the roads, bouncing at every crack, whining at every turn and red light. I loved her, but if she was a woman and not a car she would’ve been ditched a while back. She’s good for a quick one or a drink but never expect anything great.
I arrived at the warehouse soon enough, a small drug den that lay outside: a few mattresses, unconscious, heck probably fucking dead drug addicts sprawled across the floor, a rat eating at his foot – told you they get everywhere. The town was asleep now; well, no, not sleeping. The good guys had gone to sleep, the policemen, the officers, the doctors, they slept. When the sun goes down the world flips, heaven to hell, that’s why when the sun rises it rises on the other side to where it set. “You fucking bastards even touch this car, and I swear I will hunt down all the dealers in this city and make sure you never get a fix again.” I heard them whimper at the thought; you can’t threaten a drug addict with death, most of the time they’re only there because they have nothing left.
I kicked down the door to the warehouse; it was empty, apart from a homeless man stood by a burning can. He stumbled up to me, “you that detective? I saw your number written on the side of the pay booth,” he slurred, a fresh bottle of vodka in his hand – great, guy loses his head and he robs the bugger... smart. I nodded and he showed me to the office: “I came here same as I always do, one o’clock...” he pointed to the clock on the wall, which I noticed had stopped, that information was useless then. “I came in here to get me can, I hide it ‘cause of...”
I cut him off, the man would drone on for hours just trying to be helpful. He had mucky black hair, however he was still quite clean shaven... the cuts on his face meaning that he still used the same razor that he stole a few years ago – rusted blade. He wore a brown tee, I was sure was white at one point, his jeans were torn and bloody and his breath wreaked of alcohol. Although, I’d gotten used to the smell of guys like him they never failed to shock me how clean they’d stay... they never fell into harder drugs, they pulled together. They were the homeless that ‘were somebody once’ I guess that was it, the dream they held, the hope it’d get better.
“Yes, I know, other homeless dog eat dog.” I looked up at the man swinging from the rafters; the rope was under his arms, so someone strung him up to make a point. His head was not just chopped off, it had been torn. I hated this next bit...
I ran a hand over the claws marks on his side; blood flashed into my head, then the pain... the fear of death. I could smell... dog, but it was faint, he didn’t know who was coming for him, a friend called to meet him here. I focused hard. “James Lightby,” I murmured, turning to the homeless guy and he was staring at me. Fuck it, a case I want to work and I won’t get any money for it. The guy stuck his hand into his bomber jacket and pulled out a few fifties.
“I n’ver stolen from a dead guy... dun’t feel right. Got me some hooch anyways,” he handed me what I counted to be two-hundred dollars... who the hell carries around so much money? He was dressed in jeans, tee, no fancy watch nothing of discernable value... humph, I’ll have to call June for this one. I ripped a piece of his tee off that was splattered with blood and took his wallet from his pocket. Something felt so fucking wrong about this... I didn’t want the PD stealing this one.
“Think you can do one last thing for me?”
The guy brought his ‘hooch’ to his lips and took a large swag, “Sureeeee,” he swayed a little, but I knew he’d pull it off.
“This guy needs disposing of,” I needn’t say more, there are no more loyal than the homeless, they were valuable allies and I looked after them should they need it. He gave me another slurred response and I thanked him, frisking the dead guy one last time to see if I’d missed anything – I knew I hadn’t, I never did.