Craven Gets Flashed 26
When Craven stepped away from the bouncers his heels stayed behind.
“Hey! I only just hammered those back on not two days ago! Now I gotta spend the rest of the night walking around in flats. Not a pretty look for a detective.”
Craven slipped the loosened heels into his jacket pocket and noticed the small gathering on the street.
“Jenny? Kenny? Sgt. Dowd! Good God! I’ve died and gone to the place of my nightmares! Where’s Father Mulrooney when I need him? Dear, lord, I’m sorry for all my wrongs. I meant to talk to you sooner, but life got in the way, and for your information my wrongs amount to no more than a spoonful of vinegar compared to the barrels being filled by the three I see before me. Spare me, dear lord! I repent! And if that’s not acceptable, this place better have an open bar policy or I’m leaving! Pronto!”
“Oh, shut up, you idiot,” said Jenny. “Me and Kenny are on a quest.”
“Yes,” said Kenny. “To rid the world of—”
“Let me guess,” said Craven. “Ramone Vasquez? The one that put the squeeze on your wife.”
“No, Mr. Danger. We seek Professor James Moriarty. The pizza man you know as Ramone Vasquez is but a weak alias that may fool the fools, but the world’s only consulting detective is no fool, sir. Now, stand aside! Our quest ends inside this lowly tavern where, I have it on good authority from my Baker Street boys, sits the very man himself!”
“Enough!” said Sgt. Dowd. “I think we all need to calm down. Ain’t nobody going back in that tavern until I’ve got my pony and Dwayne back from Moynihan. You three are coming upstairs with me. Once we get my goods back in the paddy wagon you can all go back to your play acting and quest for anything you like. This place is out of my jurisdiction. Now march! All three of ya!”
Meanwhile, upstairs at Moynahan’s, young Dwayne Dobbins sat soaking in the bathtub, putting the finishing touches on his first detective story.
“Mr. Moynihan!” he said. “Come in and let me read you what I wrote so far. It’s a doozy!”
Freddie Moynihan sat on the toilet seat and adjusted the fedora on Dwayne’s head.
“If you want to look the part you’ve got to angle it a bit over your eyes, but not so far that you can’t see. Just enough that they can’t quite see you.”
“Gee, thanks. Mr. Danger never said nothing about it. He always wears his fedora on the back of his head like he’s about to tell the funniest joke ever. Which, by the way, it never is. And his advice, like: Never press your trousers with a hangover. The crease should always point north and south. Not east and west, don’t seem very detective like. I meant to bring it to his attention, but I didn’t want to be rude. Him being a real detective and all.”
“Sometimes you have to listen to your own heart and soul on certain matters, Dwayne. Take what other people say with sweet regard and store it away. If it makes sense to you in the future, fine. If not, toss it in the ‘thanks-but-no-thanks bin’. Remember: you’re always smarter than you think.”
“Geez, thanks. I’m writing that down.”
“Write it down later, Dwayne. First read me some of what you wrote. I’m excited for you.”
“It’s called, The Body Count on the Stools at the Coffee Shop on the Corner Didn’t Add Up to What Was Waiting in the Kitchen. It was a —”
“One moment, please, Dwayne. You might consider dropping a dozen or so words from the title. Give it a bit more oomph. Grab your audience by the lapels and pull ‘em in.”
“Okay, how about, They Came in Looking for Coffee, But All They Got Was Dead?”
“Better. Now let’s hear it.”
“Okay, Mr. Moynihan. It was a burnt toast kinda mornin’ as the brutal rays of the Summer sun made its way through the darkened coffee shop’s blood stained window. . .”
“That sure was exciting, kid. I think you’re on to something. Had me on the edge of my toilet seat.”
“Aw, shucks, Mr. Moynihan. What a swell thing to say. Forgive me while I get emotional. It wasn’t allowed at home. But I sure feel at home here.”
“Don’t go getting all weepy on me, kid or I might have to toss you out with the bath water, but not before cooking you up some dinner. Steak and eggs?”
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