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Rated: E · Short Story · Detective · #2043420
Part of an idea for a detective-mystery story.
I paused as I entered the door into the Blue Moon, down on fifth street. The soft sounds of mellow jazz floated through the air and I recognized the piece being played up on the small stage. It was one written by one of the Dorsey brothers, but I did not remember which one.

Carl, standing behind the bar, waved me over. Pointing to the upper balcony he whispered," He's been asking for you Dix and he's also been drinking. You know how he gets. So, watch how you approach him and be careful."

"I will and thanks for the heads up Carl. I owe you one." I replied back.

At the foot of the stairs leading up, I loosened the forty-five in my shoulder holster. Hoping I would have no need for it, but you never can tell. Especially when large amounts of booze is involved.

He saw me about the same time I saw him. He stared with a look of wonder on his face. Whether from not believing I had actually came or wishing I had not. He looked rough, like he has been sleeping in his clothes. They were dirty and sweat stained. It had been awhile since I last seen my brother.

"You look like crap Gabe. What have you been doing to yourself? "

"Well,you know me." he slurred out his words.

"I thought I did. Maybe at one time, but now, I am not so sure anymore. What do you want? I can't give you anymore money and I wouldn't if I could. Looks like you'd just drink it up."

He looked at me across the top of the candle light. "She's back in town." and he downed the shot in his glass.

"So what! You blew your chance and she ripped out your heart. Get over it. Clean up and find yourself another dame." I snapped back.

His puppy dog eyes pleaded at me, "Can you find her for me?"

"No! Why should I?"

"I'm your brother for Christ sake." he sobbed.

"Gabe. You gave the family up a long time ago. Go talk to Dad. But, clean up before you do. And try staying off the booze for awhile. You smell like a brewery." I stood up and started to walk away. His hand grabbed my shoulder and spun me around.

"Don't you walk away from me." Gabe yelled. "Just who do you think you are?" he demanded, ignoring the looks from those around us.

Staring him back in his eyes I growled," Someone better than you right now. And don't you ever lay a hand on me again brother. Maybe we'll talk again when you're sober. " I walked away and did not look back, until I reached the door and then it was only a glance. He stood there staring after me.

It had started to rain again. The misty soaking kind that brings along fog. Another wonderful night in the city.

I tried hailing a cab, but none seemed to want to stop in this part of the city. I can't really blame them though. This was not a nice neighborhood. Crime has been rampant for years.

So, I turned up the collar of my raincoat and tugged down my fedora, and started walking. It was a good three or four blocks until I reached a bus stop. There I could catch the Redline route or maybe, a cabby taking a nap behind Pete's Bar.

I hoped Gabe would get his act together and forget all about her. She moved on with her life and so should he. A sound off to my left drew my attention to a darkened alley. Breaking glass could mean anything, but the gunfire spelled something all together different.

Something told me I was going to miss the last bus tonight on the Redline. I peeked into the alley and the light was terriable. I could barely see well enough to distingush shapes. I paused to allow my eyes to adjust. Shadows leaped out at me from all directions.

Cautiously I started down it and heard running feet leading away from me. The stench from rotting garbage, mixing with urine was overwhelming in this narrow space. Why did I have to be so darned curious?

Crunching glass under my feet announced I was in the right spot. Then I saw the outline laying on the ground. I didn't need to strike a match to realize it was a body. Someone was having a worse day than me. The knife sticking out of the chest confirmed death, I could see when I leaned closer for a better look. I avoided the blood and went back out of the alley to the nearest phone and called the Police.

Sargeant Mick Macklin arrived first and gave me a questioning eye. "Well, Dix?"

"I was heading to the Redline and heard breaking glass and gun shots in the alley. Walked in and heard running feet, then found the body. I didn't touch a thing."

"How long ago was this?" he asked writing everything down in a little notebook.

"Not more than fifteen minutes ago, Mick"

"Any idea who it is?"

"No. I didn't get a good look of the man. Not much light in there."

"I got a torch with me. Let's go take a look."

He pulled a flashlight out of his pocket and beamed it down the alley before us. We could see better, but it still wasn't the greatest. Maybe ten feet at the most. The shimmering broken glass winked at us out of the night.

Before us lay the body. It was a man, middle aged. Salt and pepper hair, glasses and goatee. Dressed like an academic type. Whoever he was, he did not belong around here. He looked familar to the both of us, but we couldn't place him.

The knife was still there. Sticking out of the chest. A Bowie. And that was strange for this part of town. Guns usually settled the arguements.The blood was bright Red and had ran down the side to pool under the body.

Neither one stepping close to disturb any evidence. We went up the alley cautiously, as the flashlight wasn't any good ten feet away and we found where the suspect had stepped in the mud.Shinning the flashlight around us, we noticed the trash can. We were about fifty feet from the body and could not see it from this distant. We took a bucket out of the trash and covered up the footprint to save it from the rain.

At the entrance of the alley, flashlights appeared and the flashing lights from arriving cop cars and the ambulance illuminated the area more. Making things easier to see. Still we were too far away for them to notice us down here. Even with Mick's flashlight.Soon the reporters started showing up, yelling out their questions and it was time to leave. Mick knew where and how to get ahold of me. Being on the cover of tomorrow's crime beat paper was not something to look forward too. So, I ducked back down the alley and out the back way.

I had never gotten along with cops, since being kicked off the force five years ago. Thank God Mick was one of the few I could still call a friend and we helped each other out from time to time. He turned and went back down the alley. The Captain no doubt would want to hear his findings, being first on the scence and not read them in the paper tomorrow morning.

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