Sherlock Holmes: “Date Night”

  • Publisher: Wildside Press LLC
  • Release Date: Fall 2012
  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4344-4142-3
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Available Formats: eBook, Print
From "Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #8" Anthology

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© S.A. Stolinsky 2012, All Rights Reserved

It was a rusty night.  Lots of people think I talk funny, but when I say “rusty” I mean it was windy and brisk-like.  You could feel the sharp edges of the wind on your face.  I love that.  I closed the front door.  I don’t know whether my mother heard me or not and frankly I could care less.  She wouldn’t give a rat’s ass anyway.  Ever since they took my kid away.  She hates me for giving up her grandchild.  But I liked the couple that adopted him.  They were professional, you know?  People who had money.  They’d do good by him, I knew that. Outside I got in the truck.  The driver’s side door was stiff and creaky.  Needed oil or something.  If Eddie ever found out I was drivin’ it at night, he woulda kicked my ass.  But hell, he’s in jail.  He’s lucky somebody’s taking care of his old junk-heap anyway.  And I’m still pissed at him for showing my picture to all his con friends inside.  That was private.  You never know who’s seeing your shit all over the net now. I swear.  There I am in my birthday suit and he’s showin’ it all over the cell block.  And he’s in the shadows of the picture.  Probably embarrassed he’s got like a two inch dick. I hate that man sometimes. It’s only like ten minutes from the trailer park to the bar.  Ma and me got lucky with the trailer. It was the only one left and it was newly painted.  The guy who sold it to us even left the green awning.  He went to live on his son’s boat or some shit, I forget. The evening was cold, but it was clear.  I turned left out of the trailer park into the main street and it was empty.  I mean, empty.  Not a car in sight.  I went slow.  You never know when some dork’ll come slamming out of his driveway and t-bone you, especially if he’s been drinkin’. I rolled drove a block to the interstate.  I could see the neon flashing on and off in the distance.  One of those tipsy electric cocktail glasses that flicker on and off with “Bar, Bar, Bar” under ‘em.  Like I say, the joint was only like ten minutes away.  That wasn’t the point.  I was just tired.  My breath smelled like the bottom of a birdcage even though I gargled with mouthwash before I left the house. The interstate had some cars comin’ in the other direction, but it sure was quiet for a Saturday night.  Suburbs outside L.A., man, you’d think there’d be more action.  Sometimes they’re quieter than the boonies. I turned left into the bar’s parking lot.  One of the red lights of the neon was out of course.  God forbid Clarence, the owner’d, spring to get it fixed.  It’d probably cost him a dollar to do that.  Uh un.  Not Clarence.  He’d rather have the place look like the out-of-town dump it was. I got out of the car and let my hair down. It’d grown at least four inches since I got out of rehab.  Practically down to my waist.  Everybody always says when you’re in your early twenties your hair grows like crazy.  When you hit thirty it slows down.  Man I’m only twenty-four.  I can’t even imagine hitting thirty. I walked toward the entrance. You should see this place.  The door’s got these little square-like peek-a-boo windows surrounded by wood.  Like it’s been hand carved, right?  Probably mass produced in some half-lit garage somewhere downtown L.A. The door handle is this big old brass thing you have to take in both hands and then press a lever to make it open.  It’s a bar and a pool hall, for Criss’ sake.  Not the entrance to Graceland.  The entrance is like hidden under a wood roof that kind of hangs over the front door.  I guess to save people from getting wet if it rains.  I pulled the door open.  It was a heavy sucker. Inside there were three or four heaves, you know the big guys, too much pumping iron at Gold’s Gym, maybe ‘roids, although with the guts these guys had, maybe not.  I walked to the bar and lifted the rail.  Philie was tending bar—servin.’  Here real name is Philimina.  She’s from one of those islands in the Pacific.  Her skin’s nice, and she has huge black eyes and shoulder-length straight black hair, but I know she’s not as pretty as me.  That’s why Clarence got me out here.  I’m tellin’ ya, for him—anything for a buck. Clarence was in the office, a cubicle room with no windows hidden behind dirty maroon colored curtains on a rod. “Hey,” Philie says to me, like I’m her best friend now. “So you made it, huh?” “I’m here,” I says, “so, yeah, I guess I did.” She comes in close.  I hate that, people who come up real close to you like they’re gonna tell you the secret of the ages or some shit.  The three assholes drinking beer from the tap look up.  One of ‘em gives me the smile that says my ass is tight. I think I know that dorko. “Hey, baby,” one fat slob says. “How much?” “Shut the fuck up.” I says. Clarence yanks the curtain aside and comes out just as this guy slips off the stool, like he’s gonna come at me.  I don’t think so.  Not with Clarence right there. “Tell your ‘hoes to watch their mouths, C,” he says. Clarence nods and then comes up to me and opens a couple of buttons on my coat so my cleavage shows good.  I’m wearing what I wore to work this morning, but nothin’ underneath, you know? He says, “Hey, baby, get in something comfortable.  I’m gonna introduce you to Mr. Right.” “Mr. Right?  Is that his real name?” “No, baby, but he wants anonymity.” Clarence says, putting his face close to mine like we’re gonna rub noses.  He pushes my hair behind my ears.  Then he kisses my forehead.  “Big pay day tonight.” I don’t know why, but I could feel myself gettin’ madder and madder.  I like money and when the woman who adopted my kid sends me a picture at Christmas I’d like to send a little extra cash to the kid, with a note, if she’d let me.  I suddenly feel like crying.  I take things real hard. Anyway, Clarence goes in the back and I go to the ladies room and there’s this off the shoulder spandex thing with sequins around a real low neckline and the same sequin pattern on the sleeveless arms holes. It’s hangin’ on a rod that must have been a shower fixture at one time.  There’s no pants, so I’m assuming Clarence doesn’t care what I wear on the bottom.  The thing is see-through, too.  Like that clear handkerchief type see-through.  It looked like a rodeo skank’d wear it.  It wasn’t L.A. I put it on and walked over to the office an slid back the greasy curtain separating his office from the main area. Clarence was sittin’ in a swivel chair behind a big desk which took up most of the room and had a land line phone and lots of papers and shit on it.  Made him feel important, I guess. “You changed?” He said, sitting forward and putting his elbows on the table.  He was smoking a cigarette and it was down to the last ash.  Stank up the whole room. I opened up the pea coat.  He sat forward and laughed out loud. “Show Mr. Willfield here, will ya, baby?” I turned, holding my coat flaps open. “This is Mr. Bob Willfield,” he said, from the far corner of the room where there was no light. I looked over. I couldn’t see anyone, but I could hear someone breathing real loud, like they were a smoker.  I was surprised I hadn’t heard it when I came in.  Then as my eyes got used to the dim of the room, I made out a small fat guy in a black or grey business suit, it was hard to tell in the dark, wearing a tie on a dark shirt. He took a bottle of Jim Beam and two shot glasses out of his briefcase lying next to the chair and put them on the table.  He poured two shots and handed me one. “You comin’ with me tonight, baby,” he said.  “We gonna have us some fun.”

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