The PI sat on the side of his bed and rubbed the aching bunion on his size 12 hoof like a worry stone. Outside the window of his one-room walk-up, flashing neon lights split a night so dark even the stars were afraid to show their innocent faces.
This case was eating him up. Once more he repeated the odd clue he found written on a cocktail napkin from Joe's Gin Joint and pinned to the last victim's body: The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd. What sort of sicko left behind this nonsense as his calling card?
For weeks now he'd felt like a terrapin simmering on a summer-baked southern highway. His thinking was nothing but muddle, the kind of mush that comes from too many hours, too few clues, and too much gin. He'd staked out Joe's for six days, waiting, watching and yakking up the galleycats, the buxom wait gals that made this job worth his time. Trixie, a party girl with the will of a wisp, and one of Joe's girls, was the newest victim. She wasn't the kind of girl you'd take home to Mama, but she was the kind of girl you'd take home. Her final words to him repeated in his head like last night's taco in his gut: Ah, your mother wears combat boots.
The perp had been tagged with the moniker Bat Segundo by the boys in blue. He'd call the killer a yap, nothing more than one of the promenading poodles that thought they were too smart for the cops to collar him. But the PI knew better. When he put his hands on the sick, dirty dog, he was going to make him drop and give him ten...books, all thrown at him for a nice long vacation in the joint. No bad tales of toilet training, no sad sob stories about his mama, or how his puppy was run over by George Clooney's limo were going to save his two-bit ass. This guy had thrown down the gauntlet, and it was a bloody t-shirt with Snark emblazed across it. Trixie deserved better than to be laid out like a cold salmon on a slab at the city morgue.
The PI dropped back onto pillows with all the softness of a ten-ton boulder and sighed. "This is for you, Trixie. This is for you.”
Oh Miss Snark getting very very disturbed by all these dead dogs!!
The FIRST rule of mystery writing: no dead dogs!!
Killery Yapp is oiling his derringer.
Scoring to come.