Red Letter Writing Contest #45


At 8 AM a dragoon burst into my apartment with an arrest warrant. It looked authentic--there was Samsa's signature at the bottom, written in beetle juice, and the seal of the Cabal--but the dragoon himself seemed suspect. His slouch, the way his helmet lolled on his neck ring--I could maybe buy him off.

Before resorting to bribery, though, I would test his resolve. "Can I call my lawyer?"

He snapped to attention, gripped his halberd and said, "Ja. Sure."

I punched up the number on my cell, told Strauss to get down to the station ASAP. In reply he mumbled something about his retainer.

"What?" I asked.

"Shorry. Thish damn thing keepsh shlipping onto my tongue."

He'd had his braces removed the week before, by a Prussian orthodontist, and was having trouble with a temporary mouthpiece.

"Just get going, Strauss."

He said he would, after he scarfed down some muesli, and hung up.

You couldn't expect a teenage legal eagle descended from a famous composer to run off without a hearty breakfast. You couldn't expect a dragoon with a sense of enterprise to let you go for cheap, either.

"Hang on," I told him as we waltzed toward the door. I reached for my wallet, pulled out two crisp 100s and placed them in his outstretched gauntlet. "For your Malevolent Fund."

Tiny sparkles shone through his eye slits. He tucked the money into his belt, rattled his chain mail, and clanked out the door.

Malevolent Fund!
Miss Snark thought only she knew about that!
Damn that Abacus Snark!


Anonymous said...

Are you skipping numbers to drive me crazy, or is it a good thing? Or.... a very bad thing?

GutterBall said...

Ha! I like this one. The tone is definitely noir. I can almost hear it.

susan said...

Another neat story. Amazing what folks are coming up with in a day's notice.

Anonymous said...

Points for "malevolent fund"! Points for chain mail, too. I mean, if I could give points.