Well friends I am back with Fiction Saturday volume 2!!! This is a noir style piece that I did a while ago. Looks like 6 episodes of this one! Thanks for reading!
Most people call me Jack. Jackson is just too long, unless it’s Jackson Malone. That rolls off the tongue quite nicely. That’s me. Jackson Malone. Private Eye. And I am on a case. The case is simple. Murder.
The brother of the victim had come to me for justice. The police wouldn’t help much. Their case was open and shut. One homeless derelict beats another to death over a blanket or some other trinket. Happens all the time in the city. Case closed. Until Rob Moran came into my ramshackle office that Thursday.
“Mr. Moran. It’s nice to meet you. I’m Jackson Malone. How can I help you today?” I asked this to a short man in a cheap suit as he entered my office for his appointment. “Fine. Fine.” He nervously replied. “I need to, well, kind of, hire a, um, well, a, um, detective.” “Well you’ve come to the right place.” I assured him. “Would you like some coffee or something?” “Than, than, thanks.” He stammered. “But do you have anything stronger?”
“Sure, “I said “But it’s only 10 in the morning.” “That’s ok.” He blurted out. “I just need it.” I got the bottle of whiskey from my desk drawer, a glass from the shelf behind me, and poured a couple of ounces into it. He drank greedily. I tilted the bottle to offer more but he shook his head. “Thanks. I needed that.” “Well Mr. Moran,” I started again, “What can I do for you?” “Well, I need help.” He said. “I want you to find out who killed my brother, Nelson Moran.”
“Woah.” I said, “This case has been all over the news. The police have already closed it. I may not find anything.” “That is alright.” He replied. “I just want you to look and try. I need to know what happened.” “Fine.” I said, “I will do what I can.” “Great. I appreciate it.” He said as he pushed a retainer check for $500 across the battered wood surface of my desk. That was more money than I had seen for a good 2 or 3 months. I took the case.
“I’ll start tomorrow. Where did he live?” “That’s the thing,” he started. “He was kind of homeless. I do know that he had talked about shacking up in a warehouse on 1st and 32nd but I heard that place burned down about a week ago. I can’t be much more specific than that. He wouldn’t come live with me.” “Alright.” I said. “Tomorrow, I will go down there and see what I can dig up.” “Please do I really want to find out what happened. My psychiatrist says it is “Closure” I hope it will help.” “I hope so too.” I said. We stood, shook hands, and he left me to my thoughts and the $500 retainer on my desk
The next day was almost dismal, the weather trying to decide if it was sunny or going to rain. I was in good spirits though. I had some cash and a job to do. I actually got up early to begin.
Rob had told me that his brother was homeless, which didn’t help hardly at all, but I decided to check out the warehouse down on 32nd street. I walked the dozen blocks to the place and stood in front, just looking for anything that may be helpful.
The warehouse had been condemned and boarded up after the fire but it looked like a good place to find homeless people who may know something in exchange for five bucks or so. I threw my half -burned cigarette to the ground and crushed it out with my shoe, preparing myself for anything. I walked towards the alley that ran beside the building, hoping that a side door had been jimmied open and allowed ingress to the building. There was.
The smell of smoke and burned paper were still strong as I approached the warehouse even though the fire had been out for over 3 months according to Alan Rich, my editor friend at the Times. He had told me that the warehouse was a storage facility for sensitive documents that the police were holding. The theory was that the fire was a cover up. Of course nothing could be proven so here sat the empty warehouse.
As I got to the entrance to the alleyway and ducked the yellow crime scene tape, the scents of feces and urine joined the smoke. Rotting garbage made its appearance, further assaulting my nose as I entered. The sun was high over head, if filtered by high clouds, and it was easy to see the stained concrete and the graffiti on the walls; as well as the door to the warehouse, jimmied open. It was on my right about thirty yards ahead of me.
Join us next week for part 2 of Fiction Saturday! Jackson Malone.
Thanks for reading!