Pixie Dust: A Noir Short–Part 2

Pixie Dust: Part 1 can be found on this site: here is a brief summary of Part 1:

Mrs. Greta Hathaway visits private investigator, Dinger, claiming her husband, Martin Hathaway, prominent bank president, is out to murder her. Greta’s father’s recent death, which allowed Hathaway to assume the presidency of the late Mr. Thomas Perry’s bank, has her spooked. Having knowledge her husband conspired to murder her father has Greta on edge that she might be next in line to assure her husband attains full control of the Perry bank and fortune.

–Part 2–

Mrs. Hathaway placed both hands on the edge of the desk, glass in one, cigarette in the other. A thin lace of smoke spiraled upward. “The bank? Not so much. I never liked arithmetic in school.” She paused for a sip and a drag, and smiled. “Numbers bore me, Dinger, PI, except for the kind printed on money. Those, I like very much.”

woman smoking 1

She held out the glass. I poured her another couple fingers. I swiveled side to side in the chair a few times and stopped where our bodies were lined up like a rifle sight. From my vantage point it was some target, a ripe, juicy tomato. “Let’s assume your husband is out to pop you. You need to lay low for awhile. Any place you can go where you won’t be found? A friend you can trust?”

She shifted her hips and smiled. “I have a former lover in L.A., but I don’t think his wife would be happy if I showed up on their doorstep. I don’t have many friends, Dinger, PI, not the kind I can trust. My daddy saw to that.”

I let the remark go, figuring it was just one more bitch from a silver spoon broad about her “poor me” upbringing. Oh, how the rich and privileged do suffer compared to we lowly minions.

“Okay then,” I said, “you can stay here for a few days. Unless you broadcasted your visit here, you should be safe enough in my humble abode.”

Greta Hathaway’s jaw fell open as she gazed around my office. “Stay here? You are joking?” The words came out sounding a bit haughty.

“No, I’m not. I have a rollaway bed that’s not bad. I’ll change the sheets so you don’t catch my cooties. There’s also a bathroom with a shower and clean towels. You go traipsing back to your husband’s house, you’re leaving yourself open to a disappearing act. From what you told me, I hope you realize that.”

Martha Hyer 1

Mrs. Hathaway tapped another Camel from the pack she pulled from her purse, and lit it with my grenade lighter. Pushing a lock of hair behind her ear, she exhaled. “It’s my house, not Marty’s.” Her gaze drifted between my legs. “You drive a hard bargain, Dinger, PI. Okay, I’ll take you up on your little offer. But let’s get one thing straight—hands off, Dinger—I pride myself on being faithful to my hubby. Semper Fi . . . isn’t that what you Marines say? Well, Semper Fi to Mr. Martin Hathaway, my dear, dear husband. I do love him so.” She said this with a hint of a smile, then downed the last of the rye and took another drag on the Camel.

I laughed, wondering just what the hell I’d gotten myself into. “Always faithful, huh? Is that what your were doing when you tried putting the make on me fifteen minutes ago?”

An eyebrow arched on her pretty face. Those luscious lips curled into a big smile. “Oh, that. Don’t flatter yourself, Dinger, PI. I was just testing your integrity. You passed . . . barely.”

*  *  *

I spent the night in my Ford Coupe parked on the opposite side of the street from my office. I figured I’d have a better chance of keeping an eye on the place from that vantage point. Unless the keen sleeping skills I’d perfected in the Pacific during the war had deserted me, the night passed uneventful. The rays of the dawning sun lit up the buildings to my left. I allowed Mrs. Hathaway a half hour before tramping my way up the staircase to the second floor. After unlocking the door I met resistance. It took a few seconds of sticking my foot through the partially opened door to shove away the file cabinet and chair blocking it. I guess the lady didn’t trust my guard dog skills. I made a partial entry into the room and was stopped by a foot stamping hard on mine. I glanced through the opening to see Mrs. Hathaway fending off my foot like it was a rat. She clutched at a bath towel that had slipped open, exposing her breasts. It was a beautiful sight. I made a mental note to lose these fights more often.

“Just what the hell do you think you’re doing, Dinger, PI?”

“Opening my office for the day’s business,” I shot back. “You got a problem with that? Free rent and board, plus protection, and then you bar the door. Tsk, tsk.I’d say you owe me an apology, Mrs. Hathaway.”

woman with towel 1

“Apology? How the hell was I supposed to know it was you!” She turned and stormed back to the bathroom. I’m not sure what she said as she slammed the door, although I’m pretty sure it included an invitation for me to stick something up a certain orifice. I graciously declined.

While Mrs. Hathaway cooled off and got dressed I made coffee. I had a half dozen day old doughnuts in the small fridge. I brought the box to my desk and poured myself a cup of coffee. In a few minutes Always Faithful joined me. I got up to pour her a cup. She followed me to the table and placed a hand on my arm.

“I apologize for the way I’ve treated you,” she said and kissed my stubbled cheek. “I want to thank you for helping me. . . .” She paused, glanced around the place, and smiled. “And for your hospitality, such as it is.”

I was beginning to warm to the dame. Over cigarettes, strong coffee, and semi stale doughnuts we got down to some serious business. For starters, we dropped formalities. She was Greta, I was Dinger. Yeah, just Dinger I explained. It was on my license, and it was legal. We agreed it was too dangerous for her to go back home for clothes and other female necessities. In a couple hours when the stores opened we’d go shopping. Although Greta looked as fresh and sharp as she had when she first walked into my office, the poor girl had probably never worn the same clothes twice in a row.

I put in a call to my lawyer, Ernie Shavers. Every now and then I work for Ernie when he requires my services. It can get shady at times, mostly gray area jobs. He can be a little unorthodox, but he’s honest, a rarity in Vegas. He served as a Judge Advocate with the Navy during the war. We spoke the same language. Ernie agreed to meet me at my office at two. He’d bring the necessary paperwork to write up a quick will for Mrs. Hathaway, leaving Martin high and dry . . . and broke.

Around ten-thirty Greta disappeared into the bathroom to touch up her lipstick and powder her nose or whatever dames do before they can be seen in public. I opened a desk drawer and retrieved my .38 snub nose revolver. My service .45 semi-auto was tucked safely away in the Coupe. Nothing like having a little backup power if you need it. When Greta was ready I played gentleman and held the door open as she stepped through. I followed and turned to lock up. A shot rang out and punched the brick between our heads. I felt a sting in my cheek as I shoved Greta to the concrete deck and covered her with my body. The .38 was in my hand, cocked and ready as I scanned the street and buildings for the shooter. Greta moved under me and groaned.

MMO pistol - 2

{To be continued}

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13 thoughts on “Pixie Dust: A Noir Short–Part 2

    1. Margot, I wrote this into the wee hours of last night/early morning. Posted it. Read it this morning and immediately made changes. I think it’s much better now. Thanks for your comments, and I hope you get a chance to read the newer version. 🙂

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      1. Oh, I just read your update, Michael! I really like the tension and action you’ve added. And I think Greta’s apology adds to her character. Whether she turns out to be as untrustworthy as she seems, or not, she’s a little more complex. I like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh geez i love this stuff! Chairs lined up like a rifle site. Then she tells him hands off and looks at his uh, package. Wonderful for character development. He drives a hard bargain. Oh, mercy. It is too fun. I love Dinger. Oh and the cigarette lit with a grenade. The door blocked but she’s undressed. I didn’t quite understand the insult or was it a proposition. Michael keep it up I hope you’re having as much fun with it as I am. I’ll have to read the part 1. I think I’ll put it on my website the horse people will love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, MJ! Please see my comments to Margot (above). I wrote this last night and was falling asleep by the time I finished and posted it. Read it this morning and YIKES! I spent a couple hours rewriting parts of the story. I believe it’s much better now. Hope you get a chance to read this newer version. Thanks for the nice comments!

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  2. OK rifle sight. I put it on my website. Michael you edited it and the version I read was a little different. Very small changes but it answered my question about the “insult”. The second time I read it was on Outlook (which finally unfroze) and the first was on Windows Mail. I would hate to have missed that hot picture that the horsemen will love. Looking forward to next part. I like to put some different and fun things on my website and that worked great. I do get to put horse pics on there all the time but variety is special. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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