Rose—a “Dinger, PI” Short

She was sitting behind my desk when I unlocked the office door and stepped inside. Crossed black high heels accentuating narrow feet were propped on a corner of the desktop. The black halter-strap dress was hiked above her knees, revealing a pair of slim, shapely gams that seemed to go on forever. Smoke trailed from a lit cigarette held between manicured fingers. Her hair was the color of midnight. It cascaded over her bare shoulders like twin black waterfalls. If I could choose my intruders, this dame would be at the top of the list.


“No, don’t bother,” I said holding up a hand when she made a move to stand. I removed my fedora and hung it on the coat rack standing near the desk. Beneath a strand of glistening pearls I caught a glimpse of cleavage that would make a rush-hour traffic cop forget his business. “How’d you get in, Miss . . . ?”


She took a puff and exhaled as she tapped a half inch of ash into the new ceramic ashtray I’d recently upgraded to. Two butts inside wore the same lipstick coating her pouty red lips. The lips curled into a smile. She picked up a bent and twisted bobby pin from the desk and held it so I could get a good look. “Roseanne Nicholas, Mr. Dinger. Mrs. Roseanne Nicholas. But please, call me Rose,” she said. “I deplore such formality. It keeps everyone apart, like strangers, don’t you think? I’d much rather be friends. Wouldn’t you . . . what is your first name, Dinger, PI? That’s all that was painted on your door.”

I chose the rattier of the two chairs in front of the desk and sat. “Dinger will do just fine, Rose. I got tagged with it during the war. The name stuck. I decided I liked it, so I made it legal when I got back to the States and out of the Corps. Okay, so where’d you learn to pick locks?” I thumbed back at the door. “That lock’s not so easy to tap.”


Rose moved her feet off the desktop and sat upright. She scooted the chair forward and leaned toward me, resting her chin in a cupped hand. I missed those creamy thighs, but the cleavage made up for it. “Now Dinger, you know there are things a girl should never reveal.” Those luscious lips curled into a coy smile. “After all, we’ve just met. Why, we’re still practically strangers.”

I mustered a smile of my own, more smartass than coy. “You just got through telling me you’d rather be friends than strangers. Are you sending me bogus signals here, Rose?”


The smile deserted her face for a moment. Then those red lips recovered. The doll stood, slowly brushed the wrinkles out of her dress with maximum pinpoint effect, and strolled around to my side of the desk. “One thing you’ll learn, Dinger,” she cooed in my ear as she curled onto my lap. “I’m a girl of my word.” She snaked a soft, sleek arm around my neck, leaned in, and planted a kiss on me. A kiss that sent shivers through me I hadn’t felt since I was in high school determined to cop my first feel of Linda Danzy’s gorgeous boobs. “And I’m a firm believer that actions always speak louder than words, honey.”

I’d struck out with Linda Danzy that night. Not so this warm May evening with Roseanne Nicholas. An hour later, after several extra innings of give and take, I hammered a winning home run as the sun deserted the sky and darkened the room’s lone window.


Afterward, we snuggled in the darkness in my roll-away bed, sharing cigarettes and sweet nothings. Rose was a farm girl from some small, nowhere town in Ohio. She’d studied dance since she was six years old, and came west after graduating high school determined to make it as a showgirl in Vegas, using that as a springboard to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. It was the same tired story I’d heard a hundred times since arriving in Sin City after the war. I’d been looking for something—anything—to leave the nightmares of the island hopping behind. So far the Pacific had managed to cling to my throat like Bela Lugosi’s Count Dracula.

After awhile, I lit fresh smokes and Rose and I got down to business. “You never told me why you’re here,” I said. “Why you picked my lock. A phone call would’ve gotten you in with far less trouble.”


Rose made a purring sound from somewhere deep in her throat. She cupped my chin and her lips and tongue commenced exploring again. “Dinger, sweetie,” she said when finished, “doesn’t my breaking into your office make it all that much more alluring? Anyone can make an appointment.” She sighed and rolled onto her back. “I suppose I thought you’d find me special, more intriguing.” She paused for a moment as she took a drag and exhaled toward the ceiling. “Well, honey, did it work?”

I took a deep pull on the Chesterfield, held it a long time, and then blew a long stream of smoke into the darkness. “I guess it did, considering what we’ve been doing for the past hour or so.” I crushed out the smoke in the plastic ashtray I kept on the nightstand. “Look, Rose, I don’t make a habit of bedding other men’s wives. In fact, it’s against my code.”

She stifled a giggle.

“Yeah, I know how this looks. You come into my office, flash me your wares, and we spend the next two hours getting to know each other in the biblical sense. I got my regrets about it, believe me. You can take that or leave it. But no excuses. You got me wired and I had to discharge the circuits or blow a fuse. Yeah, you had that effect on me. I regret it, but at the same time, I don’t. Can you see that?”

The tip of her cigarette glowed red, and a sliver of moonlight worked its way through the edges of the drawn curtains shading the single window. It illuminated the fine lines of her face like a Greek goddess. “Yes, Dinger, I believe I do. I’d heard it before, from a friend. That’s why I’m here. My friend said you could be trusted.”

The past tense hurt. I sensed a touch of disappointment in Rose’s voice. I felt like a heel. I’d let my guard down for the touch of a beautiful broad. But she’d seemed special at the time, like she’d been sent my way for a purpose; a purpose only I could take care of. Right at that moment I felt like a failure, a nobody, a nothing. I’d failed her test. Not that she hadn’t seemed to enjoy it, but still. “Okay, I’m here. I’m the same guy, never mind what just happened between us. If you can believe that, I’m at your service.”


Rose reached over, touched my forehead, ran her soft fingers down my cheek and across my lips. The red lit up her face with the heavy draw on the cigarette. She sighed deeply as she exhaled. “My husband’s fucking Manny Divino’s moll. I want you to convince him to lay off before he’s cold meat.”

{To be continued}


11 thoughts on “Rose—a “Dinger, PI” Short

  1. Oh mercy I love these Dinger P.I. Shorts. They vary in tone and in this one as others the reader can sense his naive inexperienced sorrow about being seduced. I like the dialogue where he explains that he is sorry but not really. So far this one is just plain fun. Love the bad boy with a good heart..
    I was also intrigued with the vigilante angle you brought up before Michael

    Liked by 1 person

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