Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dan Swagger: Death Only Knocks Once - Part 5

Snuff by O-onoes

[background] [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

Time and place unknown...

I decided the need for quick cash out-weighed any suspicions I might have of Mrs. Gladys, so I took the job. Pretty dames and the devil's currency are every man's weakness. Even a seasoned veteran like myself isn't totally immune to their powers.

We shared a few more drinks and conversation that night, and that's the last I remember of that evening… 


I woke up suddenly to find myself in a small, dark room. The sound of the furnace kicking in woke me from my sleep. My head was pounding, and I had no idea where I was or how I had gotten there. A red flashing glow was streaming across the bed from the only window in the room, providing some faint lighting. As my eyes adjusted, I noticed a clock on the shelf that read a quarter after six. Was it morning or evening, I thought. Hell, it was hard to tell this time of year, even if I could see outside.

Trying to put my thoughts together, I swung my feet to the floor. Something heavy lay at my feet. I managed to make my way across the room and switched on the light. By the bed lay a nude body of a woman and beside her was a gun – a Colt 45. At first I thought I must have been dreaming, this couldn't be happening to me.

I walked back to the bed to find my clothes on the floor in a pool of blood. My shoulder holster hung from the bedpost – empty. The woman was lying on the floor face down. She could very well have been a movie star by the looks of her chassis and the long dark hair flowing down her back. The exit wound in the back of her head told me she was dead without even checking. I reached down and turned her over. As I stood there staring at her face, my mind was suddenly flooded with memories of her – a newspaper clipping, a radio sound bite, a wanted poster, a mug shot – where did I know this broad from?

The recollections stabbed my brain, adding to the orchestra of pain already throbbing in my head. I sat my naked ass on the bed. My mind drifted towards Mary. I needed to get hold of her and make sure she was okay, but judging by the décor of the room, this dump likely didn't have a blower [1] anywhere in the building.

"Dan, what the hell have you gotten yourself into," I whispered. I rubbed my face to relieve the pain, but the pounding thumped my head like Gene Tunney [2] in a title fight. 

This was a first for me. 

Naked with a broad at a cheap motel? Nah, I've danced that dance before. Naked with a dead broad at my feet? Can't say I've ever had that fantasy, nor saw it in my future. 


What about Frank? He told me to meet him at the Lounge and he never showed, least not that I can remember. The bastard stood me up, or did he set me up? The memory hit me like chin music [3].  Why Frank? He'd never had a beef with me that I know of. It ain't like I slept with his old lady, though I'd be lying if I said the thought hadn't crossed my mind a time or two. 

Something stunk like a dead polecat in June, and it wasn't the dead broad at my feet. 


[1] Slang word for phone.
[2] Gene Tunney was the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion from 1926-1928, known for his quick feet and relentless jabs.
[3] Slang for being hit square on the jaw.

With the exception of a few alterations, this is how my father's book, "Murder Incomplete" opens up, with Dan Swagger waking up to find himself in a place he doesn't remember, with a murdered woman at his feet. 

I've altered it for a couple of reasons; one - to fit this format of storytelling; two - and more importantly, to keep his original intact and untainted. 

Love and miss you Daddy-O!

Michael A. Walker
Defying Procrastination

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