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James Crow

Christmas Story

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I was sitting at my office, not much need for a private eye when Mayor Nicholas, The Saint, is cleaning up the town. I was about to call it a day and go home, but luck walked in my door, and did she look good. Tall ,thin, raven hair, and a Spanish complexion, with an accent to match. “Are you Señor Kringel?”Giving a sigh I responded, “Yes, now please tell me what's the problem?”“I am afraid for my life Señor Kringel! I ran into some financial problems and had to borrow some money, now he is trying to collect.”“I am no bank Miss.”“PLEASE!! I think he wants to asesinato me. I beg you Señor Kringel, I have no where else to go.” She sank into the chair in front of me, tears pouring down her face. How could I say no?“Fine. But please call me Kris.”“Gracias, muchas veces,Señ....Kris. I preform at Anillos de Oro at five tonight, meet me there.”She got up and went to leave, ”Miss, what is your name?”“El Toe.”She left, Miss El Toe, the famous lounge singer, this was going to be a long case.♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣I arrived at Anillos de Oro, the crowd inside looked normal for that time of night. I found a seat and ordered a shot of White Christmas. The curtain arose and out came a small man, panic covered his face. “Señoras and señores I am s..sorry to announce that, ahum, sorry. T...that Miss El Toe will not be performing tonight. That is correct, n..no El tonight, no El tonight.”He quickly ran off stage as a few chairs hit where he was standing. I stood up and went to the back. I found a lot of the girls whispering and gasping at the sight of me backstage. The little man ran up to me, “You can't be back here señor, p...please leave.”“Miss El was my client,” I said looking into his pale face. “I need to know what happened.”“I...I know nothing s...señor., p...please leave”“I won't leave till I get some answers.”“I said...”“Cut the act, Feliz!” Came the voice from one of the dancers.The little man bolted. Damn. I looked over at the dancer, “You know something?”As she came over, a large grin showed itself, “I just might, it's going to cost you though.”I HATE when this stuff happens, but I gritted my teeth and said, “How much?!”“Simple, a job.”“WHAT?!?!?!”“I'm tired of shaking my tush for spare change. So...you need information and I need an out.”Looking at the slightly short, freckled faced, redhead, I didn't see any other choice. So, shaking my head I said, “Fine.”“SHAKE, first.”After the shake she told me everything. Miss El had a gambling problem, she lost...a lot! And worse it was at old Kracker's place. Nu T. Kracker was an old china man that had made a heafty name for himself in the city. It didn't look good for Miss El.As I left the bar a car drove up and a couple of men took a few shots at me. They then sped off into the fog. I hailed a cab, got in saying, “FOLLOW THAT CAR!”“*hik* That no 'roblem*hic*”I looked in the mirror to see the drivers face, he was a man, mid forties, whose red nose told me he was drunk. “Let me out!”“*hic* Now youdon't worry*hic*Old Rudolph 'nose the way through*hic*thefog*hic*”And away we sped, corner after corner. Near accedent past near accedent. We, no I should say HE lost them. “*hic* 'ell damn*hic*tis' nevr 'appen before*hic*”I got out...paid him....and started to walk to my appartment. All of a sudden I heard a women scream and ran to investagate. I saw two large men dragging Miss El into an old warehose. Damn, that drunk actually did it!I snuck up to the door and listened, they said something about waiting for the boss to arrive. That's not good. I went up the fire escape, just as I heard a car pull up, the old man himself. I hurred my pace and waited out the window Miss El was being held in.Time seemed to slow down as I waited for the footsteps to grow closer, closer, CLOSER. The door knob started to turn and I pulled out my revolver. Nu steped in, closed the door, saying something to the others in chinesse. He looked at Miss El, and pulled out a dagger, that is when I stepped in. “Hold it Nu! One step closer and I'll plug you.” He stoped, glaring at me. “El!” I waved for her to come over to me. She did, but tripped halfway. I heard the loud footsteps of the guards running up the stairs.Nu gave me a sickening grin, “Now choose, women or life...better hurry.”“How 'bout a wager Mr. Kracker.”The door smashed open, Nu's goons started to pour in, guns pointing at me, “TINGZHI!!” The goons came to a halt. “What type of wager?”With a short sigh I responded, “A game of chance.” I pulled out a coin. “Heads I win, tails you loose.”He started to laugh, and he didn't stop for a long while. When he finally did he gave me a crazy look, “You very funny. I could use someone like you.”“If I agree, what happens to Miss El?”Shaking his head, he simply said, “She owe me, very, very, large amount of money. She no pay back.”I glared at the women on the ground, tears where all over the ground. “I have an idea.”♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣The next day I arrived at Anillos de Oro. Sat down and got ready for the show. Over in the corner sat the new owner, Mr. Kracker, was sitting at a table with Feliz, Miss El Toe took the stage, and I got my white christmas.After the show I went outside and smiled, looked like it was going to be another silent nigh... “Mr. Kringle, Mr. Kringle! You promised me a job!!” Or not.

Edited by James Crow

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