The sharp knock at the door drew me from my stupor. Still half asleep, I knocked my whiskey bottle from my desk, and heard it shatter on the floor. “Great”, I thought, “unless that’s a client, last night will my last for a while”. It seemed harder and harder to make a living in this crazy town. There’s only so many cheating husbands for me to track, so many murders I could trace before the mob realized what I knew and came after me.
It was a hard line to walk. I couldn’t blame Tony’s organization outright, and the subtle hints I’d dropped went nowhere. No surprise, really, as Tony owned the cops too. I was beginning to suspect that he had also been behind the somewhat suspicious “disappearances” of some of my more recent cases … and clients. Maybe it was time to call it quits, escape this life and start over in Florida. It was warm in Florida. You didn’t find your clients floating down the river in Florida. Florida would be nice.
I opened the door to yell out “I’m retired”. Then I saw her. A bird no other. She kept her distance and wouldn’t look me in the eye. All she said was “I got your name from a friend. I don’t have anyone else to turn too”. Then she tossed a bundle of cash in my direction with “That should cover two weeks. Details are in the envelope.”
Then she flew away.
As I watched her fly, the wind moving over her feathers in a way I hadn’t in oh so long, and I thought, “One more. I’ll take one more case and then retire.”