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NOIR, Chapter 5

It's a dirty, old shame when all you get from love is a love song.

I had to go and do the stupid thing. I had to go get all emotional and care. Once you care, you listen and when you listen you learn. Ignorance is bliss sometimes, kids. Remember that. I write to teach you, so listen dear reader. Read my story and learn. Care, listen and learn. Don't be like me.


Here I sit in my perfectly conditioned room. It's conditioned like every other room in this stinking hole. Yeah, here I sit. I sit on the floor, notepad in hand, writing to my heart's content. And for what? I'm not sure.

You're idiots

You're all idiots. Every last one of you. You are all aimless, pointless, shifty-eyed nobodies.

After that bigot drove off with my dame, I sat. I sat all bummed out. Bummed out that my dame was on her way to get hers.

I heard the sirens coming, but I didn't care. Oh, I cared before, but now it's over. I don't care. He won. He came, he played and left with the girl. And now, he will have his way with her. He will kill her and that will satisfy him. That's his pleasure. That's his sex.

A cop car arrived on location and I heard voices of the female persuasion.

"He took off down the alley!"

"Stay inside, ma'am!"

Footfalls came shuffling up the alley; the latter voice spoke again, "Where's that backup?!"

Enter Mercedes, "Johnny, what are you doing?! I almost shot you. Beat it!"

I looked at her, she looked at me and she knew. She lowered her gun and sat beside me on the ground. In the distance, we heard more sirens coming.

"What's going on, Johnny?"

At the station, I sat in a cold, damp room. It was one of those interrogation rooms they try to bring to life on the big-screen. It seemed fake now. I sat alone for 10 or 15 minutes, but then she came in. She looked high-strung. She sat in the chair across the table from me and she asked me again, "What's going on?"

"Why don't you tell me, Mercedes?"

"Cut the act, Johnny! You just caused a serious mess in the streets of Babylon and Bruno wants an answer... I WANT AN ANSWER!"

Needless to say, she was a little peeved.

"Why don't you ask Maxim de Claire? Bring him in here, sit him down and ask him where Holly is?"

She stared at me. You know, one of those stares that says shut up. She turned the cop on.

"Here's what I know... you left your apartment, shot a few bullets into a nearby alley. You then climbed into your car and drove a few blocks, breaking a dozen traffic violations. You then parked your car in the street (abruptly), exited the vehicle, shot a few more bullets into the streets, headed down the alley on foot and waited for me. Care to fill me in on any of those details? Reasons would be nice."

I hesitated for a moment to gather all the errors in her statement, then proceeded to enlighten her.

"First off, you should have three bodies. I didn't drive my own car. I broke six traffic violations, at best... I think that covers most of it. Let's get our details straight, sis, before we jump to reasons."

Her reply was concise, "Your tirade involves no body count, no other vehicle and as far as the traffic violations go," she leaned in, "Why don't you let the law decide when you've broke one or not?"

That's when it really sank in. I was expecting to go to prison for the rest of my life, but come to find out Maxim had cleaned up my mess. What was that jerk up to? He's playing me. Why? Why dispose of the bodies, why replace the car? What is going on?

Holly hired me. I know that. She hired me to protect her from potential attempts on her life. Maxim, her fiance, had it in for her. When he tried to make good on it, he was successful. Though, I made it difficult and created quite a mess. Ah... he's not covering for me, he's covering his own tracks. This guy is good. He's better than good, he's methodical.

"Johnny? Hello?" Mercedes spoke to me, in her sarcastic way, "Are you quite finished planning your future in that little head? Talk to me."

"So, how much do I owe you guys for violations and damages?"

She didn't respond, so I did.

"I would like to think that I have the right to know what I've done wrong."

Reluctantly, she replied, "You can find out about your violations and charges from Meredith at front desk on your way out. We'll have to check into the damages and we'll get back to you on that later."

"Am I under arrest? Or can I go?"

"You can go, but your license is temporarily revoked. You can appeal any and all charges at your assigned court date. You can get the date from Meredith, again, at front desk."

I gloated a bit and smiled at her as I rose to my feet.

"Are you ever going to talk to me?" She inquired.

I stopped at the door and turned back, "I don't talk to cops. See ya, sis."

With that I was out the door, I paid Meredith a visit and left a free man. I cared, I listened and I learned. I was glad the melodrama was over. Good riddance.


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