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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hard Boiled Scotto

                           The sexy, but gritty Scotto.

Pinky tries her hand at Gum Shoe...

I dedicate this to the memory of 

Dashiell Hammett. 
Author of The Maltese Falcon.

(There are many of his adapted quotes in this piece of detective genre.)

Scotto walked into the lounge, and observed his surroundings… he saw the stains splattered all over the bare gyprock walls… stained without any indication from where the staining had originated… and there in a dark corner of the room he saw it. 

The scenario laid out before him was one of disgrace… and even though he’d witnessed many crimes before, the body on the couch told him the story of what had occurred in that very room the previous night.

Scotto Poinker’s jaw was strong and chunky, his nostrils flared and his black eyes impenetrable; framed by his questioning eyebrows. His greying hairline, rising higher every year, added distinction to his furrowed brow. He looked rather handsomely like a young James Bond.

The air in the lounge room was thick and cloying with the stale stench of tobacco, fast food and hard liquor. The glass window all steamed up and the light streaming through gave the room a jaundiced tinge; like the light streaming through an empty Four X Gold bottle.

Dried out Macca’s fries littered the coffee table like the cold pale fingers of a dead man and the corpse-like body on the couch stirred and groaned with the same timbre of a drunken, seasick pirate.

Scotto’s dame, Pinky, was upstairs still in the land of nod; draped in purple satin sheets and the scent of a woman… he didn’t want to disturb her. She hadn’t had a good life, bad… worse than you could ever know… she deserved a sleep in, damn it.

Then he saw it on the coffee table… his bottle of vodka, empty…as empty as Pinky’s wine glass on a Friday night. It was full the night before. He eyed the snoring carcass lying prone on the red velour sofa.

“Was it you, Thaddeus?” he woke the suspect with a prod from his gum shoe. “Was it you who drank my vodka last night, damn it?”

Thaddeus stared at Scotto through bloodshot eyes… as bloodshot as the eyes of a whacked-out stoner walking the streets of King’s Cross.

“Tell the truth, Thaddeus,” Scotto drawled, tapping his fedora over one eye and grinding his spent cigar into the floor with his heel.

“I distrust a man who lies about his liquor… if he lies about liquor he’s not to be trusted. Listen Thaddeus, it’s a long time since I burst into tears over spilt vodka. Tell me the truth and we’ll call it quits, damn it!”

“Wasn’t me…” stammered the suspect.

“The cheaper the crook, the fancier the patter. You were the only one here last night. You always have a very smooth explanation ready. Don’t be a weak sister, fess up, damn it!”

There was a gloomy silence in the seedy surrounds of the lounge that morning… and no confession.

So the mystery of the misappropriated Vodka remains unsolved… for now...