I didn’t know the man who talked to me that night, only that he wanted me dead. Perhaps I should start at the beginning.
I was investigating a murder scene on Main Street, which of course the local police couldn’t handle on their own. Sergeant Milton greeted me with a cloudy puff of his cigar. “Eh, detective, how’s the private business going?” His sneer cut daggers into my soul. Just then, the rain started to fall.
I walked inside the house after CSI had left. Crime scenes are always empty at night, just like my soul. It didn’t surprise me that the chalk outline lay in the kitchen. This killer was on a streak. He had struck a trend of killings, blood, gore in the kitchens of the suburbs for the past two years. No one knew what he looked like or when he would strike next. Only MacGregor the Butcher had left worse crime scenes. The only thing I knew was that he needed to be stopped.
Outside, Natalie waited for me. The taxi drove off and I knew the murder wasn’t the only problem I’d be dealing with that night. “Oh,” she uttered, smoking her cigarette like Aphrodite in a campfire. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“Of course not,” I said, staring her down with my hands in my pocket. Carelessness is important when dealing with girls like her. Girls that creep up behind you and leave you gasping for air after a two hour choke session. “Murder scenes are the perfect place to find a man, eh? You’ll only find coldness here, doll.”
“I’m warm enough on my own, detective. Come home with me tonight, and you might warm up too.”
How could I refuse? A girl like her, with hips as wide as the Cumberland Gap and as rough too, ready to be ridden ’til exhaustion. “You got it, dame. But don’t expect me overnight.”
She stepped closer, the rain streaming the makeup down her face like some clown that had seen far too many men go down in that clown fire gag where they start a fire and then they jump out onto a tiny trampoline, only one of them misses and cracks his spine and there’s nothing you can do to console his grieving wife save giving her the biggest, wettest kiss you can muster. Well, that’s just what I did with her.
I said I didn’t expect to spend the night and I meant what I said. Still, I somehow found myself waking in her apartment. Maybe it was the wine, or perhaps the lilac in the air, but something trapped me there. It might have been her majestic eyes, eyes that shine in the darkest night.
“I’m going to kill you,” said the man who wanted me dead.
“Oh, yeah?” I replied, sleep lisping my voice like some death-dream. The barrel pointed at my face grew larger with each passing moment. I lit a cigarette. “Why’s that?”
“You killed my father, MacGregor.”
MacGregor, the man who killed nearly forty of Boston’s best citizens. Authors, poets, musicians, and even politicians had perished at his hand.
“And now I will kill you.”
Just before he pulled the trigger, his eyes crossed and he collapsed on the bed. Natalie stood in the doorway, gun in her hand. I took a drag of my cigarette and tried to make sense of the scene.
“Don’t bother, baby,” Natalie said, pushing the pistol back into her lingerie waistline. “He killed my father, and I wanted him dead. He’d only meet me if I brought you home. Thought I had a grudge against you, too.”
“Well, ain’t that something,” I said, smoking a long drag of my cigarette. “I suppose you don’t hold any, then?”
“That’s for me to know,” she said before laying on top of me. I put my cigarette in the ash tray and closed my eyes.