Thursday, September 15, 2011

Black Diamond Detective Agency, Part 2

The World Mystery Convention, Bouchercon, is in St. Louis this weekend, September 15-18, and that seems like a great time to re-post these excerpts from a short story.

Way back in 1980 I took a fiction writing class at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville taught by Lloyd Kropp, and my final project was a short story that, frankly, doesn't live up the the promise of it's first two and a half pages. Those first pages, though, are worth posting here.

My clothes were in even worse shape than my hair. The Hawaiian tourist shirt had never been the height of fashion and was now just barely wearable. It did go, more or less, with the Army surplus fatigue pants I had on. The splotch of puke, my own or someone else's I couldn't remember, on my right thigh came pretty close to matching the flowers on the shirt. I didn't think Curt or his family would appreciate that too much.

I looked around the lovely Black Diamond Detective Agency for something else to wear but couldn't find anything. I did find my checkbook in a pair of black-and-pink checked pants that I couldn't remember ever wearing. Looking at them now, I was glad that I didn't. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had $450 in my account. It was obviously money left over from the last time I had worked as a laborer on a construction site. I certainly hadn't worked on a $450 case for a least a year. As a matter of fact, I hadn't worked on a case of any kind -- cases of beer excluded -- for 6 months. Maybe I'd been working on too many cases of beer.

(To Be Continued)

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