Part 1 of 5
By Dan Leicht
At two o’ clock the door closed. The sun set hours ago, before Charles Splints was even started on the case. The note was slipped under the door to his downtown office after he’d just finished his dinner of rice and coffee. All that was on the note was an address, he sighed and placed it into the coat pocket of his dark brown trench coat. He’d need a drink.
By the sound of the footsteps and the quickness of the pace he figured a kid had shoved the note under his door. He’d opened it moments after he heard it sweep into the room, but the hallway was already empty.
Charles Splints, the once great detective of Brooksend arrived at the address around nine o’ clock. By then the sky was a dark blue and the streets covered in false life from the tall lamps. The address was on East Ave, a street he’d frequented in his youth, and spent countless hours downing overpriced drinks. In another life he would have invested some of that money instead, perhaps he’d be retired by now if that were the case.
The address was to an apartment over the bar Tappers. He walked in and sat down to order his first drink, scotch neat. The bartender, a recent college graduate with a beard reaching his shirt collar, poured the drink and placed it in front of the haggard old man. Six dollars, a half hour of work at the job Splints had in his early twenties, spent on a drink that would last less than half the time.
“You know who lives upstairs in this place?” Splints asked the barkeep. No other customers were at the bar yet, but he pretended to be busy anyway. Splints repeated himself.
“Yeah, good people,” responded the barkeep.
“They okay?” Splints questioned him further trying to figure out what caused the kid to give him the address.
“I guess, don’t see much of them. What’s got you so interested?”
“Wondering if i’d be able to rent the place soon. Would be nice to get back down by the bars. Been living near the supermarkets too long.”
The barkeep just nodded his head and acted like he was still paying attention to the aging detective. He could tell Splints wasn’t being serious, and he was suspicious of the old man already. Charles Splints had been shamed from the force at the top of his game, and that was years ago. Nowadays only the folks his age, fifties, knew who he was and what he’d done to help clean up the city. A twenty-year-old bartender would just see a man in a coat, but to the eyes of those that new the detective in his prime they’d see a man with a cape, a hero watching over the streets.
— #CharlesSplints (@CharlesSplints) July 16, 2015