siskin – part 1

by underswansea


December 19th. The sky, pavement, hills and everything in between was grey as ash. No fifty shades either, maybe one or two shades, but that was it.

My name is Harry Siskin, the best private eye in the Columbia Valley. The thing about being the best in my profession is it doesn’t necessarily translate into fame and fortune.

The phone hadn’t rang since November. No matter how hard I stared at the blower it remained mute.

You would think this would be the season for infidelity. Getting caught up in the Christmas spirit and all. Husbands wanting to spy on there wives, or wives wondering why their husbands were starting to work out to get rid of the beer gut.

I’ve made a living tracking down the source of paranoia between couples. Usually it’s just that, paranoia. But sometimes it is the real thing. Infidelity, indiscretions, it is something to witness. Usually straight laced people in love, sexing it up like they were teenagers and then heading home to their respective spouses.

I’ve had mad crazed wives try to hire me to kill their husbands once they found out. I’ve had husbands cry uncontrollably at the news and then start court proceedings the next day.

I pulled the bottle of Crown Royal from the top drawer and poured a hefty snort. I threw my feet on the desk. One galosh splashed on the floor.

It hadn’t snowed yet this winter. Instead rain fell each afternoon. It was shaping up to be a, shitty Christmas.

The door shook with a hammering fist. I spilled a sip of crown. It dribbled down my chin.

“Siskin open up you scurvy fuck.”

I could tell by the shrill hawkish voice it was Revimno, landlord, developer and all round arsehole. He was in the process of buying and tearing down the town’s remaining heritage buildings and constructing what he called, ski chalet properties, adorned with exterior timber frame and faux river rock. It was the ‘in’ thing and tourists loved them. Or so, he had convinced the mayor and council. The building housing my office was the next scheduled to go. I would be out by the end of the winter.

“The doors open,” I said.

The door swung. He entered in a hurry. Ken Revimno stood in the din. “Eighteen days late on the rent Siskin. I should kick your ass out of here.”

My glass was already half empty. The Crown tasted good. I checked the clock on the wall. 9:30 in the morning. I usually wait until ten to have my first drink. Perhaps I was getting in the holiday spirit.

I got up, “I’ll tell you what Ken,” my left leg dragged with the remaining galosh. I made my way over and put my arm around him. Turned him around, like he was my friend and walked him out the door to the top of the steps and kicked him in the ass, sending him down the stairs, ass over tit. While he tumbled I finished saying, “Ask me again closer to March.”

This wasn’t the first time I’d thrown him down the stairs. It didn’t seem to bother him. A week later he would be back like a surly carpet cleaner salesman. It was becoming a regular event.

I noticed my remaining galosh had sprung loose during the scuffle and was at he bottom of the steps with a bent up Revimno.

“Merry fuckin’ Christmas,” I said, and closed the door on Revimno and the galosh. Good riddance.

The bottle was half down. I poured another, leaving a third. There was another rap on the door.

“Revimno,” I said, “What part of ‘fuck off’ don’t you understand?”

Then another knock, louder this time. I slipped my hand into a set of brass knuckles strategically stashed in the top drawer. This time he was going to get it.

I swung the door.

Who was standing there made my arms drop, but another part of my anatomy rise, and I’m not talking about my eyebrows.