siskin – part four

by underswansea



Tobacco, harmonicas, guitar strings, art supplies, paperbacks, comics, magazines and fountain drinks. The floors creaked. They were fir planks secured with square nails. Bound to come loose and creak after a few hot summers.

It pays to be observant. I’ve made a career out of it. That’s why I am the best private detective in the Kootenays.

The blaster went off somewhere behind the counter. I fell forward. I can’t believe I didn’t see it.

I got up and wobbled like it was my first steps. My .32 was at the ready unlike my cock that was shrinking fast hiding behind 52 teeth of zipper.

“Hold your fire,” Mr. Svendsen said.

He was rubbing his hearing aids, hanging by strings around his neck. His spectacles had come loose and were ajar and a jaunt.

Mrs. Svendsen’s hair rose slowly above the counter. I saw a True Detective magazine over her shoulder.

Carlo announced, “He went out the back.”

On another day I may have had the energy.

The place was warm, dim as winter’s solstice with shaky hard wood. I ordered a Pepsi float. Once the head was off I poured in some Crown.

Leorna gave me a look.

I turned to go from where I came in. Carlo handed me a handful of comics. Said, “These will do fine.”

There was a first edition Superman. It didn’t mean much to me, but I’ve been on eBay.

Carlo said, ‘He frequents Spunk Stains.”

I said, “Superman?”

Carlo said, “Thompson.”

Leorna added, “That man only comes in looking for bad magazines.”

“Pornography?” I said.

“No, magazines with naked women,” Leorna said.

I put the straw on the counter. And slugged it back.

Leorna and Carlo told me Spunk Stains was just down the holler.

When I stepped outside. The wind had picked up. The lights of Svendsen’s Magazines turned off.

I could see it: Spunk Stains (in big letters) – Gallery, Juice bar, Baths, Massage and Rub&Tug (in smaller letters).

The sign was swinging, creaking in the wind.