The Adventures of Dick Jericho: Private Investigator

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is the birthing of Dick Jericho into the world of fiction and, like any birthing, it's slimy, disgusting, and better if you don't watch. Dick Jericho is a Private Investigator working to tame the mean streets of New York City, at least he thinks. Is he truly the hero he perceives himself to be, or is he a crazy homeless junkie with a gun whose drug addled mind fuels his own ideas of heroism and uber-manliness designed to suppress his latent bisexual tendencies? Is he just another victim of the failed Canadian education system, or a force of nature that no amount of love and support could have stopped? It's up to you.

Submitted: February 26, 2017

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Submitted: February 26, 2017

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The Adventures of Dick Jericho: Private Investigator

Chapter One: Do You Take Spice?

 

A Short Story

By


Grievance T. Harding

 

How does one man bring justice to this big bad world all by himself?  How does a lone soul stay pure in a cruel storm of depravity?  How do babies drink that crap?  I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do know one thing: when I have a gun, the bad guys don’t.

It’s tough being a Private Investigator in New York City, especially when you don’t have a licence or good personal hygiene.  But I do it anyway.  I never said it would be easy, I just assumed it.  I don’t do this job for praise or money, I do it because no-one else will.  The Police might think they can do it, but who cares what they say, people only even care about Sting.  I’m Dick Jericho, and these streets are safe because of me.

 

These streets are mean.  The storm brewing in the sky tonight is nothing next to the storm of evil brewing in the hearts of men.  I walk, my trenchcoat my only shield from the weather, my gun my only shield from people trying to shoot me that don’t get to because I shoot them first because I’m faster and better than them.

I’m hot on the trail.  Word on the street is “Ginger Tom’s back in town” and “Fuck off, Jericho.  You make people uncomfortable”.  Ginger Tom!  I can’t let him slip away again, he has to be put down.  When I get to Uncle Ricardo’s All-You-Can-Eat Prussian Diner/Bar/Café/Strip Joint, I steel myself.  You never know when or how it’s going to end on this job, but sometimes you just know.  I take a single deep breath and focus my gaze, hyper-aware of how this would look in a movie even though no-one else can see me.  I often feel like my life is a movie that only I’m watching, and I wonder why more people don’t want to watch it.

“Uncle Ricardo in?” I ask the petite Asian woman behind the desk I’m leaning on.

“No, he died in 1965” she responds. It’s a trick.

“Of course.  I’ll take a table for one, red coaster, blue tricks, all the wrappings.  And tell Ginger Tom a friend’s here to see him.”  Usually if you say enough words, you hit the password.

She sighs in deep longing as she takes one last look at my supple form before turning to fetch a waiter.  She whispers something in his ear, undoubtedly claiming me for herself and warning the rest of the pride like a feisty lioness. The waiter is a boy of twentysomething, tall, strong.  I can tell by the way his hips gyrate as he walks that his name is Hercules, or Goliath, or Stone Cold Steve Austin.

“Hi, I’m Gavin, I’ll be your server today.”  So close.

Gavin shows me to my seat and takes my drink order.  A tall glass of nothing but ice cubes, just like my uncles used to drink.  Rocks on the rocks.  It’s not long before Ginger Tom gives himself up.

“Hey man, is that you?”  I play it cool.  “Come on man, don’t do this, I asked you to stay away.”  Heh, cute.  The guy should know by now that nobody escapes Dick Jericho.  Twice.  And the first time I had to let him go because I couldn’t think of something cool to say before I shot him.

“Ginger Tom.  Fancy seeing you here”, I spin around quickly to surprise him, the tail-end of my trenchcoat knocking the condiment packets to the floor like a whip-crack in a Western when two sworn enemies come face-to-face.

“You followed me here.  Come on man, I’m just trying to have dinner with my family.  Is this about the bus fare?  You can have the damn $2.50”

As Ginger Tom reaches into his wallet I’m looking past him, at the table of suits he calls a “family”.  A woman, two children and a baby.  Like a Russian nesting doll of suits, each layer more repulsive than the last.

The only thing that pisses me off more than a suit is a baby and knowing there's one here just sets me off.  My blood is hotter than dirty sanchez in an igloo.  It’s time for action.  I sucker punch Tom as he’s digging through his wallet for change, and bring my gun, Close Encounter, out for all to see.  Nothing de-escalates a situation like a firearm held to a screaming man’s temple.

“Alright everybody listen up, Tom and I are going for a little chat.  You all just stay here and eat your rice or whatever, it’ll all be over soon.”

“Tom?” comes one of the voices from Tom’s so-called “family” table.  Probably that fucking baby; I fire a warning shot into the hostess.

Just like that, it’s ecstasy.  I run with Tom, through the back of the restaurant and out into the alley, my gun pressed against his temple like the sweaty body of a lover pressed against a bannister.  We go up the fire escape.  High ground is the only way to escape the tsunami of “law enforcement” that’ll be coming our way.

In moments the world around us is melting into obscurity like Michael Stipe.  It’s Tom and me on the rooftop, and nothing else.  This is my moment, for vengeance, for justice, for all that is good in this world.  I point my gun to his temple and smile.  Only in America could a man with several criminal convictions and a questionable mental health profile be given the chance of freedom that a gun provides.  The chance to do the right thing.  It almost brings a tear of national pride to my eyes, but I’m Canadian and, like my uncles used to say, “Men that cry don’t stay men in prison”.

Yet, as I hold Close Encounter to my sworn enemy’s head, there’s something stopping me from pulling the trigger.  Why?  Ordinarily I’d shoot a man in the head just to sniff the gunsmoke, but in this moment a part of me is saying “no”.  I need to find that part and beat it out of me like my uncles beat out the part that was making the rest of me bicurious, but maybe just this once I should listen to it?  Maybe it’s the beauty of New York City, or maybe it’s the tears in Ginger Tom’s eyes and the shit in his pants.  Either way, I need to clear my head, and I have just the thing.

The hound in my stomach hungers, and it must be fed.  I’ll feed it as I always do, with hallucinogens.  Like Beef Wellington or Chicken Risotto, I’m just not the same without mushrooms.  A few caps should curb the hungry dog, and make my decision easier.

New York is a hundred thousand sparkling lights on God’s ashtray.  Each light speaks to me, humming a few short notes.  But every note is in harmony with me, and I with them, as pinpricks on the punching bag of my soul.  I shudder with every vibration as I breathe in the cold, salty air.  As the mighty symphony comes to a crescendo, I fall to my knees as if I were the dead weight in a pulley which lifts the song ever higher and higher.

It is over, but the mark it left on my soul is everlasting, like the torture scars of Guantanamo inmates.  My face is wet with the salty-sweet tears of a man who retains as much sodium as possible.  I lick off as much as I can, it’s like the flavouring they put on popcorn.
  The hungry hound within me is sated, but as I rise to my feet and realise not all is well, it begins to growl and whimper.  Ginger Tom, that crafty bastard, has escaped.  This cannot be, how could anyone elude the great Dick Jericho twice?  I raise my throat to the heavens and exclaim my pain for the world to hear.  It is the scream of a man who, unburdened from the realities of the suits - going to the dentist, paying for stuff, understanding geography - has yet lost everything he ever held dear.  Just then, I hear a knock on the door.  It is not the gentle, expectant knock of a lover in need, but the harsh, cruel knock of me in need of a lover.
“NYPD, open up!” comes the voice from the other side of the door.
As if I could fall for such a typical suit trick.  I shove the barrel of Close Encounter into my mouth with the firm surety of a man who knows what he wants and thinks he knows how to go about getting it, and open the door.  Here we go again.


© Copyright 2017 Grievance Tokillamockingbird Harding. All rights reserved.

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