So there I was. Hands tied, black-eyed and wondering how I got in this mess. The single light in the otherwise dark room flickered precariously. Was I finally in over my head? Was my fortune cookie fortune true? Would I ever find the happiness it promised me? Was my lucky number really 21? It all started on a Thursday; a Thursday like any other–or so I thought…
It was a rainy day, and as rainy days always are, there was little work waiting for me in my office. I took off my overcoat and threw my hat on the coat hook, before releasing a sigh–another lonely afternoon. I set my feet up on my desk and listened to the rain dance across the window, tapping its rhythms before falling to the street below. Was becoming a detective a mistake? Was my father right? Will I ever amount to anything? My damning thought process was interrupted by a knock at the door: “Come in!” I respond. She does. The overwhelming scent of sulphur filled the room and distracted me from the blond hair that fell about her shoulders. I didn’t know who she was, but one thing was certain–she was in trouble. Trouble with the mob, or maybe the cops, or both I didn’t know, but I was about to find out.
Her name was Elli she said, and she needed help finding a friend. A strange request, but the pay was good and I needed the work. She said I would be the perfect choice to investigate his disappearance. See, this friend of hers responded to a niche ad on craigslist and promptly vanished three days ago. As a similar caucasian man with a questionable sexuality, this was the perfect case for me. She didn’t know what else to tell me, except that I should start with the ad itself: she took out a crumpled piece of paper–a screenshot of the craigslist ad. “Man seeking man…bring your own leather…secluded location…enter through rear alley.” Dear God! It may read like an innocent extracurricular activity, but in reality it was an expertly orchestrated kidnapping!
I knew at once that this friend may not be alive, but I was not dissuaded. For justice will come to all offenders regardless of their craigslist activity!
I reassured Miss Elli that I would at the very least discover the fate of her friend. Fighting back tears she made me promise that I would find him alive–I crossed my fingers–but agreed. I began my investigation later that night, in the gentlemen’s club downtown, The Fedora Fitting Room. I knew that if I hang around there long enough, eventually someone special would come along. Someone so evil that the only thing you can see between the scraggly neckbeard and the well fitted fedora was a grimace. Someone belonging to the phone number 69-good-time (694-663-8463). Someone like him!
A shadowy figure in a tattered black trench coat slinked into the store. He didn’t make eye contact with anyone, and the tailor was noticeably nervous. His fedora was in perfect condition. This was my chance. “Hey stranger!” I called out. He stopped in his tracks and a shiver ran down my spine. “Is it you who can direct me to that back alley entrance?” With a smile he responded: “Well well, Detective Stirling, I didn’t expect to see you so soon. How you’ve grown over the years, your father would have been proud to see you like this. Too bad you must share his fate.” I felt a fedora being forcefully held over my face. Right before the chloroform took hold of me I realized something out of the ordinary, how would he know my father, he’s been dead for years. And then it hit me like the cold embrace of the floor–my father was murdered.