The Big Hairdo

This Tweetplay has its origins in an exchange between Sheila O’Malley (@sheilakathleen) and myself about how much we loved the snappy dialogue in the old films of the 1940’s, and how we both identified so heavily with the era. ┬áThus, this TweetNoir was born.

This week’s story is a sordid tale of murder, corruption and mayhem in the Windy City: “The Big Hairdo.”

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The name’s Chick, Chick Litt. I’m a detective, if you can call it that, and this is the story of the dame that got away.

I’d just returned from the war. My feet hurt, and I was flat busted. I needed a job. Bad.

I found an ad in the paper. It promised adventure, steady pay, and great hot dogs.

The job was in Chicago. In winter. It was colder than a Republican’s soul at a church collection.

The client was an odd duck. With a girly voice coming from a block head. Looked like an evangelist.

Turned out he was. Mumbled something about nicotine demons and smacked me in the gob. I kicked him in the necessaries.

When the crying stopped, I asked him what was what. He told me he’d made a mistake. He’d met a dame and she had done him over.

She taken his most prized possession, and he wanted it back.

I kicked him in the necessaries again.

I think he smiled.

I told him I’d see what I could do. I went Downtown, to the only place a man could buy information. City Hall.

The man himself met me at the door. He shook my hand and my wallet got $20 lighter.

We stepped into his office. I asked about the picture and he got all shifty. I kicked him in the necessaries.

He squealed like a girl.

He mentioned a guy looking to buy a job had offered a painting as collateral on a Senate seat.

He said he didn’t give the guy the job because it looked like he was only half serious.

He gave me an address. The cops had already beat me there. The guy was street pizza.

I went up to the stiff’s apartment to look for clues. The place had been tossed. Someone had been looking for something.

I found one scrap of paper in the mess. It was a telephone number. I dialed it. Long distance. A dame answered.

She had a voice like a rusted hinge, annoying and persistent. I told her my business. She gave me an address.

It was long drive. The snow fell like dandruff from a weatherman’s shoulders.

It was a big house.

There was a party going on. The butler said it was a fundraiser.

Mr. Sprinkles was not amused.

Neither was Mrs. Sprinkles.

The piano player wasn’t half bad; he wasn’t good either. He would only play if paid, so nobody did.

A servant came to take me upstairs. He said his mistress was waiting. He looked big, but simple.

I knew I could take him. Hell. He looked like a spelling bee would take him.

He took me into a room dominated with fine art. The kind you can only buy at J.C. Penney’s, or those sales at freeway hotels.

One picture over the mantle caught my attention.

And then my host arrived. She wasn’t exactly dressed for the weather.

But the again, she didn’t have to be. She was hotter than an iPhone 4.0. She was built like a brick ice house.

“So,” she said, “Don’tcha like them paintin’s there, guy?” I blinked, too stunned to reply. My IQ dropped 30 points.

She smiled cruelly, sure of her power. “Thanks to my political action thingummy, I’ve got plenty of money for collectin'”

She moved closer. I could see the fire in her eyes. Literal fire. The kind that makes monks go mad for masturbation.

She moved past and the spell faded a bit. I remembered what I was there for. “Ernest wants his Elvis back.” I grunted.

“Oh that thingy?” She said chirpily, “Take it. It doesn’t match any of my clothes, and now they tell me he gave to charity.”

“Isn’t that just the silliest thing?” she screeched. “Everybody knows givin’ to charity’s just helpin’ the terrorists!”

I nodded dumbly. Her very presence ate away brain cells faster than acid on a slug.

I took the painting and staggered to the door. The servant was drooling and picking his nose. I kicked him in the necessaries.

Mr. Sprinkles was not amused.

Neither was Mrs. Sprinkles.

I paused just outside the door, my senses returning. “Just one last thing.” I asked numbly, “Why the big gun?”

She pulled back the curtain by the window. “Commies,” she said, “I can see ‘em from my house, dontcha know!”

I reeled from the sheer insanity of it all. I left the house, and staggered to the car and the cold drive home.

By the time I arrived, my head had cleared and a cold rage emerged. I poured myself a stiff one, and prepared a package.

It was a vengeful strike, but it felt right to me somehow. I mailed the package knowing it would strike to the very heart.

It was the simplest of messages:

~~ THE END