Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Don't they know I can't read lips?

The Detective felt blood both inside and outside of his mouth. His left eye was swelling towards shut. The man with the mean face had stopped asking questions, even rhetorical questions, but hadn't yet grown tired of playing with his fishing club.
The Detective thought back to his days in the dishpit at Diner Mike's. Line cooks and waitresses, seemingly half his age, looking at him with a mix of pity and confusion. "Cautionary tale," he'd heard one of the cooks say to another behind his back. The Detective absorbed it the same as he was absorbing the blows from the fishing club.
Mistaken identity, that's all. This isn't me. This is Hislop. This is some dishwasher. I'm back in the alley behind the office now, watching a couple of crows play tug-of-war with a Zip-Loc bag full of generic Froot Loops. 
The club finally broke against the Detective's jaw. Some external force lifted his head and through his one open eye he could see the man with the mean face's mouth moving. Whatever he was saying, it probably wasn't nice.
One crow stretched out its wings and started to fly away. The other crow wouldn't let go of the bag, so it ripped, and the sky filled with red, green, orange, yellow, and purple rings.
The Detective struggled to speak. He had to spit out a lot of blood before he could get any air past his lips. The man with the mean face, sensing his captive was about to make a full confession, leaned in.
"The real ones have blue loops, too, now" the Detective was able to whisper. "That's how you know the difference."

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