A few weeks… maybe a month or so ago, I worked with a group of talented writers on a collaboration titled A Dead Man Walking: A WordPress Anthology. From that began a new story about a man named Steve and his encounter with a flatulent Genie.
Here is Part Three.
When we last left Steve, he was about to have a romantic dinner with his husband Gary. Unfortunately, a phone call from Darla Nyte, his gumshoe boss, interrupted his dinner. Having been arrested for murder, she needed Steve to bail her out.
Tiny’s Bail Bonds sat between the county jail and a condemned sausage factory. It stank to high heaven. Steve was never certain if the smell was the jail, the factory, or Tiny himself. Not that he’d ever ask. Tiny was a gnome, and everyone knew gnomes were incredibly ill tempered.
Steve concentrated on breathing through his mouth as he finished filling out the paperwork. The bond was set at a million dollars. This meant he had to shell out $100 grand. Fortunately, their last job gave him a slush fund; otherwise, he’d be taking out a third mortgage.
“So what’s Nyte done this time?” Tiny sat in a custom made high chair with his feet kicked up on the desk. “No. Don’t tell me. Let me guess. It’s porn, right? Tell me it’s porn.”
Tiny was a sleazy little shit. “It’s not porn,” Steve answered stiffly. “Porn’s not illegal.”
Tiny pushed his hat off his forehead and smirked. “Not all of it, it’s not. I heard she’s got a thing for dead things. Did she do a dead thing?” Tiny made a lewd hand gesture. “I bet she did. I bet she did a dead thing.”
“No!” Steve exclaimed, horrified. “No, she didn’t – ” he shoved the paperwork at him ” – here. Are we done?”
Tiny barely glanced at it. “Yeah, sure, we’re done. Go get your girl.”
Steve headed for the exit. Uncouth creature. Why Darla insisted he use him instead of some of the other more reputable, and less stinky, bail bondsmen, he did not know. After coming here, Steve nearly always had to toss out his clothes.
“Nyte’s got a lot of enemies, you know,” the gnome called out just as Steve opened the door. “What she did, well, she’s gonna pay. Judgment day, it’s coming.” The gnome switched out his hat for a red baseball cap and set it on his head. “We’re gonna make it great again. Just you wait. You’ll see.”
Steve’s eyes widened as he read the familiar phrase. “Those are illegal – ”
“So?” The gnome lit a cigarette, the smoke skewing to the ceiling. “What are you gonna do about it?” He hocked a loogie into a spittoon by the desk. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. Get outta here.”
Steven made a beeline for the jail. Tiny was a red cap? Holy crap. Red caps were… well, there were… Steve’s stomach churned and he worried a cuticle. Why was he surprised? It made sense. The gnomes were staunch isolationists.
Still, it was one thing to be sympathetic; it was another to wear the hat. That was a serious step. Steve took a deep breath. Whatever. Tiny could believe whatever he wanted. Fortunately, it was still a free country. Steve pushed his way into the jail lobby, signed in, and handed the paperwork to the desk sargent.
“So Nyte’s made bond,” the desk sargent muttered and picked up the phone. “Hang on. We’ll get her.”
Fifteen minutes later, a disheveled Darla Nyte came marching out of lock up. “It’s about time, Steve. I’m hungry, and… is that a genie?”
The genie floated in the corner with a big smile on his face. “You’re Nyte. Finally. I have a message for you.” It pulled out a AK-47. “Say hello to my little friend.”
“Gun!” Darla shoved Steve under the desk as bullets painted the room.
_____ * _____ * _____ * _____ * _____
Read about Darla Nyte and her arrest in A Dead Man Walking: A WordPress Anthology.