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Baby’s First Noir Part 7

Baby’s First Noir

The squirrel was sitting at the counter of Benny’s café with a cup of coffee in front of him. Billy sat down on the stool next to him and waved to Benny behind the counter. The mouse behind the counter, nodded to Billy and poured him a cup of coffee. He set it down, looking at the empty counter, all those empty chairs, and then looked at the two animals sitting next to each other. Benny was a bright fellow, having gotten through the war by being smart, and went to the back to make some eggs.

“Haven’t seen you around for a while.” Billy said.

“Haven’t been around.” The squirrel said.

“I heard what happened to your place.”

“And what did you do about it?”

“Looked for you.”

“Did you find me?”

“You didn’t want to be found.” Billy stirred some sugar into his coffee.

“That’s true.”

“You’re staying with someone?”

“A nice little red.” The squirrel said. “She’s too young for me, but she doesn’t seem to know that.”

“That must be nice.” Billy said.

“I heard what happened to Betty.” He commented. “Sorry.

“Well, that happens sometimes.” Billy said,

“Still sorry.”

“You part of this?”

“Yeah.”

“You know I should take you in.” Billy said as he watched Benny cooking the eggs.

“I know.” He said. “But you won’t.”

“I can’t cover up for murder.”

“I know.” The squirrel said.

“You want some Billy?” Benny said as he came from the kitchen with a plate of scrambled eggs.

“Yeah.” Billy nodded.

“Right back.” Benny told him and left for the kitchen.

“You could just say it was Big Tony, cleaning house.” The squirrel suggested as he sipped his coffee.

“He is.” Billy said. “You want to talk about it?”

“They did this,” he said, turning on his chair so Billy could see the side of his face. It was the first time Billy had seen his left side, and it looked bad.

“That’s pretty bad.”

“Looked worse before. They took my stash, burned my place. They would have killed me if I wasn’t so damn fast.”

“And you decided to get even.”

“Just getting my stuff back.” He said.

“You know a cut went to Big Tony.” Billy told him. “If you want it all, you’ve got to go after Big Tony.”

“I am aware of that.”

“And?”

“I’ll probably have to give Big Tony a miss.”

“I don’t remember you talking like that back in the day.”

“You want me to go after him?”

“No.” Billy said “There’s no army to back us up this time.”

“Wasn’t really an army backing us up back then either.” He said as he forked more egg into his mouth. “Just a lot of numb nuts sitting around waiting for someone else to do all the work. It could be done, but you’d have to have make it so that his empire would fall collapse into factions and blame each other for it. Make it look like a hit.”

“That’s not easy.” Billy said. “And I’d have to take you in.”

“You telling me that they don’t deserve it?”

“I’m still a cop.” Billy said. “And we’re no where near as corrupt and you think we are.”

“Hmm.” He said.

“Yeah.” Billy said. “I can’t pin anything on you now, and maybe I don’t have to try too hard, but don’t make me have to come after you. You could go to the city or something, take that cute red with you.”

“And let them do it to someone else?”

“How many where there?”

“Five?”

“You gonna kill all five?”

“Can’t.” he said. “Wally and Bertie got Chintzy.”

“You know that for a fact?”

“Watched it.”

“Come in and testify, we could take down a bunch of them.”

“No we can’t.” He shook his head. “Bertie is too useful to Big Tony, and I’m just some no body that can be rubbed out.”

“Oh come on.”

“No.” He shook his head. “Besides, they’d go after Ruby.”

“I think the DA is on Big Tony’s payroll anyway.”

“We’d have to do it ourselves.”

“Can’t.” Billy said. “Cop.”

“We could though.” Benny said coming out from behind the counter. “How many are left?”

“Two.” The Squirrel said. “Reddy the Rat and Petey Possum.”

“You can’t go after Petey.” Benny said. “He’s what you call it, not right in the head. His attic ain’t furnished. They probably just brought him along because they wanted someone who would smack you without asking questions.”

“Petey was part of it.” He said.

“We can take care of Pete.” Billy said. “I can’t talk you into swearing out a complaint for Reddy? We could take him in.”

“Yeah.” Benny said brightly. “Have him fall down some stairs or something.”

“It’s occurred to me in the past.” Billy said.

“And you a cop.” The squirrel said.

“Gonna retire soon.” Billy said. “Might not even loose my pension.”

“I’ve gotta go.” The squirrel said looking at his watch.

“Remember what I said.” Billy told him. “I don’t want to have to come after you.”

“Yeah.” he said pushing his way through the door. “I’ll remember.”

“That was fun to talk about.” Benny said. “But you better be careful, he might be thinking you’re serious.”

“He knows the parts I’m serious about.” Billy said taking out a cigarette and lighting it. “This is filthy, the whole thing. There ain’t a part of this that’s right.”

“Be nice to make something right once though.” Benny said.

“Don’t you start.” Billy said as he left.

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April 4, 2012 Posted by | Fiction | | Leave a comment