Photo courtesy of SBH, as well as the reference post.
The following is a work in progress, written on a whim one day, after reading TB's post on the death of character. Comments and critiques welcome.
Do you think today's society is short on character? Do you think character (and all that character is) has been all but killed off?
Dime Store Detective and the Death of Character
It was a grey morning, a steely grey morning, with clouds hanging over the city like thick cigar smoke lingering over a poker table; and, it smelled just as bad. The body had been there for weeks, in a small closed-in room, upstairs in a two story rundown row house. Nobody reported him missing, no one seemed to care. Yeh, it stunk all right.
It started out as any other day, hitting the snooze button for the third time as the rain poured down outside. The one room flat was colder than cold with the heater on the fritz again. I finally rolled out of bed, climbed into my clothes and trudged down to the corner deli for a coffee and a Danish. Quarter past nine, I arrived at the office. Stella had already been in; she had the day's files all neatly typed up and sitting on the desk. She's good, that Stella, a top level secretary fit for corporate. She's always been A-one in my book. I couldn't do without her. Ten years now, she's been here, and her birthday's on Tuesday. I'd better get her some flowers.
"Ring!" Someone at the door but no one expected; the flowers will have to wait. I glanced up at the clouded glass on the upper part of the door, and wow, what a silhouette! I closed my jaw, and called out that the door was open. "Come on in," and boy did she, with a saunter that could kill. Auburn hair, maybe late twenties, and dressed to the nines; she was a classy dame allright. Her eyes gave me the once over. With a nod of her head and an eyebrow raised, she asked, "You Dirk Tawse, the detective?"
"That's me," I said, and invited her to sit down, "how can I be of assistance?"
Over the next hour she's telling me her life's story. Seemed to me she could be anyone on the street, you know, just trying to make it in today's world. She was caught up in a life of busyness and trying to get ahead. She had been on a quick errand to her grandparent's empty old house. Only it wasn't empty, because he was there. Finding that body shook her up, as life's unexpected turns can do. She wanted to know if I could help her.
"Sure," I said, "sure, lady." "Let's go over to the house and have a look."