Hard Boiled Plumber, Part I

The clock ticked to 4:59. In one minute he would be able to take his first drink of the day. Only alcoholics needed a drink to get thru the afternoon. By making it until five, the start of evening, he proved daily that he wasn’t an alcoholic. The shot of whiskey was his reward. The second shot was to make sure the first didn’t get lonely. He looked across the shabby office carpeting to his brother’s empty desk. He knew something about loneliness. The third shot would be for him.
From down the hall he heard the click-clack of her heels. He imagined the legs that could make a drum beat like that. He began to pour his fourth when her silhouette appeared on the shuttered glass of his office door. Even her shadow had the kind of body that would turn the baseball dreams of altar boys into the summer night fantasies of men. She knocked twice. He put the untouched shot in his desk drawer, adjusted his dark green ascot cap and smoothed over his thick mustache before speaking. “Come in.”
The door opened. She was sweet cream poured into pink silk. The silk hugged in all the places that made the detective glad to be a man. Her hair hung in honey-gold curls. Long white gloves went up past her elbows. Crystal blue eyes looked him over and he wished he had that fourth shot handy. She belonged either on a stage or in the ether from which good dreams not in a dingy office that smelled of broken dreams. “Are you Mr. Mario?” Her voice was the chiming of church bells that hinted at the secret sin they knew.
“One of them. I’m Luigi.”
“I believe I’m looking for your brother.”
“Aren’t we all. He sat there.” The desk he motioned to was covered in dust. In the center was a photograph of a slighter older and rounder version of Luigi.
“Oh, I didn’t know was…” she began.
“He isn’t. He retired to some little corner of the Kingdom. The picture is just a reminder. Every man needs a conscience. He’s mine. Have a seat.” He wondered what her story would be. A princess like this only brought two things: coins and koopas. Sometimes both. His gut told him this skirt would bring both in spades. Another part told him the same thing but that it would be worth it.
“I’m afraid I don’t know where to begin Mr. Mario.”
“Think of me as either a priest or rabbi. It’s bad luck to keep secrets from one of them.”
“I’m afraid I’m not the religious type, Mr. Mario.”
He opened his desk drawer, retrieved the shot from earlier and placed it in the front of her. “Then drink this and think of me as your bartender. It’s even worse luck to keep secrets from one of them. And call me Luigi.”
She smiled lightly and emptied the glass in one slow sip. She placed the shot back on the table and wiped her full, strawberry lips clean with her thumb. A glimmer in her eye added to his suspicions that she was going to complicate his life. Her next words guaranteed it.
“Well, Luigi, I think I’m going to be murdered by my husband, Bowser Junior.”

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One thought on “Hard Boiled Plumber, Part I

  1. Nice. I especially like the line: “She was sweet cream poured into pink silk”, when you realise who it is it just makes things more interesting. You also kind of need to re-read the story with the right accent, that’s super funny.

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