View Full Version : Dain Brammage, P.I.

Alex Mars
03-29-2013, 10:00 PM
(An exercise in humour writing)

I was standing in the rain outside a restaurant trying to smoke a cigarette. The place was full of Frisco health fanatics who didn't want to share my disease. My clothes gave me a sensation similar to rolling into the wet spot in my bed and my shoes had more water than pedal extremities in them. Back in L.A. it was sunny and 80 degrees with scattered gunfire expected at sundown. My luck, another day on the job.

Two days ago I had been sitting in my office north of LAX getting high and browsing through the duplicates of the blackmail photos I'd recovered for an actress. Normally I don't keep dupes of that kind of stuff, but I'd never seen someone do that with a snake before. I was considering substituting Bob Doles face for the snakes and posting it on the net when Shelly Wing-Tips kicked open my door. The girls down at the pool hall called her that because she wore loafers. Go figure.

Shelly wrinkled her nose as she stepped across the room and took a chair.

"Jeez, you still smokin' that shit? It'll rot your brain"

"Keeps me from going out in public dressed like a Scotsman on prozac, Shelly," I said as I started rolling another bomber.

She looked down at her green and purple plaid pantsuit and opened her mouth to speak. I was saved from her no doubt priceless retort as another jet lifted off from the airport with a scream like a cat in a blender, drowning out all other sound. While we waited for it to pass I lit up and slid deeper into my chair.

"What brings you down out of Reseda, sweetheart?" I said as the noise abated.

"Pack your trash, pothead, The Lady wants to see you," she said as she stood and leaned over my desk.

"I'm kinda busy..." I said as I gestured to a photo (I thought of it as Serpent Emerging) and took another hit.

Shelly slammed a pedestal-like thigh into my desk, pushing it back and pinning me to the wall. Her hand slapped the joint from my mouth casually before gathering my collar in its grip.

"Hey, no problemo, Shelly. Let me get my white shoes."

"No go, dope. What a guy, doesn't know it's after Labour Day."

I try not to argue with chicks who can bench press their girl friend.

The Lady held court in a bar called The Whipping Post. The patrons seemed to be women who wore leather and metal (usually old Chevy parts). The bouncer (bouncette?) took one look at me and made a face like she'd bitten down with a filling on a piece of foil .

"What's he doing here?"

"The Lady wants to see me," I said as I pulled at the creases in my shirt that Shelly had perma-pressed into it.

"You packin'?"

"Nothing you want, sweet meat."

Shelly saved me from the danger of further banter by pushing me into the room. I picked myself up from the floor in front of The Lady’s table and checked out the scene.

The Lady was a slim blonde, about 30, in a black suit and tie. Three other women sat with her but I ignored them. Behind The Lady stood Ronnie, a raven-haired killer who reminded me of Norma Desmond but without as firm a grip on reality. She and I had tangled on the Anselmo pederasty case without either of us achieving a clear-cut victory. She blew up my car and I moved to Mexico for a while till she calmed down.

The Lady looked me over and sighed.

"Ladies, this is Dain Bramage, a private investigator. He and I have private business."

Her glance said it all. Scram. They stood up and vacated.

Shelly pushed me into a chair as Ronnie looked at me like she was trying to remember my name.

The Lady pushed an envelope across the table to me.

"Something has been stolen from me and I want it recovered. Everything you need to know in there as well as a retainer for your services. You will have to go to San Francisco."

"Oh great. Tree huggers," I muttered as I lit a cigarette.

"I can't use any of my regular ladies because they're known around. You do this to my satisfaction and I will be generous."

"Hmmm. To me specifically or to the world in general?"

A cell phone on the table beeped. The Lady picked it up and looked at me.

"You're wasting time, Dain."

Shelly grabbed my collar and hauled me out of the chair and toward the door. I always like a dignified exit.

Shelly dropped me off at my office as the sun was settling into the ocean and darkness crept over L.A. like a tide of silent black rats. I walked up the stairs with The Lady’s envelope unopened in my pocket. I'd spent a little time in Frisco back when my concerns in the world were primarily with the pleasures of the flesh. Last year, I think. The town was a maze, kind of a copy of New York City but with more hills. I'd look up Jonny Petriano for the local news. Jonny was a torpedo for Alphonse Maccio, the Corndog King. Alphonse controlled the corndog industry of Frisco, getting a percentage of the profit on every corn dog sold in the Bay area.

04-02-2013, 12:06 PM
It is definitely humorous.

My one issue is the dude's name. Is there a reason for it within the context of the story?

04-02-2013, 03:20 PM
Simply recording your daily life and trying to present it as creative writing is a little intellectually dishonest.

However I did enjoy reading it lol.