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Bunny and The Kid

by Russ

I could hear The Kid’s maniacal laughter from outside his bunker, like a tent peg in a lawnmower. It didn’t so much send shivers up my spine as it grated against my soul, or it would have if that particular part of me hadn’t eroded away long ago. I stood for a moment in the half-light of the corridor to steel my nerves, then took a sharp breath and pushed open the door, squinting against the brightness inside.

The scene which revealed itself as my eyes adjusted dropped me cold. I’d suspected for some time The Kid was operating out of warranty, but this was something else, this was the sort of defect that could bring down a manufacturer. Bunny was strapped to a workbench, a circular saw lapping against his jugular, and The Kid was so excited he was shaking. His eyes snapped up as he noticed my presence, they were wide as satellite dishes and I swear he was salivating.

I was out of my depth and we both knew it. I thought of Kitty and how she’d be running a bath about now, her silky pale arm testing the temperature, steam rising into her curls. I cursed myself for not bringing her along, for the arrogance of thinking I could do this on my own. Sure, I could handle myself physically, but her calm head and gut instincts were what was really needed if we were gonna get through this cleanly. Besides, if it all went wrong, I wanted her beautiful face to be the last thing I saw, not the horrorshow laid out in front of me now.

I needed to act if Bunny was gonna make it, so I swallowed my fear and stepped forward. One step, two, three. Easy, like I was trying not to spook a viper. The Kid stopped laughing but he did not stop grinning, just stared at me as though I were some curiosity, a new toy to play with. Man, that shit was creepy.

Slowly I moved in, closer and closer. His left hand twitched toward the saw and I had no choice but to go for it. Dropping to my knees, I struck out with my right arm to grab Bunny while at the same time landing my free hand gently on The Kid’s shoulder. He looked first to Bunny, then to me, before sitting back as if to say ‘OK, what happens now?’. A line of snot trickled from his nostrils.

‘Bathtime, son,’ I said, looking him deep in the eyes as I did. ‘Shall we put all this away first?’

He looked at me quizzically for a moment, then nodded, or at least seemed to, it was hard to tell. I reached out and grabbed the plastic box which served as a toy-tidy, before loading in the Fisher-Price tools and stuffed rabbit.

‘You guys ready?’ came the voice of Kat from outside.

I shouted an affirmative towards the bathroom and picked up The Kid, thanking my lucky stars for getting me through another scrape.


by Jenny

She was bad news, that’s what she was, with legs that reached all the way up to her baby blues and a switchblade in her goddamn purse. You know the kind I mean.

I knew I was in trouble from the moment she walked into my office.

“Dexter MacLeod?”

Her voice was deep, for a dame, smoky, but sexy.

“Who wants to know?”

“My name’s Bunny. Bunny Davenport. I need your help.”

“Bunny? Like rabbits? What kinda name is that anyway?”

“They say you’re the best private investigator in town.”

“And who are they exactly?”

“Oh, you know. People.”

“What can I do for you Miss Rabbit?” I lit up a cigar, leaning back to take her in.

“It’s my husband…”

There was always a husband.

“...he’s missing. I think he’s dead.”

“Oh? You don’t think he just up and walked out on you then?”

“Oh he’d never do that. He’s dead, I just know it. Please, Mr McLeod, I need you to help me find out what happened to him.”

She leaned across my desk and put her small, slender little hand on my big old hairy one and I was helpless.

“Ok, just saying I help you - I don’t come cheap…”

“Don’t worry about that, I’m a very wealthy woman. Money is no problem.”

Rich and beautiful. My kind of woman. I took a mouthful of smoke and blew it out slowly.

“Where was he the last time you saw him?”

“He has this - work room - at the bottom of our gardens. He spends hours there. I took him some coffee late Wednesday afternoon and I haven’t seen him since. You’ll want to see it, of course. I have my car - it’s right outside. I can take you there now.”

“It’s a good job I like fast women,” I told her. I stubbed out my cigar and followed her downstairs.

She slid into the driver’s seat of her AC Cobra like a silk scarf slides off a chair. I climbed in the passenger side and got an eyeful of those beautiful legs. She caught me looking and I saw her smile as she started the engine.

Her place wasn’t far. A couple of blocks maybe, but what a place. Three storeys and a garden I couldn’t see the end of. She poured me a whisky and took me straight down to the husband’s work room.

It was one of those old bunkers with those heavy metal doors. She slid the bolt over and stepped aside to let me in ahead of her. I had to duck to get in through the door.

“Short guy, your husband - ?” I started to say, when the door slammed right in my face.

Before I could force it back on her I heard that heavy bolt draw back across and the tap tap of her heels as she walked away. I was in a predicament and no mistake.

I found the husband alright. He was in there with me, all seven pieces of him stacked neatly on the floor beside the circular saw.

I took a gulp of whisky to steady my nerves and to plan my next move.

And that’s when the lights went out...

Curtains for Dixon Shallop

by James

Dixon Shallop was in trouble up to his well coiffured sideburns. Mickey the Elbow was gunning for him over the Reubens affair, the Ruskies were, well, they were the Ruskies, and the dames? Who would have thought that Shirley would have come into the bunker on Ninth when he had been in there with Mrs Grainger – working a case mind, pumping her for leads, that was all.

His right eye was tender but was it going to pucker into a shiner? How would that affect the narrative of Dixon Shallop, tough guy private dick who was a sex machine for some of the chicks? Would it make him appear too weak, too emasculated? But the black eye would be the perfect excuse to get him into the doctor’s office where he needed to-

A hesitant tap of the door and that train of though disappeared. A woman spoke in a soft Southern drawl.

‘Howdy. Is this the office of the private eye, Dixon Shallop?’ The door crept open to admit a tall figure bundled up in a raincoat despite the evening’s warmth. ‘My name is Marjorie.’ She hesitated, then said, ‘Marjorie Curtains. Are you Dixon?’

After a moment’s surprise, he nodded. ‘Howdy. Nice to meet you, Miss…Curtains.’

She wagged a finger. ‘Mrs.’ She smiled. ‘Wife of the celebrated interior designer, Mister…John Curtains.’

‘I see. Well. What can I do for you, Mrs Curtains?’

‘It’s about my husband. I think he might be having an affair.’

‘Oh? What makes you think that?’

‘Oh, just little things. Too much time in the office. When he comes to bed his snoring sounds like a circular saw killing bunny rabbits.’ She sighed and looked him in the eye. ‘He’s no longer so attentive to my needs.’ Marjorie Curtains paused to loosen the lapels of her raincoat, revealing pearls and bare skin. In a husky voice, added, ‘Especially those needs of a sexual nature.’

‘Well. He sounds…like a fool.’

‘Oh, he is a fool, but such a sweetie when he takes his head out of his bum once in a while to come down out of his office.’

He smiled at her. He slid out his chair and stood. Marjorie Curtains wagged a finger at him. ‘Stop right there, mister.’ She stepped away from the desk. She undid the belt of her raincoat and let it slip from her shoulders and then down her nude body. ‘So,’ she said. ‘Do you think you can help me?’

He was around the desk in a trice, reaching for her. She pressed a palm against his chest to stop him.

‘But, Mister Shallop, what about your work?’

‘To hell with work. To hell with deadlines, and Mickey the Elbow.’

And be bloody well helped her good. Twice.

They lay for a while, entwined on the floor of his office, both of them enjoying the sweet sound of silence. The sound of a key in the front door downstairs startled them both and Marjorie sat bolt upright in shock.

‘Shit! It’s Mum, with the kids. Early!’