It was just about quitting time in the dusty Mission Mission offices when the bossman smacked this photo on my desk.
I was just about to type the final period to wrap up the case of a missing bike lock, but now this new mystery sat in the middle of my cluttered desk. I looked up at Allan. The late afternoon sun cut across his face, shading his eyes and illuminating the old unlit cigar butt that he had been chewing on since he staggered in that morning.
“What do you make of this?” he grumbled. “I caught it on my way back from lunch with a tipster. I don’t think anyone saw me take the picture, I’m good at looking like I’m just texting.”
“Yeah, you’re the best. That’s how you got where you are.” I mumbled, thinking about a carne asada burrito at El Farolito that had my name on it. It had been a long day, lots of commenters to quibble with, and I wanted to get out.
“Well, do what you do. I’ll be at Benders, in my booth. Bring it over when you’re done.” He popped the rest of the cigar into his mouth and swallowed, hard. Then he grabbed his hoodie and walked out the door.
Andrew, Vic and the rest were probably already at Benders. I was alone in the office. The sounds of Mission Street filled the darkening room. I sighed, reaching deep into my desk and pulling out a flask. I took a long pull of whisky as I switched on my green glass desk lamp. “This won’t end well,” I muttered to myself. I got to work. An hour later this was staring back at me:
Where this case goes from here is anyone’s guess.