City of Devils

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Short Story Opening for English Lit class, hope you enjoy!

Mystery / Other
Kieran Riley
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Rain poured from the sky upon the dark New York streets. Kept lit only by the dim lampposts that seemed minuscule to the towering buildings beside it. A car pulled up to the side of the road, it’s hunkering engine and stuttering stop as it pulled up was enough to indicate the value of the vehicle, if one didn’t already lay eyes upon the dents and bullet holes at all sides. A figure stepped out, taking a final puff of a cigar before discarding it to the road and slamming the door behind him.

He strolled into a nearby building, a sign outside reading No-Tell Motel.’ Wallace had always considered the name cheesy, but at least there were no lies about what went on in there. Lies were becoming ever too present in the city now.

The inside of the building held a sharp difference to the dark, graffiti covered walls of the outside. The almost-regal interior was tastefully decorated with ornate chandeliers, lush furniture and red tinted stained glass that gave the room a warm hue the rest of the city could never even attempt.

He wandered over to the front desk, the woman behind the desk stared down at a crossword puzzle on a newspaper, her flowing red hair fell in front of her, almost concealing her face. She seemed to want attention drawn to her chest, where she wore her buttoned shirt loose most of the way down in an attempt to show off her ‘personalities’

After a polite cough from Wallace she glanced up, eyeing him through thin spectacles and wearing a void smile through her overly red lips. Wallace broke the silence.

“You seen a ’Eddie White’ in here tonight?” He questioned.

“Well that depends,” She began, “Who’s asking?” her New York accent lay heavy on each word.

He sighed. “Shepherd, Wallace Shepherd.” He said bluntly.

She looked at him with curiosity for a few long seconds before blurting out. “That PI from the paper?” Beginning to lean forward, laying her chest over the desk and eyeing him with more interest now his identity was revealed.

“The very one,” Wallace dishearteningly responded. He somewhat understood her disbelief, this dishevelled, ungroomed man wearing only a dirty suit and a leather jacket wasn’t exactly what one imagined when picturing a smooth-talking, intelligent Private Detective, but keeping up appearances was an effort that would never really matter to Wallace, he always just got the job done.

He quickly retorted.Now can you give me Mr. Whites Room?”

Her seeming interest in him before dropped. Seeing his attitude simply made her slump back in her seat beforeannouncing “Room 13, second floor.” in a rather disappointed tone.

“Appreciate it, Darling.” Wallace announced before turning to the corridor, not paying her any more attention. She most likely received plenty from the gawking idiots she passed every day, and Wallace wasn’t too fond of adding to that.

He walked up the staircase, fingering the revolver he had concealed in his trousers, He’d been chasing White down for weeks now, robbed the house of some poor woman who’d been too scared to call the police. Tracking down his appearance, his name, and more importantly, the broad he’d got and brought to this motel. A case closed feeling was always a satisfying one for Wallace, and now that he had him cornered, he could almost see the dirtbag getting arrested already.

He got to the second floor and followed along to Room 13. He pulled the revolver out into his grip,and raised his hand to knock, but hesitated. Knocking would give the snake time to get away, so, disregarding all manners, he stepped back and kicked in the door,

“Eddie White! Citizen’s Arre-” Wallace began, his pointed gun slowly lowering, his eyes filled with terror and confusion. How had that happened? What had happened? He almost could believe what he saw directly in front of him.

Eddie White lay dead on the floor, spilling a pool of crimson around him and onto the woman beside him, also dead.

Wallace’s mind raced to think of how the killer could’ve even pulled this off. How did they get in the room without being noticed? Who would want to kill White? He didn’t have to time to think too much about these questions before he’d rushed to the phone and dialled the police.

Detective Thorne entered around five minutes later, and held a look of disgust peering down at the corpse. It didn’t exactly have much of a welcoming smell either.

Thorne quickly pulled a notepad out of his back pocket. Slicking back his ever-receding hair to grab a pen by his ear before turning back to Wallace.

“You say you were investigating this guy?” He bluntly asked.

“I was.” Wallace retorted. “Was about to make a citizen’s arrest before I found this.”

“Know anyone else who’d wanna see him dead?” Thorne continued.

D’ya think if I knew that I’d have called you here?” He cynically rebutted.

Thorne let out a sigh. Being out this late in the rain had clearly drained him. So, he just put his notepad back into his pocket and looked back over to Wallace.

“Feel free to leave the premises so we can get forensics in here, but if you find something new, call me.” He said, scratching his beard and looking back over at the corpse.

Wallace left without another word. He cared not antagonise the detective further, and he was still trying to piece together who’d want to kill White and why now. It was like Wallace always said. There’s always another secret.

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