AlterniaFM

Puzzle Bent

Panel #1
Another balmy summer evening. The city rolls these nights like loaded dice.

It's tough for a flatfoot to make it in a town like this. Some towns are built loose and a stiff breeze of upset blows through, but these bricks are tight-knit. Built like a damn Chippewa birchbark canoe. Not much daylight seeps through, see? A gumshoe asks questions and questions upset. It's like some shawlless dame frostbit in winter, too proud to take your coat for some damn reason. You know how dames are. The city turns her cold shoulder to a type a fella and that's all there is to it.

But a steak dinner don't pay for itself if you catch my drift.

The streets won't bang on your office glass and ask for placation. The streets ease themselves, but a type of fella knows better than to just step aside. A man finds space between the city's greased wheels of upkeep and when the time spins along it sees, yeah, it sees there were feet filling shoes on just that slab of rock. A man waits and listens. Every place, a placation. The alleyway spike of a bottle breaking - some tipsy beggar tithes to gravity, razor jewels shimmering on oilslick asphalt. The wail of a baby three floors up - ink is blotted before pact of appeasement sealed, hot formula dabbed on mother's wrist. And the shrill complaint of a phone...

Ain't no one can say a man wasn't filling shoes here.
Panel #2
You pick up the phone and to no surprise it is some dame yacking about something.

It's always the same with dames. Always roped in a fix to some john with busy meat hooks and a spell of bad habits. Makes a man reach for his flask just thinkin' about it.

Miss, if you'll just settle down I'll...

Toots, listen. I can barely understand a word you're...

Sweatheart, I can't make heads or tails of...
Panel #3
The woman was clearly hysterical.

It doesn't matter what she had to say though. A hard boiled lug like you has seen enough weepy lamps and spoiled makeup jobs to know what the matter is. What the matter is there's a problem. And you'll be damned if you aren't gonna be the fellas to sleuth it.

There's only one thing left to do now.