by Roy Dorman
The dame who walked into
my office didn’t quite
fit the bill. Oh, she was dressed to the nines and had a face to die for, but
she had a fistful of hundreds in one hand and a .38 special in the other. Most
of my clients kept their cards a little closer to the vest.
“I need to have been
someplace else this
morning,” she said.
I didn’t tell her,
but I’d had that very
thought run through my mind every day for the last two years.
“Most of the bars
are still closed, but I
suppose I could set you up at a gym.”
I deal in alibis. Somebody
does somethin’ they
shouldna done, and don’t want to pay the price for doin’ it, I set ‘em up with
an alibi. I’ve got a string of staff on retainer in a variety of businesses who
ain’t afraid of a perjury rap.
Now, I don’t have
“Alibi, Inc.” stenciled on
the glass on my office door; that would be dumb. My business cards and my tax
man say I’m a licensed private dick. Alibis are just one of my many services. I
also do ID changes, relocations, motel room photography, and all of the other
sleazy gigs that come with the private dick territory.
“Don’t you want
to know what I’ve done?” she
asked, all wide-eyed, still pointing the gun at me.
“Nah, that .38 tells
me I’ll prob’ly be readin’
about it in the papers.”
In this business, the less
ya know, the better.
I was curious as to why she was pointin’ the gun at me when she had money
clutched in her other hand, but figured we’d get to that eventually.
I called the gym, found
out who was workin’
this morning, and set it up.
the deal. The owner of the gym is Monty Schwartz. The
trainers this morning are Herb and Lisa. You were there all morning, tryin’ the
place out to see if you wanted to buy a membership.”
I took a head and shoulders
shot of her with my
cell phone and sent it to Monty.
I lie, they lie, and you get paid
“It’s a livin’.
And, hey, don’t forget about
the part that you don’t go to prison. As to my pay, how ‘bout you give me the
gun and half the money ya got there and we’ll call it square? Ya prob’ly don’t
want that piece anywhere near you, when the questions start, right?”
“How about I just
shoot you and keep both the
gun and the money? I already have an alibi.”
“Smart cookie, ain’tcha?
I like that. How about
us goin’ to lunch; I’ll buy.”
“Sounds swell, big
spender. Then I’ll have an
alibi for this afternoon too, won’t I?”
I turned the sign on the
door over to “CLOSED”
and locked up. Smart, funny, good lookin’, and knows how to use a gun. I’m
thinkin’ this could be the start of somethin’ big.
Roy Dorman is retired from
the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and is the submissions
editor of Yahara Prairie Lights. He has had poetry and flash
fiction published in One Sentence Poems, Near to the Knuckle, Yellow
Mama, Shotgun Honey, Theme of Absence, Drunk Monkeys, The
Flash Fiction Press, Black Petals, and a number of other online