“West End Blues” by Takeru Bulkley

It was a long ago in the dead of night a young private investigator back from the war did not expect what came next. A young female, about the age 29 headed towards the office building als een Kantoor 21. The building was quite old but quite unique. Instead of the usual stalls it was structured like a apartment complex with doors lining up each with its own number, except one. The oak door had a plaque that read “Ermittler,” German for investigator. Opening the door revealed a dimly lit room with three windows lining the left wall. A large desk stood in the middle of the room, many objects dotted the desk, with a single silhouette of a lamp only clear by the moonlight glancing in through the window blinds and a man. The newly made radio stood in the windowsill playing the newest tune “West End Blues,” but was soon turned off by the mysterious figure, that somehow got up without notice.

“I need your help to find this man,” she said, as she threw Polaroid pictures on the table

“Who is it?” grumbled the figure sorting through the images

“Sircio Martelinze, and you don’t need to be that secretive, Bill.”

“Who are you and how do you know my name?”

“I know many things, and your thought to be ‘close relations’ with Sircio is built on lies. “Now, let’s stop wasting time and get to work.”

“Why should I help you, and what’s in it for me?”

“Keeping your head.”

Bill got the lead on the investigation and was off to find Sircio. He didn’t know what to think of it. Bill was off on that dark night to begin the hunt for his old buddy. The first lead brought him to an old diner a few blocks down. A great big neon sign on the roof of the diner was shining down on Bill standing in front of the glass double doors. Booths lined the back walls and a counter dividing the kitchen and the eating quarters. There were only 4 people besides Bill, each more tired than the other. He thought things were quite dull and dead, but he also wondered if he was able to get any information. Bill decided to ask the waiter if she had seen him.

“Have you seen this man?” Bill asked with less curiosity as a dead goldfish.

“Oh, that’s the man that came here every day,” she said in a joyous tone.  “I haven’t seen him in a while.”

“Any clues on where he went?”

“Hmm . . . ” she wondered. “He always talks about that dangerous shipyard downtown. I never understood why he talked about that so much.”

“Thanks.”

From that Bill went to the shipyard and see what he could find. Dark and unsound the whole place had a fetor of fish because of its popular docks for fishing boats.  Only a couple street lamps dotted the port, emitting only a fleck of light.

 

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