Hard-Boiled

I was polishing off my thirty-sixth bottle of Old Bastard whiskey when she knocked through the door. With it getting shot out twice a week, I’d started replacing the door’s glass with that cheap sugar glass they use in movies. I oughta put up a sign, I guess.

I must have been thinking about the glass for a while, because she’d stopped knocking out the glass and was leaning into my office and shouting obscenities. I waved her in and asked her to sit down while I opened another bottle of whiskey and took a sip.

“Whugh’gh a gai gugl gai guh guhgh igga guh gai lugh?” I asked. I swallowed and tried again. “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a dump like this?”

“Hang on,” she said. “I’ll be there in a minute.” She was having trouble turning the knob since she had hooks for hands. I gallantly offered to open it for her. I strode over to the door, tripped over a pile of whiskey bottles, hit my head on the corner of the desk, and woke up in the hospital.

“Whugh haghghegh?” I asked. I swallowed my whiskey and tried again. “What happened?”

“You’ve got a concussion. You’ve been out for days. We had to operate. Luckily, you didn’t have much blood in your whiskey system so we were able to skip the anesthesia.”

“Your voice sounds familiar. Do I know you?”

The doctor pulled her mask down with her hook. “You certainly know how to make a woman feel special.”

“Now that we’re alone and my thoughts occasionally deslizarse en español, what were you coming to see me about?”

She walked to my bed. “It’s my husband, Frank,” she said. “He’s imaginary and also a green llama.”

“Ah, yes. A classic case of this story being written by an idiot. Do you have any pictures of him?”

She leaned towards me, pressing her body against mine. I winced as her shoulder knocked against my head wound. “Not here. They’re all taped to the fridge at home.”

“I see. Alright, I’ll take the case. My fee is $9 a day plus expenses. And one other thing.”

“Yes, anything!” She took a deep breath and the hooks in her bosom scratched the inside of my nostrils.

“Can you…put a new whiskey bottle in my IV drip?”

Just then, the door flung open and shots rang out. It was her husband, Frank. His enormous gun was specially designed to be fired with a hoof or whatever llamas have. Are they ungulates? I made a mental note to look it up later as I bled out through the bullet holes and all the gouges in my face from the bosom hooks. I’m not sure what happened next because I was dead. I hate it when that happens.

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