In which I start writing a multi-part short story about an ineffectual detective with a lisp.

A Rainy Night on Drury Lane

1068 words about creative — 22:42 · 26th Nov 2012

Have a seat and join me for a little story why don’t you. Picture the following scene…

Let’s set the mood first. Click this and this. Don’t worry, they both open in new windows. Good? Good, then let’s get started.

Silhouette of man standing in the rain.

The rain is pouring down on Drury Lane, some indistinct smooth Jazz is playing in the background. Detective Wentworth is sitting at his desk, half-smoked cigarette in one hand and a glass of the cheapest scotch you can find in local stores in the other. He is only a dame with an overly short dress away from being a complete cliché and he knows it. He knows it all too well. As he takes another sip of his scotch and tries to hide the urge to vomit — he isn’t much of a drinker but feels obliged to be — the harsh clicking sounds of a woman’s high heels echo through the hallway of his run-down office. The last three months rent has been overdue for far too long and whilst he has done his best to avoid the landlord, he knows it’s all a matter of time before he can no longer escape Mr. Clay’s greedy eyes. He is either going to have to pay or find some other way to pay him. The clicking sounds of heels against damp wooden boards grows ever closer.

“Maybe I thould try to make a run for it? Sthe ith probably nothing but trouble. Yeth mithter, nothing but trouble”, he thought to himself. Oddly enough, his terrible lisp was just as present in his thoughts as it was when he spoke out loud. Despite his considerable efforts to teach himself to talk without this hilariously distracting lisp, it had been mostly in vain. He had made very little progress and the few sentences he could speak without this lisp was of no use to him. In retrospect he wasn’t quite sure why he had even bothered to learn to say them without the lisp.

Detective Wentworth could now hear how the dame — who he imagined was blonde with sensual red lips and breasts held tightly by the dress she wore so shamelessly. Add to that, her lingering daddy-issues and she was just his type — was just outside his door. He zipped up his trousers as quickly as he could when he realised she was going to be knocking on his door any second now. Three knocks was all she could muster. Three faint knocks and then nothing but silence.

“Juth a thecond, I’m a bit buthy”.

Trying to zip up his trousers too quickly he almost got his member caught in the zipper. “Phew, that could have ended really badly for Mr. Thtiffy”.

Only two knocks this time.

“Please, can I come in? I need your help”, her voice walked the fine line between desperation and some other kind of emotion that fits well within the story here.

“Yeth, of courthe. Come in thweetheart, thit down and tell me what troubleth you have. Would you like a glath of thcotthh?” As soon as he has asked her that last question he realised that “glath of thcotthh” would make no sense to someone who didn’t know of his habit of drinking scotch. “Fuck, fuck, fuck… I thould thart drinking beer…”, he managed to think to himself before his thoughts of self-loath was interrupted by her.

“Thank you so much for letting me in Mr. Wentworth, I wouldn’t have known what to do had you not been in. You’re the only one who can help me now. Please Mr. Wentworth, you have to help me!”

Her breathy voice was distracting but he had been in worse situations than this and he sure wasn’t going to get caught with his trousers unzipped this time.

“Calm down. Can I get you thome water? — Water! Brilliant, why couldn’t I had thought of that earlier? Thtupid, thtupid! — Firtht tell me how it all thtarted, who did what and don’t thpare any detailth. I need to know everything if you want my help.

She didn’t spare a single second to awkward silence as he stood up to get her a glass of water. She rambled on for what felt to Detective Wentworth like hours and his concentration wandered back and forth between her and other things whilst she was talking. First to her heaving bosom. But then to the only plant he had in his office, a semi-dead weeping fig tree in the moist corner of his office. The moist corner, or so he thought of it, because of a particularly noticeable draft due to a badly sealed window. It had been like to that for years though and he has no plans of telling the landlord Mr. Clay about it. “That greedy bathtard can fix it when I’m gone”, he thought.

As he came back from the bathroom to give the dame her glass of water he noticed that she had turned eerily quiet — as if to suggest she was done talking — and as she sat there looking at him, he wondered if he should have listened to her more thoroughly.

“Tho… you want me to find your huthband?”

“Yes. And when you do I want you to give him these…”

She handed him three differently shaped gingerbread cookie cutters held together by a metal ring. A Christmas tree, a star and unrecognisable blob which he presumed to be a human shape. Their hands touched for longer than he was comfortable with as she stood up to leave his office.

“Call me when the job is done and I’ll pay you the rest”, her desperation had turned into that other kind of emotion that fitted well into the story. She left an envelope on his desk as she got up. He could see that it was bulging with what he hoped to be money and not old lottery tickets like last time. Before he could take a snapshot of her leaving for his “personal” memories she was gone.

And just like that he was left standing alone with a cookie cutter ring, an envelope of maybe-money and a slight erection… again.

Continue to Part II — The Brown Note here.

You’ve just read A Rainy Night on Drury Lane.

In which, 11 years ago, I wrote 1068 words about creative and I covered topics, such as: writing , and a rainy night on drury lane .