The only thing shadier than a man who can't look you in the eye is one who won't look away. "This is Caylen, mister. He is the only one who can I.D. the bastard, but he won't get his hands dirty. That's what I'm paying you for."
He extended a clammy fishhand and I declined. It was around this time I realize I hadn't even gotten this broads name. She didn't seem the type to want to give it up either. But her money's still good.
Caylen and I followed her down the late night street. Unusually empty for this time of night, but the odd barfly or bum was still to be found, beggin for hope n' change I s'pose. We entered the cafe on the corner and Caylen walked us up to a solid metal door, and he knocked on it. Well, knock is generous. He flailed his armfish at it until it made a sound. The Judas Hole slid up and a yellow eye looked out.
"...that password ain't been good for years. Get outta here ya mook."
It slammed shut, and the broad kicked Caylen as hard as she could in the shins. He started hoppin around on one foot like some faggot cartoon at the picture-shows. I'd have laughed if it didn't feel like my meal ticket just slammed shut on account of some limp wristed moron.
We were back out on the street and the broad wasn't having it. "YOU FUCKING IDIOT, HOW ARE WE GONNA GET THE GUY NOW?!" Caylen stammered "uhhh, uhh, I'll find him, don't worry, I'll find him, honest I will."
Just then a limo pulled up and the window rolled down a crack. "You Helen?"
"You lookin' for the big mouthed jokester?"
"Yeah, we are."
Before I climbed into the limo, I compulsively felt the firmness of the gun hidden in my coat pocket. It wasn't legal, but then, most of what I did wasn't.
When the door shut behind me, I couldn't believe it. It was Cryer. The old actor from those silent film reels about the two and a half stooges. You remember the ones. He was the one who was always gettin' hit with pies and steel beams while the other fellah got the dames and the kid pointed and laughed. That was usually the only laughing going on during that show, but I ain't no critic.
"I heard about the guy. I know where he is now, but I still need your stoolie to point him out. I'm gonna ring his bell, get my face in the papers, and get me some headliner work for once. I ain't nobody's clown, you hear?"
Helen said "I don't care who shuts him up, as long as it gets done."
The limo pulled up to a house out in the suburbs. Some sorta McMansion says I. Buncha upper crusties having a party. Trailing behind kid showbiz we got right in no problem. The bouncer almost didn't let Caylen in on account of his shirt. Said it might cut somebody. Cryer shot the guy a stinkeye and he slammed his hole shut.
Not two minutes later Caylen points his fishhand and says "THATS THE GUY!" My payment depended on catching him before Hollywood did, so I wiped my kerchief across Caylen's hand and slapped it across the actor's face. It made a snap like a goon bellyflop, and he was on the ground Crying like his name.
I shot after the guy, jumping fences and hedges. I finally caught him in a dark dead-end. He had nowhere to go. I grabbed him by the scruff and prepared to knock his lights out, when the headlights of a cop car blinded us both.
"LET THE KID GO!"
I turned and looked. This wasn't no man. This was a 12. Year. Old. Kid.
I held my hand up to shield my eyes, and who did I see getting cuffed, but Caylen. Right next to xim, crying crocodile tears was the broad. We were set up.
"Alright wise guy, you're under arrest on three counts of privilege."
This was gonna be a long night.