I actually had three character intros in mind for my sister, Margaret Traynor, but this, with its old-school and sardonic feel with a flip, seemed the funniest. She has a keen sense of humor and her stories, when not spooky, lean towards the farcical. Enjoy and let me know what you think of this intro!
It was 9 o’clock on one of those heavy kind nights when the sound of the city make you feel lonely and surrounded all at the same time. I sat at my desk, finishing off a bottle and trying to make myself comfortable in a chair that was one step below an electric one for comfort. I would have stretched out on the couch, but it now was adorning my landlord’s parlor as part of last month's rent. Last month was a particularly bad one. I'd spent a week in jail after a falling out: my client wanted the evidence to leave her cheating husband, he objected to my aiding her, and Mickey's Place got smashed up in the ensuing disagreement. No one said being a detective was easy.
I was just reaching into the desk for my old friend, Jack Daniels, when I heard a sound at the door – a gentle rapping sound of a small gloved hand.
I moved from Daniels to Colt and bid the stranger enter.
A tall, cool brunette glided the room. Either she had money or access to it, because the pearls, the silk, and the flowered perfume she wore were the real stuff. She held herself like a queen, pale and graceful, but when her eyes, large and brown as dark chocolate, found mine, I knew this kid was in trouble.
“Excuse me,” she said, in a soft voice. “I’m Traynor, Margaret Traynor, and I need your help.”
She sounded sincere, but I’d been burnt too many times to fall for another pretty face. I sat up in my chair and gave it to her straight.
“Sure, sure,” I said. “That what they all say, sister. But listen here: I’m Nick Powell, private detective, just like it says on the wall. I’m for hire, but I’m no one’s patsy or fall guy. If you want me to take out the bad guys or get you out of a jam, I’m your man, but if you are thinking you can play me for a sucker or try to pull a scam on me, I’ll warn you right now – ” I dropped the Colt on the desk in front of me “- it won’t end well.”
The woman looked at me, her eyes as wide as saucers.
“Good heavens,” she said. “You are a tough guy.”
“No one can fool you.”
"I've come to the right place. I feel safer already."
Her admiration was starting to grate on me. "Tell me what you want, sister, and make it snappy. I have an appointment.”
Then, incredibly, her mouth curved into what I swore was restrained laughter.
“I was just wondering,” she said, “if you could direct me to the law offices Howard, Fine, and Howard? I was told they were on this floor.”