quick quick slow

A Huey Zinc Murder Mystery
by F.R. Duplantier


"Now, what was it you needed to talk to me about?" I asked Murray as I turned off Rampart Street onto Governor Nicholls and started scouting for a restriction-free place to park my ransomed Bug. I had tried to convince the Chief that my car had been impounded while I was on official police business, and that it was only fair that the fine should be waived, but he'd taken a narrower view, and I had been obliged at last to fork over $150 to reclaim what was mine.

"What do you mean, What was it I needed to talk to you about?" asked Murray.

"When you told me yesterday that you'd committed to a thousand-dollar dance contract, I said you'd never had that much money in your life, and you said, 'You don't have to pay it all at once.' I said, 'I don't have to pay it at all,' and you said, 'I need to talk to you about that.' Then Willie interrupted us, and the rest is history."

"Oh, that!" said Murray nonchalantly, as we strolled back toward Rampart looking for Brandi and Tiffani's favorite club -- Sambo's, Sappy's, whatever it's called.


"Yes, that! It sounded rather ominous."

"I guess I need to talk to you about that --"

"That's what you said before, Murray."

"Well, it's just that I thought we were in this thing together --"

"In what thing together?"

"This dance thing. I thought we were partners in a kind of joint venture. So, when I offered to sign up for that thousand-dollar package, I sort of made a commitment on your behalf too."

"You sort of made a commitment on my behalf? What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"I signed you up too. -- Don't get angry, Huey. I have an idea that Brandi and Tiffani are going to be pretty demonstrative when it comes time to show their appreciation. And besides, like I said, you don't have to pay it all at once."

I'd have strangled him with my bare hands right then and there, but we had reached the entrance to the club and I figured I might as well test his theory of appreciation first. But I got a sick feeling when I looked up at the sign over the door. Sappho's, it said. "Murray, you're an idiot!"

"What's the matter?" asked Murray, perplexed. "This is the place, isn't it?"

"You said the name was Sambo's or Sappy's --"

"Sambo's, Sappy's, Sappho's -- what's the difference?"

"Sappho was a big dyke, Murray, and you're a big jerk. This is a lesbian bar --"

"But this has to be the place," Murray insisted, peering into the dark interior. "Look, there they are!" There they were, all right -- the two veritable goddesses we'd invested so much time and money in, Brandi and Tiffani, spooning in a booth against the far wall.

Just then I heard a gut-wrenchingly familiar sound, the clanking of chains and squeaking of springs. "Tow truck!" I shouted, and took off down the block, but it was too late. Murray came running up behind, and we watched helplessly as my little Bug rolled backwards down the street at a 20-degree angle.

"Murray," I asked, when I had caught my breath, "do you remember the Morse Code for help?"

"Dot dot dot, dash dash dash, dot dot dot. Why?"

"You might want to use it now, because I'm going to kill you --"

-- END --