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My Brother's Keeper (LF2021)

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posted on Oct, 5 2021 @ 01:43 AM
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To preface my story - I've always been a fan of film noir and hardboiled detective fiction. So much so that I wrote a series of books with my detective Steve Randall, and they're set in New York City during the 1950s. And I've noticed that other authors are coming up with detectives even farther in the past. Like Cadfael, by Ellis Peters; or the Roma Sub Rosa series by Steven Saylor; and even Margaret Doody, who turned Aristotle into a detective. I decided to try and come up with the oldest possible private eye, so I settled on Adam. You know, Adam and Eve, from the Bible. Here Adam takes on his first case. I hope you enjoy the humorous slant I write with.

My Brother’s Keeper


It was a dark and stormy night in the Garden. The rain fell down in waterfalls. So much rain that the 40 foot Chris Craft I had my eyes on suddenly began to seem a little too small. But, that’s another story. My name’s Adam. I’m a Private Investigator. That’s P.I. with a capital on eye. I was sitting behind my desk waiting for my first case to come in. See, I had just hung up my shingle and this was my first day in business. I was to find out that it wouldn’t be long before business was to come my way. And, along with it, trouble with a capital T.

Then, she walked in my office. Her name was Eve. Yes, that Eve. She came strolling into my presence as if she owned the Garden. Well, maybe she did have deed to at least half of it. I watched her as she perambulated slowly toward my desk, where I sat behind it, watching her every nuance. When she reached the front of it, I motioned for her to sit down in one of the two client’s chairs I kept there. She looked at the one to her left, adjusted her fig leaf, and sat down. I waited for her to speak first. I had seen it in an old movie once and it had worked for Bogie.

“I seem to require your services.” She was hesitant, nervous.

I licked my lips and replied casually, “Yeah, what’s it about?”

She looked around the room with quick little glances and I knew she was wondering if there were any other people around before she told me her story. I put her at ease. “Go ahead and spill it, sister. We’re all alone here.”

That seemed to loosen her up.

“All right. I think I can trust you.”

I winked at her. “Sure you can. Who else can you trust?”

“Well, I guess nobody.”

“See? Half of your dilemma is solved already. Won’t you tell me your story and start at the beginning. I’ve found that’s always the best place to start.”

She smoothed the fig leaf underneath her and began.

“Apparently, you have a rib missing....”

“Not that far back, sister. Only to where your problem begins.”

“Oh, okay.” I nodded for her to continue. She did, but reluctantly. I wondered if it was because she had something to hide? Well, I’d find that out soon enough.

“My son is missing. Can you find him?”

“I don’t know. What’s his name and what does he look like?”

“He’s a good boy. He’s never done anything wrong.”

“I’m sure he is, Ma’am, but, please, just answer my questions.”

“His name is Able, he’s got brown hair and stands about 5 feet 8 inches high and I haven’t seen him since yesterday.”

“Have you asked Cain if he’s seen him?”

“No, I didn’t think to do that. I....” And then she broke down. I could tell I wouldn’t get much more out of her in this condition. So, I’d soothe her the best way I could and look into it with what little she had given me to go on.

“Look, everything is gonna be all right. Trust me on this. I’ll go see this Cain fellow and see what he knows. Maybe he can clear up your little mystery.”

She looked up to me, wiping a stray tear that had slid down the bridge of her nose. The fig leaf she was wearing around her chest was bright with moisture from her having cried so much already. I tried not to focus on that area and, instead, looked right into her eyes. Those burning, intense eyes of hers. They were two dark pools that seemed to be able to see into next Tuesday. I knew I would do anything for her at that moment. Anything I could to make her happy. I’ve always been a sucker for dames who wore organically-enhanced clothing.

“Are you sure?” she asked finally.

“Yes. Just don’t you worry your little heart about it. I’ll get to the bottom of this mystery.” I stood up and came around the edge of the desk to where she was seated. She got up and faced me.

“How can I ever thank you?”

“My bill will be in the mail.”

I spun her around and directed her out of my office. I had to get cracking if I was going to get the lowdown on this case.


Continued....
edit on 5-10-2021 by TrulyColorBlind because: Format.

edit on 5-10-2021 by TrulyColorBlind because: Format.

edit on 5-10-2021 by TrulyColorBlind because: Format.

edit on 5-10-2021 by TrulyColorBlind because: Format.

edit on 5-10-2021 by TrulyColorBlind because: Preface.

edit on 5-10-2021 by TrulyColorBlind because: Corrected a typo.

edit on 5-10-2021 by TrulyColorBlind because: Corrected a typo.



posted on Oct, 5 2021 @ 01:43 AM
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I had seen this guy named Cain several times, mostly over by the area where the squash, watermelons and rutabagas were harvested. I’d always assumed he was a farmer. I don’t know where I got that idea, but I’d play up that angle when I questioned him. I put on my hat and the long fig leaf trench coat I always wear and went out to look this fellow up. He wasn’t hard to find.

When I came up on him, he was stacking a bunch of fruits and vegetables in a pile. He had a match in his left hand and what appeared to be a container of charcoal lighter fluid in the other. This guy was about to roast something, I thought. Uh, huh. Barbecue, my favorite. He heard me coming and spun around, lowering both hands into a defensive posture.

“What do you want?” he hissed from between clinched teeth in an accusing manner.

I had to take the offensive because I knew certain facts before I even got here. I don’t know if he was aware of it or not, but, other than my client and myself, he was the only one of the two other people that lived in this Garden. That little fact burned a hole in my brain as I prepared to ask him my first question. I wasn’t going to take it easy with him, either. I didn’t know but that he could turn on me in a second’s notice and become violent.

“All right, it’s time to come clean.” I looked at his fruit pile with a menacing glare.

“What do you mean?” he asked, noticing where my gaze fell.

“Where is your kid brother Able? What did you do to him?”

“I.... I don’t know what you mean.” I could tell he was hiding something from me in his evasive manner. But, what? And was it pertinent to the case?

“I know he was last seen with you. So, you’d better come clean and tell me your story. I could make it very rough for you if you don’t.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Am I supposed to be my brother’s keeper?”

“No,” I pointed my finger right at him and played a hunch, “but you do happen to be your brother’s killer!”

He collapsed right there in front of me. I knew he wouldn’t rabbit on me because I had him right where I wanted him. And he knew it, too.

“How.... how did you find out? How did you know?”

“I’m a private eye, I’ve got my methods. And what you’ve done is pretty serious. Although you’ve given me my first case, you’re still gonna have to pay the price for what you’ve done.”

“What’s that?”

“I’ll just say, let the punishment fit the crime.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m gonna scar you so that anybody that sees you will know you for what you really are. A murderer!”

“When who see’s me? There isn't anybody else. We’re the only ones there are so far.”

I could see he had me on a small technicality. But, that still didn’t lessen the severity of his crime.

“Nevertheless, I’m going to have to do this.” I pulled out my pocketknife and cut him with a quick motion along his right cheek. You couldn’t help but notice a thing like that. It stood out like the proverbial sore thumb.

“Ouch!” he said. “That hurt.”

“Sorry, but let that be a lesson to you.”

He lowered his head, turned away and the last I saw of him, he was heading north, over in the direction of Sumeria. I never saw him again, but I know that until the day he died, he would always remember me. I folded up my knife, replaced it in my pocket and went back to the office. I remember Eve telling me something about an apple crumb cake she was making for dessert tonight.

I thought that sounded quite tempting.


The End


Author's Note:
This fits the theme in that, just after the end of the story is when the Fall took place and Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.



posted on Oct, 5 2021 @ 02:14 AM
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a reply to: TrulyColorBlind


Wow... Now that's a curveball and a half right there! A very interesting presentation that I have to say I've never come across before.


I wish you much success in the Contest!
Johnny



posted on Oct, 5 2021 @ 02:15 AM
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The rain fell down in waterfalls.

I like that part.
I went and thought of this : The rain fell down like in waterfalls.
also, The rain fell down like if it was a waterfall.

I actually wrote the above for you to correct me. I, too, like telling stories. ( Oh, and I know my punctuation is probably wrong, 4 th grade education is all I had )



posted on Oct, 5 2021 @ 04:04 AM
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That was extremely well written. Every reference to the fig leaf made me laugh. The way you adapted the story to fit your favorite genre was truly amazing.
👍👍



posted on Oct, 5 2021 @ 10:38 AM
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That was a really good use of historical characters. Oh and the apple reference was perfect.



posted on Oct, 5 2021 @ 05:11 PM
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An interesting story. I was sorry to see the culprit cave so quickly, but this is a 'short' story contest.

I will say this: tense formation.

There was a tv series in the '50s called "Steve Randall" about a detective. I don't remember much about it though.

Congrats on getting published. That is an accomplishment to be proud of.

Good luck in the contest.



posted on Oct, 9 2021 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: TrulyColorBlind

Wonderfully edgy, taking us in kicking and screaming into the paradox of modern and Biblical times. I really enjoyed your story and the way in which you tell it . Spade, Sam Spade.
Robert B. Parker -- who wrote the Spenser/Jesse Stone series and a few other things, is one of my hallowed treasures.

You write like a 1950's film narrative, and while that might sound like an insult, I truly mean it as a huge compliment.


I could see he had me on a small technicality.
Incredible!



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 04:42 PM
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originally posted by: JohnnyAnonymous
a reply to: TrulyColorBlind


Wow... Now that's a curveball and a half right there! A very interesting presentation that I have to say I've never come across before.


I wish you much success in the Contest!
Johnny


Thanks, Johnny!



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 04:43 PM
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originally posted by: musicismagic
The rain fell down in waterfalls.

I like that part.
I went and thought of this : The rain fell down like in waterfalls.
also, The rain fell down like if it was a waterfall.

I actually wrote the above for you to correct me. I, too, like telling stories. ( Oh, and I know my punctuation is probably wrong, 4 th grade education is all I had )


Of the two, I'd have to say that the second sounds smoother.



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 04:44 PM
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originally posted by: AccessDenied
That was extremely well written. Every reference to the fig leaf made me laugh. The way you adapted the story to fit your favorite genre was truly amazing.


Thanks - I guess it shows that I like detective books!



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 04:48 PM
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originally posted by: yuppa
That was a really good use of historical characters. Oh and the apple reference was perfect.


Thank you! I was rather proud about the apple bit capping off the story that way.



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 04:54 PM
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originally posted by: Vroomfondel
An interesting story. I was sorry to see the culprit cave so quickly, but this is a 'short' story contest.

I will say this: tense formation.

There was a tv series in the '50s called "Steve Randall" about a detective. I don't remember much about it though.

Congrats on getting published. That is an accomplishment to be proud of.

Good luck in the contest.


That TV show was also known as "Hollywood Offbeat." It only lasted 13 episodes and starred Melvyn Douglas. I have one of the episodes on DVD and have shared it here on the Internet Archive.org:

Hollywood Offbeat (Steve Randall) - The Trial - Episode 13

At the time I created my Steve Randall character, I had never heard of this TV series. I just picked two of my favorite NFL quarterbacks at the time and combined their first names - Steve DeBerg and Randall Cunningham.

Thanks for the well wishes, too!



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 05:06 PM
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originally posted by: argentus
a reply to: TrulyColorBlind

Wonderfully edgy, taking us in kicking and screaming into the paradox of modern and Biblical times. I really enjoyed your story and the way in which you tell it . Spade, Sam Spade.
Robert B. Parker -- who wrote the Spenser/Jesse Stone series and a few other things, is one of my hallowed treasures.

You write like a 1950's film narrative, and while that might sound like an insult, I truly mean it as a huge compliment.


I could see he had me on a small technicality.
Incredible!


Thanks! I like blurring the timelines a lot in that fashion. Sort of like the cartoon "The Flintstones" did. I've got another book out there, called "The Wizard Of Destiny" where I do a similar thing. It's a historical/fantasy set in the Middle Ages in a land just like "Britain." I throw in some anachronisms that weren't possible during that real period, but for humorous effect. For instance, I have a band of minstrels in one chapter and they bear an amazing resemblance to The Beatles.

I, too, like Robert B. Parker and have several of his books in my personal library.

I take it as an extreme compliment when you say I write like a 1950s film narrative. That's how I write - I envision the book as a movie unfolding in my head and just write the action as it would naturally progress from scene to scene. Sometimes, I don't even know "whodunnit" myself until I get to the end when I'm writing it.

So, thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate it.




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