After that she left. She was content with the knowledge that the guy who had been following her, whoever he was, wouldn’t be following her anymore. She didn’t seem to care about his motivations as long as he was on ice. I cared, and I tried my best to persuade her to stick around and fill me in on a bit of her backstory so that I could start putting the pieces together, but the suggestion that she tell me more about her just served to hasten her departure, and don’t think for a second that that didn’t make me more suspicious.
Once the light clicks her heels made as she walked down the hall disappeared I turned my attention back to the intruders still mucking up my humble abode. I still had hours before the sun would go down, and it was good because I had a lot to do if I wanted to dispose of these guests without attracting attention. First things first though, I went back to frisking the stiffs on the off chance that they were carrying something that might help shed some light on this whole messed up situation.
You try not to look in their eyes when you’re sticking your hands in a dead man’s pants, it just serves to make things awkward. The first guy, the one that had been tailing Penny for the past few weeks, didn’t have much on him. No wallet or I.D., just an old beat up black pocket notebook with a phone number scratched into the spine. It was local based on the nxx prefix, but I didn’t recognize it.
The situation with the second guy was a little worse. He had plenty of I.D. on him, mostly in the form of a fancy brass badge that said F.B.I.. Dead goons were a pain in the ass, but they were a pain in the ass I was prepared to handle. Roll ‘em up in a rug, most likely the one they were bleeding on right now, although, I really did like that rug dammit. I knew what to do and it wouldn’t be the first time I’d had to do it. But a dead fed, well fuck. That was going to cause all kinds of trouble.
I couldn’t figure it out either. Why was an Agent pairing up with some local thug? Why were they following that Penny girl around? And what the hell were they doing here? She’s getting chased around for whatever reason she wasn’t inclined to share with me, she pulls a tag off of one of my flyers, and before she even gets a chance to chat me up I’ve got these two breaking down my door and forcing me to shoot them up while I’m still in my skivvies.
I took my coffee mug back out of the sink and poured bourbon in it. Then I sat down on one of the folding chairs again and inspected the G-man’s badge. Special Agent Raymond Reynolds. I rubbed the shield with my thumb just to make sure it was real then I looked over at Mr. Reynolds layin’ on my good rug.
“Well Agent, what exactly are you doin’ here?”
I gulped down the bourbon in my mug and looked at the clock. It was eleven-forty-five in the morning. I set the badge back down on the milk crate and ran my fingers through my hair. I’d have to get another rug. Two really. I couldn’t possibly carry them both out together, I wasn’t close to that fit. So I’d have to wrap one of them up in this rug, and get a second to wrap up the other one. Then I’d need a new rug for my floor if for nothing else than to cover up the blood stain that was certainly forming on the wood under the current rug now.
So I needed two new rugs, and some twine to tie them up. If I played my cards right at the thrift shop I could get the twine thrown in when I picked up the rugs. Two rugs was going to cost me though. I was pretty sure that I had a buck or two stuffed in my pants pockets somewhere, but I’d probably have to donate some blood or something to make up the rest.
I dug around the laundry next to the bed for the cleanest pair of trousers I could find. I considered taking a shower, but decided against it since I didn’t have any clean clothes to put on anyway. I ran a black comb through my hair and washed my face and pits in the sink. I found my mostly clean, white button down shirt under the television set with my black tie still knotted around the collar. I dug through the various socks on the floor trying to find something that wasn’t stiff, but they were all too far gone, so I threw on my loafers over my bare toes. I grabbed the paper clip that held my door and car key and my drivers licence from dish next to the door, and closed the windows on my way out so as to keep the flies at bay.