Noir: A Walk in the Rain

The cold drizzle would have dampened my spirits if I hadn’t already killed them with spirits. I had nearly two hours to figure out what I was going to do and, given my current condition, I suspected that it was going to be as much a surprise to me as to anyone else.

I headed for my flat, a few blocks away, with the collar of my coat up and my hat pulled down. By the time I reached the park on 2nd Street, I didn’t much feel like walking any more. I collapsed onto a bench and let the black umbrellas swirl around me like a murder of crows.

After an hour or so, I started to feel a bit more coherent but was cold and soaked to the bone. The street was quiet except for the subconscious hum of the city felt more in the bones than heard in the ears. I stood and started for home. Almost immediately, a set of footfalls sounded behind me, perhaps 30 or 40 yards away, quiet but not nearly enough. I stopped to look in a closed shop window; the footfalls stopped as well. I was being tailed by a complete amateur.

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