It was raining again, long slow ropes of it draping themselves liberally across the pavement outside. The sky was a thunderous, threatening grey that stretched to black in the distance, a mundane monotone of meteorology. For once I was safely inside. I turned my attention back to the bar, taking a moment to admire the ornate carvings in its hardwood construction, before Mister Headington motioned me over.

He was quite a tall man, with the mysterious command presence often found in teachers of young children and retired military officers. A penetrating stare with eyes like the storm outside. His stylish suit seemed to shimmer in shades of silvery gray, making his smile that extra bit more dazzling.

Too dazzling. I backed off.

Goddamn it. It’s the author again, isn’t it? I’m trying to keep tabs on the Bête Noire, but he’s trying to steer me onto a different track.

Just leave me alone! I need this case. Go and mess with some other characters, like Beretta or that Otellio schmuck.

I don’t need you, okay?

View this story's 5 comments.