[noir 5] Missing Miss Marli

I did my best not to watch as Marli readied herself for bed. Lead me not into temptation, I thought to myself. What a dame!

I poured myself a drink from a flask in my coat, stripped down to my skivvies and undershirt, then downed the drink in one gulp. It burned real good going down, and it wasn’t ten minutes before I’d crawled into my bed and passed out.

Next day, I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a freight train. My head was pounding and the sliver of light through the cracks in the door didn’t help. I looked around the room.

Marli was gone.

I looked at the clock – almost noon! Where could she be? Did someone take her? I threw on my clothes, bolting outside as I buttoned my shirt. The man from the previous night was still there, standing beside his car.

“No use searching. She’s gone, Joe.”

Who was this guy, and how did he know my name? “What’s going on here?” I asked. I noticed a .357 Magnum hanging from his belt. “Who are you?”

“Let’s talk inside,” he suggested, gesturing toward the door.

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