I have a confession

12 Bistro Indigenes was packed with the dinner crowd. Male and female servers scurried about in neat black aprons and matching bandannas. By the time I got there, Amber was already waiting. She was in a dress—fancy casual. And she was wearing more makeup than I’d seen on her before. She looked really nice. But... Continue Reading →

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The Rat King

11 Thirty-five-year-old Julie Festinger was running with her dog on the border of gentrified Williamsburg. She turned a corner and a feral cat hissed at them from a brick retaining wall. The animal’s fur was sparse—more than three-fourths of it had fallen out—and its eyes were frosted. Her dog barked and the cat rose on... Continue Reading →

The cockroaches were imported

9 I paid the cabbie and stepped out. Waxman was standing on the curb, waiting for me. I walked toward him and he held up my phone, which I had slipped into the side pocket of his briefcase. “Clever,” he grumbled. I stopped ten yards away. “You’re straight as an arrow all right. Through the... Continue Reading →

We didn’t catch a break

8 We didn’t catch a break. That night, poor blighted “Alvin” hit the local news—anonymous tip, I was told—and the following morning, the entire investigation changed. Ollie was pulled into a phone conference with senior management ahead of a phone conference with the mayor’s office ahead of a press conference later that afternoon. Everyone else... Continue Reading →

Something had to give

7 I woke late to my phone ringing under my pillow. I reached for it. Ollie. “Well,” he grumbled, “you wanted something big, you bastard. You got it.” I thought he meant the night before. I thought I’d be in trouble. “Just a flesh wound,” I said, looking at the bandage on the back of... Continue Reading →

Prepare the Way

5 I went to a diner and asked for a booth at the back. I ordered pie and coffee and called my wife. Video chat. She answered and I asked to see my daughter and her big head of frizzy hair. I missed her. She showed me the picture book she’d been reading with her... Continue Reading →

I had one lead

4 I had one lead, and it came from my only friend in the entire city. I watched her sort the stacks of identical plastic trays that filled the back of the delivery van. Meals on Wheels. The trays were empty. Sanitized. Just returned from the commercial wash. I nodded to the load. “I thought... Continue Reading →

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