I wanted to have a little bit of fun this week. You, enlightened reader, have heard about William Gillette’s curtain raiser play, The Painful Predicament of Sherlock Holmes, because you wouldn’t dare miss a PLoSH post, right?
I am a serious fan of both Sherlock Holmes and the hard boiled genre of mystery fiction (which you also know because you’ve read the many columns I’ve written on both subjects…). Since Painful Predicament.. is a parody of Holmes, I decided to write a parody of a hard boiled private eye short, using Gillette’s mini-play as the model. So, I give you “Shovel’s Painful Predicament.”
I sat in my office, watching dust motes dance in the sunlight. The slats were pulled halfway, and they made a regular pattern on the floor. Unfortunately, this was the most action the office had seen in a week. Being a shamus in this town meant dry spells in jobs, not just the weather. The phone wasn’t ringing, but I wasn’t all that certain I’d paid the bill, either. I wouldn’t need an armored truck if I withdrew my bank account. Hell, I wouldn’t even need a wallet.
I heard tentative footsteps in the hallway. It sounded as if their maker was reading the doors, looking for the right one. They stopped in front of mine. I stayed behind my desk and waited. Someone pounded on the door and it rattled on its hinges. I grunted an “It’s open” in surprise. I hoped the hinges remembered how to work.