Dead Man Walking

In Fiction on September 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Hospital

Dead Man Walking

It wasn’t until I died that I finally saw my life clearly – not until this morning, that is, when I woke up on a cold gurney with a Y-shaped scar on my chest, a bitter taste in my mouth and a lipstick stain on my cheek. I had a hangover that would’ve made most other men think twice about reanimating, but I’m not most men; I’m a private eye – a damn good one – and I wasn’t about to hang around with a bunch of stiffs while a case went unsolved.

See, three days ago I was sitting in my office, making plans for the few unspent bucks I had in my pocket, when this dame walked in wearing three-inch heels and a little red dress so tight you might’ve seen her soul if she’d had one. She was trouble, of course, and before all was said and done I’d caught three in the chest and a serious case of buyer’s remorse.

I let down my guard – I let myself give a damn – and I paid the ultimate price, but now there’s nothing but cold sludge pumping through these veins, and this dead man’s got a score to settle.

***

This is a combination of a few different prompts. First, there’s BeKindRewrite’s Inspiration Monday, from which I used waiting to live (in a sense) and unspent. And then there’s this week’s Five Sentence Fiction prompt, Zombie, which was the real spark that got me going. Who doesn’t like an undead detective, am I right?

The series:
Dead Man Walking // X Marks the Spot // Postmortem // Basic Physiology // Les Moelleux // Her Body Begs for Death // The Talisman // Madelaine

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  1. Excellent – your piece got me right into the moment. Nice job!

  2. Ha ha, brilliant! You could elaborate on this hugely…great concept. I’d love to know if he settles the score!

  3. I love it. The description of the red dress (“so tight you might’ve seen her soul if she’d had one”) reminded me of the style of descriptions from the Guy Noir skits on Garrison Kiellor’s A Prarie Home Companion. Whether or not you take that as a compliment, I thought it was great.

    • Ha well that’s kind of what I was going for, sort of an over the top noir detective feel. If I expand on this ever I think I might tone that down some though haha. Thanks for reading!

  4. A Stellar piece. How can you go wrong with lines like: “…when this dame walked in wearing three-inch heels and a little red dress so tight you might’ve seen her soul if she’d had one.” Are you a “Prairie Home Companion” fan (a weekly radio variety show with Garrison Keillor)? If so I am betting you like the Guy Noir segments. If not go to: http://www.publicradio.org/tools/media_player/popup.php?name=phc/2012/09/15/phc_20120915_128&starttime=00:10:37.0&endtime=00:24:02.0

    • You’re the second one to mention that but actually I’ve never heard those – my goal was just to write something with an old school noir feel, something Humphrey Bogart might have played the lead in. Thanks for the link though – I’ll check it out!

      • The particular link (skit) I sent you to is not as “private eye-ish” as usual but he generally has a few lines like yours. Still, definitely some funny stuff.

  5. Oh I love this, his attitude, his determination to solve the case and his nonchalance at death. Hilarious! Welcome to InMon!

  6. I love the tongue-in-cheek tone of this piece. You really pulled it off, Brian. This is a very fun take on the prompt. One of my favorites!

  7. Perrrrrrrrrfect. Holy cow I love this. I want to read more!!!

  8. delightful! This had a real noir feeling to it

  9. I really enjoyed the piece, like carrie said, very noir. I also enjoy the voice that came through here….nice.

  10. I want to know how he got to be a zombie/come back to life, I guess I want more! 🙂

  11. cliche after cliche, Brian, just what I want in my private detective story, and with a fantastic twist that this guy is (un)dead. You could so start a series of novels this way!

    • Ha, well I appreciate it! I might tone down some of the hard-boiled stuff if I go for this (because I have specific ideas about why he’s undead). Glad you liked it though – your stamp of approval is a nice vote of confidence!

  12. That was epic! Really enjoyed that one.
    Cheers,

    W.

  13. Complexity nicely crafted and a really original approach. I enjoyed it.

  14. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘hang around with a bunch of stiffs’ Love this!!!

  15. […] Last FSF Story: Dead Man Walking Like this? Share it:FacebookTwitterDiggRedditStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  16. I’m a visitor from the future; followed next week’s link back here, and I’m glad I did.

    You really captured the pulp genre feel, and this is awesome: ” a little red dress so tight you might’ve seen her soul if she’d had one.”

    Cheers!
    JzB

  17. […] is also a continuation of a story I wrote quite a while ago, Dead Man Walking, starring an as-yet-unnamed undead detective. Check it out if you’d like the inside scoop on […]

  18. Real potential here. Makes me think of movie… ‘Warm Bodies’.

    • Thanks, haha – I don’t know if you know of the show ‘New Girl’ or not, but there’s a character on it who is trying to write- rather unsuccessfully – a zombie detective novel. I wrote this first installment long before I knew about that though, I promise haha

  19. […] Dead Man Walking // X Marks the […]

  20. […] the rest here: Dead Man Walking // X Marks the Spot // Postmortem // Basic […]

  21. […] Series: Dead Man Walking // X Marks the Spot // Postmortem // Basic Physiology // Les […]

  22. […] Dead Man Walking // X Marks the Spot // Postmortem // Basic Physiology // Les Moelleux // Her Body Begs For Death […]

  23. […] Dead Man Walking // X Marks the Spot // Postmortem // Basic Physiology // Les Moelleux // Her Body Begs for Death // The Talisman […]

  24. […] Dead Man Walking // X Marks the Spot // Postmortem // Basic Physiology // Les Moelleux // Her Body Begs for Death // The Talisman // Madelaine // Dead Drunk […]

  25. […] Dead Man Walking // X Marks the Spot // Postmortem // Basic Physiology // Les Moelleux // Her Body Begs for Death // The Talisman // Madelaine // Dead Drunk // The Crucible of Death […]

  26. […] short story continues my undead detective series, Queen of Hearts. It’s also a response to Andy Black’s Two for Tuesday prompt which, this week, was […]

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