I’m a bad ass hard-as-nails police detective that doesn’t play by the rules. Rules like going to the academy or being a real cop. I crack the cases other detectives are afraid to touch. Give me a bottle of Jack and a .44 and I’ll make you hit the high notes like that Bieber girl. The uniforms hid behind their badges. All I’ve got is a six day shadow, death’s grin, and a fedora pulled so low you’ll piss yourself. I once worked a case where the mob carved a lighting bolt into some poor bastard’s head. At least he died fast.

There was more blood and alcohol on my trench coat than on the floor of a free clinic. But for an extra Jackson the hookers pretend not to care. At least when they’re still alive anyway. Looks like somebody had been here first; operating on an entirely foreign definition of the word ‘fun’. I had a killer to track, one who might appreciate my sense of justice. Maybe we could compare notes; the schizophrenic ramblings screaming through my brain. I made a list:

Handcuffs are for the rookies. When I get my man I just tell the coroner where to pick up the bodies he was hiding behind.

The only weight I watch is the one tied around your ankles. Better start talking before I decide to start feeding the fish.

Weak men drink to forget the things they’ve done. I do shots in between breaking fingers. I brought a second bottle for the toes.

The last guy that called me a dirty cop cleaned my shoes with his tongue. After I’d cut it out. The Chinese laundry gave me hell for that one.

She twists the knife in my back so tenderly it could almost be mistaken for love. Almost.

They teach the rookies not to tamper with a crime scene. I like to think of it as a private garage sale.

Every sunless alley is a den of depravity. Every round from my .44 a bark of justice. There are no innocents victims here, only loose ends.

With every drink I become more awake. Whispers crushing my shoulders, guiding me into shadows. When the demons come, I’ll be waiting.

Every night the city screams; I make it softer one voice at a time. When it becomes only a whisper, I’ll know the last bullet is for me.

Every item punctuated by another shot. A list that made no sense even while I thought of it. Clarity was as fleeting as the liquor in my hand. Empty. I needed answers. And a refill. I knew a place that served both.

The mob’s fingerprints were all over the mute snitches in this bar. But a couple kneecaps later and they were ready to sing like a single mom at karaoke. A crack in my case was cause for celebration. But I’d settle for another drink. Five fingers of Jack whose only subtle notes are the layers of grime caked on this glass. I took the bottle to go. I had a case to solve, and the only leads in this dive were deader than the hookers stacking up in the dumpsters. I left the bartender a generous tip. Always did feel guilty about breaking a good barman’s arm.

The night too me into its arms, welcoming me home. It would be morning soon; the city would hide its depravity in broad daylight. It would pretend not to be sick, the human filth desperately convincing themselves they were clean. Lock the door. Shut the blinds. Collapse on a filthy couch. My nightmares knew the city’s true nature; the demons I still had left to kill.