< The Detective Store >



I think, <Ides of March never came to pass. Now it is April. Even after the first, I am a fool. Still in Adams Morgan.>

Shouting, hollering, talking, whispering, screaming, rapping, thumping, pumping, bumping, chiming, ringing, singing, chanting ebbs and flows from people's mass. <|For people search for a person.>

Sweat drop falls from chin.

People shuffle-step on sidewalks and street. Walkers wedge, push, slide between people. Bikers hold and guide bikes with handles weaving the front wheel through people. Rickshaw movers step and push a path and move rickshaw through people shouting, ,,Move, move, move...''

I continue to think, <|...Bored.> I feel body sitting in chair.

Feet on table balance body and chair on chair's rear legs.

Towel around neck is.

Shout of, ,,Here,'' flows from and flows with people's mass.

Chair pivots back and forth, right and left, upon two rear legs. Chair's square seat and square back form a V canyon.

Butt and back rest in canyon.

Head is horizontal with floor. Head top breaks through window frame plane.

Wind gusts.

<|Shit smoke...>

Street lamps' flames flicker and fade. Flames create smoke stream. Flames create shadows and silhouettes.

People push and pull from building to building. People walk towards Duke's Bridge. People walk through alleys. People dance silhouettes upon windows.

Windows flash red, white, blue.

People step by building with bassline.

<|Focus.> I think.

The bassline is slow.

<|Upon what?> I look out window.

<|...Like one dance.>

People below flow as one dance. They step from the sidewalks and the street and the alleys with matching and timed movements.

<|A song of me sitting on butt.>

The people dance moves with keys, tempos and timing.

<|...Like dancing.>

Street lamps' flames dim then brighten.

<|What was I thinking?>

Wind gusts. The smell of pizza is.


The window is held open by a twelve inch ruler.

<|...Besides food.> I sigh. <|Music.>

Building rows lead people dance through, to and from streets, sidewalks, an intersection and other building rows.

<|...What time is it?> I pivot head and look through doorway at room with cot; the ceiling above with a fan; the wall with a clock shining red neon numbers. <|22:23.>

Mouth is dry.

<|Beyond time.>

I look out the window.


People stand in the flow of the dance; guide tips of pizza slices, <|The size of a head,> into their mouths; form group circles to help a friend tie a shoe; shout and scream; kiss and fondle bodies.

People's heads flow between people's heads. People's heads guide body's flow from and to dance halls, lounges, bars, bath houses.

<|Beyond water.> Eyes push at sockets' edges and push sight out window. <|What was I thinking?>

Women and men wear masks. Men and women wear veils. Women and men wear face paint red, blue, black, white.

<|Lawyers, politicians, interns.> People walk with bicycles, tricycles, rickshaws. A taxi rolls very slow through the mass. People step and point.


Tricyclers and bikers wedge front wheels through people.

<|Those congov?> I think.

A drone floats above the awnings.


Steel, aluminum, cotton, plastic awnings hang above the halls and doors.

<|Dim.> Strobe lights, laser lights, pub lights glow and flash and shine through doors, windows and window walls.

The people dance sways and flows back, pushes back and reverses the movement against the people. The ripple spreads and finds the flow in the dance. People walk and bounce and step and shuffle. Rickshaws and a taxi push through the slow dancing mass.

<|Before money. What was I thinking?>

Horn honk rises above the House bumps, thumps and whistles.

,,Just walk,'' I say. I inhale, exhale, think, <|The reason.>

A saliva strand spans lip to lip.

I lick lips.

Taxi driver honks horn and waves hand left to right behind windshield. Taxi driver looks through the windshield at people passing by. <|Trying to choreograph.>

Sweat drop falls from chin.

I say, ''People only tip government.'' I think, <|Donate.> I smile.

Bikers dressed in black plastic pants and shirts sit on bikes side by side by side. They twist front bicycle wheel side to side. They twist wheels through people mass and by taxi.

Bass hits right.

I smell pizza.

<|Hungry,> I think.

Horn honks, and shouts echo up and down and around.

<|Money.> I lift head from window.

All lights fade, flicker then shine bright.

The Detective Store shadow is upon window wall.

Taxi horn honks stop.

I balance upon chair's rear legs and look forward to door. I exhale. <|Time.>

The chair creaks.

<|When's game time? ...Thirteen or fifteen hundred?>

Sweat drop rolls from nose to lip and around lip to chin.

<|Mustang knows.> Eyelids close.

The world is dark. Sound is bright.

Sweat drops from chin to neck.

<|If not Mustang mom or dad.> I smile. I wipe face with towel. Eyelids open. I think, <|What am I going to tell mom and dad?>

Window glass and ruler rattle with bass from bass lounge.

The twelve inch ruler holds open window.

The taxi horn honks in short pulses then stops.

I smile. <|A case of me needing to leave.>

Balls itch.

I scratch.

Body finds balance.

I think, <|Mustang's tonight?>

Sweat drop falls from chin.

I stare up at the motionless fan.

<|The game tomorrow.>

Eyelids close. World is black.

A horn honks.

I inhale pizza and sweat fumes, open eyelids and exhale. I think, <|I stink,> clear throat. <|Ceiling looking like liver spots, warped and stained. Needs new slats. Money.>

Nobody is at the door. Nobody is in the hall.

<|What was I thinking?> I wipe face with towel. <|Mom, dad. ...And the need. Bored. Thought too much.>

The horn honks one loud and long honk.

I feel and think, <|The money job.>

Sweat covers neck.

I sigh and pivot head side to side. <|Need to think less about.>

Jaw muscles and joints pulse.

Dance beat bass flows from right wall to left wall. It vibrates with windows.

The twelve inch ruler holds open window. It vibrates.

Someone shouts.

<|Money.> I pat forehead with towel. I sit and lean back. I lift butt and back. I tilt head left and tip head back to the right through window frame.

Cicadas buzz through the night.

Neck lays through window frame plane and under raised window. <|Like awaiting the guillotine.>

The chair squeaks.

A cicada lands on forehead.

<|One with blue eyes.>

The cicada buzzes wings.


Color lights pulse and scan. Short and deep and long bass hits. Bass hits the wall and shakes windows.

I cover eyes with eyelids.

The cicada buzzes its wings. Wings settle.

I feel and think, <|Mom will calm. Dad will be upset.> I shake, balance. <|Dad will say should have known better.> I relax back and legs.

Butt lowers. Back, butt and legs rest on chair.

<|Smile, say money makes us stupid, wink at me.>

The cicada flies away.

<|He will be correct.>

The taxi honks, honks, honks, honks, honks the horn.

Eyelids flutter.

The taxi's occupancy light flickers.

Bikers twist front wheels before taxi. The bikers are dressed in leather coats and chaps with shiny studs along seams. Leather bikers slowly weave through the rollers, bikers, movers and walkers.

<|Global. Maybe if I say it?> ''A global mom, dad. I may be a global.'' <|Ask why...>

The leather bikers twist wheels side to side. The twists balance the tip of bike side to side through the still mass around taxi.

<|I don't know.> I scratch stomach. <|They'll ask the color.>

The taxi is stalled in mass.

A shout of, ,,MOVE,'' is.

,,Maybe Yellow,'' I say.

Leather bikers stand and straddle bikes by taxi side. The leather bikers straddle tricycles, bicycles and unicycles.

A rickshaw jerks forward. Mover with head hung and shoulders slumped pulls on rickshaw poles. One very fat man flicks cigar ash toward rickshaw mover.

<|Senator,> I think, wipe face with towel. <|Money.> I smile, think, <|Could become a prostitute? The Republicans would hire. Democrats, too. Even if a probable global,> lift head, look at door.

Doorway is.

<|No business.> I bend neck and see upside-down town. <|Republicans do pay good to fuck a global.>

Sweat flows down brow to forehead to head top. Sweat pools upon head top and forms a drop.

<|If a global.>

Sweat drops drip upon people.

<|...This is just.>

Dance halls, lounges, clubs echo Go-Go drums. Two voices yell.

I wipe towel over face and head. I scratch knee, think, <|Someone enter. ...Maybe shorts are scaring away customers?> I raise arms, think, <|The sweat. The smell. The leaning,> find a spot to balance. <|Why still here?> I lift head.

Sweat drips from chin to towel.

Towel hangs around neck and shoulders.

Butt itches.

I slide neck and head left through window plane then forward and up.

The raised chair legs fall to floor.

Feet hit ground.

Head slowly bops. <|Reality wills me go.> Chin almost touches chest. I shift, slide butt upon chair. Forearms and hands rest on desk. <|They probably walked by, seen me leaning back, thought to walk on.> Head slowly pivots up and down. Chin almost taps chest. <|Shorts way of forcing myself out of work, so I have to leave for work?> I pull towel around neck. <|Would I be allowed to leave the district?>

I look at ceiling fan. <|I will you spin.>

The ceiling fan is motionless.

Tongue licks dry lips.

I feel. I think, <|The only other work.>

BANG! is.

<|Like dropped body or box.> I look at door and entrance. I look through two-way mirror wall between office and hall.

The hallway is dark.

I think, <|Is anyone hurt?>

I push chair, stand, step beyond desk and step to door.

Door of opposite hall wall is closed.

Hall light is dim. Silence is.

<|Right.> Dance hall manager's office door is closed. Two doors of hall walls are closed. <|Left.> Two doors are closed. Bathroom door near stairs is closed.

Bass sounds vibrate.

<|Center.> Shoulder leans against door frame. I read and say, ''The Insurance Insurance,'' from door. <|Should have been an insurer.> I hear the fan's white noise and muffled dance club beeps and whistles. I look to staircase and see stairs. <|Mind too bored to detect.> I look to bathroom. <|Bathroom.>

Silence is.

I walk from The Detective Store entrance to the stairs and bathroom door. I grab bathroom door knob, twist.

Knob doesn't move.

Floor vibrates right to left. Fire extinguisher case vibrates. Vibration crescendos to bass thumps.

<|...Bored...> I shake head side to side. <|Could be only employer, who was tackled, kidnapped before they could get my help.> Head and shoulders slouch and follow the trail of feet down hall through entrance and to desk.

I think, <|Maybe dancing?>

<|What was I thinking? Work...> I sit in chair. I pivot head side to side to side to side. <|...Work.>

People flow below.

<|...Too many people...> I reach behind and grab thirty-six inch ruler leaning against window frame, think, <|Not enough employers,> grab twelve inch ruler and push window up, set the thirty-six inch ruler between window and window frame. <|None of them employers.>

Thirty-six inch ruler is between window and window frame.

I lean back with chair and set the twelve inch ruler on ground. Body and chair balance. I continue lean and lift butt until legs and back are horizontal and shoulders and head are outside.

The chair creaks.

<|I will you hold.> Body is tense. <|Almost as flat as a board.> Head and shoulders stick through window frame.

The world is upside-down.

The chair creaks.

<|Plastic breaks.>

Sweat stream flows from cheek to nose tip. Sweat forms a drop.

<|Why am I still living here?> I blow from lips.

Sweat sprays from tip of nose.

<|Can I leave?>

A low rumble of bass shakes window frame and ruler.

I look at ruler, think, <|Mustang, won't care.> I tip head back.

The buildings are upside-down. People walk on the sky, point to the ground, walk into buildings, walk down to the second floor to be closer to the ground.

A drone rises to the people sky.

I think, <|If toes tapped I'd fall out this window.>

The bathroom door opens, closes.

<|Where are the steps?>

I lower butt and lean, lift head, peer at entrance, say, ''Hello?'' <|Someone is in hall.>

The doorway is dark. The hall light is dim. There is a knock against floor.

<|Is that a foot step?>

Sweat drip flows cheek to chin.

I wipe face and chin with towel. I lower legs.

Chair's front legs set upon hardwood floor.

Hinges creak.

A door slams shut.

I smile. ''An employer using the bathroom.''

Lights flash from window and cast a shadow through two-way mirror wall, <|Of me,> upon the wall.

<|Was that only my shadow?> I think.

Taxi horn honks long dissonant stream through the ambient chatter, shouts and vibrating windows.

Foot steps walk along hall to stairs.

<|Nothing right now.>

Taxi horn honks rapid fire horn blasts.

Low bass vibrates walls and chest.

<|I want to feel more bass.> I think, <|After.>

Sweat drips from my nose to my white t-shirt.

<|Need to stay. Need to stay. Need to stay.> I smell feet fumes. I think, <|Hope that smell not from me.>

A hot warm breeze flows around body.

<|Need shower.>

Breeze dries neck and head.

<|Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday...> I think.

I wipe towel upon ear and jaw.


The stomach feels empty, hollow.

<|Need money.>

Sweat drips from nose to t-shirt.

<|Maybe my smell is keeping money away?> I inhale.

The lungs pull humid air in.

Body's pores and pits are wet.

I think, <|It's night. Where are the shady customers?>

Wet t-shirt stretches over chest. The t-shirt covers stomach.

<|Getting too skinny.>

The shorts' waist is loose.

<|Old.> I stretch arms.

Shirt lifts above belly button.

I feel and think, <|Don't want to be here any more. No one is going to walk in wanting to employ only a detective. They'll want an A.I. Detective. I will tell them it's illegal. They'll say they'll risk it.> I pivot head side to side to side.

Bass pops from right. Window frame rattles. Ruler shakes, falls. Window drops.

I catch ruler and window with palm. <|Still got it.> I lift twelve inch ruler from ground and open window and place twelve inch ruler between window frame and window.

A loud continuous honk of horn holds its pace and pitch from one honk to the next honk and honks until all sound becomes one then stops.

Bikers and taxi driver scream and shout.

I frown.

Taxi driver and two bikers raise fists and chests.

A drone hovers over movers dressed in red body suits. The movers push people from path and pull red spoked rickshaw. The drone flows from movers dressed in red body suits and red spoked rickshaw to the taxi driver and two leather bikers.

Taxi driver and two leather bikers yell at each other from taxi and bikes.


The leather bikers leave bikes and walk to taxi door. The people dance slows around the taxi and leather bikers. The driver and bikers are silent and still. <|Waiting for the leads.>

I pivot head side to side.

The red and blue drone lights blink.

Sweat drips from nose.

I grab and lift a cup from desk. I pivot head. I drink water and set cup on desk.

Screaming voices are.

I wipe face with towel. I think, <|That's not fun.>

Butt itches.

Horn honks.

The taxi driver stands by the leather bikers. Arm is through window. Hand is pressing steering wheel's center.

I slide butt back and forth upon plastic seat.

The screaming voices become a duel against the ambient basslines and vibrating windows.

<|The taxi driver would be the first to swing a fist.>

Red and blue lights flash above taxi driver and leather bikers.

I lower eyelids over eyes.

The darkness becomes a red flash.

The horn stops. The screaming stops.

The red flash fades to darkness.

I raise eyelids.

People stand by taxi and look at hands and feet. They shake off drone stare. They look upon each other. The taxi driver looks and leans on the right passenger window, talks. He opens driver door and gets in taxi.

The leather bikers look around, find bikes, grab bike handles and weave the front wheel through the mass.

<|Late. Mustang probably in bed. Redskins tomorrow.> I pivot head up and down. I look through two-way mirror wall. <|...What can I get for dinner? No more burgers. Or pizza. Or squares.> I look through window. <|Hot dog?>

Sweat drip falls from chin.

<|No work will keep me from watching.>

The drone hum fades. The red and blue lights disappear. The drone disappears.

<|Second week of playoffs.>

I wipe towel upon forehead. <|Maybe play pool?> I wipe my face and neck. <|When employment? Go dance? Need shoes. Clouds. Need the hat. To early. Breeze feels good.>

There is a knock from entrance.

''Come in, Mustang,'' I say. Forearms rest on the desk. Head is forward and eyes focus on someone. <|Not Mustang.>

Bass rattles right wall.



The Detective Store
Written by Kalab J. Oster
Edited by United States of America
Copy-Edited by Valerie Jean Thompson
Copy-Edited with Word Prostitute®
Published with Word Prostitute®
Published in United States of America
Library of Congress Control Number: 2009920085
International Standard Book Number: 9780972846592
Word Prostitute® Revision Control Number: 30995

Electric Price: Free To Read
Paper Price: $5 USD and 1 tree for 1 print of The Detective Store. Only 1 print per person.

Copyright © 2009 Word Prostitute®. All Rights Reserved.

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