ERIE, PA MARCH 20, 1947 ABANDONNED KEYSTONE AMALGAMATED TOOL AND DIE FACTORY
“I was working a case out of Dearborn. Seems some shit-covered dime-rag critic by the name of ‘Botendaddy’ ran afoul of the heat. He’s a friend of Paul Lorton they say, Lorton the voice of a disaffected post-war gritty shell-shocked generation of junkies, pimps, pushers, bums, addicts, hookers, grifters, vagrants, derelicts, winos, ex-cons, white trash, crooks, punks, fairys, dykes, negros, high-yowlers, con-men, card sharks, jazz men, cripples and down and outers, unemployed losers begging for a dime so they can cop a shitty filterless square in some cheap dive. Paul Lorton… writer and killer. I am Sam Cicero, Private Eye.”
I took a long roak off of a cheap filterless square. I was joined by Tomascz, shitty Hungarian gypsy pimp and stool pigeon extraordinaire of the price was right. A shitty character like Tomascz always had an angle.
We stood in the mist under the streetlight.
“Sammwy my boy? How are things?”
Tomascz offered me his bottle of pure Kentucky Pine County Brand Rotgut the shittiest cheapest whisky in America. I took a swig and my throat was burning, I gagged and my eyes started sweating.
“Very smooth whiskey.” I coughed. “What do you know about this Botendaddy Palooka? He’s on the run.”
Tomascz took a swig of the rotgut he started weeping then he doubled over in pain.
“Yes, wery, wery smooth. So a little bird told me… but I cawnt remewmber…”
I grabbed Tomascz by the lapels and backhanded him across the face.
“Sammwy, let go, your wrinkling da material!”
I handed him a Hamilton.
“Ah now I remember, I saw him at the train station with the Paul Lorton, he took the Pennsylvania Railroad 4:15 to Creefroo”
“What the hell is Creefroo?”
I grabbed his face.
“Clee-well-land. You just missed him. Bum a square?”
We each lit up a square and smoked in silence under the acrid flickering shit-covered street light outside the empty Tool and Die factory where there hopes and dreams of thousands of workers went South along with the last shred of rusted out shit-covered hope.
Fade to black
Peace be the Botendaddy