I forgot I was writing an Aetoilian Noir Celesmas crime short story.
Found it and it gave me a laugh.
This is unedited.
It's important to read this in a 1950 detective voice over.
Someone just firebombed Ironbeard!
and I’m not talking the cocktail. As if my day wasn’t busy enough. Already on a case, dressed in my best official suit, about to eat cake and booze with the rest of the city, and someone decides to drop a deep fried dwarf in my lap!
You deserve better. We’ll start this episode of my life from the beginning.
The day had started mostly like any other. Check the docket. A load of paperwork shoveled in the corner of my desk. I’ve been procrastinating that since last month. A public appearance. Today’s is the celebrated celesmas feast. The city gathers and listens to us, The Spinesreach senators, give a brief speech followed by everyone eating cake. Then we all get blotto. So not much different from any other day, well, except the cake.
One cause for celebration is the holiday, Nobody works tomorrow. It affords us an opportunity to nurse our hangovers far longer than usual. See, Spines’ is a city of drinkers. Not your layabout gutter huggers you find in other cities. We celebrate our drinking. There isn’t a night that passes without a state sanctioned bar fight at The Monkey, or a novice breathing his last after a delicious dance with liquid death. We enjoy drinking so much, we’ve elected an official, unofficial minister of drink.
A flutter of wings announce today’s mail. A dark crow drops the letter on my desk and caws expectantly. Great. more paperwork for the pile. As I go to move it, Three Initials jump out and bite me. S.B.I. … Spinesreach Bureau of Investigation. It’s the Lion’s crime division headed up by the minister of drink herself, Xenia.
I flip open the letter.
You’ve got a case. Seems there’s been a break-in at the Adil estate . See you there.
The smell of perfume hits me as I close the letter. Black Lillies with a splash of rose.
Xenia, Ha. A more luscious lush you’ll never find. There’s an Idrethi woman that could tear your heart out and dissect it before you have a chance for love at first sight. Most men would gladly give their hearts. Shame for them, Most men aren’t her type. I’m the exception.
Senator Eugenides. That’s me. Senator and Special agent of the bureau. When I heard the S.B.I was looking for agents, I jumped at the chance. Sitting behind a desk in the government spire wasn’t what I was expecting when the loving public elected me. Now I jump at the chance to solve a murder. Oddly though, That makes Xenia my boss, and as Captain of the Bureau, Xenia reports to the Senate… To me. Our relationship is messy as it is. Getting mixed up with this broad is a recipe for headache. I toss the letter with the others and set off to the estates.
As I walk, I’m assaulted by the festivities. Orphans and street rats running by, eating whatever sweets they could steel. The strong odors of Pine, Holly, and mistletoe staining the otherwise bleak air. All around garland and ornaments hang, spreading cheer and celebration.
As I walk out the citadel gates I pass by a Dwarf dressed up as Ironbeard. Poor bastard. I wonder, if he knew what the day’s events had in store, would he have spent his day differently? At home with his wife, buried in a bottle, or if he really was so charitable he’d spend his day ringing that bell and taking donations for the orphans. I toss him a sovereign and keep on my way.