Marlowe awoke to the sound of his clumsy butler traipsing about his room. The damning rays of morning light had begun to trickle in through the blinds. Lighting always seemed to be troublesome for Marlowe and that proved true as ever today. Not only did it perpetuate the ringing headache that had managed to gather strength overnight but it also revealed evidence of the evening’s events (which could also be found to be the source of his headache). Marlowe’s butler took caution in stepping over drugged hookers, tidied up what he could of the two pools of blood on the bedside counter, and prepared his master’s pills. Flecks of blood lined his mahogany hair, drool slid out of the smirking corner of his lip, and his usually attentive blue eyes were surrounded by the veiny intruders brought on by lack of sleep. The butler grabbed hold of his master’s rounded face and assessed the damage. Apart from a few small cuts here and there, the only major bruise was done to his usual “dashing” looks.
“Fun night, I presume.”
“What the hell did I say about bothering me after a job, Hughes?”
“Wake the call-girls before I wake you?”
“You’re lucky you raised me, Hughes. Oh so lucky.”
Taking the handful of pills from Hughes, Marlowe downed them with the remainder of a warm beer bottle nestled in the bosom of a girl to his left. As each nugget of pure healing slid down his throat, Marlowe let out a sigh.
“Once you are ready, the client is waiting in the hallway, sir. How do we handle this one?” Hughes said, proper and poised as always.
Marlowe was quiet for a while before holding up two fingers to his lifelong companion.
“Right. Your gun will be ready and loaded in the bathroom. Try to keep the blood off the wood. We have a hard time keeping it clean as it is.”
As Marlowe began rubbing the tired out of his eyes, Hughes gave the room one perfunctory sweep and shook his head.
“You’ll learn when you’re dead…” he muttered.
The phone rang and the man of the hour picked up.
“Hey big boy! How’s it going?”
“I’ve had better mornings, that’s for sure.”
“Yeah? How was the big party last night?”
“It was alright. Can’t say I appreciated the gift I got this morning though.”
“Well, that comes with the territory doesn’t it? Long nights and pleasantasyoucanmakethem days.”
They shared a laugh.
“Seriously though, how’s Marlowe?”
“Just wrote a scene based off of last night.”
“I’ll leave you to it then.”
“You don’t have to worry about me, man.”
“But you know I will.”
And then he was gone.
Marlowe stared at himself in the mirror for a long while. All traces of blood had been wiped out of his hair, the drool had been wiped, and the cuts were neatly cleaned and patched. But for some reason, the sunken eyes staring back at him still screamed for help. He rubbed his eyes again and grabbed hold of the pistol on the porcelain sink.
“Let’s clean up the trash, kid.”
With that, he stuffed the gun in his pants, near the back pocket, and went to meet his maker.
Meet his maker? Kid? If ever there was a sign that I needed a break…
With that, he pushed himself away from his desk and rubbed the tired out of his eyes. Making his way to the restroom, he let out the warm liquid that had built up in his bladder and took a moment to look at himself. His disheveled jet black hair, permanent frown, and slightly unfit body seemed worse under the pale fluorescent bathroom lighting. Letting out a sigh, something in his reflection caught his attention. His eyes were wrong. They seemed distant. Afraid. The sunken eyes staring back at him screamed for he-.
He rubbed at them and shook his head.
“Stop creeping yourself out, John.”