I fucking hate this City.
I was riding high, lord of all I purveyed. King on high. Held dominion over all these sad and horny plebians. The master of this neon dusted wonderland.
And then the copy cats started up.
Suddenly the market I ruled was flush with smut. Poorly worded trash. And my art was tossed away as I fell from the spotlight. My wings clipped and I plummeted to the ground like, well like, fuck I got nothing.
At all. I didn’t expect the gravy train to run out of gas. I spent every cred I made as it was deposited. Lots of faux marble. Pillars. Fucking pillars. It was beautiful.
And now I am back in the same apartment building.
All because of Benny Berkowitz. The reigning ruler of the housewife porn scene. His saga of a lowlife street tough that turned his life around by becoming a gigolo to bored and lonely women.
How contrite is that?
I made art. Dammit. Real art. So what if I cut a few corners? Yes the third book in the Chuck Java series was mostly a rehash of the first. But I mixed it up. The planet of lonely females was in the Gluteous Maximus cluster.
It was shit. I lost my spark. The creds went to my head. I didn’t even use the thesaurus. Just sort of inserted bananas and sploosh here and there. Some light bondage. How could I be expected to keep ramming Chuck’s manhood into every possible orafice in new and exciting ways? I wanted to branch off into the world of crime stories. No one cared.
My doctor made me cut back on the soycaffe.
On the soycaffe for Silence sake. What did I do to deserve this insane torment?
So I got my license to become a private detective. Figured maybe if I had a background in the field it would give me some credibility as a writer.
I mean it doesn’t seem to matter, I never had sex while balanced on a branch with three women. And I have never used any fruit in that way either. But the masses bought it up. One time with a watermelon but I was drunk and curious. Twice. Alright three times. And I still think the lifetime ban from the produce stand was going too far.
In the modern age with cameras on every corner of the nicer areas and AI police monitoring nearly everything the need for a private eye is on the down side. A couple gun classes to get my concealed carry and marksmanship certificates. One semester online with an accredited college in criminal justice. And quick and dirty site for business were all it took. Applied for a lislcense online and had it on the wall, freshly scanned into a holo frame in thirty minutes.
And just wait for the phone to ring.
And keep waiting. Just sit here and the phone has to ring. It does.
All i have in my office is a shabby Swedish desk that took almost a week to put together, two chairs and a coffee maker. Read the fine print this time and avoided the nihilistic model. Went classy and got one with a psychologist imprinted. Show I an educated to my clients. Knowledgeable about the inner workings of the mind. A smokescreen of bullshit to cloud their minds.
Someone named Freud. Never heard of him, but at least he wasn’t German. Austrailian I think. Been itching to try it out but I can only have one cup a day and I am saving it for when I get my first case.
Any minute now.
Two weeks later the phone rang finally.
“Java Investigations, you lost it, I will find it. How can I help you?”
“Yes, I think my wife is cheating on me. Do you handle this sort of thing?”
“Not since her husband came home early from work.”
“It was a joke. Sort of. Really happened but not relevant to the case. Unless your name is Bob Higgins.”
“Fuck. Then yes sir. She is definitely cheating on you. What are the odds?”
“Are you fucking serious?”
“Vanessa Higgins your wife?”
“Small scar on her left inner thigh?”
“What the hell? You had sex with my wife?”
“Gave her the scar.”
“You mother fucker!”
“Technically wife fucker. That will be three hundred creds. I will send you the invoice. Still over on Parker Road in Carrollton?”
“You son of a bitch! I will fucking kill you!”
I hung up. First case and already a success. Score one for the good guys. Time for that delicious coffee.
I practically danced to the machine. “Soycaffe, two shots espresso heavy on the cream.”
“As it brews, tell me if your dreams?”
“No thanks. Just the coffee.”
“Dreams are the most profound when they are crazy.”
“I don’t dream.”
“And your mother? Did she dream? Do you dream of her?”
What in the hell? “I don’t know. We didn’t get along.”
“Underlying sexual tension perhaps?”
The whirr and hiss of hot water filled the silence. I listened to spatter of the sweet nectar hit the mug. When it was done I blew on it and took a sip.
And spit it out. It was earl grey tea. What kind of abomination was this?
“This is fucking tea!”
“And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
It made the most satisfying sound as it hit the ground below. He didn’t even say G’day mate. Piece of shit.
The phone didn’t ring again for a couple weeks after my first case. I called it the Case of the Soon to be Ex. Bob never paid me either. Had to get a collection agency on the case. I couldn’t make rent. In hindsight the flashy full color holo ads on the tram was not the best investment of my final book creds. Most everyone used ad blockers on their phones.
I was at rock bottom. Nothing seemed to go right no matter how much I tried.
And then my phone went off. Breaking news alert.
The gold rush of the modern age of romance novel was at an end. The new age kicked off with the publishing of Coffee World and culminating in the Gigilo Plumber series is officially dead an anonymous source in the industry reported yesterday.
Apparently people forgot they could just watch porn on their phones.
Book magnate, Bob Higgins of the Higgins Group ackowledged the rumor and has ordered the entire line to be ceased as of this morning. The company will focus on a new series of vengeance based novels written by up and coming author, Thomas ‘Tweak’ Thomas. The former drug addict and prisoner said he was inspired by an altercation with his favorite author. Mr Higgins is said to be a huge fan of the novels and is working with Mr Thonas to get a holo deal for the upcoming first novel, In Search of the Private Dick. It will hit store shelves later this month.
This wasn’t rock bottom. It was ground zero.
I hate this City. Always have.