Saturday, January 24, 2009


Chapter 2

I can not take credit for this story and I won't it is a DipShit Production and the Editor, Tis would like to solicit all readers to submit a paragraph in the comment section for future use in the continuing saga of Vance Manion PI/PSC....without further ado..

Chapter Two

Outside the hotel, the darkness collapsed around me as I headed down the “main drag” into town. The smell of night swept up the tree-covered slope to meet me and I felt my stomach tighten.

It seemed like the three minutes it took to walk the distance to town was an eternity, but when I entered the street to the vision of chaos, I wished it had taken longer. It was clear to me that the Grim Reaper had paid a visit to this street and had not gone away empty handed.

I focused on the far end of the block; there were still people running everywhere, more people that I had ever seen in this town at one time. A memory of last year’s Founders Day 10K came to mind, and I chuckled because only three people had entered and only one showed up. The Mayor was so upset he refused to award the prize, which prompted the sole participant to punch him square in the puss. I wondered what the Mayor would think if he saw the hundreds of people running the streets tonight.

The commotion seemed to center on a small bar on the other end of the block. I felt the knot in my stomach squeeze tight as I leaped onto the sidewalk and headed toward the blinking red and green neon sign. The red part said “come,” the green part said “and get it.” I stopped three feet shy of the sign.

Seeing the Come and Get It sign reminded me of a past I was trying so desperately to forget. I hadn’t been here since the night two years ago when they found me next to dead on the shore of the lake. All I remember of that night is coming to the bar for a stiff cocktail before retiring, and then chasing that one legged bastard near the lake. The next think I knew, I was in a medical helicopter on my way to a trauma unit in Boise. It took nearly six weeks of treatment in the psycho ward before I was allowed back on the streets.

My therapist was a long legged strawberry blonde, who worked night and day to deal with my problem. I guess I was quite a wreck when she first saw me be cause she said I was curled up in a ball, and all I would say was “look out, look out, nomads, ranchers and Eskimo pies!” When I finally came out of la la land, I could only remember part of the Come and Get It, and then running after the one-legged bastard. I also remember being surprised at how fast that one leg could carry him. The shrink said I had blocked whatever happened out of my mind and that I may never remember it or the slightest little thing could trigger a complete recall. If the latter occurred, she warned me, all hell could break loose and I would probably not be able to control my actions.

The not knowing had been eating at my guts ever since. I worried at first that people would not trust me as a private eye or personal strength coach, so I got out of the business. My friends tried to comfort me by saying my paranoia was all in my head, and that they did trust me. But I could see right through them. When I wasn’t around they talked about me, all of them. My friends, my grandmother, even my dog would get quiet when I came in the room and I could see in their eyes that they thought I was crazy.

I cracked. I went on a drinking binge that has never been equaled. Party all day, party all night. That was my motto and I was damn proud of it. Everyone was my friend when I was buying the drinks and nobody called me crazy, not in a bad way.

I didn’t care about anything. I was riding higher than I had ever ridden before and that was all that mattered.

My euphoria was short lived however, as bill collectors and hangovers started to pile up. In a rare moment of clarity I realized I had to do something and do it fast. I turned to the only thing I knew, the only thing I ever loved. I remember the day I decided to return like it was just this morning. I got out of bed, walked to the open window and shouted “I’m Vance Manion, private eye and personal strength coach and I’m back and mad as Hell!”

“Hey buddy, you got a light?” The vagrant’s words returned me to the front of the bar and the real world.

“Get away from me you walking flea hotel,” I snapped as I pushed my way into the bar.

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