(Warning: for those who haven’t yet read ‘The Woman: Part 1,’ this instalment contains spoilers!)

“What the heck are ya doing here!?” My eyes were clamped shut. I must’ve dozed off. The smell remained the only thing my mind could focus on, events of the previous night wrapped around my brain, constricting me in a hangover of hate. “I said, what the heck are you doing here man!?” The disenchanted look from Donnie was all I really needed to know I wasn’t welcome to stay much longer. “Shut up will ya Donnie; my head’s pounding right now.”

“Well perhaps you should try to go without booze and whatever else you’re on these days. Heck, perhaps that would mean you’d stop busting into my apartment every other day too! Now get yourself cleaned up and get the hell out!” This was the norm for me. I wanted to argue back, the urge to retaliate was like a buzz in the back of my skull as always. I resisted, it was his place after all. “Alright Donnie, I’ll go.”

I glanced at my notepad, then to my early morning coffee. The monotony of my daily routine was what I loved about this job; I felt comfortable. I couldn’t find a way to accommodate that same luxury this morning however. I hadn’t slept much; the smoke from the previous night still contorted my vision, and all I could think about was that poor woman. I had a lead on this abomination now, that’s all that mattered anymore.

If I was gonna find the animal that did this to my broad, I had to have a little chat with the guy that knew everything about everyone in this godforsaken city. The rain was still pummelling the ground. Silence. The bar was quiet. I examined the place for him. Gotcha. I cracked my knuckles and flicked my lighter open to light another menthol cigarette. It must’ve alerted the coward to me – he didn’t stay sat down for much longer. I laboured out into the alley after him and our paths interlaced. “You can’t run anymore, hahahaha.” He quivered at the sound of my voice. “Now tell me, who murdered my girl?!” My voice even frightened myself. I never thought I could cause such a reverberation of acrimony. “You’re a maniac! An utter psychopath! PLEASE, SOMEONE HELP ME!” My fist acted by itself, spontaneously striking multiple blows. “Shut up! Now tell me what I want to know!”

“Hahaha, I hope you rot in hell, you don’t even realise what you are. You’re pathetic, and you’ll get what’s coming to you, soon enough.” Again my fist lashed out, knocking the man out cold. I jumped up, dusted myself off and walked back through the bar.

I’d start off back at the bar. Surely one of the regulars would know something about this guy that Molly saw. I looked down at my notepad, I had a worryingly few notes on my page. *THUUMP* my notepad was propelled up into the air and came crashing down into the gutter outside the bar door. I looked up at the man I’d collided with. He looked cantankerous and quite vexed that I’d barged into him. “Oh, sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going.”

“You knocked my cigarette out of my hand you stupid cop!” He thundered off. I hastily grabbed my notepad and headed inside. I was instantly met with Molly at the back of the bar, peering through the back door with a grimace of horror spread across her face. I darted to her to find a body laid flat in a pool of blood. His skull looked like it had been battered. The smell of a menthol cigarette clouded the alley. My mind cultivated, and my senses sparked into enlightenment, it clicked, and I knew… I had knocked his cigarette out of his hand.

 

(Featured image credit: Abstract vector designed by Balintseby – Freepik.com. Used under the Creative Commons Licence.)