Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Spy Who Came In With a Cold

 Once more for old time's sake. Hey, I got a grandson out of that sort of thing. I wrote this for Debra at She who Seeks I used one of her sketches and promised to give her credit. She does some terrific black and white sketches.

The Spy Who Came In With a Cold

As I have noted before, all my troubles as a PI concern dames. They want someone killed, someone wants to kill them, or they want to kill me. If you saw me sitting in my office, nursing a glass of Johnny Walker Red Label, you would realize that I had fallen on hard times. The sign on my door may say Rick O’Shea, PI, but today PI stands for Poor Idiot.

A knock on the door perked me up. Maybe someone needed my services after all. I reached in the drawer for my gat in case it was someone who didn’t need my services. A brunette in a trench coat, dripping wet from the rain, entered carefully, looking left and right. The right hand in her pocket told me she was carrying, too.

Woman  in a trench coat by
Debra from She who Seeks
Someone must have told her to get stuffed, as she had a head cold to die from. Too much time hiding in the cold and damp

“You hab to helb me”, she gasped. “Deethith and RDMB are abter me. I dow doo mudch for dem to let me libe”.

“OK, lady, calm down, and here, use this. And stay away from me”, I handed her some nasal decongestant spray. I keep it in the same drawer as my gun. Emergencies, you know. Then I poured her a drink, “This will warm you up. Now when you can breathe, tell me your story and we’ll make a plan”.

She collapsed into a chair, used the nasal spray with her left hand and picked up the drink the same way, keeping her right hand in her pocket. In a few minutes she breathed easier but never relaxed.  She was scared.

“Never mind who I work for”, she said, finally, when she could breath. “I accidentally learned of a huge cover up by CSIS and the RCMP of a major political scandal. Heads will roll when it gets out unless they can roll mine first. It is all on this flash drive”. And she pulled her right hand out of her pocket and handed me the flash drive she had been holding onto for dear life. No gun.

“Oh, good”, I thought, “now they will want to kill me too”.

“Can you get this to The Globe and Mail? It must not get to The National Post, or they will bury it deep. I can’t send it from my phone as they are monitoring it for my location.”

Being a sucker for a good deed, I agreed, and took the flash drive. “Now what do I do with you?”

“Get me out of the country,” she said. I can pay cash for the ticket, but I need fake ID that will get me through airport security.” Like I have that in my desk drawer. “That won’t be cheap. Have you enough cash for that?”, I mentally calculated an exorbitant sum and added 20% finders fee for myself. “I know people who know people”.

She pulled out a wad of USD that would choke a goat. I don’t want to know. Her nose was running, I handed her a box of tissues whereupon she did a good imitation of a barge asking the drawbridge to be raised.

I called Pete “the Fence” Picket. “I need a set of ID for a mid-thirties brunette female, that will clear airport security leaving Canada. Where she is going and who she is when she gets there is not my business. Money is no object, I’ll meet you at the café across the street from the bus stop at 12th and Crocus. Oh, and bring me two burners”.

“Pete says it will be Five Grand USD in hundreds. Give it to me and I’ll meet him to pick it up. It will take an hour. You have to trust me, you have no choice”.

An hour later I was back with the ID and two burner phones in my pocket, (along with $1000 USD “finders fee”). I gave her one of the burners. “Dump your phone in the sewer grate outside the entrance door.”

I called a taxi and went with her to the airport just in case we were tailed. She went inside alone, and I went back to my office. 

I hooked the flash drive to the burner and downloaded the files. I did NOT read them. Found a number for the paper and fired them off. Ran the flash and the burner through my industrial strength shredder and poured the pieces down the sewer grate. Not foolproof but the best I could do.

Then I went out and bought a bottle of 18-year-old Laphroaig but kept the Red Label in case hard times come again.


  1. Loving your temporary return - despite loathing your PI's drink of choice.

    1. Scotch whisky is an acquired taste, especially the strong single malts

  2. I feel like my little drawing has been IMMORTALIZED now! Thanks! Love the story and the wordplay, as always!

  3. I love it! You can be the next Raymond Chandler. :-)

    1. Thank you. I wish I could write like Dasheil Hamell

  4. Thanks for the minute mystery. Pete Picket, aka The Fence LOL


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