TITLE: Elvish Has Left the Building
GENRE: Adult Hard-boiled supernatural mystery
(no lead-in provided)
I stood when she walked into my office. Regardless of how I felt about Eleanor Steele, she was a lady. I’m too much the Southern gentleman to disregard my upbringing.
“What can I do for you, Mrs. Steele?” I managed to ask without snarling at her.
“I’d like to hire you, Mr. Drago. Again.”
We sat. “You have a tribe of government spooks, and I do mean spooks, already on the payroll. What do you need with me?”
“We often use outside contractors. It helps us keep our hands clean.”
“Aside from me and a few vampires, nobody has a clue the Supernatural Investigations Bureau even exists, much less has hands to worry about keeping clean. Not even whichever department it is that your funding is hidden in. Who is it this year? Agriculture?”
“Housing and Urban Development,” she answered. “Would you be willing to come out to the house and discuss this opportunity with the Colonel?”
I snortled. “At least this time you did ask beforehand.”
“That was very considerate of us, I’m sure you’ll admit.”
“If forced to, yes.” I checked my chin for stubble and decided I could go one more day before changing out my razor blades. “My rates have increased.”
“That shouldn’t pose any impediments. Chances are good that we’ll be sub-contracting you out to a third party at some point.” She twitched a brief smile at me. “That will save the tax-payers some money.”
“As if that was ever a consideration,” I said. “For you, anyhow. Don’t tell me you’ve misplaced that mummy I helped you reanimate last fall.”
“As far as I know, Kha-Set-Mespha is safely hidden away, exactly where we put him.”