Here's a short story I started writing back in grade school. It remains one of my finest unfinished works, in my humble opinion. It is to date untitled.
    It was a dark, stormy night.  I sat at my desk, in my 
office, (of course) alone.  I liked that.  The only sound   
was the faint pattering of rain on the roof.  I liked that 
too.  But, being a professional private detective, I had 
more important matters to deal with, like the dame 
knocking on my door.  I let her in.  After she calmed 
down, the dame revealed her sad story to me, sobbing 
between sentences.  And was it a sad story!
    Her husband (now dead) had something very valuable, or 
so some gangsters felt.  She didn't have the slightest 
clue as to what it was, but they did, and wanted it 
desperately.  So desperate, they spilled blood to get it.  
After killing her husband, and unsuccessfully searching 
their apartment, they still didn't have it.  Obviously, 
they still wanted it.  Really wanted it.  The gangsters 
assumed she had it.  They threatened her life.  She didn't 
like that at all.  That was the reason she hired me, to 
protect her, to protect her from the gangsters.
    I didn't want to do it.  I was chicken.  But, a client 
was a client, and I knew I had to take the case.  I'll 
admit it, I needed the dough.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Two nights later, while she was out shopping, the 
gangsters struck again.  Again they tore apart her 
apartment.  And, she had just cleaned the place up, too.    
Right away, she called me.  I was over in a flash.
    The place was all torn up and it really looked like a   
dump.  Windows broken, furniture slashed and strewn about, 
clothes everywhere, her apartment was trashed.  And I mean 
trashed.  After searching and examining everything in all 
the rooms, though, I found some fingerprints and some 
clues.  Then I left.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I was hot on the gangsters' trail.  I had just dropped 
the prints off at the station, and here I was, at the end 
of the line, I was at the railroad tracks.   Obviously, 
the crooks had skipped town on the 4:15.  I was climbing 
into my Packard when something caught my eye.  It was an 
empty matchbook from Bart's, a local joint near the 
outskirts of town.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I knew I was onto something the second I stepped        
inside.  Maybe it was just a feeling, but I was pretty 
sure.  I paid and entered.
    The place reeked of cigarette smoke.  Looking around, 
I didn't see anything or anybody out of the ordinary or 
suspicious.  But, I couldn't see much at all, because of 
all the cigar smoke.  I brushed off a table and sat down.
    The `entertainment' was terrible.  The guy was a young 
comedian, but his jokes were old.  Half-listening, I heard 
such lines as "Take my wife, please" and the likes.  
Feeling disdain, I stood up to leave.  It was then that I   
recognized someone in the corner.  It was Louie McGynne, 
hatchet man for none other than Pete "the rat" Antonio, 
criminal mastermind!  I saw him just as he saw me.  He 
beckoned me over.
    "Hey flatfoot, come here," He rasped in a harsh voice.
    I went  over to him.  Never know, I thought, it could 
be a lead.
    "Let me guess, Ratface wants me," I replied in a 
sarcastic voice.
    "Half right," Louie said, as he pulled his gun.  "Yes, 
the boss wants you-dead."
    "Easy, easy," I was frantic.  "Don't shoot.  I just 
want to chat small talk with Pete."
    "Yeah, yeah, sure.  Fine." Louie prodded me with his 
gun as he led me to a door in the back, near the kitchen.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I was in Pete's `office'.  Behind the desk sat Pete, 
his goons were stationed around the room in the shadows.
    "Okay, gumshoe, we have to talk business," his raspy 
voice was recognizable anywhere.
    "Business?" I tried to stall.  "What business?"
    "Quit stalling, flatfoot." Obviously my attempts were 
in vain.  "I know you're on to me." He pulled a gun from a 
drawer.  "Okay.  I'm giving you ten seconds to officially 
call off this case, or else.." Pete cocked the hammer of 
his gun.
    "Or else what?" I shot back.  And, I felt I needed all 
the time I could get.
    "Or else I call it off for you.  Permanently." He 
started to count.  "Ten.. nine.. eight..."
    I was doomed.  Unless...
    "Six.. five.. four.."
    There was a spark of hope.  Maybe if I played my cards
right...
    "Two.. one.. zero..  Okay, time's up," He chuckled.  
"Good-bye, flatfoot.  Any last words?"
    "Okay, okay.  You got me.  I give up, case closed."
    I started to leave, out the same door Louie had led me 
in.  My escape was not working, not working at all.  One 
of Antonio's thugs blocked the only exit.  Worse yet, his 
gun was loaded and waiting, waiting for someone, something 
to shoot at.  In this case, that someone was me.

    ... to be continued?	

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