Tag Archives: A Little Luc

Flash Pulp 057 – Mulligan Smith and A Little Luc, Part 3 of 3

20 Aug

Welcome to Flash Pulp, Episode Fifty-Seven.

Flash PulpTonight, we present Mulligan Smith and A Little Luc, Part 3 of 3

(Part 1Part 2Part 3)

Download MP3
(RSS / iTunes)

This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Flash Pulp page on Facebook.

Think of it as a group hug involving dozens of strangers.

To join, click here.

Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

In this final chapter, we join Mulligan Smith, as well as his current responsibility, Billy Winnipeg, as he completes an unpleasant bit of pro bono work.

Flash Pulp 057 – Mulligan Smith and A Little Luc, Part 3 of 3

Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

Mulligan Smith set the cardboard cup back in the Tercel’s drink holder, having drained it of its last mouthful of coffee.

“I admit, normally I’m a man who enjoys a subtle touch, but I’m kind of done being subtle at this point.” As he talked, he rubbed his right eye with the palm of his hand.

“Sounds good to me,” replied Billy. As the large man exited the car, the vehicle shuddered under the shifting of his weight.

Winnipeg stood before a small brick house, its roof covered in peeling shingles. He took a moment to zip his jacket against the chill.

“Friggin’ kiddy fiddler could shovel a path at least,” he muttered.

Kicking his way through the snow, Billy approached the door and bounced a meaty fist off of it.

He thought he saw a brief flicker at the brown curtains that hung across the home’s bay window, but after thirty seconds, he was still waiting.

After sixty, Winnipeg heard a shout at the rear of the house.

Mulligan burst into view from around the corner. The sudden appearance was a surprise to Billy, as he hadn’t noticed the PI exit his vehicle – even more surprisingly, the hoodied man appeared to be carrying a child.

“GET IN THE CAR,” Smith instructed.

He made the passenger door just as Mulligan had finished depositing the small form on the rear seat.

The Tercel spit ice and gravel as it roared from the drive.

* * *

It was a week later, and they were still in the car, although they were now just west of Montreal.

“You didn’t need to hit him,” said Billy.

“I suppose it depends on how you define need,” replied Mulligan.

The pair were finishing up some Burger King while idling in the parking lot of a strip plaza.

Smith popped an onion ring in his mouth, and continued to speak as he chewed.

“I’m never going to see any of these expenses back, or at least not most of them. We still haven’t heard from your Mother, which leads me to believe that despite your Kung Fu antics, she’s back together with the guy you laid out, and I’m only going to get minimal pay for dragging you around.”

“I told you I’d pitch in when I was able,” Winnipeg said, his words muffled by a mouthful of whopper.

Mulligan took a long draw of his cola, pointedly not replying.

“If we’re lucky your Mom will convince your punching bag to drop the charges, and at least you can stop eating your way through my bank account.”

Billy chewed silently for a moment.

“You didn’t need to hit him is all I was sayin’,” he said after a thick swallow.

Mulligan Smith“Look, maybe I should have known better when I made some calls and couldn’t find any missing persons reports out for him, but I figured that might just be because his parents had done a thorough job of covering up the sale. How was I supposed to know we were dealing with a twisted gay midget prostitute looking to start a new life? He should have said something before I was forced to commit multiple felonies in carrying a wanted criminal -” Mulligan paused to glare at Winnipeg, “- across international lines.”

The little man had disappeared when they’d stopped for a bathroom break at the southern edge of the city, and it was only once they’d located their only lead, a biker named Jean Marco who’d acted as the small man’s front, that they’d managed to relocate their supposed rescue.

“Lil Luc said he was sorry, and I think he meant it. Poor guy has had a tough go of things,” Winnipeg replied. “You gotta admit, it was a creative con.”

The opening bars of Bowie’s Space Oddity broke from the car’s speakers, and, without further conversation, Mulligan increased the volume to a point just below discomfort.

After finishing his meal, and wiping grease and rogue ketchup from his fingers, he muted the rambling french DJ who seemed to spend more time talking than airing music.

“I’m not playing Russian roulette with the border again. It’s only 500 miles to your mom’s house, let’s go.”

He turned the radio back up, and Tom Petty began to mutter through the opening of a song Mulligan didn’t recognize.

Exiting the plaza, the Tercel climbed onto the highway, speeding westward.

Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm. The audio and text formats of Flash Pulp are released under the Canadian Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.

Flash Pulp 056 – Mulligan Smith and A Little Luc, Part 2 of 3

19 Aug

Welcome to Flash Pulp, Episode Fifty-Six.

Flash PulpTonight, we present Mulligan Smith and A Little Luc, Part 2 of 3

(Part 1Part 2Part 3)

Download MP3
(RSS / iTunes)

This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Flash Pulp page on Facebook.

Guaranteed to prevent total thermal nuclear annihilation, or your money back.

To join, click here.

Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

In this, the second chapter of our current serialization, Private Investigator Mulligan Smith makes unpleasant headway in his search for the French child he last saw being carried away from a public library.

Flash Pulp 056 – Mulligan Smith and A Little Luc, Part 2 of 3

Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

Mulligan had to tell Billy to wait in the Tercel.

“Why can’t I come in?” the big man asked, his face drooping with puppy-dog disappointment.

“Because the last time I took you out in public, you nearly beat a man to death.”

“Hey – he was a kiddy-fiddler, he deserved it.”

“One: you weren’t sure of that until I made some calls – for all you knew, you could have been pummeling the slower half of a high strung gay couple having trouble with their lippy eight year old. Two: if you had just stopped him, instead of stomping him, we might have been able to actually ask him some questions. Now he’s got a uniform sitting in front of his room, and who knows what he’ll have to say when he wakes up.”

“I’ll stay quiet.”

“No, you’ll stay in the car. Here, you can play hangman on my phone. Maybe your Mom will call back with news from your lawyer.” Mulligan had been attempting to reach the woman for two days, without luck.

Stepping from the car, Smith moved down the cracked stone path of the shabby two floor apartment building. Ignoring the buzzer system, he busied himself with his watch until a gray haired woman pushed through the locked door. By the smell of her passing, Mulligan guessed she was likely heading out for more gin.

Walking by the broken elevator, he entered the building’s stairwell. The short climb required fortitude, and by the mid-point he’d taken to pinching his nostrils against the smell of musky urine.

He was glad when he finally arrived at the flat brown paint of apartment 204’s door.

He gave a police-style knock.

Shuffling noises came from the interior, but after a long five minutes, his summons remained unanswered.

“Timothy Mustard,” he said, although he still thought of Mustard as Mr Slug, a mental tag he’d given him when he’d first encountered the man giving young girls inappropriate glances in a battered Denny’s, “open, or I’ll start pounding doors up and down the hall while singing your biography like a wandering minstrel.”

There was a muffled curse, and Smith heard the rattle of a chain lock being disengaged. The entrance swung wide, and there stood the pot-bellied man in a gray bathrobe.

“I wasn’t ignoring you, I was just having a nap.”

“Fine.”

Mulligan followed Slug through a barren entry area, and into a living room populated only by a card table, three mismatched folding chairs, and a TV atop a plywood side-table. The Scooby-Doo theme drifted from the battered set.

“You’ll excuse me if I get down to business before you’ve had your post-nap coffee, but I think we’ll both feel better when I’m gone.” After inspecting the cleanliness of the nearest chair, the PI sat.

Mustard motioned for him to continue with his left hand, as his right poured the cold dregs of a stained coffee pot into a spotty mug. He set the cup inside his small microwave.

Mulligan Smith“I’m looking for a guy you knew, Bryce Edwards – he managed to walk on charges from the same picture ring that brought you down,” said Smith.

“Yeah, I knew Bryce. Is he still hanging out with that jerk, Mitchell?”

“Maybe – short guy, kind of heavy?” Mulligan hoped the man didn’t watch the news.

“Yeah. That guy is a jackass.”

“Where can I find Bryce?”

“I don’t know.” As he spoke, Timothy kept his eyes locked on the microwave’s descending timer. “It’s not like we have a secret club house or anything.”

“Remember that I know your parole officer, and we could have a chat.”

Mustard cracked a thin smile.

“Oh yeah? Going to go have a chat with him about what you know regarding two men seen fleeing a library, one wearing a black hoodie and driving a baby blue Tercel? Going to have a chat about how a guy who looked a lot like Mitchell was left bleeding and in a mild coma?”

Mulligan frowned.

“All right, maybe the knowledge that I let one of your friends make off with that french kid means I’m not feeling conversational, but I’ve got someone waiting in the car, and he’s a chatty bugger – got us kicked out of the library for being too loud, in fact. Wait here, I’ll bring him up.”

Mulligan stood, his gaze locked on Slug’s, his head tilted, to play up the dark creases his lack of sleep had left beneath his eyes. He made his way towards the door.

The microwave beeped.

“Did you say French?” asked Timothy.

Mulligan’s stomach churned as he nodded.

“Two weeks ago, I was checking out an online forum, and there was a listing I thought was a little strange. It was something like, uh,” Slug licked his lips, “”Little” Luc Bessard, 8, for sale – slightly used. Speaks no English. Buyer responsible for shipping. Please contact Jean Marco at – uh, whatever the number was. I looked it up, and it was in Montreal.”

The PI had frozen in the entry area, and Mustard, noting the look on his face, quickly continued.

“There are hundreds of people who probably saw that post, but I happen to know for a fact that Bryce visits the site pretty regularly, he, uh, introduced me to it. Frankly, I thought something that crazy would have the police crawling all over it, or that it was some sort of “To Catch A Predator” setup.” The man took a slurp of his coffee, the heat steaming his over-sized glasses. “Mitchell was never too bright though.”

Mulligan made for the exit.

Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm. The audio and text formats of Flash Pulp are released under the Canadian Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.

Flash Pulp 055 – Mulligan Smith and A Little Luc, Part 1 of 3

17 Aug

Welcome to Flash Pulp, Episode Fifty-Five.

Flash PulpTonight, we present Mulligan Smith and A Little Luc, Part 1 of 3

(Part 1Part 2Part 3)

Download MP3
(RSS / iTunes)

This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Flash Pulp page on Facebook.

Don’t be that guy.

To join, click here.

Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Tonight we present the first in a week’s worth of stories involving Mulligan Smith, PI. In this opening entry, we find Smith, with a friend in tow, attempting to locate some low-cost entertainment.

Flash Pulp 055 – Mulligan Smith and A Little Luc, Part 1 of 3

Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

“This sucks,” said Billy.

“Look,” replied Mulligan, “this is cheap. I doubt I’m going to get expenses paid on any of the gas I’ve burned through, or any of the food you keep tossing down your maw, so you can stow the complaints and expand your mind a little.”

Billy Winnipeg was holding a copy of Ken Dryden’s The Game, in large print, and, as he waited, he continuously tapped the hardback against his coat zipper.

Gently resting a hand over the painted goaltender on the cover, Mulligan brought the motion to a stop.

“You spent three hours hovering over every book in this place: you can have some patience until this lady gets my card sorted.”

Ten minutes earlier, the woman, who Mulligan guessed to be twenty-eight, and likely fresh out of school, had taken the PI’s driver’s license and begun hammering at the Library computer’s ancient keyboard. Failing to make headway, she’d given the pair a quick apology and disappeared into a rear area, calling after a “Nolan”.

“The old woman in front of us was out of here in like twenty seconds,” said Winnipeg.

Mulligan Smith“Yeah, and she probably comes by and picks up a half-dozen Harlequins every week, where as you -” pausing, Smith dropped his voice, “- you are a foreigner on the run from the law in two nations, and, I might remind you, we wouldn’t be stuck at the library if you hadn’t Godzilla’d your way through the most popular cop beer-joint in town. You owe me for dragging you out before they found their nightsticks, and I’d appreciate it if you’d just give me a few minutes of observing the building’s primary rule.”

Winnipeg raised a questioning eyebrow, and the PI pointed at a sign instructing “Quiet, Please.”

“I’m just saying this sucks, is all,” Billy muttered, pretending to re-read the teaser text on the book’s jacket.

Mulligan’s attention was no longer focused on his client’s son however. There was an argument brewing in the children’s reading room, which lay up a short flight of stairs at the north end of the building, and although it sounded like a three-way debate, Smith could only make out two-thirds of it.

The librarian reappeared, her triumphant smile cut short by the noise of the squabble.

Her brow furrowing, her eyes darted between her long waiting customers, and the quarrel emanating from down the hallway.

A look of decision took her face, and she grabbed the Graham Greene novel from Mulligan’s fingers. The PI took little notice as, with tilted head, he was concentrating on deciphering the alien portion of the conversation.

Noting his interest, the librarian – whose training had taught her to grope for small talk – asked if the unknown language might be French.

“I think so,” Smith replied.

“Man, that ain’t Français, that’s Quebecois,” Billy said, his eyes still locked on his book.

“There’s a difference?” the librarian asked.

“Yeah, I’ll tell ya all about it after I take the lift back to your flat so I can use the loo.”

“Ah, I see,” replied the librarian.

Noting the woman was mildly impressed, he added: “Aluminium.”

“Yeah, I get it,” she said.

Mulligan had left the conversation, and was now standing by the stairs. His new position allowed him a clear view down the hall, and into the room full of Children’s books.

“Hey! Put that kid down!” he shouted, moving up the first step.

A tall man in a white bucket hat came charging down. He held a denim-jumpered child in an awkward bear-hug, and the risk of injuring the boy prevented Mulligan from properly leveraging the pair to a stop. As the PI set out an arm to block the staircase, the man threw a shoulder into his ribs, sending him over backwards.

The escapee hit the landing at a run, and bolted through the front door.

The last of the raised voices had lagged behind, his ill-fitting pants tripping him up as he ran, and he now entered the scene at a sloppy trot.

“Kiddy fiddlers!” Billy said, his face sliding from comprehension to rage.

The man cleared Mulligan like a hurdle, both hands at his sagging waist. From his position on the floor, Smith managed to grab a snatch of pant leg, but it did little to slow the man’s rush.

The runner had just cracked the door when Billy’s massive right hand lay heavily upon his shoulder, spinning him around with the ease of a greased gas station sunglasses rack.

The first fist set the man’s jaw askew, and, as his forgotten pants slid to his knees, the second fist forced all of the air, and a little of his salmon lunch, up and out his windpipe.

The PI had regained his feet, and winced at the Canadian’s handiwork – there was little doubt that bones were broken, and if it weren’t for the man’s ragged, unconscious breathing, Mulligan would have thought it even worse.

Picking Winnipeg’s reading selection off the floor, he set it down on the desk.

“Never mind, thanks,” he said, turning to hustle his outlaw obligation over the crumpled form, and through the exit.

Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm. The audio and text formats of Flash Pulp are released under the Canadian Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.