It was friday night. Or at least, it was my friday night. For other people it might have been monday or thursday but I didn't care. We'd had a long hard busy night in the Hive and now my week was over.
I was going home.
I strolled across the seemingly endless parking lot to the spot where my '98 Expedition was parked out in the grass. If I'd have driven in today in a million dollar Caddy I still couldn't have bought a parking space that was any closer than the county line.
It's like that sometimes.
In the completely dark parking lot my eyes focused on the glowing tip of my Liggett menthol light 100 as I strolled. As I said, my week was done. I didn't have a care in the world.
Suddenly my eyes picked out movement out towards my car. A large figure holding something was walking slowly across the parking lot, seemingly on an interception course. I figured it to be a midnight shift officer coming in early.
I flicked my cigarette away to get the smoke out from under the brim of my hat. Just in case. Out in a darkened prison parking lot this far from civilization is not a place you want to meet up with strangers.
When I got closer, I saw it was my partner, BG! He was carrying a small bundle in his arms and as I approached he thrust it into my hands.
"Here's something you might want to look at, Rev!" He said. "A couple of gunsels in a '39 Packard tossed this out and drove away!"
Having delivered himself of both bundle and message, he scurried away into his car and drove off into the night.
Mystified, I set the bundle in the front seat next to my lunch box and duty belt and turned the key in the ignition.
On the drive home I kept glancing at the bundle, wonder what it could possibly be. About the size of a football, wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.
Holy snap..... wait a minute..... the wheels started turning in my head.
A package about the size of a football, wrapped in brown paper and tied with string?
Could it be?
The second I got to the house I carefully made sure all of the doors were locked and went and got my pen knife from my desk drawer. My hands shook just a little with anticipation as I cut the string and opened the paper.
Holy snap...... he's brought me the Maltese Falcon!
What do I do now? Are legions of fat con men and greasy grifters going to be swarming me, looking for it?
Could this be the real thing?
I've decided to leave it a mystery for now. The Black Bird will live in a place of honor on my desk until the rightful heirs come to claim their prize.
And I believe they may have a fight on their hands when they show up.
Chief cook and bottle-washer - *I take my job as Cliff's cook seriously. It's easy, really, since he likes almost everything in the way of food, and so do I. Anyway, since I'm the cook...
13 hours ago