Deal 847: Soup Noir

I sat in my corner office and stared at the bottom of my glass. Outside the dusty windows, dusk was settling in to replace the oppressively overcast day with murky night, the evening fog making sure that my view wasn’t sullied by the cityscape or an ugly sunset over the bay. The cases had been thin lately, and I had little expectation of things picking up after that trouble with the dolphin and the blind fisherman. The press weren’t going to let go of that for some time yet.

As night settled in, the bad neon sign outside my window began to dominate the light, with the shadows of my empty bottle changing color and place with every blink of the sign.

Still, I kept most of my lights off. Turning them on at this time of night would just make my dusty windows into poor mirrors, reflecting the image of my present doldrums and driving me to finish that bottle even quicker. That wasn’t going to be good for anybody.

In the distance, I heard a gunshot, and a siren. The siren was too soon after the shot, so that wasn’t going to be work for me either.

I remembered that I had sat down to soup, then picked up the bottle. Perhaps things would look better if I ate some soup. I picked up my spoon. “HEPL” was spelled out in the bowl. Misspelled alphabet was all I could afford lately. At least the soup was living up to its label. The next spoon said “CLOD”. Yup, the soup was cold. But without a new client, I couldn’t afford to toss it. “LOOK UP”. Bleah. “RELLAY”, “LOOK OUT”. Still cold.

But something was beginning to get through my head. The soup wasn’t usually this clear. I looked around the room. Nothing was different, nothing changed. My secretary was still off on what she called “I quit” and I called “unpaid leave”, so things were steadily less tidy. The next spoonful said “DUCK”. Well, it was chicken, but that was getting a little close.

Unless it meant…

I rolled my chair back to stand up, and the shot came through the glass, passed through where I had been sitting, shattered the coffee pot, and embedded in the door frame.

I looked down at my bowl, where it said “GOT YOUR ATTENTION NOW DON’T I”.


It was going to be one of those nights.

I tipped the last of the bottle into my glass, and returned to contemplating the lack of view out the window.


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