TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — My First Novel, Chapter One

I could hear her 2-inch stilettoes on the tile outside my admittedly shabby office, even before she walked through the door.

I was working late on a Friday night again. What the hell! My old lady had left me a few months before. She said I was married to my work. Shacked up, maybe.

I could see this broad was no streetwalker. But I could also tell she hadn’t spent any time working with Mother Teresa, either.



“My name is Teresa.”

“What can I do you for, Teresa?”

“I need a private dick.”

“I can see that,” I said.

“I think my husband is cheating on me.”

“What does this old man of yours do?”

“He’s manager of the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen.”

“Not a bad gig,” I said. “Where is he right now?”

“Working. They’re expecting a lot of high rollers this weekend. Wayne Newton is performing.”

“Park it over there, Teresa,” I said, pointing to the only other chair in the joint that was not covered in day-old takeout Chinese.

As she sat down, her tight skirt rode up on her ample thighs like the posse riding up in an Old West movie. From where I was sitting, I couldn’t see Poughkeepsie, but I thought I caught a glimpse of the outskirts.

“Mind if I smoke?” she said.

“Mind if I fart?”

I could tell from the dirty look she shot me the old Steve Martin line hadn’t played very well with her. Even though it was the “good” Steve Martin, not the one writing those mamby pamby Broadway musicals of his without the show tunes.

“Look,” I said. “Before I put a tail on this donkey of yours, I’m gonna need to see some coin.”

“Will this do?” she said, handing me a check for a thousand smackers.

It was written in lavender ink. It smelled like lavender, too. Very classy.

“Teresa, what say we blow this pop stand and I buy you a brewsky? Or, maybe something harder?”

“Sure,” she said. “Why not?”

I had a feeling this was going to be an interesting weekend.

Leave a Reply