clear cut

About On the Payroll: First Shift

by Dallas Coleman
31 pages / 10000 words
ISBN: 978-1-60370-064-1, 1-60370-064-1
Available file types - html, lit, pdf, prc

Harry is a private eye with all of the usual problems. He’s got a bad case of broke, a man-eating secretary, and the only real case he has won’t pay the rent. In fact, the only case he’s about to embark on won’t pay him money at all.

Hired by the angel Gabriel to make a magical delivery, Harry takes the job in order to help save his lover, Frankie, who is spending a little time in limbo. But everyone has an ulterior motive, and other angels step in to offer Harry a better deal. Or is it? Can he keep one step ahead of the politics of Heaven and Hell?


Most of the time the story doesn't start like this.

I mean, come on. Most of the setting was right, you know? The office door was closed; the damned window still had a crack the size of Rico Matin's head. My hat was hanging by the door, my holster was around my waist, and I had on the cleanest shirt that I owned. I had the black sludge Marian calls coffee sitting and eating a hole through my desk and my gut. I had cracked the morning's first pack of smokes and started looking through the endless pile of bills Marian stacks on my desk, each one stamped – 'due now', 'past due', 'to pay'. One or two even had her scrawl on it – 'goddamn it, Harry, you gotta deal with this'. It wasn't raining yet, but the rain was coming, threatening to make grey and gloomy into chill and soggy and send the sun back down toward the coast where the broads were prettier and not so goddamn mean and yeah.


It was like most mornings.

Then the goddamn front door opened and in walked an angel. Oh, now, don't go that way. I ain't talking no pillowy-breasted, dewy eyed broad with candy apple lipstick and eyelashes long enough to cast shadows. This was no simpering babe with a handkerchief in one hand and a sweet little hitch to her breath and her stockings ever so carefully placed so that the seams were straight.

No way.

I'm not that fucking lucky.

No, Gabe bebopped through my door like he paid part of the rent, red curls all rumpled, one blue eye swollen shut with a shiner and wearing the tightest pair of blue jeans known to man. Let me tell you, pal, that rumor about those boys not having it where it counts?

Pure PR.

About the Author