A Short Story

My name is Lalo Diaz. Long ago, before I became a killer for hire, I was given the nickname Cuban Pete, after the Desi Arnaz song. Desi had brought the Conga craze to America, become a stage and screen star, and a popular bandleader. My nickname proved ironic after Desi himself decided to hire me as his personal bodyguard during the third season of I Love Lucy. I was his trusted problem solver at a time when he and Lucy were living very different lives from the couple they played every Monday night at nine.

Our paths…


If a young lady goes missing and foul play is expected, Aussie Private Detective Harry Kenmare can find her. He will almost certainly try to sleep with her too.

The ’40s Phillip Marlowe-style image on the cover of this collection of short stories from author A.B. Patterson doesn’t accurately convey the wild atmosphere he creates — the plots themselves, when quickly summarized, seem like standard P.I. fare: Harry Kenmare used to be a cop, now he’s a hard-drinking private eye with a fondness for the ladies. Usually, Harry’s already half in the bag when a good-looking broad saunters in with…


A Short Story

“I reject your hypothesis.”

-Quentin Tarantino

*

Sexuality and Gender Studies Professor Gardner Graham hadn’t left home in weeks because of the public controversy over her recent stances. She turned down most visitors and all requests for interviews. Her days were full of reading, buttery Chardonnay, and occasionally a Klonopin.

One person she saw was Tad Embrey, her well-scrubbed Republican neighbor from down the hill. Tad knew all about Gardner’s predicament. He slid a note under her front gate, offering his help. Gardner was touched by his kindness. …


A Pete Zolo Short Story

*

Jet streams whirred around the tub. I begin each morning with a bath. My second wife and I split up two months ago and I’ve been staying on the 31st floor of the downtown Westin. My name is Pete Zolochevskaya (Pete Zolo if you aren’t good with long Russian names) and I’m a Detective Lieutenant Grade Three in the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division. I’ve got fifteen years on the job, nine in RHD.

How can a city detective afford to stay in the Westin, you ask? Well, I’m what they call a “celebrity cop.”…


A Future Noir Short Story

11/2/2031

11:45 a.m.

“That rich Palm Springs lady’s early,” John said as he watched the blue Mercedes drive onto his desert compound.

“You and your redheads,” Buntley said.

John walked into his office. He poured two fingers of Rebel Yell, his second of the morning, and stepped into his character of Pierce McCarthy, Morongo Valley Private Investigator.

Out in the lobby, Buntley combed his beard. Buntley belonged to the Warlocks, an outlaw motorcycle club. Some Warlocks worked as John’s part-time investigators. Having one at the office usually generated trust with his local, blue-collar and often shady clients. But that wouldn’t…


Even before her baby was born, it was clear Arden Thatcher would be a lioness of a mother. She was compassionate, direct, clear-headed, and devoted to the spiritual realm, which was how our paths crossed. Arden and her fiancé Albert, one of my parishioners, asked me to marry them before the baby inside her was born.

Arden Thatcher was also an android.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The bulbs in the streetlights were dead. Only the haze from the green and yellow sign for the Shamrock Motel lit my way to its entrance.

“I’m looking for two newlyweds who would…


Notes On “Soul Of Lincoln Heights”

Tino Vaca looks at Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles.

Tino Vaca is a thirteen-year-old record collector from Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. A thin mustache grows above his lip and a Dodger cap sits on his head. He seems tall for his age. It’s six p.m. on a Saturday and we are in Elysian Park. The stadium rests just behind us, to our east. The sun is setting. There’s a home game tonight.

This lot is on a hill that overlooks Lincoln Heights. We are here making a documentary for 3Res Vinos Pictures about Tino, his family, their passion for soul music, and East L.A.’s history with soul music at…


A Short Story

The peculiar mass shooting of October 17th occurred at the gender reveal party of a yoga studio owner and former actress named Diana Prentice. Forty guests had been invited to celebrate her coming child at her Silver Lake home and most of the party highlights were posted online through their various social media accounts. Diana’s coming baby would be a boy. Diana’s musician husband Holden Coltrane wore a light blue suit in honor of his unborn son. Servers dressed in Hindu-style saris roamed with trays of vegan appetizers and organic rosé.

By nightfall, the crowd had thinned. Jordan Drake, an…


A Short Story

William Whelan pulled the cloth away and saw that her forehead had been cracked open and that black blood had seeped into her curly black hair. Her eyes were open. Mario Escalante, the Echo Park Maniaco behind him, winced. “Jesus,” Mario said. William dropped the wet cloth and looked at her. …


To all disillusioned city-dwellers dreaming about abandoning their metropolitan hustle for a wound-down existence out in the desert, to all of you who are so over L.A., read Jail Weddings’ front man Gabriel Hart’s new chapbook Nothing To See Here before pulling the trigger on your move.

Part one of his “High Desert Anti-Tourism Propaganda” campaign, Nothing To See Here follows Hart’s idealistic Cinema of Life, in which he describes his creeping sense that L.A. …

Andrew Miller

Author. L.A. Stories, Pulp Modern, Close To the Bone (upcoming). Switchblade. Broadswords and Blasters. Soul Of Lincoln Heights. Ohio-born Angeleno.

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