They say there's no fool like an old fool. Fergus knew that. Fergus lived by that. It was his personal mantra.
His latest love had flown the coop and again, he found himself alone and lonely. He no longer sought solace in the bottle. That habit had proven dangerous to his health some long time ago, so now he threw himself into his work, instead.
Fergus was a detective. A private detective. And a good one. Unerring. Honest. Instinctive.
Most of the time, he was broke.
The folder on the table in front of him had all the information he needed, he was sure. Yet there were things that made no sense - things in this file kept throwing him off his game. Yet, he couldn't put his finger on just what it was that was wrong. He slammed the folder closed and walked out of the house, hoping a walk to the corner drug store would help clear his head.
The night, thankfully, was cool and the sky, clear. New streetlamps lit the way, so unlike the lights they had when he was a kid. He had lived all his life on this street. Everyone he'd grown up with had gone. Moved away.
The neighborhood had changed a lot. Rather seedy looking now. It had become diverse, as they say. Most of the houses needed paint, at the least, some needed much more than that. But he knew them all. He knew every break in the sidewalk, every bump in the street, every blade of grass growing up through a crack.
Knew where Tooty Schmidt had gone over the handlebars of her bike and broke out her front teeth. He knew the house where Bronco lived, and Bobby and Valerie and Gloria, whose older brother would be taken out in a mob hit. He knew all those houses - who lived there then - who lived there now. The neighborhood surrounded him like a blanket. It kept him warm and kept him safe.
And sometimes, just sometimes, Fergus needed to be kept safe.
After all, old fool, ya know?
More, next Sunday