• Ronald Fourier sat at his desk in the seedy belly of Rust City. A man was in his office, perched opposite him on a chair in front of the desk, but obscured by the shadows.. “The dame is crazy, there's no doubt about that.” the man went on “but I need to know if she's seeing another man”. Ron took a long drag on his cigarette and blew a smoke ring into the air, watching as it dissipated on contact with the grimy ceiling.

    “Listen,” Ron responded after a moment of introspection “I'd love to help, but I'm gonna be honest with ya, I have way too much on my plate right now to be worried about this.”
    The man withdrew some, and after a moments pause, placed a suitcase on the table.
    “I'm serious, that suitcase can be filled with gold bricks but I really can't spare the ti-” The man opened up the suitcase and swung it around.
    “Diamonds, over a 100 carats of them, all yours if you just look into it.”
    The voice caught in Ron's throat for the first time in years before managing to sputter out
    “This means a lot to me.”
    Sitting for a moment, Ron mulled his options over before closing the suitcase and pulling it behind his desk.
    “I'm glad you could see things my way. You'll find her picture, and address inside the suitcase.”

    The man got up and exited the room. Ron took another drag on his cigarette and began to pour himself a shot of whiskey. He thought to himself “I think I just sold my soul to Mephistopheles” before emptying the shot into his gullet.


    It's daytime in Rust City. Sunlight filters through the smog of the few remaining factories running in town, gunshots echo down empty alleyways, and Italian music plays from the Mafia owned eateries. Ronald, however, tried his best to filter out these distractions as he watched the wavy-haired dame through his binoculars. So far, she had done nothing to warrant any suspicion from the visitor he had the night before. She went to the store, bought groceries, read a little on the way back home. The only thing she was guilty of was being exorbitantly rich, as witnessed by her limo rides to and fro.

    Hours passed as nothing happened, she merely sat at her mansion of a home, reading. He noted that the house as done in a classical style, rather odd as most of the houses around it had a distinctly post-modern look to them. Also of note was the fact that there were no satellite dishes for TV in the entirety of the house, which led him to believe that- He had to slap himself to break the train of thought. “Goddamnit, I'm on the job.”

    Night came quickly and still, the curly haired dame had done nothing but get groceries and read. Out of curiosity, he looked at the book she was reading. Catch 22. “Well played” he thought to himself.
    As he was thinking about this, the dame got up and answered the phone. “How interesting.” she quickly got up, put on her coat, and walked towards the garage. “s**t, I need to move.”

    He got back in his car and waited. Finally, up the private driveway came a car that he followed behind, just out of sight. He followed the car as it left the affluent district and started moving into the darker part of town. Finally, she parked the car at a grimy motel, the kind that cost by the hour. Out of the care she came, and she walked inside. Ron parked across the street and moved quickly. He needed to follow her.

    Slipping through the shadows, Ron found the room she had slunk into and carefully pulled out a stethoscope from his trench coat. He placed it against the door and listened.

    “I know you're out there, Mister Fourier. Why don't you come in?”
    “s**t.” He flipped the safety off his gun and gently turned the knob on the door. The wavy haired dame sat on the stained bed, her hair carefully made up, her body wrapped in a mink coat.
    “Why don't you take a seat, Mr. Fourier?”
    “I'd rather stand” he responded gruffly.
    “Well, suit yourself.” she said, loosening the coat from around her body. There was a brief pause as the two eyed each other nervously. “What's it like?”
    “What's what like?”
    “Being a voyeur.” She responded, a half-smile on her face.
    “It's like anything else, really.”
    “Doesn't it get lonely, though? Seeing the lives of others but never truly having your own?”
    He grimaced internally at this. She'd obviously thought about this encounter for a while.
    “It's a life.”

    She got up and started talking in an almost singsong voice. “Well, we have quite a scenario now, don't we? It seems as if my b*****d of a husband has hired you, but you got caught by me. What are we ever going to do about it?” She walked towards Ron, repeating slowly “Whatever shall we do?” She was so close now he could feel her breath on his neck.

    He pushed her away in disgust, she fell backwards onto the bed. “No, lady, I can't do this. It's just a job.” He began for the exit before her voice softly echoed from the bed.

    “Take me, or I'll tell my husband how badly you screwed up.” That stopped him in his tracks. He turned around and saw that she had cast her coat aside, revealing her naked body on the bed. “Go on, it's just you and I” she crooned as he began to walk back towards her. “Just you and I”


    Ronald and the dame said little to each other after the deed was done. All she said was “I'll see you here in a week, 11 PM.” Confusion and shame hung over Ronald's head. He got dressed and left the motel. That night he took a long shower. As the water ran over his head, he analyzed the events of this night. It all seemed horribly fishy, but he had no choice. If the man found out about him being caught there'd be hell to pay but if he found out about their “encounters” there would be a whole different layer of hell knocking on his door. All he could do is oblige to her demands.

    Months passed and the encounters continued. Eventually the shame and confusion subsided and Ronald began to enjoy these rendezvous. It was certainly a welcome relaxation after a tiring and frequently near-fatal work week. They began to talk as well. About their lives, about books, about everything. It turned out she had a Masters in English and owned one of the original copies of the Catcher in the Rye, something that Ronald envied. Eventually, Ronald began to feel a strange homily with the wavy haired dame. They shared a taste in literature, music, movies, but most importantly they shared the life of the voyeur, forever trapped on the outside of a world they weren't a part of. She was trapped, as she said, by her husband in a loveless marriage. She said that Ronald was her only way out, and in a way: he enjoyed being that portal, it gave him a feeling of usefulness, of worth.

    It got to the point where he looked forward to the visits with great anticipation. Each day only represented in his mind by the amount of days until he'd see her again. They began to get more bold, rather than just clandestine meetings by the light of the moon, they began to spend afternoons together. They'd go to movies on his day off. Overall, it seemed as if Rust City was a whole light brighter when they spent time together. Life was no longer something to be observed, it was now something to be experienced.


    It's nighttime in Rust City. The moon is blocked by clouds, rendering the ground a pitch black and completely unnavigable without a flashlight. Ron is supposed to be meeting the dame with wavy hair in less than an hour.
    He gets to the rendezvous point in the park and waits in his car. Minutes pass and an uneasy feeling gathers in his stomach. He murmurs to himself that something is right, suddenly: there is a rustle in the bushes and a bang. A bullet lodged itself in the side of his car.

    “s**t!” he screamed, putting the car in reverse and flooring the acceleration. He had been tricked. He takes some back roads and manages to flee without getting chased. Parking his car across the street, he runs into his office, gun drawn. There she is.
    “What happened?!” he exclaimed.
    “Shush, come here, it's alright” she crooned in a failed attempt to calm his nerves
    “Shush? No! I just got shot at! What's happening?!”
    “Come here, and I'll answer everything for you.” He stops for a minute, and realizes the gravity of the situation. Someone had ratted, and the man was pissed. Pissed enough to put a hit on Ronald's head. He moves towards his chair and slumps down, lighting a cigarette.
    “At least you're alright.” He says, defeated. “We'll have to get out of town before they find us here.”

    He takes a drag on his cigarette and watches the smoke come out of his mouth and rise to the ceiling. Suddenly, a click as a gun is cocked, and a bang as a gun is shot. There's pain is his belly. He looks up and sees the wavy haired dame holding a gun in her gloved hand. She throws the gun aside and walks over to the seated private investigator. There's a whisper in his ear as the wavy haired dame leans over him. It says “I'm sorry, dear, but you've served your purpose. It's time for me to leave” she gives him a final kiss and walks out the door. He closes his eyes as the door shuts and chuckles to himself. Just another romance in Rust City.