It was just after eight a.m. and already the precinct was hotter than an oven. As I packed up my desk, the guys stood around laughing and laying the sarcasm on real thick. Fat Tommy sidled up next to me with a meatball sub in his hand. ‘Hey Jimmy,’ he said, patting his shoulder holstered thirty-eight. ‘You even need a gun down at literary?’
‘Ain’t you heard Tommy,’ said Mascapone. ‘The pen is mightier than the Smith and Weston.’
I faked a smile and carried on packing while the pair of them laughed. Let them have their fun I thought. I guess if I was in their shoes I would have laughed as well.
When he eventually stopped laughing, Tommy said, ‘So who you going after first huh? Frankenstein? Captain Hook? Maybe a wicked wolf or two?’
‘Yeah a wicked wolf!’ Mascapone repeated childishly. ‘Why Tommy, what a big ass you have!’
‘All the better for sitting on your wife’s face for!’
They both cracked up again. Tommy almost choked on his own laughter. Mascapone’s wrinkled face looked like a piece of chewed up candy. ‘Seriously though Jimmy,’ he said, catching his breath. ‘What do those literary guys do down there?’
‘The same thing you guys do,’ I replied. ‘They catch bad guys.’
Mascapone laughed sarcastically. ‘Oh yeah sure, but our bad guys kill people while your bad guys just tell stories.’
I packed the last of my things into the box and slung it under my arm. ‘They don’t just tell stories,’ I said. ‘They tell the worst kind of stories. The kind of stories that are full of spelling mistakes, typos, and one-dimensional characters who use cliches like they are going out of fashion.’
‘Uh huh…’ Tommy said quizzically. He looked at Mascapone who was equally blank-faced.
I could see that my words had zero impact, but I carried on anyhow. Maybe I was trying to convince myself that my transfer was a good move. I told them how the guys at Literary Division were responsible for bringing down some of the worst writers in history, and how they were currently involved in a major manhunt, looking for some hack who writes the worst crime fiction ever heard.
‘Crime fiction huh?’ said Tommy with a raised eyebrow. ‘Like catching bad guys and stuff?’
‘That’s right,’ I said, taking a last glance around my desk. ‘With a bit of luck they will find him before he finishes his next stor