The glare from the setting sun cuts through the window, bathing the clutter in the office in a warm orangey hue. Remly, lost in his thoughts, looks up from his desk. Time. He straightens his shirt and walks across the hallway, passing the tarnished signage with its unremarkable lettering: James & Manson – Private Eyes.
In his room, Albus sits on his desk, the back of his bald head turned to the door as he stares motionlessly through the blinds. Whether he notices Remly coming in or not, he makes no show of it. Waiting quietly by the door, the younger admires the view of the evening sky outside, watching it cool into a navy blue.
Eventually, Albus stirs, wiping his face with rugged hands. “Well, this is it I guess.”
“Yup.” Remly looks at the floor as Albus picks his coat off his chair and puts it on, eyes still transfixed on the sky.
“Been here over forty years ya know.”
Remly smiles.“Forty-one, twenty-eight with dad, thirteen with me.”
Albus turns back and grins, wrinkling his eyes. “Forty-one years and the best damn partners a man could have hoped for.”
“You can always visit,” Remly says, walking towards the desk. Albus produces a bottle from his drawer and pours out the drinks, handing one of them to Remly.
“Ain’t gonna be the same kid. You gonna spruce this place up?”
“Maybe.” Remly says, lowering his eyes to the glass in his hand.
“Well, at least the old girl’s in safe hands.” Albus says, running a hand across his mahogany desk. He stretches out to make a toast. “James & Manson is all yours now Remly. Remember. If you ever need anything…”
“You’ll be the first to know uncle.”
“Good,” Albus says, blinking back tears. “We’re proud of you, you know that?”
Remly sighs, “Too bad pride doesn’t pay the bills.” He downs the smoky brown malt in a single gulp and grimaces. “…where you get this stuff?”
“It’s been sitting around.”
“For what, a decade?”
Albus laughs, downing his own with a satisfied smirk. “Strong stuff. Bet your old man would have appreciated it though, that man knows his whiskey.”
“Enough to die from it.”
The moment lapses into silence.
Albus makes a slight cough and puts on his hat. “Well, guess I better be going…”
“Sure you don’t want me to call you a cab?” Remly asks, taking the glass from Albus.
“Save it. Buy yourself a nice dinner tonight. God knows you’re gonna need it. Goodbye junior.”
Remly gives an appreciative smile. “Goodbye uncle. Thanks for everything.” The men share a quiet hug.
Albus turns away, shielding his eyes. With a final pat on Remly’s back, he breaks away and disappears out the door of his office for the very last time.
Remly sheds a tear before forcing himself back to reality. Looking around the abandoned office, he worries about making the rent this month. Other than that though, life goes on. It always does.
- Does the silence work?
- Going for a more mellow tone here, the yin to Pixel’s yang.
- Inspired somewhat by Madmen. Picture Don Draper and Roger Sterling at one of their bar scenes. Don says almost nothing of direct note most of the time, but the emotions still get through.
- Men always have trouble with good byes.
- Want to get a Noire thing going without being overly cheesy. The mention of private eye already conjures up a grayscale 60s office.
- Trying out subtext here. Letting words go unsaid etc. I need to be less direct.
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