Monday, January 4, 2016

Richard Manly Heiman

GUNSELS NEED NOT APPLY

Distraught blonde bombshell seeks detective. The usual tropes. Cheating husband gone missing. Accounts emptied. Late night tires squealing. Shady customers with accents lurking near garden wall. Can't leave town.

You—snubnose type private dick. Sardonic, witty repartee required. Steep-shouldered. Cliff-like jaw with two-day stubble. Aqua Velva or Old Spice. Sharp dresser or a little disheveled—silk jacket, black oxfords, loose-knot tie ending well north of high belt line. Beer, bourbon, or scotch, you're poised and when you slap a minion he stays slapped. You'll saunter in, pick up the tab, quick with fists, wisecracks, a rough supple kiss, or to give a gal a light.

Me—apple honey dripping through silhouettes. Stubbornly high-breasted. Keep lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, d├ęcolletage just so, even in heaving sobs or violent struggles. Stiletto heels a giveaway from alley or street below your run-down-office window. Husky whisper, signature alto laugh. May or may not change hair color daily. Either from old money New Orleans or nouveau riche Houston— you pick. Calculated histrionics always perfectly on cue. Will keep you waiting, nursing your drink. Possibly homicidal, potentially that girl on your arm at Santa Anita or Lawry's.

Hasty discretion essential.


S.A. Solomon reads "Gunsels Need Not Apply":



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Rick confesses: "'Gunsels' was born out of a love for the mystique of the private detective, veneration of Jack Webb in Dragnet (especially voicing the intro), and homage to the immortal Bogart. It was great fun researching the details, from Santa Anita to John's Grill to the etymology of 'gunsel' itself."


RICHARD MANLY HELMAN lives in the California "Gold Country" where there is little gold and no water from which to pan it. He works as a substitute teacher and writes when the kids are at recess. Rick is pursuing an MFA with Lindenwood U. His work has appeared or will, in Mulberry Fork Review, Pilgrim, Bop Dead City, and other publications.

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