The Big Nasty - Mustard comedy magazine
The Big Nasty

Writer's Block:
First Chapters From Unwritten Novels

#1: The Big Nasty

Private Eye Randy McNasty woke up on his office couch. He had the taste of cheap liquor on his breath and lipstick from an even cheaper broad on his collar.

It was hot outside. God damn hot. Too hot. He felt like a fat kid in a sweater trying to fight his way out of a sauna. He moved to open the window and let in some fresh air, then remembered he was in Chicago so it wouldn't make any difference.

He went to pour himself a drink instead but was stopped dead by a shooting pain in his side. It was all coming back to him now; he'd been shot. Last night some dope-fiend had tried to ice him in a clip joint in Reno. But why? The details were fuzzy, much like the skin of a kiwi fruit. McNasty poured himself a bourbon, two Gin Rickey's and an Old Fashioned. It was going to be a long day.

Just then someone burst through his office door. McNasty had spun around, put down his drinks, pulled his gun and fired three shots before he realised it was just some dame. Luckily he'd missed with all three. Although maybe he'd come to regret that later.

This broad was somethin' else. She was hitting on all eight. She had a rump like a peach and eyes as blue as depressed berries. "Why you throwing your lead about, Randy?" she breathed. "Did I scare you?"

How did she know his name? Things came flooding back. Was this the dame he was with last night? Was she responsible for the lipstick on his shirt, the bites on his neck and the wound in his gut? He was mighty confused:

"What happened in that dive last night? All I knows is I got clipped by some bird who wanted to put me in a Chicago overcoat."

"That was your fault, McNasty. We were looking for my husband and you ended up getting snowed and squirting metal all over the joint. The cops are looking for you everywhere."

Opium! McNasty begged those goddamned Chinamen not to sell it to him but they always did. This time he'd taken too much and ended up waxing a couple of cats. Now John Law wanted to put him in the big house. He'd be damned if he was going there. He needed to get rid of this chick and make a fast exit.

"OK, babe, close your head and get out of my face. I need to think."

The tone of her reply was husky, but not like the dog:

"You know how to think don't you? You just put your lips together and make complex cognitive decisions based on reason, reflection and pondering."

"Goodbye now, honey. Don't get knocked off."

And with that she was gone. McNasty lit a cigarette and poured himself a Manhattan, a Moscow Mule, another bourbon and one of those pink ones with an umbrella. God damn, it was hot. It was the type of weather that could melt brass doorknobs.

McNasty was in trouble. Deep trouble. The cops were looking to nail him for his shooting spree and no doubt the friends of those hoodlums he'd torpedoed would be wanting a piece of his ass.

McNasty realised that everyone he knew wanted him dead, including himself. But what about this broad's husband? And all those punks he'd whacked? And those God damned Chinamen? Like a three year-old child, he had a hell of a lot more questions than answers.

One thing was sure; he needed to find a bunch of missing pieces before he could figure out this fiendish puzzle. But now was hardly the time to do a jigsaw. Impetuously throwing it to the ground, McNasty grabbed his piece and a quart of gin and decided to go out and get answers the only way he knew how.

He burnt his palm on the door handle as he left. Christ, it was hot.

~ L.L.

Illo: M.D.


More Stories & Characters »

The Complete Mustard

Mustard comedy magazine compendium
Mustard comedy magazine

Get the Mustard  Compendium: 
PDF  ยท  Paperback

The complete 336-page collection of all 9¼ issues,
featuring new and updated funny stuff, plus expanded interviews.


Myth Management

Out now: Mustard's first spin-off novel

Myth Management: a Young Adult Urban Fantasy novel by Alex Musson
Myth Management: a Young Adult Urban Fantasy novel by Alex Musson

Paperback  £8.99  ·

Kindle  £2.99  ·