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Santas And Sinners

by DJ Tyrer

About the Author: DJ Tyrer is widely published in anthologies and magazines around the world, such as Disturbance (Laurel Highlands), Mysteries of Suspense (Zimbell House), History and Mystery, Oh My! and Mardi Gras Mysteries (both Mystery and Horror LLC), The Trenchcoat Chronicles (Celestial Echo Press), Awesome Tales, Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Tribune.


It was Christmastime. A time for families. For children. For gifts. I didn’t have a family—you don’t in my line of work—and the only gift I’d given was a bottle of bathtub gin to my secretary—with instructions to dilute it well. Good secretaries are hard to find, and although she was strictly mediocre, it was the wrong time of year to be hiring.

I was just reaching for the bottle of whisky I keep in my bottom drawer when I heard the outer door to my office open and close. Normally, my secretary would deal with walk-ins, but I’d let her leave early and she was likely back home getting to grips with either her bottle of gin or her latest lover. Or, quite possibly both.

With a feeling of regret and a sense of relief in the vicinity of my stomach ulcer, I let go of the whisky bottle and opened the top drawer of my desk instead. That’s where I keep my old service revolver, a memento of happier times when choices seemed clearer.

A figure stood outside the door to my sanctum sanctorum. It was a dame, a fact I could plainly see because she was silhouetted upon the frosted glass. I approved the silhouette and it was with some regret that I watched her open the door and step into my office. She was every inch a lady and her hair was red to match her dress.

“Mr Halloran?” she asked.

I wondered who else she thought would be sitting in my chair in my office, but nodded and said, “Yes.”

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