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Richard Diamond short story

ScionPI2005

Call Me a Cab
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Bremerton, Washington
Hi folks,
I know there are quite a few fans of Golden Era Radio Shows on this board, and I know that there are a few fans of the Richard Diamond detective series hanging around. For a long time, I've wanted to put my creative juices to work and write a short story in honor of this classic radio show. I just started work on it and have a few pages written. I want to share what I've done with other fans of the show to get their feedback. I'm really curious to know if readers could see this story and the dialog as something along the same lines as the writers of the radio show did. Feedback with suggestions or ideas would be great. I'm hoping to keep my motivation up so I can finish it. Without further ado, here's what I've got.

Richard Diamond “Untitled”
Written By: Jonathan Liles
Inspired by the popular radio drama from 1949-1953
Characters created by NBC, used by Liles strictly non-profit aka: fan-fiction.​

Look out of my office window at the corner of Broadway and 53rd street on any given morning and you are likely to see a thousand bustling people you don’t know heading off towards the start of their day. Interestingly enough, each of these people has a life: a name, mother-father, perhaps siblings. They may have a spouse, and children of their own. Hopefully they have many friends, and very few enemies. I will never know approximately ninety-nine percent of them. The remaining one percent I will become acquainted with through their trouble. See—that’s my business—trouble; everyone else’s.
The name’s Diamond—Richard Diamond. I’m forty-three years of age, about five-foot-eleven, and roughly one-hundred-sixty-five pounds—err—one-seventy. I’ve also got the prettiest blue eyes this side of Park Avenue.
So you want to know how a buck is made in my business? Well, sit back and I’ll tell you. My most recent case of interest ended just three days ago—the report finalized and the details still fresh in my mind. It all started roughly a week ago, one chilly autumn morning in my office…

…I was sitting at my desk—half observing the changing autumn leaves on the trees lining the streets outside my office—half teasing the little black bug that had found its way onto my desk. Business was slow for the moment, and for the first time in a couple of weeks, I found myself considering giving up the snooping business and going into something with a little less responsibility—like dishwasher. The phone rang.
“Diamond Detective Agency—please hire me quickly before I go out of my mind.”
“Ricky?” The voice was Helen’s. That’s right, Helen Asher. She’s my lovely red-headed girlfriend of five years. We met way back in ’49 when she and I collided at the 5th Police Precinct. She was there to report a minor car accident on her part—I was there pestering my old friend Lieutenant Walter Levinson on a case I was working at the time. We locked eyes from across the squad room for a mere forty-five minutes, and nothing has been the same since.
She wants to get married—a desire which turns my stomach somewhat in the same way I would expect a phonograph to turn a record. Marriage just isn’t my thing. Don’t get me wrong; I love the girl with all my heart, but my life is just not set up for the M word.
Helen loves to poke me with a telephone call usually everyday I’m at the office, so her voice did not surprise me one bit.
“Well, hi Helen, baby…” I replied, though a bit sassy.
“What are you doing?”
I thought for a second. “Waiting for the sky to fall…you?” I twiddled the phone cord between my thumb and index finger.
Helen responded right away. “I’m visiting with Charles…he’s here. You remember me telling you about him right Rick?”
“Umm—”
“You know; my cousin, the journalism student at Columbia University.”
“Oh…right, right.” My mind sputtered for a moment. I couldn’t even remember if I could recall my girlfriend even having a nephew. “How is Charles?”
“He’s fine Rick. He decided to come over this morning and surprise me.”
“Well, that’s fine. But what does this have to do with me? And doesn’t he have school today?”
“That’s part of the reason I’m calling you, Rick. He’s working on a project for school and was hoping he could interview you about the killer from Bellevue you helped Walt track down a few weeks ago.”
“Oh, right. Ed Johnson.”
“That’s the one!”
I gave a slight sigh. I knew where this was headed and I wasn’t sure I liked it. “Helen. If I take the morning off to talk to your cousin, I could miss a client. October’s right around the corner and I’m feeling the impending doom of rent biting into the back of my neck, and I—”
“Rick! Charles is only asking for an hour or so of your time.”
“But Helen!—”
“If you’d like Francis to keep fetching you sandwiches and warm glasses of milk every evening you’ll do as I ask. If I hear one more word of protest you’ll lose those fingers of yours that you use to play my piano!” That shut me up.
“The more I think about it, the more a nice brisk walk this morning sounds inviting. Could you spare some change for a cup of coffee, dahling?”
Helen sighed. I knew I could get anything out of her if I put my mind to it. “If you’ll meet Charles at the Central Park Diner, I’ll have him bring your allowance.”
“Well, how could I turn up an opportunity like this?”
“You can’t if you want to stay a living private detective.”
“Then I’ll just grab my hat and be on my way.”
“Thank you, Rick.”
“Mmmhmm….”
I hung up the phone and sighed. Missing a client was only part of the reason for my hesitancy. The second reason being I hate reporters. In my business you learn that there’s only one thing worse than reporters, and that’s a student reporter. As I collected my wallet (as starved as it is) and office keys, I shrugged into my overcoat and placed my Adam on my head. I could only imagine the sorts of questions Helen’s cousin would have for me. Next thing I knew, I expected him to be asking me why the police and myself hadn’t apprehended the maniac killer using various other methods. I envisioned myself sitting across from a nerdy college student, resisting the urge to bite my nails as a few meager tears managed to leak down my cheek and collect in my lukewarm coffee mug.
After bidding goodbye to the little black bug that had provided my pre-phone call entertainment, I locked up the office and headed down to the street. I resisted the urge to call a cab. Helen had held a dinner party a few nights ago and I was still struggling upstream in my attempt to keep the aftermath from attaching itself to my ribs. The city sidewalk outside was bustling with activity and I enjoyed a nice brisk walk that left me shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow man.
When I got to the outskirts of Central Park, I could see the expected activity in the vicinity of the city of New York’s finest claim to fame. Some folks were already out enjoying an early lunch. How nice. I spotted a policeman who looked vaguely familiar directing traffic. It took me a moment but then I smiled when it dawned on me the policeman was Burt. Last I heard, Burt had gotten in trouble and had been recently demoted back to traffic cop. I resisted the urge to flash him a cheeky smile as I rounded the corner.
The Central Park Diner was already busy and the eyes in my head bugged as I tried to find a vacant booth. There was one left in the corner and I made a beeline for it, nearly tackling an old lady crossing the aisle. I sat facing the entrance and waited. I had a mental picture of what a nerdy student reporter looked like and was eager to confirm my hunches upon Helen’s cousin’s entrance.
Thirty minutes later, I began mentally pacing within the confines of my booth. The cousin was yet to make his presence known. Visions of missed clients and crisp hundred-dollar bills danced in my head. After another thirty minutes the waitress began eyeing me with an expression that could make a heavyweight boxer nervous. I left my post at the booth and crossed to the payphone in the corner. This waiting was getting tiresome. Fishing out a nickel from my pocket (I cringed as I realized it was my last one) I spun the dial for Helen’s oh-so-familiar number. Francis answered.
“Francis? This is Mr. Diamond. Is Helen there?”
Francis acknowledged she was and went off to call her to the phone. She picked up a moment later.
“Helen, where’s Charles?”
“What do you mean, Rick? Where are you?”
“I’m right here in the Central Park Diner, and I’ve been here an hour. Your cousin has yet to show! I’m probably losing business. I can’t stay here much longer!”
“What do you mean he hasn’t showed? He left here over an hour ago!”
“You’re darn right he hasn’t showed. I’ve been sitting here for exactly one hour. The waitress is looking at me like I’m the last slab of meat in an orphanage!”
“Rick, that doesn’t make sense. I sent him out over an hour ago in a cab, along with your allowance. He should have been there fifty minutes ago.”
“Maybe he’s fled the city with my allowance.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter. If he’s not here in fifteen minutes I’m going back to my office to see if any potential clients have fallen prey to my traps.”
“You don’t think anything’s happened to him, do you Rick?”
“I wouldn’t worry, Helen. He probably took off chasing some gal he spotted on the way over here. You know how college kids are…”
“Well...”
“Tell you what I’ll do Helen. If I hear from him I’ll let you know right away. I’ll stop whatever it is I’m doing and bring him home.”
“Fine. Will I see you tonight?”
“…Depends on whether or not you open your eyes.”
I got off the phone with Helen and returned to the booth to wait. It was lunch time now and the diner was filling with customers of all shapes and sizes. Problem was, none of them fit my mental image of a nerdy college student, and no one paid any attention to yours truly.
With the fifteen minutes up, I was too and I headed to the door eager to return to the land of working hard, or hardly working as my case may be. Approaching the door, I nearly bumped into Lieutenant Walter Levinson and Sergeant Otis Lovelume, the pride and joy of the Fifth Precinct. Walt looked up startled and Otis’s expression turned into an oh-so-familiar one of disgust.
“Why, hello fatty.”
“Diamond! What are you doing here?” Walt growled.
“A little bird told me Otis was on the way over here for lunch. I thought I’d better get over here encase there were any survivors.”
“Leave me alone, shamus. I’m hungry.” Otis’s tone was flat and bored.
“…And you have every right to be, Otis. Carrying around that fat head of yours would make anyone famished.”
“Now, Rick. Lay off Otis. He’s had a rough morning. The police commissioner came by and caught him napping.”
“Otis,” I clicked my tongue in disapproval. “How many times have I caught you napping? I thought we had an agreement you’d work on that problem. How do you expect to scare off any potential riffraff if you’re counting sheep?”
“You know what, shamus!? I may not be able to keep you from makin’ jokes ‘bout me, but I’m hungry. At least lay into me when I’m full…yeah, when I’m full…” Otis brushed past me and found himself a vacant table. Walt glanced back towards me.
“Care for lunch, Rick?”
“Wish I could Walt, but I really ought to get back to babysitting my office. I’ve already been here over an hour.”
“A failed meeting with a client?”
I sighed. “No. Helen has a cousin who wanted to interview me about that killer we put away together a few weeks ago. He was supposed to meet me here and buy me coffee for my trouble.”
“Well, I guess you’d better get going then. Leave that office of yours vacant for too long and the termites will carry it away…”
“Thanks Walt. At least it has air. I’d better be off before Otis gets his food. I’d rather avoid the nausea if I can.”
“Take care, Rick.”
“Don’t work too hard, Fatty.”
With that, I made my way back up to the office. The entire time I shook my head in disbelief over how uneventful the morning had turned out to be. I kept my toes crossed in hopes that I hadn’t missed a client during my outing. I don’t think I missed a client, but when I got back to my office, there was a surprise waiting for me.
 

Sunny

One Too Many
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Dang, that was good! You have really got the Diamond feel. I've been more than a little in love with Mr. Diamond for some time now, and this really rings true. Of course, both being a writer myself and obsessed with this show, I've got nitpicks, but absolutely nothing major. (Except early in you call Charles Helen's nephew, not cousin - a slip. ;)) Suggestions? Mmm... I guess the more concise the narrative, the better; there are a few moments that seem more wordy to me than they should. And maybe the jokes a little more outrageous, although what you've got is great. This is excellent and I'm looking forward to reading more!
 

ScionPI2005

Call Me a Cab
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Sunny said:
Dang, that was good! You have really got the Diamond feel. I've been more than a little in love with Mr. Diamond for some time now, and this really rings true. Of course, both being a writer myself and obsessed with this show, I've got nitpicks, but absolutely nothing major. (Except early in you call Charles Helen's nephew, not cousin - a slip. ;)) Suggestions? Mmm... I guess the more concise the narrative, the better; there are a few moments that seem more wordy to me than they should. And maybe the jokes a little more outrageous, although what you've got is great. This is excellent and I'm looking forward to reading more!

Thanks for the comments, Sunny! I could have sworn I caught the "nephew glitch" before, but I guess I overlooked that one! :eusa_doh:

This is most certainly not my first work, but my wordiness at times is a weakness in my writing I've been working on for years.

I'll keep working on it and I'll be sure to post updates.
 

Sunny

One Too Many
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1,409
Location
DFW
ScionPI2005 said:
Thanks for the comments, Sunny! I could have sworn I caught the "nephew glitch" before, but I guess I overlooked that one! :eusa_doh:

This is most certainly not my first work, but my wordiness at times is a weakness in my writing I've been working on for years.

I'll keep working on it and I'll be sure to post updates.
Hehe, been there, done that. Just wanted to let you know. And my own wordiness has yours beat solid. So there. I can diagnose it, but that doesn't mean I can do it! Physician, heal thyself! lol
 

ScionPI2005

Call Me a Cab
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Bremerton, Washington
Sunny said:
Hehe, been there, done that. Just wanted to let you know. And my own wordiness has yours beat solid. So there. I can diagnose it, but that doesn't mean I can do it! Physician, heal thyself! lol

Getting away from wordiness and "passive voice" is one of the things I'm working on not only for my works of fiction, but my job as well.

I'm still working on the story. I wasn't able to write any today thus far, life and the like got in the way. :rolleyes:

I'll continue posting as I go along, or at least at minimum, post the whole thing upon completion.

Beginthebeguine and Sunny, nag me if I don't keep posting it! Make sure I don't drop this project! lol
 

Sunny

One Too Many
Messages
1,409
Location
DFW
ScionPI2005 said:
Getting away from wordiness and "passive voice" is one of the things I'm working on not only for my works of fiction, but my job as well.

I'm still working on the story. I wasn't able to write any today thus far, life and the like got in the way. :rolleyes:

I'll continue posting as I go along, or at least at minimum, post the whole thing upon completion.

Beginthebeguine and Sunny, nag me if I don't keep posting it! Make sure I don't drop this project! lol

Will do. :D I'm subscribed to the thread - you can't get away! (Don't turn it into a duty, though. I'm prone to do that and it can take every bit of fun out of things.)
 

ScionPI2005

Call Me a Cab
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Location
Bremerton, Washington
ShoreRoadLady said:
Good work! :eusa_clap I read it with Richard Diamond's voice in my head, and it works.

And we simply must find out what happened to the cousin.

Interestingly enough, I've been playing Diamond's voice in my head as I write this. I've found so far that I'm more successful at working on this story if the radio show dialog is going through my head. I suppose that makes it easier for my own mind to create something new in the same image as the shows.

And yes...we shall all find out what happened to the cousin. ;)
 

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