(Alternative title credit to @VirtualChrisB )
Based on an ongoing 'mug theft' incident that has rather taken a life on of its own, this is a silly attempt at the 'noir' writing style. I'm terrible at this, and it tends to quickly become a bit Frank Drebin rather than 'gritty'.
Fairly obviously, none of this actually happened, I'm not writing the memoir of some detective in academia, but rather creating a parallel reality in which such a person does exist, and attempting to weave reality with the story as things develop.
His look across at me told the whole story. The whine of hardware on my desk mingled with the dappled light from my broken blinds, the faint odor of burnt electronics and dispair in the air told me this was going to be a long, difficult case. It was the crime of the decade, maybe the century, and it had landed on right on my doorstep. The victim, a tupperware mug, had been missing for days; security knew nothing, and public requests for information had returned nothing.
That was when... parts... started showing up.
The kidnapper, for now, with video evidence I knew it was kidnapping; had sent a gruesome message. A neat, precise hand had cut the letters of the ransom note, clearly a doctor, but around here, that hardly narrowed it down.
Swinging my feet up onto the corner of my desk in blatent violation of ergonomics and office health and safety in one sweep, I lean back to peer through the gap in the blinds. Squinting through to the intense lights of the corridor outside, the dull glow from incandescant light long since replaced with the stark brightness of hallogen sources.
"Why don't you open your blinds?" he asks.
I swing back around, having forgotten he was still there in my brooding.
"Cant. The third shutter down is stuck between the layers of glass, so it only moves an inch". I wiggle the knob by way of explanation. Anyway; how could I get the right atmosphere for brooding without the inky darkness a broken blind affords? Really, people have no idea.
Leaning forward, I ask if there are any other clues.
"Only one more, it started with this note". Reaching into his institution-branded hoodie, he hands me a crumpled up piece of paper. I try to flatten it out, but only manage to add to the wrinkles.
"I have your mug // Meet in A floor break out area // 2pm"
"You went to meet them?" I ask.
"Yeah" he replies. "They never showed up"
Grabbing my trusty 2-slot iPAQ H5500 off the pile of papers it had been acting as a paper weight, I jam the 'PAQ into its holster and make for the door.
The sudden motion alarms my guest, causing him to leap back from the cascade of yellowing printouts from old reviews. Ignoring the continuing collapse, I fling open the door and head out into the light (wincing only slightly) I make off down the hall. Now was the time for action, not analysis and brooding - a mug is in danger, the threats were clear, and psychopath was on the loose, I didn't have time to waste.
Ignoring the spluttered attempts to call after me intermingled with the sound of falling paper, I head to the lift.