Winston Croach sat opposite, on the other side of the sticky red-checked Formica table. The harsh, neon light of the tacky downtown diner emphasised the bulges of flesh bidding to escape from the collar of his yellowing shirt. Everything about him seemed somewhat yellow: the nicotine stains on his stubby fingers, his teeth, the skin of his pale leg visible between his socks and his too-short trousers and the oddly pearlescent beads of sweat decorating his forehead, balding scalp and neck.
As he mopped at his brow with a paper napkin from the dispenser, Morigan unclenched his hand under the table. Croach was taking too long to fold. He glanced quickly at the ceiling to see brown damp feeding off the steam from the kitchen. Unable to stop his top lip from curling, he once again looked back at Croach.
“I told you Morigan, I don’t know where he is.”
“Winston, can I be frank?”
“Heck, I’ll call you anything you want, Frank”, a small chuckle died in his throat as Morigan’s eyes darkened and narrowed and he tilted his head to the side.
“The truth is Winston, you can’t afford to be holding out on me. The judge will have no qualms putting you in jail; he’s been looking for any excuse since your son ran off with his wife. If you’re lucky, maybe you won’t see Smoky Joe on the inside.”
“Hey man, Smokey Joe’s not right in the head.”
“Yeah and he’s real mad you didn’t tell him about the ambush. Maybe you ought to just tell me where I can find Tommy.” Winston gulped and tried to ease his too-tight collar with a fat sovreigned finger. He began to sweat more profusely.
“Unofficially mind… you might find him at the Spend and Save on Saxby Road”
Signalling discreetly to the two officers by the door, Morigan kept Croach’s attention occupied with small talk.
“The Spend and Save, that’s a launderette?”
“Yeah, no one would’ve hired him, but his Aunt Sally owns the place. She’s not had many customers lately on account of they all think Tommy’s nuts.”
“That’s a real shame – Cuff him boys.”
Without another word Morigan swaggered out of the diner, lighting up as he got outside. Taking a deep drag on the cigarette, he watched the end flare. He turned left and started walking, he needed a drink.