"A knob," he said, annoyed, "is a COCK — you knobs."
Laughter floated out over the Inner Harbor. "I cannot — cannot! — understand why these tossers have carried on the way they do about bloody boxes of sodding books. Can they not get more?"
"Must be something special in the books."
"Must be something special in the boxes!"
"And who are these knobs anyhow? Declan Burke? Jonathan McFetridge?"
"John McFetridge, not Jonathan. He's Canadian, Burke is Irish. They're crime writers, in town for Bouchercon."
"Do we know anything about them? Pass me that newspaper."
"Oh, you won't find anything in there." I walked over from the bench where I'd been eavesdropping. "I'm Peter Rozovsky, soon-to-be-ex-copy editor for the Baltimore Gazette. The culture reporter is filling in on night police duty and clerical work this week. No one's covering Bouchercon."
"That's a bloody outrage! This is a big event. Big!" He brought a meaty fist down on the metal patio table. Silverware jumped. "What kind of bloody fucking tossers run this newspaper of yours anyway?"
"You got a few hours?"
(Read all of "The Baltimore Drive-by" so far here. And remember: This is fiction. Almost none of it really happened.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2008