SHORT FICTION: SPINE (Inspired by an Actual One-ti...

“Mr. Hammett, Mr. Chandler, the lens is up here, please.” I swear, photographing a bunch of mystery writers is as tough as bridal parties, only without the kids sticking out tongues or scratching their business. I gave a three count so nobody would get caught blinking and pressed the shutter. They all gave me eyes except those two. Dashiell Hammett was staring three guys over at Raymond Chandler, who had his attention downward like he was wondering if he left the gas on. And what was with Hammett? Was he shooting daggers at Chandler or just feeling his scotch? Not that I’d been counting. I stopped at his third. I dated my exposed plate with...