Nico Tini, Private Eye (Jennifer Semple Siegel)

Nico Tini, a hard-assed, chain-smoking private dick, specialized in tracking down missing and stolen domain names.
Back in 2003, pursuing a hot tip on the purloined ZurplePurpleBurkleSpot[dot]cm* (which, back then, existed as a ghost country-code registry without content, but still considered MIA by the great Kevin Ham**), Tini went into a Florida bar and fired up an unfiltered Camel.
“Hey, Bub, snuff the cancer stick,” said the scarred, tough-as-nails bartender behind the black oak bar. He pointed at the dreaded “No Smoking” sign.
“Oh, carp. WTF is the world coming to when ya can’t even smoke in a bar. A BAR, for godsake!”
The bartender shrugged. “Yeah, it sucks, but what can ya do? If I let you light up, it’ll cost me 2,000 big ones.”
Nico Tini shook his head and stuck the unlit cig in his mouth and chewed on the end. “Whatta world we live in...”
“All’s not lost, though. I got something right up ya alley,” the bartend said. “Let me take care of ya!” He slid into the backroom.
An awful grinding noise, like bones splintering in a wood chipper (Case #777), hit Tini’s ears like a bomb.
“Jesus H., wha‘da hell?”
Mr. Bartoonie (that was the name on his tag, anyway) returned with a tall frozen concoction that looked suspiciously like a toxic frozen daiquiri – green and luminescent like nuclear waste or, worse yet, the evil Mr Jekyll... 
“AWWWWW!!! Dat’s a lady drink.”
“Looks can be deceivin’. This’s the house specialty, our frozen coffin nail lime rickey (hold the bananas). There’s more nicotine in this frozen froth than six packs of Camels.” Mr. Bartoonie pushed the drink toward the now-shaking Nico Tini.
Tini gulped down the coffin-nail lime rickey (definitely without bananas) and developed serious brain freeze.
“God, dat was deliciously toxic,” Tini said with a smile before passing out.

* * * * *

When Nico Tini woke up, he was lying face up in a back alley, the Florida sun bearing down on him like a big hairy gorilla, his head pounding and breath so foul that the feral cats and rats had scattered into a nearby Dumpster.
“Man, dat was some super s**t!!!!”
Then he saw the note pinned to his chest. “Wha’s ‘dis???”
He pulled the note from his chest and unfolded it. In big red block letters:


“Aw, Snap,” said Tini. “Another one bites the dust.” He tore the note into pieces, tossed the pieces into the wind, arose as if returning from the dead, and went his merry way.
To this day, the fate of ZurplePurpleBurkleSpot [DOT] cm is uncertain.
Rumor has it that Kevin Ham found it DOA, murdered in cold blood with the rest of the .cm domains, most without content, floating around in cyberspace.
It seems Mr. Bartoonie was a super-duper triple agent, now hiding out in the Cayman Islands with FS***, counting his dough and sipping lime rickeys with bananas (hold the nicotine).

The End

(541 words)

Notes for the Non-domainer Community:
*.cm is the domain country code for Cameroon. At one time, it was being touted as a solid alternative to the .com space, but high registration fees and (shock!) corruption put the screws to that plan.

**Kevin Ham is one of the earliest, richest, and most famous domain name investors. Unless you’re in the biz, you probably have never heard of him because he flies under the radar. Hell, we rarely hear about him anymore.

***FS is Frank Schilling, a domain investor who lives and works in the Cayman Islands. FS, founder of Name Administration and Uniregistry (a domain-name registrar), is more visible than Kevin Ham, at least in the business digital space, and can often be sighted at domain conferences.


Table of Contents: Flash Fiction

Table of Contents: Flash Non-Fiction

Guidelines for Submitting to

Privacy and Copyright Notices Cloud

1201-1300 Words1 1301-1400 Words1 14 words1 1401-1500 Words1 15 words1 1500 Words+2 1580 words1 1969 race riots1 19th Century Literature1 20 words1 201-300 Words4 2016 Elections1 21 words1 216 words1 23 words1 263 words1 278 words1 296 words1 3 words1 301-400 Words1 35 words1 401-500 Words6 428 words1 451 456 words1 489 words1 49 words1 49'er1 50 Years Ago: Apollo 11 – First Men on the Moon. Where were You?1 500 words3 501-600 Words1 541 Words1 601-700 Words1 613 words1 701-800 Words4 703 Words2 772 words1 774 words1 801-900 Words2 857 words1 86 45 11 31 896 words1 9-111 901-1000 Words1 A Grave Digger in Search of a Body1 A Reporter Three Orioles and an Astronaut’s Family: The Grand Experiment1 A Story That Could be True1 Accidental writers1 Albert Einstein1 Allegory1 Alternate Universe1 Alternative Definitions1 Anonymous1 AOC1 Apollo 112 Apollo 81 Arizona1 Astronauts1 Baseball2 Birdsong1 Bramble Degan katherinevbt1 Broken Glass1 Cal Ripken Jr.1 Cal Ripken's last game1 Child1 Children1 Classic Flash Fiction1 Copyright Notice1 Creation1 Creativity1 Death and Dying2 Definitions1 Divorce1 Domain Names1 Donald J. Trump3 Donald Trump Mocking a Disabled Reporter1 Dreams1 Dystopia3 Dystopian fiction3 Dystopian non-fiction2 Earth1 Earthrise1 EEVBlog1 Essay2 Essay Poem1 family2 Fantasy2 Fat as a Political Statement1 Fat-Person Manifesto1 Feminist Literature1 Ferry 'Cross the Mersey1 Fiction23 Fiction submissions1 Flash Fiction22 Flash Fiction Project1 Flash Non-fiction7 Flogging the Dolphin1 Fold Me Up1 Found stories1 FOXinated1 Friedrich Nietzsche1 Gate Crashers1 gender2 gender identity1 Gerry and the Pacemakers1 Guidelines for Submitting to Project1 Hard-boiled Detective1 Horror1 Humor4 I Had a Dream1 I Hope This Is Just Fiction1 identity1 Idiocracy1 Jackie1 Jeffrey A. Brown1 Jennifer Semple Siegel24 Just Brown People1 Kate Chopin1 Letter1 Life Changes1 Manifesto1 Margaret Atwood1 Mass Shootings1 Massacres1 Mystic Mouse and Calamity Cat1 NASA2 Nico Tini: Private Eye1 Nicotini1 Nightmares1 Non-fiction7 Non-fiction submissions1 nonsensical1 Ocean Waves1 October 6 20011 On Resubmitting Her Creation1 Orioles1 Philosophy1 poem1 Politics2 Poyke1 Privacy and Copyright Notices1 Privacy Notice1 Prose poem1 Quid Pro Quo1 Revenge1 Robert S. Mueller III1 Scams1 September 11 2001: Eighteen Years Ago the World Changed Forever1 Short short story5 Short story4 Social Media Martyrs1 Spam1 Sports1 Stories That Could be Partially True1 Stories That Could Be True8 Stories We Wish Were True3 Stories We Wish Weren't True1 Story-poem3 Strangers1 Submissions1 Sudden Lie1 Sudden Lies1 Suddenlies1 Suddenly1 Suddenlys4 Suddenlys Project3 Sudenlie1 The Crux of the Matter1 The Mueller Report1 The Nocturnal Visitor1 The Pacemaker1 The Story of an Hour1 Thy Daily Dread1 Time1 Trump1 Twilight of the Clods1 Vote1 Vote it Out1 Voting1 Weight issues1 Wife1 Wilson P. Dizard1 Wordplay1 York Pennsylvania1 YT ONG1 Yuma1
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