Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 334 - Paul D. Brazill

WARSAW GHOSTS - PAUL D. BRAZILL

Originally published at Shoots & Vines Quarterly Print Four

A shadowy melody lapped at the shore of Krystyna’s sleep until she awoke drowning in sweat and stained by sour memories. The night air tasted like lead as she sat on the side of the crumpled bed, trying to flush away her doubts and murky thoughts with bourbon.

A sliver of moon garroted the coal black sky as Krystyna’s high heels clipped across the wet concrete, echoing through the deserted old town’s cobbled streets. Her breath appeared and disappeared like a spectre as she stood outside Klub Zodiak, its shimmering and buzzing neon sign reflected in a pool of blood that looked black in the moonlight.

Krystyna felt the cold metal in her fist as she slammed on the steel door of the nightclub until it creaked open. She pushed her way to the bar, breathing in the scent of cheap aftershave, cigarettes and booze. A sultry femme fatale on a chiaroscuro lit stage whispered a torch song that sparked the embers of a dream.

‘Bourbon?’ said Andrzej, the oak of a barman, his eyes as black as bullet holes, his voice like sandpaper.

Krystyna nodded, took off her raincoat and draped it over a bar stool.

‘Is he here?’ she said, downing her drink in one.

‘Of course,’ said Andrzej. ‘Where else would he be? He thinks that the moment he sets foot outside he’s a dead man. The paranoia is eating him like a cancer.’

‘Give him this,’ she said.

The shining wedding ring rattled and rolled along the marble bar.

‘That could be a big mistake,’ said Andrzej.

‘I just want to get clean for once in my life,’ said Krystyna.

‘No one gets out of life without dirtying their hands,’ said Andrzej, pouring himself a large Jack Daniels.

‘No one gets out of life alive,’ said Krystyna as she dissolved into the Warsaw night.

BIO: Paul D. Brazill was born in Hartlepool, England and lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He has had stories in Blink Ink, Disenthralled, Six Sentences, Powder Burn Flash, Beat To A Pulp and other such classy joints. He can be found stalking ‘you would say that, wouldn’t you?

21 comments:

Richard Godwin said...

Nice and dark Paul. Very evocative.

Michael Solender said...

as good as I recalled it. bang. nice one.

David Barber said...

Top piece again, Paul.

Glenn Gray said...

Great noir feel, Paul.

Miss Alister said...

5ml of graphics heaven and I’m jonesing for more.

Lee Hughes said...

Usual crisp story-telling with some great flashes of prose.

Especially loved: "A sliver of moon garroted the coal black sky"

Paul D. Brazill said...

Cheers all. Miss A, it is part of a bigger piece. Krystyna will return.

Col Bury said...

Loved the dark feel to this, the well thought out descriptions and the underlying dread.

Paul, soon you must write a novel. It would be great to read a 'full' book from you. There are many out there who would purchase it.

Top writing from a top writer.

Col

Alan W. Davidson said...

Again, sir, you amaze me with the atmosphere you project to your readers. So thick, you could cut it with a stiletto.

Laura Eno said...

Great atmosphere. '...eyes as black as bullet holes' and 'No one gets out of life alive' are two of my favorites.

Nicole_Hadaway said...

Another great piece Paul. Well written and great imagery; love the moon garrotting the night sky, and the 'no one gets out of life alive' lines.

peggy said...

I also like "oak of a barman" as well as ALL of it. Sometimes you amaze me with how a full picture pops in my head with just three of your words. You're a master at this style, and the "no one gets out of here alive" was ace.

Miss Alister said...

Thanks, Paul. I’m poised for that tweet. Feathers will fly.

Sue H said...

Paul - well done! I really like that last line - "...no one gets out of life alive...."

Pamila Payne said...

Good thing I glanced at the comments and saw that this is part of a larger piece. You've become the king of set 'em up and leave 'em hanging. Really, you're so good at creating a slice of story. Give us more, Paul. We wants some more.

Jeanette Cheezum said...

A sultry femme fatale on a chiaroscuro lit stage whispered a torch song that sparked the embers of a dream.

Now that's a line. Pul you always find a way to make me want to read more.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

You paint quite a picture, Paul! What a gift you possess. It's always a treat to read your stories!

Joyce said...

A real haunting feel to it, like there is a deep, dark, and dangerous undercurrent just waiting to surface. Look forward to seeing more of this character and your giving us another peek at that world.

Al Tucher said...

Can you call something this dark "flash?" Good one, Paul.

ARCHAVIST said...

Man, I love this guy

Alan Griffiths said...

Great writing Paul, this is top stuff. Congrats and regards.