Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 384 - Ronald J. Edwards


Part 1

The Stroke of Midnight

Craig’s List doesn’t advertise
a fellow that I need.
All the same I placed an ad
like a tempting seed.

Months went by without reply,
no nibbles at the bait.
You see I search for certain souls
who can assassinate.

There is a splinter in my eye
that entered unapproved.
It made its way into my life
and needs to be removed.

There was the day an answer came
to my morbid blurb.
The comment stated that we meet
where no one could disturb.

Agreeable to this request,
I’d go most anywhere,
to have a chance to discuss
this troubling affair.

I found myself following
a forsaken horrid road.
I came upon a cloakened man
with voice just like a toad.

Introducing who I was,
nervous asked his name.
From deep dark shadows came reply
“Midnight, death’s my game.”

I found my man, explained the mark,
he never asked me why.
I had a burning need to know
the method they would die.

Words were ’bout to leave my mouth
was then he raised his gun.
“What we are agreeing to
will cost to have this fun.”

I tossed to him an envelope
that was filled with cash.
He nodded all was as agreed
and stuffed it in his sash.

Before he turned to walk away
I said that I must know,
“Can you tell me the demise
or of the final blow?”

“Don’t worry” were the words he chose,
“All will be done right.
The deed will come at the right time
by the stroke of Midnight.”

Part 2

Two Hands and a Face

Away he walked into the fog,
the evening chilled my bones.
For me I was emotionless,
case hardened just like stones.

Reality of what went down
had me in death’s grip.
I sought for no escape from it,
was now my ego trip.

I found my way to my hotel,
it had a certain smell.
The stench of unfermented lies,
likes those found deep in hell.

The waiting game now had begun
thoughts of how or when.
The time or method to be used
like pigs slaughtered in a pen.

My room was facing towards a clock
located on a tower.
I sat and watched as time crept by,
each and every hour.

Will he bind their hands and feet,
a blindfold ’round their head?
Blood money spent to soothe my pain
in hopes they end up dead.

“Midnight” had a meaning now
like never as before.
Anticipation overwhelmed,
the screams, the blood, the gore.

I should have asked of something
for my trophy case.
While smiling at the giant watch
“Two hands and a face.”

Part 3

Of Mice and Men

The dead of night surrounded me
dark infusion flooded in.
Patience was now wearing thin
as the evening wind.

My mind began to bend and twist,
convoluted, tangled thoughts.
Scenarios soon did take hold
like spreading rooted warts.

Four walls squared my waiting room,
a silent sentry post.
Will there soon be filled a glass
sipped from to make a toast?

Was then I noticed down below
on the city street,
came a Midnight predator
with hunger for some meat.

This feline moved so stealthily,
trading shadows with desire.
Stalking vermin cautiously
their life to soon retire.

I reveled in the knowledge
that this is what might be.
How my hired night walker
will approach his prey for me.

This chance of mine I know full well
may never come again.
Weakness and fear are what destroys
the schemes of mice and men.

Part 4

The Postman Always Rings Twice

The night dragged on without event
my pulse raced nonetheless.
The hard wood chair gnarled in my back
as I sat motionless.

Should I retire, get some sleep,
and rest my weary head?
Across the room a pillow called
to lie upon its bed.

Struggling with grogginess,
my eyes becoming slits.
I wondered if the “Midnight” hours
had scared them from their wits.

Heavy footsteps reached my room
a lone knock on the door.
The muffled voice said he had mail
but would not say whom for.

Something was wrong for no one knew
that I was waiting here.
I heard him breathing in hall,
the peephole I did peer.

My visitor had come and gone,
a phantom langolier.
Was he friend or enemy
and someone I should fear?

I summoned all the strength I had,
the door swung open wide.
Down on the ground there sat a box
“To: Jekyll From: Mr. Hyde”

I took the package in with me
against my own advice.
The messenger was ominous
cause postmen all knock twice.

Part 5

Out of the Mouth of Babe

Nervous as a virgin
on her wedding night,
regained my lost composure,
closed the door and locked it tight.

I stood there holding firmly
the package in my hand.
Turned slowly, walked across the room
and placed it on the stand.

Whatever could the contents be?
I filled my lungs with air.
My skin tingled wildly
anxiously to see what’s there.

The cover came off slowly,
illuminated by the light.
“Midnight“ put inside the box
two items in plain sight.

First there was a china plate
white as the driven snow.
It had a sterling silver top
to hide what was below.

Beside it neatly folded
a velvet handkerchief.
Within it held the spoils
of his insidious mischief.

I raised the top from off the plate
revealing now in view,
a swatch of skin, with a tattoo
“Oh, Babe, my love is true”

I dove deep into memory
“Did he ever have such art?”
There weren’t any on his arms
or on any other part.

“Good God” I gasped, as I transfixed
upon the velvet pouch.
I picked it up in my right hand
and sat slowly on the couch.

My blood ran cold with beads of sweat
dripping down my back.
I was not ready to behold
of that in the velvet sack.

A card fell out, with a tongue
looking like a turnip rabe.
Written boldly said the words,
“Out of the mouth of Babe.”

Part 6

At the Crack of Dawn

Who are these unfortunates?
What has “Midnight” done?
He had no art, her names not Babe,
killed by my hired gun.

I threw the carnage in the box,
placed the cover back on top.
A meat grinder is what I need
in which to finely chop.

But first I must let “Midnight” know
of this bloody mess.
I’ll be damned to have to pay
for lack of his success.

Can I take him on his word?
He said it be done right.
A new plan needs to be conceived,
imposed without contrite.

How to contact my “Midnight”
to tell him of his blunder?
I thought I had the perfect man
to pillage, rape and plunder.

For now I have to poise and wait
just like a mantis prawn.
The moment will present itself
at the crack of dawn.

Part 7

Tell Tale of a Heart

As in the scales of justice
darkness lost out to light.
The evening craved by “Midnight”
was morphed from wrong to right.

Sunbeams broke thru curtain cracks,
came searching on the floor.
Looking more and more just like
the long arm of the law.

I gathered my unholy gift
wanting nothing left behind.
The room was free from fingerprints
for anyone to find.

The carpet had a well-worn path
going to the door.
With great distain I walked the walk
from the night before.

I pushed the button on the wall
of the elevator shaft.
As I entered the garage
I heard that evil laugh.

“Hello Jekyll” gurgled out
“Did you like my gift?
I did those two, was all in fun.
Do you catch my drift?”

“Midnight you’re a crazy FUCK!!!
They didn’t have to die!
I made it clear when we last spoke,
I won’t be your fall guy.”

Was then I noticed in the darkness
both his eyes were red.
Two balls of crimson glowing brightly
like the living dead.

“Jekyll what I did last night
is no concern of yours.
I cracked his neck and bleed her out.
The both of them were bores.”

“This much I can say to you
before our paths depart.
You will listen to a pounding
tell tale of a heart.”

Part 8

A Difficult Conundrum

“You don’t know who you’re talking to”
echoed off the walls.
I lunged full force, knocking him down
between the parking stalls.

My switchblade snapped wide open
at his throat I held it tight.
My reaction took him by surprise,
he wasn’t ready for a fight.

I whispered oh just loud enough
only for him to hear.
I had his full attention
as I spoke into his ear.

“Listen hard and listen good,
to what you have to do.
If you don’t you’ll make the menu
of the local zoo.”

“I’ll cut you up and feed you
to my tiger friends.
What they don’t eat will find its way
in mix to feed the hens.”

Midnight didn’t move an inch
but stared into my eyes.
He knew I meant what I just said
arguing would be unwise.

“Get it straight, and do it quick.
Don’t play me like I’m dumb.
If you don’t you’ll find yourself
in a difficult conundrum.”

Part 9

Lake Waters Cold and Deep

Slowly I let Midnight go
and backed away from him.
We could have been mistaken
each as a Brothers Grimm.

Damascus steel was still in hand,
rage glaring from my face.
I found my car, locked the door
raised the window just in case.

I hit the gas and slammed the gears,
smoke left tires and exhaust.
Leaving behind a man who thought
that he had just been crossed.

The coming hours would soon show
if he got my point.
Or if I would have on my hands
a madman out of joint.

I made my way back to my house
in the woods out on a lake.
This is where I’ll wait things out
be it success or mistake.

What a fool to think that I
could trust him with this task.
When all is done I’ll have to mold
from him his own death’s mask.

I’ll place it on the mantle
or on my office wall.
Something to honor with a toast
in memory of them all.

My car rolled down the driveway,
the house was dark and still.
The misty evening air had a
foreboding winter’s chill.

Now standing with a cup of tea
I put it down to steep.
My thoughts where once again just like
lake waters cold and deep.

Part 10

Fear the Ferry’s Keeper

While gazing cross the lake outside,
the moon was full and bright,
a boat came drifting to the shore
no passengers in sight.

Queer, to have an empty boat
a float, no helmsman found.
Nonetheless this craft came docking
close to shoreline’s ground.

I sensed an air of danger,
grabbed my pistol with spare clip.
Turned off the lights and headed down
to see the ghost’s ship slip.

As I approached I noticed that
the woods were void of sound.
As if the Reaper gathered all
the souls for his grave mound.

The boat swayed slowly back and forth,
waiting just for me.
Each step I took I looked about,
approached it cautiously.

There left placed between the oars
a satchel zippered closed.
The air was heavy with the stench
of something decomposed.

I knew just then this was the work
of Midnight once again.
He has become my Albatross
just like a ball and chain.

I held my breath and gathered up
this cargo meant for me.
There it rested at my feet,
I was its destiny.

Then came the feeling from behind
that I was being studied.
I spun around to find Midnight,
his hands and clothes all bloodied.

“Isn’t it a perfect night
to romp and rip apart,
those whom we chose to fight and lose
each external part?”

“I see you’ve found my bowling bag.
You like the Naugahyde?
It wasn’t free in fact the chap
who owned it up and died!”

Midnight howled at his own joke
with swollen facial vein.
Embodiment of evil thoughts
and utterly insane.

“I should shoot you here and now.
How did you find my house?
This bag had better have two heads,
one being my ex-spouse!”

I didn’t see it coming,
for I certainly have ducked.
Before I hit the ground I knew
I’d just been fucked.

“No sense in telling Jekyll now,
he’s certainly a sleeper,
that when the ferry comes ashore
you should fear the ferry’s keeper.”

Part 11

A Woman Scorned

“Bind his feet and hands real tight
make sure that he’s secure.
I’m sure he’ll want to re-enact
another Marston Moor.”

“He’s your husband or once was
you do your own grunt work.”
Midnight grabbed the wooden bat
provocating a smug smirk.

“Just because you paid me cash,
twice as much as him,
doesn’t mean I won’t think twice
tearing you limb from limb.”

Neither of them turned away
both in each other’s gaze.
Truly was a miracle
that they had reached this phase.

Midnight had a lust for blood,
she had one for power.
They didn’t have the faintest clue
that it soon would sour.

They took turns dragging Jekyll
slowly to the house.
The handling and rough terrain
had caused Jekyll to rouse.

When he came to he found himself
behind his office desk.
Across the room stood both of them
posed quite statuesque.

“Hello, darling, how nice of you
to join the night’s soiree.
Up until now the party’s been
more like child’s play.”

Jekyll now was wide awake
and knew this meant his life.
He was amazed that Midnight
doubled crossed him with his wife.

Totally now caught off guard
and not being forewarned,
Jekyll’s next experience
was from a woman scorned.

Part 12

Each Dog Will Have Its Day

Her face contorted to a glare,
an air of hate presided.
There she stood in front of him
where final hours collided.

“Did you think that I’d end up
on a china plate?
Or in some other horrid manner
that he would desecrate?

Slowly from her hip pocket
she pulled a .44
one of Jekyll’s favorite guns
when in the Marine Corp.

Midnight’s luck was ’bout to change,
his future turning grim.
Before he pulled his pistol out
she blew a hole in him.

Blood splattered ’gainst the picture
of Teddy Roosevelt
He dropped before her motionless
from what he’d just been dealt.

“Jesus Christ Almighty,
that was my favorite portrait.
Let’s end this game we both won’t win,
at best we’ll have a stalemate.”

Jekyll didn’t notice that
she had on a glove.
The kind that hides your fingerprints
or traces to talk of.

She walked to Midnight’s body
grasped his pistol firm in hand.
With a smile and leering eye
disclosed what she had planned.

“Darling, my sweet, Darling
it’s sad to say good-bye.
But when the cops bust down the door
they’ll find you both have died.”

“Midnight drew and shot you first,
then you returned the fire.
You ... a man of ill-repute
and he’s a man for hire.”

“It doesn’t really matter
because I will disappear.
The well-burned body of the girl
is my stand in volunteer.”

Thinking she had finalized
her perfect little plan
she pulled the trigger killing Jekyll
making Midnight the fall man.

With both guns in the proper hands
she left them where they lay.
This bitch for now has shed her leash,
each dog will have its day.

Part 13

The Fatal Futile Fact

Scampering on down the hall
like a dog whose found her bone.
But deep inside nothing has changed
for this cold hearted scheming crone.

“Acapulco or Madrid,
maybe south of France.
I think I’ll go to all of them
to do my victory dance.”

Her cell phone played a melody,
a ringtone of her choice.
She knew the caller all to well
and responded to the voice.

“Are you where you’re supposed to be?
It all went just as planned.
Go to the garage right away
I’ve got his cash in hand.”

They fell into each other’s arms,
anticipation in their veins.
Resembling escaped convicts
now free from bondage chains.

“Let’s take his Rolls convertible,
get in I want to drive.
This has to be my finest day
I’ve never felt more alive.”

They threw their bags in the back seat
got in and closed the doors.
Forgetting what Jekyll had done
while in the Marine Corp.

A note fell from the visor
gently landing in her lap.
She looked at him and he at her
off went the blasting cap.

The note read pure and simple,
“If you’re reading this, then I’m dead.
I knew what car that you would take
but I have plans instead.”

“As you sat you activated
a substantial bomb.
C-4 was my specialty,
I’ve included some napalm.”

Jekyll may have lost war
but in his final act,
proved those who kill themselves are killed,
the fatal futile fact.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Gotcha! Wow. I've never read a crime story in this type of format before. This was really well done. It moves, it gives you a good picture of the characters and what's happening and builds up the suspense. Very clever. Really enjoyed this.