Monday, February 14, 2011

A Twist Of Noir 656 - Christopher Grant

THE EDUCATION OF MAX CARVER - CHRISTOPHER GRANT

February 3, 2010

Diary,

Max Carver is seventeen. He’s still a virgin in so many ways.

Sexually, for one thing.

He’s never been with a girl or a woman or even a guy, though that ain’t his thing.

Mentally, for another.

He sees the world in black and white and doesn’t notice the nuances and the wonders never cease. I mean, for Christ’s sake, he’s seventeen. You’d think he’d be at least a little cynical.

Physically, he’s not much. His arms look like buggy whips, his legs look like pretzel sticks. He is the epitome of the pencil-necked geek.

I see the possibilities immediately.

He reminds me a lot of Jeremy, the last guy I made better. Damn shame about Jeremy. But Max could be Jeremy reincarnated. Same naive thoughts, same one track mind. Everyone thinks of geeks as smart people. Jeremy wasn’t. Remember?

They also assume geeks don’t think about sex. Bullshit. Jeremy and I were doing it all the time and when we weren’t, we were working.

I don’t know anything about Max yet. But he’s got potential. We’ll see.

*

February 8, 2010

Diary,

I button up my jeans and pull on my shirt.

Max is a ‘man’ now.

His face is priceless, a combination of excitement and confusion. Excitement for what we just did and the possibility that there will be more. Confusion because what he knows of sex is that the girl is supposed to be the one that wants to cuddle and all that shit.

I ain’t that kind of girl.

He says, “I love you.” This after one fuck.

“Will you still love me tomorrow?” I ask him.

He laughs. I might be asking a musical question but I ain’t joking. I really do wonder, especially after what I’m about to have him do.

*

February 9, 2010

Diary,

I’m proud of Max. He did exactly what I told him to do; walk into the gas station, put the gun in the clerk’s face and make him empty the drawer and the safe. The old man didn’t even bother trying to trigger the police alarm.

Of course, now that he can identify Max, we have to get out of town.

*

February 10, 2010

Diary,

$600. I know, what can you expect from a one-horse shithole like Max’s town? But I was thinking at least $1000.

Besides, Max is so happy, so excited to do something like this and get away with it, he doesn’t even care about having to leave town or his family and his friends behind.

He tells me that he wrote a letter to them, explaining everything to them.

Max is so happy he can’t wait to pull the next job. It’s all he talks about when we’re between the sheets.

*

February 12, 2010

Diary,

Honestly, if you’re going to do the job, do it right.

Max is still a virgin at this shit even though we got his cherry popped two towns ago.

It’s just like what happened with Jeremy.

This gas station attendant didn’t think we posed any kind of threat so I told Max to stick the gun in the guy’s face, show him that he had bullets in every chamber of the pistol. He did it but the guy still wouldn’t budge.

“Shoot him,” I said.

“What?”

Take your fucking eye off the ball, Max, and you pay.

The guy reached for something and I shot him in the head.

All that trouble was worth twenty dollars.

Jesus Christ!

*

February 14, 2010

Diary,

It’s Valentine’s Day!

Max has been sick all week. He says that he’s having nightmares about the guy that we killed, the guy that I shot. Max says that they’re going to catch up with us, that it’s only a matter of time, that we’re all over the cameras in the gas stations and we’re dead when they do get us.

I ask him if he wants any of my fries.

BIO: Christopher Grant is the editor and publisher of A Twist Of Noir. This story took over a year to get exactly how he wanted it.

14 comments:

R.S. Bohn said...

I'm glad it took a year. This was perfect, down to the last line. I can honestly say I have nothing to compare this to. This is totally original. And, oddly, reminds me of someone I knew in high school.

Jane said...

This is a great form for this story. I love that these boys are "made," and also, of course, "It's Valentine's Day!" perfecto

Chad said...

Nice.

As always, would like to see more.

Paul D. Brazill said...

'Love' on the run. Another top tale. Welcome back, Mr G.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Chris,
The Education of Max Carver hits upon all the elements of noir ~ it is awesome, and it was worth the wait ~ congratulations!

Come to think of it, I started "Heat of Passion" a year ago; it started as a 250 word challenge (it placed as a finalist at Flash Fiction Chronicles "String of 10" contest, but was never posted), and I always wanted to expand upon the story. Your 600-700 challenge gave me the chance. I worked on it since the challenge was posted, right up to my submission. It's very different from how I started it, and the simmering time helps. It's amazing how it evolves over time.
Outstanding work, Christopher. You should be proud!

Al Tucher said...

The voice is perfect here. It's obvious from the first words that we have a single female sociopath.

Kevin Michaels said...

Great Valentine's Day story - with a nasty little edge and a kick in the ass. Well done!

AJ Hayes said...

Start with John Mellencamp singin: "Two American kids growin' up in the heart land." Add a little bit of Sallinger's famous Catcher.
Stir well.
Spice with a projected Butch and Sundance ending (maybe Bonnnie and Clyde if you want a little more JESUSCHRIST! spice in the final cut.)
Fade to black.
Shed a tear, maybe. I know I did. Warn every virgin you see, beware that chick. She'll take you down, my brutha.
Christopher don't write enough, but, when he does, it's excellent. Good to see a master's hand at work again. Cool.

Chris Benton said...

Love this, my kind of momentum man, my smile was slowly widening with each new entry...

pattinase (abbott) said...

This has great potential to be a novel, Chris.

Michael Solender said...

the last line is all worth it - fine cold end - bravo.

Joyce said...

Not quite Micky yet, but Mallory's already there. I can't help wondering if he gets too nervous and perhaps too talky, she might just remove him from the equation and find herself another patsy. This babe is cold as ice. Loved this!

nigel p bird said...

Marvellous. An absolute gem with man facets. Beautifully cut.
A+

Naomi Johnson said...

Dude, she's a stone cold killer. Love it!