Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 628 - Richard Godwin


Editor’s Note: This is the first of two parts. The second half will appear later in the Challenge at 682.

A truck whizzed by outside the peeling apartment as Vic Rogers said, ‘I’m a lasagna hog. There ain’t nothing better than dipping my finger in the meat and licking it after I’ve killed someone. But you know what, I want to give up butchery.’

Sandra yawned, got out of bed, put on her slippers and sat peeing on the toilet as he scraped the bottom of the pan and, looking through the door at her, said, ‘Save me some, darling.’

Outside, the wind was kicking up some leaves as he headed down to Brooklyn.

He stood at over six feet and had a boxer’s build and gait. And he burned like fire.

Two men sat in a cafe and, as he walked past them, got out and followed him to a car lot.

Vic saw them in the glass of one of the Mercs and, as the bigger of the two took a swipe at him, Vic ducked, swung round and shot him in the side of the head.

The other guy began to move away and Vic caught him with a vicious right hook, knocking him to the ground.

‘You tell Jack I’ll come for him.’

‘He says you owe him.’

‘I owe him shit, you cocksucker.’


Jack Gnocchi sat in his office smoking a cigar when he heard.

He put it down slowly and said, ‘I’ll take care of him.’

He was a wiry man with deep scars on his face. He had a flattened expression as if years of coldness had killed all emotion there.

Later that day he met Salami Harry over at his club. He was a giant with such a deep voice he made paintings shake on the wall when he laughed and was so named because he always carried some sausage meat on him. It was rumoured he put parts of his victims in them and served them at barbecues.

They drove round to Vic’s apartment, kicked the door in and found Sandra asleep on the bed.

When Vic returned a few hours later, he found her dead. The place had been ransacked.

He fell to his knees, took his wife’s hand and began sobbing. Then he got out his Beretta and left.

He went straight to the Hall Of Mirrors at Jack’s club.

The Hall was a dance room for exclusive members, mainly small time gangsters and their mistresses or hookers.

The distorting mirrors served to disguise them. There were rooms off the back. It was dark and hard to see in there and Vic couldn’t identify Jack.

He did find Salami Harry in the john.

He was washing his hands when Vic walked in.

‘Well, well, turned up, have you? I screwed your bitch before I blew her head off, now you give me the money.’

‘I owe him nothing, I did a job for him.’

Harry was shaking his head and advancing towards Vic when he shot him. He hit him in the leg and Harry dropped to the floor.

‘Tell him I’m coming for him,’ Vic said. ‘This is a warning.’

He left through the Hall of Mirrors, seeing himself move in every direction, fat, thin, tall, foreshortened, and felt his life had turned into someone else’s dream now Sandra was gone.

All the way home, he repeated ‘I should have killed him’ like a mantra.

He sat with her and took her to the end of the garden and buried her that black night when his soul howled like some wounded beast and he drank all the whisky he had and packed up before dawn.

He found a room in a cheap hotel and rang Pedro in Mexico to arrange for the purchase of a villa there.

Then he called Jack.

‘This ain’t over,’ he said.

BIO: Richard Godwin lives and writes in London. His first crime novel ‘Apostle Rising’ is about to be published and will be released for sale onto the market on March 10th, 2011. You can watch a video ad for it at his website. His dark satire ‘The Cure-All’, about a group of confidence tricksters, has been produced on the London stage. His writing appears regularly at Disenthralled; Gloom Cupboard; Thrillers, Killers ’N Chillers; The New Flesh, Media Virus Magazine and Pulp Metal Magazine, among many other magazines and anthologies. His story 'Pike N Flytrap' is in this Fall's issue of Needle Magazine, his story 'Face Off' is in the latest Crime Factory, issue #5.  You can follow him at Twitter here.

His website is now all-new, complete with information on his upcoming novel APOSTLE RISING and a special page devoted to the critically-acclaimed CHIN WAG AT THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE interviews.


Jodi MacArthur said...

Nothing like a Lasagna Hog with a beretta lookin' for a Salami Harry in the Hall of Mirrors. I half expect the mustard man to show up for a pickle party. Noir mania, baby!

Miss Alister said...

This is such the tease! A delightful one, mind you, with your usual savvy mix of detail and immediacy. But now we’ve got to wait for 682 for the shit to hit the fan... 628 682... Hmmm...

AJ Hayes said...

Some of the names are out of Damon Runyon's sense of humor. The lexicology of them . . . isn't. Salami, Gnocchi, whatever, I got a feeling they're gonna be part of a nice shredded beef taco, soon. Brutal, Richard. The "good"guy, the bad guys are the same guys and innocents like poor Sandra just scraps for the grinder. I think in part two . . . it's gonna get bloody. Can't wait.

MCrittenden said...

Well told. The characters have a punch to them, and you just know it's going to end up a bloody mess.

Lee Hughes said...

Loved the line: "He sat with her and took her to the end of the garden and buried her that black night when his soul howled like some wounded beast"

Looking forward to part two. But getting a little worried mate, that's three in a row I've read where folks be eating man-meat, fess up, what's in your freezer? lol

u.v.ray. said...

I liked the pace of this one. A lot of fiction can't keep me reading but along with the edgy prose style this one did.

Gotta wait for the second half now!

Michael Solender said...

Jack Gnocchi?? Hahha Love this and looking forward to the ending.

Salvatore Buttaci said...

I enjoyed the story, as I do all Godwin stories. He has the author's knack of keeping a story moving so smoothly you hardly want to reach the final station!

Carrie Clevenger said...

Lots of scenes shifting in a "Hall of Mirrors" yes this is the best analogy for this whole thing. But it's cut off at a pivotal moment. Why?

callan said...

moves fast, i liked the mirrors and the descrption of the rapidly changing apperanve nice touch

Paul D Brazill said...

These day, I'm about 90% vegitarian. I wonder if RG stories are anything to do with it?

Great work!

Charles Gramlich said...

Nice and heavy.

Nigel Bird said...

it's a great idea to have a two-parter, but can only work with a good opening effort; this most definitely works

Anonymous said...

Jodi, your gastronomic knowledge serves you well, Miss A on the ball as ever, AJ, you see through mirrors, Mark, thank you, Lee, great gag, I have salami and various meat balls, UV, you'll enjoy the sequel, Michael, truffles, Sal, as ever thank you, Carrie, waiting is good you know, Callan, good to see you here, Paul, you a Northerner and all, have a pork pie, Charles, great stuff with sauce, Nigel, it's all in the sauce.

Joyce said...

Richard, Your stories are always so deliciously dark, bad guys are oh so bad, and they read like a demonic roller coaster ride. Superb. Positively superb. Can't wait for the next installment!

Unknown said...

I'll defo be reading part two. Nice job, Richard.

M. C. Funk said...

A savory recipe for conflict spiced with disaster. Meaty characters like Harry, Gnocchi and Vic have made me eager for the final course of catastrophe. Nice one, Richard.

Anonymous said...

Joyce, thank you, from you that is high praise, Col, thank you mate and it's City all the way, Matthew, good to see you, I will spice your dish in a way that will tickle your plate and leave you itching for more.