Monday, December 13, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 639 - A.S.


He’s not an old man but he’s getting there. He has few memories and some might blame that on the sincere amount of alcohol he consumes, but he wouldn’t agree. His skills, determination and uncanny instincts have taken him far, as far as this; he’s Chief of Investigation and this is his crime scene. He’s not entirely sure he wants it, though.

A woman. Pulled out of the water down at the docks. He can’t see her face but her long hair, slick with water, is so black it’s blue and it’s strangely familiar.


He once met a woman named Delilah, and yes; she made him cut his hair, but what he lost in strength he gained in love so he figured he got a good deal.

Back then he used to steal cars, fix them and sell them. He moved to Chicago and met an Italian guy with sad eyes and a deliberate accent. They called him Bluey and he said only the best could work for him, said it like it meant something.

So he worked for Bluey, felt important, did what he was told, got into dealing with drugs. Became a player and thought himself smooth.

Not as smooth as Delilah, though. In the middle of the night her skin was a story about Japanese silk and vanilla cream. He couldn’t stop touching it and she never turned him down. She molded herself around him like it wasn’t the greatest gift of all, but it was and so he knew he owed her everything.

“Please, stop doing this,” Delilah said when he was called out and brought his gun. He looked into her beautiful eyes, so quaintly blue together with that raven hair, and felt like crap when he said “Soon,” and went.

He got in deep, even killed a man once.

They had to move. “It’s a bit shaky at the moment,” Bluey said, “you understand. No worries though, kid, I’ll look after you.”

And they left to stay at a number of look-alike hotel rooms. He soon lost count. “What’s the name of this town?” Delilah asked. Her girlish voice started annoying him.

Still there were good times. The best actually.

One time they ended up in this town that had a whole set of blocks from the nineteenth century. In the evening they walked between the old, amazingly well-kept houses hand in hand. Delilah leaned into him and said: “We’re in Paris. Can you feel it? We’re in Paris!” He did feel it and for a shimmering, dizzying moment life was perfect.

He tried to make a decent living for them but knew everything was falling apart before it did.

“I feel like a rat running like this,” she said. “You look like one,” he answered and the mixed feeling of power and self-loathing he experienced when faced with her hurt was enough to make him forget reality for awhile.

That last night in yet another hotel room he found her standing absolutely still in front of the bathroom mirror. He was unable to interpret her expression.

The next day she was gone, leaving only a small note behind, “Remember Paris,” it said and it was almost like she never existed.


He disappeared and started all over and no one ever came for him. He wondered why he hadn’t done it sooner – with her. He started drinking and working and ended up here, on the right side of the law, fighting crime. He kind of liked it, up until now.

The drowned woman is easy to identify, her handbag is tied to her body and nothing has been removed from it. Her name is Paris and she’s barely twenty. When they turn her over and her features are Delilah’s from a lifetime ago he knows his past has finally caught up with him.

BIO: A.S. lives in a place far, far away where shes about to enter what has already been named the coldest winter in a thousand years. She lives with Hello Kitty and Super Mario, she misses Manny Calavera. When she writes, she prefers her characters somewhat broken. A.S. is new to Noir and intrigued. Find her at Here To Read And Write.


Michael Solender said...

Nice Debut. Well done with a strong build and payoff.

Naomi Johnson said...

"We'll always have Paris."

Everybody loses, yep, that's noir.

R.S. Bohn said...

You don't write like you're new to noir. For your first time, this is stellar.

Absolutely poignant and dripping with atmosphere, and with melancholy. Gorgeous descriptions throughout, though everything tinged with sadness. Well done.

AJ Hayes said...

Finest kind of subtle poetry and logical progression with just the right touch of sadness and sense of desperate loss at the end. Call it a blues song and I'd agree.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Naomi stole my line. Damn. Really good atmosphere here. Nice.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Great job, especially liked how he went from criminal to cop, but experienced tragedy with each.

M. C. Funk said...


I would echo everything that has been said so far in the comments and refine those echos into this:

More, please.

Chris Rhatigan said...

The writing here is top notch. So many beautiful turns of phrase. And the mood is spot on.

Joyce said...

Amazing. While reading this, I can hear the blues being played in the background. You've created the atmosphere of dark cobblestone streets, barely there streetlamps, a corner bar, a half empty glass, a sad story being shared with a bartender who's not listening... So much loss all the way around. Noir at its finest.

chad rohrbacher said...

Great flash. I don't believe it's your first time (snark) :) -- I'm looking forward to reading a lot more from you -- true pulpy goodness here.

Anonymous said...

Hello, A.S.
Nice piece of flash-- like the twist from bad to good, and the past coming back to bite.