Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Absurdist Pulp Noir - WINNER ANNOUNCED  (Read 8905 times)

kconan

  • After⇐---—---⇒Before


  So for the next round of the Fortnightly Writing Competition you are tasked with writing the middle chapter of an absurdist pulp noir story.  Since you would be writing the middle chapter, you don't have to introduce the characters (although no hard requirement against doing that) and no need to wrap up every single plot and subplot(s) with an ending.  Just dive the reader into whatever crazy situation(s) you can concoct filled with pulpy over-the-top characters (like old dime novel action heroes, 1940s detective, etc...) in a dark noir-ish hell of World (Dark City, Winchester ’73, etc...).

  Two of the judging criteria will be "pulpiness" of the characters and "noir level" of the background World.

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absurdist_fiction
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulp_noir
  http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/vanity-fair/images/3635869/title/film-noir-photoshoot-photo

  Competition ends on Saturday, August 30th.  Have at it!

  EDIT: Want to mention...Just because this is the middle chapter doesn't mean your entry has to be relatively short.  Length is your call.

  Trophies:

  1st          2nd          3rd

« Last Edit: 05 Sep 2014, 14:30 by kconan »

Eric

  • Rottwheelers
    • I can help with story design
    •  
As someone who has drawn Johnny Theremin fan art, I'm in. Spot reserved.

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I've got some ideas, but I want a bit of clarification.  Since this is going to be a middle chapter and doesn't necessarily have to have a "plot" as such (maybe no rising action or resolution), is "plot" still going to be a voting category?  Would I be shooting myself in the foot by writing something so edgy and disjointed that it could be essentially described as plotless?

kconan

  • After⇐---—---⇒Before
...is "plot" still going to be a voting category?  Would I be shooting myself in the foot by writing something so edgy and disjointed that it could be essentially described as plotless?

Good point.  There will be atmosphere and characters, but no plot voting for this comp.

monkey424

  • I'm a coffee achiever
I might give this a crack. Pointless and plotless stories are my specialty. ;-D
    

Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
    • I can help with translating
    •  
Wow, that was so not my topic. I tried anyway.

Warnings: sex and violence, nothing too graphic.


Chapter Four: Grand Hotel

First he heard the cock of a gun and then her seductive cooing in his ear. “It’s been way too long.”, she said, “So nice to see you again, Sebastian.”

“Nice to see you again.”, he echoed and turned around.

She hadn’t changed at all. Her lipstick still was of the deepest, darkest red, he aubergine-colored hair hung in perfectly styled locks to her shoulders and down her back. Her long blue dress revealed way too much of her body: The back of it was cut nearly as far down as her ass and a slit up to her hip on the left side showed her long legs, which ended in a pair of black high-heels, and even part of her ass. As usual, she obviously wasn’t wearing panties, only a lace bra, clearly visible where the v-neck was cut a little too deep. Firm breasts tightened the fabric in such a way that every other woman would have feared the dress was about to burst. Not her. She never worried about such trivialities as a wardrobe malfunction.

He couldn’t stop goggling her: her round ass, her taut tits, her pouting mouth... It was even difficult for him to remember that she was pointing a gun at him.

She eyed him suspiciously for a moment or two and then she breathed: “Sebastian, I missed you...”

She didn’t de-cock the hammer or put the safety back on but she dangled the weapon from her middle finger while stroking her breasts with her left hand. He swallowed. How did she do it? How did she always manage to steal his sanity away? How could she lick her lips like that, stroke her breasts like that, shake her hip like that...? There was nothing he could do. Nothing.

“What brought you here?”, she asked and took him out of these thoughts that had gone in a completely different direction than the business at hand.

“Mu... murder.”, he stammered, indicating the obviously dead man on the ground.

“Oh.”, she laughed, “That’s too tragic.”

“Huh?” He was, as always when she was involved, pure eloquence. “What...? ...A man was murdered here, Muriel!”

“Don’t I know.”, she said, dangling the gun.

It had taken him long enough but even he wasn’t distracted by this woman forever. What had he thought she was doing here? With a gun, no less? He was stupid, but he always lost his mind when she was around...

“You...?”, he said.

“Of course I.”, she hissed.

“You... you shot him? You shot a man in cold blood?”

She laughed at that, the laughter rushing from her mouth like the blood rushing into his cock at that very same moment.

“Cold blood?”, she said, “Who said anything about cold blood? I’m sure it’s hot...”

“Muriel...”, he said, interrupting. As much as he wanted her right now, he also came to the realization that he had to reason with her, to maybe even stop her.

“What, Sebastian? What?”

“You killed a man, Muriel, you killed...”

“Who cares?”

“I do!”, he nearly screamed.

At that she swung the gun back into her hand and a shot loosened. It whizzed past his ear and ricocheted back from the ancient pillar in the back of the room. Some dust tickled down from the ceiling and onto the threadbare red carpet that once meant luxury and decadence and now only stood for decay. The hotel had been abandoned a long time ago. Some hints of the old life were still visible, like the ebony reception desk or the brass grate in front of the broken elevator and the golden rails of the wide staircase, but in all honesty it had become a meeting place for whores and addicts shortly after the owners filed for bankruptcy. Today, though, not a single addict was present. They had probably all scattered after the murder.

“Damn it, woman, be careful with that gun!”, Sebastian cursed, “You want to kill me?”

“Actually”, she said, the gun now trained at him, “that sounds like a particularly good idea.”

“Have you lost your mind? First you kill this man, now you want to kill me? A cop?”

“Why not?” She smiled and licked her lips again. Then she moved the gun to her décolleté and massaged her nipples with the grip. He was already hard before, but her actions certainly didn’t discouraged his body. “What else could I do?”, she breathed, cocking her head.

The suggestion was clear in her voice but it still took him a moment to realize it. It wasn’t in her words, though, only in everything else, and so he was the one to suggest it: “You could kiss me.”

She looked at him for a second and then she laughed, the gun again dangling from her finger. Oh, how he had missed this laughter! How he had missed these lips! How he had missed her! Her recklessness, her seductive voice, her inviting breasts...

She hugged him, her tongue invading his mouth, forceful, demanding. It had been too long. It had been way too long. He wanted to take her right here, right here on this threadbare carpet in the lobby of the former grand hotel, next to a dead body, next to the man she had killed. He didn’t care why. He didn’t care who this man was. He didn’t care that evidence would arrive in just a few minutes. He wanted to fuck her on the broken marble and wallow in the dark blood on the ground.

“I want you. Take me, take me now...”, she breathed when heavily when they came up for air and let the gun slip from her delicate hand.

“Yes, oh yes...”

He swung her up in his arms and stumbled to the reception area. He stepped on the arm – or was it a leg – of the corpse but didn’t care. Red footprints followed them to the ebony desk where he sat her down and spread her legs...

PhilStrahl

    • I can help with backgrounds
    •  
    • I can help with translating
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
Alright, my entry is going to be close to the deadline. Despite completely not being my genre, I found a lot of joy in coming up with my entry so it's going to be a bit ... long. There'll also be a bit of cyberpunk in it because reasons :)

Baron encouraged me to enter this competition as a way of improving my creative writing. So heres my entry, which is rather short.

I was back at my office, the incident with Freddy had left a bad taste in my mouth that I couldn't get rid off. I looked out over the city, desperate for any distraction. The night hung like a comforting blanket, hiding its ugliness, hiding the dirt and filth that seemed to creep into every crevice of every building and citizen.

How could a city have a personality? This one did. It was a femme fatale, tempting you with its seductive and illicit ways, promising you everything, then ripping you apart like a feral beast. Yet people still lived here, some even found happiness. Not me though. Never me.

I lowered my eyes from the view and they fell on the bottle in the corner. Another of my old mistresses.  It was a gift from a client at  the conclusion of a successful case some years earlier. My old days had robbed me of the memory of who exactly the client was or of any details of the case. I had never touched a drop of it,  preferring cheap bottles, with bright labels, to shut out the pain back then. 

I could remember that the glass of the bottle was hand blown by a group of French monks that had settled in Louisiana some time before the war. I could remember that they carefully, and meticulously, produced one of the smoothest, and finest tasting bourbons in any of the fifty states. I could remember every word on the label even those in French. I could remember every facet and detail of that bottle. It would take me the best part of a year to earn enough to be able to buy another bottle.

Gloria had once asked me why I kept it.

'You could sell it.' she had suggested.

'It's for the clients' I had glibly replied.

That wasn't the truth, not all of it anyhow. I had never offered any of it to a client, but it was there if I ever wanted to. I mainly kept it as a reminder. It was my test. My will against a piece of glass and the liquid it contained. The determination of one man against an inanimate object, John Henry would have been proud. Not man versus machine, but desire versus temptation.

A little bead of condensation glistened on the perfect neck of the bottle. It didn't care if I was tempted or not. It didn't care If I was angry or happy or sad, or if I ignored it because I was busy on a case. It didn't need me to talk about nothing and everything, or remember its birthday. It didn't care what clothes I wore, or who my friends were.

It just was there whenever I needed or wanted it.

I would have just one glass,  I could handle it.

Damn those monks! Damn Freddy!

There was a knock at the door. It was a welcome as the sound of a laughing woman to a man returning home from the war. I tore myself away from my temptress and scrambled to open the door, it could be a lead.

I should have just drunk the bottle. I should have remember what happened to John Henry.


Hope you like it. Haven't done any creative writing since my schooldays (decades ago).

Cheers,

Dadalus
This has been a 'Mouse fetishist' approved message.

PhilStrahl

    • I can help with backgrounds
    •  
    • I can help with translating
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
Sorry for writing around 2000 words, didn't plan on it initially. But now after polishing it, I don't completely hate myself for it ;)

Content disclaimer:
Strong language


Chapter 3

I really hated this part of Old Screw York. Full of human and architectural trash, debris and the colorful wrappers of dreams long expired. The acid rain that just had set in didn’t make the place any more welcoming. It was bitter and cold, just like my ex. But I was here because of a contract, all business. Light at the end of tunnel, for a change.
        “Hey man, you spare a ‘coin?”
        A junkster with an ugly little rat face and shaking hands approached me from the dank shadows. He was a perfect specimen of this part of Little Leningrad, greedy and desperate. An angular portion around his bloodshot eyes was mostly free of the filth, a tell-tale sign of Fairlight abuse. You pathetic junkie, I thought to myself, you waste your little life completely dependent on the kindness of strangers. Not this one, no, this one is stone cold to the bone. You picked the wrong SOB today, pal! I reached for my Jorge .45 underneath my coat.
        “Hurry up, dude. I got a girl at home. She’s pregnant. Please.”
        All of a sudden, somewhere amidst all my disgust there was a glimmer of pity for ratface boy and his ratface girl pregnant with their ratface litter. Jesus! What was I doing? I discreetly holstered my gun and fumbled for my old-timey wallet instead.
        “Here. But don’t blow it on bandwidth.”
        I took out a fiver.
        “What the fuck, man?! What’s that shit?”
        “Money. Just take it and scram.”
        “How am I supposed to change that for ‘coin? Fuckin’ unbelievable!”
        He threw the bill into the puddle with floating cigarette butts and micro-sims in front of us, punched me in the gut (surprisingly hard for his wirily rat-arms) and left. Ungrateful bastard, I muttered as I fished the fiver out of the oily puddle.
        “I won’t give you any such trouble, sailor. Unless that’s your kinda thing.”
        A voice from the other side of the street called out in a cheerful manner. The rain stung in my eyes as I looked up but the shrill silhouette with the pink thigh-high riveted boots and matching umbrella was too distinctive. Leon, the Gigolo. Just who I was looking for.
        “Hello Leon.”
        I tried to ignore the pain and walk as casually as possible over to him.
        “Oh, it’s you. Shit your pants or are you just happy to see me?”
        He giggled with his raspy voice and over the top antics, a Boro in the corner of his painted lips, each a different shade of pink.
        “Do me favor. Just tell me where to find Raye.”
        “A favor for your fiver. Or you wanna spend a bit more for the ol’ in-and-out, sailor? Always better to jack into reality than into some cyber dream world, eh? Wink-wink, nudge-nudge?”
        “I’m not in the mood, Leon.”
        I gave him the bill and felt my ribs hurting. I was too old for this shit.
        “This jog your memory?”
        Leon separated the Boro from his quellazaire and dropped it along with his girly-voice the instant he realized I wasn’t here for business. Well, not his, at least.
        “She’s bought the Antique Emporium, so she might be there. But I wouldn’t bother, if I were you.”
        With an overly disgusted expression he inspected the wet bill.
        “I am not intending to. Just pay her a little visit. See how things are going. Catch up.”
        “She doesn’t want to see you, Dick. And you can have that one back.”
        He handed me back the soaked fiver with splayed fingers.
        “Don’t call me Dick, my name is Richard.”
        I examined the the bill. It was totally fine, didn’t appear to be counterfeit or anything. Just old and wet.
        “Why doesn’t anybody want my money, anyway?”
        “That’s because you’re a relic of the past. And so is your money.” Leon already had a new Boro lit up and looked into the other direction for potential customers.
        I left to the next train station without another word. Surprisingly Leon’s comment stung more than the punch in the gut for the moment. But there was no pain a sip from my flask wouldn’t alleviate. At least for now.
       
        According to the records, Raye’s shop was located not far from the Dead Central Station, at Lexington and 52nd. The rain had no intentions of ever dying down, instead it ate away on the rotten limestone facades and gargoyles of the buildings I passed. In some alley close by, a couple of teens, kids really, had constructed a shelter out of old plastic EvoMal containers and underneath fiddled around on something that looked awfully similar to a severely scorched RC-45 mech from the riots in ’86. It still read “OSYC Precinct #17” on the side. I didn’t even want to know.
        The “Emporium” was nothing more than a warehouse with an anachronistic holo sign floating above the ramp. The acid from the sky had drenched my coat and hat and I was eager to get someplace dry.
        Inside it was dark and musty but even then I could make out that it was packed to the brim with old shit. Raye probably called it “retro” but it was just glorified, ages-old junk. I went past pool tables, Coca-Cola vending machines, LCD TVs and a battery of arcade cabinets. I read their stupid names while heading for the stairs that lead up to some kind of small floor office: “Asteroids”, “Polybius”, “Frogger”, “Computer Space”, “Missile Command”… If those geniuses had been tasked to find a title for Moby Dick, they would have settled for “White Fish” and patted themselves on their backs for a job well done. Idiots.
        The door to the office was not locked so I let myself in. The furniture looked as dated as the warehouse floor, only somewhat more organized at least. The most valuable object in here probably being the Shepard Fairey painting of some dead president on the wall. From a white square hardware player blared some song in which a woman sang something about seeing beauty in everything–how jarringly ironic. The last time I had heard that song was at my parents’ funeral home ages ago. I tried to turn it off as a woman in combat pants and a wet parka swung open the door. I had to look twice before I recognized her.
        “Raye?”
        “Dick.”
        “Don’t call me that.”
        “Then don’t act like one for starters. Who do you think you are, walking in here like you own this place, Dick?”
        She was quite a sight. The last time I had seen her she had been wearing preppy scytex blazers, always accompanied by one of those annoying pet owls and had sported curly cyan hair. Now she looked like a woodworker from another century.
        “So this is how you spent my money? What’s this shit anyway?”
        I pointed at the flat gray box, about twice the size of a phone on her desk.
        “That’s an antique. And it never was your money in the first place. Now get out, you’re leaving stains on the carpet.”
        She brushed past me into the room, turned off the music and hung the red parka on the back of her office chair.
        “Funny, because the last time I looked into my account it had been mine.”
        “You cheated on me, Dick. For years. I deserve a compensation for the psychic pain. Hell, I deserve a lot more…”
        She was just as greedy as I remembered her, still the spoiled brat underneath her flimsy grownup mask.
        “This is a bad time, Dick. What the fuck do you want here anyway? Or is it really just about money?”
        With a resigned gesture she slumped back in the chair. The light from the sign outside made her look old and I realized that I had no intentions of staying any longer than I had to. So I cut straight to the chase.
        “What do you know about some individual called the ‘Phisher King’?”
        She stared at me for a moment, her eyes piercing.
        “What the fuck kinda question is this?”
        “The sooner you answer, the sooner I leave.”
        “Search the blogs, watch the streams. I know exactly what everybody else knows. I am not your congregator. Now get lost.”
        “But at some point you had been in contact with him.”
        “…or her, you chauvinist prick.”
        “So you do know him? Or her.”
        “No!”
        I knew that inflection of hers. She looked away, at the gray thing on her desk. Oh boy, was she lying. I only had to press a little harder.
        “Then why…”
        There was a knock on the door.
        “Shit. Dick, you must leave.”
        Relieved she jumped to the door, pushing me towards the exit and opened it. A tall, bulky man with glasses, a wrinkled white shirt and one hell of an upside-down smile glared at me. He was very tall.
        “The fuck are you?”
        “Glad you could make it, James.”
        Before I could respond, Raye cut in with a tone in her voice I hadn’t heard in years. What do you call it, ‘friendly’? Still, her grip on my arm was as strong as a vice, shoving me past the man.
        “Dick was just about leaving.”
        “Dick?”
        The man grinned.
        “My name is Richard. And I am not leaving.”
        I tried not to lose hold of the situation, get some answers for a change. On my terms.
        “You look like a dick to me, alright.”
        The guy with the thick Jersey accent, James, sneered at me but I’ve had had it and pulled out the Jorge .45 and the stupid grin on the square face morphed into a puzzled look, turning the smile around once again.
        “Shut up!”
        “Dick, what are you doing?”
        Raye was more annoyed than anything and also the big guy didn’t show any signs of respect. Asshole.
        “What do you think you’re doing with is, you piece of shit?”
        “Shut you up for starters?”
        I pointed the zapper right at his dumb face.
        “Damnit, Dick. Use your fucking brain for once and put down the fucking gun! You’re insane!”
        Raye yelled in my ear and it was hard to restrain myself from pointing the gun right at her for that statement.
        “Yeah, use your brain, Dick!”
        James mocked and reached into his pocket.
        I must’ve lost if from there, it’s all a blur of rage, gunshots and blood. As the vapor trails from the muzzle dispersed, I saw what had happened. A big red stain was on the wall behind the big guy, his white shirt with the pens in breast pocket sprinkled too. With strangely splayed limbs he laid there, the carpeting absorbing the faint trickle of blood from the hole in his head and something in his hand. No gun, just a phone. Damn.
        And there was this noise. This loud, stinging noise in my ears. Perplexed I looked around and saw Raye’s mouth open and close in rapid succession and realized that it was the source of it.
        “You idiot! You stupid fucking idiot! This would’ve been my best customer, you moron! And you just shot him!”
        Slowly I turned around and pointed the gun at her heart and yelled right into her face.
        “Who is the ‘Phisher King’?”
        That did the trick. She fell silent instantly, looked at me like a deer in the headlights.
        “I… I don’t know. She just arranged the deal with James…”
        The time-out lasted only these few seconds, Raye noticeably filled up with anger again. But it was all I needed to know.
        “…WHO YOU SHOT, YOU IDIOT!”
        I holstered the Jorge, knelt down and took the dead man’s phone. Where he was going he wouldn’t need it anyway. Apparently the incident had stirred the neighborhood and the shadow and sound of sirens of an alerted police dirigible drew closer. If I didn’t leave now this would get uncomfortable. As I slid the phone into my coat’s deep pocket I felt a familiar piece of paper.
        “Oh, and that’s for the carpet.”
        I placed the wet and still neatly folded five nuyen bill on her desk.
        “Fuck. You.”
        Raye scrunched up the bill and threw it at my back as I left.


***


If you're still reading: Thank you for seeing it through! Hope I didn't steal too much of your time.

kconan

  • After⇐---—---⇒Before
  Good stuff so far! 

  The deadline is extended to Sunday night for you weekend writers.  I'd love to see Baron, Wham, and Ponch put up some absurdy, pulpy noir. 

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I've been plugging away at it, but my chapter is over 2000 words so far and goes absolutely nowhere.  I'll try to edit it into something readable (if not sensical) by Sunday. ;)

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
    • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
 
CHAPTER 4

   I squinted into the gloom of her apartment. Dim light seeped in through the doorframe from the seedy corridor outside. I stood upon the front door, the impact of my shoeprint beneath my feet. I knew she had only just left. The smell of her perfume permiated the room.
   It was only ten days ago that this woman walked back into my life and I started hunting her down again. We travel so far over the course of our lives and yet we barely take a single step...
   I took my first tentative steps into the room, my .38 snub nose held at arm's length. Scanning left and right I saw no signs of movement. I took in the pathetic examples of her life in this place. After all this time it came down to this:
   There were scissors on the coffee table amongst some plastic shards and several cards. There was a cutter knife cast adfrit amid some pads of flesh that looked bloody and fresh.
   She was doing exactly what I had expected: Making fake IDs and erasing fingerprints.
   The rattle on the fire escape outside had me running towards the window. Her perfune was still hanging in the dead night air of the city as I ducked outside.
   Looking down through the grate floor of the fire escape, I saw her climbing down to the floor below me. I called out:
   
   "Patricia!"

   She glanced up and I took in her pathetic visage, when she could have been so much more...

(The story branches here so please open the options you wish to pursue)

OPEN THIS BRANCH IF YOU ARE THE BAD GUY

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

OPEN THIS BRANCH IF YOU WANT A SUPERNATURAL ENDING

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
   I used my unnatural agility to swing out over the railing and swing back in just in time to land right beside my wayward twin sister on the next level down of the fire escape.
   She never had a chance.
   I shot her in the leg first to cripple her.
   The broken neon light of the hotel across the alley flickered on and off as I bit into her neck and drained her of her blood.
   She pleaded with me. "Why?" she murmered, sinking deeper into oblivion, "Why would you do this to me?"
   I answered, whispering into her ear "We were the same at birth... Now we are the same in death."
   After some time she stood up beside me, truly thirsty for the first time.
   I led her off into the night...

OPEN THIS BRANCH IF YOU WANT A REAL-WORLD ENDING

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
   I plugged a few rounds from the .38 down through the grating of the fire escape. Sparks flew beneath my feet and one round peeled back enough to whiz close by my ear.
   But I nailed her in the right shoulder.
   Patricia fell in shock. The sound of her blood dripping down through the grating to the street below was audible as I climbed down the ladder to confront her.
   She was still able to meet my eyes with a stare of defiance as I stood over her.
   I aimed the revolver at her forehead.
   My twin sister asked "Why?"
   After all these years on the run from me was that was the only thing she could think to ask?
   I pulled the trigger. There was a wet noise.
   I said "Because there can be only one."

   I left before the sirens got any closer.

OPEN THIS BRANCH IF YOU ARE THE GOOD GUY

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
OPEN THIS BRANCH IF YOU WANT A SUPERNATURAL ENDING

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
   My twin sister hissed up at me through the grate of the fire escape showing her fanged teeth. She had been hunting me for years, trying to make me what she was, but I had found her first!
   I knew the wooden bullets in my .38 would never be able to penetrate the steel grill of the floor beneath my feet so I called out to her:
   "Patricia! Now you can never have me!", and dove over the railing.
   Vampires are such suckers. She dove after me and, in mid-air, we locked in an embrace of teeth and gunshots.
   A few months in hospital in a back-brace are nothing compared to blowing down alleyways as ash for all eternity.

OPEN THIS BRANCH IF YOU WANT A REAL-WORLD ENDING

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
   After all these years of searching I had found Patricia! She dove for the next ladder on the fire escape and started climbing down.
   I called out to her again "PATRICIA...STOP...WAIT!"
   She looked up and we locked eyes in each others' identical twin faces for the last time in our lives.
   Her foot slipped on a rung. Her eyes, still locked on mine, grew huge as she plummeted.
   I gazed into her glazed eyes as the body-bag was zipped shut amid the flashing blue lights.
   Now I would never know why she had wanted me dead.
« Last Edit: 31 Aug 2014, 03:02 by Mandle »

monkey424

  • I'm a coffee achiever
Thanks for the extension, kconan, as the story was only half finished this time yesterday. I've taken inspiration from recent night shift works where a mysterious fog did actually roll through the site. Like Dadalus, I haven't done creative writing since high school, so it's been a bit challenging but I think I got there in the end.

Chapter 5 – The Ugly and Uglier

Joe’s head was a mess. He popped a couple of aspirin and downed them with a swig of whiskey. Irritably he hurled the empty bottle out the window of his battered sedan as it meandered through dark city streets and laneways like a desperate rodent in a maze. His blood spattered hands tensely gripped the wheel and his teeth clenched down on a cigarette slowly filling the car with a hazy cloud. His mind replayed the recent volatile scene that just took place. Like a vodka martini, Joe was shaken, but not stirred. He just needed to go somewhere to gather his thoughts and contemplate his next move.

Now passing through a particularly bad part of town, Joe approached the seedy red light district. Young tarted-up ladies adorned the streets like unorthodox Christmas decorations, resilient to the chilly night air. Joe recognised a redhead from the flock. She had dangerous curves like a roller-coaster and a face like a doll’s.

“You look like crap Joe!” said Roxy, bluntly yet sweetly.

“Don't worry about it, doll face.”

“Any new assignments for me?” she enquired.

“Not tonight, sweet cheeks. But if anyone asks, I spent the night with you.”

“Ha! No one would believe it!” Roxy teased. “You couldn't afford it. And you're as ugly as they get!”

Joe fixed his eyes on hers, took a long drag on his cigarette and slowly exhaled.

“As ugly as you are beautiful, baby.”

Roxy blushed. “Oh, Joe!” is all she could manage, slightly annoyed that her default indifference was crumbling like shoddy masonry.

“You just be careful, whatever you're up to.”

Joe, all too familiar with the sick and deranged world, gave a reassuring smile.

“You too, sugar.”

-----------------------------------------------------

It was approaching midnight and the docks were eerily quiet apart from gentle waves lapping at the seawall and the distant buzz of the city. Floodlights illuminated a nearby construction site, casting gangly shadows, and a heavy fog had just rolled in from the north. An ugly crew of workers were shutting down their machines to clock off for the evening while an equally doggy-looking cast of characters prepared for the night shift.

A short, stocky man stood overlooking the site as he sipped his coffee and frowned. His deadpan eyes stared blankly into the night mist dancing in the light. He had a pounding headache too.

The foreman noticed a familiar looking blue-grey sedan emerging from the fog. He recognised the driver and frowned again. “What does this clown want?” he said under his breath.

Joe leaped out of the car. They say communication is mostly non-verbal and this was particularly true in this instance as Joe and the site foreman exchanged dagger-like glances. Some heavy shit was about to go down.

“Whataya want?” hissed the foreman.

Without a word, Joe flicked his cigarette into the darkness and flung open the boot, gesturing to the foreman to look inside. “Why don’t you take a look, Jimmy?”

The foreman, whose name incidentally was Carlos, didn’t know quite what to do. This was not unusual. Carlos was a simple man, and his natural thuggish aggression changed instantly to a stupefied cluelessness, like a demented barking dog now confronted by an oncoming freight truck.

Carlos edged cautiously towards the car to take a peek at its contents. Inside he saw a lifeless body face down in a bloody mess.

"Jesus!" Carlos choked. "Who the fuck is this?"

"A former client," replied Joe. "There was a disagreement over some debt collection. Things got ugly. But it’s not what you think - this was a complete accident."

Carlos jumped as a soft groaning was audible from the trunk. "Fuck me! He's not dead!?"

"No. Not yet."

"Why the fuck did you bring him here?" Carlos spluttered.

"You're going to help me dispose of him. Consider this a discount off your debt repayment plan."

Carlos, suddenly self-conscious, looked around anxiously, imagining a surprise guest appearance by a police raid. A few seagulls squawked in the distance. Satisfied that no one else (or at least, no cops) were present in the immediate vicinity, he hastily slammed the car boot shut and swiftly disappeared into the fog.

Moments later, Carlos emerged driving a big yellow monster. He indicated for Joe to drive into the heart of the site. The vehicles stopped at a massive hole in the ground half filled with freshly poured blinding concrete for the base of a lift shaft. Joe lowered the hand break and said a quick goodbye to the car (but nothing too sentimental) before leaping out.

The excavator bucket mounted the car from behind and Carlos proceeded to move it with the simple push of a lever. The car tipped over and sank slowly into the viscous dark-grey cesspool, swallowing whole the car and its helpless captive in one bubbling slurp.

“Well,” Joe said as he lit up another cigarette. “Bon Appetite, concrete.”
« Last Edit: 31 Aug 2014, 23:25 by monkey424 »
    

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Well, I'm really sorry about the length but there's not much to be done: I've already edited out over a thousand words!  Enjoy if you dare...

-B

 ~Chapter 13~

   Detective Rhodes pulled up outside the Hotel Exotica, trying to clear his head.  The rain had let up for the moment, but this run down section of Gunchville still glistened in the pallid streetlight like it was painted in a film of slime.  An older woman paced outside the run down hotel wearing heels that were too high and a dress that was too tight.  In a third storey window the blinds were discreetly shut, revealing the silhouette of a much younger woman whose posture suggested a ditzy uncertainty.  On the sidewalk a blind man led a child down the street: suspicious for this time of night, but the detective had a bigger quarry on the loose.  Several parked cars lined the curb, any one of which could harbour prying eyes.  The Detective frowned, then pulled into the garbage strewn alley.

      *   *   *   *   *

   “I thought I told you to stop sticking your head out there,” Buck chastised.  He had a big game downstairs in an hour, and didn't need the nerving this two-penny dame was  putting him through.

   “Sorry, Charlie,” Molly squeaked, promptly closing the blind.  His real name was Buck Marlin, but he was betting she'd never figure that out.  Buck had a soft spot for easy ladies and long odds, which was why he was in this dicey spot with another man's wife.  He was never more than a flip of a card away from disaster, and he liked it that way.

   He took another swig from his bottle of bourbon and beckoned casually for her to join him on the bed.

   “Charlie,” she crooned, holding onto the name like it was a spoon dripping with ice cream, “How'd you get so carefree?”  She joined him on the bed, caressing his clean-shaven face and tussling his rakishly dishevelled hair.

   But Buck the Gambler wasn't any of those things she thought he was.  He might look good on the outside, seem the carefree charmer and the happy tippler, but none of it was true.  Inside the gears were always turning, the adding machine was always tallying, and at the moment especially the clock was always ticking.

      *   *   *   *   *

   Madam Ying took shelter beneath the awning as the rain came on again.  Six pounds of gold and pearl jewelry could only keep a girl her age so warm.  Then the Mercury Eight pulled up under the awning, and it was time to get to work.

   “Excuse me?” she asked in an irritated tone, eyes flashing steel, as a burly body guard emerged from the car to block her path.  Didn't this uncouth barbarian know who she was?

   The caveman looked around, assessing the surroundings, before reluctantly stepping aside to open the door.  Inside an impossibly fat man in a suit struggled to turn himself toward the exit.

   “Greetings Don Carlo!” Madam Ying smiled with her teeth but not her eyes.  “Welcome to the Hotel Exotica.”  She gave him her hand to kiss, but instead the weighty gangster grabbed onto it for support.  The poor madam was almost swept bodily into the back seat except at the last moment she was saved by the muscular goon who grabbed the Don's other hand and hefted him out of the car.

   Madam Ying smoothed her dress and tried to swallow the indignity: Don Carlo was a very important customer.  For now.  “Of course you are a bit early, but we would be very happy if you would relax a bit with us in the cocktail lounge.”

    But Don Carlo merely raised a hand, the effort of which seemed to make him wheeze.  “No.  I am meeting with a business associate before this evening's engagement.  Please give my regards to the Count.”  By this time the goon had retrieved a heavy briefcase from the car and was escorting Don Carlo up the red carpeted stairs and into the hotel lobby.  Madam Ying stared daggers, but said nothing.

      *   *   *   *   *

   The piano chimed slowly as the lights went down, the spotlight came up, and the curtains drew back.  And there stood Starley Musk, arms wrapped round herself sensuously, clinging to her body almost as tightly as that silver sequin dress, a tendril of smoke floating gently from her glossy lips.  She was mostly leg and breast, but if you could get past that she had amazing black hair done up in bouncy corkscrew curls.  And then she began to sing, in that sultry, husky voice of hers, and you could hear the crashing of a hundred hearts shattering on the lounge's art deco flooring tile.

   “I'm afraid I must greet our guests for this evening's game,” Madame Ying chimed, extinguishing the cigarette at the end of her holder.  The Count leant over and kissed her yearningly on both cheeks.

   “Will you be long?” he asked, fingering the priceless jewels on the necklace around her neck.

   “The game will begin in an hour,” she replied.  “I will come for you by then.”

   The Count did his best to fain indifference, returning his eyes to the spectacle on the stage.  But when the Madam was out of sight he crushed out his cigarette and headed for the back stage door.

      *   *   *   *   *

   Detective Rhodes crouched low in the alley behind a pile of trash, his black skin and dark coat making him barely visible in the night shadows.  The rain was starting up again, and he was eager to get inside.  He frowned, then made his counter offer.

   “Seven, or deal's off,” his informant spat.

   Detective Rhodes wasn't in the mood for dealing with attitude from this kind of insect.  But he needed inside, and he needed in there fast and quiet, which was probably going to cost him.

   “I can go five, if you point me to the room.”  The nark gave him a sob story about needing to provide for his many children, the surest sign of desperation.

   “What if....  What if I get you into the secret passage behind the Shoji screen?  Right in the very room the game is going to be played in?  What'd that be worth to you?”  The fink glanced around the alley apprehensively.  The longer he dragged this out the more risk there was of getting caught, but also the more likely that this detective would lose his nerve and shill out what he was worth.

   “Seven, did you say?” the Detective mused.

   “No, no, no.  This is a big thing here.  I'm asking twelve now.”

   The rain really started coming down.

      *   *   *   *   *

   Bruto flexed the muscles in his neck, oblivious to the bone jarring sound it produced.  He wished someone would hurry up and draw a gun or throw a punch or something.  All this standing around and looking menacing was as boring as... well, it was boring anyway.

   Don Carlo's wheezes filled the room with a slow rhythm of unhealthy rasping.  The boys sitting across from him looked scared, but Bruto knew that the easy rhythmic wheezes meant Don Carlo was in a peaceful state of mind.  When those wheezes started coming fast or sporadic, then someone was going to have their ass handed to them.  Bruto farted to pass the time.

   “I stand by my stuff,” Don Carlo panted.  “It's 100% pure, top of the line, and delivered on time and as requested.” 

   The boys on the other end of the coffee table each tentatively dipped a finger into the contents of the suitcase before them.  They were raw, that was sure, which meant either they were pushovers or crazy sadistic weirdos that killed their enemies with papier mâché.  Either way Bruto would make them squeal at the slightest hint from his boss.

   The boys seemed to like what they tasted.  Don Carlo nodded approvingly.  “Now there is the matter of my recompense, as per our agreement,” he laboured.  “I am about to play a game of heavy wagers, and will be most disappointed if I don't have a full arsenal of currency to bring to the table.”

   The boys looked at each other a little nervously, and Bruto smiled inwardly.  This evening was about to get interesting after all.

   Then there was a woman's scream from the floor above. 

   Don Carlo turned to face Bruto.  “Did you fart onions behind my head?” he rasped.

   But Bruto was already heading for the door.  “That sounded like my wife!”

      *   *   *   *   *

   There was a loud banging on the hotel room door.  Buck and Molly both froze, half undressed with their hearts in their throats.  Molly was sure it was her husband, who she had no doubt would murder them both.  Buck's mind raced through a number of possibilities, each more unpalatable than the last.

   “Oh my god, Charlie! Oh my god!” Molly whined, looking through the tussled bedding for her blouse.  Buck just took a swig of bourbon before the door burst open. 

   Now Buck prided himself on his poker face, but his eyebrow rose despite years of training to the contrary at the sight now before him.  A stocky midget in a bright red suit strutted through the door, a small revolver in his hand.  Behind him a spindly man in thick sunglasses lurched awkwardly through the doorway, swinging a cane in front of him.

   “Hold it right there, sister!” the little man ordered.

   Molly stopped, and turned around with a look of utter confusion on her face.  “Who are-?” she started.

   “Just sit back down on the bed,” he barked without taking his eyes off Buck, who still lounged in bed with his liquor bottle.  “You!  Hands where I can see them!”

   Buck raised his free hand unenthusiastically, but kept his other hand firmly grasped around the bottle.  “What is this, some kind of circus act?” Buck sneered.  He had no idea who these two buffoons were, and wanted to push them a bit to see what he could find out.

   “Hey, that's funny,” the little guy said, nodding to his partner who was awkwardly fitting the door back into its shattered frame.  “Isn't that freakin' hilarious?  I bet you're on after the musical numbers downstairs with your comedy routine.”  Behind him the blind man tripped over a lamp that had been thrown to the floor by the force of the door opening, and fell head first into a plush chair.

   Molly's mouth was agape, but Buck was getting worried.  He sure as hell didn't know this little fire cracker, which meant this was business and not personal.  But  anyone this cool and collected in these circumstances was clearly a professional, which meant a little more respect was due.

   “Hit men?” he guessed, sitting up slowly.  He was wearing nothing but his ace-of-hearts briefs, which severely limited his range of flight.  He scanned the room with his peripheral vision, considering his options.

   “Bounty hunters,” the little guy stated matter-of-factly.  “My partner's The Finder: he can sniff out your trail from across the country.  I'm The Seeker: like the freakin' missile that locks onto your ass once you're in range.  Who's the dame?”

   Buck weighed the merits of truthfulness and found them wanting.  “She's my sister,” he asserted.

   “Yeah, and I'm a freakin' line backer with Notre Dame.  Now here's the shinny, folks.  One of you two stole something very precious to my employer, and we're here to retrieve it or seek retribution in lieu of.  Anyone have a guilty conscience?”

   Buck and Molly exchanged guilty glances.  Molly's looked guiltier; Buck's should have.

   “Hey, no problem,” the Seeker soothed sarcastically.  “I mean, we tracked you all this way.  Why make it easy on us now?  Larry!  Sniff 'em.”

   The blind man felt his way over to them on the bed, groping at Buck's nipple before sniffing him in the face like a hunting dog.  The poker face was gone again.  Then the Finder moved on to snuffle at Molly, who gave a little shriek of disgust at his attentions.

   “Well?” the midget asked, pointing the gun to each of them.  “Who's the quarry?”

   The blind man stood back behind him before pointing in the wrong direction: “It's the dame!”

      *   *   *   *   *

   The Count moved on silent feet, carefully stepping over the many trip wires that laced the hotel room like a spider's web.  Each one was rigged up to rather medieval looking weaponry, everything from barbed darts to headsman's axes.  As a jewel thief of international calibre, the Count had seen far worse, but never in such density in a person's domicile.  The long-term renter of this hotel room was not a person to be crossed, at least not for good reason.  But he had a family, of sorts, that had to be kept in the manner to which they were accustomed.  He reached the underwear drawer, and opened it gently, careful not to trigger the spear-thrower mechanism attached to it.
   
   “Mother of God,” he exclaimed.  It took a lot to shake his nerves, but Madam Ying's woven nettle thong stung his fingers.  Beneath it he found the safe, and began delicately to practice his craft.

      *   *   *   *   *

   Starley Musk powdered her nose as the stage manager passed by, saying that she was on in five.  A cockroach skittered across her dressing stand, and she instinctively tried to squish it with her hair brush.  Breathing deeply to steady her nerves, she took a hit of her special powder stash, and then strapped the tiny derringer pistol to her inner thigh.  It was show time.

      *   *   *   *   *

   Detective Rhodes followed his informant's lead, stealthily running through the maze of corridors that made up the Hotel Exotica's interior.  He heard shouts, muffled gun shots, and this surreal kind of melodic moan all coming from the floor above.  That would bring the cavalry in, he thought, disappointed.  And that would stop the game from going ahead.  They stopped at door 2B, left slightly ajar.

   “This is it,” the fink said flatly.  “Good luck.”

   The Detective drew his gun.  “We had a deal,” he told the backstabbing little cockroach.

   The Roach stood up on his hind legs, antennae twitching at the commotion echoing through the corridors.  “What'cha going to do?  Shoot me?  I thought you wanted to keep this hush-hush.”  With that he skittered off under the wainscotting.

   The Detective cursed under his breath, and then listened at the slightly open door for any sound of the room's occupants, but the flood of noise erupting around him made it impossible to hear anything.  Holding his breath, he pushed passed the door, pistol ready.

   The room was empty, except for a man-sized piñata that could have held about two tons of candy.

      *   *   *   *   *

   Madam Ying shivered under the hotel awning in the evening chill as the rain poured down.  She lit another cigarette for warmth.  A cockroach skittered out from under the ashtray stand at the hotel's entrance, but she crushed it with a combination of her six inch stiletto heel and the lightning fast reflexes that she was legendary for.  Why were the highest rollers always so fashionably late?

   Then a body fell out of the sky and smashed onto the roof of the car parked on the curb next to her.  The car's alarm went off, but even though she was so close the sound was still quite muffled by the pounding rain.  Apparently she was missing the real action this evening.  Her cigarette met the same fate as the cockroach before she headed inside.

      *   *   *   *   *

   Buck Marlin tiptoed through the corridor.  He was still wearing nothing but his ace-of-hearts briefs, but he had his freedom and his wad of cash for the big game, and for that he counted himself the luckiest man in the world right now.  Sometimes, against the odds, the cards fell just right for men of his ilk.
   
   Then a big hulking man with a sloped forehead and a mean-looking set to his jaw came around the corner and ran right into him.

      *   *   *   *   *

   The piano tinkled away, filling the time between acts in the cocktail lounge.  Then suddenly the ligths went out, and the wails of banshees flooded the room.

      *   *   *   *   *

   Starley Musk turned the corner of the corridor, pistol drawn.  Dust floated like cigarette smoke from a hole in the wall, indicating no moving air currents in the vicinity, but the eerie moaning sound now permeated the building had to be coming from somewhere.  She glanced through the hole, and suddenly wished she hadn't, for inside the room in a pool of blood lay a skeleton wearing nothing but ace-of-hearts briefs.

   A sound behind her made her spin, ready to shoot.  A dapper looking black man holding a detective's badge and a bigger gun than hers stared back.

   “Who the hell are you?” he asked.

   “Who the hell are you?!?” she replied.

      *   *   *   *   *

   Bruto groaned and sat up, glass falling from his hair as he did so.  His stomach ached from the bullet wound he'd sustained, and his back didn't tickle after that three storey fall.  That midget had one hell of a left hook, he conceded, but he lacked an appreciation for just how much punishment Bruto could sustain and yet keep on coming.  He spat out a tooth and then rolled off what was left of the car roof.  Nobody spanked his wife like that and got away with it!  Bruto lurched back through the entrance of the hotel.

   Moments later, unnoticed, a swarm of cockroaches emerged from every crack and crevice to lock the door behind him.

      *   *   *   *   *

   The game was a bust, that much was for sure.  The Count shook his head with disappointment, but at least he had a sack full of loot to compensate him for his trouble.  Now there was the little matter of bringing his precious coven to heel so that they could make their getaway before dawn.  Screams wafted down the corridors as they devoured the other guests, and he wondered worryingly if the uncontained carnage would summon the police.  It could be so bothersome when things didn't go to plan.

   He was so immersed in his thoughts that he turned a corner and ran right into a spindly man wearing large sunglasses.  The shock of his inattentiveness was surpassed only by that of the man's damp nose sniffing in his face in the manner of dog, and he flailed in a most undignified manner to extract himself from this invasive greeting.

   The sunglassed man pointed knowingly at him.  “Ham Sandwich, Reno, 1978.  You left the midnight snack counter without paying.  We've been looking for you for a long time.”

      *   *   *   *   *

   Madam Ying had been in business a long time, and nothing much surprised her anymore.  So when a wraith-like figure floated down the corridor moaning for her flesh, she calmly drew the three foot katana she had somehow kept concealed in her seemingly too-tight dress and prepared to do battle.  The banshee screamed lustfully, and Madam Ying howled back like a Siamese cat.

   And the few survivors left in the Hotel Exotica hunkered down in horror.    

Eric

  • Rottwheelers
    • I can help with story design
    •  
CHAPTER 06 – The Invader

The sun stabbed through the curtain-less windows and lay harshly across his eyelids, recalling Havelock from the dreamless black solace of sleep. His half-waking mind found the overdue words to finish the conversation from the night before, and he spoke them now trance-like to the empty space where she'd sat begging for his reply: "It was never really my promise to keep." She was surely miles away by now, and in any case, they weren't the words she wanted to hear anyway. Havelock sat up, spit in the floor, thought better of it, and rubbed it into the wood with the bare heel of his foot.

Grogginess receded and a cocktail of regret and hunger filled the vacuum it left behind. He ambled to the basin of dirty water and splashed it against the grit of his cheeks. Rivulets of grey trickled down the deep-cut lines around his mouth. The water was already warm as the air in the room. He checked the clock. It was almost noon it said, but it wasn't set right. A liar, he thought, just like everybody else in this damned place.

The pan yielded ham and a bitter mix of grits and red-eye gravy. Havelock filled his mouth and left the plate barren, savoring the lingering taste for a count of twenty, then replacing it with a swig of sour mash bourbon and the dry burn of stale tobacco. He tipped the emptied glass on its side, stood, and took stock of the room: The girl was gone. The bag was gone. The money was gone. His gun was gone. His shoes were gone. Right then, he felt plum relieved she'd left the pan and the grits and the bourbon. He poured another glass. He lit another cigarette. He missed the girl, but for what it was worth, he missed the gun more.

Six stories down, the cars sprinted up and down the street, occasionally finding space at the curb to rest. The sidewalks were clogged with harried people, elbows touching as they passed in the narrow spaces behind sidewalks and paper boxes. Havelock watched them half-interested from the window, glad to be above them and not down in the scrum. The shower was cold, a relief today. He dripped off the excess water and slipped an undershirt over his head. He kicked around a pile of dirty shirts until a pair of trousers revealed itself. He was one leg in when the pounding at the door began. He was both in when the lock was pushed through the jamb.

By the time he looked up, the mook had cleared half the distance between him and the door. The mook was tall and wide, and cast a shadow across the bed were Havelock still sat, pants cinched around his naked thighs. The mook’s hair was blonde and close-cropped, his features were rounded by fat, and his face fair but tinted red. The mook wore a cheap-looking suit and a poorly knotted tie. The mook’s feet slapped a loud 4/4 on the floor boards as he closed the rest of the gap to Havelock. The mook’s fist was high above his head. Then it wasn’t anymore.

Havelock rose again from the dark of unconsciousness, but this time swallowed any words that threatened to spill out. The taste of blood was in his mouth; the feel of blood was on his face. He was down on the floor, on his back, with a size 13 Florsheim refusing to let his chest rise.

“People said you was a tough feller,” the mook said. He put his weight forward and Havelock’s lungs clicked like a gear that wouldn’t catch. “Y’all ain’t seem so tough to me.”

“People lie,” Havelock said, with the last bit of breath he’d been hoarding. The mook’s foot moved slightly, and the air flooded back into him. He lay drinking it in until his chest no longer burned.

“You have a girl here with you last night?” the mook asked, stepping over to look at the ruffled blanket on the bed. Havelock sat up to his knees, pulling his trousers up the rest of the way and buttoning them for good measure. He really missed the gun now.

“I don’t rightly recall seeing anything in the tenant’s agreement that forbids it,” he said.

The mook picked up a matchbook from the bedside table, and idly flicked at it with his thumb. He offered, without looking away: “People said you was a smart feller too.”

“I ain’t too smart,” Havelock said. “Just smarter than some.”

The mook lost interest in the matchbook, flicked it to one side. “A real smart feller would’ve answered my question the first time.” He took two steps, gripped Havelock’s head in his oversized palms, and shoved it through the plaster of the wall beside the bed. Havelock felt blood splash in his ears, down over his eyelids, across the bridge of his nose as he was yanked back into the room. The mook threw him down to the floor, and Havelock scuttled back like a crab, tired of being beaten. He said as much out loud and the mook laughed.

“There ain’t much you can tell me now I ain’t already figured out anyway,” he said. “I know she was here. I know she ain’t now. And I know that probably stings you more than anything my fists could do.” He paused to watch the grimace spread Havelock’s blood-painted face. “I got one more question for you, and you better play straight with me on this or I’ll beat you six ways to Sunday, boy: do you know where she went?”

Havelock rocked a loose front tooth with the tip of his tongue and shook his head. The mook laughed a deep and knowing guffaw.

“Well, I’m glad to have finally got some truth from you, tough feller. Or was it smart feller?” He laughed again, and made slowly for the door.

“What about the mess you made?” Havelock asked him.

“What mess?” The mook feigned a look that was plum angelic.

“You busted my damn door,” Havelock pointed. “And you put a hole in my wall.”

“I’m muscle. I ain’t no carpenter,” the mook said. “They pay me to break things. They ain’t paying me to fix them. And besides, I seem to remember it was your head done that to the wall. If’n you look closely, you’ll see that hole is you-shaped.”

The mook backed out cautiously, pulling the door to behind him. He made a show of trying to get the latch to catch, but it was no good. The door was off its hinges. He laughed himself down the hallway.

Havelock submerged his face in the brackish water of the basin and rinsed away all the blood that wasn’t still bleeding. He drew a slug of bourbon, then one more, then one more until the bottle was drip dry. There were two ways to go about this, he thought. He could kill the mook and find the girl. Or he could find the girl and kill the mook.

In his estimation, the order of the sequence didn’t matter all that much. He did wish she’d have left his damn shoes though.
« Last Edit: 31 Aug 2014, 19:25 by Eric »

kconan

  • After⇐---—---⇒Before
Lots of great entries!  Now VOTE:

Atmosphere - Which writer invoked the most feelings and emotions from the reader
Word Choice/Style - Which writer used the most clever, interesting, and unique words and/or phrases
Character(s) and Pulpiness Level - Which writer created the most captivating and pulpy characters
Noir Level of Background World - Which writer created the most noirish (use your definition of "noir") world
Best Overall (Worth 2 Points) - Which was OVERALL the best and most fun absurdist, pulpy noir story

Vote ONE writer per category

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Awe, man!  ONE vote per category!  Have you read through these yet?!?  There's no way I can decide one for each.  Can I at least split a vote? :P

Eric

  • Rottwheelers
    • I can help with story design
    •  
Atmosphere - Dadelus, special mention to Sinitrena
Word Choice/Style - monkey424, but special mention to one sentence of Mandle's: "There was a cutter knife cast adfift amid some pads of flesh that looked bloody and fresh."
Character(s) and Pulpiness Level - Baron
Noir Level of Background World - PhilStrahl
Best Overall (Worth 2 Points) - Baron by a nose, with several close behind

kconan

  • After⇐---—---⇒Before
Awe, man!  ONE vote per category!  Have you read through these yet?!?  There's no way I can decide one for each.  Can I at least split a vote? :P

Sorry man, one per for this round.  Feel free to make other writers feel better with the ole' "honorable mentions".

Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
    • I can help with translating
    •  
Atmosphere - PhilStrahl
Word Choice/Style - monkey424
Character(s) and Pulpiness Level - Baron
Noir Level of Background World - Dadalus
Best Overall (Worth 2 Points) - PhilStrahl