The Letter L #atozchallenge #noir #fiction

 

I slowly traced the letter “L” in the thick wool carpet. I left her blood stain to help me keep my edge.

“Lily I can’t let go of this. I know you would want me to help”

I felt a tug was it sleep? a drug? pulling me down, down down…

****

A scream erupted the silence

I took off in a sprint into a darkening alley

that sucked me along

Further and further I ran

There’s a wall no way up, no way around.

Then I saw it an old rusty hinged door.

Blocked

A dame screamed

blood splattered onto the backdrop of the fog

 the door slowly opened

 it was more like a portal to…

The bleeding woman was gone

                                                          the place seemed familiar

precariously

I hung on a ladder

no top and no bottom

just endless rungs.

I could taste the sepia tinged air

the haze burned my eyes

another scream reverberated in the ladder’s metal.

I knew this was not Newcago

it seemed wherever I go

someone needs help

I looked down,

considering.

I pulled my makeshift mask

taught against my face

“Climb I must”

***

Happy Tuesday. If you are visiting from the A to Z Challenge, I took the easy way out and took one of my two posts for Tuesday. I’m writing about elderly issues for most of the challenge.

 

NewCago is a noir, metropolitan area that is plagued with a string of  bad guys and a deadly disease without a cure. (these stories written in 2013.) Sam (a private detective) seems to be the only one who can stay alive long enough to protect the citizens. How long can his luck last???

Someone Needs to Survive #covid #newcago #flashfiction

“Find Broken Nose” the guy gasped.

“Never heard of him.”

The guy grabbed my collar and pulled me close to his lips. “Get my kid brother outta this cesspool.  His real name is Gregory. He looks like me just younger.” The mic said as his number came up.

“Do I really need to pull this mask off to see what your brother is gonna look like?” I snapped on my stretched out latex gloves and pulled my cloth mask on.

“Lily, how do I get myself in these situations?”A breeze nudged past me; on it was her fragrance. “Lil, for you I’ll find the kid.”

I went to Buzz for info. That guy was as old as the boarded up hardware store.

“Sure at least I think it’s him. Only one I’ve ever met with that name.” I kept trying to put distance from the guy as Buzz leaned forward. “He’s not a little kid. He’s more like a sassy know it all.”

“Ok, ok just point me in the right direction.”

He was easy to find. Good thing cuz the mask did a good job of concealing his broken nose.

“It’s your brother’s.” I held up the watch as proof.

“Correction that was dad’s.” he snatched it out of my hand.

“I got a message for ya from your brother who died in my arms. Get out before its too late.”

“Too late already happened.” The kid hung his head “Ma died this morning. For some reason I’m immune.” I could hear the tears catch in his throat.

“I pulled out my wallet and gave him everything I had but a buck for coffee. There’s a bus at 3 be on it. Someone in your family needs to survive this…”

 

***

I’m revamping a noir crime series I wrote in 2013. The story centered around crime in a metropolis called NewCago but the main antagonist was a deadly disease lurking in dark corners. If you like Noir and you have time to read come back for more in the days to come. The stories do stand alone so they can be read in any order.

An Old Dilemma part 1

An Old Dilemma part 2

Whats the worst that can happen

 

What’s the Worst that can happen in Newcago? #newcago #noir #fiction #virus

 

 

It’s a messed up place full of crumpled and empty lives. Yeah there are some nice ones, but they are cowering cuz they’re afraid. They should be we’re in NewCago. She was the metropolis of the ages until something went wrong.

Now people know better than to go out after 6 at night,  even the cops.

As the clock chimes the hour in city hall, you can hear the clang of metal clad doors being closed and quadruple locked.

The fancy folks have doors that close without them even touching a thing. Lead bars  drop into feet of metal lined concrete. Our windows rattle from the collective thud.

I was getting antsy from being inside. I teased my girl, ” It’s like living in a coffin for half of our lives. Let’s go have some fun while everyone is inhaling the last of the day’s stagnant air behind bars. What’s the worst that can happen?”

“Sure Sammy, let’s go on the town for a change.” She put on her favorite shade of lipstick. It’s not like she needed anything to make her look pretty. She was a knock out without it.

So there we were linked arm and arm like kids.

“Having a good time?” She smiled as she wiped mustard off the corner of my mouth. I loved the way her eyes looked when she took a deep sip of soda from her straw and her laugh always made my heart skip.

“It’s always good with you, Sam.”  I noticed the catch in her voice; she sensed the motion first.

I felt her body tense and instinctively pulled her down against the wall.

I heard a shot. “We got lucky with that one.”

I looked at her usual steady gaze. The red wasn’t from her lipstick. She silently whispered sweet goodbyes but they were short. Too short.

“Lily, why this? Why now? You are…You were days away from a cure…

I SHOULD BE DEAD NOT YOU!!!”

It’s a messed up place full of crumpled, empty lives and I’m thrown into the cement mixer of black, white, and red.

I’m revamping a noir crime series I wrote in 2013. The story centered around crime but the main antagonist was a deadly disease lurking in dark corners. If you like Noir and you have time to read come back for more in the days to come.

This will take you back to the first installment “Life In New Cago Where Crime Never Sleeps

An Old Dilemma, New Crime #Newcago1 #fiction #disease

I inhale it every night before 6 – Courage (my dead lover’s not mine)

I looked at my watch.”5 pm time for the cops to crawl into hiding.” I chuckle. ” I don’t have the luxury of steel bars.”

A long banshee like scream bites into the last flicker of day and the night begins.

Decency’s doors are closed and it’s just me and the bad guys.

I threw the paper down. “Ramping up early?”

“I’ll try to stay decent baby.”

“I know you will Sam.” I heard her voice echo in my head as I inhaled her lily.

***

Another long night banging around in the trashcans of Newcago,  I needed a drink.

“A tall soda and a cheese steak at Tony’s sounds like the way to end a night.” I was the only company I kept these days.

I noticed the dame – she was a looker. I couldn’t get a read on the guy beneath the brim.

“Yeah, the regular,” I nodded. Sally and I go back to days when drinks came from the hose in the horse’s mouth.

I couldn’t help but hear dollface coughing then breathing hard. Her face turned blue in the matter of a minute.

Too late to call 911;  her beautiful lips were pinched and her brown eyes glazed over.

“The disease squad will be here soon,” I said under my breath.

When I looked back over, I noticed something was missing. The lout she was with had sprinted off. The sparkler around her wrist was no longer sparkling.

“Baby, Newcago is not like life on the farm…” I said to no one.  “Playing is for keeps.”

***

I pulled this series up from my 2013 archives. If you enjoy noir (more sepia) crime stories you might enjoy these as I breathe a bit of life through my Covid-19 protection gear into them.

 

 

A Dark Night #noir #poetry #EdgarAllenPoe

Edgars desk

Gather my last notes

sleep never so desired

always more elusive

more muddied in the mire

against eyelash moth fluttered

taunting at my face

stopping for full moments

slumber could not erase

those errant memories

pass me, you and I

never have I slept

since the day you died

 fingers momentary

clasp about my throat

end this misery

 “goodbye” all you wrote

 my end you had predicted

 tables then were turned

shot in desperate dark

the killer in hell will burn

fresh white like a lily

purest scent I’d known

now a dusty red

stained the step toward home

your whisper doth entice

it draws me near the fire

wings might easily ignite

lay next to you my desire

work must yet be done

before I lay my head

I gather darkest dream

you villains breathe in dread

We celebrate your gift of using the pen to write Noir. Thank you Edgar for your inspiration to many writers

Happy Birthday

“R” Evil Rides by Leslie Moon

red glow Harley B&W

Today is the “R” for A to Z challenge. This week I am stepping into the writer’s circle and writing a week- long serial set in the metropolis of NewCago. It’s a bit noir, crime and even some fiction. Though this is a serial, I do understand some of you will be dropping by via A to Z so you can read each day as stand alone microfiction.

The NewCago series – Missed , Never, Oldest Trick, Poison, Quill

 

” Mrs. Rhanovic…” I screamed as I ran to pick up a fuzzy slipper in the middle of the street.

Every morning, I see this dear old lady getting her New Cago Daily. Sometimes the delivery guy is mean and throws it on the curb.

But why is her slipper in the  middle of the road? I retrieve the slipper and feel a gust of wind blow open my coat.

“Too late, Sammy, she bit the dust this morning. No bright-eyed detective to protect this fair citizen of New Cago. Seems you always fail those closest.”

Recently, I had a premonition of doom. A motorcycle with red flames lurked in the corners. I could never see the face of the rider.

“Yeah, I can’t die either. Seems like I’m the Yin of your Yang.” His evil chuckle struck my gut.

My mind tried to wrap around the idea of evil that could not die.

“You demon.” I shook the slipper as he drove off.

I tried hard not to imagine what cruelty was being inflicted by this piece of road slime.

‘I’ll find something to curb your malice…’ I thumbed through Luz’s books of cures for evil.

 

And today are some great bloggers to meet :

“Q” Quill by Leslie Moon #atozchallenge

Today is “Q” for A to Z challenge. This week I am stepping into the writer’s circle and writing a  microfiction serial set in the metropolis of NewCago. It’s a bit noir, paranormal, crime and even some fiction. Though this is a serial, I do understand some of you will be dropping by via A to Z so you can read each day as stand alone microfiction.

The NewCago series – Missed , Never, Oldest Trick, Poison

Edgars desk

Murder is certainly not a new concept even the techniques get rehashed.

I was just cleaning up a scene where the victim had been stabbed with a poisoned quill – his own.

“Check his manuscripts,” I heard a whisper pass my ear.

” Luz, honey where do I start? There are piles of books and notebooks.”

“We need you to move on here, Sam.” The officer in charge was hustling to get behind the evening’s bars.

I put several notebooks in a satchel while he wasn’t looking and hoped he hadn’t heard me talking to my dead girlfriend.

***

That night- I was nodding off, with a notebook in my hands, when I heard a voice. “This is what they killed me for.”

The notebook opened to a page where the words were in his blood, “High officials are taking bribes from the gang bosses.”

“That’s not news.” I shook my head at the realization I was talking to another dead person.

“Yeh, but pretty boy is selling us out. You don’t do his bidding, he turns your kids and grandkids into body parts.”

“I’ve heard whispers of a chop shop for organs. I was hoping it was a sick rumor.”

“Nope, our guy is hi-bred evil. He’s turning the best and brightest into canned goods.  He killed me for the articles I sent to the Daily that will never get printed.  Not Now.”

“Ok Pen Man, there’s a red circle around his name.”

I grumbled under my breath, “Luz, The list is getting long. Too long.”

And then there was the morning news to deal with…

new cago daily

Some A to Z bloggers worth visiting today:

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