Black as Noir

Valentine's Day...that symbol of commercialism and desperation that leaves single people sad and couples anxious. Gross, right? I say let's spit on the rituals of purchasing overly sweet chocolates and paying for awkwardly-performative dinners out. Forget the already-dying roses.

Let's try something different. I wrote a noir story, because love is low down and dirty. I've got a hardboiled detective, a shifty client, a well-dressed dame, and one hell of a misundertanding. It's modern day, yet retro levels of deadly.

Here's an excerpt:

The guy storms into my office, banging the door after him. The frosted glass panel rattles and I pray it doesn’t break. His breath comes too fast. He’s got to be over sixty, and I hope he won’t keel over. But when he pulls out a photograph, I see it’s frustration speeding his heart.
He drops the photo on my desk.

“Your wife,” I say.

“How do you know?”

I shoot him a look. “You did notice the sign on the door, right?”

“But I haven’t asked you to investigate anything yet.” “You will.” I glance at the photo. She’s beautiful. Too beautiful for him. Funny how they never realize it till after the papers are signed. Then all of a sudden, the man finally knows he’s been had. The trophy wife gets her hands on the bank account and, bang, it’s all over.

“She’s cheating on me.”

Of course she is. Can’t anybody write a new song?

“I want you to take care of the problem,” he goes on, taking an envelope out of his coat pocket. It’s strange, isn’t it, how cash has a smell? That thick, green smell gets to me right away. I expect him to open it, to peel some bills off the stack like a striptease. Instead, he plops the whole thing on my desk. Now that was all wrong, a note out of place.
It’s too fat. That envelope is nearly bursting. Even if it were just singles, it’s too much for a peep job. That sweet cash smell goes sour.

“Listen, buddy…”

And we're off. Want to read more? Support me on Patreon and you can get the whole story, along with all the other exclusive stories I post on the site this year.


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